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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. MDT


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police say an officer shot a parolee who used his car to ram police vehicles in a bid to evade arrest and wielded a rifle while trying to get a driver out of a nearby car in the city's southwest. Police Chief Harold Medina said Friday the man who was shot was hospitalized and no officers were injured in the incident. The suspect was not immediately identified. Medina said he was sought on a parole violation and was a suspect in vehicle thefts and an Albuquerque homicide investigation. The shooting was the third involving Albuquerque police in the past six days.  


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber is confronting local fraternal organizations with accusations of campaign finance violations for unreported spending on political attack ads in coordination with a rival candidate, as he seeks a second term in office in November elections. The complaint responds to yard signs, newspaper ads and social media spots that criticize the mayor's handling of public tensions over historical monuments and tributes to the region's Spanish colonial and territorial past. The complaint from Webber's campaign alleges campaign finance violations by an advocacy group for Spanish-colonial heritage and pride. The groups says the mayor is retaliating and out of touch.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Dozens of health care workers and state employees are protesting New Mexico's mandate that they get a COVID-19 vaccine. Nurses, hospital clerical workers and state prison guards joined about 150 people at the state Capitol on Friday to demonstrate against the requirement. Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered state workers to get vaccines earlier this summer. A public health order issued this week expands the mandate to private industry workers in sensitive areas such as hospitals, nursing homes and schools. Under the order, only certain workers can decline vaccines if they submit to weekly COVID-19 testing. Some unvaccinated hospital workers say their employers will fire them in the coming weeks.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A felon from California has been charged with opening fire on Albuquerque police officers after they responded to a robbery. One officer who was shot in the neck remained in critical condition Friday. Three others are recovering from other injuries suffered in Thursday's gunfight on the city's northeast side. A criminal complaint identifies the suspect as 27-year-old James Ramirez of Los Angeles. He's charged with three counts of aggravated battery against a police officer as well as armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a felon and resisting an officer. Ramirez was shot and is recovering at the hospital. Court records show an attorney has not yet been appointed to represent him.


PHOENIX (AP) — An endangered Mexican gray wolf that was roaming near Flagstaff has been captured and relocated. State wildlife officials say the male wolf had ventured into housing developments, raising concerns that it might get shot or struck by a vehicle. The Arizona Republic reports that the wolf was captured a week ago in the Coconino National Forest. It has since rejoined other wolves near the Arizona-New Mexico border. Environmental groups had been hoping it could stay north around Flagstaff, even if it was beyond the northern boundary of the designated wolf recovery zone. Mexican gray wolves are North America's rarest subspecies of gray wolf.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's outgoing education secretary says more schools should have used outdoor classrooms last year to increase in-person learning. Ryan Stewart, ending his two years as education secretary this week, says outdoor classrooms could make kids safer this year and reduce the time they need to wear masks. He says the Public Education Department tried to fund school districts to build outdoor classrooms last year, but none signed up for the pilot program. Stewart leaves his successor, a former Los Alamos superintendent, with a more computer literate teacher workforce, and an unresolved lawsuit brought by underserved Native American and Hispanic children.


NENAHNEZAD, N.M. (AP) — U.S Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm met with Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and other tribal leaders at a power plant in northwest New Mexico to discuss renewable energy initiatives. Nez says Thursday's meeting at the Four Corners Power Plant included discussions about a solar project and a battery energy storage system. Sen. Martin Heinrich, Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez and U.S. Office of Indian Energy Director Wahleah Johns also participated. Granholm and Nez said they share a commitment to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy. The region is preparing for the closure in the coming years of two major coal-fired power plants.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State labor officials are warning that unemployment benefits are scheduled to come to a close for about 50,000 New Mexico residents in early September, as the federal government ends supplemental payments to people who lost jobs or self-employment income during the pandemic. New Mexico has rebuilt its unemployment trust fund to its pre-pandemic level thanks to federal relief money. Employers remain wary of the state's high unemployment rate that could lead to tax increases to sustain benefits. Fraudulent attempts to hijack benefits are surging in the closing weeks of the federal unemployment bonus.