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

Jun 7, 2021

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller is facing criticism for failing to include two openly gay city councilors at a recent Pride month event. The Albuquerque Journal reports that neither Pat Davis nor Diane Gibson was present last week when Keller raised a rainbow flag, a symbol of Pride, outside City Hall with members of the LGBTQ community. Both Davis and Gibson confirmed that they were not invited. Davis tweeted "Inclusivity is not a photo op." Gibson told the newspaper Keller has a history of not including her at events in her own district. A spokeswoman for the mayor said nobody was excluded from the public event.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police were investigating two suspected homicides in Albuquerque on Sunday, including one involving a motorcyclist who appeared to have been shot before crashing. Officers questioned but released two people at the scene of the other killing of a man early Sunday on the west of town where shots were fired and one man died. Police were called to an area near Broadway and Coal avenues at about 1:30 a.m. found a male motorcyclist who was suffering from a gunshot injury and later died at a local hospital. About 10 minutes later, police responded to reports of shots fired in on Blue Avena SW where a man was found dead.


CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — Haitians rejoiced when the Biden administration recently extended protections for those living in the United States, but it doesn't apply to Haitians who still hope to make it to the country. Many are calling Mexican border cities home as they face increasing repatriation flights by the U.S. and bleak prospects for finding protections outside their homeland. Haiti faces political and humanitarian crises following a devastating 2010 earthquake. Some Haitians have recently moved from Tijuana to Ciudad Juarez, driven by job prospects, hopes of less racial discrimination and a temptation to cross what they perceive to be less-guarded stretches of border.


The federal government plans to purchase a private ranch in the Jemez River Valley to expand the Santa Fe National Forest in northern New Mexico. Officials said the acquisition of the 3.1 square miles will both protect land rich in natural and cultural resources and provide public access to areas of the forest currently difficult to reach. The land consists of two parcels on both sides of the river and is nestled between spires of volcanic tuff and red rock mesas. The parcels are within the congressionally designated Jemez National Recreation Area.Forest managers estimate the sale will close in the coming year. 


SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in southwestern New Mexico is closed to the public while crews conduct a burnout operation to reduce the risk of a wildfire burning toward the monument and the nearby community of Gila Hot Springs. Officials said the closure of the monument located 32 miles north of Silver City took effect Saturday and will continue until further notice. Burnout operations are a fire suppression technique in which fire is set along the inside edge of a control line or natural barrier to consume unburned fuel between a wildfire and the control line. 


TSAILE, Ariz. (AP) — A Navajo Nation college has accepted President Joe Biden's challenge to get students and others vaccinated for COVID-19 by July 4. Diné College Incident Command Director Velveena Davis said said the college wants to do its part to expand vaccination efforts because COVID-19 remains a threat to the Navajo Nation. The U.S. Department of Education reached out to higher education institutions of behalf of Biden, asking them to help reach a 70% nationwide vaccination goal by July 4.  Meanwhile, the Navajo Nation Council has approved a resolution to reopen tribal parks and other facilities such as the tribal zoo and museum. 


GILA BEND, Ariz. (AP) — The U.S. Border Patrol says its agents in southern Arizona have rescued 26 migrants stranded in the mountains south of Interstate 8 amid rising summer temperatures. The agency said Friday the rescue took place Wednesday afternoon in the Tabletop Mountains near Gila Bend after one of the migrants called 911 for help. Temperatures had hit 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The Border Patrol's air rescue units and Arizona state troopers helped rescue the migrants, several of whom needed treatment for heat related illnesses. Border Patrol agents in the Yuma Sector this week found the remains of two migrants who died in separate locations.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's lottery scholarship program in the next academic year will cover full tuition for eligible in-state students at public and tribal colleges and universities for the first time since 2015. The state Higher Education Department announced Thursday that the scholarship will be funded at $63.5 million in the 2021-2022 fiscal year, a 30% increase, with the additional money coming from several sources. The scholarship paid full tuition for eligible students from 1996 to 2015 before it was reduced to levels as low as 60%. That was due to circumstances that included rising tuition rates.