- EDUCATION LAWSUIT-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico judge has rejected a motion by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to dismiss a landmark education lawsuit that was filed against the state. The Democratic governor had argued that her administration was on its way to addressing the ruling and that the case should be dismissed. The 2018 ruling that New Mexico failed to provide children with sufficient education as required by the state constitution has brought racial and socioeconomic inequity to the forefront in a state where per-student spending and educational achievement hover near the bottom of national rankings.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Mexico is approaching 12,000. State health officials on Monday reported an additional 173 cases, bringing the statewide total since the outbreak began to 11,982. Bernalillo and Doña Ana counties, which are the state's most populous, accounted for nearly half the additional cases reported Monday. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham warned last week that she was pausing plans for another phase of economic reopening because the numbers were trending up. She blamed lax personal behaviors and urged people to stay at home, avoid gatherings and to wear masks when out in public.
- SPECIAL SESSION-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed a measure that would temporarily forgive tax-interest penalties during the coronavirus pandemic. The bill signed Monday also will boost temporary state payments to cities hit hard by the economic downturn. The measure was passed during the recent special legislative session. For New Mexicans unable to pay their taxes on time, the bill temporarily waives interest and penalties on late payments. State officials say taxpayers must still file their tax returns in a timely manner, but payments may follow at later date. New payment deadlines have been set for April 2021.
- ENDANGERED WOLVES-DEATHS
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Wildlife managers are investigating the deaths of two Mexican gray wolves found in May in New Mexico. The team that oversees recovery of the endangered species in New Mexico and Arizona has documented a dozen mortalities among the wild population over the first five months of this year. Environmentalists have also raised concerns that the leader of a different pack was killed for preying on livestock. They say that alpha male was the 21st wolf shot by the government since reintroduction began in 1998. Environmentalists also say it was the fifth shot by federal employees this year.
- HOMICIDE-ALBUQUERQUE PARTY
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police say officers stopped two suspicious vehicles leaving the scene of a fatal shooting on the southeast side of town early Monday and have interviewed several people at the residence as they continue to investigate. Police say they found one man dead after they responded to a call at about 3 a.m. at a residence on Tomatillo Lane. A neighbor reported he heard people arguing before gunshots rang out. Investigators are treating it as a homicide but they haven't released any other details. The victim's name is being withheld. He was shot in the back yard of the residence.
- ALBUQUERQUE APARTMENT FIRE
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a 12-unit apartment complex that was under construction in Albuquerque. A plume of smoke was visible from the edge of downtown when the fire broke out about 6 a.m. Sunday near Atrisco and Central. No one was injured. The three-story apartment complex was supposed to be The Atrisco Lofts, part of a project intended to help revitalize the neighborhood. The owners told KOB-TV they had dealt with squatters before and suspect the fire may have been started by a homeless person. The blaze spread to a neighboring kennel before firefighters brought it under control.
- SUPREME COURT-BORDER WALL
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is leaving in place a decision that rejected environmental groups' challenge to sections of wall the Trump administration is building along the U.S. border with Mexico. The high court on Monday declined to hear an appeal involving construction of 145 miles of steel-bollard walls along the border in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. Environmental groups had challenged a federal law that allows the secretary of Homeland Security to waive any laws necessary to allow the quick construction of border fencing. Environmental groups argued that violates the Constitution's separation of powers. But a lower court dismissed the case.
- EDUCATION LAWSUIT-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico judge will reconsider a 2018 ruling that found the state failed to provide children a sufficient education as required by the state constitution. Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham argues her administration is on its way to addressing the ruling and the case should be dismissed. The lawsuit has brought racial and socioeconomic inequity to the forefront in a state where per-student spending and educational achievement hover near the bottom of national rankings. Newly appointed state District Court Judge Matthew Wilson will consider dueling motions Monday to dismiss or more aggressively enforce the ruling.