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

  • Luján: Virus bill may keep me away from more Senate debates

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján says work on a potential COVID-19 relief bill may keep him away from an early October U.S. Senate debate against Republican challenger Mark Ronchetti. Luján's campaign told The Associated Press on Sunday that his work in Congress to pass a coronavirus relief package and rescue the U.S. postal service may prevent him from joining a scheduled October 5th debate on KOB-TV. Luján has agreed to two debates with Ronchetti but has not agreed to the KOB-TV debate. The station said it would still hold the debate with an empty podium for Luján. Ronchetti has accused Luján of hiding.

  • Las Cruces home could be 1st listed under historic ordinance

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Renovations to a historic home in Las Cruces will soon be complete, and some hope the century-old property becomes the first addition to the city's new historic register. The home is significant because it once belonged to Hiram Hadley, the first president of what's now New Mexico State University. Dr. Robert McBride, who established one of the first hospitals in Las Cruces, also lived there and it was once used as a dairy. Under the historic preservation ordinance approved in in December, property owners can apply for designation and be put on the city's historic register. Members of the Historic Preservation Commission have visited the home.

  • New PBS film probes construction boom on Latino workers

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A new film is examining the effects of the construction boom in the American Southwest on Latino workers.  The VOCES/PBS documentary "Building the American Dream" dives into the lives of one Mexican immigrant family in Texas after their construction worker son dies while on the job. Salvadorian electrician couple is cheated out of wages and tries to force a contractor to pay. Meanwhile, advocates work to try to convince lawmakers to require companies to give workers water breaks. Director Chelsea Hernandez says she'd been working on the film since 2009 and it's a microcosm of the exploitation Latino construction workers face in the U.S.


New Mexico county that didn't have any COVID cases now has 2New Mexico officials on Saturday reported 100 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases, including the second in a county that went months without any reported cases. De Baca County in thinly populated cattle country of east-central New Mexico on Thursday lost its status as the only county in the state without a confirmed COVID-19 case. The cases reported Saturday raised the statewide total to 26,661. Three additional deaths raised the death toll to 821. De Baca County stood alone without a reported COVID-19 case for two months after Mora County reported its first on July 10. As of Saturday, only two other counties, had case totals in the single digits.

  • Navajo Nation will participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials

PHOENIX (AP) — Navajo Nation officials say they will participate in the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine trials amid a steady decline in coronavirus cases. The American Indian territory once had the highest coronavirus infection rate in the country, but has since seen a substantial decrease in community spread. Navajo officials reported zero new confirmed cases on Sept. 8 for the first time since the pandemic began. As of Friday, there have been 9,952 confirmed cases and 530 deaths from the coronavirus in the Navajo Nation. The vaccine trials will be conducted at health care centers across the Navajo Nation. Participation is entirely voluntary.


Biden faces worries that Latino support slipping in FloridaMIAMI (AP) — Florida is the nation's leading presidential battleground, and there's mounting anxiety among Democrats that Joe Biden's standing among Latinos in the state is slipping. That could give President Donald Trump a crucial opening in Florida, a must-win for Republicans. Biden's campaign and its allies are shoring up its coalition of older voters, suburbanites and African Americans to make up for potential shortcomings elsewhere. Allies closest to the Latino community said there are reasons to worry. A Democrat running for the state Senate in Miami-Dade County,  Javier Fernandez, says the Biden campaign has work to do. Biden is scheduled to make his first visit to Florida as the Democratic nominee on Tuesday.

  • New Mexico Police Officer

LAGUNA, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a New Mexico State Police officer suffered minor injuries in a shooting Saturday along Interstate 40 west of Albuquerque. The State Police said a suspect who was not injured was taken into custody. The incident occurred near Laguna and that eastbound traffic on I-40 was being diverted onto State Road 6, Laguna is about 70 miles west of Albuquerque. No identities were released and a State Police statement did not provide additional details on the incident, including the nature of the officer's injuries.

  • Trump endorses Herrell in close New Mexico U.S. House race

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — President Donald Trump is throwing his support behind Republican challenger Yvette Herrell in a crucial U.S. House race in southern New Mexico. The president tweeted this week that Herrell had his "complete and total endorsement" and pointed to her support over border security, "brave law enforcement," and the Second Amendment. The endorsement comes as Herrell is seeking to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small in the traditionally conservative-leaning district that sits along the U.S.-Mexico border. Torres Small defeated Herrell in 2018 by less than 4,000 votes. She is among the most vulnerable Democrats in Congress.