Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MDT
- WESTERN WILDFIRES
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Fire crews in northern Arizona will be watching the wind Tuesday as they hope more moderate weather will help them get a better handle on a wildfire scorching the outskirts of Flagstaff. Roughly 2,500 homes have been evacuated because of two wildfires burning on the outskirts of the city, known for its mountains, lush with ponderosa pines, meadows and hiking trails. Hundreds of other people in California and New Mexico have also been forced to flee homes threatened by wildfires. Wildfires broke out early this spring in multiple states in the Western U.S., where climate change and an enduring drought are fanning the frequency and intensity of forest and grassland fires.
- WESTERN WILDFIRES
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Wildfires burning throughout the American West are forcing evacuations as crews deal with more hot, windy and dry conditions. Residents were ordered to flee remote homes near a wildfire in the mountains northeast of Los Angeles. In Arizona, firefighters are battling a wildfire on the northern outskirts of Flagstaff that has forced evacuations in the same area as another springtime blaze. Firefighters in New Mexico are battling some of the nation's largest blazes in tinder dry forests. Federal officials say the number of acres burned nationwide so far this year is more than double the 10-year average.
- BC-NM-OBIT-FORMER NAVAJO NATION OFFICIAL EDWARD BEGAY
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Edward T. Begay, who was vice chairman of the Navajo Nation in the 1980s, died Sunday, according to his family. He was 87. No cause of death was given by Begay's family, but they say he died in Albuquerque surrounded by family members. Begay was head of the legislative branch during some key moments in tribal government. He also presided over the Navajo Nation Council when the tribe incorporated traditional, natural and customary laws into its government system. Begay, who grew up in New Mexico, Begay represented the Churchrock and Breadsprings Chapters on the tribal council from 1971-83. As vice chairman from 1983-87, Begay worked closely with the council to renegotiate mineral, coal, oil, and gas leases with major energy companies.
- COLORADO RIVER-IMPERILED FISH
PAGE, Ariz. (AP) — A key fish that has dwelt in the Colorado River since ancient times, and whose presence indicates a healthy river, is now up against a threat from a giant dam above. The humpback chub has long been the focus of restoration efforts -- successful ones. But as the waters of Lake Powell sink lower than ever, nonnative predator fish could make their way down through the inner works of Glen Canyon Dam to the river below where they feed on the chub. Federal, state and tribal agencies are urgently trying to devise a strategy to keep the predators penned up. The situation raises the question: How alive is a river if it loses its key native fish?
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The most heavily Hispanic state in the U.S. has added to the number of dual language programs for public school students since the start of the pandemic. With New Mexico students having significant access to Spanish and English education programs, it will be up to state lawmakers to address the challenges of boosting participation. Legislative analysts are expected this month to release a report on the programs. Bilingual and multicultural programs are seen as a way for students to have academics tailored to their needs and to maintain their cultures. Despite recent gains, such programs in the state aren't being used by many of the students who most need them.
- SOUTHWEST HEAT
Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver and California's Death Valley have all posted record temperatures as dangerous heat sweeps over the American Southwest. The National Weather Service in Phoenix reported a temperature of 114 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday, tying the record high for the date set back in 1918. Las Vegas tied a record for the day set in 1956, with temperatures soaring to 109 F. In Colorado, Denver hit 100 F (38 C), tying a record set in 2013 for both the high temperature and the earliest calendar day to reach 100 F. Excessive heat warnings and heat advisories were also issued for parts of Northern California through the Central Valley and down to the southeastern deserts.
- RUIDOSO-TOURISM FUNDING
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — More than two months after being impacted by a huge wildfire, the Village of Ruidoso is looking to make a tourism comeback. The Albuquerque Journal reported Friday that Ruidoso and the state Tourism Department are jointly earmarking $150,000 to help lure visitors to the southern New Mexico community. Ruidoso is still recovering from the so-called McBride Fire that destroyed more than 200 homes and killed two people in April. The blaze became fully contained a month ago. The funding will focus on tourists in west Texas, a source of the most travelers to Ruidoso. Town officials say there is still a lot of scenery to enjoy.
- CAPITOL RIOT-BENCH TRIAL
WASHINGTON (AP) — A police officer lauded for his bravery during the U.S. Capitol riot has publicly testified for the first time about his confrontation with a mob that chased him up a staircase. Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman was a government witness on Monday at a trial for a father and son from Delaware charged with storming the Capitol together. Goodman said the father, Kevin Seefried, was carrying a Confederate battle flag and jabbed at him with the flagpole. Goodman has been hailed as a hero for leading a group of rioters away from the Senate chamber and up a set of stairs to an area where other officers were waiting.