Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 4:20 p.m. MDT

May 2, 2021

Brush fire chars estimated 120 acres northwest of ShiprockSHIPROCK, N.M. (AP) — Crews are still battling a brush fire that has charred an estimated 120 acres 5 miles northwest of Shiprock and led to some evacuations. Authorities say the fire broke out Saturday afternoon in Shiprock and its cause is unknown. It remains zero percent contained. At least one structure has been burned and multiple outbuildings are threatened or burning.  Authorities say the fire is burning brush, grass and salt cedar. Among the agencies fighting the fire are Navajo police, San Juan County Fire Rescue,  Navajo Nation Fire Rescue and Farmington Fire Rescue.


Wrong-way driver is killed in freeway crash in AlbuquerqueALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a driver who was going the wrong way on Interstate 40 is dead after crashing into the back of a semi-truck. Albuquerque police say the crash occurred early Sunday and closed part of the freeway for hours. They say the wrong way driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The name, age and hometown of the driver haven't been released yet. It was the second fatal crash on an interstate in the Albuquerque area involving a wrong-way driver in about 24 hours. Bernalillo County Sheriff's officials say an off-duty officer with the Cuba Police Department allegedly caused a head-on crash around 2 a.m. Saturday that left two people dead and another person hospitalized.


Navajo Nation reports 6 new COVID-19 cases, 3 more deathsWINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has reported six new confirmed COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths. Tribal health officials say that as of Saturday, the total number of cases since the pandemic began more than a year ago now is 30,508 on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah with 1,281 known deaths.  Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said more than half of the reservation's adult population has been vaccinated. But people still need to stay home as much as possible, wear masks and avoid large gatherings. Last week, the Navajo Department of Health loosened some virus-driven restrictions and transition to "yellow status."  


Off-duty officer arrested in fatal wrong-way crash on I-25ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a 29-year-old off-duty police officer was arrested in an Albuquerque-area wrong-way crash in which two people were killed early Saturday morning. A criminal complaint charged Cuba police officer Brandon Barber with homicide by vehicle, aggravated DWI and an open container violation after the crash on Interstate 25 in Albuquerque's northern outskirts. The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office said two passengers in a SUV were killed. The SUV's driver and the driver of a pickup truck were injured. Online court records didn't indicate whether Barber has an attorney who could comment on his behalf. 


New Mexico expected to have fewer births, fewer studentsSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is on track to have fewer young people. Researchers are warning this week that results from the 2020 Census strengthen predictions that the state's meager 2.8% growth rate over the past decade is likely to reach zero, or even go negative. There are likely going to be fewer people in New Mexico with a declining birth rate and more people moving out of the state than in. On average, the state's residents will be older. Kindergarten classes are already shrinking, leaving child care and school leaders wondering how to plan for a future with fewer kids.


Sheriff's Office: 2 killed in Albuquerque chase ID'dALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque officials have identified the victims of a double homicide involving a car chase. The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office said one of the victims was 22-year-old Anthony Vigil and that the other was a 15-year-old boy. The boy's name was not released. Both were found dead April 19 with apparent gunshot wounds following a roll-over crash in a dark-colored sedan. The Sherriff's office reported witnesses seeing a white sedan occupied by two or three people chasing the other car and also observing shots being fired at the vehicle that crashed in southwest Albuquerque. The office did not release additional information about the circumstances of the chase or shooting, including any possible motive.


Judge: New Mexico must give at-home students fast internetSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico court has ordered education officials to make fast internet available for children still studying in remote learning. District Judge Matthew Wilson says Friday that children without adequate internet speeds or computers who can't go to school in person are "not getting much of an education." The vast majority of schools in the state have opened their doors for in-person learning, but some schools have shuttered again because of virus outbreaks. A few never opened due to tribal lockdown orders. Education advocates believe the ruling could have lasting effects on education, especially for rural and Native American students.


New Mexico shifts metrics, some virus restrictions relaxedALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Friday marks the start of New Mexico's updated color-coded framework for determining COVID-19 risks in each of the state's 33 counties. State health officials have shifted the metrics, meaning more counties are now at a level at which there are fewer restrictions on commercial and day-to-day activities. In all, 24 counties are at the least-restrictive turquoise level, followed by six at green and three at yellow. The framework was adjusted to accommodate increasing vaccination rates. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said earlier this week that the state is on track to have at least 60% of residents fully vaccinated by the end of June.