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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. MST

  • MARIJUANA-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Legislators have advanced a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana across New Mexico and lift the state's tight restrictions on production for its medical marijuana program. After more than six hours of testimony and deliberations, a legislative committee on health issues on Monday endorsed one Democrat-backed bill and sidelined a second, in efforts to set up a a taxed and regulated marketplace for broad cannabis sales. The two-day hearing pushed to the forefront an initiative that would subsidize medical marijuana for the poor and do away with current limits on the number of plants each licensed producer can grow.

  • POLICE-INTERNAL INVESTIGATIONS

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The city of Albuquerque and the U.S. Department of Justice have proposed a plan to temporarily assist Albuquerque Police Department internal affairs investigators. The Albuquerque Journal reported an outside team is expected to correct issues as they arise and train detectives on how to improve their job performance. The proposal was filed in federal court and agreed to by the city, the justice department and an independent monitor overseeing police reform. The monitor has said the police department failed at every level to regulate itself. Deputy Chief Harold Medina, who now serves as interim head of the department, said it welcomes the resources and expertise while changing its use-of-force investigations.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation officials reported 55 new COVID-19 cases and three more deaths. The latest numbers released Sunday evening bring the total number of cases on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah to 29,269 since the pandemic began. There have been 1,111 deaths reported related to COVID-19. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez issued a statement reminding people to continue to take precautions to avoid spreading the virus and to protect their loved ones. He also encouraged people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The tribe has a nightly curfew in place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. to limit the spread of the virus.  

  • SWAT STANDOFF ARREST

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a man has been arrested after allegedly shooting at an Albuquerque police officer that led to a standoff with a SWAT team. Police say 33-year-old Johnny Ray Gonzales was taken into custody Saturday. They say Gonzales was barricaded inside a refrigerator and was eventually taken into custody after a police tactical team deployed chemical munitions. Police say Gonzales was probation for aggravated battery, armed robbery, battery on a peace officer and felon in possession of a firearm.  They say when an officer tried to make contact with Gonzales, a foot pursuit ensued and several shots were fired at the policeman. Police say the officer's injuries were superficial and he wasn't taken to a hospital.  

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Health officials in New Mexico on Sunday reported 285 new cases of coronavirus and 13 additional deaths. The New Mexico Department of Health says the state has seen 180,571 cases and 3,529 known deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.  Bernalillo County, the state's largest, had 64 of the new cases with Doña Ana County reported 63 cases. New infections in New Mexico have been trending downward and health officials said this week that vaccinations have helped bring the numbers down.  However, they stressed that public health practices such as mask-wearing and hand-washing are still important as different variants continue to emerge.

  • NEW MEXICO STORM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A blizzard warning has been issued for the Albuquerque metro area as a storm is bringing snow, wind and arctic air across New Mexico.  Authorities say roads are snowy and icy across northern, central and eastern New Mexico. The National Weather Service says snow was forecast to continue falling in the southern half of the state through the afternoon while it tapers off across the northern half of New Mexico. State Department of Transportation officials say the storm may bring whiteout conditions along with bitter cold temperatures. The storm is expected to continue for southern New Mexico into Monday morning and result in below-freezing temperatures in some locations.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation officials have reported 35 new COVID-19 cases and five more deaths. The most recent numbers on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah bring the total number of cases to 29,205 and known deaths to 1,108 since the pandemic began. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez issued a statement reminding people that a mask mandate is in place on the reservation and he encouraged the wearing of two masks after a U.S. government study this week found that wearing two masks can be better than one in protecting against coronavirus spread. The tribe has a nightly curfew in place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. to limit the spread of the virus.   

  • TRUMP-IMPEACHMENT-NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial ended Saturday with an acquittal as both of New Mexico's two Democratic senators voted in a majority that fell short of the two-thirds needed for conviction. Sen. Martin Heinrich said Jan. 6 was a "violent and bloody attack on our democracy (that) was cultivated by months of Donald Trump repeating a completely baseless lie of election fraud..." Sen. Ben Ray Lujan said he "took no pleasure" in voting to convict Trump but said there was "no doubt that the former president did everything in his power to overturn the results of the 2020 election."