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Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. MST

  • BC-STOLEN IP0DS-SENTENCING

Woman sentenced in scheme to steal iP0ds intended for kidsFARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A former New Mexico school district employee faces 18 months in prison after sentenced in a yearslong scheme to steal and resell thousands of Apple iP0ds intended for children on the Navajo Nation. Kristy Stock of Waterflow was sentenced Tuesday by a federal judge in Maryland after previously pleading guilty to interstate transportation of stolen goods and tax fraud. According to federal prosecutors, Stock stole up to 250 iP0ds at a time and provided them to codefendants who bought the devices from Stock and resold them via eBay at a profit. Prosecutors said Stock formerly worked for the Central Consolidated School District headquartered in Shiprock. 

  • AP-US-PROP-FIREARM-SHOOTING

Official: Alec Baldwin surrenders phone for shooting probeSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Alec Baldwin has surrendered his cellphone as part of the investigation into a fatal shooting on a New Mexico film set last fall. A Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office spokesman says Baldwin's phone was turned over Friday to authorities in New York's Suffolk County and that information from the phone will be provided to investigators. They obtained a search warrant last month for the phone's contents in their investigation into the Oct. 11 shooting on set for "Rust." Baldwin was an actor and co-producer for the production. Authorities have said Baldwin's prop revolver discharged a live round during a rehearsal, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

  • CLIMATE CHANGE-STATE SPENDING

Governors turn to budgets to guard against climate changeSACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Governors and state lawmakers are prioritizing climate change as they write their state budgets, devoting money to lowering emissions and guarding against natural disasters such as flood and fire. The spending comes as most states are flush with cash: Tax collections have exceeded expectations, and states are receiving billions of dollars in federal pandemic aid and infrastructure spending. The priorities for Democratic governors include lowering carbon emissions by boosting electric vehicles and storage for clean energy such as solar. Republicans, meanwhile, are proposing spending to address the damage from floods, drought and wildfires, though many aren't linking the spending to climate change.

  • NEW MEXICO LEGISLATURE EDUCATION

Staffing marks top education goal for New Mexico lawmakersSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — When New Mexico lawmakers meet Tuesday to begin hashing out the state budget, about half of the money will go to K-12 school programs. Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and key legislative committees have agreed to increase spending on schools by around 12%, or around $3.8 billion. A proposed teacher pay raise would range from 7% and 20% depending on a teacher's current pay. Nationwide inflation was 7% last year, and wages are increasing in the private sector. Schools are struggling to fill positions for teachers, teaching assistants, food workers and maintenance workers.

  • LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW-NEW MEXICO

New Mexico lawmakers seek greater spending, voter accessSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — High-stakes decisions on spending, voting access, public education and criminal justice await New Mexico legislators during their upcoming 30-day legislative session. Legislators will convene Tuesday. New Mexico state government has a multibillion dollar general fund surplus thanks to federal pandemic relief and a surge in oil production and natural gas prices. The state is simultaneously contending with shortages of teachers, police and nurses, a spike in urban violence and concerns about the fragile status of American democracy and the environment. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the Democrat-led legislature are promising to increase spending, cut tax rates and improve public health and safety.

  • ARREST

Colorado escapee sought in New Mexico case caught in ArizonaPHOENIX (AP) — A man who escaped from a Colorado jail in late December and who was sought in the subsequent non-fatal shooting of a New Mexico police officer a week ago was arrested Friday in Arizona. Farmington police said Phoenix police got a tip and arrested 22-year-old Elias Buck early Friday morning at a convenience store. Buck was sought in Farmington in the Jan. 7 wounding of Officer Joseph Barreto during a possible DWI investigation. The Durango Herald reports that Buck previously scaled a fence and escaped Dec. 27 from jail in Durango after being arrested Dec. 7 on suspicion of motor vehicle theft. 

  • INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING-NEW MEXICO

New Mexico governor hears from mayors about spending needsALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — With billions of federal dollars heading to New Mexico for infrastructure projects, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says rural areas can't be left behind. The governor made the comment Friday during a virtual summit attended by more than 200 municipal officials from around the state. She said the goal is to ensure that administrative requirements and other bureaucratic hoops don't keep small communities from accessing the money. Local officials talked about needs that ranged from water system upgrades, road work, improved broadband connectivity and health care services. In all, officials have said New Mexico will receive $3.7 billion in federal funding. That includes more than $350 million over five years for water infrastructure projects.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

MLK march in Albuquerque postponed because of COVID-19 casesALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — City and state officials have decided to postpone Saturday's planned Martin Luther King Jr. march in Albuquerque because of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. Officials said the in-person event was being postponed out of an abundance of caution. They also said a Federal Emergency Management Agency bus will still be at Civic Plaza to administer vaccines and on-site testing. In another development, the University of New Mexico starting Tuesday will require face coverings worn by students and employees to be of more protective medical or health grade. The stiffened mandate will require three-ply or better medical and health procedure masks.