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


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Legislators are looking for ways to break a stalemate on redistricting plans for the New Mexico state Senate amid a standoff with Native American leaders about fair representation. Senate leaders scheduled floor deliberation Wednesday on a bill to redraw Senate political districts, after repeated delays and private meetings with tribal leaders. Lawmakers are in a special session to redraw congressional and legislative districts based on new census data. Tribal leaders are seeking to bolster Native American influence in the political process amid dissatisfaction with public education, infrastructure and economic opportunities.


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Residents across the Navajo Nation were without power Wednesday after a storm that packed powerful wind moved across the region. Navajo Tribal Utility Authority spokeswoman Deenise Becenti says the outage affected at least 10,000 homes. Wind knocked over power lines in Shiprock in the New Mexico portion of the reservation. A piece of metal flew off a building and hit a power line in Kayenta. Becenti says crews have been dispatched, but there's no time estimate on when power will be restored. Arizona Public Service Co. also experienced outages that affected Navajo communities near Winslow and the Hopi reservation. 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police officers went to a familiar location, the police department's own headquarters, to respond to a vandalism call early Wednesday. A police spokesperson said officers found "extensive graffiti" covering the southern steps of the building, which also is home to the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department.  Officer Chase Jewell said the graffiti that included racial slurs and "inappropriate verbiage" was written in red spray paint along the stairs, walls, benches and planters. Jewell said officers arrested one person who was jailed on felony criminal damage charges Jewell said crews were being dispatched to clean up he graffiti.


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A powerful storm system ushered in strong winds, heavy rain and a chance of tornadoes on Wednesday, with temperatures posed to set record highs in some places only days before the official start of winter. Much of Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and parts of Missouri could see record highs, but the warmth came with dangerous winds and threats of violent storms. The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning in an area stretching from New Mexico to upper Michigan — including Wisconsin and Illinois. Gusts of more than 80 mph have been recorded in the Texas Panhandle and western Kansas, which reported dust storms that crippled traffic on Interstate 70. A National Weather Service site in Lamar, Colorado reported a 107 mph gust.


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Tuesday reported 37 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, but no additional deaths for the second consecutive day. The latest numbers pushed the tribe's total to 40,571 cases since the pandemic began. The known death toll remains at 1,562. Based on cases from Nov. 26-Dec. 9, the Navajo Department of Health issued an advisory for 58 communities due to uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. Tribal President Jonathan Nez has issued a reminder to get the vaccine or the booster as the Christmas holiday approaches. The reservation covers 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and extends into parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.


PECOS, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico state police say a Pecos man is accused of fatally shooting two drinking companions and shooting at another man who had called 911 while hiding in a closet of his residence. A state police statement said officers on Saturday found 40-year-old Mark Valencia in a vehicle outside the residence, two people fatally shot inside and the property owner hiding in a closet. Those killed were identified as Santa Fe residents Steven Singer and Evan Aragon. Valencia's defense lawyer did not immediately respond to a phone call by The Associated Press seeking comment on behalf of Valencia about the allegations.


NEW YORK (AP) — The prosecution has made its case against Ghislaine Maxwell. Starting Thursday, her defense takes its turn. Maxwell has denied all charges levied against her. Her defense contends she's being victimized by a need to make someone pay for the alleged crimes of Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself while awaiting trial on his own sex-abuse charges. With just days left in Maxwell's trial, it's time to take stock of developments. There's a good chance the trial will be over before the end of the year. Read on to find out about her accusers, her history and her jailhouse reading list.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico state Senate has passed a spending proposal that would allocate some $478 million in federal funds to internet infrastructure, highways and other projects. It now goes back to the House. The funding could accelerate the development of high-speed internet in New Mexico. It authorizes $133 million in spending on internet projects, including emerging technologies like wireless towers, blimps, and new satellite internet networks. The bill would also allocate money to roads, state parks, and affordable housing. The state legislature is allocating federal funds after the state Supreme Court ruled last month that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham couldn't allocate the funds herself.