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Local and State News

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


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation is reporting 26 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 10 additional deaths. Tribal health officials released figures combining new cases found over the weekend. This brings the total number of virus-related deaths on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah to 1,273. More than 30,000 cases have been documented. The Navajo Department of Health on Monday is expected to loosen some virus-driven restrictions on restaurants, parks, casinos and other public places.  Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says more than half of the reservation's adult population has been vaccinated.


ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (AP) — Authorities say have arrested a man in connection with a fatal shooting in Albuquerque. Bernalillo County Sheriff's officials say 22-year-old Ruben Sanchez has been booked into jail on suspicion of aggravated battery with great bodily harm. It was unclear Sunday if Sanchez has a lawyer yet. Sheriff's deputies say they received reports of an unidentified man driving in the area when another driver fired several shots at him Friday evening. The victim crashed his vehicle into the yard of a home. Authorities say the man was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The name and age of the victim hasn't been released yet.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Albuquerque say a man is dead and a woman has been arrested following a fatal domestic dispute. They say officers responded to the scene early Sunday morning for a domestic abuse call in which a woman had shot a man. They say the man died as a result of his injuries and the woman was taken into custody. Police didn't immediately release the names and ages of the man and woman or any other details about the fatal shooting.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal officials reportedly arranged with New Mexico State Police to make a traffic stop of a drug trafficker. But an officer not briefed on the plan was fatally shot when he pulled over the man instead of others who were waiting to make the stop. The Albuquerque Journal reports that State Police records into the killing of Officer Darian Jarrott indicated that the officer knew of a "be on the lookout notice" for the trafficker, Omar Cueva. He was killed in a shootout with law enforcement officers soon after Jarrott was killed Feb. 4. Homeland Security Investigations  officials did not immediately respond Saturday to requests for comment.


CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — A coalition of energy companies has thanked government leaders after receiving millions of dollars of road improvements in the southeast New Mexico. The Carlsbad Current-Argus reported that Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the $7.4 billion state budget for next year, which included $300 million for roadway infrastructure and improvements. Permian Strategic Partnership CEO Tracee Bentley said lawmakers agreed to allocate $87 million for road projects across southeast New Mexico. The partnership said in a statement that the funding is in addition to critical transportation funding already given to local projects in recent years.


LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — Approximately 300 students and faculty of a small private college in northern New Mexico returned to campus Saturday as firefighters worked to mop up and fully contain a wildfire that prompted a precautionary evacuation. There was no formal evacuation order but United World College USA officials decided Friday to evacuate the campus as a precaution. Those evacuated spent the night in a recreation center in nearby Las Vegas. No structures burned and no injuries were reported. The fire burned 30 acres of timber and brush and was contained around 10% of its perimeter as of Saturday. 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials at Albuquerque's city zoo say they've said goodbye to one gorilla and welcomed another. Albuquerque BioPark officials said 35-year-old Marcus left in March to go another accredited zoo and that 19-year-old Kojo arrived this month from the Smithsonian National Zoo. Officials said the zoo which accepted Marcus will announce his arrival once he's ready to be moved into a public habitat after a quarantine safety period. According to the BioPark, Marcus' move was recommended by the species survival plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Zoo officials said Kojo "has a lot of personality" and is currently being introduced to females in the zoo's gorilla troop.


ST. MICHAELS, Ariz. (AP) — Students on the largest Native American reservation spoke with first lady Jill Biden on Friday about challenges they've faced during the coronavirus pandemic, including poor internet access and feelings of isolation. The hourlong discussion took place at Hunters Point Boarding School, a small, aging grade school on the Navajo Nation. The handful of students were from schools in the surrounding area. Lesley Tohtsoni teaches U.S. history at the Navajo Preparatory School in Farmington, New Mexico. She says the students talked to Biden about ways to combat isolation and maintain their mental health. Biden told them help was on the way for broadband through her husband's administration.