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Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MDT


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities in Albuquerque are investigating after two people were found dead in a burning car. Albuquerque police said Monday that they have linked the two deaths to a home invasion. Officers were investigating a home invasion and another case of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon at two different locations Sunday. According to investigators, a car was reported stolen from the scene of the home invasion. Other officers assisting with a nearby car fire say the two victims were found dead inside after the fire was put out. Detectives have since found evidence linking the car fire to the other two incidents. 


RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Republicans are planning to unveil a "moderate agenda" around economic development in a bid to capture the state House and Senate. GOP House Minority Leader James Townsend and Republican Senate Minority Whip Craig Brandt are scheduled Tuesday to release plans for New Mexico they say will bring moderate Democrats and Republicans together following one of the nation's worst recessions amid the pandemic. Townsend says the agenda comes as Republicans are running one of its most diverse set of candidates for legislative races. Brandt says it also comes after several liberal Democrats defeated moderate Democrats in the state Senate. 


CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — A major oil and gas producer in the Permian Basin withdrew its application for a permit to construct and operate a natural gas facility in southeastern New Mexico. The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports ExxonMobil subsidiary XTO Energy Inc. announced last week it is withdrawing its permit application Eddy County, citing future infrastructure plans in the area. The application was for two facilities known as the Husky Gas Plant and Central Delivery Point planned to operate in Eddy County about 14 miles northeast of Loving, New Mexico. The facilities would have had the capacity to process about 200,000 barrels per day of oil stabilization.


LODGE GRASS, Mont. (AP) — Millions of federal dollars for impoverished Native American communities are on the line in the U.S. census, and tribes are racing to avoid being undercounted again. Almost all of the nation's more than 300 reservations trail significantly behind the rest of the country in the count. There have long been challenges counting people on far-flung Native lands amid language barriers and distrust of the federal government. But the pandemic has dealt a devastating new setback, with lockdowns keeping census takers away as Indian Country has struggled with disproportionate numbers of infections. Reaching a full count on most reservations now looks nearly impossible.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials are reporting 46 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus _ the lowest daily number in the state since early April. The new cases announced Monday bring the state's total to 26,144. State health officials also said four more people have died from the virus. According to state numbers, 807 people in New Mexico have died from COVID-19. There are 65 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for the virus. That number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. 


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials have approved the start of production work by film crews in a sign the industry could soon be back in business after a suspension because of the coronavirus. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported film companies will follow specific guidelines created by an industry task force, while also adhering to public health rules for all businesses in the state. Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has not yet announced when health restrictions will be eased to allow filmmaking to fully resume. A union representative says several hundred crew members have returned to work.


RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Candidates for New Mexico's open U.S. Senate seat have released their first slate of attack ads. Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Luján on Friday unveiled a commercial that assails Republican Mark Ronchetti for seeking to replace the Affordable Care Act. The ad named "Decision" uses a nurse practitioner who says Luján will protect coverage for pre-existing conditions. Ronchetti shot back on Saturday with a commercial that blasts Luján for supporting the New Green Deal _ a proposal Republicans say would hurt New Mexico's oil and gas industry. The ad also seeks to link him to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.


PHOENIX (AP) — Extreme temperatures across the Southwest and a record-breaking summer in Phoenix pose additional threats during the coronavirus pandemic, especially for people living on the street. Public health officials in the Phoenix area reported 55 confirmed heat-related deaths so far this year with about 270 cases under investigation. Weather experts expect the heat to continue having an impact. Officials say the dangerous heat has been exacerbated by the pandemic as some heat relief locations have closed. In response, Phoenix has opened a "heat respite center" in the south building of the Phoenix Convention Center to provide shelter from the weather while employing virus safety measures.