Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MDT

Oct 3, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A northwestern New Mexico woman has announced she is running for an open U.S. House seat in New Mexico and wants to become the first Republican Native American female in Congress.Karen Bedonie recently filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to seek the GOP nomination for open U.S. House seat in northern New Mexico.The Navajo Nation businesswoman promises on her campaign website site to “lift the government burdens off our shoulders.” She also says a robust Second Amendment could address the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women in the U.S.Bedonie joins a crowded field of Republican and Democratic candidates running for the seat.The seat is currently held by U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, who is running for U.S. Senate.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Española Public Schools have paid $11 million to three former students of a convicted teacher charged with sexual abuse.The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Wednesday that the women dropped the federal lawsuit filed in 2017 against the school district, 62-year-old teacher Gary Gregor and their former Fairview Elementary School principal Ruby Montoya.Authorities say several women have accused Gregor of rape and molestation between 2004 and 2008 at elementary schools in Española and Santa Fe.Gregor was sentenced to nine years imprisonment in a case involving two women who were students at Fairview in 2007-2008. He appealed his conviction.Authorities say he faces additional charges in two other state District Court cases.Authorities say Gregor was named in multiple lawsuits since 2014 and was first indicted in 2017. 


SHIPROCK, N.M. (AP) — The oldest of several Navajo Nation fairs starts this week in Shiprock.The Northern Navajo Nation Fair features traditional dances and ceremony, art displays, livestock sales, a rodeo, parade and royalty pageants. The exhibit hall, Indian Market and carnival open Thursday on youth and elder day _ a popular day for school children to visit.Thousands of people are expected to attend the fair that runs through Sunday.Organizers say the fair is in its 108th year. The community has been preparing for weeks by doing volunteer clean-ups.The Western Navajo Nation Fair is scheduled later this month in Tuba City, Arizona.


LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A lost dog who belonged to a Los Angeles-area family has been found in southern New Mexico followed a three-state journey.KVIA-TV in El Paso, Texas, reports Bella was located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, after a college student took the young husky to an expo and discovered she was chipped.New Mexico State University student Juan Treto says he had been taken care of the dog for six weeks after the dog showed near his home.It turns out Bella had traveled around 700 miles (1,127 kilometers) from Southern California to southern New Mexico.Bella’s original owner, Jessica Smith, says her two daughters had been heartbroken the dog was lost and thought they’d never see her again.The dog has been reunited with the family.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A major oil company is encountering criticism and appreciation for its pledge to donate $1 to local school math, technology and science projects for every tank of gasoline purchased.Chevron said Wednesday it would make up to $75,000 available to support schools in three New Mexico cities through its “Fuel Your School” program.The company invests heavily in local oil production. Top state and district education officials were scheduled to visit an elementary school as new books are delivered under Chevron’s education initiative.High school senior Jonathan Alonzo of Albuquerque says that Chevron’s charitable efforts put cash-strapped communities in an awkward bind and fly in the face of recent mass student protests against oil dependency.Chevron corporate affairs manager Tommy Lyles says the company strongly supports technology and science education.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new effort is under way to measure emissions of a potent greenhouse gas across an area of surging oil and natural gas production in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico.The Environmental Defense Fund announced Wednesday that it will work with university researchers to collect measurements of methane emissions across the Permian Basin.The effort will collect data from sensors mounted on towers, ground vehicles and airplanes across a booming region for oil production that spans some 85,000 square miles (220,000 square miles).Defense Fund Regulatory Affairs Director Jon Goldstein says study results including a map of emissions will be made public. He says researchers with Pennsylvania State University will install stationary methane monitors and the University of Wyoming will use vehicles to measure methane concentrations near drilling sites.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — FBI figures show New Mexico’s 2018 violent crime rate was more than double the national rate.Figures released this week show Albuquerque accounted for 60 percent of total violent crimes in the data for New Mexico.Albuquerque is home to about 560,000 people, more than a quarter of the state’s population.New Mexico had a rate of 857 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2018. The national rate was about 369 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.Reporting by law enforcement agencies for the annual report is voluntary.Mayor Tim Keller says curbing crime remains his administration’s top priority, and that the figures show it’s important for state officials to prioritize crime fighting in Albuquerque too.Crime statistics have remained a political flashpoint in New Mexico in recent years as authorities and lawmakers debate how best to boost public safety.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Health officials have confirmed the first flu cases of the season in New Mexico.The state health department reports all five cases involve adults: three cases in Sandoval County, one in Santa Fe County and one in Bernalillo County in which a 90-year-old patient died.State Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel says flu can be fatal if left untreated or if a person has a weakened immune system. She’s encouraging people to get vaccinated.Near the end of last season, state officials had said flu activity in New Mexico was higher than the national average and that the rate of hospital admissions among children 4 and younger was particularly high.Officials say young children and older adults are the most vulnerable.The flu season typically runs through the end of April.