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

Jan 9, 2020
  • BC-US-WILDFIRES-UNHEALTHY SMOKE

PARADISE, Calif. (AP) — Increasingly intense wildfires that have scorched forests from California to Australia are stoking worry about long-term health impacts from smoke exposure in affected cities and towns. In the Sierra Nevada foothills town of Paradise, California, where a fire last year killed 85 people and destroyed 14,000 homes, researchers are tracking respiratory problems suffered by survivors and people in downwind communities. The work has far-reaching implications as climate change turns some regions of the globe drier and more fire-prone. Smoke from major wildfires can travel thousands of miles and affect millions of people.

  • BORDER WALL

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall will move forward after a federal appeals court ruling that frees up construction money. The 2-1 ruling halted a federal judge's ruling in December that had prevented the government from spending $3.6 billion diverted from 127 military construction projects to pay for 175 miles of border wall. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit noted the Supreme Court had in July stayed a similar injunction, clearing the way for President Donald Trump's administration to tap billions of dollars in Pentagon funds to build sections of border wall. A White House spokeswoman said Thursday, "We will finish the wall."

  • LAS VEGAS NEW MEXICO MAYOR-RESIGNS

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The mayor of the northern New Mexico city of Las Vegas has resigned two weeks after she was indicted on charges of bribery and accepting kickbacks. Mayor Tonita Gurule-Giron announced the decision in a letter read Wednesday at a City Council work session. City officials say Gurulé-Girón had previously said she would not run for reelection. Prosecutors say Gurule-Giron was charged in December with six felonies related to abuse of power, bid rigging and offering and receiving bribes. Officials say she pleaded not guilty Monday to all the criminal charges against her. Officials say the criminal case against Gurulé-Girón alleges she pressured city employees to give contracts to her boyfriend's construction company.

  • MOTHER KILLED-BOY MISSING

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico authorities have issued an arrest warrant accusing a Roswell man of first-degree murder in the death of the mother of their now-missing young son. Roswell police say 32-year-old Jorge Rico-Ruvira is sought in the homicide of 27-year-old Isela Mauricio-Sanchez. She was found dead Tuesday at her home and police say the boy is believed to be with Rico-Ruvira and possibly headed to Mexico.  New Mexico State Police officers say the boy is missing and believed to be in danger. Authorities say the pair are believed to be traveling in a 2003 maroon GMC Yukon SUV turquoise New Mexico license plate MNF231. . Authorities urge anyone with information to contact the Roswell Police Department or call 911.

  • CHILE CONFERENCE

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State University is preparing to host the world's largest conference dedicated to chile peppers. The 2020 New Mexico Chile Conference will run Feb. 3-4 at the Las Cruces Convention Center. The university's Chile Pepper Institute has been organizing the annual conference for about three decades. It draws experts in breeding, processing, pest management and overall sustainability of the industry. Students also will present their pepper-related research during the two-day gathering. Chili has long been one of New Mexico's signature crops. It's the state vegetable and the basis for the official state question: "Red or green?"

  • FLU-CATHOLIC DIRECTIVES

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The head of New Mexico's largest Catholic diocese has issued directives aimed at protecting parishioners during flu season. Archbishop John Wester cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saying New Mexico is one of the states experiencing widespread flu outbreaks. He's urging people not to shake hands or hug when they attend Mass. Parishioners also are being asked not to hold hands while reciting the Our Father and those who are ill should stay home to avoid spreading the virus. Wester said in his message to parishioners that the directives will be revoked when the situation improves.

  • GUN LEGISLATION-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Sheriffs across across much of New Mexico are opposed to a legislative proposal from Democratic lawmakers that would allow police or relatives to petition a court to temporarily take away guns from people who might harm themselves or others. Sierra County Sheriff Glenn Hamilton says the New Mexico Sheriffs' Association wants to ensure due process protections remain in place for gun owners and that no compromise has been reached with state lawmakers drafting "red-flag" legislation for the session that begins Jan. 21. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday threw her political weight behind red-flag proposals. 

  • NATIVE AMERICAN STUDENT-LAWSUIT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico is suing the state's largest school district over a 2018 incident where a teacher allegedly cut the hair of a Native American student during class on Halloween. The teacher is also accused of asking another student if she was dressed as a "bloody Indian." The ACLU filed the complaint Wednesday. It targets Albuquerque Public Schools, contending the teacher created a hostile learning environment and acted in a discriminatory way. The school district at the time apologized and told parents that the teacher would not return to school. School officials declined to comment on the lawsuit.

 

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