Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. MDT
New Mexico man accused in woman's killing caught in Arizona
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man accused of shooting the mother of his child to death with the toddler in the room has been captured in Arizona. Lovington Police Chief David Miranda told KOB-TV in Albuquerque as he was driving back from Holbrook, Arizona, Monday that 26-year-old Zion Gibson killed the victim as the 3-1/2-year-old girl was nearby. According to investigators, 25-year-old Rosa Trujillo called 911 on May 23 when Gibson showed up outside her home in Lovington. The dispatcher heard the sound of gunfire. Authorities say Gibson drove into Arizona. State police there took over pursuing him. He crashed his car in Holbrook and surrendered after a brief standoff.
Jury deliberates verdict in 'We Build The Wall' fraud trial
NEW YORK (AP) — A prosecutor told jurors in closing arguments at a criminal trial that there is overwhelming evidence that organizers of a "We Build The Wall" campaign to raise money for a wall along the U.S. southern border defrauded investors. Prosecutor Robert Sobelman urged Manhattan federal court jurors Tuesday to deliver guilty verdicts against the lone defendant: Timothy Shea. Jurors deliberated briefly and will resume their work Wednesday. Former presidential adviser Steve Bannon was once a defendant, but ex-President Donald Trump pardoned him. Two others have pleaded guilty. Shea's lawyer, John Meringolo, insisted in his closing that reasonable doubt should lead jurors to acquit Shea.
Crews make gains against New Mexico wildfire, largest in US
Crews are making progress in stopping the nation's largest active wildfire from spreading. Progress on Monday came on the fourth straight day of warnings of extreme fire conditions in northern New Mexico. The nearly 8-week-old fire was surrounded by containment lines cut and scraped around half of of its perimeter enclosing 493 square miles of forested mountains and foothills east of Santa Fe. Nearly 3,000 firefighters and other personnel were assigned to the blaze, the largest in New Mexico's recorded history. Officials said crews in recent days were able to extinguish hot spots and allow only minimal growth,.
New Mexico wildfire scar burn has forest officials worried
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — As more than 3,000 firefighters in northern New Mexico continue to battle the nation's largest active wildfire, federal forest officials are worrying about future flash floods, landslides and destructive ash from the burn scar. The 7-week-old fire is the largest in New Mexico history. It remained 50% contained Sunday after charring 492 square miles (1,274 square kilometers) in rugged terrain east of Santa Fe. Elsewhere, firefighters continued to battle a wind-driven fire burning at the Arizona-California border. And in Colorado, air tankers and helicopters were helping fight a new wildfire burning in the southern part of the state.
Critical fire condition warnings issued across US Southwest
Authorities are warning that much of the U.S. Southwest will see critical fire conditions this weekend. The so-called red flag warnings come as crews in northern New Mexico work to stop the growth of the nation's largest active wildfire. The 7-week-old fire is the largest in New Mexico history and has burned 491 square miles east of Santa Fe since being started in April. Crews are patrolling partially burned areas and clearing and cutting containment lines. The National Weather Service's red flag warnings have been issued for parts of Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.
After Texas shooting, schools around US boost security
U.S. schools have bolstered security in the aftermath of the horrific mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Some of the changes include making visitors ring a bell and temporarily banning large backpacks. At least one district is ending the school year early. Administrators are especially jittery as more details about the shooting on Tuesday come out. Authorities say it took officers more than 45 minutes to confront the 18-year-old gunman who killed 21 at Robb Elementary School. The larger police presence at schools and a rash of copycat threats have only added to anxiety levels for students and educators.
US review traces massive New Mexico fire to planned burns
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Two fires that merged to create the largest wildfire in New Mexico history have both been traced to planned burns set by U.S. forest managers. U.S. Forest Service investigators announced Friday they have tracked the source of one of the fires to the remnants of a planned winter fire that lay dormant through snowstorms only to flare up again in April. The other fire was previously traced to a planned burn that escaped control on April 6. The findings shift responsibility more squarely toward the U.S. Forest Service for initiating a natural disaster that has destroyed at least 330 homes.
Navajo sign water rights settlement with Utah and feds
MONUMENT VALLEY, Utah (AP) — The portion of the Navajo Nation that lies in Utah is getting $210 million to go toward clean drinking water infrastructure. Navajo leaders signed an agreement Friday with Utah and federal officials that provides the funding and also settles the tribe's claim to Colorado River water rights. The signing formalizes the Utah Navajo Water Rights Settlement, which became law last year as part of President Joe Biden's infrastructure bill. It's one of 16 tribal water rights settlements the administration is devoting $1.7 billion to fund. The settlement also resolves long-standing concerns about legal battles over the Colorado River and the tribe's claims to senior water rights.