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Local and State News

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

  • DARK MONEY-NEW MEXICO

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.

  • ALBUQUERQUE MAYOR-ETHICS

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Critics of Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller have filed a new ethics complaint alleging that the Democrat violated the city's election laws by using a city employee for campaign purposes. The complaint filed by supporters of Sheriff Manuel Gonzales' bid for mayor also alleges Keller's reelection campaign illegally accepted seed money from six non-residents in violation of Albuquerque's Open and Ethical Elections Code. Much of the complaint centers on the actions of the president of the city firefighters' union. He's accused of visiting city-owned properties and asking firefighters to sign $5 donation cards on Keller's behalf. Keller's campaign denied responsibility for the actions.

  • FIRE-FILM SET-ALBUQUERQUE

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque authorities say a fire Wednesday destroyed a small set at the Netflix film studios. Chief Tom Ruiz of Albuquerque Fire Rescue said crews responding to the pre-dawn blaze found the set "fully involved"  in flames and smoke. He said the fire was extinguished quickly but that the set was a "total loss." No injuries were reported and no information was immediately available on a possible cause.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION

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.

  • CONSUMER DEBT-MORATORIUM-NEW MEXICO

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.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

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.

  • WILD HORSE ROUNDUPS-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.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION

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.