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

Mar 25, 2020
  • New Mexico rep faces heat for plugging Texas cafe amid virus

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, who has been dogged by allegations that she doesn't live in the state, is facing criticism for promoting a Texas cafe during coronavirus restrictions. The Albuquerque Democrat recently plugged on her personal Facebook page the El Paso-based Desert Moon Cafe and its menu. She also has publicized the cafe's move to curbside delivery in the Texas city. 

  • Another Route 66 motel in Albuquerque to be remodeled

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Another historic Route 66 motel in New Mexico is set to undergo a major renovation. The Albuquerque Journal reports the Monterey Motel in Albuquerque is being demolished and developer Chad Rennaker says the new motel will have more rooms and an additional building with hostel-like rooms. Rennaker says the Monterey Motel will be restored to resemble what it looked like when it was built in the 1930s. Rennaker expects the project to be completed by June, and guests will be able to start renting rooms in July. Many of the motels located on Route 66 in cities and towns across the country fell into disrepair after it was decommissioned as a U.S. highway in 1985.

  • New Veterans Memorial Park planned for Taos

TAOS, N.M. (AP) — Volunteers and veterans are helping lead an effort to build a Veterans Memorial Park in Taos. The Albuquerque Journal reports the nonprofit group Not Forgotten Outreach Inc. is taking the lead in a coalition that plans to begin work this spring. Earlier this year, the nonprofit received a $23,000 grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation. The grant will underwrite the construction of an Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible walking trail crossing over a spring-fed drainage waterway. Taos County, which includes the Taos Pueblo and Picuris Pueblo, has a population of more than 3,000 veterans.

  • Lawsuit: Police bullet at New Mexico school harmed student

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The family of a boy is suing a police officer who mistakenly fired his weapon inside a southern New Mexico middle school and nearly hit the student. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the family recently filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against officer Francisco Estrada and the Las Cruces Police Department. According to court documents, the bullet came within inches of striking a 13-year-old student. The lawsuit says the bullet came so close that the boy's hearing was damaged. Las Cruces police spokesman Dan Trujillo says Estrada is still with the department. He says police couldn't comment on pending litigation.

  • New Mexico suspends home evictions, offers business loans

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Supreme Court halted all housing evictions for failure to pay rent as state investment authorities agreed to offer $100 million in recovery loans to struggling businesses amid economic turmoil from the coronavirus pandemic. The investment council overseen by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham controls a nearly $24 billion portfolio of investments that help support public education. On Tuesday, it voted unanimously to channel assets from the state's Severance Tax Permanent Fund to provide emergency recovery loans. New Mexico is prohibiting most gatherings of more than five people as it shut down a variety of nonessential businesses.

  • Dead snowmobile rider was seeking treasure in Utah park

DENVER (AP) — Two snowmobile riders from Colorado were searching for an elusive treasure when they became stranded and one died in a Utah park. The Denver Post said the pair set out from the Denver area March 17 to search for Forrest Fenn's treasure. The eccentric New Mexico antiquities dealer had said he hid the bounty rumored to be worth around $2 million somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Authorities say the snowmobilers carried candy bars and a couple of bottles of water, but at some point there was not enough snow on the ground and they pressed forward on foot.

  • Trump agencies steadily push rollbacks as pandemic rages

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is steadily pushing major public health and environmental rollbacks toward enactment. It's rejecting appeals that it slow its deregulatory drive during the coronavirus crisis. One Environmental Protection Agency rule would require disclosure of the raw data behind any scientific study used in rulemaking. That includes confidential medical records opponents say could be used to identify people. State and local officials have asked the EPA to delay action on that rule while Americans struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic. The EPA has refused, saying it's open for business as usual. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey says federal agencies should suspend steps toward enactment for any nonessential rule changes during the pandemic.


Police: Man arrested after inconsistent suicide death reportALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico authorities have arrested a man on murder charges after police say they found inconsistencies in a suicide report. KRQE-TV reported that Lea County deputies responded to an alleged suicide Sunday at an Albuquerque home where they found 36-year-old Christopher Matthews with a gunshot wound. Authorities say Matthews was pronounced dead after being taken to the hospital. Investigators say the scene was processed and four residents who lived at the home were later interviewed. Deputies say they arrested 27-year-old Jimmy Griffin Jr. after he gave inconsistent and conflicting information. Online court records don't list a defense attorney for Griffin who could comment on his behalf.