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Local and State News

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

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials have reported 110 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and eight related deaths. Tuesday's coronavirus statistics show that Dona Ana County had the most new infections, with 32 cases. Cumulative statewide deaths from the coronavirus now number 787. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Mexico has decreased over the past two weeks, going from 156 new cases per day on Aug. 17 to 127 new cases per day on Aug. 31. That's according to an analysis by The Associated Press of data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

  • NUCLEAR WEAPONS-FALLOUT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — After years of study, the National Cancer Institute says some people probably got cancer from the radioactive fallout that wafted across New Mexico after the U.S. government detonated the first atomic bomb in 1945. However, the exact number is unknown. Researchers said in studies released Tuesday that it's impossible to know if New Mexico's cancer rates changed in the first decades after the test, given the lack of data. They did conclude that whatever excess cancer cases did arise would have been limited to those alive at the time and that effects on those born later would be too small to expect additional cases. 

  • BIKE THEFT-HOMICIDE ARREST

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police say a 19-year-old man has been arrested n the 2019 killing of another man during the theft of the victim's bicycle. Police said Elijah Amos was arrested Monday in the fatal shooting of Isaac Candelaria on Jan. 16, 2019 as the two fought over Candelaria's bike at a bus stop. The shooting triggered a massive but unsuccessful search along the Rio Grande. Police said homicide detectives identified Amos as a potential suspect within days and that an arrest warrant was issued recently after additional information linked him to the killing. Online court records didn't list an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

  • STATE OFFICE VACATE

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has been asked to vacate its office space by Sept. 30, but a top official says it is ill-prepared to do so. The Albuquerque Journal reports officials had previously issued an order for the commission to vacate its building in Santa Fe by June in order to make room for the newly created Early Childhood Education and Care Department. That order was later extended to September. PRC chief of staff Jason Montoya says the office is in no position to move due to a lack of funds. The commission is seeking either a grant or loan from the state in order to find new housing.

  • DRY SOUTHWEST

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — It's grim news for the western U.S. The latest maps show most of the southern half of the region is mired by drought, with the most extreme conditions centered over parts of Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Colorado. Some parts of Nevada have gone months without measurable rain. New Mexico's state climatologist says his state has its own problems, where drought has been compounded by dismal spring runoff and now a nearly nonexistent monsoon season. Dave DuBois says many measures — such as precipitation, soil moisture and reservoir levels — are all below average in New Mexico and across the Southwest.

  • STATE BUDGET-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The administration of New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is directing executive agencies to reduce annual spending by 5% to help ease an anticipated budget deficit for the coming fiscal year. Agency budget proposal are due Tuesday in an annual rite that provides time for legislators to craft a balanced budget before they reconvene in January. A memo to state agencies obtained by The Associated Press calls for a 5% reduction in general fund levels for the fiscal year starting on July 1, 2021, compared with current-year spending. That is in line with recommendation from the Legislature's budget and accountability office. 

  • ELECTION 2020-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Democratic Party of New Mexico hopes to broaden participation in the Nov. 3 election as it launches a daytime telephone hotline and online resources about balloting. State Democratic Party Executive Director Chelsey Evans said the initiative begins Monday and aims to inform voters about new options and deadlines for requesting and casting absentee ballots. The coronavirus pandemic already reshaped voting in New Mexico during the June primary as absentee voting by mail or drop-off delivery soared in popularity. Temporary election reforms were adopted in June by the Legislature and governor that alter ballot-request deadlines, add a new signature requirement and provide ballot tracking by postal barcodes.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation health officials report 11 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and one additional death. The latest numbers released Sunday bring the total number of people infected to 9,800 with 502 known deaths. Tribal health officials said 94,403 people have been tested for COVID-19 and 7,057 have recovered. The Navajo Nation lifted its stay-at-home order on Aug. 16, but is asking residents to leave their homes only for emergencies or essential activities. Much of the Navajo Nation has been closed since March as the coronavirus swept through the vast reservation that extends into New Mexico, Utah and Arizona.