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Local and State News

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

  • POLICE SHOOTING-ALBUQUERQUE

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Albuquerque Police Department says an officer fatally shot a man who had earlier fired a gun during an altercation stemming from a domestic dispute Friday night. Officers responding to the reported gunshot tried for about an hour to get the man to surrender peacefully before an officer fired at least one shot, killing the man, That's according to a brief statement released by Sgt. Tanner Tixier, a department spokesman. No identities were released and no additional information was immediately available on the circumstances of the incident, including what prompted the officer to fire. The statement said a multi-agency task force is investigating the incident.

  • TRIBES-VIRUS RELIEF FUNDING

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Monday in a case that will determine who is eligible for more than $530 million in federal virus relief funding set aside for tribes last year. More than a dozen Native American tribes sued the U.S. Treasury Department to limit the funding to tribes that have a political relationship with the U.S. The Treasury Department says corporations that provide services to Alaska Natives should be eligible, too. Lower courts have split on the question. The case could have broader impacts on who qualifies as a tribe for federal contracting and compacts.

  • COLORADO RIVER-WATER SHORTAGE

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — U.S. water officials are projecting the man-made lakes that store water used throughout the American West will fall to historically low levels and trigger an official shortage declaration for the first time. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released projections this week forecasting that less Colorado River water will fill Lake Powell and Lake Mead, which would force cuts to Arizona and Nevada. By November 2022, the agency projects Lake Mead could drop to levels that could threaten the ability to generate electricity at Hoover Dam. The April projections don't have binding impact because federal officials use the forecast released each August to make decisions about how to allocate river water. 

  • FIRE RESTRICTIONS-LINCOLN NATIONAL FOREST

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — The Lincoln National Forest in southern New Mexico is restricting campfires and other potential starters of wildfires because of high fire danger tied to ongoing drought conditions. The Stage One restrictions implemented Friday include prohibitions on campfires or other fires except in a Forest Service-provided grill or other fire structure and smoking outside buildings, enclosed vehicles, developed recreation sites or cleared areas at least 3 feet in diameter. Fire Staff Officer David Bales says the criteria used to determine when to modify fire restrictions include current and predicted weather, fuel moistures, fire activity and available firefighting resources. 

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation is nearing a week of reporting no additional deaths of the coronavirus. Safety precautions remain on the vast reservation to help curb the spread of the virus, including a mask mandate and daily curfews. The tribe on Friday reported no new deaths for the sixth consecutive day and 13 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. The latest numbers brought the pandemic totals to 30,355 cases and 1,262 deaths. The tribe had been easing into reopening but that slowed somewhat after coronavirus variants were confirmed on the reservation that stretches into New Mexico, Utah and Arizona. Tribal officials urged residents to stay vigilant.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-SECRET PROM

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A high school in New Mexico returned to remote learning Friday as the school district investigates an off-campus "secret prom." Officials said the event in Las Cruces violated state mandates intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus. A school district statement says a complaint submitted to the governor's office said hundreds of Mayfield High School students may have attended the unsanctioned prom held April 10. A school district spokeswoman says students who attended could face repercussions ranging from academic suspensions to being barred from attending school events such as graduation. The district said Mayfield would be on remote learning through April 26. 

  • CONGRESS-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Republican nominee for a vacant congressional seat in New Mexico is bringing an unusual perspective to the national discourse over pandemic restrictions and federal relief. Mark Moores is a state senator from Albuquerque and the co-owner with his wife of a Roswell-based medical testing business that has been on the front lines tracing the spread of the coronavirus. The business received roughly $1.8 million in federal aid to avoid layoffs. Moores is criticizing the state's gradual approach to reopening the economy and says that businesses don't want handouts. It's still unclear whether his company, Pathology Consultants, will repay the federal loan.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The number of new COVID-19 cases is ticking up again in New Mexico as the death toll reaches another milestone. State health officials reported Friday that four more people have succumbed to the virus, pushing the total to 4,001 since the pandemic began last year. While the death rate has declined dramatically since peaking in December, state officials continue to push for people to get vaccinated, saying doing so will lessen the chances of severe illness or death. With 1,550 confirmed cases being reported over the past week, the seven-day average for new daily cases remains above the state's target.