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

  • New Mexico Republicans to announce moderate agenda

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. 

  • XTO Energy pulls plan for New Mexico natural gas facility

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.

  • New Mexico reports 46 new virus cases, lowest in months

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. 

  • New Mexico film industry to resume some production work

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.

  • US Senate hopefuls in New Mexico release 1st attack ads

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.

  • Excessive heat in Southwest poses added threat amid pandemic

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.

  • University of New Mexico probes officer's TikTok post

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — University of New Mexico officials are investigating a video posted by a campus police officer that appears to make fun of people of Mexican descent. The school announced last week it has suspended University of New Mexico Police Department officer Eric Peer in connection with a video posted March 29 on the social media app TikTok. In the video, a man is seen laying tile with a "South Park" voice-over saying "scanning for Mexicans." The video was recorded inside an unspecified house and showed the floor where the tile is being placed. No phone number is listed for Peer. 

  • Navajo woman who survived COVID-19 finds joy in simple steps

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Carol Todecheene has survived COVID-19 but she has lasting effects after becoming severely ill and spending nearly three weeks on a ventilator. She had to learn to walk and talk again. Months after getting the coronavirus, she still is weak, dizzy and has trouble remembering things. Doctors say the medical field isn't quite ready to focus only on long-term effects of COVID-19 while vaccines are in the works and communities are still working on reopening. The vast Navajo Nation where Todecheene lives still has daily curfews and partial weekend lockdowns. Despite her limitations, Todecheene recently went back to work.