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Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. MDT

Tribal leaders and feds reestablish Bears Ears Commission

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Federal officials and tribal nations have formally reestablished a commission to jointly govern the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. The agreement signed Saturday was previously set forth by the Obama administration in 2016. It marks one of the first times a national monument will be jointly managed by federal agencies and Native American tribes. The agreement was altered to the chagrin of tribal officials when President Donald Trump downsized the monument in 2017. The five nations are the Hopi, Navajo Nation, the Pueblo of Zuni, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation.

Arizona fires sweep land rich with ancient sites, artifacts

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Wildfires in northern Arizona are crossing land rich with signs of human existence through centuries. The vast landscape marked by rugged mountains, high desert and towering ponderosa pines is dense with archaeological sites and artifacts. As efforts to fight wildfires advance, crews are doing more to avoid or minimize damage from bulldozers and other modern-day firefighting tools. Archaeologists say those efforts ensure ancient tools and dwellings unique to the arid U.S. Southwest are protected for future generations. Navajo archaeologist Jason Nez says the work also helps educate those on the fire line about the continued presence of Indigenous peoples.

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.

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.