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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MDT


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A newly filed lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of recent public health orders requiring people with certain jobs to get COVID-19 vaccinations and restricting admittance to the state fair. The lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court asks a judge to block enforcement of an order requiring health workers, teachers and certain other workers to get vaccinated. A separate order that the suit seeks to block requires anyone attending the New Mexico State Fair to be fully vaccinated. A spokeswoman for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says state actions to protect the public's health and safety have been repeatedly upheld by courts.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico education officials have put together an outline for addressing education inequities that have fueled a years-long legal battle over underserved students. A copy of the draft report obtained by the Associated Press suggests the state will focus on increasing teacher training, reducing dropout rates and absenteeism and increasing funding for social services and at-home internet and computers. The draft is aimed at resolving the ongoing lawsuit over educational opportunities for Native American students and others. It states goals but does not specify solutions. Education officials say a final version will be released in December and will include specific fixes and explain how successes will be measured. 


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Legislature won't revert to remote, online proceedings despite close encounters with the resurgent coronavirus and at least one new infection among lawmakers. Leading state lawmakers on Monday weighed whether it was still prudent for legislative committees to hold in-person hearings across the state in the waning days of summer and early autumn. Members of a health policy committee were compelled to quarantine after coming into close contact with a coronavirus-exposed presenter at a public hearing in Las Vegas, and at least one legislator is grappling with infection. 


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Cannabis provider Ultra Health says it has completed the purchase of a former bakery and adjacent land in southern New Mexico that will open the way for a large-scale marijuana growing and manufacturing campus. The property purchase in Alamogordo takes place as New Mexico prepares for the start of recreational marijuana sales by April 1, 2022. Regulators are putting the finishing touches on the licensing process for an array of marijuana businesses. On Monday, Ultra Health Chief Marketing Officer Marissa Novel said the property deal at Alamogordo was nearly two years in the making.


PAYSON, Ariz. (AP) — Police in Arizona fatally shot a 31-year-old New Mexico man who allegedly had forced a woman into a vehicle at gunpoint early Tuesday in a supermarket parking lot. Payson police said the woman exited the vehicle and was being escorted to a police car when the shooting occurred after the man also got out. According to police, the man "turned towards officers and made a motion as if he was drawing a weapon from his waistband." Police said officers shot the man when he disregarded commands to stop and show his hands. No identities were released but police said the man and woman were acquaintances. 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some members of Congress want protections put in place to address ongoing intergenerational trauma as more information comes to light about the troubled history of Indigenous boarding schools in the United States. A group of 21 Democrats sent a letter last week to the Indian Health Service. They're asking that culturally appropriate support services be put in place, such as a special hotline and mental and spiritual programs. The federal agency said Monday it's reviewing the request and discussing what steps to take next. Advocacy groups say additional trauma resources for Indigenous communities are more urgent than ever.


LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — Drone pilots, beware. Authorities at one of the nation's top nuclear weapons laboratories issued a warning Monday that airspace over Los Alamos National Laboratory is off limits. As the birthplace of the atomic bomb, the lab has reported that recent unauthorized drone flights have been detected in restricted airspace in the area. Officials said if you fly a drone over the lab, you likely will lose it. The lab has a system for intercepting any unauthorized flights, but officials would not release any details about how the system works, citing security protocols. They also would not say how many unauthorized flights have occurred in recent months.


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is beginning her term in office with plenty of challenges. But she also is starting with an historic opportunity as the first woman to hold one of the most prominent governorships in the U.S. When Hochul took over Tuesday for resigned Gov. Andrew Cuomo, she became the ninth woman currently serving as governor. That ties the previous record, first set in 2004 and then matched in 2007 and 2019. Hochul already has said she will run for a full four-year term next year. Women also have a chance to make gains in 2022 in several states where governors are term-limited.