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Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. MDT

  • Child support collectors intercept federal recovery checks

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has increased annual child support collections by $18 million as it intercepts federal economic impact payments to parents whose children do not live with them. The budget and accountability office of the Legislature says that child support collections by the state's enforcement office increased to $156 million in the 12 month period ending on June 30, up from $138 million the prior year. Agency performance evaluations for the April-June period turned up stark variations in efficiency.

  • US proposes protections for rare thistle in New Mexico

SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list a rare plant that was once found in the the American Southwest and Mexico as a threatened species. The agency outlined its intensions in Tuesday's Federal Register. Aside from adding the Wright's marsh thistle to the list of imperiled species, 159 acres spanning five southern New Mexico counties would be set aside as critical habitat. The thistle used to be found in southern Arizona and parts of Mexico. It's now in just eight separate locations in New Mexico. The proposal comes after environmentalists threatened to sue in 2019 over delayed action.

  • Website: Trump leads all Facebook ad spending in New Mexico

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Researchers say President Donald Trump has spent more money on Facebook advertising targeting New Mexico users since July than any other candidate. A New York University Tandon School of Engineering project that monitors Facebook spending reports that the Trump campaign and his various affiliates have spent $380,700 on Facebook ads in the state since July 1. That's more than two times the amount spent during the same period by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Damon McCoy, professor of computer science and engineering at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering, and doctoral student Laura Edelson built the NYU Tandon Online Transparency Project.

  • Survey cited in push to protect sites sacred to tribes

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Archaeologists and Native American leaders are pointing to a recent survey of an area around Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico that's considered sacred to some tribes in the Southwest. They say work done this summer shows there are around 4,200 sites outside the park's boundaries that deserve protection. They released some details from the pilot project Monday. A public comment period wrapped up Friday as federal land managers consider revisions to a plan that would govern oil and gas development in northwestern New Mexico. Officials say they have received more than 14,000 comments. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is among those who sent letters.

  • US judge dismisses New Mexico privacy claims against Google

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A U.S. district judge has dismissed New Mexico's privacy claims against Google. The judge concluded in a ruling Friday that federal laws and regulations do not require direct consent from parents when schools participate in Google's education platforms. The company had asked that the case be dismissed, saying in court filings that it hasn't violated any laws. New Mexico can amend its complaint, and Attorney General Hector Balderas said Monday he will continue to litigate to protect child privacy rights. The lawsuit was filed in February 2020, alleging that Google violated state and federal laws by collecting personal information.

  • US Latino civil rights group moves 2021 convention online

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — The oldest Latino civil rights group in the U.S. has decided to move its 2021 national convention online over the uncertainty caused by COVID-19. The League of United Latin American Citizens' board of directors voted Saturday to hold a virtual gathering for its members instead of a July 2021 in-person gathering in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The state currently limits the number of people for large gatherings and the group's national conventions typically attract thousands. The virtual convention means the 90-year-old organization won't hold elections and members will not vote on any measures. Voting currently requires members to be physically present.

  • Torres Small, Herrell meet in 1st debate in close House race

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Democratic Rep. Xochitl Torres Small and Republican challenger Yvette Herrell have finally met in a televised debate in southern New Mexico's closely watched U.S. House race. Torres Small stressed bipartisanship during the KOAT-TV/Albuquerque Journal-sponsored debate on Sunday. Herrell tried to link the Democrat to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Herrell says she would be a conservative voice and stressed her Christian values. Torres Small repeatedly highlighted her votes on oil and gas that bucked the Democratic Party. The race is a rematch of the 2018 campaign. Torres Small won that one by less than 4,000 votes and flipped the traditionally Republican-leaning district.

  • Navajo Nation reports 22 new coronavirus cases, no deaths

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation health officials are reporting 22 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus but no additional deaths. The latest figures released Monday bring the total number of cases to 10,312 with the known death toll remaining at 555. Tribal officials said 105,451 people have been tested on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah and 7,253 have recovered from COVID-19. The Navajo Nation has implemented a stricter weekend lockdown as it looks into new clusters of coronavirus cases from family gatherings and off-reservation travel. Residents now are being required to stay home from Friday evening until early Monday morning.