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

May 3, 2021

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Computer chip manufacturer Intel is scheduled Monday to announce a $3.5 billion investment in its plant in New Mexico. Intel executives will be joined by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and other politicians at the plant in the Albuquerque suburb of Rio Rancho for a news conference where they will detail the plans. It will mark one of the largest single investments by the company since it opened the plant in 1980. The announcement also will be a shot in the arm for the state as it looks to rebound from the economic challenges that have stemmed from the coronavirus pandemic. 


SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Biden administration says four families that were separated at the Mexico border during Donald Trump's presidency will be reunited in the United States this week. The families represent what Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calls "just the beginning" of a broader effort. Two of the four families include mothers who were separated from their children in late 2017, one Honduran and another Mexican. Exactly how many families will reunite in the United States and in what order is linked to negotiations with the American Civil Liberties Union to settle a lawsuit. But Mayorkas says there are more to come. ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt says he's happy for the four families but their reunifications are "just the tip of the iceberg." 


SHIPROCK, N.M. (AP) — Crews are still battling a brush fire that has charred an estimated 120 acres 5 miles northwest of Shiprock and led to some evacuations. Authorities say the fire broke out Saturday afternoon in Shiprock and its cause is unknown. It remains zero percent contained. At least one structure has been burned and multiple outbuildings are threatened or burning.  Authorities say the fire is burning brush, grass and salt cedar. Among the agencies fighting the fire are Navajo police, San Juan County Fire Rescue,  Navajo Nation Fire Rescue and Farmington Fire Rescue.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a driver who was going the wrong way on Interstate 40 is dead after crashing into the back of a semi-truck. Albuquerque police say the crash occurred early Sunday and closed part of the freeway for hours. They say the wrong way driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The name, age and hometown of the driver haven't been released yet. It was the second fatal crash on an interstate in the Albuquerque area involving a wrong-way driver in about 24 hours. Bernalillo County Sheriff's officials say an off-duty officer with the Cuba Police Department allegedly caused a head-on crash around 2 a.m. Saturday that left two people dead and another person hospitalized.


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has reported six new confirmed COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths. Tribal health officials say that as of Saturday, the total number of cases since the pandemic began more than a year ago now is 30,508 on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah with 1,281 known deaths.  Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said more than half of the reservation's adult population has been vaccinated. But people still need to stay home as much as possible, wear masks and avoid large gatherings. Last week, the Navajo Department of Health loosened some virus-driven restrictions and transition to "yellow status."  


Rachel Cusk's latest novel, "Second Place," was inspired by a 1932 memoir by the legendary arts patron Mabel Dodge Luhan about a visit to her Taos, New Mexico home by the British writer D.H. Lawrence. The novel is narrated by a woman writer, who recounts what happened the summer she invited a famous artist to stay in her guest house on the remote coastal marsh where she lives with her family. Things don't go well, and their relationship never quite adds up. But Associated Press reviewer Ann Levin says that in the end, it doesn't matter because Cusk is such a wonderful writer and storyteller.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a 29-year-old off-duty police officer was arrested in an Albuquerque-area wrong-way crash in which two people were killed early Saturday morning. A criminal complaint charged Cuba police officer Brandon Barber with homicide by vehicle, aggravated DWI and an open container violation after the crash on Interstate 25 in Albuquerque's northern outskirts. The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office said two passengers in a SUV were killed. The SUV's driver and the driver of a pickup truck were injured. Online court records didn't indicate whether Barber has an attorney who could comment on his behalf. 


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is on track to have fewer young people. Researchers are warning this week that results from the 2020 Census strengthen predictions that the state's meager 2.8% growth rate over the past decade is likely to reach zero, or even go negative. There are likely going to be fewer people in New Mexico with a declining birth rate and more people moving out of the state than in. On average, the state's residents will be older. Kindergarten classes are already shrinking, leaving child care and school leaders wondering how to plan for a future with fewer kids.