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

May 10, 2021

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's state government will receive $1.75 billion in pandemic relief from the federal government under the Biden administration and Congress' economic recovery plan. The Treasury Department on Monday announced new details of the the relief along with new guidance on eligible expenses. The funds can be delivered to New Mexico on a faster schedule that most states to counteract lingering unemployment. Specifically, the guidance allows states to replenish unemployment insurance trust funds to pre-pandemic levels. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham had no immediate comment on the guidance or her administration's plans for spending the money. 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — One of Ted Turner's ranches in southern New Mexico will be home for a pair of Mexican gray wolves and their pups. The Ladder Ranch is teaming up with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the project. It will mark the first time a translocation of the endangered wolves has been done on private land. Officials say the aim is to boost genetic diversity among the wild population roaming parts of New Mexico and Arizona. Federal officials had faced a deadline this month for rewriting the rules that govern management of the species. However, a federal judge has agreed to give them more time.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police say a man trying to flee from officers was killed after being hit by a car on a highway. Police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said the encounter began around 10:45 p.m. Sunday when officers working outside a hotel were informed someone was hurling rocks at cars in the parking lot. Responding officers located a suspect and tried to detain him. Gallegos says the man left on foot and circumvented several fences before reaching I-40. According to investigators, he tried to cross the freeway but ended up getting struck. Gallegos says paramedics tried to treat him but his injuries were too great. The man's identity has not been released. 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a Mesquite man has been arrested in connection with the death girlfriend's 5-month-old daughter last month. Doña Ana County Sheriff's officials say 23-year-old Israel Ramirez is facing one count of intentional child abuse resulting in the death of a child under 12 and one count of intentional child abuse resulting in great bodily harm of a child under 12. Both charges are first-degree felonies. The Albuquerque Journal reports that child's mother _ 23-year-old Danielle Lujan _ is facing charges with child abuse resulting in great bodily harm, also a first-degree felony. Ramirez and Lujan were arrested Thursday and being held without bond at the county jail.


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has reported 12 new COVID-19 cases and one additional death. Tribal health officials say the latest numbers released Saturday night push the total number of cases since the pandemic began more than a year ago to 30,590 on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The known death toll now is at 1,284. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says 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. 


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials have released the names of dozens of people who are vying to be appointed to the state's new Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee. The list of 161 people was posted online Friday. State officials said they're committed to ensuring a transparent process as the state prepares for recreational marijuana sales. Under state law, the advisory committee needs to be established no later than Sept. 1. The panel will be charged with advising the Cannabis Control Division on the development of rules covering best practices and the promotion of economic and cultural diversity when it comes to licensing and employment opportunities.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Supreme Court has upheld a lower court decision allowing the no-bail release of an 18-year-old with no prior criminal history who is accused of a string of residential burglaries in Albuquerque. The Friday ruling rebuffs public prosecutors who say risks to the community can't be mitigated by electronic tracking devices and supervision. Justice Michael Vigil announced the court's decision following oral arguments and brief private deliberations. Prosecutors say community safety should be a higher priority in New Mexico's no-cash bail system. The case against releasing Jesse Mascareno-Haidle is the latest challenge by law enforcement to that system. He has pleaded not guilty.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The staff of New Mexico's Public Regulation Commission is calling for a hearing on a proposed merger between the state's largest electric utility and a U.S. subsidiary of global energy giant Iberdrola. The staff reiterated their concerns in a filing Friday, saying the hearing should be scheduled for June 1 so regulators can hash out whether the deal is in the public's interest. The filing notes that significant opposition still exists. Some critics have said a proposed agreement between PNM Resources and Connecticut-based Avangrid doesn't go far enough when it come to customer benefits or funds to support economic development in the state.