Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. MDT
GOP commission refuses to certify New Mexico primary vote
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Votes in a New Mexico community are at risk of not counting after a Republican-led commission refused to approve primary election results over distrust of Dominion vote-tallying machines. Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver on Tuesday asked the court to order the three-member Otero County commission to certify the June 7 election results to ensure voters are not disenfranchised and allow political candidates to advance to the general election. On Monday, the commission in its role as a county canvassing board voted unanimously against certifying the results of the primary without raising specific concerns about the primary vote.
Judge to decide trial for Confederate flag-toting dad, son
WASHINGTON (AP) — Prosecutors have urged a federal judge to convict a Confederate flag-toting man and his son of storming the U.S. Capitol to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's 2020 electoral victory. U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden didn't immediately issue a verdict Tuesday after hearing attorneys' closing arguments in the bench trial of Delaware residents Kevin Seefried and his adult son, Hunter. The judge told them to return to court on Wednesday afternoon. Kevin Seefried carried a Confederate battle flag inside the Capitol after he and his son entered the building through a broken window. Their lawyers said they never intended to disrupt the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.
Company tests high-altitude airship over New Mexico desert
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A technology company that wants to bring broadband to more remote areas and monitor emissions from the oil and gas industry has launched one of its airships from the New Mexico desert. Tuesday's liftoff by Sceye Inc. is the latest test of the company's high-altitude platform station. The unmanned helium-filled station reached the stratosphere Tuesday and will maintain its position for 24 hours. Company officials say the milestone will bring Sceye closer to commercial operations and they'll aim for longevity with subsequent test flights. The company partnered last year with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and New Mexico regulators to study air pollution and climate change.
Northern Arizona watches winds as Western wildfires blaze
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Fire crews in northern Arizona are getting help from the weather as they work to get a handle on wildfires on the outskirts of Flagstaff. Winds moderated Tuesday after a day of red flag conditions. Authorities downgraded the scale of evacuations but residents of hundreds of homes were still under orders to stay out of fire areas. 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 blazes.
Western wildfires force evacuations in Arizona, California
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.
Former Navajo Nation vice chairman Edward T Begay dies at 87
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.
Biologists try to save ancient fish as Colorado River fades
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?
Most Hispanic US state weighs benefits of language programs
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.