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


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A school district in northwestern New Mexico is announcing a $1.2 million deal to provide hundreds of families with high-speed internet. Cuba schools superintendent Karen Sanchez-Griego says installations of SpaceX's Starlink receivers at students' homes started in November. She says her students can't wait any longer for quality internet access, which state and nearby tribal authorities never completely provided, even during the pandemic. The school district plans to install 450 units, which cost $500 each. Funding to pay monthly internet subscription fees will eventually run out. Sanchez-Griego hopes state officials will cover the tab when that happens. 


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 British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has been convicted of helping lure teenage girls to be sexually abused by the late Jeffrey Epstein. The verdict announced Wednesday capped a monthlong trial featuring accounts of the sexual exploitation of girls as young as 14. Jurors deliberated for five full days before finding Maxwell guilty of every count except one. She faces years in prison. It's an end long sought by women who spent years fighting to hold Maxwell accountable for abusing them. Her lawyers said she's being used as a scapegoat for crimes committed by Epstein, who killed himself in 2019.


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.