Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. MST
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexicans can attend the upcoming Legislative sessions, but only if they are vaccinated. Security officials at the state capital announced Tuesday that members of the public will have to show proof of vaccination to enter the Roundhouse, the building that houses legislative chambers and the governor's office. The mandate doesn't apply to lawmakers. The new virus restrictions also prohibit festivities common before the pandemic, including musical performances, lobbying booths and massage tables. Separately, Democratic lawmakers have banned firearms in the building, and visitors will have to go through metal detectors starting Dec. 6. Legislative meetings will continue to be broadcast online.
- PANHANDLING ORDINANCE-ALBUQUERQUE
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a lower court's ruling that an Albuquerque ordinance aimed at curbing panhandling in certain places wasn't sufficiently narrow to avoid violating First Amendment rights. The ordinance prohibits pedestrians from congregating close to a highway entrance or ramp, occupying a median considered unsuitable for pedestrians or having an exchange of any kind with somebody in a vehicle in a traffic lane. City officials said the restrictions address pedestrian safety concerns and were narrowly tailored to not restrict speech more than necessary. The ordinance was challenged by panhandlers, protesters and people who pass out items to the needy.
- ATTORNEY-CLIENT CALL RECORDED
FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico judge has ruled that a district attorney's office must be replaced as prosecutors in a homicide case in which Farmington police violated the defendant's constitutional rights by recording him talking with his attorney. However, state District Judge David Pederson declined in his Nov. 5 ruling to also dismiss charges against John "Johnny" Marlowe Davidson in the 2020 fatal shooting of Justin Tapaha. Pederson said doing would be too harsh as it could deprive the victim's family of justice. Davidson is charged with second-degree murder and of shooting at or from a motor vehicle and causing great bodily harm.
- DOG MAULING-BOY DIES
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Dona County authorities say a 6-year-old boy died after being mauled by at least one dog at his grandparents' home. The Sheriff's Office said the boy died Monday shortly after being airlifted to a hospital from the Mesilla Park neighborhood where the mauling occurred outside Las Cruces. Sheriff Kim Stewart said the boy apparently got into a caged area containing multiple dogs and that at least one dog attacked him. It wasn't clear how the boy got into the caged area or what happened before the boy was attacked, and Stewart said an investigation into the boy's death continued. The boy's name wasn't released.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation officials reported 59 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths from the virus as of Tuesday evening. In all, the tribe has seen 39,080 positive cases and 1,527 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began. The tribe is urging residents on the vast reservation to limit in-person gatherings to help prevent the spread of the virus as the Thanksgiving holiday nears. The reservation covers 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and extends into parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK
The U.S. is in better shape approaching its second Thanksgiving of the pandemic, thanks to the vaccine. But some cold weather regions are reporting surges of COVID-19 cases that could get worse in the days ahead as families travel the country. Nearly 200 million Americans are fully vaccinated. That leaves millions without a shot in the arm. Hospitals in the cold Upper Midwest, especially Michigan and Minnesota, are filled with COVID-19 patients who are mostly unvaccinated. Dr. Rochelle Walensky of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says vaccines make this fall holiday much different.
- PROP FIREARM-FILM INCENTIVES
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico legislators are expressing nearly unfettered support for state tax incentives to the film industry at a pubic hearing in the wake of the shooting death last month of a cinematographer from gunfire on the set of a western movie production. New Mexico offers a rebate of between 25% and 35% for in-state spending for video production that helps filmmakers large and small underwrite their work. A gun fired by actor Alec Baldwin on the set of the western movie "Rust" killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded a director. The production registered to receive a state tax rebate but may never collect.
- INTERSTATE 40-HOLIDAY CONSTRUCTION
LAGUNA PUEBLO, N.M. (AP) — Travelers on Interstate 40 in northwestern New Mexico will get a break from construction delays this week. The state Department of Transportation will suspend work on a 5.5-mile project on the interstate near Laguna Pueblo from Wednesday through Sunday. Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval says he understands drivers are frustrated by the often lengthy delays as westbound traffic was reduced to one lane and merging vehicles faced an uphill climb. The department says the work should be finished in mid-December, ahead of schedule. Other phases of the project will wrap up in the spring.