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

Jan 11, 2021
  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — About 24,000 health care workers with three of New Mexico's major hospital networks have been vaccinated. Top medical officials with University of New Mexico Hospital, Presbyterian Healthcare Services and Lovelace Health System provided an update Monday on vaccination efforts. They say they're working with the state Health Department as the rollout is expanded to include more people. The state on Friday released its updated plan for distribution. It details how people will be prioritized based on preexisting conditions and other factors. Federal data show more than 170,000 doses have been shipped to New Mexico with nearly 77,000 of those having been administered. 

  • ENERGY DRILLING-PUBLIC LANDS

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — In the closing months of the Trump administration, energy companies stockpiled enough drilling permits for western public lands to keep pumping oil for years. That stands to undercut President-elect Joe Biden's plans to block new drilling on public lands to address climate change. An Associated Press analysis of government data shows the permit stockpiling has centered on oil-rich federal lands in New Mexico and Wyoming and accelerated in September and October as Biden was cementing his lead over President Donald Trump. The industry was aided by speedier permitting approvals since Trump took office.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico on Saturday announced 1,507 additional known COVID-19 cases and 22 more deaths, increasing the state's totals during the pandemic to 154,954 cases and 2,732 deaths. Bernalillo, Dona Ana, San Juan and Santa Fe had triple-digit numbers of additional cases. The additional deaths were spread among 12 counties. The state on Friday expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations to people 75 and older as well as residents with underlying medical conditions placing them at greater risk. The expanded list under what is known as Phase 1B also includes front-line essential workers who can't work remotely and certain vulnerable populations

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation health officials are reporting 237 new coronavirus cases and 22 more deaths.  The latest figures released Friday evening increased the tribe's totals since the pandemic began to 24,776 cases and 866 known deaths. Reports of some of the new deaths were delayed. The Navajo Nation started a weekend lockdown Friday night that extends until 5 a.m. on Monday. All Navajo Nation residents are required to stay at home unless they are essential workers or have an emergency. The weekend lockdowns extend through Jan. 25.

  • SPACE COMMAND-NEBRASKA

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska's bid to attract the U.S. Space Command's headquarters to Offutt Air Force Base includes $107 million of public and private money. Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce President David Brown, who is one of the backers of the proposal, said last week that the local money is meant to help offset the roughly $1 billion cost of building the new headquarters. Offutt is one of the six finalists to become the headquarters. Other finalists are Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, Redstone Army Airfield in Alabama and the former Kelly Air Force Base in Texas.

  • LEGISLATURE-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's top-ranked state senator says Democrats will push for direct financial relief to low-income, front-line workers who have borne the brunt of the pandemic during the upcoming legislative session. The idea already is popular among minority Republican legislators. Democratic Senate majority leader Peter Wirth said Friday that pandemic relief efforts are likely to take center stage at the outset of the 60-day session that begins Jan. 19. Wirth also is outlining new details of a push to channel more money each year toward public education. A political shift among Senate Democrats also may lead to more progressive tax rates.

  • CHILD ABUSE CONVICTIONS

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has overturned the child abuse convictions of an Albuquerque man in the 2015 death of an infant who had multiple bruises on his head and body. A divided court ruled there wasn't enough evidence to support Christopher Garcia's convictions, saying prosecutors failed to prove that the 14-month-old boy would not have died absent the defendant's failure to seek medical care. The ruling raised immediate concerns for New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas. He said New Mexico is already one of the most dangerous states in the U.S. for children, and the ruling will make it more difficult to hold child abusers accountable.

  • SPACE COMMAND-NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Air Force officials have toured the grounds of Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque to evaluate the site as a possible location for the U.S. Space Command. The Albuquerque Journal reported that strategic basing officials during the Thursday tour focused primarily on infrastructure at the base to house the Space Command, the latest of 11 unified commands under the U.S. Department of Defense. Kirtland is one of six locations being considered. If chosen, it is expected to bring more than 1,000 jobs to Albuquerque. Assistant Air Force Secretary John Henderson said the department expects to announce its "preferred" location later this month.