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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. MST


NAMBÉ, N.M. (AP) — Democrat Ben Ray Luján has released his first television campaign ad in his bid for the U.S. Senate. The ad scheduled to begin airing Tuesday highlights Luján's role as an "11th generation New Mexican" and his desire to represent rural values. The U.S. congressman doesn't mention his GOP opponent Mark Ronchetti nor President Donald Trump. Luján says his campaign will try to reach the state's 33 counties through a virtual road trip. The Santa Fe Democrat and former television weatherman Ronchetti are seeking to replace U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, who is retiring.


LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory say sunlight-absorbing particles in wildfire smoke may contribute less to warming temperatures than previously thought. They said in a recent paper that as the plume mixes with clean air, its absorbing power and warming effects are reduced. The researchers studied the properties of smoke from a large blaze in Arizona last summer. The chemical, physical and optical properties of ambient aerosol and trace gas concentrations in four large plumes were measured in real time. The team observed intact and more-disperse plumes that aged more than half a day while traveling 300 miles across New Mexico.


NEW YORK (AP) — Jeffrey Epstein's former girlfriend will face a judge and at least one of her accusers by video at a hearing to determine whether she stays behind bars until trial on charges she helped Epstein find school girls to sexually abuse. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in Manhattan federal court. It occurs a day after prosecutors argued in court papers that the 58-year-old British socialite will flee the country if she is freed on $5 million bail. That's the bail amount her defense lawyers recommended on Friday, when they called for her release. They said electronic monitoring, private security and her friends and two siblings in the New York area would keep her in place.


LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A judge has ruled that a man charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his father will remain jailed as he awaits trial. Lucas Daniel Gonzalez was denied bond Monday because he was found to be a danger to the community. Gonzalez is charged with killing his father Alfredo Gonzalez on Wednesday outside a home in Las Cruces. Alfredo Gonzalez was found unresponsive and without a pulse when officers arrived.


GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico hospital on the edge of the Navajo Nation and that became overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic is trying to regroup with new leadership. The Gallup Independent reports the incoming leadership team at Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital in Gallup is promising transparency after years of alleged mismanagement and fiscal problems. Chief Financial Officer and acting CEO Mary Bevier says she is building trust with employees and working to stabilize the hospital's finances. The struggling hospital made national news in May after the coronavirus outbreak overwhelmed doctors and nurses and paralyzed the community in the state's hard-hit northwest.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's revamped public health order takes effect Monday, and some restaurant owners aren't happy that they've been ordered to roll back indoor dining. They say they've gone to great lengths to make their establishments safe and that the governor has offered no evidence that New Mexico's uptick in cases has anything to do with restaurant service. The New Mexico Restaurant Association has helped organize an online petition and a statewide protest was planned Monday. The state has reported nearly 15,300 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, and hospitalizations saw a steep increase in the past week.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man who opened fire after a fight broke out as protesters tried to tear down a statue of a Spanish conquistador is facing a new charge  of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez said Monday he's amending the charges because he believes Steven Ray Baca had repeatedly provoked protesters. Defense attorneys say Baca was acting in self-defense. One man was shot and injured during the June 15 confrontation. Torrez also is going after an armed group of men to keep them from acting as what he called an unlawful military unit.


DEMING, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police say driver fatigue is likely behind a rollover crash that killed two members of a San Diego family. Authorities say the deadly rollover happened early Sunday near Deming on Interstate 10. A Chevy Suburban carrying a couple and their six children was heading westbound when it went off the road. Emergency workers pronounced a 12-year-old girl dead at the scene. A 10-year-old boy later died at a hospital. Police say the 37-year-old mother, 42-year-old father and their 16-year-old son were hospitalized with non-threatening injuries. The other siblings _ ages 3, 5 and 7 _ were uninjured.