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


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico state senator says fled his home after receiving anonymous telephone message threats following his criticism of demonstration where many did not wear masks outside the state Capitol in Santa Fe. State Sen. Jacob Candelaria said Sunday he fears for his safety after receiving the series of profanity-laced telephone voice messages. He says one caller said, "We're going to get you out one way or another." Candelaria expressed frustration with the response by law enforcement after he was visited by state police. He is an openly gay legislator and attorney and says another message included homophobic slurs. 


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation health officials are reporting 76 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 but no additional deaths for a sixth consecutive day. The latest figures released Sunday night bring the total number of cases to nearly 11,300 with the known death toll remaining at 574. Tribal health officials said more than 121,000 people on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah have been tested for COVID-19 since the pandemic started. In that same time, nearly 7,500 have recovered. A shelter-in-place order, mask mandate, daily curfews and weekend lockdowns remain in effect on the Navajo Nation.


About half of U.S. states have seen their highest daily coronavirus infection numbers so far at some point in October, and the country as a whole came very close to back-to-back record daily infection rates on Friday and Saturday. Some Northeastern states hit hard in the spring are seeing numbers bounce back and COVID-19 is surging in Idaho and Utah. A hospital in Twin Falls, Idaho, brought in nurses from Boise, scaled back elective surgery and has stopped admitting pediatric patients. More than 350 doctors, nurses and other health workers in New Mexico signed a letter imploring residents to stay home as much as possible, wear masks and limit large gatherings.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A lawyer for a now-former Albuquerque police officer denies allegations that his client wrongly collected thousands of dollars of overtime pay while serving as the department's spokesman. Attorney Sam Bregman told the Albuquerque Journal that allegations in a police department news release regarding former Officer Simon Drobik are "absolutely false." The department's statement Friday said an internal investigation concluded that Drobik violated policies on overtime pay and would have been fired if he hadn't retired during the investigation. According to the department, Drobik got paid for work he didn't perform while multiple supervisors looked the other way. 


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico on Saturday reported record numbers of additional COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, breaking daily records set in recent days as the state's coronavirus outbreak continued to flare. Officials reported 875 new cases and five additional deaths, increasing the state's totals to 41,040 cases and 965 deaths. The case record broken Saturday was 827 reported Wednesday. The number of coronavirus hospitalizations reported increased to 264 up from a record 229 on Friday that topped the previous high of 223 from mid-May. As of Saturday, patients hospitalized for COVID-19 and other reasons filled 80% of the state's general hospital beds and 76% of intensive care beds.


WILLIAMS, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation vice president is part of a vocal minority pushing Donald Trump's agenda in areas long considered Democratic territory. Myron Lizer argues that Native American values of hard work, family and ranching align more with the GOP than with Democrats. It's difficult to say how most tribal members vote because the majority do not live on reservations and county lines don't align with tribal voters. Historically, Native Americans have been considered the Democratic Party's constituency. Lizer says he wants to shake up that belief. He and other Native Americans well-known in Republican circles recently helped launch a Native Americans for Trump coalition.


ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — A former Alamogordo police officer has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a 2019 wreck in Roswell in which one person was killed and two others injured. Luke Maxwell Towner faces a Dec. 14 hearing after pleading guilty Thursday in state District Court to homicide by vehicle, aggravated DWI and great bodily harm. The Roswell Daily Record reports that Judge James Hudson said a plea agreement recommends a 15-year sentence, including 12 years in prison and three years suspended and served on supervised probation. Court documents indicate Towner was driving at 70 mph when his pickup rear-ended a vehicle at a traffic light. 


New Mexico DA gets grant for prosecutor to target gun crimesALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The federal government is providing a $278,000 grant to a New Mexico district attorney's office to hire a local prosecutor to try firearms cases in federal court. The U.S. Attorney's Office for New Mexico announced Friday that the grant was awarded to the office of District Attorney Lemuel L. Martinez of the 13th Judicial District. The district includes Cibola, Sandoval and Valencia counties. The U.S. Attorney's Office said the grant supports efforts to reduce violence as part of initiatives across the country. Martinez said state prosecutors face significant challenges in going after dangerous offenders and he said the grant provides an incentive for state and local law enforcement to work with federal authorities.