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Local and State News

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

  • POLICING-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico state legislators have bundled together initiatives aimed at reducing violent crime and improving policing with an emphasis on hiring, training and tracking excessive force incidents. The move comes amid calls from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to crack down on urban crime and violence. A Senate panel on criminal justice continued to refine the crime bill on Tuesday with time running out on a 30-day legislative session that ends Thursday. The bill boosts retention pay and death benefits for police, shores up training and would prompt tracking of excessive force reports and related firings. It underwrites alternatives to traditional prosecution and incarceration in efforts to stem gun violence.

  • ALEC BALDWIN-SET SHOOTING

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Attorneys for the family of a cinematographer shot and killed on the set of the film "Rust" are suing Alec Baldwin and the movie's producers for wrongful death. Lawyers for Halyna Hutchins' family announced a lawsuit filed in the name of Hutchins' husband, Matthew Hutchins, and their son at a Los Angeles news conference Tuesday. At least four other lawsuits have been filed over the shooting, but this is the first directly tied to one of the two people shot. Baldwin was pointing a gun at Hutchins during setup for filming in New Mexico on Oct. 21 when it went off, killing Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza. 

  • LEGISLATURE-EDUCATION RAISES

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Many teachers across New Mexico can expect a pay increase next school year after the state House voted unanimously to raise minimum salaries by $10,000. Monday night's vote marked the last legislative hurdle for the bill. The Senate unanimously approved the measure last week. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is expected to sign the bill. Starting teachers earning the current minimum of $40,000 would make $50,000 for a standard nine-month contract, an increase of 22%. Higher-paid teachers would benefit less depending on their district. Lawmakers are considering raises for other school workers in the final days of the legislative session, which ends Thursday.

  • NAVAJOS-VOTING RIGHTS

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — The Navajo Nation is suing San Juan County over a recently adopted map that will determine political boundaries for the northwestern New Mexico county through 2030. The tribal government, its human rights commission and five tribal members filed a federal lawsuit filed last week. It claims that the county commission violated the Voting Rights Act by approving a map that packs Native American voters into a single district. The lawsuit states that the map approved by the commission in December deprives Native American voters of an "equal opportunity" to elect candidates of their choice in four districts. The county declined to comment on the lawsuit.

  • CLERGY SEX ABUSE-NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A federal judge has been told that Archdiocese of Santa Fe records that would indicate how much insurance money is available to help pay a settlement of clergy sex abuse claims can be made public if they are redacted to withhold victims' identities. The archdiocese had asked Judge David T. Thuma to seal the records, saying that releasing them could breach the terms of its insurance agreements and make them unenforceable. However, lawyers for four insurers said during a U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing Monday that they didn't object to release of the records if information identifying victims is redacted,

  • POLICE SHOOTING-TORRANCE COUNTY

EDGEWOOD, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a suspect is dead after being shot during an encounter with at least one Torrance County sheriff's deputy. The New Mexico State Police is investigating the incident that took place Monday night in a rural area of Edgewood south of Interstate 40 and said no deputies were injured. No identities or additional information on circumstances of the incident were released. Edgewood is 26 miles (42 kilometers) east of Albuquerque.

  • LEGISLATURE-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Proposals to increase state spending and slash taxes have moved closer to reality with crucial floor votes in the New Mexico House and Senate, as lawmakers set priorities for an unprecedented deluge of state government income. The state Senate voted 37-3 on Monday to endorse a $8.48 billion general fund spending plan for the fiscal year starting on July 1 — a 14% increase over current-year spending. Senate additions to the spending plan worth $150 million still require House approval or negotiation if disagreements persist. The House endorsed a variety of tax cuts, credits and rebates.

  • ALBUQUERQUE STABBINGS

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police 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 criminal history. He was booked on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Investigators went to several crime scenes Sunday, including one near the University of New Mexico. Police say the suspect rode a bike and was armed with a large knife. Two victims were critically injured and others were treated for injuries at hospitals and released. Police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos says the stabbings appear to have been random. Booking documents say Gutierrez is homeless.