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

Jun 27, 2019

Migrant: Young family ignored advice against border swimMATAMOROS, Mexico (AP) — The young family from El Salvador appeared in the Mexican border city of Matamoros over the weekend with fear already on their faces.Another migrant says the family asked about trying to swim across to the U.S., but she tried to discourage them over the danger. Xiomara Mejia says that "I noticed they were really nervous, scared. They had panic on their faces."Mejia said Wednesday the family left, saying they would be back.  "I didn't think they were going to decide to cross the river."But they did try the swim, and the father and young daughter were swept away and drowned. Their bodies were found face down in the Rio Grande, a heartbreaking scene captured in a news photo showing the girl tucked inside her father's shirt.


Navajo cancer center will cut tribal members' travel timeTUBA CITY, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has opened a cancer treatment center on the reservation that it says will significantly cut down on travel time for patients.The Tuba City Regional Health Care Corp. in northeastern Arizona recently welcomed its first patient. It is funding the new center with hospital profits, grants and donations.Cancer treatment is considered specialty care under the federal Indian Health Service, which partially funds the hospital. Patients previously had to get a referral to be seen elsewhere, often an hour or more from home.Hospital chief executive Lynette Bonar says the treatment center is the first of its kind on any Native American reservation, though some facilities offer screenings and other services.It will serve Navajos, Hopis and San Juan Southern Paiutes in its service area.


Border aid bill faces standoff in Congress over protectionsWASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is at a standoff over a $4.6 billion aid package for the southern border, House Democrats saying a Senate measure doesn't go far enough to care for thousands of migrant families and children.Speaker Nancy Pelosi is considering a fresh vote Thursday. Democrats want to add medical and hygiene standards and more protections for the children.It's a risky stalemate over a border crisis that has captured global attention amid unsettling reports of conditions at federal facilities. The funding is urgently for the humanitarian emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border and money runs out in a matter of days.The GOP-held Senate on Wednesday passed the bipartisan $4.6 billion measure on a sweeping 84-8 vote.


US had open beds as migrant kids languished at Texas stationHOUSTON (AP) — As more than 200 children languished in troubling conditions in a remote Border Patrol station, the government's system of child detention facilities had at least 500 beds available.Records obtained by The Associated Press show that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had beds available in facilities across the U.S., which when tallied up numbered 512 last week.Under federal law, the department is responsible for sheltering migrant children until they are placed with family sponsors.The Border Patrol is supposed to hold children for no longer than 72 hours in most instances.Health and Human Services says the total number of beds in its system doesn't reflect the challenges of placing kids in specific facilities, especially toddlers and very young children.


Mescalero Apache to offer sports betting at casino(Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com)MESCALERO, N.M. (AP) — Another New Mexico tribe is preparing to offer sports betting at its casino.The Albuquerque Journal reports Mescalero Apache Tribe announced this week it is partnering with William Hill to offer a book at Inn of the Mountain Gods that will before football season.William Hill's partnership with the Mescalero Apache Tribe is the first tribal agreement for William Hill outside of Nevada.Inn of the Mountain Gods becomes the fourth tribal casino to offer sports betting in New Mexico.Santa Ana Star, on Santa Ana Pueblo, was the first to have its sports book open, in October. The sports book at Pueblo of Pojoaque's Buffalo Thunder opened in March. Isleta's sports book is set to open on August 12.___


US Senate panel takes up thorny issue of nuclear wasteALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A congressional panel is scheduled to hear from experts as it weighs legislation aimed at tackling the decades-old problem of how to handle spent nuclear fuel and other high-level waste that has been piling up around the United States.The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday will be discussing temporary and permanent options for dealing with the waste.Scientists, environmentalists and officials with the Nuclear Energy Institute are expected to testify.Development of a proposed long-term storage site at Nevada's Yucca Mountain was halted during the Obama administration, although the Trump administration has moved to restart the licensing process despite stiff resistance in Nevada.Private companies also have applied for licenses to open temporary storage facilities in New Mexico and West Texas. Those proposals also face political opposition.


Man wants life prison term reversed in Navajo girl's murder(Information from: KRQE-TV, http://www.krqe.com)ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A man who pleaded guilty to kidnapping, raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl in New Mexico in 2016 now wants his life prison sentence reversed.Tom Begaye was sentenced in 2017 after pleading guilty to murder and aggravated sexual abuse in Ashlynne Mike's death near Shiprock on the Navajo Nation.Albuquerque TV station KRQE reports Begaye says in a 10-page handwritten motion that his rights were violated when authorities questioned him.Begaye says he's developmentally disabled, didn't understand his legal rights and didn't get competent counsel from his attorney.Begaye says he was drunk the day of the killing and because of that, the killing wasn't premeditated and he shouldn't have been charged with first-degree murder.He's seeking an evidentiary court hearing and a lesser charge in the case.___


Bond set for mom charged in child and animal abuse caseAZTEC, N.M. (AP) — A judge has ruled that a New Mexico couple can be released on bond as they await trial in an abuse case marked by allegations of child beatings and slain pets.Martha and Timothy Crouch made initial court appearances Wednesday, two days after their arrests in Aztec.The mother is charged with child abuse and extreme cruelty to animals on accusations she struck and bruised a teenage daughter, shot the girl's dog as a way to punish her, and boiled puppies.Her husband is charged with obstructing the child abuse investigation, a misdemeanor.He was released on a $1,000 unsecured bond. A cash bond for his wife was set at $50,000.The local public defenders' office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the couple's behalf.