Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. MST
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico state senator says he has tested positive for COVID-19 and will quarantine at home with a special legislative session underway on political redistricting. Democrat Bobby Gonzales of Taos told The Associated Press on Thursday that he tested positive for the coronavirus the previous day through a rapid test. He informed Senate leadership out of concern for anyone who might also have been exposed through close contact. Gonzales said was tested Saturday with a negative result before meeting that day with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. He underwent a test again on Wednesday under health protocols for the governor's office in anticipation of another meeting with Lujan Grisham that did not occur.
- NEW MEXICO WEATHER
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Forecasters say much of New Mexico will see blustery weather late Thursday and early Friday from a storm expected to produce significant snowfall in some mountain ranges. The National Weather Service said the storm was expected to produce winds that could be strong enough to cause damage, along with hazardous travel conditions, power outages and reduced visibility. Forecasts say the heaviest snow, — 4 inches or more — is expected in the Tusas, Jemez and Sangre de Cristo mountains, with the Tusas mountains getting the most. Wind gusts of up to 50 mph are possible across eastern New Mexico.
- FATAL SHOOTING-ALBUQUERQUE
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police say a shooting in a residential area early Thursday left one person dead and two others wounded. The Police Department said officers responding to a report of gunfire and a fight in progress found people with gunshot wounds and that one of the victims died at a hospital. According to a department spokesperson, the other two victims' injuries aren't life-threatening. No identities were released and the police statement didn't provide any details on circumstances of the shooting. The statement said one person was detained for questioning. It said it wasn't immediately known whether anybody else would be sought as the investigation progressed.
- REDISTRICTING-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Democratic legislators have advanced a plan to overhaul New Mexico's three-seat congressional map and reshape a southern district traditionally dominated by Republicans. The map proposal from Democratic Sen. Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces would bolster a Hispanic majority in New Mexico's southern 2nd Congressional District by extending its boundaries into Albuquerque, which is the state's largest metropolitan area. The new map would break into multiple districts a conservative stronghold in the state's southeastern oil production zone that now forms the 2nd Congressional District. That change is condemned by Republicans. The redistricting plan has implications for New Mexico's slate of three first-term congresswomen, including Republican U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Wednesday reported 70 more COVID-19 cases and one additional death. The latest numbers pushed the tribe's total cases since the pandemic began to 40,254 and the known death toll to 1,557 including five delayed reported fatalities. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has again called for everyone on the vast reservation to get a booster shot and wear masks. The reservation covers 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and extends into parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
- NEW MEXICO UTILITY MERGER
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Global energy giant Iberdrola's proposed multibillion-dollar acquisition of New Mexico's largest electric provider has been unanimously rejected by state regulators. The Public Regulation Commission voted Wednesday to deny the merger. All five elected commissioners agreed the deal would not be in the public's interest. They cited concerns about customer service and reliability issues in other states where Iberdrola subsidiary Avangrid operates. They also pointed to the company initially withholding information during the proceeding, a move that resulted in a $10,000 penalty. Supporters had argued that bringing Iberdrola and Avangrid on board would boost the ability of PNM Resources to develop more renewable energy.
- ALBUQUERQUE CITY COUNCIL
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Democrat Tammy Fiebelkorn and Republican Renee Grout were winners in Tuesday's runoff election that settled the last two positions on the Albuquerque City Council's nine-member legislative body. Grout and Fiebelkorn will join four previously elected Democrats and three Republicans. According to unofficial results, Fiebelkorn defeated Lori Robertson by a wide margin to represent District 7 and will succeed fellow Democrat Diane Gibson. Gibson decided not to seek reelection after serving two terms. Grout earned a narrow victory over Democrat Rob Grilley in District 9. She will take over from Don Harris, a Republican who is stepping aside after four terms in office. The Democrats' current 6-3 advantage will slip to 5-4 when the new council is seated in January.
- PANDEMIC RELIEF-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposed bill in the New Mexico state House would set aside $100 million for "alternative broadband," high-speed internet that isn't transmitted by cables. Buried in the ground, traditional broadband is expensive and time consuming. New Mexico is already experimenting with new ways to deliver internet ranging from blimps to TV broadcast signals. The new funding would accelerate similar pilot projects. Other priorities in the spending bill include road construction, state parks renovations, and money for food banks. It's funded by $1 billion in pandemic aid. A state court recently ruled that the Legislature, not the governor, must allocate it.