Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. MDT
NATIVE AMERICANS-BOARDING SCHOOLS
- FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A first-of-its-kind federal study of Native American boarding schools that for over a century sought to assimilate Indigenous children into white society has identified more than 500 student deaths at the institutions so far. But officials say that figure could grow exponentially as research continues. The Interior Department report released Wednesday expands to more than 400 the number of schools that were known to have operated across the U.S. for 150 years, starting in the early 19th century. It identified more than 500 deaths in records for about 20 of them. The agency says a second volume of the report will cover burial sites and the impacts of the boarding schools on Indigenous communities.
- SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A film production company is contesting sanctions by New Mexico officials for alleged workplace safety violations on the set of "Rust," where actor and producer Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer in October. In a filing made public Wednesday, Rust Movie Productions is challenging a $137,000 fine against the company by state occupational safety regulators who say production managers failed to follow standard industry protocols for firearms safety. Rust Movie Productions says misfires prior to the fatal shooting did not violate safety protocols and corrective action was taken. In October 2021, Baldwin was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during setup for filming when the firearm discharged.
- The largest wildfire burning in the United States is heading toward mountain resort towns in northern New Mexico. Officials say the fire is racing up steep slopes and along exposed ridge lines while tossing embers high into the air. Crews dealt Wednesday with another day of strong winds that fanned the flames. The blaze has charred more than 370 square miles and has destroyed homes throughout the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. More evacuations have been ordered on the fire's northern front. Some residents who were allowed to return home after weeks of being evacuated found their homes spared, but others weren't as lucky.
- The biggest wildfire in the U.S. burning in New Mexico east of Santa Fe is spreading north toward mountain resort towns near Taos. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says there have been no reports of widespread damage to homes despite consecutive days of howling winds pushing the massive blaze across the tinder-dry landscape. She called that good news during a briefing Tuesday as crews bulldozed new fire lines and cleared out vegetation round rural communities. The cost so far of fighting the blaze and another smaller fire has hit $65 million. Two more days of high winds are expected before relief Friday.
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.