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Ex-Navajo VP hopeful announces he'll seek presidential post

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — A former Navajo Nation vice presidential candidate says he is seeking the tribal president's post. The announcement Monday from Buu Van Nygren comes a month before the deadline for candidates to file. He's the first to publicly announce his run. The primary election is Aug. 2. The top two vote-getters move on to the November general election. More than a dozen people typically run for president of the Navajo Nation. The tribe has the largest land mass of any Native American tribe in the U.S. and is second in population with about 400,000 tribal members. Current tribal President Jonathan Nez hasn't said whether he'll seek reelection.

Fire engulfs home of retired Santa Fe assistant fire chief

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A retired Santa Fe assistant fire chief continues to recover from severe burns after his own home was decimated last week in a blaze. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Ted Bolleter remains in the University of New Mexico Burn Center. His daughter told the newspaper the 55-year-old suffered second- and third-degree burns to his hand, feet and face. The fire broke out just before 6 p.m. Friday. Fire officials determined wind had blown an ember from a fire pit, setting wooden patio furniture on fire. All eight people in the home, including five children, were able to leave safely except Bolleter, who ran through the blaze.

Police: 3 men wounded after shooting in downtown Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Albuquerque are investigating a shooting in the downtown area that left three men wounded. They say officers responded to a shots fired call around 2 a.m. Sunday. Police say when they arrived on the scene, they found three men with gunshot wounds and all were transported to hospitals. The names and ages of the men haven't been released yet. Police say they are searching for a suspect.

Army OKs $1.5M settlement for pollution at former depot

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Army has reached an agreement with Zuni Pueblo, the Navajo Nation and the state of New Mexico to pay $1.5 million toward restoring environmental damage done at a former munitions depot. The proposed settlement filed in federal court involves Fort Wingate, a former Army installation near Gallup that was used as a munitions storage and disposal site before being closed in 1993. Both the pueblo and the Navajo Nation have long-standing historical ties to the lands in and around Fort Wingate. Pollution problems at the site include soil and water contaminated by hazardous waste and unexploded ordnance. The cleanup work involves finding, disarming and removing explosives.

Man accused of causing Albuquerque bus crash remains jailed

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A case against a man accused of causing a school bus crash two months ago in Albuquerque has been moved to district court. Prosecutors say 49-year-old Mario Perez was injured in the Feb. 23 crash and made his first court appearance Saturday. Albuquerque TV station KOB reported that Perez was in a wheelchair and had braces on both his legs. Police say Mario Perez allegedly was racing his car at more than 100 mph when it crashed into a school bus carrying more than 20 students. Nine of the students were taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries and police say two suffered broken bones. Police say Perez is facing two counts of causing great bodily harm with a motor vehicle.

Tribes seek more inclusion, action from US officials

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland vowed on her first day on the job to ensure Native American tribes have opportunities to speak with her and the agencies she oversees. Haaland has been delivering on the promise, meeting with nearly 130 tribes over the past year. Her selection as the first Native American to serve in the position opened a door for tribes who point to a history fraught with broken promises and instances where the federal government failed to take their voices into account. Native American and Alaska Native groups are seeing change under Haaland but some remain frustrated with the pace of action.

New Mexico launches cannabis sales within Texans' reach

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is bringing sales of recreational marijuana to the doorstep of Texas as the movement toward broad legalization sweeps across more of the American West. As of Friday, anyone 21 and older in New Mexico can purchase up to 2 ounces of marijuana — enough to roll about 60 joints or cigarettes. Across the state, would-be marijuana farmers are bidding for water rights and learning to raise their first cannabis crops. Experienced medical cannabis producers have ramped up production. New Mexico is among 18 states that have legalized cannabis for recreational use, including neighboring Arizona and Colorado as well as the entire West coast.

Vulnerable Democrats warn Biden about reopening asylum

PHOENIX (AP) — The Biden administration's decision to end sweeping asylum limits at the border this May satisfied demands by prominent Democrats. But it creates thorny political challenges for border-region Democrats who face the likely prospect of an increase in migrants who have for two years been denied the chance to seek asylum in the United States. Some of the congressional Democrats with the toughest reelection prospects are warning that the administration is woefully unprepared to handle the situation. The Biden administration announced on Friday that it will lift Title 42 authority by May 23.