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Local and State News

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

  • State of emergency declared in New Mexico's Dona Ana County

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order Sunday declaring a state of emergency in New Mexico's Dona Ana County. The order aims to provide local governments with the tools and funding they need to begin recovering from the heavy rainfall and severe flooding that began last week. Like similar declarations for Lincoln, Chaves, Valencia and Eddy counties earlier this year, the latest order provides up to $750,000 for the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to support public recovery efforts organized by city and county officials. In this instance, the state constitution doesn't allow state emergency funds to be used for direct financial assistance to private individuals.  

  • EXPLAINER: Western states face first federal water cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials are expected to declare the first-ever water shortage from a river that serves 40 million people in the West. The anticipated forecast Monday will mean some Arizona farmers get less water from the Colorado River next year, forcing them to make adjustments. A prolonged drought made worse by climate change has led to record low water levels at Lake Mead, one of the river's reservoirs. The situation highlights the challenges for a region that's also growing in population. The Colorado River provides drinking water, irrigation for farms and hydropower to seven Western states and parts of Mexico.

  • Navajo Nation reports 37 new COVID-19 cases and 1 more death

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Sunday reported 37 more COVID-19 cases and one additional death as the tribe gets ready to return to "Orange Status" on Monday due to the recent rise of coronavirus cases. The latest numbers pushed the tribe's totals to 31,920 cases and 1,390 known deaths since the pandemic began more than a year ago. The Navajo Nation had reported 67 cases and one death on Friday and 62 cases plus two deaths Saturday. On Aug. 9, the Navajo Department of Health issued a health advisory notice for 19 communities due to uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. The Navajo Department of Health on Thursday issued three new public health emergency orders for businesses and schools while revising in-person gathering limits for certain events. 

  • 2 dead as severe flooding threat persists in southwestern US

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A second person has died from flooding caused by monsoon-type rains in far western Texas and southern New Mexico and Arizona. A family spokesman said a 2-year-old girl died Friday of injuries she suffered in the collapse of a basement wall at her family's El Paso home. The girl's 65-year-old grandmother also was killed in the Thursday night collapse in the family's flooded basement. Flash flood watches remain in effect for the three-state border region through Sunday afternoon as moist air flows north from Mexico.

  • US Forest Service accused of failing to protect meadow mouse

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Environmentalists have sued again over an endangered mouse found only in parts of New Mexico and Arizona. The latest legal filing by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Maricopa Audubon Society centers on habitat of the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse in southern New Mexico's Sacramento Mountains. The claim alleges that the U.S. Forest Service has failed to protect the mouse and its habitat from cattle grazing. The tiny rodent was listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2014. About 22 square miles of land in New Mexico and Arizona are designated as critical habitat for the mouse.

  • Former Navajo Nation President Kelsey Begaye dies at age 70

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation officials have called for all flags on the vast reservation be flown at half-staff to honor former tribal President Kelsey Begaye. They say Begaye died of natural causes Friday in Flagstaff at age 70. He was was elected the fifth president of the Navajo Nation in November 1998 and served 1999 to 2003. Begaye is survived by his wife, Marie, and five children. Their oldest son died in 2014. Funeral services for Begaye are pending.

  • Police: School shooting victim went to aid boy being bullied

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque's police chief said the boy who was shot and killed at his school had tried to deescalate a violent confrontation between classmates. Chief Harold Medina said the victim was a hero. Police on Saturday identified him as 13-year-old Bennie Hargrove and said the shooting suspect is also 13.  Another 13-year-old told police that the suspect had been bullying a smaller boy when Hargrove tried to intervene.. According to police, the suspect's father discovered that his gun was missing right before the shooting. Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she was heartbroken and that more needs to be done to address gun violence. 

  • 'Unprecedented' flooding in El Paso leaves woman dead

A storm system that stalled for days over West Texas led to what a National Weather Service meteorologist calls an "unprecedented" amount of rain in the El Paso area that left a woman dead. Meteorologist Jason Grzywacz said Saturday that 6 inches of rain fell on El Paso in the past two days. The city usually averages about 8.5 inches of rainfall a year. He says mandatory 48-hour evacuations have been issued for residents of neighboring La Union, New Mexico. El Paso police say a 65-year-old woman was killed and her 2-year-old granddaughter was hurt when a flash flood caused a wall of their home to collapse onto them.