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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. MST

  • As rules ease, travelers head to US for emotional reunions

CHARLES DE GAULLE AIRPORT, France (AP) — The U.S. is lifting restrictions on travel from a long list of countries including Mexico, Canada and most of Europe, setting the stage for emotional reunions nearly two years in the making and providing a boost for the airline and tourism industries decimated by the pandemic. COVID-19 has upended lives in many ways including through travel restrictions. That has been felt acutely by those living near U.S. borders, where traveling back and forth was a way of life. Many others who live outside of the U.S. have missed out on important family milestones because of the restrictions. New rules go into effect Monday that allow nonessential travel across America's land borders for vaccinated visitors. They also allow air travel from a series of countries from which it has been restricted.

  • Fatal hit-and-run involving a car, motorcycle in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Albuquerque say they are investigating a fatal hit-and-run involving a car and a motorcycle. They say officers responded to the scene around 9 p.m. Saturday. Police say the motorcyclist died at the scene. The name, age and gender of the victim weren't immediately released. Witnesses told police they saw a white four-door car flee the scene. Investigators believe speed was a factor in the crash. Witnesses say the motorcycle was traveling at a high rate of speed when the sedan pulled out from a hotel and turned onto a street. The brakes of the motorcycle reportedly locked up and the bike began to skid. Witnesses say the motorcycle went down and the rider may have struck the car, which then left the scene.

  • Albuquerque police: 2 men shot at food market and 1 has died

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Albuquerque say they are investigating a homicide after two men were shot and one of them died. They say the shooting occurred around 1 a.m. Sunday at a food market. Police say one man died at the scene and the other was transported to the hospital. The condition of the survivor isn't immediately known. Police say their investigation is ongoing.

  • Navajo Nation reports 85 more COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has reported 85 more COVID-19 cases and four additional deaths. It marks just the 15th time in the last 38 days that the tribe has recorded a coronavirus-related death. The latest numbers released Saturday pushed the tribe's totals to 37,345 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the virus since the pandemic began more than a year ago. The known death toll now is at 1,498. The tribe reported no COVID-related deaths 23 times in a 35-day span before reporting five deaths on Thursday and one death on Friday along with 88 new cases. 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.

  • Navajo Nation President Nez signs ban on indoor smoking

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The leader of the largest Native American reservation in the U.S. signed legislation Saturday to ban smoking in many indoor locations, including the tribe's casinos. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez calls the ban "a monumental achievement and bold step in the right direction to promote healthy living" among the Navajo people. Tribal lawmakers approved the bill in October. It prohibits the use of cigarettes, chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes and other commercial products in public buildings and workspaces, including a 25-foot buffer outdoors. The ban would not apply to the ceremonial use of tobacco or in homes unless they are being used as businesses.

  • UNM disenrolling 256 students for shirking vaccine mandate

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico is disenrolling 256 students from classes for not complying with university's requirement for vaccination against COVID-19. University spokeswoman Cinnamon Blair said the students being disenrolled took no action to comply with the requirement by Friday's deadline. Blair told the Albuquerque Journal that the students facing disenrollment received daily messages for over a month. Under the requirement, students must show proof of vaccination or acquire an exemption for medical or religious reasons or only take remote-study classes off campus. Exempted students on campus are required to submit weekly COVID-19 tests to the UNM vaccine verification site.

  • NMSU faculty, student groups seek ouster of 2 administrators

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State University's faculty senate and the student government association have approved no-confidence resolutions seeking the removal of President John Floros and Provost Carol Parker. Resolutions approved Thursday contend NMSU spends too much on administration and that the administration isn't listening to the concerns of faculty and students. The faculty's complaints included the administration's decision to merge several academic units into new college despite an earlier rejection by the faculty senate. The university said in a statement that it took the concerns seriously, would make public a review of the concerns and "remains committed to the principles of shared governance..."

  • Latest New Mexico K-12 curriculum controversy, only on Zoom

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.