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Local and State News

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


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials are reporting an additional 132 coronavirus cases and five more deaths. The latest numbers come as nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in some parts of the state begin providing additional visitation options for residents and their families. The New Mexico Health Care Association and New Mexico Center for Assisted Living say the state's new visitation guidance is a positive step and will help with patient wellbeing while still considering the health concerns associated with the coronavirus pandemic. In all, New Mexico has reported more than 22,440 cases and 690 deaths since the pandemic began. 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Next month's New Mexico State Fair is going all virtual. Organizers plan to hold the fair entirely online to circumvent challenges from the coronavirus pandemic. They announced Monday that there will still be 4-H and Future Farmers of America virtual competitions. There also will be online contests in cake decorating, flower arranging, photography and designing a poster for next year's fair. Video entries for the various competitions will be accepted until Aug. 31. Musicians who would have performed live at the fair will do so digitally. Viewers can check out the event on the fair's website and social media channels.


LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — An international mariachi conference that brings student musicians across the country and Mexico to New Mexico will go virtual this year. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports organizers with the Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference made the decision to put the gathering online as cases of COVID-19 rise nationwide. The conference is still slated for the second week of November, but live performances and in-person classes have been canceled. The Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference began in 1994. Its mission is to preserve and promote the cultural art forms of Mariachi music and Folkloric dance through educational workshops and performance opportunities for youth and adults.


OJO CALIENTE, N.M. (AP) — A fire that torched a historic New Mexico bathhouse built in the 1800s remains under investigation. Investigators say a blaze Thursday destroyed the Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa in northern New Mexico after crews battled the fire for hours. Taos County Fire Chief Mike Cordova says the fire could have been worse and might have spread into the main building had crews not subdued it. Ojo Caliente is on the National Register of Historic Places. The site dates back to the Tewa speaking Pueblo people. No injuries were reported.


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation health officials have reported 15 more cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths. That brings the total number of people infected to 9,308 and the known death toll to 472 as of Sunday night. Navajo Department of Health officials said 85,206 people have been tested for the coronavirus and 6,859 have recovered. Tribal President Jonathan Nez pointed to the latest coronavirus figures as evidence that most Navajo Nation residents are complying with lockdown orders and the advice of medical experts. The Navajo Nation recently changed its 57-hour weekend lockdown to a 32-hour one. The vast reservation covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Health officials in New Mexico have reported 205 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases with four additional deaths. The latest numbers increase New Mexico's case total to 22,315 and the death toll to at least 685. Of the 205 new cases, 49 occurred in Bernalillo County and 30 in Dona Ana County. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. But for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Colorado man has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for threatening to kill a New Mexico state official and an attorney with a law firm in connection with a fraud case. Federal prosecutors say 40-year-old Andrew Graham of Snowmass, Colorado, had pleaded guilty to sending interstate communications threatening to killing someone and was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Albuquerque. The U.S. Attorney's Office for New Mexico says Graham falsely believed an official with the state Department of Regulation and Licensing and a lawyer with a private law firm were complicit in his losing trust fund money in a fraud case, 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The attorney for the family of a Colorado man fatally shot by a U.S. National Park Service ranger in New Mexico said she was disappointed with a district attorney decision to not pursue criminal charges against the ranger. Civil rights lawyer Shannon Kennedy said District Attorney Dianna Luce had omitted "some key factors" when explaining the decision. Luce announced earlier this week that the actions of Park Ranger Robert Mitchell were "objectively justifiable" during a traffic stop at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Kennedy filed a wrongful death claim against the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of Interior in June. They have yet to file a response.