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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. MDT

  • Tribal college will offer nearly all fall courses online

TSAILE, Ariz. (AP) — A college on the Navajo Nation plans to offer nearly all of its courses online this fall and says it is instituting safety and technology measures to help students succeed during the coronavirus pandemic. Dine College officials said all but 10 of its planned 358 courses will be offered online and that its preparations include a $6.4 million technology upgrade and development of a laptop loan program. College President Charles Roessel said on-campus safety measures include new signage encouraging social distancing and installation of plexiglas barriers in offices and classrooms to block transmission of COVID-19.

  • Northern New Mexico horse shootings spark investigation

MONTE APLANADO, N.M. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the shooting for two horses in northern New Mexico. The Las Vegas Optic reports two horses in the Monte Aplanado area of Mora County were shot last month. Animal Protection of New Mexico says one of the horses died from gunshot wounds while the other is recovering. No arrests have been made. Horses were reported to have been running in the Laguna Alta area. The New Mexico Livestock Board is investigating the shootings as a felony animal cruelty case.

  • New Mexico college to award 'George Floyd' scholarship

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — A foundation for a New Mexico college has announced it has created a scholarship in George Floyd's name for Black students. The New Mexico Highlands University Foundation said Thursday it developed the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship to benefit African American students, thanks to a generous donor. Highlands vice president of student and donor engagement Theresa Law says the new scholarship will benefit Black Highlands University students who are leaders on campus. New Mexico Highlands University is located in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Floyd, who was Black, died May 25, 2020, after a white Minnesota police officer pushed a knee into his neck. 

  • New Mexico halts school sports, indoor dining, filmaking

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico will halt indoor restaurant service, close state parks to nonresidents and suspend autumn contact sports at schools in response to surging coronavirus infections within its boundaries and neighboring Texas and Arizona. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said that accelerating rates of infection across large expanses of the state have forced her to instate new restrictions and backtrack on restaurant reopenings. Outdoor dining at restaurants and breweries will still be allowed under health order revisions that take effect on Monday. Lujan Grisham has urged residents of Texas in particular to stay away from nonessential visits until a vaccine is found to halt the spread of COVID-19.

  • Agencies, group take 'step forward' with Mexican owl talks

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Negotiations among environmentalists and state and federal officials in Arizona and New Mexico have resulted in a set of recommendations and other provisions that environmentalists say will help protect the threatened Mexican spotted owl. The Center for Biological Diversity says it's backing down from its threat to sue as a result. Forest officials called the understanding a "big step forward." The group in April threatened legal action, saying the federal government's piecemeal approach to forest restoration and thinning projects presented risks for the owl. A separate case that raised similar concerns by the group WildEarth Guardians is still pending.

  • Mayor in troubled New Mexico city names new police chief

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — The mayor of a troubled New Mexico city has named a new police chief days after telling the current top officer he would be replaced. The Las Vegas Optic reports Las Vegas, New Mexico, Mayor Louie Trujillo will appoint Adrian Crespin as the city's next police chief. Crespin is currently the head of security at New Mexico Highlands University and retired from the Las Vegas Police Department in 2015. Trujillo confirmed last week he told current Police Chief David Bibb he will be replaced. Since Juan Montaño retired as chief in 2018, the city has seen four acting chiefs.

  • New Mexico State extends suspension of athlete workouts

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State University says it will continue its temporary suspension of student-athlete workouts as it waits for more COVID-19 testing results. The university said this week the suspension will remain in effect after six student-athletes and a sports performance staff member tested positive for the virus last week. Additional tests have resulted in 135 negative cases, 20 positive cases, and seven others are still awaiting their results. The cases affect multiple sports. Workouts and other team activities will resume once medical personnel approves. 

  • North Dakota man told to pay $74K for poaching mule deer

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A North Dakota man has been ordered to pay $74,000 in restitution for poaching a trophy mule deer buck in northwestern New Mexico. The state Department of Game and Fish says Cody Davis also was ordered to make a $3,000 donation to the Operation Game Thief program. Authorities say Davis killed a mule deer out of season and didn't have a license. The investigation started in 2015 when game officers found a large headless buck near Lindrith. They put up surveillance and say they caught Davis when he returned to retrieve the severed head stashed nearby. An attorney for Davis did not immediately return a message seeking comment. .