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

More Cubans immigrating to the US by crossing from Mexico

MIAMI (AP) — More immigrants from Cuba are coming to the U.S. by making their way to Mexico and crossing the border illegally. It's a very different reality from years ago, when Cubans enjoyed special protections that other immigrants did not have. The increase coincided with Nicaragua's decision starting in November to stop requiring visas for Cubans to promote tourism after other countries, such as Panama and the Dominican Republic, began to require them. U.S. border authorities encountered Cubans almost 32,400 times in March, according to figures released Monday. That was double the number in February and five times the number in October.

Forecasters: Strong wind could lead to explosive fire growth

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Winds that are expected to intensify through the end of the week have been a major obstacle for firefighters battling blazes across the Southwest. Resources are tight, and fire managers are scrambling to get crews on board. Hundreds of residents have been evacuated because of multiple wildfires. One of the largest outside of Flagstaff, Arizona, more than tripled in size Wednesday. Firefighters haven't been able to get ahead of it because of erratic winds that have grounded air resources. One incident commander on a fire south of Prescott, Arizona, says conditions are some of the worst he's seen in nearly five decades of firefighting.

New Mexico fines film company over Alec Baldwin shooting

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico workplace safety regulators say they have issued the maximum possible fine against a film production company for firearms safety failures on the set where actor and producer Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer in October. New Mexico's Occupational Health and Safety Bureau on Wednesday announced the nearly $137,000 fine against Rust Movie Productions and distributed a scathing narrative of safety failures in violation of standard industry protocols. Inspectors say production managers took limited or no action to address two rifle misfires of blank rounds on set prior to the fatal shooting. The bureau also documented gun safety complaints that went unheeded and constraints on safety training.

Judge clears way for New Mexico GOP redistricting challenge

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A state district judge has cleared the way for the Republican Party of New Mexico to challenge a congressional map that divvies up a conservative area into three congressional districts. The judge on Tuesday rejected a motion by Democrats to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the GOP and seven allied plaintiffs. The case will affect a congressional swing district in southern New Mexico where Republican Yvette Herrell ousted a first-term Democrat in the 2020 election. GOP attorneys argued that the congressional map approved by Democratic lawmakers dilutes the conservative vote and violates state constitutional rights to impartial government.

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.