Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. MDT
- New Mexico cities vote on retaining progressive mayors
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Voters in New Mexico's largest city and the state capital of Santa Fe are weighing whether to reelect progressive mayors or back challengers from the more conservative wing of the Democratic Party. Tuesday's elections are a preamble to statewide and congressional contests in 2022. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber are defending their handling of pandemic safety and the economy. Republicans who lost recent congressional bids also are running for mayor in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. The election extends to city councils, school district boards, tax initiatives for local education and a stadium proposal in Albuquerque.
- New Mexico imposes firearms ban at state Capitol building
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Firearms are being banned at the New Mexico state Capitol building with few exceptions starting in early December under rule changes approved by leading Democratic lawmakers. Approved Monday, the gun ban reverses a live-and-let-live approach toward firearms that has endured for more than a century at the Statehouse. Exceptions will be made for certified law enforcement officers and some military personnel. Democratic Senate majority leader Peter Wirth says the gun ban is needed to guard against intimidation in political debates and ensure safety. Republican lawmakers said the proposal would infringe on constitutional gun rights and deserves a more thorough public vetting.
- 'Rust' assistant director hopes for film industry changes
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The assistant director who handed Alec Baldwin the gun that killed a cinematographer says he hopes the tragedy prompts the film industry to "reevaluate its values and practices" to ensure no one is harmed again. David Halls released a statement to the New York Post, breaking his silence following the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and the wounding of director Joel Souza during production of the Western "Rust" in New Mexico. The investigation is ongoing. Hollywood professionals have been baffled by the circumstances of the movie-set shooting. It already has led to other production crews stepping up safety measures.
- Navajo Nation: No COVID-related deaths, 21st time in 33 days
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Monday reported 34 more COVID-19 cases, but no coronavirus-related deaths for the 21st time in the past 33 days. The latest numbers pushed the tribe's totals to 36,867 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the virus since the pandemic began more than a year ago. The known death toll remains at 1,487. Based on cases from Oct. 15-28, the Navajo Department of Health issued an advisory for 58 communities due to uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. The tribe's reservation is the country's largest at 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
- New Mexico cities vote on retaining progressive mayors
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Voters in New Mexico's largest city and the state capital of Santa Fe are weighing whether to reelect progressive mayors or back Hispanic challengers from the more conservative wing of the Democratic Party. Tuesday's elections are a preamble to statewide and congressional contests in 2022. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber are defending their handling of pandemic safety and economic relief funds. Tuesday marks the final day for in-person voting with absentee ballots due by 7 p.m.. The election extends to city councils, school district boards and tax initiatives for local education spending.
- New Mexico family seeks AG's help in deadly shooting case
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The family of a northern New Mexico man killed in September has asked the state Attorney General's Office to take over the case. They cite concerns that the shooter is receiving preferential treatment because he's related to two area judges. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that 70-year-old David Griego called 911 after he shot John Serna, and he reported he did so in self-defense. No charges have been filed in the case. The district attorney says Griego's relationship to the judges has no bearing on the case and that the investigation into Serna's death is ongoing.
Southwest investigates pilot who used 'Brandon' phraseWASHINGTON (AP) — Southwest Airlines says it's conducting an internal investigation after one of its pilots in greeting passengers used a phrase that's become a stand-in for insulting President Joe Biden. The Dallas-based airline announced its investigation Sunday after The Associated Press reported the incident in a story about the emerging use of the phrase "Let's go, Brandon." The pilot used the phrase on the plane's public address system, which resulted in audible gasps from some of those on the Friday flight from Houston to Albuquerque, New Mexico. An AP reporter was on the flight. Southwest says it does not condone employees "sharing their personal political opinions" while on the job.
Son of ex-lawmaker Steve Komadina fatally shot in Corrales
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The son of former State Senator Steve Komadina has been identified as the victim of Corrales' first homicide in almost 20 years. Corrales Police Chief Victor Mangiacapra told KOAT-TV that 46-year-old Spencer Komadina was allegedly shot and killed Saturday by his roommate after they got in a fight at their home. The suspect, 60-year-old Joel Ray, remains detained at Sandoval County Detention Center on suspicion of first-degree murder. It was not immediately known if he had retained an attorney. Republican Steve Komadina represented a district in Sandoval County between 2001 and 2008. According to authorities, it's the village of Corrales' first homicide since 2002.