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- NMSU PARKING CITATIONS-PEANUT BUTTER
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State University is offering anyone with a campus parking citation the chance to get out of their jam with some peanut butter. University officials said they will accept at least 80 ounces of peanut butter _ the equivalent of five-six small jars _ as payment for a citation for parking without a permit. Donations will be accepted through Friday at the parking and ID card services office on the Las Cruces campus. But donated peanut butter will only cover one citation per person. It does not apply to other parking citations and violations. All the peanut butter will go to campus food pantry Aggie Cupboard.
- WORKER SAFETY-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico insurance regulators are reducing a key component in rates for workers' compensation coverage that should help employers spend less, starting next year. The Superintendent of Insurance Office on Monday announced a 5.5% reduction in "loss costs" for insurance policies that are renewed or issued on or after Jan. 1, 2022. Workers' compensation is a no-fault system of insurance aimed at protecting workers and employers financially from on-the-job accidents as well as job-related illness. Insurance regulators said that compensation claims are being filed less frequently than in the past, reflecting a commitment to safety.
- OIL AND GAS-SEISMIC ACTIVITY
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico oil regulators are watching closely as increased seismic activity is being reported in the Permian Basin along the Texas state line. State officials are now requiring additional review of pending permits for wastewater injection in certain areas. More reporting and monitoring also could be required and, if things worsen, the state could limit how much wastewater is injected. State officials say the protocols were developed in partnership with New Mexico Tech and after getting feedback from the oil and gas industry. There are some areas in Texas where regulators already have imposed limits on injection rates at disposal wells.
- SNOWBOARDER DEATH
TAOS, N.M. (AP) — A Rio Rancho man has died while snowboarding at a popular northern New Mexico ski resort. Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe confirmed Monday that 28-year-old Jario Hernandez died over the weekend at Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort. Hogrefe says his office is still completing an investigation of the Saturday incident. But so far, there is nothing to indicate the resort was at fault. Initially, Hogrefe reported that Hernandez had hit a tree. Resort officials say the ski patrol arrived within minutes of receiving reports of a snowboarder in distress and administered CPR. Paramedics then took over and transported Hernandez to a hospital but he was pronounced dead.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Monday reported 27 more COVID-19 cases, but no additional deaths. The latest daily virus figures brought the tribe's totals to 39,403 cases and 1,542 know deaths since the pandemic began. Tribal health officials had reported 38 new cases and two deaths on Sunday. Based on cases from Nov. 12-25, the Navajo Department of Health on Monday issued an advisory for 65 communities due to uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. Tribal President Jonathan Nez says some public health experts believe the newly discovered omicron variant is already in the U.S. Nez has again called for everyone in Indian Country to get fully vaccinated or get a booster shot and wear masks.
- UNM GRADUATE STUDENTS-UNION
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico plans to appeal a ruling that graduate student employees can unionize. The Albuquerque Journal reported Sunday that UNM has filed notice of intent to appeal in 2nd Judicial District Court. A university spokeswoman says the school wants a correct and thorough legal examination of the issues" by the courts." University graduate student workers first petitioned for union recognition in December 2020. A hearing officer on the the state Public Employees Labor Relations Board determined that graduate students were not regular employees. Graduate students filed an appeal. Both sides made arguments in front of the board. In August, the board sided with the student workers.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — As demand for renewable energy surges, "community solar" installations are popping up around the U.S. They're larger than home rooftop systems but smaller than utility-scale complexes. Community solar gardens are located atop buildings, or on abandoned factory grounds and farms. Customers subscribe to portions of energy sent to the grid and get credits that reduce their electricity bills. The model attracts people who can't afford rooftop solar or live where it's not accessible, such as renters. More than 40 states have at least one community solar operation. But in some places, growth is hampered by debates over who should be allowed to enter the market.
- POLICE SHOOTINGS
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Law enforcement officers in New Mexico are investigating two separate shootings where officers fired at suspects. Two suspects were killed and another wounded but no officers were hurt. The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department said at least one deputy fired at a man in northwest Albuquerque at about 2 p.m. Friday while investigating a hit-and-run crash. The man was killed and a rifle was found outside his crashed Subaru Outback. Another shooting was reported Friday by New Mexico State police about 100 miles east of Albuquerque after state police and Santa Fe and Torrance deputies chased a car suspected in a robbery. Two people inside the car were shot, one fatally.