Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. MDT
POLICE SHOOTING-LAS CRUCES
- LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A Las Cruces family's attorney says they're demanding that the police officer who fatally shot a 75-year-old family member be charged with murder and that they plan to sue the city. The officer shot Amelia Baca when she stepped forward after not responding to commands made in English to drop two knives when the officer responded to a 911 call from a family member about threatening behavior by Baca. The family says she spoke only Spanish and police body camera video shows family members telling the officer entering the home April 16 that Baca was mentally ill and experienced a form of dementia. The city said Thursday that an investigation of the incident was ongoing.
- LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. (AP) — Wildfires in the West are on a furious pace early this year. Wind-driven flames tearing through vegetation that is extraordinarily dry from years-long drought exacerbated by climate change has made even small blazes a threat to life and property. A fast-moving blaze in Southern California is the latest example, where 20 multimillion-dollar homes lay in smolders Thursday. In New Mexico, the largest blaze burning in the U.S. has now consumed an area bigger than Dallas. That fire east of Santa Fe has churned through mountainous forests for more than a month. Nationally, more than 2,000 square miles already have burned this year. That's the most at this point since 2018.
- 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.
NATIVE AMERICANS-BOARDING SCHOOLS
- FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The U.S. government has not been open to investigating its role in stripping Native Americans of their cultures and identities in boarding schools. Until now. That's partly because people who know first-hand the persistent trauma caused by the boarding school system are positioned in the U.S. government. Still, the work to uncover the truth and create a path for healing will require financial resources. Tribes will have to navigate federal laws on repatriation to take Native children who died and are buried at boarding schools home. And some survivors might be hesitant to recount the painful past and trust the federal government to collect the stories.
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.