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Local and State News

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

  • Navajo Nation: 9 new COVID-19 cases, no deaths for 2nd day

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. 

  • New Mexico tries carrot-stick approach to boost vaccination

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.

  • New Mexico court affirms sentencing in 2011 triple killings

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.

  • Trial in 2018 Espanola drive-by shooting death to begin

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 to vote to put $50M bond for stadium on ballot

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.

  • Children stopped at border likely hit record-high in July

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A U.S. official says the number of children traveling alone who were picked up at the Mexican border by U.S. immigration authorities likely hit an all-time high in July. Preliminary government data released Monday by a Department of Homeland Security official also says the number of people who came in families likely reached its second-highest total on record. The sharp increases from June are especially striking because crossings usually slow during stifling summer heat. The disclosures came in a court filing hours after immigrant advocacy groups resumed a legal battle to end the government's authority to expel families at the border on grounds it prevents the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Police officers become candidates as policing debate rages

LAS VEGAS (AP) — About a half-dozen police chiefs and high-ranking law enforcement officers are running for higher office more than a year after George Floyd's murder prompted debate over police reform and whether to slash law enforcement funding. The candidates are white, Black and Latino and a mixture of Republicans and Democrats. Their political views mostly tack toward the center but sometimes defy traditional party lines. As violence rises in cities nationwide, the outcome of these elections could send a strong signal about evolving attitudes on policing and crime in America.

  • Albuquerque police respond to 3rd homicide case of weekend

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Albuquerque say they are investigating their third homicide case of the weekend. They say officers were called out around 2 a.m. Sunday after a man was found unresponsive and with trauma to his body. Police say the man was taken to a hospital, where he later died from his injuries.  His name and age haven't been released yet. On Saturday morning, police were called to a southeast Albuquerque neighborhood about a man found dead outside a residence.  Officers also were called to a southeast Albuquerque apartment complex where a person was found dead Saturday evening.