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

Aug 13, 2019

New Mexico school to name gym after Vietnam War vet(Information from: Las Vegas Optic, http://www.lasvegasoptic.com)LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — West Las Vegas School is renaming a gymnasium after a Vietnam War veteran who died in combat.The Las Vegas Optic reports the district's school board voted last week to name the gym after Jerry Flores, a Las Vegas native who died in Vietnam nearly two weeks before he was scheduled to come home in 1971.Vietnam Veterans of America member Paul Salas says veterans had sought to rename the gym previously but no action was ever taken.The board is now examining where it can create a wall of honor for service members who attended West Las Vegas schools.___


New Mexico State University may delay opening new dormLAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State University's newest dormitory may not be open in time for the start of the fall semester.The university said Monday it's notifying students who wanted to move into Juniper Hall of the possible delay.Officials say all other residence halls will be ready for move-in day on Aug. 16 and students who had planned to live in Juniper Hall will be accommodated in other facilities until it's ready.NMSU President John Floros says the safety and comfort of students is the primary concern and the university won't move anyone into the new dorm until the building is ready and a certificate of occupancy is granted.Construction was initially expected to be done in July. The contractor also missed an Aug. 2 demand date set by the university.


Republican businessman to run for US Senate in New MexicoALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal records show Republican construction contractor Mick Rich is planning on making a second run for the U.S. Senate in New Mexico.The Mick Rich 2020 campaign committee filed paperwork August 1 with the Federal Election Commission, opening the door for the Albuquerque resident to seek the GOP nomination.The 65-year-old will face former Trump administration official Gavin Clarkson in the Republican primary.U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan and New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver are competing in the Democratic primary.All are seeking to replace Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, who is retiring.Rich lost to Democratic U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich in the general election last year.


Seeking safety, New Mexico considers checks on gun sellersSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says her administration is considering whether to extend background checks on private gun sales to the sellers of firearms and not just buyers.The first-year Democratic governor said that adding background checks on gun sellers might allow authorities to better track the movement of firearms.The comments come as the governor convenes a summit of public safety experts Wednesday to address concerns about domestic terrorism in response to the Aug. 3 shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, that killed 22.The summit of leading public security officials and lawmakers is taking place out of public view and includes an FBI briefing.Lujan Grisham also expects state authorities to more closely study discriminatory hate groups in the region.


Former longtime White Mountain Apache tribal chairman diesWHITERIVER, Ariz. (AP) — A former longtime chairman of the White Mountain Apache Tribe has died at age 89.Tribal officials say Ronnie Lupe died Monday.Lupe served as the tribe's chairman for 36 years before leaving office in May 2018 after deciding not to seek a 10th term.Prior to his long tenure as chairman, Lupe served in the U.S. Marine Corps and as a member of White Mountain Apache Tribal Council.Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a statement that Lupe "was a man of great compassion" and "a strong leader who did not shy away from challenging the federal government on many issues, but he did so in a respectful and tactful way."Funeral services are pending.A list of Lupe's survivors wasn't immediately available Monday night.


New Mexico governor names new education secretarySANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has named a regional official with a national nonprofit group as the new leader of the state's public education department.Ryan Stewart was introduced Monday during a news conference in Santa Fe.Based in Philadelphia, Stewart is the executive director of the Partners in School Innovation mid-Atlantic region. The group focuses on increasing educational opportunities for low-income students of color.He was previously head of the Philadelphia school district's improvement and innovation office.The governor said Monday she has very expectations for the education department and that Stewart has energy and vision.Stewart fills a vacancy created when Lujan Grisham abruptly fired the previous secretary, Karen Trujillo. The shake-up came as the administration deals with court-ordered mandates and a push to roll out extended learning times for students.


2 education groups urge caution on New Mexico tests revampALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two New Mexico education advocacy groups are urging caution as state officials work to revamp a student assessment test.NewMexicoKidsCAN and Teach Plus said last week they hope state education officials maintain rigorous standards for stability.Last month, the state released results that showed around 80% of New Mexico students weren't proficient in math and 67% weren't proficient in reading. The results were from a "transition test" administered in the spring.Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham scrapped a previous test amid pressure from teachers unions. A panel is helping create a new test despite criticism from some Republicans.Lujan Grisham spokesman Tripp Stelnicki told The Associated Press it was "incredibly outrageous" to ask if the administration was seeking to make the test easier to raise proficiency rates.


New Mexico confirms first human West Nile caseALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials have confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus in the state.The Health Department said Monday a 42-year-old woman from Dona Ana County contracted the mosquito-borne virus and is recovering after being hospitalized.New Mexico has had cases of West Nile every year since the virus migrated to the state in 2003.There were seven confirmed cases in New Mexico in 2018, including one fatal case. In 2017, there were 33 cases, with one reported death.Officials say mosquito populations tend to rise following increased precipitation during the monsoon season.Symptoms can include headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. Officials say people with West Nile fever typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for weeks to months.