Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. MST

Nov 3, 2019

Long-running coal plant on Navajo reservation nears its endOne of the largest coal-fired power plants in the U.S. West is winding down operations.The Navajo Generating Station near the Arizona-Utah border has been producing electricity since the 1970s. One unit already has shut down and the other two are scheduled to go offline by the end of the year.Others in the region are on track to shutter or reduce their output in the next few years.Those shifts are upending the livelihoods of people across the area. That includes hundreds of mostly Native American workers who mined coal from tribal land, loaded it from a roadside silo and helped produce electricity.The Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe now are hard-pressed to replace the losses, including money for student scholarships and coal as a heating source.


Inmate who escaped with guard's help sentenced to 30 yearsCLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — A Clovis man who escaped from jail with a detention officer's help has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.The 9th Judicial District Attorney's Office says 26-year-old Ricky Sena was sentenced Wednesday on convictions for felony escape from jail and other crimes in his 2018 escape with two other inmates from the Curry County Detention Center.Detention Officer Sarina Dodson is serving a nine-year sentence after pleading guilty to assist escape from jail.Sena's sentence will run consecutively to an 11-year term for other convictions.Authorities said the inmates with Dodson's help were able to walk out an unlocked jail door.The escapees were taken into custody after being located four days later hiding in a Clovis residence, and the other two inmates also are now serving prison terms.


Jane Fonda spends night in jail after demonstration arrestWASHINGTON (AP) — Actress and activist Jane Fonda spent a night in a local jail after her fourth arrest in as many weeks while participating in a climate change demonstration on Capitol Hill.The 81-year-old Oscar winner was among more than 40 people arrested Friday while sitting in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building. A spokesman for Fire Drill Fridays, Ira Arlook, says Fonda was the only one who spent the night in jail, her first as part of the ongoing demonstration.Arlook says Fonda appeared in Superior Court about 1 p.m. Saturday and was released.Fonda has said she plans to get arrested every Friday as she advocates for reducing the use of fossil fuels. A rally with speakers on various climate-related topics precedes the civil disobedience.


Police: Couple arrested, suspected in over 20 robberiesALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police say detectives have arrested a couple suspected in more than 20 robberies in recent weeks.Police say 31-year-old Mathis Laau and 20-year-old Jasmine Montoya were arrested Thursday on suspicion of multiple counts of crimes that include armed robbery and conspiracy.Laau and Montoya remained in jail Saturday and online court records don't list defense attorneys who could comment on their behalf about the allegations.


Future of Arizona nuclear plant may see hydrogen productionPHOENIX (AP) — Managers of a three-reactor Arizona nuclear plant that went online in the 1980s are exploring whether production of hydrogen gas will be part of its future.The Arizona Republic reports that an idea being explored for the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station is to use seasonally surplus electricity from the plant located in the desert west of Phoenix to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen gas.Uses for the gas could include powering fuel-cell cars and trucks and providing to nearby natural-gas plants that generate electricity.The contemplated production of hydrogen stems from increased availability of solar power, which means Palo Verde's electricity production isn't needed as much during mild spring and fall weather as during the summer when air conditioners run full throttle.


US awards $40M grant to New Mexico for student literacySANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is getting a $40 million federal grant to improve student literacy.Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's office announced the U.S. Department of Education's grant award, saying it will be paid out over five years.The announcement by Lujan Grisham's office says aid research clearly shows that a "high-quality, literacy-rich environment beginning in a child's early development" is a key factor in outcomes such as high school graduation, workforce readiness and success in higher education.


Authorities: Officer opens fire after driver pulls knifeALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a New Mexico State Police officer shot and killed a 22-year-old man during a traffic stop after the driver attacked the officer with a knife.State police say the officer shot Benjamin Diaz on Friday morning west of Alamogordo. Police say Diaz had emerged from his vehicle with the knife before the officer opened fire.Police say the officer was treated at a hospital for stab wounds and released. Chief Tim Johnson did not provide details on the officer's injuries.Johnson says Diaz was pulled over after driving nearly twice the speed limit in a 60 mph zone.Diaz is from Las Cruces and died at El Paso University Medical Center.Police say they'll turn over their investigation to a prosecutor when it's completed.