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Local and State News

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

  • New migrant facilities crop up to ease crowding, again

U.S. officials are scrambling to handle a dramatic spike in children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border alone. It's led to a massive expansion in emergency facilities to house them as more kids arrive than can be released to close relatives in the United States. Advocates and former U.S. officials say the government failed to prepare for a big increase in children traveling alone as President Joe Biden ended some of his predecessor's hardline immigration policies and decided that unaccompanied kids wouldn't be expelled from the country like the Trump administration did for eight months. So many children are coming that there's little room in long-term care facilities, where capacity shrank during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Navajo Nation has no COVID-related deaths for 7th day in row

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation now has had a week of reporting no additional COVID-19 related deaths on the vast reservation where safety precautions like a mask mandate and daily curfews remain. The tribe on Saturday night reported no new deaths for the seventh consecutive day and just two new confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The latest numbers brought the pandemic case total to 30,357 with the death toll remaining at 1,262. Tribal officials say 16,477 people have recovered from COVID-19 thus far. 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. 

  • State Police: Gun-brandishing man fatally shot after pursuit

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say law enforcement officers fatally shot a 22-year-old Roswell man when he brandished a gun outside a bank as he tried to run away after an attempted traffic stop and vehicle pursuit. The New Mexico State Police said it was investigating the fatal shooting that involved two Roswell city police officers and a Chaves County sheriff's deputy. The state agency identified the man killed Thursday as Victor Ivan Barron. According to a State Police statement, the incident started when a sheriff's sergeant tried to pull over a pickup that then drove off, prompting the pursuit. The statement said Barron was shot after he pulled into a bank's parking lot, got out and started to run.No officers were injured.

  • First lady Jill Biden to visit Albuquerque, Navajo capitol

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — First lady Jill Biden's office announced Saturday that she will visit the U.S. Southwest in the coming week, with stops planned in New Mexico's most populous city and the Navajo Nation's capitol in Arizona. The announcement said Biden will travel to Albuquerque on Wednesday and visit Window Rock, Arizona, on Thursday and Friday. The announcement did not elaborate on the scheduled visit but it said additional information will be forthcoming.

  • Albuquerque officer fatally shoots man involved in dispute

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.

  • High court takes up case on virus relief funding for tribes

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.

  • Pandemic fuels business and politics for GOP nominee

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.

  • US West prepares for possible 1st water shortage declaration

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.