Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. MDT
- LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — Fire crews in New Mexico are taking a stand in their fight against the largest wildfire burning in the U.S., trying to keep the flames from pushing any closer to the town of Las Vegas and other villages scattered along the blaze's shifting fronts. The fire has burned hundreds of square miles, dozens of homes and threatens more destruction. Officials on Wednesday said winds could push the fire toward Las Vegas. New Mexico's Democratic governor said about 15,500 homes have been evacuated while the blaze burns near towns dotting mountainsides, towering ponderosa pine forests and meadows. She said the number of homes destroyed likely will increase.
WESTERN DROUGHT-COLORADO RIVER
- SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Federal water officials have announced they'll keep hundreds of billions of gallons of Colorado River water inside Lake Powell instead of letting it flow downstream to southwestern states and Mexico. U.S. Assistant Secretary of Water and Science Tanya Trujillo said Tuesday the move will allow the Glen Canyon Dam to continue producing hydropower while officials strategize how to operate the dam with a lower water elevation. The decision won't have any immediate impacts on the amount of water allocated for the region's cities and its farm. But it reflects the compounding challenges facing the region, where roughly 40 million people and a $5 billion-a-year agricultural industry rely on the Colorado River.
- MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government is snubbing Texas and moving a proposed border rail link to New Mexico, after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott backed up border crossings with state truck inspections in April. Mexican diplomats met Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and touted a rail line linking Mexican seaports on the Pacific with the San Jeronimo-Santa Teresa crossing in New Mexico. Mexican officials had considered a route through Texas, but in recent days they've said they can no longer rely on the state. Abbott had required all commercial trucks from Mexico to undergo extra inspections, tying up traffic and causing millions in losses.
Albuquerque sees 3 different homicides over the weekend
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities in Albuquerque are dealing with three difference homicide scenes that occurred over the weekend. Albuquerque police say on Sunday officers responded to a single-vehicle car crash. One person died at a hospital. But the victim had suffered a gunshot wound. Earlier in the day around 4 a.m., a woman asked a neighbor to call police after she claimed to have stabbed her boyfriend. Officers found a man dead with wounds consistent with a stabbing. The woman was taken to the hospital for injuries and has not been arrested. Then on Saturday night, police found two people shot to death inside a home. There have been no arrests.
SPRING WILDFIRES-FLEE OR FIGHT?
- FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Ferocious winds that sent what was a small wildfire racing toward homes on the outskirts of a northern Arizona city presented a dilemma. Most residents in the "Girls Ranch" neighborhood north of Flagstaff, Arizona, fled the flames. One couple stood their ground. Another raced to save animals on neighbors' properties. Two homes in the close-knit neighborhood were among 30 in the area that were destroyed. The wildfire left a mosaic of charred land before it was almost fully contained this weekend. The blaze is one of many this spring that have forced panicked residents to make life-or-death, fight-or-flee decisions as wildfire season heats up in the U.S. West.