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

May 9, 2021
  • BABY DEATH-ARRESTS

Mother, boyfriend facing charges in death of New Mexico babyALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a Mesquite man has been arrested in connection with the death girlfriend's 5-month-old daughter last month. Doña Ana County Sheriff's officials say 23-year-old Israel Ramirez is facing one count of intentional child abuse resulting in the death of a child under 12 and one count of intentional child abuse resulting in great bodily harm of a child under 12. Both charges are first-degree felonies. The Albuquerque Journal reports that child's mother _ 23-year-old Danielle Lujan _ is facing charges with child abuse resulting in great bodily harm, also a first-degree felony. Ramirez and Lujan were arrested Thursday and being held without bond at the county jail.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION

Navajo Nation reports 12 new COVID-19 cases and 1 more deathWINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has reported 12 new COVID-19 cases and one additional death. Tribal health officials say the latest numbers released Saturday night push the total number of cases since the pandemic began more than a year ago to 30,590 on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The known death toll now is at 1,284. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says 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. 

  • MARIJUANA-NEW MEXICO

New Mexico releases list of applicants for marijuana panelSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials have released the names of dozens of people who are vying to be appointed to the state's new Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee. The list of 161 people was posted online Friday. State officials said they're committed to ensuring a transparent process as the state prepares for recreational marijuana sales. Under state law, the advisory committee needs to be established no later than Sept. 1. The panel will be charged with advising the Cannabis Control Division on the development of rules covering best practices and the promotion of economic and cultural diversity when it comes to licensing and employment opportunities.

  • PRETRIAL DETENTION-NEW MEXICO

High court upholds no-bail release in serial burglary caseSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Supreme Court has upheld a lower court decision allowing the no-bail release of an 18-year-old with no prior criminal history who is accused of a string of residential burglaries in Albuquerque. The Friday ruling rebuffs public prosecutors who say risks to the community can't be mitigated by electronic tracking devices and supervision. Justice Michael Vigil announced the court's decision following oral arguments and brief private deliberations. Prosecutors say community safety should be a higher priority in New Mexico's no-cash bail system. The case against releasing Jesse Mascareno-Haidle is the latest challenge by law enforcement to that system. He has pleaded not guilty.

  • NEW MEXICO UTILITY MERGER

New Mexico regulatory staff seeks hearing on utility mergerALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The staff of New Mexico's Public Regulation Commission is calling for a hearing on a proposed merger between the state's largest electric utility and a U.S. subsidiary of global energy giant Iberdrola. The staff reiterated their concerns in a filing Friday, saying the hearing should be scheduled for June 1 so regulators can hash out whether the deal is in the public's interest. The filing notes that significant opposition still exists. Some critics have said a proposed agreement between PNM Resources and Connecticut-based Avangrid doesn't go far enough when it come to customer benefits or funds to support economic development in the state.

  • CHILD WELFARE-TRANSPARENCY

State agency drops use of messaging app that raised concernsSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) —  The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department has stopped using a secure messaging app. That's in response to concerns that material might not be preserved for investigations and for disclosure under the state's public records law. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Cabinet Secretary Brian Blalock said Thursday the department stopped using the Signal app in late April. Blacklock said CYFD started using Signal early in the pandemic after officials realized they lacked a safe and secure platform for working remotely. Blaclock said CYFD has preserved the records as required but dropped use of Signal to avoid weakening the public's trust in the agency. 

  • NEW MEXICO DRUG BUST

New Mexico bust nets fentanyl, other illicit drugsALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Arizona man is facing charges in New Mexico after authorities found a cache of illicit drugs while serving a search warrant. The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office said Friday that Terry Ingram of Phoenix is accused of violating parole and has been charged with multiple counts of trafficking and possession. Authorities say deputies and members of an FBI task force seized about 18,000 fentanyl pills along with meth, heroin and other substances after getting a tip that Ingram regularly traveled from Arizona to New Mexico with narcotics and would distribute them in the Albuquerque area. Court records indicated an attorney has not yet been appointed for Ingram.

  • PRESERVATION-FRONTIER TOWN

New Mexico to preserve historic sites from Billy the Kid eraLINCOLN, N.M. (AP) — A major preservation project is underway in southern New Mexico. The state Department of Cultural Affairs says the work is focusing on an area that was once the stomping grounds of Billy the Kid and Sheriff Pat Garrett. The Lincoln Historic Site is home to some of the most significant Territorial Period structures in the state, many of which are under the protection of New Mexico Historic Sites. One of the six buildings included in the project is the Lincoln County Courthouse, best known as the location of Billy the Kid's final escape in April 1881. The total cost for the work is $395,000.