Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. MDT

Sep 15, 2020

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A growing number of U.S. states are facing pressure to ban race-based discrimination against hair texture and styles. Activists recently presented a proposal to New Mexico state lawmakers that would outlaw employers and schools from discriminating against Black and Native American women's hairstyles. Earlier this year, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a measure that made Washington the sixth state to pass a version of the CROWN Act. The act's name stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. According to the Crown Act campaign, California, Colorado, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia have already passed similar laws.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal officials say a former Los Alamos National Laboratory worker has been sentenced to five years of probation and fined $75,000 for making false statements about involvement with China. The U.S. Attorney's Office for New Mexico said 68-year-old Turab Lookman of Santa Fe was sentenced Friday by a federal judge after pleading guilty in January. The office said Lookman in 2018 denied to a counterintelligence officer that he had been recruited or applied for a job with a Chinese recruitment program involving foreign technology and intellectual property. Lookman cannot leave New Mexico while on probation.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Political clashes about the role of climate change in catastrophic West Coast infernos are spilling into a U.S. Senate race in New Mexico, where a Republican meteorologist is campaigning for an open seat. U.S. Congressman and Democratic Senate nominee Ben Ray Luján accused rival Mark Ronchetti on Monday of engaging in dangerous climate denialism. Ronchetti responded Monday with an acknowledgement that climate change needs to be addressed and that both "human activity" and drought are responsible for the vicious wildfires. In a visit to California, Trump ignored the scientific consensus that climate change is playing a central role in historic West Coast wildfires.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Democratic candidate for New Mexico House says her Republican opponent broke the law by failing to disclose conflicts of interest in contracts between an educational nonprofit she founded and child welfare agencies. Karen Whitlock has filed a complaint with the State Ethics Commission against Rep. Rebecca Dow. Dow says she has been transparent about working at a nonprofit that contracts with the two state agencies and that she doesn't have an ownership stake in the company. The allegations come less than two months before the November election, and ethics commission won't rule on the complaint until voting is over.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The fate of monuments linked to Spanish colonialism and violence against Native Americans in Santa Fe remains unclear months after the city's mayor called for their removal. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports a proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission has yet to form and two monuments still stand but are surrounded by plywood. Mayor Alan Webber said in a statement the City Attorney's Office is reviewing unspecified "legal issues" involved with the statues and monuments. Earlier this year, a statue of Spanish conquistador Don Diego de Vargas was taken down on the eve of a planned protest over fears it would spark violence.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is prepared to spend millions of dollars in federal recovery funds to install drop boxes for absentee ballots as election regulators encourage voters to participate in the general election in ways that minimize human contact and reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission. The secretary of state's office spokesman Alex Curtas on Monday said the agency is encouraging the state's 33 counties to install ballot drop boxes while offering reimbursements from a $6 million reserve of federal funds that also pay for personal protective equipment and publicity about voting. Many counties — though not all — have shown interest in drop boxes.


PINETOP, Ariz. (AP) — Game and Fish Department biologists say three Mexican wolf pups have successfully been cross-fostered into a pack in northeastern Arizona. They say biologists used remote trail cameras on Aug. 26 to document eight Mexican wolf pups in the Hoodoo Pack in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest. In April, Arizona Game and Fish and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cross-fostered four genetically valuable wolf pups into the Hoodoo Pack from a litter in captivity at the Sedgwick Zoo in Wichita, Kansas. After cross-fostering was completed, there were five wild Mexican wolf pups and four cross-fostered pups in the litter. Biologists will begin fall trapping efforts later this month to document cross-fostered wolves that have survived.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials have announced 81 new confirmed COVID-19 cases. State officials said Monday that the new cases bring New Mexico's total to 26,842. Officials also reported no new deaths related to the novel coronavirus. The number of deaths of New Mexico residents related to COVID-19 remains at 823. there are 60 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for the virus. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. There are 14,470 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.