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

Oct 10, 2019

Long a New Mexico icon, Spanish conquistador faces attacksALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Spanish conquistador, a New Mexico icon that has long been celebrated in art and honored at festivals as a homage to Hispanic heritage, is under attack.A new generation of Native American and Latino activists in the state is demanding that conquistador images and reenactments be removed from schools, seals and celebrations. They say the figure's connection to colonialism and indigenous genocide makes the conquistador outdated.Elena Ortiz of the Native American advocacy group Red Nation says activists want the conquistador expunged from public spaces to revise the region's narrative about itself. She says the conquistador glorifies indigenous genocide.Some Hispanics say, however, that any removal of the conquistador is erasing history. Hispano Round Table of New Mexico chair Ralph Arellanes calls the protesters "ridiculous and crazy."


US nuclear, uranium mining industries hope for Trump bailoutWASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. uranium mining companies and nuclear power plant operators are hoping for a bailout in the name of national security.President Donald Trump is scheduled to get recommendations Thursday from a federal task force studying ways to revive domestic uranium mining.The Nuclear Energy Institute representing uranium mine companies has asked the task force for tax breaks and other financial support.The industry has lagged amid global competition and low uranium ore prices.The mining industry argues that creating uranium ore demand is essential for U.S. national security.Environmental groups say nuclear power and uranium mining industries are trying to exploit security to benefit from taxpayer money.Trump last summer rejected an industry request requiring U.S. uranium ore users to rely on domestic production for 25 percent of their supply.


Tom Hanks returns to New Mexico to film adventure sagaSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Tom Hanks is in New Mexico working on another film.The New Mexico Film Office announced Wednesday that Hanks is co-producing and starring in "News of the World," a post-Civil War adventure saga that is filming in and around Santa Fe through November.Directed by Paul Greengrass, the film is based on the National Book Award finalist and best-selling novel by Paulette Jiles.New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes says it's reassuring that film industry leaders are returning to New Mexico to benefit from its locations, crew and tax incentives.Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's administration has been looking to leverage more taxpayer dollars to attract jobs and spending by the industry to New Mexico.The state estimates the industry spent $525 million within New Mexico during the last fiscal year.


New Mexico State school gets grant to tackle opioid epidemicLAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The nursing school at New Mexico State University has received a three-year $1.35 million grant to help address the opioid epidemic.The funding from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration will finance a project aimed at expanding the number of professionals in New Mexico who are trained to prevent and treat opioid use and substance abuse disorders in community-based practices.The project is a collaboration between the university's College of Health and Social Services and the College of Education. Officials say faculty and students from a total of three university departments will participate in the project through 2021.According to state health officials, New Mexico in 2017 reported a rate of 24.6 deaths per 100,000 people because of drug overdose. Opioid overdose-related emergency room visits also increased by 60 percent between 2010 and 2017.


Police: High school coach stole money from player's walletCLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico football coach is facing charges after authorities say he was spotted on video taking money from a player's wallet.State Police arrested John D. Roanhaus on Saturday following a review of the footage showing the 42-year-old coach entering the school's locker room and grabbing the money. Police say $40 was taken from the wallet.Gallup-McKinley County Schools Superintendent Mike Hyatt told the Gallup Independent that Roanhaus has been fired.Roanhaus had been the head coach of Miyamura High School in Gallup, New Mexico, since 2018.Roanhaus is the youngest son of New Mexico Hall of Fame coach Eric Roanhaus.He faces larceny and non-residential burglary charges. It is not known if Roanhaus had an attorney.Miyamura fell Friday to 1-6 after a 55-14 loss at Bloomfield.


Committee to examine Native women's deaths, disappearancesALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has appointed eight members to a task force established to examine the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women.She announced appointments Wednesday. They include Pueblo, Jicarilla Apache, Mescalero Apache and Navajo representatives, as well as nonprofit leaders and a Native American survivor of violence.The group is tasked with determining the scope of the issue in New Mexico. They also are expected to identify barriers related to investigations.A lack of consistent data and complicated jurisdictional issues have stifled policy makers nationwide as they seek to respond to concerns about the crisis.The task force has until November 2020 to report findings. A growing number of states have established similar committees.Appointees include Navajo Nation First Lady Phefelia Nez and Elizabeth Gonzales, an Office of the Medical Investigator supervisor.


Head of Albuquerque Public Schools district set to retireALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The superintendent of the state's largest public schools district is retiring.Raquel Reedy told the Albuquerque Public Schools' Board of Education this week that she'll leave the office June 30 when her contract expires. She served as acting superintendent for several months before she was named to the post in 2016.The district credited Reedy with bringing stability, reorganizing the district into learning zones, strengthening a bilingual program and expanding other programs. The board voted earlier this year to boost her salary to more than $276,000 annually — up nearly $30,000 from her previous salary.Voters also struck down efforts to bring more money into the district during her tenure and standardized test scores have been low.The school board says it work quickly identify candidates to replace Reedy.


Documents: New Mexico man shot infant, sought to kill momGALLUP, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man facing charges in connection with the shooting of an infant girl has admitted he accidentally fired the weapon, not the girl's 3-year-old brother.The Gallup Independent reports court documents show Tyrell Bitsilly allegedly told authorities he was the one who fire the weapon that left the baby partially blind and deaf.The 21-year-old Bitsilly and the baby's mother, Shayanne Nelson, had told police the girl's 3-year-old brother found a gun left in a Gallup, New Mexico, motel room and accidentally fired the gun.Gallup police announced last week Bitsilly is facing new charges after authorities say he tried to arrange the killings of Nelson and a retired military medic who helped saved the infant girl's life.Public defender Alec Orenstein says he needed more time to talk to Bitsilly after the new allegations.