Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. MDT
- WILDFIRES-AIR TANKER BASE
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A planned $15 million upgrade will allow a Forest Service facility at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque to serve the largest tanker aircraft used to fight U.S. wildfires. The larger "tankers can hold about 5000 gallons (18,900 liters) of retardant, about three times as much as the aircraft that currently use the Cibola National Forest Air Tanker Base at Kirtland, Sen. Martin Heinrich said improving the base will reduce the time it takes for large aircraft to get involved in fighting wildfires. The New Mexico Democrat toured the banker base Tuesday. The project could break ground in the fall.
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN PARK AVALANCHE
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (AP) — Authorities say rescuers have recovered the body of a man who was killed in a weekend rock fall and avalanche that also injured two climbers at Rocky Mountain National Park. Park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson says a helicopter crew lifted the man's body from the avalanche zone on Mount Meeker on Tuesday. The Boulder County coroner's office planned to release the man's identity after an autopsy, Patterson says. Two New Mexico climbers were injured in Sunday's avalanche. Michael Grieg, 27, of Albuquerque was airlifted by helicopter and hospitalized at Medical Center of the Rockies. Grieg's condition wasn't known Wednesday. Lillian Martinez, 24, of Albuquerque suffered minor injuries, Patterson says.
- MOTHER KILLED-ESTRANGED FATHER ARRESTED
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.
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.
- SPRING WILDFIRES
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.
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.