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

May 13, 2021

Illegal drag racing has exploded in popularity across the U.S. since the coronavirus pandemic began, with sometimes deadly consequences. Officials have reported a dangerous uptick from Oregon and New Mexico to Georgia and New York. Experts say TV shows and movies glorifying street racing had already fueled interest in recent years. Then shutdowns associated with the pandemic cleared normally clogged highways and gave those with a passion for fast cars more time to modify them and show them off. Police in many cities are now stepping up enforcement. And some states are fighting back with harsher punishments.


RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy and its regulators have proposed extending the deadline to ship waste contaminated with plutonium off the decommissioned Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington state. The Tri-City Herald reported that the proposal moves the deadline back from 2030 to 2050 to ship the waste to a national repository in New Mexico for permanent disposal. The Energy Department, Washington state's Department of Ecology and the federal Environmental Protection Agency set waste cleanup plans and deadlines for the nuclear site. Department of Ecology manager John Price said the previous milestones were unattainable. The Hanford reservation produced plutonium for Cold War and World War II nuclear weapons.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Auditor Brian Colón has announced his candidacy for the office of state attorney general. The Democrat wants to follow in the footsteps of friend Hector Balderas, who is wrapping up his second term as New Mexico's top prosecutor and consumer advocate. They worked at the same law firm. Colón became the first person Thursday to enter the race for the open seat. Colón said he sees this as an opportunity to "take the next step." He said he is motivated by growing up poor in New Mexico and a desire to serve his community and protect families. Public safety is among his priorities.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is now administering the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 to children ages 12 to 15. Department of Health spokesman David Morgan on Thursday confirmed that move, which follows authorizations this week by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The department is encouraging families to register children on the state's vaccine website. The expanded availability applies only to the Pfizer vaccine, which until now was only available to people ages 16 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for people 18 and older. 


BOSTON (AP) — A year after the pandemic canceled most proms, school districts around the country are considering whether they can once again hold the formal dance for seniors. Striking a balance between safety and fun, districts are requiring masks and booking outdoor venues like baseball stadiums or setting up tents. Some are requiring a negative test while others are encouraging attendees to get vaccinated. Still, there are plenty of districts that concluded proms remain too risky. School districts in Miami and El Paso cancelled their proms. In response, some parents and students are forging ahead anyways and organizing their own dances.


LA JOYA, Texas (AP) — While asylum-seeking families and children dominate public attention, single adults represent a growing number of encounters with U.S. border agents. They made up nearly two of every three Border Patrol encounters in April. They are less likely to surrender to authorities than families and children, making them less visible. Single adults drove border encounters to the highest level in more than 20 years. But the figures aren't directly comparable because so many are quickly expelled from the country under federal pandemic-related powers. April was also the second-busiest month on record for unaccompanied children encountered at the border, following March's all-time high.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police say they are searching for a man who was seen running from a hospital parking lot after three people were found inside a vehicle with gunshot wounds. Officers responded to the hospital at about 3 p.m. Wednesday and found two of the people dead inside the vehicle. The other person died despite the efforts of paramedics. No identities were released. Police say it's unclear where the victims were shot before they were driven to the hospital. Police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos say the man who was seen running away is considered a person of interest. 


Farmington, N.M. (AP) — Farmington police say four officers responding to reports of a person firing a gun downtown shot and wounded a man who pointed a gun at one officer. Police on Monday released a video statement on the Sunday incident but did not release the identity of the man who was shot and then hospitalized or specify his injuries. According to police, the initial reports of gunfire prompted them to order people in the area to shelter in place. No officers were injured. The San Juan County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident.