- HANTAVIRUS DEATH-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Hantavirus has claimed the life of a teenager in northwestern New Mexico.The state Department of Health said Friday the death of a 15-year-old McKinley County boy is the third case of hantavirus in New Mexico this year and the second death.Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. People can contract the disease when they breathe in the virus that is suspended in the air.Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel says people need to avoid contact with mice and other rodents and be careful when cleaning up and avoid disturbing rodent droppings and nests, particularly in closed spaces such as sheds.The department says the deer mouse is the main source for the hantavirus strain most commonly found in New Mexico.
- SANTA FE FIESTA
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Annual school visits by Spanish conquistador re-enactors in the oldest capital city in North America are being limited under new rules.The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the Santa Fe school board voted last year to shrink the presence of re-enactors amid criticism their visits whitewashed the history of the Spanish conquest of Native Americans.The visits had been part of an annual September celebration in Santa Fe marking the Spanish re-entry into the city a dozen years after the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. But the celebration of a re-enactment of the Spanish retaking Santa Fe has been forced to undergo a major revamp after protest from Native American activists.Under new rules, conquistador re-enactors can hold assemblies with only New Mexico history students instead of a school's general population.
- NAVAJO PARADE-CANDY
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Oh how sweet it isn't.Thousands of people will line a highway on the Navajo Nation this Saturday for the largest Native American parade in the country.But children eagerly waiting to scoop up candy might not get any tossed their way.Tribal President Jonathan Nez has banned participants from handing out candy and other junk food at the parade in the tribal capital of Window Rock. He's encouraging healthier giveaways like fruit, vegetables and bottled water.His efforts are soured by a legal opinion from the tribe's legislative branch that says the ban applies only to the executive branch.Parade participants sign a waiver agreeing to throw candy from at least 5 feet (1.5 meters) away from floats. It recommends giving out school supplies and fruit.
- STOLEN SPEED TRAILER TIRES
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A mobile speed limit monitoring trailer in Albuquerque can still monitor speeding motorists but can't be moved because thieves recently stole its tires.KOB-TV reports that police said Thursday that the wheels of the speed trailer were stolen and the device is now stationary after it was put on metal pegs.Police say the speed monitor still shows drivers how fast they are going and tracks the data.Authorities say the trailer will be repaired.No arrests have been made.
- CRASH-TWO KILLED-INDICTMENT
ALBQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An indictment charges an Albuquerque-area man with vehicular homicide and other crimes in the collision deaths of a Santa Fe couple who were passengers in an Uber.A grand jury issued the indictment Thursday against Joseph Urvanejo in the May deaths of Kristina Martinez and Robert Gallegos.The Uber driver was not hurt when that vehicle collided Urvanejo's car.Prosecutors say police found a pipe used for drugs and open containers of vodka and other alcohol in Urvanejo's car. He is currently not in custody.Online court records don't list an attorney for Urvanejo who could comment on the allegations.
- MEDICAL MARIJUANA-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Just a few dozen patients seeking relief from opioid dependency have enrolled in New Mexico's medical cannabis program since opioid use disorder became a qualifying condition in June.Statistics confirmed Thursday by the state Department of Health show that 33 patients have sought out medical marijuana to reduce suffering from opioid use or addiction.The state's medical cannabis program had more than 77,000 participating patients on Aug. 31. Enrollment increased 34% from a year ago.At least nine states from Maine to California, along with Washington, D.C., already recognize opioid dependency as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana use.Other recent additions to New Mexico's qualifying conditions include Alzheimer's disease, autism spectrum disorder and three degenerative neurological disorders.
- FALSE TAX RETURNS INDICTMENT
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico attorney and his Nevada client have been indicted over accusations they conspired to file false federal income tax returns.Federal prosecutors say 58-year-old Robert Fiser of Albuquerque and 55-year-old Victor Kearney of Zephyr Cove, Nevada, tried to conceal millions of dollars in income that Kearney received as a beneficiary of two trusts.The Aug. 27 indictment charges Kearney and Fiser with conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service from October 2009 to November 2016.It also charges Kearney with substantially underreporting his income for 2011 and Fiser with aiding and assisting Kearney in the preparation of false tax returns.Fiser was arraigned Thursday and is out of custody pending trial. Kearney is facing a Sept. 12 arraignment.Prosecutors say both men are facing prison sentences if convicted.
- FILM REBATES-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico says it will streamline its system for delivering multimillion-dollar tax rebates to film productions by certifying in-state vendors to automatically qualify for the incentives.The state serves as the recent backdrop for "Better Call Saul," ''The Goldfinch" and "Godless" and offers rebates of up to 35 percent to video productions for in-state spending and resident employees.The Taxation and Revenue Department on Thursday announced the creation of a voluntary certification for film-industry contractors that ensures eligibility for the credit.Taxation officials will verify that businesses have a physical presence in New Mexico and are up-to-date on tax obligations. Certification is valid for two years.New Mexico recently increased its annual cap on rebates to $110 million, not including companies such as Netflix with long-term business commitments.