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Navajo ads highlight unsolved homicide, missing person cases

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal authorities are taking to the airwaves to call attention to unsolved homicide and missing person cases on the largest Native American reservation in the U.S. The FBI announced Tuesday that it is running a 60-second radio ad in the Navajo language to call attention to what family members and advocacy groups have described as a crisis that is affecting Indian Country. The radio spot comes as some states put more resources toward the reporting and investigation of such cases. New Mexico recently adopted legislation to ensure more effective coordination among law enforcement agencies, while Washington created a first-in-the-nation statewide alert system for missing Native Americans.

US nuclear agency opens massive office complex in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The head of the National Nuclear Security Administration is in New Mexico to celebrate the completion of a nearly $200 million building that will be home to 1,200 employees. Administrator Jill Hruby joined other officials for Tuesday's ribbon-cutting ceremony. The building on the edge of Albuquerque was supposed to be finished last year. Officials blamed pandemic-related labor and material shortages for the delay. The building boasts enough office space to cover more than five football fields. The NNSA is overseeing a multibillion-dollar modernization effort that includes the production of plutonium cores for the nation's nuclear arsenal at sites in New Mexico and South Carolina.

VP Harris to officiate New Mexico governor's May wedding

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is getting married, and Vice President Kamala Harris has been picked to officiate. The first-term Democratic governor made the announcement through her personal spokesman Tuesday, saying a small ceremony will be held May 21 in Washington, D.C. No other details about the upcoming ceremony were released. Lujan Grisham, who is running for reelection, will be tying the knot with her fiancé Manny Cordova. The couple has been together about 10 years. The governor said in a statement that they had previously postponed getting married due to the coronavirus pandemic and felt fortunate they now could celebrate with family and friends.

New Mexico GOP seeks to overturn congressional map

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Attorneys for the Republican Party of New Mexico are urging a state district court judge to throw out a congressional map that divvies up the conservative southeast of the state into three congressional districts. The lawsuit by the GOP and seven allied plaintiffs holds implications for a congressional swing district in southern New Mexico where Republican Yvette Herrell ousted a first-term Democrat in the 2020 election. GOP attorney Christopher Murray argued Monday that the congressional map from Democratic lawmakers dilutes the conservative vote and violates state constitutional rights to impartial government. Attorneys for the Legislature and governor defended the state's redistricting as properly vetted.

NMSU ending option of COVID-19 testing; vaccination required

LAS CRUCES, N.M (AP) — New Mexico State University will require all students on campus to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 1, ending the option of submitting weekly tests as an alternative. Chancellor Dan Arvizu also said in a memo to students, faculty and staff Monday that NMSU no longer will require weekly testing for students and employees who decided against getting a booster or received an exemption from vaccination. The new policy applies to all branch colleges, It requires new and/or transfer students to provide their COVID-19 vaccination records or an approved exemption by Aug. 1. Arvizu said more than 91% of students and 99% of faculty are now vaccinated.

Santa Fe's transparency regulations withstand final appeal

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to Santa Fe campaign disclosure requirements stemming from a failed city ballot initiative in 2017 to tax sugary beverages. The Supreme Court decision Monday upholds the rejection of a lawsuit from the Rio Grande Foundation that sought to shield future financial contributions from public disclosure, in defiance of requirements enacted by the city of Santa Fe. The failed city ballot initiative to fund early childhood education was marked by millions of dollars in campaign spending.

US wildlife officials aim to address illegal wolf killings

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Prompted by a court order, federal wildlife managers have issued a new draft plan for managing Mexican gray wolves in the Southwestern U.S. The changes aim to address illegal killings of the endangered predators through education, outreach and other means. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently reported that the Mexican wolf population marked another year of growth but that illegal killings are among the factors that have tempered that growth. Meanwhile, managers also struggle to curb wolf-livestock conflicts. Ranchers in Arizona and New Mexico say wolves are killing cattle despite efforts to scare the animals away from their herds.

Hobbs woman OK after being attacked by 5 pit bulls

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — A Hobbs woman is recovering after police say she was mauled by five dogs. Hobbs police said in a news release Monday the 46-year-old woman was recuperating at home. The incident happened Saturday after she was dropped off at a friend's house. Police determined she had been walking when five pit bulls attacked her. Investigators say the woman fended the dogs off with a knife. One pit bull was found dead. A second was euthanized by animal control officers at the scene. The remaining pit bulls are being quarantined and will be euthanized. The dogs' 61-year-old owner has received several citations for having animals loose.