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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MDT


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Candidates for an open U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico are parrying a barrage of political attack ads as the first televised debate of the campaign takes place. Retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Udall has endorsed as his successor allied six-term U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, while Republican former television meteorologist Mark Ronchetti is proposing to chart a more conservative political course. Absentee balloting begins Tuesday across the state that currently has an all-Democratic delegation to Washington, D.C. Ronchetti is defending his standing as a scientifically minded Republican, while Luján says he'll never vote as a Democrat to defund the police.


LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Authorities in New Mexico say a Doña Ana County deputy shot a man who was allegedly threatening people with a shotgun after a car wreck over the weekend. Doña Ana County sheriff's office spokeswoman Perri Marte said a silver sedan and a pickup truck towing a trailer collided on Sunday around 10 a.m. Marte said Sheriff Kim Stewart, who was off duty, and other bystanders stopped to help when the driver of the sedan retrieved a shotgun and threatened those nearby. Authorities say the man fled the scene and a deputy located the man and shot him. The man's condition is unknown. An investigation is ongoing. 


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Members of a small Arizona tribe have reached a settlement with the federal government to partly resolve a lawsuit that sought widespread education reforms. Attorneys for Havasupai parents and students say the agreement will help thousands of Native Americans who attend Bureau of Indian Education schools. A federal court had already determined that the bureau violated its duty to ensure access to special education, therapists and mental health services. The Bureau of Indian Education didn't admit fault in the agreement that requires it to incorporate a federal disability civil rights law into its manual. Independent monitors would ensure the agency complies with the agreement for the next three years.


CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Leading oil companies in the Permian Basin are working with a Colorado-based nonprofit environmental organization to better track emissions from the industry as it tries to curb pollution. Shell Energy, ExxonMobil and Chevron are among the partners working with the Rocky Mountain Institute. They will be using a digital platform that will offer emissions data from satellites, aircraft and monitoring stations as well as industry reports. The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that the system is intended to help companies meet benchmarks for greenhouse gas emissions and invest more in targeted efforts to curb the effects of climate change.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials have reported 298 additional known COVID-19 cases and three more deaths, increasing the statewide totals to 30,296 cases with 890 deaths. The additional cases reported Saturday included 75 in Bernalillo County, 67 in Dona Ana County, 32 in Chaves County, 22 in Lea County and 20 in Curry County. The three deaths occurred one each in Bernalillo, Curry and Dona Ana counties and involving people in their 70s or 80s with underlying conditions.


LORDSBURG, N.M. (AP) — Officials say a Border Patrol agent shot at a vehicle involved in human smuggling after the driver attempted to strike the agent as he attempted to stop the vehicle on a southwestern New Mexico highway. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection statement said the vehicle drove off and that the Border Patrol and local authorities were trying to locate its driver. No suspect description was released and there was no immediate indication whether the gunfire wounded the driver. The statement said agent was not injured in the incident that e incident occurred Friday night along State Route 80.


ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Demand for flights in New Mexico's Albuquerque International Sunport are low compared to normal, but there has been a gradual increase in travelers since April. In August, passenger numbers were down 77% from the same time in 2019. Now, traffic is down 71% from the same time last year, with about 4,800 travelers every day. A flight to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City returned to the Albuquerque airport recently. The route was canceled in May when traffic at the New Mexico airport was down 90% from the same time last year.


RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Sarah La Morena, an African American woman raised by a Mexican immigrant family, has generated excitement with her interpretation of regional Mexican music. Born in Southern California but raised in the Mexican state of Zacatecas, 23-year-old Sarah Palafox has sparked many emotions following a series of viral videos on social media. One clip of Palafox singing with mariachis spawned a half of million views on Instagram. But Palafox also has been to the target of a racist backlash online over her love of Mexican music. Palafox told The Associated Press she is set to release an album and is focusing on the positive reaction to her music.