Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MDT
- ALBUQUERQUE CRIME
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police are investigating the city's latest homicide after one person was killed and at least two others injured in a shooting at a sports bar and restaurant. Police said the shooting happened late Thursday at Ojos Locos Sports Cantina. Police spokesman Daren DeAguero said one person died from their injuries and two others were taken to the hospital but their conditions were not released. It's unknown what lead to the shooting or if police have any suspects. Albuquerque is on pace to set a new record this year for the number of homicides within city limits, having already matched the previous record of 80 set in 2019.
- 2020 CENSUS-NEW MEXICO-CITIES
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Among four major cities in New Mexico, the state capital of Santa Fe was the fastest growing over the past decade. The Census Bureau on Thursday released a trove of demographic data on how the U.S. population changed between 2010 and 2020. The data show that Santa Fe grew by 19,558 people to a population of nearly 88,000, not including outlying areas. That represents a 29% population increase. By comparison, Albuquerque grew by less than 4%. New Mexico mimicked national trends in becoming more urban. The state's under-18 population shrank. And the state's housing supply grew faster than its population.
- FARM LABOR SHORTAGE-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Lt. Gov. Howie Morales says the state is stepping in to ensure a timely chile harvest after growers and producers raised concerns about an inadequate supply of labor. Morales says the state will funnel up to $5 million in federal pandemic relief toward enhanced wages for farmers who harvest New Mexico's renowned green and red chile crop in the late summer and early fall. Republican state Sen. Crystal Diamond on Thursday applauded the move to help farmers. Some Republican state legislators blame the labor shortage on generous unemployment benefits, while Morales says the problem predates the pandemic.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation will return to "Orange Status" starting Monday due to a recent rise of COVID-19 cases. On Thursday, the Navajo Department of Health issued three new public health emergency orders for businesses and schools while revising in-person gathering limits for certain events. The tribe's mask mandate remains in effect, but there is no daily curfew or lockdown on the reservation that is the country's largest at 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The 50% maximum occupancy level remains in place for restaurants (including indoor dining, drive-thru, curbside and outdoor dining) plus tribal casinos, hotels, campgrounds and RV parks.
- 2020 CENSUS-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has retained its title as the nation's most heavily Latino state, with 47.7% of respondents to the 2020 census identifying ancestry linked to Latin America and other Spanish-speaking areas. The Census Bureau on Thursday released new demographic details culled from the census. California and Texas were close runners up with about 39% of residents claiming Hispanic or Latino heritage. In New Mexico, Latino pride runs deep within a region of the U.S. where Spanish conquerors arrived in the late 1500s and Mexico governed for decades during the 19th century. The state is currently led by its third consecutive Hispanic governor.
- AIR POLLUTION PARTNERSHIP
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is joining forces with New Mexico regulators and a private company to study air pollution and climate change. Officials announced the partnership with New Mexico-based Sceye Inc. on Thursday. The five-year study will use high-altitude blimp-like platforms positioned in the stratosphere above New Mexico to monitor air quality and emissions from the oil and gas industry and other sources. Officials said they are still working on the specifics of the endeavor and how much it will cost. New Mexico Environment Secretary James Kenney said the data will help scientists and regulators better understand how pollution moves through the atmosphere.
- STREAM ACCESS-NEW MEXICO
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico regulators have rejected the requests of five landowners who sought to restrict public access to streams and rivers that flow through their properties. The state Game Commission voted Thursday to deny the applications, citing language in the state Constitution that implies all waters in New Mexico belong to the public. However, an attorney for the landowners argued that his clients' private property rights are being violated. The debate over stream access has been ongoing for years across the West. The New Mexico Supreme Court could provide more clarity once it rules on a petition filed by a coalition of anglers, rafters and conservationists.
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (AP) — The Colorado River has been a go-to source of water for cities, tribes and farmers in the U.S. West for decades. But climate change, drought and increased demand are taking a toll. Next week, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is expected to declare the first-ever mandatory cuts from the river for 2022 as key reservoirs fall to historic lows. The projection will hit farmers in central Arizona the hardest because of longstanding priority systems. Pinal County is Arizona's top producer of cotton, barley and livestock. Farmers there have been finding ways to use water more efficiently but increasingly will turn to pumping groundwater.