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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. MST

  • 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."

  • NEW MEXICO WEATHER

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Forecasters on Saturday warned that a strong storm system will blanket much of New Mexico with snow while pummeling the state with wind chills from strong winds and plummeting temperatures. The National Weather Service said several inches of snow were expected Saturday night through Sunday and that wind blowing through gaps in the central mountain chain will have gusts up to 60 mph in canyons. According to forecasters, record-breaking cold temperatures are likely, especially across eastern New Mexico. They said "dangerously cold wind chills" are expected Sunday and Sunday night and that road conditions are expected to quickly deteriorate as snow accumulates through Sunday.

  • UTILITY-POLITICAL FUNDING

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The parent firm of the largest utility in New Mexico has funded a group that spent more than $130,000 on political advertisements in highly contested Democratic legislative primary election races last year. PNM Resources, the parent firm of Public Service Company of New Mexico, had financed the Council for a Competitive New Mexico. The disclosure was made public on Friday as part of a settlement agreement that involved the New Mexico Ethics Commission agreeing to drop a lawsuit it had filed in December. The commission also agreed to waive any civil penalties against the group and will not require it to register as a political committee.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — City officials have announced the Roswell Civic & Convention Center will temporarily close in April due to a lack of funding from low hotel occupancy caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Roswell Daily Record reported that City Manager Joe Neeb said the city will not budget for operations at the center in its next fiscal year, which begins in July. Neeb said the company that manages the center was informed on Jan. 20 about terminating the agreement as of April 20. The closure is based mainly on hotel occupancy figures, currently about 35% capacity. The state on Saturday reported 571 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths.