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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. MST

  • BC-NM-FATAL HIT AND RUN-SUSPECT ARRESTED

Driver arrested in hit-and-run that killed Albuquerque boyALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a driver suspected in a hit-and-run that left a 7-year-old boy dead in Albuquerque has been arrested. The U.S. Marshals Service announced that 27-year-old Sergio Almanza surrendered to authorities Monday in southwest New Mexico. Albuquerque police say Almanza is facing charges of homicide by vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident causing death and tampering with evidence. Authorities say Pronoy Bhattacharya was with his family on Dec. 12 as they walked across a street after attending the River of Lights show at the ABQ BioPark. Police say Almanza was driving an illegal off-road vehicle and allegedly ran a red light before hitting the boy and fleeing the scene.

  • AP-US-PROP-FIREARM-SHOOTING

'Rust' death sparks New Mexico gun safety bill for actorsSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Republican New Mexico legislator wants movie actors and other film-set professionals to undergo state-sponsored gun-safety training after the death last year of a cinematographer from a gun fired by actor Alec Baldwin. State Sen. Cliff Pirtle of Roswell on Monday announced he introduced a bill that would require all film set personnel who handle firearms to complete a safety class offered by the New Mexico Game and Fish Department. It was unclear whether the Democrat-led Legislature will bring the bill up for debate and a possible vote during a 30-day legislative session that ends Feb. 17. Baldwin has said he didn't know the gun contained a live round.

  • EDUCATION INDIGENOUS FUNDING

New Mexico lawmakers advance Native American education billsSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Legislature is once again considering a suite of bills that would increase funding for Native American tribal education departments and tribal libraries. The measures are backed by tribal leaders frustrated with slow progress by the state. The school, library, and teacher training funding bills advanced on Monday from the House Education Committee, mostly along party lines with the Democratic majority. Supporters say the bills would help the state to satisfy a court order to improve education for Native American students. Critics are raising questions about how the effectiveness of the spending would be tracked.

  • AP-US-SCHOOLS-CYBERATTACKS

Hackers prey on public schools, adding stress amid pandemicALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Cybersecurity experts say that ransomware attacks on K-12 schools have increased during the pandemic. Cyberattacks have crippled schools in recent weeks as teachers become more reliant on computers to take attendance and deliver lessons. Before the pandemic, cyber hacks of schools rarely led to canceled classes. Snow days are less frequent because children can learn from home when there's bad weather. But this month at least two schools in New Mexico and Wisconsin took "cyber snow days," canceling classes to repair the damage from attacks by hackers. Disruptions of software used to record attendance and grades make teaching even more stressful on top of COVID-19 protocols and staffing shortages. 

  • SANTA FE AIRPORT EXPANSION

Santa Fe airport poised to get long overdue expansionSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Santa Fe Regional Airport is set to embark on the first phase of a long-planned expansion.The Albuquerque Journal reported Monday that Bradbury Stamm Construction of Albuquerque will officially break ground after the results of a utility survey, which is currently in the process. Construction is anticipated to take 12-14 months. The expansion, with a $21.5 million price tag, will include doubling the terminal size and creating a bigger parking lot. Airport officials say the airport has seen its passenger traffic nearly double from 93,000 in 2017 to 175,000 in 2019. The airport was originally designed by Santa Fe architect John Gaw Meem. 

  • BC-NM-ALBUQUERQUE SHOOTING

Police investigate shooting in Albuquerque's southwest areaALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Albuquerque say they are investigating a shooting in the southwest part of the city. They say the shooting occurred early Sunday morning in a neighborhood. One person was taken to a hospital for treatment, but police didn't immediately release the victim's name or condition or the circumstances that led to the shooting.

  • BC-NM-VIRUS OUTBREAK-AT HOME TESTS

Albuquerque is distributing about 80K at-home COVID-19 testsALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some 80,000 at-home COVID-19 tests are beginning to be handed out by city officials in areas of Albuquerque determined to need them the most. The supplies are from the federal government and the distribution has started in areas of high social vulnerability. KOB-TV reports that the Barelas Senior Center was one of the first stops. Each person who wanted the at-home tests were getting four kits, which is eight COVID-19 tests total. Albuquerque has 25 locations designated for distribution, including community centers, libraries, and local organizations. City officials say that there eventually will be test instructions in 12 different languages. 

  • LAWMAKER RESIGNS-REPLACEMENT

Bernalillo County on fast track to fill legislative vacancyALBUQUERQUE, N/M. (AP) — With the New Mexico Legislative in session, Bernalillo County commissioners are on a fast track to replace a Democratic lawmaker who resigned her House seat representing an Albuquerque district. A day after Rep. Brittney Barreras announced her resignation to focus on her mental health, the county announced Saturday that the County Commission will hold a special meeting Wednesday to appoint a replacement for Barreras. The county said the deadline to submit applications is 5 p.m. Tuesday. Barreras was halfway through her first term when she abruptly announced her resignation through a statement issued by the Democratic caucus.