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Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MST

  • RACIAL INJUSTICE-NEW MEXICO

Federal security deployment sets off backlash in New MexicoALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Democratic elected officials in New Mexico are cautioning President Trump against any possible plans to send federal agents to the state as the sheriff of New Mexico's largest county travels to the White House on Wednesday. The sheriff of New Mexico's most populous county that includes Albuquerque has accepted an invitation to the White House regarding a partnership between his agency and the Department of Justice to address violent crime. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich called the resignation of Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales.

  • COUNSELOR-RACISTS POSTS

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Santa Fe high school counselor accused of sharing racist messages on social media is back at work. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Tuesday that Stephanie Sheldon has resumed her job with Santa Fe High School after being placed on paid leave more than a month ago. A Santa Fe Public Schools spokesman said "appropriate actions" had been taken against her. A Philadelphia man publicly decried Facebook posts by Sheldon during an online school board meeting last month. Among the posts was a comment from Sheldon likening protesters of George Floyd's death to "a bunch of animals." 

  • RACIAL INJUSTICE-SPANISH LEGACY

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico Hispanic activist upset about the removal of Spanish conquistador monuments is pushing for the state to end its support for Chicano and Native American Studies. New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens executive director Ralph Arellanes wrote the University of New Mexico President Garnett Stokes on Monday that the state's largest university should dismantle both programs because they teach Latino students "self-hate" about their Spanish heritage. Arellanes says he is angry some classes teach students that Spanish conquistadors are linked to the genocide of Indigenous populations. New Mexico LULAC State Director Juan Garcia says the civil rights group does not support dismantling academic programs.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — Officials at Western New Mexico University are opting for an online start to the fall semester. The school announced Tuesday that classes will be offered online from Aug. 17 through Sept. 7. A hybrid model with some face-to-face and hands-on activities will be in place after the Labor Day holiday through November. Online classes will then resume as students won't be required to return to campus after Thanksgiving break. University President Joseph Shepard said facts and science will guide officials' decisions rather than emotions and politics. He says above all, the safety of students, faculty and staff is the primary focus.

  • METHANE FIGHT-NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico regulators say they have taken best practices from around the U.S. and come up with new ideas as the state moves forward with mandating reductions in methane and other pollutants from the oil and gas industry. State environment and energy officials on Tuesday provided more details about the proposed regulations. The public has 30 days to comment before regulators hammer out the final rules. The proposal includes requirements for reporting emissions data and a path forward for collecting revenues on vented and flared gas, which could bring in millions of dollars annually to benefit public schools.

  • AP-US-BORDER WALL-LAND TRANSFER

PHOENIX (AP) — The federal Bureau of Land Management says it has transferred over 65 acres of public land in Arizona and New Mexico to the Army for border wall infrastructure. The agency says it handed over 53 acres in Yuma County, Arizona, that is needed to install power and other utilities around the border wall there. Another 12.7 acres in Hidalgo County, New Mexico, were transferred so that the Army could install power and other utilities along with engineering for roads that provide access to the border wall project there. Critics say construction of the border wall and infrastructure around imperils wildlife and protected land. 

  • AP-US-VIRUS-OUTBREAK-MIGRANT-CHILDREN-HOTELS

HOUSTON (AP) — The Trump administration is detaining immigrant children as young as 1 in hotels before deporting them to their home countries. Documents obtained by The Associated Press show a private contractor hired by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is taking children to three Hampton Inns in Arizona and Texas under restrictive border policies implemented during the coronavirus pandemic. The hotels have been used nearly 200 times, while more than 10,000 beds for children sit empty at government shelters. Lawyers and advocates say the practice exposes children to the risk of trauma. Federal immigration authorities say the contractors caring for the kids are "non-law enforcement staff members trained to work with minors."

  • AP-US-JEFFREY-EPSTEIN-ASSOCIATE

NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer for financier Jeffrey Epstein's ex-girlfriend has asked the judge presiding over her case to impose a gag order on lawyers to protect her chance of a fair trial. The attorney, Jeffrey Pagliuca, filed papers in Manhattan federal court late Tuesday citing comments by Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, an FBI official and by lawyers for accusers of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. He says the officials and the lawyers made comments after Maxwell's July 2 arrest at a New Hampshire estate that were prejudicial pretrial publicity. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to charges that she recruited three girls for Epstein to sexually abuse in the 1990s. Epstein took his life last August at a Manhattan federal jail. Maxwell is held without bail.