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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. MST


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is taking feedback from the public Friday on its proposed overhaul of the social studies curriculum. The proposal would update the history standards for the first time in 30 years. It would also expand the focus on identity groups and race in civics. Critics say the proposal amounts to progressive indoctrination. Supporters have said the standards will make social studies more "anti-racist." The six-week feedback period has also drawn calls to personal finance to the economics section of the curriculum. Supporters of the idea want students to learn more about debt, savings and investing.


LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State University's chief academic administrator has been placed on paid administrative leave and an acting replacement has been named. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the university told employees in a letter Thursday that Vice President Renay Scott will be acting provost, filling in for Provost Carol Parker. The letter by Chancellor Dan Arvizu and President John Floros didn't say why Parker was put on leave or say how long it would last. Parker's attorney said Friday that Parker denies allegations made by faculty and staff that she doesn't listen to them. 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque Fire Rescue says one of its rescue units struck and fatally injured a pedestrian in the roadway while responding to a paramedic call. Department spokesman Tom Ruiz said the emergency vehicle had its emergency lights and siren on when the incident occurred early Friday morning near Coors Boulevard and Interstate 40 during a mutual aid call in Bernalillo County. Ruiz said the department personnel in the vehicle stopped and provided medical care to the person but that the person died after being taken to a hospital. Ruiz said an investigation is underway.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's top water official says a persistent lack of financial support to protect the state's water resources is behind his decision to step down. A well-known water expert, John D'Antonio submitted his resignation Thursday. His last day as state engineer will be Dec. 31. His departure comes as New Mexico remains locked in a legal battle with Texas over management of the Rio Grande and as the state grapples with a decades-long drought that has resulted in record low reservoir levels and river flows. D'Antonio also served as the state engineer during former Gov. Bill Richardson's tenure and previously worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Thursday reported 103 more COVID-19 cases, but no additional deaths for the 26th time in the past 42 days. The latest numbers pushed the tribe's totals to 37,876 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the virus since the pandemic began more than a year ago. The known death toll remains at 1,507. 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 (70,000 square kilometers) and covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.   


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A 16-year-old youth sought in an Albuquerque double homicide has been arrested in Denver. Albuquerque police said Thursday the youth was sought in the January shooting deaths of 21-year-old Aerial Mallam and 31-year-old Jessica Casaus Lucero at an apartment complex where a third person was shot and wounded. Police said the youth exchanged gunfire with a fourth person while trying unsuccessfully to take a vehicle. Police said the youth was wounded but fled. Police said he is charged with murder and other crimes. Online court records don't list an attorney for the youth who could comment on the allegations. The Associated Press generally does not identify crime defendants who are juveniles.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Members of New Mexico's congressional delegation are putting more pressure on U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to take administrative action to prohibit oil and gas development outside the boundaries of Chaco Culture National Historical Park. They sent a letter to Haaland this week. While there have been numerous short-term protections granted for the area over the years, they say an administrative withdrawal of federal mineral rights would provide long-term certainty pending legislation that calls for permanent protections. Haaland is from New Mexico and is the first Native American to be appointed to a cabinet position. She has yet to announce any decisions about the Chaco area.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some of New Mexico's largest hospitals are being overwhelmed by the latest wave of patients. While most patients are not dealing with coronavirus infections, officials say the ability to grow the capacity that was built over the last year due to the pandemic is now limited by space and the availability of health care workers. Presbyterian Healthcare Services and University of New Mexico Health announced Thursday they are activating crisis standards of care. That means the hospitals will be focusing on patients who need care the most. Officials say they won't be denying care, but non-medically necessary surgeries will be delayed.