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

May 19, 2020
  • Outbreak on edge of Navajo Nation overwhelms rural hospital

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — A night of revelry before bars and restaurants shut in New Mexico appears to have led to an outbreak in a detox center and homeless shelter in the city of Gallup, on the fringes of the Navajo Nation. The outbreak would combine with the local hospital's ill-fated staffing decisions and its well-intentioned but potentially overly ambitious treatment plans to create a perfect storm. The hospital became overwhelmed and now sends all of its critically ill coronavirus patients to other facilities. Doctors, nurses and hospital executives disagree about who is to blame.

  • Police: New Mexico sheriff's deputy found with meth

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico sheriff's deputy has resigned after authorities say they caught him with methamphetamine and a pipe inside his patrol car. KRQE-TV reports New Mexico State Police arrested Grant Taylor this month following a call from the Sierra County Sheriff's Department. According to a criminal complaint, officers found a glass pipe in the center console of his patrol car, along with two bags of methamphetamine inside the sunglasses holder. He was charged with drug possession. It was not known if Taylor had an attorney. Court records show Taylor was also charged with possession back in 2011 and pleaded no contest. 

  • Report: New Mexico saw 13.9% drop in home sales in April

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico saw a 13.9% drop in the number of homes sold in April compared with the same month last year. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports New Mexico Association of Realtors said the dip came as Santa Fe County bore the brunt of home sale declines across the state. The group says Santa Fe County saw a 34% wallop in April as the novel coronavirus took a bite out of homebuyers' and sellers' appetites. Bernalillo County's sales fell 18.3%, San Juan County's slid 15.8% and booming Sandoval County's eased downward 5.5%. Meanwhile, median home prices across New Mexico climbed 7.38% compared with the same period last year. 

  • Decapitated wild turkey, broken duck eggs found at sanctuary

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Authorities are searching for a suspect after the discovery of a decapitated wild turkey and destruction of several duck eggs near a New Mexico bird sanctuary. The Roswell Daily Record reports a reward is being offered for any information about the turkey's decapitation and destruction of duck eggs around the J. Kenneth Smith Bird Sanctuary & Nature Center in Roswell, New Mexico. Roswell Parks & Recreation director Jim Burress says the carcass of the wild turkey was found with its head cut off last week on a walking trail at the sanctuary. No arrests have been made.

  • Sheriff switches endorsement in nasty GOP US House race

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A sheriff has switched his endorsement in a nasty Republican primary race for crucial U.S. House race in southern New Mexico. Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage said Monday he is throwing his support behind oil executive Claire Chase for the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Rep. Xochitl Torres Small. Cage had originally supported former state lawmaker Yvette Herrell for the nomination. But Cage said he changed his mind after the "personal attacks" against Chase. Herrell has faced criticism for exchanging text messages with a cartoonist who was drafting a meme about false rumors Chase had cheated on her first husband.

  • New Mexico: Nursing home reviews ongoing amid pandemic

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Attorney General's Office is considering a request by a state lawmaker to look into an Albuquerque rehabilitation center as part of the agency's ongoing review of health and safety concerns at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. The office said Monday it received a request from Republican Rep. Gregg Schmedes to investigate the eviction of senior residents with disabilities at the center. All 54 patients were moved out in April as part of an agreement with state health officials to make room for coronavirus patients. New Mexico has nearly 6,100 COVID-19 cases, with more than half located in McKinley and San Juan counties.

  • New Mexico's capital city forecasts $100M budget deficit

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's capital city is forecasting a budget deficit of $100 million for the upcoming fiscal year. Officials said Monday the staggering shortfall stems from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Santa Fe's Finance Director Mary McCoy said during a virtual news conference that the expected deficit was unprecedented. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported it remains to be seen exactly how the city plans to make up the shortfall, and officials declined to say how residents and city employees might be affected. The projected gap for the upcoming fiscal year follows an estimated $46 million shortfall in the current fiscal year that triggered furloughs.

  • New Mexico forecasters warn of heat, critical fire weather

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Weather forecasters are warning of record heat that is setting the stage for critical fire weather this week. The National Weather Service in Albuquerque says chances for dry thunderstorms will increase for portions of central New Mexico on Tuesday as the forecast calls for low humidity and gusty winds. State and federal land managers already are imposing fire restrictions for many parts of New Mexico. That includes prohibiting campfires on three of northern New Mexico's national forests starting Wednesday. Restrictions already are in place for the Lincoln National Forest in southern New Mexico.