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Local and State News

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

  • INDIGENOUS BOARDING SCHOOLS

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The American Bar Association's policymaking body is supporting the U.S. Interior Department as it works to uncover the troubled legacy of federal boarding schools that sought to assimilate Indigenous youth into white society. The resolution was adopted Monday at the bar association's annual meeting. It calls for the Biden administration and Congress to fully fund the initiative and provide subpoena power to the Interior Department as it gathers and reviews reams of records related to the schools. The resolution stems from a recent visit by the association's president to the Navajo Nation, where she met with tribal officials and members of Navajo Nation Supreme Court.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Monday reported 15 new COVID-19 cases and six additional deaths. It marked the first time in nine days that the tribe reported any coronavirus-related deaths. The latest numbers pushed the Navajo Nation's pandemic totals to 31,650 cases and 1,383 known deaths. Based on cases from July 23 to Aug. 5, the Navajo Department of Health issued a health advisory notice for 19 communities due to uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. 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.

  • AP-US-CAPITOL-BREACH-COWBOYS-FOR-TRUMP

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Federal prosecutors have offered a confidential plea agreement to Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin that might resolve misdemeanor criminal charges against him linked to the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol. The proposed pleading for the county commissioner from New Mexico was discussed Monday at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Washington. Griffin still denies federal charges that he knowingly entered barricaded areas of the Capitol grounds with the intent of disrupting government as Congress considered Electoral College results. Griffin reached an outside terrace of the Capitol without entering the building and used a bullhorn to try to lead a tumultuous crowd in prayer.

  • UTILITY MERGER-NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Customers are sounding the alarm over a proposed multibillion-dollar merger of New Mexico's largest electric utility provider with a U.S. subsidiary of Spanish energy giant Iberdrola. They voiced concerns during a virtual hearing Monday as state regulators prepare to hear from Public Service Co. of New Mexico, Avangrid and their experts later this week. The companies have been running TV, radio and newspaper ads in an effort to win more support. Some politicians, environmental groups and union bosses have signed on. But others say regulators need to consider Avangrid and Iberdrola's sordid histories when it comes to reliability and customer service in other states and parts of Latin America.

  • BOOK REVIEW-BREATHE

Joyce Carol Oates' novel "Breathe" is the affecting story of a woman facing the unimaginable loss of her spouse. The tale of love, loss and loneliness opens with a wife urging, willing, begging her dying husband to breathe. Oates wrote the novel after her husband, Charlie Gross, died in 2019 and dedicated it to him. The husband in the book falls ill with a mysterious illness after the couple relocates to New Mexico for a prestigious residency. A love story soon becomes a tale of horror, launching the wife on a chaotic, hallucinatory journey that rushes toward an uncertain end.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-VACCINE MANDATES

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Public universities and private colleges across New Mexico appear to be getting COVID-19 shots to young people at higher rates than the general public. Even more college students are likely to get vaccinated this month as the University of New Mexico and others announce that COVID-19 vaccines will be mandatory. A private Christian college in Lea County says it is getting most of its students vaccinated without a mandate and hopes to reach an 80% vaccination rate soon. That's nearly double the current vaccination rate in Lea County and some other rural counties in southern New Mexico.

  • NEW MEXICO-AIR QUALITY

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Residents in northern New Mexico are waking up Monday morning to smoky air mostly due to wildfires in California. An air quality alert from Albuquerque environmental regulators deeming the air's current state as unhealthy remains in effect until noon. While particulate levels are expected to decline later in the day, the ozone levels could rise. The City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department advises that people avoid vigorous physical activity outside and stay indoors as much as possible. One city official told KOAT-TV that this is the worst smoke he's seen since the Wallow Fire a decade ago.