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Local and State News

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

  • Deming police: 2 young sisters allegedly abducted by father

DEMING, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say two young girls in Deming who are sisters are reported missing and an Amber Alert has been issued. Deming police say they believe Jose Luis Lujan abducted his daughters, who are identified as 3-year-old Abri Lujan and 4-year-old Adelina Lujan. Police say Jose Lujan allegedly made threats to injure the children, who were last seen around 2 a.m. Sunday. Meanwhile, New Mexico State Police have canceled an Amber Alert for a missing endangered juvenile. They say 16-year-old Jaylynn Mille has been located and is safe.  The alert was first issued on March 27 involving Miller and 14-year-old Zuriah Castillo.  State Police updated the alert to a "missing endangered juvenile advisory" from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Castillo was found safe Tuesday.

  • City of Albuquerque, aerospace company agree to lease deal

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.

  • Navajo Nation reports 18 additional COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Saturday reported 18 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and four more deaths. The pandemic totals on the tribe's reservation that includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah increased to 30,164 cases and 1,257 deaths. Tribal President Jonathan Nez encouraged people to celebrate the Easter weekend safely while following COVID-19 protocols. Nez said those including staying home as much as possible, wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, avoiding large in-person gatherings, and washing hands often.

  • Panel dismisses most of ethics complaint against legislator

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. 

  • New Mexico reports 218 more COVID-19 cases, 7 more deaths

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. 

  • Western rivers face pinch as another dry year takes shape

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — As several states in the American West face intense drought, water managers say it's shaping up to be a very difficult year for New Mexico farmers because of limited irrigation supplies. Officials with major irrigation districts along the Rio Grande say snowpack and precipitation are below average, spring runoff is trailing and there's no extra water in the state's reservoirs. It's no different elsewhere in the West. The district that provides water to Indigenous communities and farmers on part of the Rio Grande says it hasn't been in a position like this since the 1950s. In southern New Mexico, growers are being told to prepare for a short irrigation season.

  • Navajo Nation reports 17 virus cases, one additional death

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Friday reported 17 new COVID-19 cases and one additional death related to the disease. The Navajo Department of Health said that since the pandemic began, there have been 30,132 cases and 1,253 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 Navajo Nation covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez urged people who plan to celebrate Easter over the weekend to do so only with those in their immediate household. 

  • Judge rejects agency's pullback of effort to protect minnow

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider anew whether a type of minnow that lives in the lower Colorado River's watershed should receive federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. District Court Judge Jennifer Zipps' ruling Wednesday overturned the agency's 2017 withdrawal of a proposed 2015 rule to designate the lower Colorado River basin roundtail chub as a threatened species. The minnow is found in Arizona and a small part of New Mexico in drainage basins of the Bill Williams, Gila, Little Colorado, Salt and Verde rivers. The Center for Biological Diversity had sued to challenge the 2017 withdrawal.