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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 4:20 p.m. MDT


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A petition to change the name of a Flagstaff RV park named for explorer Kit Carson is gaining momentum in the wake of public conversations on systemic racism and white supremacy. The Arizona Daily Sun reports the petition calling for a name change for Kit Carson RV Park has garnered more than 800 signatures since its creation last month. In 1863, Carson forced thousands of Navajos to relocate from their land in the Four Corners region to Bosque Redondo in eastern New Mexico. Many died along the way or amid horrific living conditions during their internment that ended in 1868.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Officials say the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University face the prospect of major budget challenges. State funding has been reduced in the fiscal fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and reduced energy prices. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that UNM likely faces a $22 million cut in state funding while New Mexico State will have about $20 million less to spend in the current fiscal year because of reduced state funding, revenue losses from lower enrollment and other circumstances. Health officials on Saturday reported four additional COVID-19 deaths and 280 additional confirmed cases., increasing the statewide death toll to 569 and the total number of cases to 16,736. 


MEXICO CITY (AP) — Farmers once again have clashed with Mexican military forces to protest releases of water from a Mexican dam to repay a water debt owed to the United States.  Video posted by Rep. Mario Mata Carrasco showed tear gas canisters being fired over the heads of protesters Sunday at the Las Virgines dam in in the northern border state of Chihuahua. Farmers in Chihuahua say they need the water for local crops. But under a 1944 treaty, Mexico owes the United States about 415,000 acre-feet (512 million cubic meters) that must be paid by Oct. 24. 


LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a woman was seriously injured when she was chased and attacked by a bear which approached her and her husband as they were comet-watching on the deck of a northern New Mexico ski area's lodge. The state Game and Fish Department said the bear Friday night approached the couple and then began chasing the woman before attacking her in the parking lot of the ski area on the outskirts of Los Alamos. The department said police responding to a distress call from the woman's husband shot and killed a bear found eating trash in the vicinity. A lab will analyze DNA samples to see whether that beat attacked the woman. 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has received permission from neighboring states to access stored water after little rainfall, low runoff and high temperatures dried out some sections of the Rio Grande. The Albuquerque Journal reported that the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District and the state can now access more than 12 billion gallons stored in the El Vado Reservoir. The water is stored under the Rio Grande Compact agreement between New Mexico, Texas and Colorado. A district water official said supply for part of the Rio Grande valley would have run out without this approval. Agencies are expected to hold back use if the region receives significant rainfall. 


PHOENIX (AP) — A federal court in Maryland has ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program must be restored fully, meaning it must open up to new applicants for the first time in three years. The program helps immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to legally work and protects them from deportation. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that President Donald Trump didn't properly end the program in 2017. Roughly 650,000 people are enrolled in DACA, but only those who were already in the program when it ended have been able to renew. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said it is reviewing the ruling. 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's top public education officials say many schools have submitted requests to start the school year with remote classes rather than return to the classroom immediately, even if under a hybrid plan. Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart testified Friday before a legislative committee on the challenges that his agency and schools are facing amid the coronavirus pandemic. Stewart says agility will be key as schools will need to be ready to shift gears depending on the pace of the virus. The discussion came as health officials acknowledged that New Mexico's rolling average of positive COVID-19 cases has not been good. An additional 319 cases were reported Friday.


RIO RANCHO, N.M, (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján has a nearly 6-to-1 fundraising advantage over his GOP opponent in a race for an open U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico. Federal records show the Democrat from Nambé‎ raised nearly $1 million from mid-May to June 30. He has more than $3.3 million cash on hand going into the general election. Meanwhile, Republican Mark Ronchetti reported raising $532,500 during the same time period. The former television weatherman had $571,000 cash-on-hand. Both are seeking to replace U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, who is retiring.