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New Mexico News

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

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

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

AP-US-TEXAS-CRASH-GOLF-TEAMS

9 dead in Texas crash involving U. of Southwest golf teams

The Texas Department of Public Safety says nine people were killed in a head-on collision in West Texas, including six students and a coach from a New Mexico university who were returning home from a golf tournament. Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Steven Blanco says a pickup truck crossed the center line of a highway and crashed into a van carrying members of the University of the Southwest men's and women's golf teams. They had been playing in a tournament in Midland, Texas. Blanco says six students were killed, along with a faculty member. The driver of the pickup and its passenger also died. Blanco says two students were taken by helicopter to a Lubbock hospital in critical condition.

BALLOON FIESTA-FAA RULE

Officials: Albuquerque balloon flights get FAA clearance

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — City and federal officials say the Federal Aviation Administration will allow Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta flights this October without requiring balloonists to install new tracking equipment as required under a federal rule. A statement released Wednesday by Mayor Tim Keller's office said balloonists can sign a letter of agreement developed by the FAA outlining safety requirements for navigating Albuquerque's airspace, "the majority of which are already best practices for most balloonists." Meanwhile, according to the statement, the FAA will conduct research and consultations to reach a permanent solution by next March. The agreement also covers year-round flights over Albuquerque.

AP-US-LAKE-POWELL-HYDROPOWER

Lake Powell hits historic low, raising hydropower concerns

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A critical Colorado River reservoir has fallen to a record low level, raising new concerns about a power source for millions of people in the U.S. West. Federal water officials that Lake Powell on the Arizona-Utah border fell below 3,525 feet on Tuesday. Western states had set that mark as a buffer to keep the lake from reaching a level that would prevent the turbines at Glen Canyon Dam from generating power. Federal officials are confident Lake Powell will rise quickly with springtime snowmelt and Glen Canyon Dam will stay productive. But the new low marks another sobering realization of the impacts of climate change and a megadrought on the country's second-largest human-made lake.

BC-NM-ALBUQUERQUE SHOOTING-IDS

Police identify man suspected of shooting 3 in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a man suspected of shooting three people in the same northeast Albuquerque neighborhood where he lived before he was shot and killed by police officers. They say 52-year-old John Dawson Hunter is believed to have fatally shot 31-year-old Alicia Hall as she was driving her vehicle Monday afternoon in the Foothills area. Police say Hunter also is suspected of shooting and wounding a man and a female teenager. Both victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Police say Hunter was later killed after an altercation with officers. Investigators believe Hunter was suffering some sort of mental crisis when he started shooting randomly at people in the area of his home.

AP-US-NUCLEAR-REPOSITORY-CONSTRUCTION

Watchdog has concerns with projects at US nuclear repository

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — There's no way of knowing if cost increases and missed construction deadlines will continue at the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository. That's according to a report made public Tuesday by Government Accountability Office. The reports says the U.S. Energy Department is not required to develop a corrective action plan for addressing the root causes of challenges at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico. A multimillion-dollar project is underway at the underground facility to build a new ventilation system so full operations can resume. The Energy Department had blamed significant cost overruns and delays on the contractor's inexperience and difficulties in attracting workers.

COLD CASE-GIRL KILLED

'Little Miss Nobody' identified over 60 years later with DNA

PHOENIX (AP) — "Little Miss Nobody" finally has a name. The Yavapai County Sheriff's office said Tuesday a little girl whose burned remains were found more than 60 years ago in a remote area of Arizona was 4-year-old Sharon Lee Gallegos of New Mexico. Her partially buried remains were located in a desert wash July 31, 1960. The Prescott community in central-north Arizona paid for a funeral. The sheriff's office and a Texas DNA company recently raised $4,000 for specialized testing to finally identify her. Authorities say they do not know who took and killed the child, and the case is still under investigation.

ALBUQUERQUE-SHOOTING

Albuquerque police: Suspect killed after shooting 3 people

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say Albuquerque police officers shot and killed a suspect after responding to reports of a shooting on the city's northeast side. Police Chief Harold Medina said Monday that two people were injured and a woman was found dead on the street in a residential area. Two officers also were hurt while exchanging gunfire with the suspect, but Medina says their injuries were not life-threatening. Authorities had cordoned off a neighborhood as they warned residents to stay indoors while officers searched the area. Medina says investigators were working to piece together what led to the violence and whether the suspect knew the victims.

VA-COMMUNITY CLINICS

VA proposal to close rural health clinics spurs opposition

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has released a list of community-based clinics that it proposes to close in New Mexico, New Hampshire and other rural areas around the country. Some members of Congress vowed immediate opposition Monday, saying the clinics provide the only access to care for thousands of veterans. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico said the analysis done by the VA has many flaws, including that it is based on data collected before the coronavirus pandemic put a strain on health care systems in New Mexico and elsewhere. It will be up to a special commission to consider the VA's proposal as part of a process that will take several years.