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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MST

  • AP-US-SCI-WESTERN-MEGADROUGHT-RECORD

The megadrought bedeviling the American West got even drier last year and is becoming the deepest dry spell in more than 1200 years. Monday's study says the megadrought is now the worst-case scenario officials and scientists worried about in the 1900s. The drought deepened so much in 2021 that it is 5% worse than the old record in the late 1500s. Scientists compare this megadrought to what would happen in a hypothetical world without human-caused climate change. And they calculate that 42% of this drought is due to global warming from the burning of fossil fuels.

  • AP-US-ALBUQUERQUE-STABBINGS

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Albuquerque have arrested a man suspected of stabbing 11 people, apparently at random, as he rode a bicycle around the city. Authorities identified him Monday as Tobias Gutierrez, who has a lengthy criminal history. He was booked into jail overnight on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Investigators went to several crime scenes Sunday, including near the University of New Mexico. Police say the suspect rode a bike and was armed with a large knife. The victims were taken to several hospitals and are all in stable condition. Police say two were critically injured. Police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said the stabbings appear to have been random.

  • SENATE-LUJÁN

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Ben Ray Luján, who's recovering from a stroke, says he plans to be back at work in the Senate in "just a few short weeks" so he can vote on President Joe Biden's forthcoming nominee for the Supreme Court. In a video released Sunday by his office, the 49-year-old New Mexico senator said he's at the University of New Mexico Hospital after surgery to relieve pressure on his brain and soon will gt to an inpatient rehabilitation facility for a few more weeks. He said he's "doing well" and "strong" and looks forward to being back on the Senate floor after making a "full recovery."

  • STATE POLICE OFFICER SHOT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two suspects have been arrested and charged in the shooting of a New Mexico State Police officer, who authorities said has been released from a hospital. State Police said 24-year-old Caleb Dustin Elledge and 22-year-old Alanna Martinez were located after a Saturday search at a home in the town of McIntosh. Police say Elledge has a long criminal history and multiple arrest warrants. The Albuquerque Journal reports that at the time of Friday's shooting, Elledge had been on the run for several months after cutting off his ankle monitor. State Police Chief Tim Johnson says at least three guns were recovered, but it's not yet known if one of them was used in the shooting. 

  • BC-NM-ALBUQUERQUE-HOMICIDE CASE

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Albuquerque police say they are investigating a homicide. They say officers were dispatched to an apartment in the northeast part of the city about a shooting that occurred around 2:15 a.m. Saturday. Police say a man was found shot in the chest and he died at the scene.  The victim's name hasn't been released yet. Police say detectives are interviewing several witnesses, but there is no immediate word on any suspects in the case.

  • LEGISLATURE-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Senate legislators have proposed an additional $150 million in spending in revisions to a record-setting annual spending proposal the would provides raises for school and state-government employees, free college tuition for in-state students and an array of grants, loans and tax breaks to private industry. Sen. George Muñoz of Gallup, chairman of the lead Senate budget-writing committee, presented the revised $8.48 billion spending plan Saturday. It would increase annual general fund spending by more than $1 billion or roughly 14%. A Senate panel delayed its endorsement of the bill, amid a dispute over future locations of a training academy for the film and media industries.

  • PROTECTING LOCAL JUDGES-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico legislators are advancing a bill with new criminal penalties aimed at protecting state and local judges and their immediate families from threats and the malicious sharing of home addresses and other personal information. House legislators endorsed the initiative on a 65-1 vote Friday night, sending the bill to the Senate for consideration. The proposal responds to concerns about the physical safety of judges and about efforts to sway or disrupt judicial proceedings. Threats would carry felony penalties and the malicious sharing of personal information — also known as doxxing — could trigger misdemeanor sanctions.

  • VOTING RIGHTS-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Democrat-backed bill to expand voting access in New Mexico is advancing toward a Senate floor vote. A legislative panel endorsed the bill on a 6-5 vote Thursday, clearing the way for debate on the Senate floor. Lawmakers have until Feb. 17 to approve bills during a rapid-fire 30-day legislative session. The bill as recently amended would make Election Day a holiday for public schools, provide convicted felons with the opportunity to register to vote as they exit prison and distribute mail-in ballots year-after-year to people who prefer them. Currently absentee ballots are available by request only for each election.