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Local and State News

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

  • BANK ROBBERIES-ALBUQUERQUE

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The FBI says a man is believed to have robbed two Wells Fargo bank branches in Albuquerque within about 15 minutes Monday and is suspected of robbing four other Albuquerque banks in September and October. According to the FBI, the suspect is described as white, in his 30s, approximately 5-foot-9 (1.5 meters) and 160 pounds (73 kilograms), with black hair and a thin build. The FBI said he wore a blue sweater, a blue hat with a red brim and an image of a mountain on a gold background, a blue surgical mask, gray gloves, blue jeans and dark shoes.   

  • REDISTRICTING-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Efforts to draw new political boundaries in New Mexico are starting in earnest as the Democrat-led Legislature convenes for an open-ended special session. The session began at midday on Monday. The stakes in the redistricting process are especially high for residents of a congressional swing district in southern New Mexico that flipped to Republican control in 2020. Native American communities are seeking greater political influence through a variety of strategies. Map recommendations were provided to legislators by a citizens' advisory panel. Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham holds veto authority over the process.

  • BUS CRASH-ALBUQUERQUE

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Police say a passenger is facing charges after grabbing the steering wheel of a Greyhound bus during a dispute with his brother and causing the bus to crash into a light pole in Albuquerque. They say the bus driver and two passengers are hospitalized with serious injuries and two other people are hurt after the crash late Sunday night near an Interstate 40 exit. Police say 52-year-old Leroy Maass has been booked into jail on suspicion of three counts of aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm and two misdemeanor counts of aggravated battery. They say Maass and his brother were traveling on the bus from Washington to Oklahoma.  

  • AP-US-EXXON-MOBIL-EMISSIONS

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Exxon Mobil says it has a plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in one of the most prolific oilfields in the U.S. The company made the announcement Monday, saying it will be focusing on emissions from its own operations as well as indirect emissions associated with the electricity it buys to power its well sites and other infrastructure. Exxon's plan centers on the Permian Basin, which spans parts of New Mexico and Texas. In New Mexico, regulators earlier this year adopted rules aimed at curbing methane emissions, with a target of capturing 98% of all natural gas waste by the end of 2026.

  • NAVAJO NATION CONTROLLER

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has accused its former top financial officer of misrepresenting information on a company hired to do rapid COVID-19 testing on the reservation. The criminal complaints filed Friday in tribal court allege Pearline Kirk violated tribal law in advising the tribal government to hire Agile Technologies Group LLC. The tribe's Department of Justice says the company received more than $3 million for pandemic-related services but wasn't qualified. Kirk's attorney, David Jordan, said Monday he hasn't seen the latest complaints and declined to comment. He previously said Kirk did nothing wrong and was protecting essential workers in her office.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Monday reported 26 more COVID-19 cases, but no additional deaths for the second consecutive day. The latest daily virus figures brought the tribe's totals to 40,123 cases since the pandemic began. The known death toll remains at 1,551. Tribal health officials reported 61 cases and no deaths Sunday after having 100 cases and four deaths the day before. Based on cases from Nov. 12-25, the Navajo Department of Health last Monday issued an advisory for 65 communities due to uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. The reservation covers 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and extends into parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

  • AP-US-ASYLUM-WAITING-IN-MEXICO

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Biden administration has reinstated a Trump-era policy to make asylum-seekers wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court, with changes and additions that Mexico demanded. A U.S. official says the first migrants are being sent from El Paso, Texas, back to Ciudad Juarez. The Biden administration is acting under a court order as it seeks to end the "Remain in Mexico" policy in a way that passes legal scrutiny. President Joe Biden scrapped the policy, but a lawsuit by Texas and Missouri has forced him to put it back into effect, subject to Mexico's acceptance.

  • NEW MEXICO UTILITY MERGER

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Global energy giant Iberdrola, New Mexico's largest electric utility and other groups are asking state regulators to present oral arguments before voting on a proposed multibillion-dollar merger. The Public Regulation Commission has the final say on whether Iberdrola subsidiary Avangrid can acquire PNM Resources. A hearing examiner with the commission has recommended the deal be rejected, and three of the five elected commissioners said last week they oppose approval. The utilities have tried to counter critics with an advertising blitz touting benefits such as customer savings and economic development investments. The proposed merger could affect the pace of renewable energy development in New Mexico.