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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. MDT


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico authorities are investigating a deadly shooting at an auto shop after a man who refused to wear a mask tried to run over the shop owner's son and crashed into a vehicle before driving off. An incident report written by Bernalillo County sheriff's deputies say as they were searching for the man, they received a call from the shop owner saying the man had returned and that his son had shot someone. Deputies found two men on the ground. One didn't have a pulse. Albuquerque police have taken over the investigation. Spokesman Gilbert Gallegos declined to release more details, saying detectives were interviewing additional people.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The largest school district in New Mexico has reached an understanding with a teachers union regarding the restart of classes as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. The Albuquerque Public School District announced Thursday that the understanding acknowledges the importance of in-person learning for students, but there remain significant health and safety concerns about reopening schools. Teachers and staff will have the option of working from home when guidelines outlined by the state are met. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Thursday that another 343 cases have been reported, marking the state's all-time daily high since the pandemic started. The statewide case total stands at 18,163. 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some New Mexico forests are rolling back bans on campfires as the summer rainy season sets in. Officials with the Lincoln and Gila national forests cited the onset of monsoons as the reason for rescinding fire restrictions on the southern New Mexico forests. Still, forest managers are warning people that they still need to be careful and to extinguish campfires before leaving a campsite. Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque say a another round of showers and thunderstorms is likely for much of the state Thursday. All of New Mexico is dealing with some form of drought, with the northern border and spots in eastern New Mexico faring the worst.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's attorney general is taking over the investigation of whether deputies should face charges in the shooting death of a mentally ill woman. The Albuquerque Journal reported Wednesday that Attorney General Hector Balderas said the family of Elisha Lucero asked him to take over the review. Authorities responded to the family's home in July 2019 after a relative called 911 saying Lucero, 28, had hit her uncle. The relative told authorities Lucero was mentally ill. Lucero later ran out screaming with a knife. In response, three deputies fired their weapons. She was shot 21 times.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — President Trump is focusing on an open wound in the law enforcement community as he announces a surge in federal agents to cities including Albuquerque and Chicago in attempts to contain violent crime. Trump administration officials invoked the 2019 shooting death in Albuquerque of the mother of two New Mexico state police officers as he announced a surge in federal agents and grants for local police to fight violent crime. The announcement prompted immediate concerns among Democratic elected officials in New Mexico of federal overreach and the potential for new civil rights abuses. 


CHICAGO (AP) — President Donald Trump offered few details when he announced this week that the government will dispatch hundreds of extra federal agents to Chicago and Albuquerque, New Mexico, to fight violent crime. The absence of a clear, publicly available plan has left city leaders and federal agencies themselves left to speculate about exactly what is going to happen and when. Among questions not yet fully answered is how many agents will come from which federal agencies. The plan for Chicago and Albuquerque doesn't seem to include federal agents engaging protesters, as has happened in Portland, Oregon.


PREWITT, N.M. (AP) — A coal-fired power plant in western New Mexico will be shutting down by the end of the year, and local officials are bracing for the economic consequences of the closure. Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association announced the closure of the Escalante Generating Station near Grants earlier this year. Utility officials said during a virtual town hall that they're working with local officials, businesses and economic development groups to mitigate some of the effects on McKinley and Cibola counties. The plant has an annual economic impact of nearly $100 million and supports some 226 direct and indirect jobs.


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez signed an executive order Wednesday to keep parts of the tribal government closed through mid-August because of the coronavirus pandemic. The executive branch had been scheduled to reopen July 27 but now will stay closed until Aug. 16. Nez cited recent surges in coronavirus cases off the reservation. Most tribal government offices have been closed to the public or restricted services since the first COVID-19 cases were reported in March. On Wednesday, tribal lawmakers overturned the veto of a bill to cancel the tribe's primary election on Aug. 4. Chapter officials instead will be elected by plurality vote in November.