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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. MDT

  • MISSING INDIGENOUS-NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. officials have opened an office in New Mexico dedicated to investigating cold cases involving missing and murdered Indigenous people. The office in Albuquerque  is part of an effort to address violence against Native Americans and Alaska Natives, particularly women and girls. The office is the fourth of seven that are being established across the country as part of the Operation Lady Justice Task Force created via executive order by President Donald Trump in November. Other offices will be located in Arizona, Alaska and Tennessee. The goal is to develop protocols for law enforcement to respond to missing and slain Indigenous persons cases and to improve data collection.

  • NEW MEXICO NEWSPAPERS-PRINTING

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Albuquerque Journal and the Santa Fe New Mexican are partnering to print both publications at the The New Mexican's production facility in Santa Fe. The state's two largest newspapers made the announcement Tuesday and said discussions about consolidation of the printing operations have been ongoing for years. Officials say the move will increase efficiency. As a result, there will be up to 70 layoffs at the Journal's print facility in Albuquerque. Officials say the change will take effect Oct. 12 and will not affect the size or content of either newspaper. The newsrooms of the two newspapers will remain separate and maintain independent operations.

  • AP-US-TRIBE-BORDER-WALL

San Diego (AP) — A California tribe whose ancestral lands span across the U.S.-Mexico border is suing the Trump administration to block construction of a section of border wall that the Kumeyaay people say is desecrating sacred burial sites. The La Posta Band of Diegueno Mission Indians filed the lawsuit in federal court in San Diego on Tuesday seeking to temporarily halt construction of the wall until the tribe can protect its religious and cultural heritage. La Posta is one of 12 bands of the Kumeyaay people. The tribe wants its members to be able to monitor work and interrupt it to recover human remains and cultural items uncovered during construction. Federal officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

  • HEALTH EXCHANGE-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A cooperative health insurance provider to 14,000 customers on New Mexico's subsidized marketplace will cease operations at the start of 2021. State insurance regulators announced Tuesday that New Mexico Health Connections will not be an option during the open enrollment period that starts Nov. 1. People who lose their job-based insurance as a result of the economic crisis linked to COVID-19 are expected to flock to both Medicaid insurance and New Mexico's insurance exchange that provides subsidies to households with low and moderate incomes. Five insurance carriers are expected to participate in the state exchange in 2021.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The school year is getting underway at some of New Mexico's largest public school districts as teachers, students and parents deal with remote learning amid the coronavirus pandemic. Albuquerque Public Schools is starting Wednesday as schools in the district have been distributing technology to students, making virtual home visits, and providing guidance to staff, students and families. The Las Cruces district also is outlining new protocols for instruction, technology and nutrition services for an all-online start Wednesday. Whether students return to the classroom later in the year will depend on the pace of the pandemic in the state.  

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials are reporting another 202 COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to more than 22,640 since the coronavirus pandemic began. Another three deaths were also reported Tuesday, bringing that tally to 693. The additional deaths include men in their 40s from San Juan and McKinley counties, one of whom had underlying conditions. The state Health Department's latest modeling report indicates that the highest percentage of cases _ about 19% _ are among people between 25 and 34 years old. State data also shows that people 45 and older make up the highest percentages of new hospital admissions each week.

  • NEW MEXICO COMPOUND

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A second member of an extended family facing firearms, kidnapping and terrorism-related charges in connection with an 2018 raid on a remote compound where a child's decomposed body was found has been ordered hospitalized for mental health treatment. Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that the trial of five related defendants is on hold until competency issues can be resolved. The case stems from a 2018 raid on a remote compound in New Mexico where a child's decomposed body was discovered. Defendant Lucas Morton was found incompetent to stand trial last week by a federal judge and was referred to a medical center for treatment.

  • AP-US-ELECTION-2020-POOR-PEOPLE'S-CAMPAIGN

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A campaign inspired by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s last organizing effort says new data suggest low-income voters in key states could swing some U.S. Senate races. The Poor People's Campaign coalition of activists and union and religious leaders said Tuesday it's using the data to pressure candidates to focus on poverty and encourage poor and low-income people in 13 states to register to vote. The study by Columbia School of Social Work assistant professor Robert Paul Hartley found that low-income eligible non-voters make up about one-fifth of the electorate in states like Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and New Mexico.