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New Mexico News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MDT

  • SPRING WILDFIRES

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The head of the U.S. Forest Service is suspending planned burning operations to clear out brush and small trees at all national forests while his agency conducts a 90-day review of protocols and practices. Forest Chief Randy Moore made the announcement Friday. He cited the hot and dry weather and extreme winds that have led to explosive fire behavior across the Southwest. Nearly 6,000 firefighters are battling fires in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and California. Crews at the biggest fire in northern New Mexico worked to reinforce fire lines as winds gusted to 40 mph. Forecasters say several days of cooler, moister conditions beginning Saturday should provide some relief.

  • EDUCATION REFORM-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Advocates are weighing in on Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's plan to address an ongoing lawsuit that highlights shortcomings of the state's education system. The plaintiffs in the case represent around 70% of all K-12 students. They say the governor's effort still lacks specific details and funding estimates. A state court reaffirmed in 2020 that New Mexico was failing to provide an "adequate" education for vulnerable student groups, including Native American and low-income students. A spokeswoman for Lujan Grisham says the administration is looking forward to gathering public comments and that specific actions will be outlined later.

  • BC-NM-TRIBAL CANNABIS TAXATION

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Two tribes in northern New Mexico are closer to having recreational cannabis sales after signing taxation agreements with the state last week. State officials are announcing the agreement this week saying they're formally recognizing the authority of the Pojoaque and Picuris pueblos to sell and tax cannabis. The state's 12% tax on the product won't be levied on products sold by the tribes. Tribes will still have to operate in a legal gray zone, as cannabis is illegal at the federal level. Federal law enforcement have raided cannabis grow sites in Picuris Pueblo, including those that followed state laws.

  • AP-US-SPRING-WILDFIRES

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — More than 5,000 firefighters are battling multiple wildland blazes in dry, windy weather across the Southwest. The fires include one that has destroyed dozens of structures in western Texas and another that is picking up steam again in New Mexico. Evacuation orders remained in place Thursday for residents near fires in Texas, Colorado and New Mexico. Dangerous fire weather was forecast to continue through Friday, especially in New Mexico where the largest U.S. fire has burned for more than a month. The governor expects the number of structures that have burned to rise to more than 1,000. That fire has burned more than 473 square miles..

  • AP-US-ELECTION-2022-CONGRESS-REDISTRICTING-WOMEN

CHICAGO (AP) — For some female incumbents running for reelection in Congress this year, holding their seats comes with a new challenge. Because of redistricting, some of those congressional districts will be tougher to win. It's too early to know how many female representatives were hurt by the once-a-decade process because maps haven't been finalized in several states. But in states with new district boundaries set, the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University found more than a dozen women who are running in significantly tougher territory. This comes as female representatives make up about 28% of the 435 House members.

  • INFLATION PAYMENTS-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is delivering the first in a series of direct payments to the state's adult residents to offset higher consumer costs brought on by inflation. Individual taxpayers who receive direct deposit rebates are scheduled to receive $250 as early as Thursday and couples are set to get $500. Checks for another 200,000 taxpayers will arrive in the mail in coming weeks. The payments are among $1.1 billion in tax relief and payouts authorized by state lawmakers. High fuel prices are hurting household finances as New Mexico's state government benefits financially from record-setting oil production in the Permian Basin.