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New Mexico News

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

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

7 middle school students injured in bus crash in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in southwest Albuquerque say seven middle school students have been taken to a hospital after a school bus rolled over following a crash with a sports car. Police say none of the injuries are life-threatening. The driver of the sports car also was taken to the hospital after Wednesday afternoon's crash and authorities are investigating to determine if the vehicle was street racing at the time of the collision. KOB-TV posted a photo on its website showing the bus tipped over on its left side on a street near some houses. Albuquerque Public Schools officials say the bus was carrying 23 students from George I. Sánchez Collaborative Community School.

AP-US-ALEC-BALDWIN-SET-SHOOTING

Slain cinematographer's husband angry Baldwin deflects blame

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The husband of a cinematographer shot and killed on the set of the film "Rust" says it's "absurd" that Alex Baldwin believes he's not to blame. Matt Hutchins, husband of Halyna Hutchins, made the remarks in an interview with the "Today" show that airs in full Thursday. Matt Hutchins says he was "so angry" when he heard Baldwin tell ABC News in December that he was not to blame for the shooting. Baldwin said he was pointing the gun at Hutchins at her instruction as a scene was being set up on the New Mexico set, and it went off without him pulling the trigger.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

Pandemic crisis standards to expire for New Mexico hospitals

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's top health official says COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are continuing to decline and the state is still on track to lift its crisis standards of care declaration for hospitals in the coming weeks. The declaration was issued last fall as a way to ease the strain on New Mexico's already overburdened health care system. A few hospitals enacted the standards, which cleared the way for them to ration care if necessary. They had the option of suspending procedures that weren't medically necessary if they didn't have capacity. Health Secretary Dr. David Scrase said Wednesday that the availability of hospital beds increased this week.

ELECTION 2022-REPUBLICAN PRIMARY

New Mexico Republicans compete to appear on primary ballot

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican Party contenders for Congress and statewide elected office are scheduled to compete for positions on the ballot ahead of the June primary election. A pre-primary convention Saturday is scheduled to bring together local GOP delegates from across the state to meet and listen to candidates. Five contenders are seeking the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, including state Rep. Rebecca Dow of Truth or Consequences, Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block and former television meteorologist Mark Ronchetti of Albuquerque. The convention will determine who gets on the primary ballot with at least 20% of endorsement votes and who gets top billing with the highest approval.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA-TAXES

Court: Medical marijuana can't be taxed in New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court is letting stand a ruling by a lower court that found cannabis purchases by medical marijuana patients should not have been subject to gross receipts tax. The Supreme Court issued its order Wednesday. In a 2020 ruling, the New Mexico Court of Appeals likened medical marijuana to other prescriptions, which are untaxed in New Mexico. The case stemmed from requests for refunds by producers in 2014 and again in 2018. The state Taxation and Revenue Department had denied those claims. The agency said it was disappointed with the Supreme Court's decision to quash its review of the case.

MARIJUANA-NEW MEXICO RULES

Marijuana rule changes spark criticism in New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The agency charged with setting up New Mexico's marijuana industry is proposing changes to existing rules less than a month before recreational sales are scheduled to begin. Some who are working on opening new businesses criticized the Cannabis Control Division during a public meeting Tuesday, saying the agency is playing with the rules before the game begins. Division officials have acknowledged the challenge of establishing a new industry in a little over eight months and said some changes are needed. The division has received more than 800 applications for business licenses across all sectors of the industry.

SOLAR SHORTAGE-NEW MEXICO

New Mexico regulators approve plan to keep coal plant open

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico regulators have approved a plan by the state's largest electric utility to keep open part of a coal-fired power plant for an extra three months as a way to avoid blackouts this summer. The Public Regulation Commission made its decision Wednesday, less than a week after Public Service Co. of New Mexico submitted its proposal. The utility will keep one unit at the San Juan Generating Station running through September, rather than closing it this summer as planned. Developers have blamed supply chain problems and the pandemic for delays in the construction of the solar farms and battery storage stations that were supposed to replace the coal plant.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-NEW MEXICO

New Mexico lobbyist accuses state lawmaker of groping her

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A lobbyist for progressive advocacy groups in New Mexico has accused a leading Democratic state senator of grabbing and pinching her buttocks at a hotel reception in 2015. She is calling on the lawmaker to resign in a public letter. Lobbyist Marianna Anaya says Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto of Albuquerque groped her at a reception in Santa Fe for a teachers union. Ivey-Soto on Wednesday denied that allegation and said his interactions with the lobbyist were never sexual. Anaya vowed to file a complaint with the Legislature, which overhauled its anti-harassment policies in 2018.