Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. MDT

Oct 3, 2019

Oldest of Navajo Nation fairs runs through SundaySHIPROCK, N.M. (AP) — The oldest of several Navajo Nation fairs starts this week in Shiprock.The Northern Navajo Nation Fair features traditional dances and ceremony, art displays, livestock sales, a rodeo, parade and royalty pageants. The exhibit hall, Indian Market and carnival open Thursday on youth and elder day _ a popular day for school children to visit.Thousands of people are expected to attend the fair that runs through Sunday.Organizers say the fair is in its 108th year. The community has been preparing for weeks by doing volunteer clean-ups.The Western Navajo Nation Fair is scheduled later this month in Tuba City, Arizona.


Lost California dog found in southern New MexicoLAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A lost dog who belonged to a Los Angeles-area family has been found in southern New Mexico followed a three-state journey.KVIA-TV in El Paso, Texas, reports Bella was located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, after a college student took the young husky to an expo and discovered she was chipped.New Mexico State University student Juan Treto says he had been taken care of the dog for six weeks after the dog showed near his home.It turns out Bella had traveled around 700 miles (1,127 kilometers) from Southern California to southern New Mexico.Bella’s original owner, Jessica Smith, says her two daughters had been heartbroken the dog was lost and thought they’d never see her again.The dog has been reunited with the family.


Gasoline fundraiser for school supplies rankles and pleasesSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A major oil company is encountering criticism and appreciation for its pledge to donate $1 to local school math, technology and science projects for every tank of gasoline purchased.Chevron said Wednesday it would make up to $75,000 available to support schools in three New Mexico cities through its “Fuel Your School” program.The company invests heavily in local oil production. Top state and district education officials were scheduled to visit an elementary school as new books are delivered under Chevron’s education initiative.High school senior Jonathan Alonzo of Albuquerque says that Chevron’s charitable efforts put cash-strapped communities in an awkward bind and fly in the face of recent mass student protests against oil dependency.Chevron corporate affairs manager Tommy Lyles says the company strongly supports technology and science education.


Methane study to deploy planes, towers in Texas, New MexicoSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new effort is under way to measure emissions of a potent greenhouse gas across an area of surging oil and natural gas production in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico.The Environmental Defense Fund announced Wednesday that it will work with university researchers to collect measurements of methane emissions across the Permian Basin.The effort will collect data from sensors mounted on towers, ground vehicles and airplanes across a booming region for oil production that spans some 85,000 square miles (220,000 square miles).Defense Fund Regulatory Affairs Director Jon Goldstein says study results including a map of emissions will be made public. He says researchers with Pennsylvania State University will install stationary methane monitors and the University of Wyoming will use vehicles to measure methane concentrations near drilling sites.


Albuquerque mayor: Crime figures show need for state helpALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — FBI figures show New Mexico’s 2018 violent crime rate was more than double the national rate.Figures released this week show Albuquerque accounted for 60 percent of total violent crimes in the data for New Mexico.Albuquerque is home to about 560,000 people, more than a quarter of the state’s population.New Mexico had a rate of 857 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2018. The national rate was about 369 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.Reporting by law enforcement agencies for the annual report is voluntary.Mayor Tim Keller says curbing crime remains his administration’s top priority, and that the figures show it’s important for state officials to prioritize crime fighting in Albuquerque too.Crime statistics have remained a political flashpoint in New Mexico in recent years as authorities and lawmakers debate how best to boost public safety.


New Mexico reports season’s first confirmed flu casesSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Health officials have confirmed the first flu cases of the season in New Mexico.The state health department reports all five cases involve adults: three cases in Sandoval County, one in Santa Fe County and one in Bernalillo County in which a 90-year-old patient died.State Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel says flu can be fatal if left untreated or if a person has a weakened immune system. She’s encouraging people to get vaccinated.Near the end of last season, state officials had said flu activity in New Mexico was higher than the national average and that the rate of hospital admissions among children 4 and younger was particularly high.Officials say young children and older adults are the most vulnerable.The flu season typically runs through the end of April.


New Mexico man accused of biting police dog after ax attackRIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man is facing charges after authorities say he bit a police dog following an alleged ax attack.The Albuquerque Journal reports Chris Gavaldon was arrested last week after Rio Rancho police were called to a mobile home over reports of a fight between a man and a woman.Rio Rancho Police Capt. Andrew Rodriguez says Gavaldon used an ax to batter the woman, causing “significant injury” to her hand.Rodriguez says police sent in their canine Diesel after Gavaldon barricaded himself inside his home. That’s when police say Gavaldon bit the dog.Rodriguez says the bite didn’t break Diesel’s skin but the canine was placed on antibiotics.Gavaldon is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. It was unclear if he had an attorney.


Virgin Galactic says it’ll fly Italian air force researchersLOS ANGELES (AP) — Virgin Galactic says it has been contracted by the Italian air force for a suborbital research flight aboard its winged rocket ship.The company announced Wednesday that the mission will be flown as early as next year, carrying three Italian specialists who will tend to the experiments while the craft is in space.Virgin Galactic is best known for its plans to carry tourists into the lower fringes of space to experience weightlessness and view the Earth far below.But its spaceships also are designed to carry experiments that require several minutes of microgravity.Virgin Galactic crews have reached space on test flights over California, and the company recently moved staff to Spaceport America in New Mexico to begin commercial launches.