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Local and State News

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

  • Charges dropped against teen in New Mexico school shooting

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A teen accused of firing a gun at a New Mexico high school last year on the anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, shooting has been released and his charges have been dismissed. Sandoval County District Attorney Lemuel Martinez said last week state health officials and the children's psychiatric hospital refused to treat the suspect, who was 16 at the time of his arrest. The teen had been found incompetent to stand trial. Martinez says state law mandates that the suspect be released if there is no place to treat his competency. Police said the teen opened fire at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, before running away. No one was hurt.

  • New Mexico's Lt. Gov. wants stadium's 'Chief Wahoo' dropped

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's lieutenant governor has called on the high school baseball team he once coached to remove its stadium's logo of a Native American caricature. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Howie Morales asked the superintendent of Cobre Consolidated School District in Grant County to remove the "Chief Wahoo" logo from the main sign at Cobre High's baseball stadium in Bayard, New Mexico. A similar logo was used by Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians until 2018 but still remains at the high school stadium, which is named after Morales. Morales coached Cobre's baseball team to a state title in 2008. 

  • Democrat Leger Fernandez has big money edge in US House race

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez has a massive money edge over a poorly funded Republican opponent going into a general election for an open U.S. House seat in northern New Mexico. Federal records show Leger Fernandez raised $335,959 from mid-May to June 30 following a grueling Democratic primary. According to records, she has just $232,855 cash-on-hand, reflecting the expensive Democrat primary where Leger Fernandez defeated a number of candidates. But records show Republican opponent Alexis Martinez Johnson raised less than $10,000 during the same time period. She only had $6,102 cash-on-hand. 

  • New Mexico charting surge in coronavirus around Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — State health officials are charting a recent surge in coronavirus cases in the Albuquerque area as New Mexico nears 17,000 reported cases of the COVID-19 illness. The Albuquerque Journal reported Sunday the number of infections tallied by the New Mexico Department of Health nearly doubled from mid-June to mid-July in Bernalillo County. That includes the state's most urban area, and compares with a 60% increase statewide over the same period. State Human Services Secretary David Scrase calls it an almost a vertical line uptick in recent cases, and says it might stem from Fourth of July gatherings.

  • Kit Carson RV Park in Flagstaff sparks petition for new name

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.

  • Trump offers confusion, contradictions on immigration order

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is promising new executive action on immigration as he returns to the defining issue of his administration. But Trump has offered contradictory and confusing statements about his plans in recent days. This comes after the Supreme Court rejected his efforts to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which protects young immigrants brought to the country as children. Trump said last month that he would quickly be filing paperwork to address the court's concern

  • New Mexico universities face prospect of budget challenges

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. 

  • More clashes in Mexico over repaying U.S. water debt

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.