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Local and State News

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


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A U.S. bankruptcy judge has ruled clergy sex abuse survivors can file lawsuits alleging the Archdiocese of Santa Fe fraudulently transferred millions to avoid bigger payouts to victims. The Albuquerque Journal reports the recent decision by Judge David T. Thuma in the Chapter 11 reorganization case opens the door to what could be a multimillion-dollar boon to hundreds of alleged victims. Or it could set off protracted, costly legal appeals that would tap funds that could have paid valid abuse claims. An estimated $52 million has been paid in out-of-court settlements to victims in prior years.


LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A new hospital has opened its doors in southern New Mexico after many delays amid the pandemic. KVIA-TV reports Three Crosses Regional Hospital in Las Cruces became the city's third hospital last week following several months of delays. The new facility has 46 beds, 10 intensive care beds, 36 medical-surgical beds, and 10 emergency room beds. Cindy Slaydon, the hospital's administrator. says she expects to have 200 employees on staff by the end of the first quarter and $15 million in payroll by the end of the year. The administrator says the hospital was originally going to open in June.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — It's not even winter yet, but Ski Santa Fe has sold out of its nearly 3,000 passes. Albuquerque TV station KOB reports that the ski passes were gone in less than 10 hours Monday. Ski Santa Fe general manager Ben Abruzzo says they put 2,900 different reservation-based passes on sale at midnight. All of them were all sold by 10 a.m. Monday. In a typical season, Ski Santa Fe sells close to 6,000 season passes over a few months. Abruzzo says state officials finalized ski areas' coronavirus-safe plans Monday. Some of those plans include limiting ski lift capacity to 25%. Abruzzo says those who missed out on buying a season pass at Ski Santa Fe will still have other options, including an online reservation system.  


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Environmentalists and other watchdog groups are calling on New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to create a government agency that would be tasked with keeping the state from becoming a permanent dumping ground for spent nuclear fuel and other high-level waste. Dozens of groups have sent a letter to the Democratic governor. They pointed to Nevada's success in mothballing the Yucca Mountain waste repository project and asked the governor to consider similar measures to protect New Mexico. In comments recently submitted to federal regulators, state officials opposed a preliminary recommendation that a license be granted to Holtec International to build a multibillion-dollar storage facility in southeastern New Mexico.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Protesters have torn down a historical monument in Santa Fe as New Mexico, Arizona and other states marked Indigenous Peoples Day. Protesters used a rope and chain Monday to topple the obelisk on the Santa Fe Plaza, spurring cheers from the crowd. A point of contention for years, the obelisk was dedicated in part to the "heroes" who died in battle with "savage Indians." In Arizona, protesters clashed with law enforcement officers after staging protests near the U.S.-Mexico border. Video showed vehicles stopped on the side of the road and some people being taken into custody. Other events across the country Monday focused on the history and contributions of Native Americans.


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters overturned statues of former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln in Portland, Oregon, Sunday night in a declaration of "rage" against Columbus Day. Protest organizers dubbed the event "Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage," in response to Monday's federal holiday named after 15th-century Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. The group threw chains around Roosevelt's statue, pulling it down just before 9 p.m. Protesters then turned their attention to Lincoln's statue, pulling it down about eight minutes later. Police say windows were broken on several buildings and declared a riot. Along with Columbus, historians have said both presidents have expressed hostility and racism toward Native Americans. Three people were arrested.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque officials are confirming more COVID-19 infections at the city's homeless shelter as cases statewide are on the rise. The city on Sunday reported an additional 72 cases at the shelter. Anyone at the shelter who's experiencing symptoms or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 is isolated and tested. Officials have been able to use some hotels to house those who test positive in an effort to curb spread among the homeless population. New Mexico has had some of the most restrictive health orders in place since the pandemic began but has been reporting sharp increases in recent days. 


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation health officials on Monday reported 30 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and six more deaths. The latest numbers bring the total number of cases to 10,728 including two additional cases that was previously unreported due to delayed reporting. The known death toll is now at 571.  Tribal health officials said 112,648 people on the the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah have been tested for COVID-19 since the pandemic started and 7,343 have recovered. A shelter-in-place order, mask mandate, daily curfews and weekend lockdowns remain in effect on the Navajo Nation.