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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MDT

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The hybrid reopening of New Mexico public schools will come amid a statewide nursing shortage, adding to the anxiety of parents and teachers. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports guidelines released by the New Mexico Public Education Department released last month have turned the spotlight onto school nurses. Some schools in New Mexico are reporting a lack of nurses. New Mexico health officials reported Sunday an additional 203 coronavirus cases but no more known deaths. That puts the statewide total of confirmed COVID-19 infections at 13,256 with the death toll remaining at 513.

  • BC-VIRUS OUTBREAK

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — School districts across America must make wrenching decisions over how to resume classes in settings radically altered by the coronavirus pandemic. They face issues like school buses running below capacity, virtual learning, outdoor classrooms and quarantine protocols for infected children. The plans for the upcoming school year are taking shape by the day, and vary from district to district and state to state. The debates have been highly emotional, with tempers flaring among parents and administrators. And discussions have been made all the more vexing by record numbers of COVID-19 cases being reported each day. They must balance health concerns with clawing back as much normalcy as possible. 

  • NATIONAL GALLERY-NATIVE AMERICAN

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A painting by artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith is joining works by the legendary pop artists Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol at the National Gallery of Art. Smith's "I See Red: Target" is the first painting on canvas by a Native American artist to enter the collection. The gallery announced the purchase of the painting this week. A Corrales resident, Smith is an enrolled Salish member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation in Montana. She tells the Albuquerque Journal she was shocked to be the first Native American painter to appear in the national museum.

  • AP-US-ELECTION-2020-LATINOS

WASHINGTON (AP) — To win Florida and other pivotal swing states in November, Joe Biden is not only hoping to run up the score against President Donald Trump with Latino voters but also to push the community's turnout to levels far higher than when Hillary Clinton lost in 2016. A key to doing that is a deeper understanding of Latino voters' backgrounds thanks to new advancements in "micro-targeting." That means using data modeling of voter populations to produce ads and customize political outreach efforts aimed at individual ethnic groups within the larger Latino community. The Republican Party has also tailored messages to Latinos from different backgrounds.

  • TROUBLED NEW MEXICO CITY

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — The mayor of a troubled New Mexico city has fired its police chief but will keep him until a replacement is named. The Las Vegas Optic reports Las Vegas, New Mexico, Mayor Louie Trujillo confirmed this week he told current Police Chief David Bibb he will be replaced. Trujillo has chosen a replacement for Bibb, but he said he won't make a formal announcement until he presents the candidate to Las Vegas City Council. That announcement could come as early as the next regular meeting, which is scheduled for July 15. 

  • BAIL REFORM-NEW MEXICO

LOVINGTON, N.M. (AP) — Authorities in one southeastern New Mexico community are frustrated with the state's bail reforms, saying the justice system is now failing Lovington by releasing repeat offenders from custody. Police officers tell the Lovington Daily Leader they know many offenders on a first-name basis because they have to arrest them over and over — often for the same charges but different victims. Prosecutors and law enforcement say some crimes are committed by people with mental health issues and that officers have been forced to take on the role of social workers.

  • RACIAL INJUSTICE-A FAMILY STORY

RIO RANCHO, N.M, (AP) — Associated Press writer Russell Contreras has always had trouble with the July Fourth holiday due to his family's Mexican American past. But then he began looking at America's Independence Day through the eyes of his Uncle Ciprian. The U.S. Marine took part in the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II and suffered a concussion. After he was rescued, he was asked — while wounded — to go back and fight. Ciprian volunteered and was injured again. Contreras now wonders: What did Ciprian see in the U.S.? Today, Contreras says his family celebrates the Fourth by sharing Ciprian's story and other heroic tales of people of color.

  • SOUTHWEST-WILDFIRE

MAGDELENA, N.M. (AP) — A wildfire in southern New Mexico continues to grow. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Saturday the blaze in the Apache Kid Wilderness has grown to 18 square miles (46.62 square kilometers). Officials say it is 39% contained. The department says crews will continue to monitor the fire, rehabilitate recreation sites, fences, cultural sites, private land inholdings, and critical habitat in the fire perimeter. The fire was caused by lightning.