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

May 4, 2021
  • Legislators announce return to in-person committee hearings

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico legislators have announced a July return to in-person committee meetings amid evidence of retreating coronavirus infections. Democratic House speaker Brian Egolf made the announcement Monday to a panel of leading legislators. Committee hearings have been conducted largely by videoconference since the spring of 2020. Democrats appointed a new task force on rural economic opportunity and shuffled top committee posts. First term Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill of Silver City and state Rep. Candie Sweetser of Deming will together lead the new task force to identify barriers to rural prosperity and bring forward proposals to ensure universal access to full indoor plumbing, electricity and internet service.

  • Navajo Nation reports 3 new COVID-19 cases, but no deaths

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Monday reported three new confirmed COVID-19 cases and no additional deaths again. The tribe had six new cases and three coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday and six new cases and no deaths Sunday. Tribal health officials say the total number of cases since the pandemic began more than a year ago now is 30,522 on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah with 1,281 known deaths.  Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says more than half of the reservation's adult population has been vaccinated. But people still need to stay home as much as possible, wear masks and avoid large gatherings. 

  • Intel: $3.5B investment is critical to microchip future

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Intel will be investing $3.5 billion in its New Mexico plant to manufacture what executives say will fuel a new era of advanced computing as demands increase for the tiny microchips used in nearly all modern devices. Intel executives were joined Monday by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and other politicians at the plant in the Albuquerque suburb of Rio Rancho as they shared details of Intel's global strategy. Most of the world's chip manufacturing happens in Asia, but the company is looking to reclaim the top spot in the semiconductor sector. Expansions also are underway at the company's sites in Arizona, Oregon, Ireland and Israel.

  • US begins reuniting some families separated at Mexico border

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Biden administration says four families that were separated at the Mexico border during Donald Trump's presidency will be reunited in the United States this week. The families represent what Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calls "just the beginning" of a broader effort. Two of the four families include mothers who were separated from their children in late 2017, one Honduran and another Mexican. Exactly how many families will reunite in the United States and in what order is linked to negotiations with the American Civil Liberties Union to settle a lawsuit. But Mayorkas says there are more to come. ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt says he's happy for the four families but their reunifications are "just the tip of the iceberg." 

  • Brush fire chars estimated 120 acres northwest of Shiprock

SHIPROCK, N.M. (AP) — Crews are still battling a brush fire that has charred an estimated 120 acres 5 miles northwest of Shiprock and led to some evacuations. Authorities say the fire broke out Saturday afternoon in Shiprock and its cause is unknown. It remains zero percent contained. At least one structure has been burned and multiple outbuildings are threatened or burning.  Authorities say the fire is burning brush, grass and salt cedar. Among the agencies fighting the fire are Navajo police, San Juan County Fire Rescue,  Navajo Nation Fire Rescue and Farmington Fire Rescue.

  • Wrong-way driver is killed in freeway crash in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a driver who was going the wrong way on Interstate 40 is dead after crashing into the back of a semi-truck. Albuquerque police say the crash occurred early Sunday and closed part of the freeway for hours. They say the wrong way driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The name, age and hometown of the driver haven't been released yet. It was the second fatal crash on an interstate in the Albuquerque area involving a wrong-way driver in about 24 hours. Bernalillo County Sheriff's officials say an off-duty officer with the Cuba Police Department allegedly caused a head-on crash around 2 a.m. Saturday that left two people dead and another person hospitalized.

  • Navajo Nation reports 6 new COVID-19 cases, 3 more deaths

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has reported six new confirmed COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths. Tribal health officials say that as of Saturday, the total number of cases since the pandemic began more than a year ago now is 30,508 on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah with 1,281 known deaths.  Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said more than half of the reservation's adult population has been vaccinated. But people still need to stay home as much as possible, wear masks and avoid large gatherings. Last week, the Navajo Department of Health loosened some virus-driven restrictions and transition to "yellow status."  

  • Review: Latest Rachel Cusk novel honors Mabel Dodge Luhan

Rachel Cusk's latest novel, "Second Place," was inspired by a 1932 memoir by the legendary arts patron Mabel Dodge Luhan about a visit to her Taos, New Mexico home by the British writer D.H. Lawrence. The novel is narrated by a woman writer, who recounts what happened the summer she invited a famous artist to stay in her guest house on the remote coastal marsh where she lives with her family. Things don't go well, and their relationship never quite adds up. But Associated Press reviewer Ann Levin says that in the end, it doesn't matter because Cusk is such a wonderful writer and storyteller.