Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. MDT
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says there are not enough people are wearing masks. She said during her latest briefing that she wants to see at least 80% or 90% of people wearing face coverings. The state's mandate that everyone must wear a mask in public has been in effect since May 16 and the Democratic governor vowed more enforcement at the start of July. But since then, New Mexico State Police officers have issued only one citation for a violation. Some local law enforcement agencies have said they have more pressing priorities. The penalty for violating the mask order is a $100 fine.
- BESIEGED HOSPITAL-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The former CEO of a rural hospital in northwestern New Mexico is alleging in a lawsuit that his contract was unfairly terminated in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Filed in federal court on Thursday, the lawsuit from David Conejo and his hospital management company takes aim at the board chairwoman and medical staff at Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital in Gallup. Doctors and nurses at Rehoboth staged a public protest in May to criticize staffing levels and call for the ouster of Conejo. The lawsuit seeks payment for damages to Conejo's reputation and loss of earnings.
- CHIRICAHUA LEOPARD FROG
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A rare frog has been found beyond its known range in the U.S. Southwest. A U.S. Forest Service volunteer recently photographed a Chiricahua leopard frog in an earthen stock tank near the town of Camp Verde in central Arizona. The agency says biologists later confirmed that at least 10 of the frogs were living there. Biologists plan to visit the area to determine if there are more. The aquatic frogs were thought to be only in eastern Arizona, western New Mexico and northern Mexico but historically were more widespread. The frogs' numbers have declined because of habitat loss, disease and predators.
- FATAL POLICE SHOOTING-PROBE
DEMING, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau has been asked by authorities in Deming to investigate the death of a man shot by police earlier this month. Police responded to a domestic disturbance in Deming on July 14. They say 28-year-old Julio Jaramillo stole a cellphone from a man at gunpoint and then hid behind a warehouse. Several police officers responded and told Jaramillo to drop the weapon. They say Jaramillo came out from behind the building, walked toward the officers, lifted his gun and started shooting. Police say the officers returned fire, striking Jaramillo. He was taken to a hospital and later died. None of the four officers involved were injured.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation officials are reporting 50 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one additional death as the tribe prepares for another weekend lockdown. The total of infected tribal members on the reservation stood at 8,734 with 432 known deaths as of Thursday. Health officials said 75,775 people have undergone testing and 6,481 have recovered from the virus. The weekend lockdown, which includes the closing of businesses, will begin at 8 p.m. Friday and last until 5 a.m. Monday. Residents of the reservation that extends into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah have also been under a mandate to wear masks when out in public.
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.
- FIRE DANGER-NEW MEXICO
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.
- DEPUTY SHOOTING-ATTORNEY GENERAL
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.