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New Mexico News

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

SPRING WILDFIRES

  • Despite consecutive days of howling winds, New Mexico's governor says there haven't been any reports of widespread damage to homes as a massive wildfire makes its way across the tinder-dry landscape. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called that good news during a briefing Tuesday on the largest wildfire burning in U.S. Crews have been shepherding flames around small mountain villages by bulldozing lines and clearing out vegetation. The governor said northern New Mexico was in the best position that could be expected given the high potential for losses and the challenges faced by firefighters. The cost of fighting the blaze and another smaller fire burning near Los Alamos National Laboratory has topped $65 million.

ELECTION 2022-PRIMARY-NEW MEXICO

  • SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Early voting has started across New Mexico ahead of the June 7 primary Election Day to determine the Republican nominee for governor. Election officials on Tuesday began mailing absentee ballots to voters and county clerks' offices opened their doors to in-person voting. Five Republicans are vying for the nomination to challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Democrats are seeking their party's nomination in open races for attorney general, state auditor and treasurer. Recent changes in New Mexico election law make it easier for unaffiliated voters to participate in the primary election by affiliating with a major party.

EDUCATION LAWSUIT PLAN

  • SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico education officials have released a draft plan to address a lawsuit brought by underprivileged students nearly a decade ago. The lawsuit is named Martinez-Yazzie after two plaintiffs who sued on behalf of their children and won a favorable ruling against state officials in state court in 2018. The ruling finds that the state has fallen short of its constitutional duties to provide an "adequate" education for groups that account for 70% of K-12 pupils, including low-income, disabled, English learning, and Native American students. The draft plan outlines targets for improving the diversity of teachers, increasing graduation rates by 15% and increasing academic proficiency by 50% by 2025.

YOUTUBER-CARLSBAD POLICE LAWSUIT

  • 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.

POLICE OFFICER'S SON-ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING

  • 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.

PULITZERS-ARTS

  • 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.

AP POLL-IMMIGRATION

1 in 3 fears immigrants influence US elections: AP-NORC poll

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.

PARKING LOT-MURDER-SUICIDE

  • 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.