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Local and State News

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

  • Cannabis bust on Indigenous land highlights legal divide

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A federal raid on a small household marijuana garden on tribal land in northern New Mexico is sowing confusion and resentment about U.S. drug enforcement priorities on Native American lands, as more states roll out legal marketplaces for recreational pot. Bureau of Indian Affairs officers confiscated nine cannabis plants from a medical marijuana patient at Picuris Pueblo, where tribal officials are contemplating a cannabis business venture. The BIA patrols the pueblo and says it can't tell officers to stand down, even amid state legalization of home grown pot and retail sales. New Mexico legalized recreational, home-grown marijuana this year.

  • Navajo Nation reports 99 more COVID-19 cases, 3 more deaths

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Thursday reported 99 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 and three additional coronavirus-related deaths. The latest numbers pushed the tribe's total to 38,616 cases since the pandemic started and 1,518 known deaths. Tribal President Jonathan Nez has urged residents of the vast reservation to be careful when traveling to neighboring cities and states where safety measures aren't always as strict. The tribe has maintained a mask mandate through most of the pandemic. The reservation covers 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and extends into parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

  • New Mexico State Police searching for boy in a custody case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police say they are searching for a 10-year-old Albuquerque boy believed to be with his mother who no longer has custody of him. They say Nicolai Kuznetsov was last seen on Nov. 5 and is believed to be with Jacqueline Haymon. Albuquerque TV station KOAT reports that Haymon allegedly didn't want him to be vaccinated for COVID-19. According to court documents, the boy's parents had joint custody. But a District Court judge on Thursday issued an emergency order which granted the boy's biological father custody due to the grave concern of the well-being and safety of the child, leading to an Amber Alert being issued. State Police also say a bench warrant has been issued for Haymon's arrest.

  • No reprieve for New Mexico hospitals amid wave of patients

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials with two of New Mexico's largest hospitals say they have yet to see a reprieve from the latest wave of patients needing care. Officials with Presbyterian Healthcare Services and University of New Mexico Hospital said during a briefing Thursday that COVID-19 patients make up about one-fifth of hospitalizations while the majority of patients are in for other illnesses. Despite the recent enactment of crisis standards of care, they said they haven't denied or rationed care but are focusing on medically necessary procedures. Confirmed COVID-19 infections in New Mexico surpassed 300,000 on Thursday as high rates of spread are reported statewide.

  • Migrant camps grow in Mexico amid uncertainty on US policy

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — A nighttime operation to erect chain-link fencing and impose a registry may have been the beginning of the end for a migrant camp in Tijuana, Mexico, that blocks a major pedestrian crossing to the United States. But there may be more camps to follow. First lady Jill Biden sharply criticized a similar camp in Matamoros, Mexico, on a 2019 visit, saying, "It's not who we are as Americans." The Biden administration touted its work closing that camp in March, but new ones have sprung up in Tijuana and Reynosa.

  • New Mexico governor: Full vaccination means boosters too

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Going a step beyond federal guidance, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says she believes being fully vaccinated means three shots and all who are eligible should get boosters. She spoke during a pandemic briefing Wednesday, citing the increasing number of COVID-19 infections among residents who received their vaccinations over six months ago. State health officials have been concerned about waning immunity and the role it has played in the recent increase in cases. Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase said he expects a new health order on what fully vaccinated means in the coming weeks. Some cities and states already allow all adults to get boosters of Pfizer's vaccine, but it is not yet official U.S. policy.

  • Epedemic relief spending

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the state Legislature deserves a leading role in spending decisions about more than $1 billion in federal pandemic aid. The high court on Wednesday delivered a rebuke to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and her attempt to forgo the legislative process in deciding how to spend a major round of pandemic relief funding. A bipartisan group of state senators challenged the first-term Democratic governor in the high-stakes constitutional clash. Democratic state Sen. Jacob Candelaria teamed up with Republican Senate minority leader Gregory Baca. They said decisions about $1.7 billion in pandemic spending are too important for only the governor to decide.

  • Navajo Nation reports 96 more COVID-19 cases, 1 more death

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Wednesday reported 96 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one coronavirus-related death. The latest numbers pushed the tribe's total to 38,490 cases since the pandemic started and 1,515 known deaths. Navajo Nation  President Jonathan Nez has urged residents of the vast reservation to be careful when traveling to neighboring cities and states where safety measures aren't always as strict.  The tribe has maintained a mask mandate through most of the pandemic. The reservation covers 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and extends into parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.