Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. MDT
Parents of Albuquerque kids injured in crash sue car driver
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The parents of three children injured in the crash involving an Albuquerque Public Schools bus four months ago have filed a lawsuit against the driver of the speeding car involved and his insurance company. The Albuquerque Journal reported Sunday that the 2nd Judicial District Court suit was filed on behalf of parents of two girls and a boy – identified only by their initials – who were passengers on the school bus. The Feb. 23 crash sent five people to the hospital. Two middle school students suffered serious injuries including a broken pelvis and a broken femur that required surgery. Police allege the 50-year-old driver of the car involved in the crash was racing at high speed with another vehicle at the time and collided with the bus.
Arizona wildfire near Kitt Peak observatory 40% contained
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities say a lightning-caused wildfire that led to an evacuation of the a national observatory southwest of Tucson is 40% contained. More than 300 firefighters are working to suppress the wildfire Saturday. If all goes as planned, authorities say the blaze could be fully contained by next Sunday. The wind-whipped fire started June 11 on a remote ridge on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation, near Kitt Peak. It had grown to 27.5 square miles before rain fell on the area Saturday. The fire was up to 29.4 square miles as of Sunday. Flames had reached Kitt Peak by Thursday, and officials ordered evacuations in a small community north of the mountain.
Albuquerque police fatally shoot man who refused to drop gun
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M, (AP) — Authorities say Albuquerque police officers have fatally shot a man after he told them he had a gun and refused several orders to drop it. Police Chief Harold Medina says the shooting occurred around 3:30 a.m. Sunday. He says investigators have retrieved what appears to be an airsoft gun from the scene and noted that the shooting appears to be a so-called suicide by cop. According to police, a vehicle approached them and the man inside said he had a gun and the officers were going to have to shoot him. Medina says the police gave the man several commands to drop the weapon but he did not and shots were eventually fired. The man's name hasn't been released yet.
Building anger in rural New Mexico erupts in election crisis
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Behind the raw public frustration and anger over election security that has played out this week in New Mexico was a hint of something deeper — a growing divide between the state's Democratic power structure and conservative rural residents who feel their way of life is under attack. In the state's vast, rural stretches, frustration over voting and political representation has been building for years. Residents have felt marginalized and overrun by government decisions that have placed limits on their livelihoods. Tensions have been mounting for years as Democrats in New Mexico have consolidated control over every statewide office and the Supreme Court.
Screams, threats as New Mexico counties certify vote
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Commissioners in all New Mexico counties have certified the results from their primary election, after one county had sparked a standoff over election integrity that was fueled by conspiracy theories about the security of voting equipment. Otero County commissioners opted 2-1 on Friday to certify the results during an emergency meeting as New Mexico counties faced a deadline for certification of the vote. The commissioners earlier had refused to certify the results, prompting the state's top election official to seek court intervention. The developments in New Mexico can be traced to far-right conspiracy theories over voting machines that have spread across the country over the past two years.
Official in election standoff avoids prison in Capitol riot
WASHINGTON (AP) — An elected official who was a central figure in a New Mexico county's refusal to certify recent election results based on debunked conspiracy theories about voting machines has avoided more jail time for joining the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol. Couy Griffin was sentenced Friday to 14 days behind bars, which he has already served. The founder of the political group Cowboys for Trump, who is a member of a county commission in a remote part of New Mexico, entered a restricted area outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but didn't go into the building itself.
US adds $103M for wildfire hazards and land rehabilitation
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. is adding $103 million this year for wildfire risk reduction and burned-area rehabilitation throughout the country as well as establishing an interagency wildland firefighter well-being program. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland made the announcement Friday while touring the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. About $80 million will be used to speed up work removing potential wildfire hazards on more than 3,000 square miles of Interior Department lands. The firefighter well-being program that includes the Forest Service will address mental health needs of seasonal and year-round wildland firefighters. More than 30,000 wildfires have scorched 4,600 square miles this year, well above the 10-year average.
AG to probe of Chaves County fatal deputy-involved shooting
CHAVES COUNTY, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Attorney General's office is taking over the investigation into the shooting death of a suspect by Chaves County deputies. Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a statement Friday that District Attorney Dianna Luce asked for the review because of a conflict of interest in her office. Deputies were called to a dairy in southern Chaves County on March 22 about a man behaving erratically. The two deputies tried subduing 34-year-old David Aguilera with a taser several times. Police body camera footage shows Aguilera in the driver's seat of a police vehicle. A deputy opens fire on him after he refuses to get out of the car.