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

May 15, 2021

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — Police in the eastern New Mexico city of Clovis say one person was killed and others wounded or injured after a shooting and vehicle crash. Police Capt. Captain Roman Romero says a 911 caller reported that they have been shot late Friday night and arriving police found a Mercedes sedan crashed into a sheared-off power pole.  The occupants of the Mercedes were taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries, where a passenger died. Another person with life-threatening injuries was driven to the hospital in another vehicle that was associated with the Mercedes. No details about what prompted the shooting were released.


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Native American tribes say two new Arizona election laws won't make it any easier for their voters. Gov. Doug Ducey recently signed the bills that he and fellow Republicans say will strengthen the integrity of elections. Tribes and voting rights advocates say the measures will disproportionately affect communities of color, tribal members who have to drive long distances to cast a ballot and voters who speak limited or no English. The bills target the length of time voters have to fix signature problems on mailed ballots and require periodic purging of a list of voters who automatically receive mailed ballots.


LA JOYA, Texas (AP) — Growing numbers of migrant families are making the heart-wrenching decision to separate as they try to get their children into America. Many families with kids older than 6 have been quickly expelled from the country under federal pandemic-related powers that don't allow migrants to seek asylum. But they know that President Joe Biden is allowing children traveling alone to stay in the U.S. while their asylum cases are decided. Forced out of the country, they're sending their older children back to cross alone. These self-separations mean children arrive in the United States confused and in distress. Many have traveled hundreds of miles with their parents without understanding why they can't cross that last stretch together.


ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — A prosecutor in New Mexico says a man ended his trial and admitted he killed his wife and four daughters in 2016 at their home in Roswell. The local district attorney, Scot Key, said Friday that 39-year-old Juan David Villegas-Hernandez will face five life-in-prison sentences following his no-contest plea to five murder charges. Villegas-Hernandez acknowledged shooting his 34-year-old wife, Cynthia Villegas, and their four daughters, ages 3 to 14. Key said Villegas-Hernandez fled to Mexico before he was arrested and transferred back to the U.S. in custody. Sentencing is scheduled next Wednesday at the Chaves County Courthouse in Roswell.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has adopted guidance on face masks from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that says fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks indoors or out in most cases. The state Department of Health announced Friday that masks are no longer required of vaccinated people in many public settings, though businesses and workplaces may still make face coverings a requirement for all regardless. Schools will continue to require masks at all times except when eating or drinking. A broad reopening in New Mexico has been linked to the goal of a 60% statewide vaccination rate.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is now administering the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 to children ages 12 to 15. The move follow authorizations this week by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The New Mexico Department of Health is encouraging families to register children on the state's vaccine website. The expanded availability applies only to the Pfizer vaccine, which until now was only available to people ages 16 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for people 18 and older. State officials say more than 50% of eligible residents are now fully vaccinated.


ESTANCIA, N.M. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center are suing a private prison company over the treatment of several immigrant detainees at the Torrance County Detention Center. The groups announced the lawsuit Friday. It centers on the use of pepper spray by guards last year as the immigrants protested poor living conditions and what they said were inadequate COVID-19 precautions. They also complained that updates on their immigration cases were being withheld. Detention center operator CoreCivic said it has followed federal guidelines regarding COVID-19 and that guards were forced to take action after the detainees became disruptive and ignored verbal orders.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Auditor Brian Colón has announced his candidacy for the office of state attorney general. The Democrat wants to follow in the footsteps of friend Hector Balderas, who is wrapping up his second term as New Mexico's top prosecutor and consumer advocate. They worked at the same law firm. Colón became the first person Thursday to enter the race for the open seat. Colón said he sees this as an opportunity to "take the next step." He said he is motivated by growing up poor in New Mexico and a desire to serve his community and protect families. Public safety is among his priorities.