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Local and State News

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

  • Court upholds Santa Fe regulations on campaign disclosure

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A federal appeals court has rejected efforts by a libertarian-leaning group in New Mexico to shield future financial contributions from public disclosure in defiance of a requirement enacted by the city of Santa Fe. The 10th District Court of Appeals in Denver on Tuesday dismissed a request by the Albuquerque-based Rio Grande Foundation to invalidate Santa Fe's campaign finance provisions as unconstitutional. The dispute stems from a failed city ballot initiative in 2017 to tax sugary beverages to shore up spending on early childhood education.

  • Navajo Nation: No COVID-related deaths for 3rd day in a row

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Tuesday reported 28 new COVID-19 cases, but no additional deaths for the third consecutive day. The latest numbers released by tribal health officials pushed the total number of coronavirus cases to 31,449 since the pandemic began more than a year ago. The known death toll remains at 1,377. The Navajo Nation reservation is the country's largest at 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and it covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

  • New Mexico sets rules to launch pandemic debt collection

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's court system is taking steps to ease financial upheaval as the state braces for a wave of foreclosures on delinquent mortgage loans and the state phases out a moratorium on commercial debt collection orders often tied to credit cards or health care. New Mexico's state court system is taking steps to ease financial pain as consumer debt comes due along with consequences for mortgages that went unpaid during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Administrative Office of the Courts says it will stagger deadlines for a return to debt collection orders that can be used to garnish wages or seize property to pay off consumer debt.

  • 2 New Mexico universities to require vaccines for some

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 has limited exemptions and will be in effect at the main campus in Albuquerque, the Academic Health Sciences Campus in Albuquerque and at satellite locations statewide covering more than 20,000 students. President Garnett Stokes said Monday that incentives the university offered for vaccinations had an impact but not enough to protect the health and safety of the school community. New Mexico State University announced Tuesday a mandate for staff to get vaccinated or face weekly testing, also starting Sept. 30. It's waiting to make a decision on a possible mandate for its 15,000 students.

  • US plans 50% more wild horse roundups amid Western drought

RENO, Nev. (AP) — U.S. land managers have begun efforts to capture about 50% more wild horses than originally planned this year because of severe drought across the U.S. West. 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 has stretched available food and water to their limits. Horse advocates say the emergency roundups are being driven by pressure from ranchers who don't want wild horses competing with their livestock for limited forage and water. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association says ranchers have voluntarily reduced and rotated grazing on federal lands during the drought.

  • 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.