- POLICE SHOOTING-LOS LUNAS
LOS LUNAS, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico State Police says one of its officers was involved in a shooting Thursday that left a suspect injured. The State Police said the shooting occurred in Los Lunas on the southern outskirts of metro Albuquerque and that the officer involved wasn't injured. The statement provided no details on the circumstances of the shooting, identities of those involved or the condition of the injured suspect.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials are reporting that daily confirmed positive cases have swelled to a record 2,897 cases. They also reported Wednesday an additional 26 deaths. Following a set of restrictions rolled out Monday in an attempt to "reset" the state's fight against the virus, the governor is issuing additional tightening on the definitions of essential businesses. Big box stores must do at least a third of their business selling essential goods like food or offering essential services like vehicle repair in order to allow customers inside stores. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is urging all businesses to move to curbside sales as much as possible.
- CATHOLIC CHURCH-SEX ABUSE
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A California-based Roman Catholic bishop confirmed Wednesday that he is under investigation by the Vatican for his handling of abuse and misconduct cases in his former diocese in the Las Cruces area of southern New Mexico. In an online statement, Bishop Oscar Cantú confirmed a report from the Catholic News Agency about an investigation and said he planned to cooperate fully with any inquiry. The disclosure comes amid public discussions by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops of a report detailing how clerics failed to hold to account ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick for many years after suspicions surfaced of serial sexual misconduct.
- MEDICAID-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Spending on federally subsidized Medicaid health care across New Mexico has surged to an all-time high as the coronavirus pandemic throws more people of all ages into poverty. An independent evaluation announced Wednesday of the state's flagship managed care program for Medicaid insurance finds that enrollment is surging to new heights. More than 52,000 people were added to the state's Centennial Care program serving most Medicaid patients in New Mexico, which has 2.1 million residents. At the same time, use of medical services under the program has decreased since the start of the pandemic in March.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-IMMIGRANT CHILDREN
HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to stop expelling immigrant children who cross the southern border alone, halting a policy that has resulted in thousands of rapid deportations of minors during the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Wednesday issued a preliminary injunction sought by legal groups suing on behalf of children whom the government sought to expel before they could request asylum or other protections under federal law. The Trump administration has expelled at least 8,800 unaccompanied children since March.
DENVER (AP) — Authorities in southern Colorado say they are searching for a suspect in connection with the discovery of the remains of three people found by searchers near a rural hamlet. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation and local police agencies identified the suspect as convicted felon Adre Jordan Baroz and said he goes by the nickname "Psycho." Authorities said Wednesday that authorities consider him armed and dangerous and that any sightings should be reported to police. Searches this month uncovered the skeletal remains of three people on two properties near the New Mexico line. None of the remains have been identified.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Down to its final weeks, the Trump administration is working to push through dozens of rollbacks that could weaken century-old protections for migratory birds, expand Arctic drilling and hamstring future regulation of public health threats. The pending last-minute changes that benefit oil and gas and other industries deepen the challenges for President-elect Joe Biden, who made restoring and advancing protections for the environment, climate and public health a core piece of his campaign. Asked about the last-minute push, an Environmental Protection Administration spokesman says the agency is continuing to advance its regulatory agenda.
- LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new leader has emerged atop the Republican minority contingent in the New Mexico state Senate. Sen. Gregory Baca of Belen was chosen as Republican minority leader during a caucus meeting on Tuesday. The leadership slot previously was held by Sen. Stuart Ingle of Portales. Democrats successfully defended Senate and House majorities in the general election. Political jockeying is underway for the Senate president leadership position that wields influence over committee assignments. Baca is an attorney and war veteran who represents a district spanning most of Valencia County, the Native American community of Isleta Pueblo and portions of Bernalillo County.