Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MDT
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says she will renew public health restrictions and is warning that more stringent rules could be imposed because of a rise in COVID-19 cases. The regulations she announced Tuesday will take effect later this week. They will include limiting gatherings to five people, a mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors from high-risk states, reduced hotel capacities and a 10 p.m. closure for any food or drink establishments that serve alcohol. Without a vaccine, the governor said there are only a few tools to fight the virus, such as wearing masks, staying home as much as possible and avoiding groups of people.
- MEDICAL MARIJUANA-NEW MEXICO
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A state district judge has cleared the way for hundreds of patients to be re-authorized to participate in New Mexico's medical marijuana program. The ruling issued Tuesday stemmed from a challenge of a mandate and subsequent rule adopted by the state health department that placed additional requirements on some patients who have medical marijuana cards from other states. The health department says it will comply with the ruling and that all 323 people affected by the decision will once again be able to buy from licensed cannabis providers in the state. Marijuana is only legal for medical use in New Mexico.
- ELECTION 2020-NEW MEXICO REGULATORS
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — It will be up to New Mexico voters to decide the future of a powerful commission in charge of regulating utilities and other businesses. If approved during the general election, a constitutional amendment on the ballot would change the Public Regulation Commission from an elected panel to one comprised of members appointed by the governor. Supporters say the change would insulate the staff from political considerations. Opponents call it a power grab by the governor that would take away the right of voters to elect commissioners. It was an amendment approved by voters in 1996 that created the regulatory commission.
- SANTA FE ARCHDIOCESE-BANKRUPTCY
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.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A new film examines the history of African Americans driving on the road from the Great Depression to the height of the Civil Rights movement. "Driving While Black," airing this week on most PBS stations in the U.S., show how the automobile liberated African Americans to move around the country while still navigating segregation and violence. Directed by Ric Burns, the documentary was inspired by Gretchen Sorin's 2019 book, "Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights." She argued the car allowed African Americans to avoid segregated trains and buses throughout the American South.
- SKI PASSES SOLD OUT
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.
- SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL
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.
- RACIAL INJUSTICE-INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY
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.