Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MDT
- NUCLEAR LAB-NEW MEXICO
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. government plans to build a new transmission line and make other upgrades to ensure its northern New Mexico nuclear weapons laboratory has enough electricity for current and future missions. Officials say one of the existing lines feeding Los Alamos National Laboratory is expected to reach capacity this summer. The other will likely hit its limit in coming years as the lab ramps up production of key components for the nation's nuclear arsenal. The U.S. Energy Department says it will work with federal land managers to assess the project's potential environmental effects. They're asking the public to weigh in on the scope of the planned review.
- CRASHED CAR-DOUBLE HOMICIDE
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Bernolillo County authorities are investigating a double homicide involving two people found dead with gunshot wounds in a crashed car. The Sheriff's Office said witnesses reporting seeing at least one person in a white sedan fire several gunshots at the dark sedan that crashed in front of a a business on Southwest Coors Boulevard during a chase. According to the Sheriff's Office, it wasn't known whether the incident involved road rage. No identities were released.
- JILL BIDEN-SOUTHWEST
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — First lady Jill Biden plans to visit an Albuquerque health care facility as part of a three-day, two-state visit to the U.S. Southwest this week. The White House announced that Biden will be accompanied Wednesday afternoon by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham when she visits a health clinic in the city's South Valley. Biden on Thursday and Friday is scheduled to visit the Navajo Nation's capital in Window Rock, Arizona. Details of that stop haven't been released yet.
- NEW MEXICO UTILITY MERGER
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Consumer advocacy groups, environmentalists and the New Mexico attorney general's office are raising concerns about a proposed multibillion-dollar merger of the state's largest electric utility with a U.S. subsidiary of global energy giant Iberdrola. The groups have filed testimony with state regulators ahead of hearings that begin next month. It will be up to the Public Regulation Commission to determine if the merger provides meaningful benefits to Public Service Co. of New Mexico customers and if it would be in the public interest. Some groups say PNM shareholders will benefit from the proposed transaction and that it could end up stifling competition for renewable energy development in New Mexico.
- SHERIFF-MAYORAL RUN
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales is making a pitch to be Albuquerque's next mayor. Gonzales declared his candidacy in an official online campaign video Monday. The sheriff, who was born in Albuquerque, says Mayor Tim Keller has failed to improve the city. Gonzales says the violent crime rate has soared above the national average. He says he will release proposals in the coming weeks to address issues such as homelessness and help for small businesses. Gonzales, a Democrat like Keller, was re-elected to a four-year term as sheriff in 2018. Keller announced last month that he would run for mayor again. The mayoral election will take place in November.
- BIDEN-CLIMATE REFUGEES
SAN DIEGO (AP) — No nation offers asylum or other protections to people displaced because of climate change. President Joe Biden's administration is studying the idea, and climate migration is expected to be discussed at his first climate summit this week. The idea faces monumental challenges, including how to define a climate refugee when natural disasters, drought and violence are often intertwined in regions people are fleeing, such as Central America. If the U.S. defined a climate refugee, it could mark a major shift in global refugee policy. The U.S. may describe the displaced as climate migrants instead of refugees and offer them humanitarian visas or other protections.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has reported finding no new COVID-19 related deaths for the ninth consecutive day. The tribe on Monday reported four new confirmed coronavirus cases, but no additional deaths on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The latest numbers bring the Navajo Nation's pandemic case total to 30,371 with the death toll remaining at 1,262. Tribal officials say nearly 16,500 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. Tribal officials urged residents to stay vigilant.
- COWBOYS FOR TRUMP-RECALL ELECTION
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin has filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court as he seeks to fend off an effort to recall him from office as a county commissioner in southern New Mexico. Griffin filed a notice of appeal Monday with the high court that contends he was deprived of due process rights. A district court has found good cause for a recall petition, but Griffin says a hearing took place unjustly at the same time as a county commission meeting. Separately, Griffin is defending himself against criminal charges in connection with the siege on the U.S. Capitol in Washington.