Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MST
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The mayor of New Mexico's largest city is telling workers to prepare for a vaccine mandate in the coming weeks. But union leaders who represent Albuquerque police officers, firefighters and other employees are saying not so fast. They say a mandate would amount to a major change of working conditions that requires Democrat Mayor Tim Keller to come to the negotiating table. The police and fire departments already have voiced concerns about losing personnel if a mandate is imposed. The mayor is expected to announce his vaccine policy during a news conference Tuesday. The push by the mayor comes as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs President Joe Biden's federal vaccine mandate.
- BABY IN DUMPSTER
HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — An 18-year-old New Mexico woman is facing charges after police say she abandoned her newborn baby in a dumpster. Authorities said during a news conference Monday 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 in Hobbs, near the Texas border. The baby is 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, of Hobbs. She told authorities she didn't know she was pregnant and panicked when she gave birth.
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.
- COAL POWER-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Supreme Court has upheld provisions of an environmental law that provides financial arrangements for an electric utility to abandon investments in a coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico. In a unanimous opinion Monday, the court upheld a finance order from state utility regulators that ends the use of the San Juan Generating Station to generate electricity for the Public Service Company of New Mexico. The order allows the investor-owned utility to bill $361 million to utility customers as it moves forward with plans to abandon the power plant. Advocates for utility customers challenged the financial arrangements and the constitutionality of a related 2019 law.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Monday reported 79 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, but no deaths for the third consecutive day. The latest numbers pushed the tribe's totals since the pandemic began to 43,277 cases with 1,593 known deaths. Navajo Nation officials reported 270 cases and one death Friday, 220 cases with no deaths Saturday and 242 cases with no deaths Sunday. The figures released Monday included 18 delayed reported cases. But based on cases from Dec. 24-Jan. 6, the Navajo Department of Health issued an advisory for 61 communities due to the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19.
- 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.
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.