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


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico education officials are proposing changes to the K-12 school curriculum again, this time for social studies. Under the proposed standards students would identify their group identities starting in kindergarten. High school students would examine power relations among identity groups. Critics who wrote to the education department to complain say the proposed changes would entrench racial divisions in schools. Supporters say the new standards would make education more just and anti-racist.  The state education department has faced controversy over education standards before. In 2017, the department had to backpedal after it removed facts about Earth's age and about climate change to appease conservatives.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — FBI agents are local police searching for a suspect who tried to rob a credit union in Albuquerque while wearing a red, hooded sweatshirt with "New Mexico Lobos" on the front. The FBI says the unidentified man also was wearing a New York Yankees baseball cap when he tried to rob the Rio Grande Credit Union Friday afternoon. He entered the building at about 2:30 p.m. and presented a demand note to a teller but ended up leaving without any cash. The suspect is described as a Hispanic or white male in his mid-30s, approximately 5'7" tall, with a skinny build.  


A Dona Ana County grand jury has indicted a New Mexico man on a murder charge in a fatal shooting during an altercation last month in Las Cruces. District Attorney Gerald Byers said Friday that Tyler Williams has been charged with first-degree murder and assault with a handgun in the Oct. 19 death of Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz died at the scene. Byers said Williams was arrested Oct. 26 in Carlsbad. No other details have been released. It's not clear if Williams has a lawyer or will be appointed one at a pending court appearance.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police have identified the pedestrian hit and killed on Interstate 25 in Albuquerque this week as they continue to search for the driver of the car who fled the scene. Police said Friday 34-year-old Kevin Dwight Vigil of Albuquerque died in the crash that happened about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday near Tramway Boulevard. A preliminary investigation indicates Vigil was walking across the southbound lanes of I-25 for unknown reasons. A southbound black sedan fled the scene. Anyone with information on the crash is asked to contact State Police at (505) 841-9256, option 1.


CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — A 21-year-old New Mexico man has been arrested for suspicion of involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a teenager at the suspect's residence in Clovis. Police say Theodore Avalos of Clovis turned himself in for questioning on Wednesday after they opened a homicide investigation into the shooting of a 17-year-old male the day before. The juvenile victim was taken to a local hospital with a gunshot wound to the head and later died from his injuries. In addition to involuntary manslaughter, Avalos was charged with tampering with evidence, two counts of giving alcoholic beverages to a minor and two counts of negligent use of a deadly weapon. 


CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — State environmental regulators have cleared the way for work to continue on a multimillion-dollar project at the federal government's underground nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico. Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant say the shaft will address ventilation problems stemming from a 2014 radiation release that forced a nearly three-year closure of the facility and prompted numerous policy changes. With more airflow, officials have said that more employees can be in the underground space working on mining and waste operations simultaneously. The shaft will be a key element of the repository's revamped ventilation system.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico already has among the highest U.S. unemployment rates and the state's Republican legislative leaders fear President Joe Biden's plan to require vaccinations or COVID-19 testing for large employers could cause more damage to job market. State Senate Republican Leader Greg Baca said Thursday that the mandate is sowing more distrust of the federal government. He urged Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to push back against what he called federal overreach. He pointed to a significant worker shortage in New Mexico. The governor's office said it's focused on getting as many people vaccinated as possible and will continue with its education efforts.