- New Mexico governor used fund to buy groceries, dry cleaning
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has acknowledged that she used taxpayer money to buy almost $13,500 worth of goods and services such as dry cleaning, tuna steaks, liquor and Wagyu beef over a six-month period in 2020. Lujan Grisham's taxpayer-funded expense account is appropriated by the state Legislature for the governor to spend on functions, events or items that promote the state. Former Republican Gov. Susana Martinez spent an average of about $68,000 per year in discretionary funds from 2011 through 2017. The governor's spokesperson, Tripp Stelnicki, said Thursday that some of the more than $6,500 grocery bill was used to feed her cabinet and staff at long meetings during the second half of last year.
- Film Office: 3 productions completed in Albuquerque
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials say three feature films completed production in the state in recent months. The state Film Office reports the films included "Vengeance" produced by Blumhouse, "Cop Shop" produced by Warren Goz and Eric Gold and "Intrusion," a Netflix feature. The Film Office said all three productions were filmed at least in part in Albuquerque. It said the plot of "Vengeance" is being kept under wraps but that "Cop Shop" is about a crime syndicate fixer who intentionally goes to prison and that "Intrusion" is a drama involving a home invasion and shooting.
- Police: Man sought in Albuquerque slaying held in Alabama
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in New Mexico in say a 24-year-old man being held by authorities in a murder investigation in Huntsville, Alabama, has been named as a suspect in a 2018 killing in Albuquerque. Breon Humphrey-Sallings remained jailed in Huntsville, where police said he was previously arrested in a 2019 homicide case and refused to answer questions from Albuquerque police. Police say an arrest warrant was issued this month in New Mexico for Humphrey-Sallings' arrest in the August 2018 drug deal killing of Christopher Salazar. Police say a second suspect, 26-year-old Deshawn Hall is still sought in Salazar's killing.
- New Mexico Legislature moves to preserve abortion rights
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A bill to shore up abortion rights in New Mexico by overturning a dormant 1969 ban on most abortion procedures has been approved by the Democrat-led Legislature. The state House passed the bill Friday and sent it to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has said she will sign it. The initiative stands as a counterpoint to proposed abortion bans this year in several Republican-led legislatures.
- Officials: Albuquerque had grueling two months of big fires
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The mayor and fire chief say Albuquerque firefighters had a grueling two months in December and January, responding to a big increase in what are characterized as serious fires. Mayor Tim Keller and Fire Chief Paul Dow on Friday didn't give a cause for the spike. They say Albuquerque Fire Rescue tallied 209 significant fires during the span, and handled more than 14,000 other calls for medical, rescue and other services. By comparison, the department averaged 64 significant fires per month in October and November. They say February calls appear to be returning to a normal level.
- Cyberattack strikes hospital that serves Navajo Nation
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A pandemic-besieged hospital on the edge of the Navajo Nation says it has been the focus of a cyberattack. The nonprofit operator of Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital in Gallup on Thursday issued a brief statement acknowledging "unauthorized activity" on its computer network. Hospital spokeswoman Ina Burmeister says hospital operators have hired private investigators and taken other undisclosed measures to prevent further unauthorized activity. A wave of digital assaults has been taking U.S. health care providers hostage as they contend with the COVID-19 pandemic.
- New Mexico House speaker responds to ethics complaint
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf says a recent ethics complaint against him is an effort to distract him from work as a legislator. Egolf made the comments Thursday in an online forum with reporters. Retired state district judge and former district attorney Sandra Price of Aztec has filed a complaint with the State Ethics Commission that accuses Egolf of promoting legislation that may financially benefit his legal practice without disclosing a conflict of interest. The Albuquerque-based commission has not yet made any decision on the merits of the complaint.
- US unwinds Trump policy making asylum-seekers wait in Mexico
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Biden administration is moving to restore the asylum system to the way it worked for decades by releasing a group of asylum-seekers into the U.S. It ends their long wait in Mexico and unravels a key anti-immigration policy of former President Donald Trump. The 25 people who arrived Friday are the first of an estimated 25,000 asylum-seekers with active cases in the "Remain in Mexico" program who will now wait in the U.S. for their court hearings instead of south of the border. The new arrivals were taken to San Diego hotels to quarantine. U.S. officials are warning people against coming to the border.