- Police: Shots fired outside high school basketball game
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities in New Mexico have launched an investigation after responding to reports of shots fired outside a high school basketball game on Tuesday. No injuries were reported. The Albuquerque Police Department says the shooting occurred at about 8:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Valley High School, north of downtown Albuquerque. The men's varsity basketball team was competing against Atrisco Heritage Academy High School. Authorities say casings were found in the parking lot. No other details were immediately made available.
- Former Navajo president receives lifetime achievement award
TWIN ARROWS, Ariz. (AP) — Peterson Zah, a former Navajo chairman and president, has received a lifetime achievement award from a Flagstaff-based environmental group. The award given Tuesday by the Grand Canyon Trust recognized Zah's role in promoting Navajo language and culture, inspiring youth, strengthening tribal sovereignty and protecting the land. Zah says it's work he couldn't have done alone and credited a team effort that included his wife, Rosalind Zah. Navajo voters chose Zah as their first president in the early 1990s after the tribe restructured the government under three branches. Zah has been praised for his visionary leadership and love for the Navajo people.
- Navajo Nation: 93 more COVID-19 cases, 1st death in 4 days
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Tuesday reported 93 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and one death, the first in four days. The latest numbers pushed the tribe's totals since the pandemic began to 43,241 cases with 1,594 known deaths. Based on cases from Dec. 24-Jan. 6, the Navajo Department of Health issued an advisory for 61 communities due to the uncontrolled spread of the virus. This week, tribal President Jonathan Nez issued an executive order mandating all employees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination booster shot by Jan. 24. If an employee is not fully vaccinated and doesn't get a booster shot, the employee is required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result at least once every 14 days.
- Virus rocking New Mexico schools again, Santa Fe goes remote
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's capitol city is moving K-12 students back to online learning citing a surge of COVID-19 cases, too many staff in quarantine, and not enough support from state officials for testing. Around 10 other schools also reported a pivot to remote learning Tuesday, in cities from Cuba to Texico. Albuquerque Public Schools hasn't announced any major school closures but is struggling to hire staff. The district announced Tuesday that it's canceling a job fair because of a spike in cases. It's urging potential employees to apply online for some 700 positions. Virtually all districts are desperate for workers, including substitute teachers and auxiliary staff.
- New Mexico church official urges nuclear disarmament talks
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The head of one of the oldest Roman Catholic dioceses in the U.S. says now is the time to rejuvenate a global conversation about the need for nuclear disarmament and avoiding a new nuclear arms race. Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester released a lengthy pastoral letter on the subject Tuesday. He noted during a virtual news conference that Los Alamos National Laboratory — the birthplace of the atomic bomb — is preparing to ramp up production of the plutonium cores used in the nation's nuclear arsenal. Wester called the arms race a vicious spiral. Nuclear watchdog groups welcomed the letter, which marks just the latest instance of the Catholic Church wading into the debate.
- New Mexico education officials miss transparency deadline
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's education department launched a school spending transparency website Tuesday, after failing to meet a Dec. 31 deadline to do so. The public education transparency portal was mandated by the Legislature in 2020 to make it easier for people to see how schools were spending taxpayer money. Lawmakers may use the information to help craft the over $3 billion education budget this year. The education department says it delayed the website's launch after school accountants raised concerns about the portal's functionality. It launched the site following inquiries Monday from The Associated Press, but without financial information from most individual schools.
- Albuquerque's proposed vaccine mandate sparks debate
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The mayor of New Mexico's largest city is telling thousands of workers to prepare for a vaccine mandate in the coming weeks. But union leaders who represent Albuquerque police officers, firefighters and other employees are saying not so fast. They say a mandate would amount to a major change of working conditions that requires Democrat Mayor Tim Keller to come to the negotiating table. The police and fire departments already have voiced concerns about losing personnel if a mandate is imposed. The push comes as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs President Joe Biden's vaccine rule. The mayor said Tuesday that regardless of the federal case, Albuquerque will be ready for a state mandate or any unilateral action to ensure public safety.
- New Mexico woman accused of abandoning newborn in dumpster
HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — An 18-year-old New Mexico woman is facing charges after police say she abandoned her newborn baby in a dumpster. Authorities said during a news conference Monday that four people who were looking through a dumpster heard the baby cry and found it inside a trash bag, wrapped in a dirty towel in Hobbs, near the Texas border. The baby is in stable condition at a hospital in Lubbock, Texas. Police say investigators used surveillance video to identify a car suspected of being involved. That led them to Alexis Avila, of Hobbs. She told authorities she didn't know she was pregnant and panicked when she gave birth.