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Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MST


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Indigenous leaders are concerned about a proposed multimillion-dollar transmission line that would cross what they consider sacred lands. The transmission line would bring more electricity to one of the nation's top nuclear weapons laboratories as it looks to power ongoing operations and future missions that include manufacturing key components for the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The line would stretch more than 12 miles, crossing national forest land in an area known as the Caja del Rio and spanning the Rio Grande at White Rock Canyon. The All Pueblo Council of Governors has adopted a resolution to support preservation of the Caja del Rio.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's largest electric provider has received a few more electric vehicles this week as part of a commitment to building its fleet over the coming years. Public Service Co. of New Mexico announced Wednesday that it has 38 electric vehicles with three more on order. Spokeswoman Shannon Jackson says the utility would have more but supply issues with vehicle manufacturers has been a limiting factor. About 8% of PNM's fleet is now electric, with plans to grow that annually by 5%. PNM also recently joined the National Electric Highway Coalition, which plans to build fast-charging ports along major U.S. travel corridors.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Fewer people are being hospitalized now in New Mexico due to COVID-19. State health officials reported Tuesday there were just over 460 coronavirus patients in hospitals around the state. The Albuquerque Journal reports that the number marks a drop of more than one-third since Dec. 9. That's when the state hit an 11-month peak that topped 700 patients. New Mexico also ranks in the bottom half of states when it comes to cases per capita over the last week. The state also reported 22 additional deaths Tuesday. Just seven of them happened in the last 30 days and 13 were in their 70s or older. 


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State officials say new rules governing the manufacture, sale and transport of recreational marijuana in New Mexico are now in effect. The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department's Cannabis Control Division made the announcement Tuesday. Officials say the rules allow the division to continue streamlining the process for cannabis businesses to get licensed as the state moves toward recreational sales over the coming months. Under legislation passed earlier this year, the rules needed to be in place by Jan. 1. Sales are expected to start by April 1. Officials say more than 300 applications for licenses across all industry sectors have been submitted so far.


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation reported 19 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday and no additional deaths. The latest numbers pushed the cases on the vast reservation to 41,121, including 34 delayed reported cases. The death toll remained at 1,583. Tribal leaders continued to push for residents to take precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including mask wearing, social distancing and washing hands. The omicron variant has not been detected in samples on the Navajo Nation, but tribal leaders say that doesn't mean it's not there.


NEW YORK (AP) — The jury a the Ghislaine Maxwell sex trafficking trial has been told it will have to work through the New Year's holiday if it hasn't reached a verdict by the end of the week . Judge Alison Nathan informed the jury Wednesday of the expectation after they asked whether they had to work on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. The question was the latest sign that the jury was not near a verdict as it began its fifth full day of deliberations. The 60-year-old Maxwell is charged with recruiting teenage girls to be sexually assaulted by financier Jeffrey Epstein. Her lawyers say she was made a scapegoat after Epstein killed himself.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Albuquerque and Belen are investigating the death of a man whose body was discovered in a charred vehicle. Michael Yarbrough had been reported missing to Albuquerque police on Dec. 21. His body was found a day later in a vehicle that burned earlier in the month on Interstate 25 in Belen. Authorities are working with the state fire marshal to determine what happened. Police say they're treating Yarborough's death as a homicide.


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A U.S. Air Force airman who was convicted of killing a Mennonite woman after kidnapping her in New Mexico and taking her to Arizona will be sentenced next month. An Arizona judge scheduled Mark Gooch's sentencing for Jan. 19. Prosecutors and the defense said during a meeting Tuesday that they were ready to proceed. Gooch was accused of kidnapping Sasha Krause in January 2020 at a church near Farmington, where she was gathering material for Sunday school. Her body was found more than a month later outside of Flagstaff, with a gunshot wound to the head. Gooch faces life in prison.