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Local and State News

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


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is set to sign legislation that will legalize recreational marijuana use and sales in the state. The Democratic governor has scheduled a signing ceremony and a news conference for Monday. Her decision will make New Mexico the seventh state since last November to legalize adult possession and sales of cannabis for recreational use. Lujan Grisham has supported marijuana reform as way to create jobs and boost state revenue. The bill gives the governor a strong hand of recreational marijuana oversight through her appointed superintendent of the Regulation and Licensing Department. New Mexico's recreational pot sales are expected to begin next year in April.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police say one armed man showed up for a planned white supremacist rally in downtown Albuquerque. A police spokesman says police had prepared Sunday for the possibility of a huge turnout but it never materialized. Authorities say an armed man, accompanied by two women and two children, nearly came to blows with a few hundred counter-protesters at Civic Plaza. Officers moved all five into the Albuquerque Convention Center to defuse the situation. No arrests were made but police issued a court summons to the armed man on one charge of child endangerment. One person was also injured in a fight but declined medical treatment or to press charges.


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has reported 10 new confirmed COVID-19 cases but no additional deaths. The latest numbers released Sunday night brought the pandemic totals on the tribe's reservation to 30,265 cases and 1,262 known deaths. Tribal officials had ordered a weekend lockdown over fears that a new variant could drive another deadly surge. The Stay-At-Home order required all Navajo Nation residents to refrain from unnecessary travel to help limit the spread of the virus, including a new and more contagious strain. The first confirmed case of the COVID-19 B.1.429 variant on the reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah was confirmed last week.


ABIQUIU, N.M. (AP) — Crews are working to fully contain two small wildfires on the Rio Chama bosque near Abiquiu that forced some evacuations of residents. Rio Arriba County Sheriff's officials say evacuations were lifted Saturday night and the cause of the wildfires were under investigation. The fires broke out Saturday afternoon. Authorities say one wildfire was burning in Abiquiu and at least one residence was charred. The second fire was burning two miles away to the north near U.S. Highway 85.  On Sunday, authorities reported resources from the county and the state's forestry division were working to secure the fire's perimeter and mop up hot spots.  


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Newly released information on the killing of a New Mexico State Police Officer during a Feb. 4 traffic stop indicates he was caught by surprise when a man who'd agreed to temporarily surrender a rifle instead opened fire. According to a State Police statement and video excerpts released Friday, 39-year-old Omar Felix Cueva of Deming fired at least once at Officer Darian Jarrott across the pickup truck's bed and then fatally shot Jarrott after he ducked and fell.  Authorities previously said Cueva fatally shot Jarrott after being pulled over on Interstate 10 west of Las Cruces. Cueva later died in a shootout with other officers after a pursuit.


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A U.S. Border Patrol officials has told Tucson officials that a tent-like facility planned in the southern Arizona city to temporarily house migrants will be located near the city's airport and be completed in about a month. The Arizona Daily Star reports that John Modlin said Friday in an email that the facility will be designed to hold 500 people but its working capacity will likely be 150-200 due to COVID-19 considerations and litigation-related restrictions. Modlin is interim head of the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector. Councilman Steve Kosachik said the planned facility likely will hold unaccompanied minors encountered by the Border Patrol.


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has vetoed a resolution to reopen tribal roads on the reservation to tourists and other visitors. Nez said Friday in a statement that he vetoed the resolution approved March 31 by the Navajo Nation Council because COVID-19 variants are spreading in the region and because more people need to be vaccinated to move closer to herd community. Nez also said the Navajo people's health must be prioritized over visitors' desires. The closure does not affect state highways that pass through the reservation, which includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.


ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — The family of a 62-year-old woman says she is still in a Texas hospital after a man she offered to help stole her car in New Mexico and ran over her legs. KRQE-TV reported Friday that Alyson Lyons is receiving treatment for severe road rash, gashes to her head, a fractured wrist and her legs. Her family said Lyons offered to drive the man to a truck stop. On the way, the man allegedly pulled a knife, forced her out and struck her with the car as he drove off. New Mexico State Police arrested 22-year-old Mario Caballero after he led police in a pursuit in Lyons' vehicle. Caballero's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.