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Local and State News

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


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Bernalillo County and the city of Albuquerque have long shared a large government building in downtown Albuquerque but no more. Albuquerque officials announced Friday that the city is about to finalize its purchase of the Albuquerque Government Center and that the county has moved out to a new facility. Officials said that will enable the city to consolidate departments in the building that the two governments formerly shared. The city said it is paying the county $5 million for the county's share of the building, which the two governments had jointly owned since its construction. The city plans to spend an additional $5.5 million in renovations.


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation reported 38 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Friday and no new deaths. Tribal President Jonathan Nez says the daily increase in cases is in line with other places across the country. He urged residents of the vast reservation that extends into New Mexico, Utah and Arizona to limit travel, wear a mask and social distance. The new cases bring the total on the reservation to 32,469 since the pandemic began. The death toll remains at 1,400. 


ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — Holloman Air Force Base in southern New Mexico will temporarily will house Afghan refugees. The U.S. Department of Defense made the announcement Friday. The base near Alamogordo joins others in Virginia, Texas, Wisconsin and New Jersey that will provide housing, along with medical and other support for up to 50,000 refugees. They are coming to the U.S. under the Special Immigrant Visa program. Refugees will undergo medical screening, including testing for the coronavirus, before arriving at the military installations. The Defense Department didn't say how many refugees would be sent to Holloman or when they would arrive.


A decade after a Vermont teenager disappeared as the rains of Tropical Storm Irene started inundating the state, his mother is still hoping someone will be able to answer the question about what happened to him. Marble Arvidson was 17 when he left his Brattleboro foster home on Aug. 27, 2011, hours before the rains started. He has never been seen again. His mother, Sigrid Arvidson, is hoping someone will come forward who can help solve what is undoubtedly the most enduring mystery left a decade after Irene pummeled the state. The 2011 storm killed six across the state and did hundreds of millions of dollars of damage.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is flush with cash due mostly to the infusion of federal pandemic aid and higher than expected gross receipts tax revenues as consumers are spending again. A faster than expected recovery by oil and gas markets also has helped to boost the state's projected revenues to record levels for the coming fiscal year. Top state finance officials and legislative analysts briefed a key panel of lawmakers on the outlook Thursday. They're expecting nearly $1.4 billion in new money for the 2023 fiscal year. Still, officials warned lawmakers to be cautious since the pandemic remains a risk factor for continued economic recovery.


ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Youth Livestock Expo is relocating to Roswell over Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's State Fair vaccination mandate. The expo will be held in Roswell from Sept. 14-17. Lujan Grisham's most recent health order mandated vaccinations for all eligible individuals at the New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque. The result of the mandate was the exclusion of 4-H and FFA children who did not want the vaccine or did not have time to complete the two-dose vaccine cycle before the fair.


EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A man who drew worldwide sympathy and support after his wife was killed in the 2019 mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart is being remembered as kind and thoughtful but haunted by the loss of the woman he loved. Funeral services were Friday for Antonio Basco, who died of cancer on Aug. 14. His wife, Margie Reckard, was among 23 people who were fatally shot on Aug. 3, 2019. Reckard's 2019 funeral drew thousands of people from as far away as California after Basco said he was alone and invited the world to join him in remembering his companion of 22 years. Visitors to Basco's funeral amid a resurgent pandemic included a hospice worker who cared for him and a retired Army veteran who never met Basco.


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Thursday reported 55 new COVID-19 cases and one more death. The latest numbers pushed the tribe's totals to 32,430 coronavirus cases and 1,400 known deaths since the pandemic began more than a year ago. The vast Navajo Nation spans parts of New Mexico, Utah and Arizona. Tribal President Jonathan Nez has said all Navajo Nation executive branch employees will need to be fully vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19 by the end of September or be required to submit to regular testing. The new rules apply to full, part-time and temporary employees, including those working for tribal enterprises like utilities, shopping centers and casinos.