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


  • LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — Firefighters in New Mexico's Rocky Mountain foothills are excavating new firebreaks and clearing brush to keep a massive wildfire from destroying more homes and pine forests. Nearly 300 structures including homes, commercial buildings and barns have already been destroyed. Officials said Monday that the tally will increase as more of the damage is surveyed. More residents were told to evacuate the region Sunday night as the fire jumped a highway and moved through rugged territory. Another New Mexico wildfire in mountains near a key nuclear research facility prompted preparations for evacuations. Several dozen southern Arizona residents were forced to evacuate because of another wildfire.


  • CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — A federal appeals court has rejected a YouTuber's claims that a Carlsbad police officer falsely arrested him and violated his civil rights. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a lower court ruling dismissing a lawsuit brought by Albert Bustillos against the city of Carlsbad. In October 2019, Bustillos was filming Carlsbad police officers handcuffing a woman experiencing an "altered mental status" for his YouTube channel. An officer ordered Bustillos to leave because his presence was agitating the woman, according to court documents. He was handcuffed when he refused to leave or show his I.D. The appellate court ruled the officer had probable cause to arrest Bustillos.


  • SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Almost six months after a Santa Fe police officer's 2-year-old son was accidentally shot and killed in his home, state prosecutors are conducting an investigation into possible charges. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Sunday the New Mexico Attorney General's Office confirmed they're in the process of an independent review. When asked if the involvement of a police officer was affecting the pace, a spokeswoman for the attorney general said they are just following the process. Last December, officer Jonathan Harmon's 4-year-old son found an off-duty handgun in their Rio Ranch home and accidentally discharged it. Harmon remains on administrative duty. Sandoval County prosecutors requested the attorney general's office assistance in March.


  • PHOENIX (AP) — With anti-immigrant rhetoric bubbling over in the leadup to this year's critical midterm elections, about 1 in 3 U.S. adults believes an effort is underway to replace U.S.-born Americans with immigrants for electoral gains. That's according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Almost 3 in 10 people expressed concern that more immigration is causing U.S.-born Americans to lose economic, political and cultural influence. Those views mirror swelling anti-immigrant sentiment espoused on social media and cable TV, with conservative commentators like Tucker Carlson exploiting fears that new arrivals could undermine the native-born population.


  • NEW YORK (AP) — Joshua Cohen's "The Netanyahus," a comic and rigorous campus novel based on the true story of the father of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeking a job in academia, has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Many of the winners in the arts Monday were explorations of race and class, in the past and the present.James Ijames' "Fat Ham," an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" set at a Black family's barbecue in the modern South, received the Pulitzer for drama. The late artist Winfred Rembert won in biography for "Chasing Me to My Grave," as told to Erin I. Kelly.


  • ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police say a man shot and killed two teenagers who were cousins before turning the gun on himself in what appears to be a murder-suicide. Officers responded to reports of a man shooting himself in the head in the parking lot of a Party City store on Sunday around 12:30 p.m. They discovered the 53-year-old man and a boy and girl—both 16 years old and shot. All three were pronounced dead at the scene. Police identified the teens as Alexia Rael and her cousin, Mario Salgado-Rosales, while the man was identified as Bradley Wallin. Homicide detectives say they learned during the preliminary investigation that Wallin had been in a past relationship with the mother of Alexia Rael.


  • PHOENIX (AP) — In a pandemic that has seen sharp divides between urban and rural vaccination rates nationwide, Arizona is the only state where rural vaccine rates outpaced more populated counties according to a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public health experts believe the unexpected trend was mainly fueled by a group that lost a disproportionate number of lives to COVID-19: Native Americans. The devastating loss — particularly of elders — drove pushing vaccination as an act of selflessness. Arizona's own data did not include vaccinations conducted through the Indian Health Service, a federal agency. But the CDC's did.