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

Mar 30, 2021

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Virgin Galactic rolled out its latest spaceship as the company gets ready to resume test flights in the coming months at its headquarters in the New Mexico desert. The newest ship dubbed the VSS Imagine was designed and manufactured in California. Company officials say it will likely be summer before the ship begins glide flight testing at Spaceport America in southern New Mexico. CEO Michael Colglazier says the addition of the new ship Tuesday marks the beginning of a Virgin Galactic fleet that will ferry paying customers and scientific payloads to the fringe of space. He said the company is still aiming for commercial operations in 2022.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico judge has postponed a jury trial for a man accused of rape after his attorney argued his client's right to a fair trial was violated because none of the potential jurors selected were Black. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that 25-year-old Maury Elliot is accused of raping two teens and a woman in separate attacks. Jury selection for one of the cases was scheduled to start Monday. But Judge T. Glenn Ellington halted the trial after a defense lawyer said none of the 77 potential jurors were Black. Assistant District Attorney Kent Wahlquist argued that the pool's racial makeup represents Santa Fe.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police say alcohol and speed were factors in a single-vehicle crash in which two children were killed and two others were injured, one critically. Police said the wreck occurred at about 4 a.m. Tuesday when the vehicle struck a concrete barrier along northbound Interstate 25 after entering the freeway on a ramp from Interstate 40 at high speed. A police statement said two adults also were the vehicle and that both were injured, the driver critically. The statement said the two children killed were under age 10 but police did not provide additional information about the children or the adults.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico lawmakers are responding to the call of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to try and forge an agreement on legalizing recreational marijuana in a special legislative session that convenes at noon on Tuesday. Legalization has won state House approval for three consecutive years but failed to gain full approval, despite support from an array of proponents. Lujan Grisham has hailed the industry's potential to create jobs and a stable new source of revenue for the state. Lawmakers are likely to bring forward two bills that provide a regulatory framework for the industry and focus secondly on social justice concerns.


LAFAYETTE, Colo. (AP) — A slain Colorado police officer credited with preventing more people from being killed in a mass shooting at a supermarket will be honored at a memorial service before being laid to rest. More than 500 vehicles law enforcement vehicles participated in a procession Tuesday that escorted the hearse carrying Officer Eric Talley's body to the church service. The church is about 10 miles east of Boulder where Talley and nine other people were killed after a gunman opened fire at a grocery store on March 22. A day earlier, a Roman Catholic Mass was celebrated for Talley in Denver.


PHOENIX (AP) — As states across the U.S. West beef up their renewable energy mandates, a push to do so in Arizona has been met by fierce resistance from the Republican governor and GOP-dominated Legislature. Lawmakers are looking to strip elected utility regulators of their power to set energy policy in one of the nation's sunniest states. Utilities are well on their way to meeting Arizona's 15% renewable energy mandate by 2024. Environmentalists worry that progress would stall if power companies aren't forced to keep installing green technologies at a time when Arizona faces more extreme heat from climate change. Republican lawmakers supporting the move say the Legislature is the better venue to decide on energy policy. 


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has announced his first slate of nominees to serve on federal courts and for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The list released by the White House early Tuesday includes Black, Muslim and Asian American Pacific Islander candidates among the nine women and two men. Biden calls it a "trailblazing slate" of nominees. The White House says the nominees reflect Biden's belief that the federal courts should reflect the "full diversity of the American people." Former President Donald Trump leaned heavily on white men to fill judicial vacancies.


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has announced his first slate of judicial nominees. The list released by the White House early Tuesday includes Black, Muslim and Asian American Pacific Islander candidates among the nine women and two men. The most prominent selection is Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Jackson would fill the vacancy created by Judge Merrick Garland's move to lead the Justice Department. President Barack Obama had considered Jackson for the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016. Biden has promised to nominate a Black woman for the high court if he has the opportunity to do so.