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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MDT


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is making her first official trip to her home state to meet with Indigenous leaders. She'll host a roundtable discussion Tuesday in New Mexico with the All Pueblo Council of Governors and other state officials. The agenda includes the coronavirus pandemic and its devastating effects on tribal nations. She'll also highlight the federal government's latest COVID-19 relief package. Democrats have billed the money set aside for Native American communities as the country's largest, single investment in Indian Country. About $20 billion will go to tribal governments to help them keep combating the virus and to stabilize tribal safety-net programs.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A measure signed into law Monday by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham modernizes New Mexico's child support law, bringing the state into compliance with federal regulations and national best practices. State officials say the changes will keep New Mexico from losing out on more than $147 million in federal money. The law updates the child support guideline statute to align with federal rules that are based on the combined parents' actual income and the non-custodial parents' ability to pay. It also allows the state to focus on providing employment opportunities and job security to help non-custodial parents meet their obligations.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities in New Mexico have launched a search for a person or people responsible for a fatal shooting that killed one man and injured another at a Santa Fe commuter train station. The Santa Fe Police Department said officers responded to reports of shots fired on Monday around 3:45 p.m. at the South Capitol Rail Runner station. The department said one man was pronounced dead at the scene and another was taken to a hospital. His condition was not immediately known. Police had not released the names of either men. Police Capt. Anthony Tapia said the agency had no suspects.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed legislation reversing a decades-old practice of deducting local school district revenues from their share of state funding. The state used to credit 75% of local education revenues against districts' budgets as part of an effort to equalize funding across the state. That hurt school districts with large swaths of non-taxable federal land, like Native American reservations and military bases. Now those areas will be allowed to keep nearly $80 million in federal funds without a penalty on their state funding. Districts that tax local land can also keep more of what they raise.


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.


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. 


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed into law legislation that prohibits discrimination based on traditional hairstyles and head coverings. It's known nationally as the "Crown Act" and was conceived as a measure to protect African Americans from discrimination based on natural or traditional hairstyles. In New Mexico, it won support from a broader coalition, including Native American and religious advocates. Traditional hairstyles and religious coverings under the new law cannot be prohibited in work or school dress codes or used as an excuse to turn someone down for a job.


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.