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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. MST


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is challenging a decision by a federal court to combine the state's lawsuit over contamination at U.S. Air Force bases with similar litigation brought by hundreds of other jurisdictions. The New Mexico attorney general's office and the state Environment Department are petitioning the U.S. Court of Appeals to keep the case separate. They argue that the previous court decision was a violation of the state's sovereignty and could result in extreme delays that have the potential to further endanger public health and the environment. The state wants the federal government to clean up contamination at Cannon and Holloman air bases.


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities say an inmate at the federal penitentiary in Tucson has died less than three weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. They say 64-year-old Charles Purly Romero died at a Tucson hospital last Thursday. Romero had been in the penitentiary since 2009. He was serving a life sentence for armed bank robbery and aggravated sexual abuse in New Mexico.  Tucson TV station KOLD reports Romero tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 8 and was immediately placed in medical isolation with the penitentiary staff providing treatment while monitoring his symptoms.  On Jan. 11, Romero was transported to a hospital with respiratory distress. Romero had long-term, pre-existing medical conditions that put him at risk for developing more severe symptoms from the coronavirus. 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — One of New Mexico's largest vaccination clinics is hitting the pause button and will temporarily stop giving vaccines after administering shots for more than a week. University of New Mexico Health Sciences officials say they want to ensure they have enough doses to give booster shots to people who have received their first shots. The clinic at the university's arena is expected to be closed through Saturday. State officials say they're not aware of any other providers planning to temporarily halt vaccination operations this week. About 56,000 doses are expected to be delivered to New Mexico in each of the next three weeks.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities in Bernalillo County say a man was killed by a deputy after fleeing the scene of a fight where a shot had reportedly been fired. Sheriff Manny Gonzales said early Monday that the shooting is the first deputy-involved shooting since the agency began incorporating body cameras on all officers. The incident began when deputies were en route to a call about a possible fight in the South Valley area and were told there was gun fire. When they arrived, deputies followed a suspect on foot. Gonzales says it's not clear after that how much gunfire was exchanged but that a bullet from one deputy hit the suspect.


HOUSTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's administration has deported hundreds of people in its early days despite his campaign pledge to halt most at the beginning of his term. A federal judge last week ordered the Biden administration not to enforce a 100-day moratorium on deportations, but the ruling didn't require the government to schedule them. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 15 people to Jamaica on Thursday and at least 269 people to Guatemala and Honduras on Friday. In El Paso, Texas, a woman was deported who witnessed the 2019 massacre at a Walmart that left 22 people dead. She had agreed to be a witness against the gunman.


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation health officials have reported 103 new COVID-19 cases and four more deaths. The latest numbers released Sunday raised the totals to 28,325 cases and 1,018 known deaths since the pandemic began. The tribe has tribe extended its stay-at-home order with a revised nightly curfew to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Navajo Department of Health has identified 56 communities with uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus, down from 75 communities in recent weeks. The Navajo Nation also is lifting weekend lockdowns to allow more vaccination events. The actions in the latest public health emergency order will run through at least Feb. 15.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Health officials in New Mexico on Sunday reported 530 new COVID-19 cases and 18 deaths. The latest numbers increased the state's pandemic totals to 174,064 cases and 3,283 known deaths. The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. The county with the most new cases was Bernalillo with 134. The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Santa Fe County Commission wants Los Alamos National Laboratory to conduct a site-wide environmental review of the potential effects that could come from production of the plutonium cores used in the nation's nuclear arsenal. The commission on Tuesday approved a resolution outlining its wishes. The lab plans to increase production to 30 cores per year by 2026. The last site-wide review at the northern New Mexico lab was done 13 years ago. Santa Fe Commissioner Anna Hansen said it's unconscionable that the nuclear agency and the U.S. Energy Department are ignoring the demands of elected officials and the public for a new analysis.