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New Mexico News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. MDT

ENDANGERED WOLVES

  • ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. wildlife managers want to see at least 320 Mexican gray wolves roaming the Southwest within the next several years. While a population cap would be eliminated under a proposed management rule, environmentalists say the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service isn't going far enough to ensure the recovery of the endangered species. They're pushing for the release of more captive wolves — specifically bonded pairs with pups. Federal officials on Friday released their proposed management plan for the wolves and a related environmental review. A court order required the revised plan to be finalized by July 1.

AP-US-SPRING-WILDFIRES-NUCLEAR-LAB

  • LOS ALAMOS N.M. (AP) — Lighter winds allowed for the most intense aerial attack this week on multiple wildfires in New Mexico, including the biggest U.S. wildfire burning northeast of Santa Fe. In Southern California, where a fire that has destroyed at least 20 homes in the coastal community of Laguna Niguel, the mandatory evacuation area was scaled back Friday from 900 residences to 131. West of Santa Fe, residents remain on alert as a fire slowly creeps toward the city of Los Alamos. That's where scientists at a U.S. national security lab are charged with assessing apocalyptic threats, including wildfires. Public schools remained closed there Friday as many residents prepared for possible evacuations.

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.

SPRING WILDFIRES

  • 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.

PROP-FIREARM SHOOTING

  • 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.

AP-US-NATIVE-AMERICANS-BOARDING-SCHOOLS

  • FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The U.S. government hasn't 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. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland last year announced an investigation into the government's oversight of Native American boarding schools, and the Interior Department released some initial findings this week. But the work to uncover the truth and create a path for healing will require financial resources. And tribes will have to navigate federal laws on repatriation to bring home children who died and were buried at the schools.

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.