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Local and State News

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


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico will require students, faculty and other workers to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Sept. 30. The mandate is subject to limited exceptions and exemptions and will be in effect at the main campus in Albuquerque, the Academic Health Sciences Campus in Albuquerque and at satellite locations around the state. President Garnett Stokes said Monday night in an email that incentives that the university offered to people getting vaccination had an impact but not enough to protect the health and safety of the campus community. Stokes has asked the Board of Regents to endorse the requirement. 


RENO, Nev. (AP) — Federal land managers have begun efforts to capture about 50% more horses than they originally planned this year on rangeland across the West because of severe drought conditions. The emergency roundups that began Sunday and Monday target about 6,000 additional animals primarily in Nevada, Oregon and Colorado. The Bureau of Land Management says the expanded effort concentrates on places where "chronic overpopulation" of the herds already has stretched the available food and water to its limits. Horse protection advocates say the emergency roundups are being driven by pressure from ranchers who don't want mustangs competing with their livestock for limited forage and water.


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Monday reported nine new COVID-19 cases, but no additional deaths for the second consecutive day. The latest numbers pushed the total number of coronavirus cases to 31,421 since the pandemic began more than a year ago. The known death toll remains at 1,377. The tribe had reported 25 new cases and three deaths Saturday with 10 new cases and no deaths on Sunday. The Navajo Nation's sprawling reservation includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. 


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state of New Mexico is moving forward with a carrot-and-stick approach to immunizations against COVID-19 with a renewed $100 payout to newly vaccinated residents. That offer started on Monday and remains in effect through the end of August. The strategy was pioneered by New Mexico for several days in June, with about 25,000 eligible participants. The state's $5 million sweepstakes prize for one vaccinated resident is scheduled to be awarded on Saturday. President Joe Biden has recommended that more states use cash payments to break through plateaus in vaccination rates. A immunization mandate for vaccine-eligible state workers takes effect Tuesday.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court is upholding the sentencing of a man who, as a teen, killed three members of a family with a large pickax. The high court announced Monday that it determined Nicholas Ortiz's constitutional rights were not violated because he was sentenced as an adult for three first-degree murder convictions. Ortiz's attorneys argued that since he was 16 at the time of the crimes, Ortiz should have had an "amenability hearing" to see if he was open to some sort of juvenile rehabilitation. But the court argued an amenability hearing is only mandated for minors convicted of second-degree murder. Ortiz was sentenced to25 years in 2019.


EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Officials in the border city of El Paso are unveiling a garden meant to bring healing two years after a gunman targeting Latinos opened fire at a Walmart, killing 23 people in an attack that stunned the U.S. and Mexico. Tuesday's dedication will be closed to the public as a precaution against the coronavirus pandemic. Victims' families and officials will take part in the ceremony, which will be livestreamed. The Aug. 3, 2019, shooting happened on a busy, weekend day. Authorities say the shooter drove more than 600 miles from the Dallas area to target Mexicans. He has pleaded not guilty.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A murder trial for an Ojo Caliente man is slated to begin this week after being delayed more than a year because of possible COVID-19 exposure. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that jury selection was underway Monday for the trial of 25-year-old Mark Hice, who faces first-degree murder and other charges. Hice was about to go on trial in July 2020 when his defense attorney disclosed she was exposed to COVID-19 patients while working as a midwife. The judge declared a mistrial. Hice is accused of killing 18-year-old Cameron Martinez and wounding three others on N.M. 68 north of Española in October 2018 in a case of mistaken identity. 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque officials will vote on a resolution Monday to let voters decide whether to pursue a new stadium for the New Mexico United soccer team. KOB-TV reports city councilors will weigh the resolution for a ballot measure involving a $50 million dollar tax revenue bond. The resolution has been heavily promoted by Mayor Tim Keller, who collaborated with the team's owner. The $50 million would fund designing, constructing and improving the stadium. Advocates say the stadium could be used for several things beyond soccer matches such as concerts and other massive events.The Albuquerque City Council is scheduled to meet at 5 p.m.