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

May 19, 2020

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — A night of revelry before bars and restaurants shut in New Mexico appears to have led to an outbreak in a detox center and homeless shelter in the city of Gallup, on the fringes of the Navajo Nation. The outbreak would combine with the local hospital's ill-fated staffing decisions and its well-intentioned but potentially overly ambitious treatment plans to create a perfect storm. The hospital became overwhelmed and now sends all of its critically ill coronavirus patients to other facilities. Doctors, nurses and hospital executives disagree about who is to blame.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's largest public school system is planning virtual high school graduation ceremonies in late June because of the coronavirus pandemic, In southern New Mexico, Las Cruces schools are gearing up for high school senior drive-thru celebratory parades Thursday and Friday. Graduation season comes as the state remains under a public health order that encourages people to stay at home and prohibits any gatherings of more than a few people. Just recently, the governor relaxed some restrictions on businesses and houses of worship. State health officials have reported about 6,100 coronavirus cases.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A national aerospace and defense contractor has confirmed plans to pack up operations in New Mexico and move to Arizona and elsewhere. The Albuquerque Journal reports Raytheon Technologies Corp. will close its office in Albuquerque, where it employs about 200 people. The company says it's looking to streamline its capabilities with pursuits and programs located at other sites around the country. Raytheon's Albuquerque division has worked closely in recent years with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base to develop laser and microwave weapons. That work will now be transferred to Raytheon Missiles and Defense headquarters in Tucson.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is embracing absentee balloting like never before in advance of the state's June 2 primary. The secretary of state's office on Tuesday released statistics on voting and requests for absentee ballots that indicate a major increase in remote voting by mail compared to the 2016 presidential primary. Voting by absentee ballot outpaced early in-person voting by a ration of nearly 3-1 with two weeks to go before Election Day. Election regulators and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham are urging eligible voters to cast ballots by mail to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.


ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Authorities in New Mexico are searching for a suspect who fled after causing an explosion at a gas station that ended a police pursuit and injured a woman. The Roswell Daily Record reported that Chaves County Deputy Jeremy Parmer declined to release the name of the male suspect. Roswell police say the pursuit began Monday when authorities attempted to stop a stolen truck. The pursuit ended when the driver crashed into the pumps at a Roswell gas station. The resulting explosion left a gas station employee with third-degree burns. The driver fled the scene and remains at large.


LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — The National Park Service is implementing additional fire restrictions at four park sites in northern New Mexico due to an increasing risk of wildfires in the region. The additional restrictions apply to Bandelier National Monument and Valles Caldera National Preserve near Los Alamos and to Fort Union National Monument near Watrous in Mora County and Pecos National Historical Park in San Miguel County. The restrictions prohibit, among other things, all fires involving campfires, charcoal grills and coal and wood stoves. 


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation officials report 69 additional cases of COVID-19 with two more deaths from the coronavirus outbreak. The Navajo Nation has been hit hard from the outbreak and tribal officials said the latest figures raised the tribe's total number of cases as of Monday to 4,071 with 142 deaths. The tribe's reservation includes big parts of northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico plus a small part of southeastern Utah. T.


TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico sheriff's deputy has resigned after authorities say they caught him with methamphetamine and a pipe inside his patrol car. KRQE-TV reports New Mexico State Police arrested Grant Taylor this month following a call from the Sierra County Sheriff's Department. According to a criminal complaint, officers found a glass pipe in the center console of his patrol car, along with two bags of methamphetamine inside the sunglasses holder. He was charged with drug possession. It was not known if Taylor had an attorney. Court records show Taylor was also charged with possession back in 2011 and pleaded no contest.