Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MDT
- SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is highlighting its support for proposals to route an international rail line through its Santa Teresa port of entry, capitalizing on Mexico's unease with disruptions along the Texas portion of the U.S. border. Mexico had considered a route through Texas, but in recent days officials have said they can no longer rely on that state. Gov. Greg Abbott in April required all commercial trucks from Mexico to undergo extra inspections, tying up traffic. The administration of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Wednesday that it will send a delegation to Mexico City to explore opportunities at the San Jeronimo-Santa Teresa crossing.
- LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — Firefighters have slowed the advance of the largest wildfire in the U.S. in New Mexico as heavy winds relented. And President Joe Biden has approved a disaster declaration for new financial resources for the remote northern New Mexico areas devastated by the fire. Fire crews are trying Thursday to prevent the flames from pushing any closer to the town of Las Vegas and other villages along the blaze's shifting fronts. The fire has burned hundreds of square miles, dozens of homes and trigged the evacuation of 15,500 homes. The disaster aid includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.
CHURCH PASTOR-CHILD SEX PLEA
- LAS VEGAS (AP) — A church pastor and former elementary school teacher from Las Vegas has pleaded guilty to a child sex crime in a plea agreement that avoids trial and is expected to get him 2-to-20 years in state prison when he's sentenced Aug. 15. Records show that Reynaldo Crespin pleaded guilty Monday to attempted lewdness with a child under 14. Several other sexual assault and lewdness charges were dismissed. Crespin is 59. He taught from 2016 until this year and was a founder of New Horizon Christian Church in northeast Las Vegas. Records show he may also be sentenced to lifetime supervision as a sex offender.
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.