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Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. MDT

  • New Mexico reports 164 more virus cases; death toll up by 6

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State officials reported 164 additional COVID-19 cases with six additional deaths in New Mexico, increasing its totals to 27,512 cases and 847 deaths. Bernalillo and Dona Ana counties each had 31 additional cases and Lea County had 23, including 18 involving state corrections inmates at the Lea County Correctional Facility. Among other counties, Eddy County had 10 additional cases and Chaves County had 10.  According to Johns Hopkins University data analyzed by The Associated Press, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Mexico and daily deaths both decreased over the past two weeks.

  • Man accused of killings arrested in NM posing as brother

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police say a double-homicide suspect in New Mexico was posing as his brother when he was arrested for a separate warrant against his brother. Dakota "Outlaw" Briscoe is accused of killing two men in in Albuquerque, torching their bodies inside a vehicle and carjacking a woman at gunpoint to escape. Two days after Briscoe's arrest, officials say they discovered the sibling scheme and charged Briscoe with 15 counts. Online court records didn't list a defense attorney for Briscoe who could comment on his behalf.

  • Lujan Grisham orders flags flown at half-staff for Ginsburg

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Saturday ordered that flags in the state be flown at half-staff until the interment of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The longtime associate justice who was a champion of women's rights and a pop culture icon, died Friday at age 87. Lujan Grisham's order called Ginsburg "an American hero who throughout her prolific career as a lawyer and jurist evinced the best of our country's founding ideals." New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael E. Vigil said Ginsburg was "one of the great jurists of our time and a national treasure."

  • Cities creating racial 'healing' committees to confront past

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A growing number of cities across the U.S. are creating committees and task force panels aimed at racial healing. From Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Clemson, South Carolina, towns and municipalities recently have formed committees to discuss the future of debated monuments or address systemic racism in police departments. The mostly volunteer committees seek to have honest discussions about their cities' past around race and propose solutions. In Albuquerque, for example, the Race, History & Healing Project is trying to determine what the city should do with a statue of a Spanish conquistador. Some Native Americans find the image offensive.

  • Navajo judge halts operations at hemp farms near Shiprock

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A Navajo Nation judge is halting operations at nine hemp farms in northwestern New Mexico as part of a legal fight between a businessman and the tribe's Department of Justice. The judge issued a preliminary injunction against Dineh Benally and two of his businesses following a hearing Friday. The tribe sued Benally and the companies in June, alleging that he was illegally issuing permits for foreign entities to cultivate and grow industrial hemp on tribal land near Shiprock. Navajo lawmakers have yet to approve and adopt a regulatory system for industrial hemp, so tribal code currently prohibits the growth, development, possession or propagation of the plant.

  • Report: Albuquerque police misconduct cases skyrocket

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The number of policies violated at the Albuquerque Police Department skyrocketed 275%, and suspension jumped more than 350%. KOAT-TV reports documents on police misconduct showed the number of policy violations increased from 190 to 716 over a year. The number of violations requiring a suspension rose from 52 to 237. The station compared data from July 2018 to June 2019 to information from July 2019 to June 2020. Interim police chief Harold Medina says the Albuquerque Police Department is now holding officers accountable. But Albuquerque Police Officers' Association president Shaun Willoughby says officers are being punished for things like not putting away lapel cameras properly.

  • Activities association, coaches optimistic for fall sports

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The leader of a nonprofit organization that oversees sports programs for New Mexico schools says she's optimistic that high school students will have a fall season. New Mexico Activities Association Executive Director Sally Marquez on Friday welcomed the state's loosening of training restrictions. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's office says she's continuing to evaluate a proposal from the NMAA for volleyball and cross country teams to compete. It's unclear how soon a decision could be made. Under the state's latest public health order, competitive contact play remains off-limits.


Wildfire smoke leaves lung damage long after air clearsSEELEY LAKE, Mont. (AP) — A research effort to see how long it takes people to recover from living with hazardous levels of wildfire smoke for seven weeks still hasn't determined the answer. Some residents of the western Montana town of Seeley Lake who stayed in the area during the 2017 wildfire season are participating in a University of Montana study of their lung capacity. Researchers found that people's lung capacity declined in the first two years. Kaiser Health News reports researchers don't know how the residents are faring this year because they could not return to Seeley Lake due to the coronavirus pandemic.