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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. MDT


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A 16-year-old has been arrested after a standout high school basketball player was fatally shot in northern New Mexico. The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office says the teen has been charged in the death of FeDonta "J.B." White, who was killed early Saturday. White had planned attend the University of New Mexico this year on an athletic scholarship. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds last season with the Santa Fe High School Demons. The school's principal tells the Santa Fe New Mexican that White was an incredible young man who was ready to fulfill his dream in college.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Mexico has increased by 210. State health officials also reported nine more deaths Saturday. The deaths include three residents of Bernalillo County and two in Dona Ana County. The state has logged 651 deaths due to the coronavirus since the pandemic began. De Baca County is the only county in New Mexico without a confirmed case. Lea, McKinley and Luna counties were leading the state in number of cases per capita over the past two weeks. That's according to an Associated Press analysis of data collected by Johns Hopkins University.


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Lawmakers on the Navajo Nation have approved a massive spending bill to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation includes money for water projects, power lines, broadband and casino employees who no longer are receiving paychecks. The Navajo Nation Council passed the more than $650 million measure late Friday after discussing it for more than 28 hours in a special session over three days. The money comes from the Navajo Nation's share of $8 billion in federal coronavirus relief funding that was set aside for tribes. Navajo President Jonathan Nez has 10 days to act on the bill once it reaches him.


LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A county sheriff in southern New Mexico has criticized a former deputy after boxes containing bags of police evidence and scattered pages of police case files were found in the deputy's foreclosed home. A cleaning crew discovered 72 pieces of case evidence May 23 after going to prepare the home for resale. The Las Cruces Sun-News reported that Doña Ana County Sheriff Kim Stewart called it a failure in leadership while speaking at a press conference Friday. None of the cases can be prosecuted. Former Deputy Vincent Lopez was charged with tampering with public records and tampering with evidence. Online records don't list an attorney for Lopez.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A shortage of Jesuit priests is forcing the storied Society of Jesus Catholic order to abandon New Mexico after more than 160 years. The Albuquerque Journal reports the St. Louis, Missouri-based Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province is pulling out the last remaining four Jesuit priests next year. Rev. Warren Broussard, pastor of Immaculate Conception Church and Parish in Albuquerque will be the last to depart next June 30. Broussard says the Jesuits are just stretched too thin to continue ministering to all the places that they've been ministering. The Jesuit Order was founded in the early 1500s by Ignatius Loyola. 


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has declined by a 5-4 vote to halt the Trump administration's construction of portions of the border wall with Mexico following a recent lower court ruling that the administration improperly diverted money to the project. The court's four liberal justices dissented, saying they would have prohibited construction while a court challenge continues,  after a federal appeals court ruled in June that the administration had illegally sidestepped Congress in transferring the Defense Department funds. Friday's order means the court is not likely even to consider the substance of the issue until after the November election, while work on the wall continues.


RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — The leader of Cowboys for Trump says the reelection campaign for President Donald Trump is distancing itself from the group after the leader posted a video saying some Black athletes should "go back to Africa." Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin told The Associated Press on Friday that the Trump campaign contacted him and said it would distance itself from the group's activities. Griffin faced criticism this week after he posted the Facebook live "go back to Africa" video. Griffin says he chose his words poorly. Griffin also is facing a recall petition to remove him from his Otero County Commissioner's seat. 


RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A Republican U.S. Senate hopeful is blasting New Mexico's health orders, which limits public political fundraisers and traditional door-to-door campaigning. Mark Ronchetti said Friday the Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's restrictions are violating free and are "tilting the playing field" toward Democrats, including his opponent, U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján. The Democratic governor said Thursday the health orders aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 allows for peaceful protests but not public "political organizing" by candidates. Lujan Grisham spokeswoman Nora Sackett called Ronchetti's criticism "nonsense" and said candidates can find other creative ways to reach voters.