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Local and State News

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


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The head of the U.S. Energy Department is scheduled to visit New Mexico this week as the Biden administration looks to promote its renewable energy initiatives. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will be accompanied by Democratic U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico. They're expected to meet with local leaders and organizations about the state's push for more renewable energy and efforts to lower costs. A roundtable discussion scheduled for Wednesday in Albuquerque will focus on how transmission projects could unlock New Mexico's potential to develop more wind and solar power. They also plan to visit the Farmington area.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is assigning more state police officers to New Mexico's most populated area as Albuquerque struggles with violent crime. Her announcement Monday follows the latest string of deadly shootings, including one Friday that left a 13-year-old middle school student dead. Albuquerque already has surpassed its annual homicide record, having logged more than 80 killings with four months still go in the year. The governor's office said the additional officers will focus on auto theft, drug trafficking, aggressive driving and drunken driving along the two major interstates that bisect the city. The effort is scheduled to last about three weeks.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Health officials in New Mexico's most populated area are warning residents to take precautions against mosquito bites. They announced Monday that mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been collected at locations throughout Albuquerque and surrounding Bernalillo County as part of regular monitoring. Mosquitoes infected with the virus will be around until the area sees a hard freeze later this year. State health officials say there have been no human cases in the state so far this year. Symptoms of an infection can include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. In rare cases, the virus can cause meningitis or encephalitis.


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.


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.  


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police say a suspect driving in a stolen car was shot and killed after he pulled a gun on officers. The fatal shooting occurred Sunday shortly after 5 p.m. when officers were following a stolen car. Police arrived at a Walmart and watched a man and woman get out of the car. Authorities say the officers approached the couple and the man fled. Investigators say the man then turned and held up a gun. Officers then shot him. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman was not injured and taken into custody. The officers, who were not identified, will be on standard paid administrative leave.


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.