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

  • New Mexico woman accused of abandoning newborn 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.

  • Damaged O'Keeffe painting on display again after restoration

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.

  • New Mexico high court upholds deal on coal-fired power plant

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.

  • New Mexico hospitals warn of wait times for the less sick

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.

  • Navajo Nation: 79 new COVID-19 cases, no deaths for 3rd day

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.

  • 'Trespasser' hit by Rail Runner train in Albuquerque

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. 

  • Man accused in New Mexico drive-by also facing murder charge

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.

  • Navajo Nation reports 220 new COVID-19 cases, but no deaths

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.