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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. MDT


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. Schools in New Mexico are reporting a lack of nurses. New Mexico health officials reported Monday an additional 253 coronavirus cases and two more deaths. That puts the statewide total of confirmed COVID-19 infections at 13,507 with the death toll at 515.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Santa Fe Opera, the Meow Wolf art collaborative and the non-profit organization that puts on the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta are among the New Mexico businesses receiving loans from the U.S. government as part of the massive effort to support the economy amid the coronavirus outbreak. The Treasury Department on Monday identified the borrowers that got more than $150,000 each through the Paycheck Protection Program. The list in New Mexico also includes tribal casinos, private schools in Albuquerque, restaurants, breweries, oil companies, churches, a few rural hospitals and a consulting company co-founded by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham more than a decade ago.


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. 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Four people have been charged with the kidnapping and shooting death of an 18-year-old man in the Sandias Mountains. The Albuquerque Journal reported Sunday that 22-year-old Julio Rascon, 19-year-old Angel Ochoa, a 27-year-old man and his 30-year-old wife are facing a range of charges including murder in Isaiah Hill's killing. Arrest warrants have been issued for all four, according to online court records. A hiker discovered Hill's body May 26 on a dirt road near Sandia Man Cave, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by the Sandoval County Sheriff's Office. Authorities say Hill was face-down, hogtied and had a gunshot wound to the back of the head. 


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.


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.


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. 


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.