Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. MDT
County's refusal to certify the vote hints at election chaos
ATLANTA (AP) — The conspiracy theories about Dominion voting equipment that erupted during the 2020 presidential contest flared this week in a remote New Mexico county in what could be just a preview of the kind of chaos election experts fear is coming in the fall midterms and in 2024. The governing commission in Otero County refused to certify the local results of the state's June 7 primary, in another instance of how the false claims spread by former President Donald Trump and his allies have infected elections and threaten the democratic process. There is no evidence of widespread fraud or manipulation of voting equipment in the 2020 election, which Trump lost to Joe Biden. But that hasn't stopped the false claims, particularly those about Dominion machines.
New Mexico governor concerned with potential migrant influx
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's Democratic governor wants the Biden administration to delay planned or expanded efforts to transport migrants to her state if pandemic-related restrictions on asylum seekers are lifted. The federal government has predicted a threefold increase in border crossings if that happens. First-term Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said a migrant influx would dramatically affect the border state's capacity to provide ongoing humanitarian assistance to thousands of New Mexicans displaced by wildfires this spring. She outlined her concerns in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejando Mayorkas. Like other Democrats, the governor would be on the defensive in an already difficult midterm election year if there were an increase in illegal border crossings.
Summer rainy season sets up across Four Corners region
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — As the summer rainy season known simply as the monsoon started Wednesday, concerns grew for neighborhoods below mountains that have burned repeatedly in northern Arizona. The monsoon runs through September. It can bring relief to scorching desert cities but also carries the threat of flooding. The outlook this year calls for equal chances of below, above and normal precipitation in the Four Corners region. Climatologists say that could change when a new seasonal outlook is released Thursday. Already, conditions are setting up for moisture to move into northern Arizona later this week, which could help firefighters battling two blazes on the outskirts of Flagstaff.
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.