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Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. MDT

Mar 20, 2020
  • AP-US-VOTING-RIGHTS-SELMA-ONLINE

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A new online project seeks to bring the lessons of the U.S. civil rights movement to students. The Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University unveiled Selma Online this month​. It's a free, online teaching platform that aims to transform how the civil rights movement is taught in middle and high schools. It​ uses footage from the 2014 movie "Selma" about the beating of peaceful demonstrators in Alabama and attempts to show students how events in 1965 shaped voting rights. Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. says the project will engage students who are at home because of the coronavirus.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A district attorney in southern New Mexico says she and several colleagues are under self-quarantine after coming into close proximity with a public defender who was being tested for the coronavirus. Lovington-based District Attorney Dianna Luce said Thursday that her situation under self-quarantine highlights the need for further public health precautions in the state judiciary to guard against exposure to COVID-19. The state Supreme Court has issued orders that limit courtroom attendance to 25 people and suspended most jury trials to guard against coronavirus transmission. Luce says greater use of remote communication technology can reduce exposure without jeopardizing due process guarantees.

  • HUNTERS-PUBLIC RECORDS

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Game and Fish Department has been ordered to release information about hunters as part of two separate court cases. A state district judge is ordering the agency to turn over the names and addresses of those who won big game draws between 2015 and 2019 to a Los Alamos resident who had sought the records. Meanwhile, the state appellate court ordered the agency to turn over the email addresses of individuals who applied for hunting licenses between 2015 and 2016 to former Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn. Officials say the courts concluded that information collected from the public in connection with the administration of the agency's public duties are subject to disclosure.

  • AP-US-VIRUS-OUTBREAK-UNITED-STATES-MEXICO

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The United States and Mexico are working on plans to halt much of cross-border travel without disrupting trade. Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard says he proposed steps that won't paralyze economic activity and promised details Friday. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he is working closely with his Mexican counterpart. Paola Avila is chair of the Border Trade Alliance and says U.S. officials have told business leaders that the U.S. will prohibit nonessential travel, similar to a measure announced this week on the Canadian border. He says the measure would effectively close the U.S. to all tourist and recreational visits along the Mexican border.

  • NEW MEXICO ENERGY FUTURE

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico regulators are close to deciding whether to approve an application by the state's largest electric provider to abandon its interest in a major coal-fired power plant in 2022. The Public Regulation Commission plans to issue its order April 1. If commissioners approve it, Public Service Co. of New Mexico can recover investments in the San Juan Generating Station by selling bonds that will be paid off by utility customers. PNM also would impose an energy transition charge on monthly bills to cover the debt service payments. Some commissioners say the final order should include protections for customers.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-GOVERNORS

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — U.S. governors have told the president that their states are in dire need of federal help as they expand measures to contain the coronavirus. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says a surge in filling hospital beds could push the state past its capacity to deliver health care in seven to 10 days. California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order for the nation's most populous state and warned it would be short thousands of hospital beds. Governors asked the White House for additional oversight of National Guard units and pleaded with the administration to help them acquire more test kits.

  • MIRANDA WARNING-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court says a police officer's questioning of an Albuquerque man being detained before he got Miranda warning didn't violate his constitutional rights against self-incrimination. The justices on Thursday reversed a lower court's ruling that the man was entitled to a new trial because the officer asked him about whether the officer should know about anything in the man's possession. The man replied that he had methamphetamine on him, and methamphetamine found on the man was used as evidence during a trial that led to a drug possession conviction. The Supreme Court said the officer's question didn't violate the Fifth Amendment because police can ask questions to protect public and officers before giving a Miranda warning. 

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-MIRACLE SITES

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — El Santuario de Chimayó is one of many historic Hispanic Catholic healing sites limiting access — or outright closing — to pilgrims as the novel coronavirus spreads. From Colorado to France, Catholic officials are discouraging big gatherings and halting traditional excursions to sites devotees visit to seek miracles or healing. Public Masses have been canceled and Holy Week events likely won't occur. Catholic Studies scholar Andrew Chesnut says the restrictions are unprecedented and forcing believers to take their petitions and prayers online. Visitors to various sites said they had planned to pray for those inflicted by COVID-19 and ask for protection from the virus.