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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. MST

  • NUCLEAR WEAPONS-POWER FIGHT

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.

  • MARIJUANA-NEW MEXICO RULES

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.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION

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.

  • HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION-VEHICLE FIRE

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.

  • SLAIN SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER

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. 

  • MINIMUM WAGE-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's hourly minimum wage is set to increase by a dollar to $11.50 at the start of 2022. The Workforce Solutions Department on Monday issued a reminder to employers and workers of the pending increase. Reforms signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and adopted in 2019 gradually raise the statewide minimum wage to $12 by 2023. President Joe Biden has proposed to raise the federal minimum wage requirement for most workers to $15 an hour from $7.25. Higher local minimum wages are in effect in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Bernalillo County and Santa Fe County.

  • ALBUQUERQUE-LANGUAGE ACCESS-ANTI-ASIAN HATE

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque has officially adopted two pieces of legislation focused on its minority communities, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Mayor Tim Keller signed the two bills Monday in a virtual ceremony. One requires government information and services be accessible in languages other than English. The other condemns acts of anti-Asian hate that started with the coronavirus pandemic. Over 67,000 of the roughly 846,000 metro Albuquerque residents speak little or no English, according to the measure. The other measure formally denounces racist rhetoric and hate crimes directed at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Albuquerque. City councilors will encourage the city's Office of Civil Rights to investigate anti-AAPI incidents.

  • REPEAT DWI OFFENDERS

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — With authorities logging more than a dozen DWI arrests in the Albuquerque area since Christmas Eve, there are more calls for New Mexico to crack down on repeat offenders. Albuquerque television station KOB-TV reports that many of the cases over the past year involve first time offenses. But officers have seen some familiar faces, including a woman who marked her fifth DWI offense in May after she was stopped for driving 103 mph on Interstate 40. Officials with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and others who have lost loved ones are concerned that there are few consequences to driving while intoxicated.