Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. MST
- O'KEEFFE PAINTING RESTORED
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A damaged Georgia O'Keeffe painting is back on display after conservators spent 1,250 hours and $145,000 restoring the piece. The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum's head of conservation called the job the biggest restoration project he has ever worked on. The results will be on display at the museum through Oct. 10. The painting will then travel to the San Diego Museum of Art in 2023. Conservators had to repair not only water damage but previous restoration work that had failed. The painting, titled "Spring," combines several of O'Keeffe's favorite New Mexican subjects. It features desert primrose, a large vertebra and the flat-topped mountain Cerro Pedernal.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Patients who show up to emergency rooms in New Mexico's largest city with minor or mild complaints could be in for long waits to receive care. Officials with two of the state's largest hospital systems issued that warning on Monday, saying their emergency departments are overwhelmed and that the situation is expected to get worse. University of New Mexico Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare Services say the sickest patients are being treated first and that emergency rooms are no place for people looking for COVID-19 tests who don't have severe symptoms. Most patients hospitalized in New Mexico now are being treated for illnesses other than COVID-19.
- HOBBS-ABANDONED BABY
HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — An 18-year-old Hobbs woman is facing charges after police say she abandoned her newborn baby in a dumpster. Hobbs Police Chief August Fons said Monday during a news conference that four people who were looking through a dumpster heard the baby cry and found it inside a trash bag, wrapped in a dirty towel. The baby is currently in stable condition at a hospital in Lubbock, Texas. Police say investigators used surveillance video to identify a car suspected of being involved. That led them to Alexis Avila. She told authorities that she did not know she was pregnant and panicked when she gave birth.
- TRAIN-TRESPASSER STRUCK
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities are investigating after someone was hit by a New Mexico Rail Runner train in Albuquerque. Rail Runner officials say "a trespasser" was struck early Monday by a train heading to Santa Fe. The train was not carrying any passengers as it was supposed to start service in Santa Fe. A Rail Runner spokeswoman says train service has been suspended between the downtown Albuquerque and Los Ranchos train stations until the afternoon. New Mexico State Police are overseeing the investigation. No details about the person hit including their status have been released.
- SEPARATE SHOOTINGS-SUSPECT
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a man awaiting trial in a drive-by shooting that injured two people near Farmington last year also is facing charges in the fatal shooting of a woman northwest of Aztec. Prosecutors say 21-year-old Jaden Ortega remains jailed in San Juan County on suspicion of an open count of murder in the July 30 death of 52-year-old Julie Harris along with being a felon in possession of a firearm. The Albuquerque Journal reports detectives allegedly have matched the gun shell casings from the July 20 drive-by shooting to those found at the Harris crime scene 10 days later.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has reported 220 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, but no additional deaths related to the virus. Tribal officials say the number of confirmed cases on the vast reservation since the pandemic began now total 42,887 as of Saturday including 45 delayed reported cases. The known death toll stands at 1,593. Tribal President Jonathan Nez says cases of the omicron variant are much higher in border towns and cities located off the Navajo Nation. Nez also says that COVID-19 vaccines are highly-effective in pushing back on the symptoms and reducing the chances of being hospitalized The reservation covers 27,000 square miles and extends into parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
NEW YORK (AP) — Librarians are loved for more than just the books they recommend. This year's winners of the I Love My Librarian award were cited for everything from support during the pandemic to participation in community softball. On Monday, the American Library Association announced 10 award recipients. Each receives $5,000, along with a $750 donation to their library. Some 1,300 nominations were submitted by patrons nationwide. ALA President Patty Wong said in a statement that the nation's librarians continue to empower their patrons, promote inclusion provide essential services for their communities.
Millions of workers whose jobs don't provide paid sick days are having to choose between their health and their paycheck as the omicron variant of COVID-19 rages across the nation. While many companies instituted more robust sick leave policies at the beginning of the pandemic, some of those have since been scaled back with the rollout of the vaccines, even though the omicron variant has managed to evade the shots. Meanwhile, the current labor shortage is adding to the pressure of workers having to decide whether to show up to their job sick. Low-wage workers are especially vulnerable. Only 33% of workers whose wages are at the bottom 10% get paid sick leave, compared with 95% in the top 10%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.