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Local and State News

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

  • New child support law brings New Mexico into compliance

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.

  • Indigenous leaders laud New Mexico's school funding measure

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.

  • Teen driver, 12-year-old girl killed in crash near Roswell

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.

  • Expanded vaccine eligibility begins in New Mexico

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. 

  • New Mexico adopts new law to fight hairstyle discrimination

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 police: 2 young sisters found safe after Amber Alert

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.

  • All New Mexico schools move to in-person learning this week

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.

  • Navajo Nation confirms 6 new COVID-19 cases, but no deaths

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Monday reported six new confirmed COVID-19 cases, but no deaths. The latest figures bring the pandemic totals on the tribe's reservation, which includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, increased to 30,178 cases and 1,258 known deaths. Tribal President Jonathan Nez has reminded people that one virus variant has been confirmed to be on the Navajo Nation. In a statement, 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.