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Local and State News

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

  • Hewlett Packard gets $105M contract for new supercomputer

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — A $105 million contract has been awarded to Hewlett Packard Enterprise to build a next-generation supercomputer that will be used by the federal government for its nuclear stewardship programs. The Crossroads supercomputer will be based as Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico. Scientists at Sandia and Lawrence Livermore national labs also will use the machine for work related to the nation's nuclear stockpile and other weapons research. Officials say Crossroads will have four times the system performance of its predecessor, the Trinity supercomputer. It will consist of Intel processors that will be able to move data faster.

  • Embattled Cowboys for Trump leader banned from tribal land

ALAMOGORGO, N.M. (AP) — The embattled Cowboys for Trump leader who has drawn criticism for racist online videos has been banned from a New Mexico tribe's reservation. The Alamogordo Daily News reports the Mescalero Apache Tribe announced Monday that Couy Griffin is no longer allowed on tribal land following a video disseminated by Griffin via the Cowboys for Trump Facebook page. One video showed Griffin getting a blessing where he says. "Bring it on Nancy Pelosi," in a reference to the Democratic House speaker. Another video, since deleted, contained tribal members making accusations against the tribe. Griffin faced criticism in July for telling Black NFL players to "got back to Africa." 

  • New Mexico state government braces for financial pain

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico state government income defied expectations amid the pandemic by increasing slightly during the fiscal year that ended June 30, but state economists warned Wednesday of a highly unpredictable future for state finances. In an unusual pronouncement, four state economists said Wednesday they could not pinpoint how much income the state is likely to receive during the current and coming fiscal years to sustain public education, health care, public safety and other crucial services. State government income may range from $6.8 billion to $7.6 billion during the coming fiscal year — on current annual spending obligations of $7.2 billion.

  • Court weighs tribes' aboriginal water claims for Jemez River

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A decades-long battle over rights to the Jemez River has taken another turn. The question before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was whether the mere extension of Spanish authority over the American Southwest centuries ago extinguished the aboriginal water rights of Indigenous communities. A three-judge panel on Tuesday overturned a lower court decision, ruling that Spain would have had to take formal action to extinguish the rights, such as reducing or altering water use. Parties in the case say settling that point could affect the outcome. It will be up to the district court to handle further proceedings.

  • 12 Democratic governors vow that all votes will be counted

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Twelve Democratic governors have issued a joint statement defending American democracy, vowing that every ballot will be counted in the election after President Donald Trump sowed distrust during the first presidential debate. Trump claimed without evidence Tuesday night that mail voting is ripe for fraud, and he refused to say whether he would accept the results. The governors said Wednesday that efforts to toss ballots or refuse a peaceful transfer of power "are nothing less than an assault on democracy." Signing the statement were the governors of Michigan, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico and Delaware.

  • James Meredith film weighs 'complicated' civil rights figure

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A new documentary is diving into the complicated and sometimes contradictory life of James Meredith, a Black civil rights figure who helped change Mississippi. "Walk Against Fear: James Meredith," scheduled to air Thursday on the Smithsonian Channel, examines the life of a U.S. Air Force veteran whose admission to the University of Mississippi forced President John F. Kennedy to send federal troops into the state to quell a white supremacy uprising. Meredith was later shot during a peaceful demonstration in Mississippi. Years later, he drew anger from civil rights leaders for endorsing former Klansman David Duke for Louisiana governor. 

  • New Mexico judge retires amid allegations of misconduct

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials have allowed a judge to retire while facing 10 allegations of misconduct in office. The Gallup Independent reported McKinley County Magistrate Judge April J. Silversmith retired Aug. 31. Silversmith faced accusations of excessive absences from work, failing to attend court for the required 40 hours per week, failing to recuse or inappropriately involving herself in cases concerning family members and yelling at court staff members. Silversmith and her attorney requested the case remain sealed, but the allegations became public Sept. 4 when the New Mexico Supreme Court ordered the court filings to be opened.

  • Former New Mexico pub owners forced to pay $1.4 settlement

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The former owners of a New Mexico restaurant and pub have been ordered to pay almost $1.4 million one year after a judge ruled they violated a minimum wage ordinance. The lawsuit was brought by 16 servers who claimed that between 2013 and 2016, they were forced to illegally pay the owners of the Kellys Brew Pub and Restaurant $3 per hour from their tips to cover a 2012 Albuquerque ordinance that raised the minimum wage for tipped employees from $2.13 to $5.25. The agreement says former owners Dennis and Janice Bonfantine have not admitted wrongdoing in the case. Dennis Bonfantine declined to comment.