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Local and State News

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


ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police say a teenage driver and a 12-year-old girl have died in a head-on crash south of Roswell. They say the crash occurred about 2:30 p.m. Sunday on state Highway 2. State Police say their initial investigation indicates an SUV driven by a 33-year-old Roswell man attempted to pass another vehicle and collided with a passenger car.  They say the car caught fire and the 17-year-old female driver and her 12-year-old passenger _ both from Dexter, N.M. _were pronounced dead at the scene. Their names haven't been released.  State Police say alcohol and-or drugs appear to have been a factor in the crash and charges could be pending for the SUV driver.


DEMING, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say two young sisters in Deming who were the subject of an Amber Alert have been found safe. Deming police said Sunday that 3-year-old Abri Lujan and 4-year-old Adelina Lujan were found unharmed hours after going missing. Their father, Jose Luis Lujan, is accused of abducting them and threatening to injure them. Police said the girls were last seen earlier in the day around 2 a.m. No other details were released. It was not immediately known what charges Jose Lujan will face.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's public schools are reopening for full-time, in-person learning this week. The shift to in-person learning is expected to relieve parent's year-long struggles with child care, unmet special needs and spotty home internet. Albuquerque Public Schools are opening Monday with limited bus routes due to a shortage of drivers. The district is asking parents to drive their children to school. Albuquerque Police said there were no significant traffic issues. Most other districts are opening Tuesday, with busses fully operational. Most New Mexico schools have around five weeks left in the semester before summer vacation begins.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — All New Mexicans ages 16 or older who wish to be vaccinated against the coronavirus now have a chance to receive their shots. Monday marked the start of expanded eligibility under the state Department of Health's distribution plan. The timeline for getting more shots out to the general public was sped up under a directive by the Biden administration to make all adults in the U.S. eligible by May 1. Still, state health officials said those who were part of the earlier phases will be prioritized. That includes health care workers and older New Mexicans with health conditions that put them at greater risk. 


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has reported seven additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and one additional death. The latest figures released Sunday bring the pandemic totals on the tribe's reservation, which includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, increased to 30,172 cases and 1,258 deaths. Tribal President Jonathan Nez reminded people that one virus variant has been confirmed to be on the Navajo Nation. Nez says it's crucial to keep sticking to mitigation measures including wearing masks, social distancing and constant handwashing. Tribal leaders plan to hold a virtual townhall Tuesday to give more updates. In all, more than 16,000 people on the Navajo Nation have recovered from COVID-19. 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The city of Albuquerque in New Mexico and an aerospace company that is planning a satellite manufacturing operation have come to terms on a lease for 114.5 acres of Aviation Department land. Documents sent this week from Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller to City Council say the pending development agreement requires Theia Group Inc. to develop the site in the next decade, including at least 48 acres by 2025. Representatives have said that the proposed project could host 1,000 workers when it opens and eventually grow to about 2,500 people.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The State Ethics Commission has dismissed two allegations in an ethics complaint against House Speaker Brian Egolf and instead will refer them to a legislative ethics committee. The Albuquerque Journal reports that the commission did not announce a decision on the complaint's third allegation, that Egolf had failed to disclose a conflict of interest. The commission on Friday dismissed allegations that Egolf used his office's powers to obtain personal benefit and failed to ethically discharge his duties as a legislator. The Santa Fe Democrat has denied the allegations. They center on his work as a lawyer and his push to enact civil rights legislation.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials reported 218 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and seven additional deaths. The state's has reported a total of 192,152 known COVID-19 cases and 3,949 related deaths since the pandemic began. Bernalillo County, the state's largest that includes metro Albuquerque, had 70 of the new cases Friday—more than any other county. Doña Ana County reported 29 new cases and Sandoval County reported 22 new cases. 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.