Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. MST
- TRIBAL ELECTION-LANGUAGE
POLACCA, Ariz. (AP) — Members of a small northeastern Arizona tribe are voting Thursday for their next chairman. One of the key differences between incumbent Tim Nuvangyaoma and David Talayumptewa is their stance on maintaining a Hopi language requirement for the job. Nuvangyaoma says he'll push for a change in the tribe's constitution to eliminate it if he's reelected, to draw in younger Hopis to the government. Talayumptewa says the rule should be maintained to promote the language that defines Hopis. The winner in the election can't single-handedly change the 1930s constitution but can help shape proposals through the Tribal Council.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Monday reported 39 more COVID-19 cases, but no additional deaths for the 25th time in the past 40 days. The latest numbers pushed the tribe's totals to 37,455 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the virus since the pandemic began more than a year ago. The known death toll remains at 1,498. Based on cases from Oct. 22-Nov. 4, the Navajo Department of Health on Monday issued an advisory for 56 communities due to an uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. The tribe's reservation is the country's largest at 27,000 square miles and covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
- LIVING WAGE-STATE GOVERNMENT
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Momentum appears to be building behind proposals to lift minimum pay in New Mexico state government to $15 an hour for at least 1,200 public workers who make less than that, amid a state budget surplus and national trends toward higher wages. State Personnel Office Director Ricky Serna confirmed that efforts are underway to increase bottom-tier state salaries and boost overall state government payroll for rank-and-file employees at executive agencies. His agency oversees compensation guidelines for nearly 17,000 employees at executive agencies. Lead House budget negotiator Patricia Lundstrom said Monday that bottom-rung pay is hurting state recruitment and retention.
- NEVADA REDISTRICTING-ASIAN AMERICANS
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Activists are pushing states to ensure growing Asian American and Pacific Islander communities can be equally represented in government during the redistricting process. They're asking lawmakers to draw districts in a way that accounts for population growth and doesn't dilute their political power. Surveys point to some consensus among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters on issues such as taxes, health care and guns. In Nevada, questions over whether to protect incumbents or draw majority AAPI districts may challenge the Democratic-controlled statehouse, where non-Asian members represent districts where the AAPI population is concentrated.
- ALBUQUERQUE HOMICIDES
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The city of Albuquerque has now surpassed 100 homicides since the start of the year. The Albuquerque Journal reports a man officers found dead with a gunshot wound to the head Sunday night is the city's 101st homicide victim. Several hours earlier around 1 a.m. police responded to a shooting at an Albuquerque food market that left one man dead and another wounded. Albuquerque is now at its its highest homicide total and rate in recorded history. Police Chief Harold Medina says the department is devoting resources to the increase in homicides. Mayor Tim Keller signed an executive order last month creating a task force to focus on gun violence.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Parents held children born while they were stuck abroad. Long-separated couples kissed, and grandparents embraced grandchildren who had doubled in age. The happy reunions played out Monday as the U.S. fully reopened to many vaccinated international travelers. The easing of pandemic restrictions allowed families and friends to reunite for the first time since the coronavirus emerged. It also offered a boost to the travel industry decimated by the pandemic. American citizens and permanent residents were always allowed to enter the U.S., but the travel bans grounded tourists, thwarted business travelers and often keep relatives far apart. Travelers must have proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test.
BANGKOK (AP) — Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson acknowledges criticism of his humanitarian visit to Myanmar, but he tells The Associated Press he feels his trip was constructive. Richardson is the highest-profile American to visit the Southeast Asian nation since its military seized power in February. He traveled there last week to discuss delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, medical supplies and other public health needs. The U.S. government shuns Myanmar's military-installed government and urges a return to democracy. Opponents of the government who are conducting a militant civil disobedience campaign want the outside world to treat the generals as pariahs, so Richardson ran into a storm of online criticism for engaging with the government.