Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. MST
- ALBUQUERQUE-POSSIBLY CONNECTED DEATHS
Albuquerque police: Man found dead was shot, not hit by carALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police investigating what they thought were two deaths in northeast Albuquerque involving a shooting and a pedestrian struck by a vehicle now say the cases are connected and only one person is involved. They now say a man shot around 2 a.m. Sunday actually was the same person believed to have been struck and killed by a vehicle less than a half mile away. They say the victim in the street was found to have a gunshot wound and investigators concluded he was the victim of the shooting at a home. The name and age of the man hasn't been released yet.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION
Navajo Nation: All government workers must have booster shotWINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has signed an executive order requiring all government workers on the tribe's vast reservation to have a booster shot. Nez also says tribal health officials have changed how the term "fully vaccinated" is defined by making it two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine plus a booster shot. The actions come after a record number of COVID cases have been reported on the reservation that covers 27,000 square miles and extends into parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Tribal health officials reported 525 new cases Friday, the most in a single day since the pandemic began almost two years ago. That number topped the 405 cases reported Thursday. The tribe reported 62 cases Saturday, but no reported deaths from the virus in the last three days.
- 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.
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.
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.