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

May 17, 2021
  • Groups call for reintroduction of jaguars in US Southwest

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Environmental groups and scientists with two universities want U.S. wildlife managers to consider reintroducing jaguars to the American Southwest. In a recently published paper, they say habitat destruction, highways and segments of the U.S.-Mexico border wall mean that natural reestablishment of the large cats in the region would be unlikely over the next century without human intervention. Jaguars are currently found in 19 countries, but they've lost about half of their historic range. Several individual male jaguars have been spotted in Arizona and New Mexico over the last two decades, but there's no evidence of breeding pairs establishing territories beyond northern Mexico.

  • Second Amendment sanctuaries facing 1st court test in Oregon

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The first court test of whether local governments can ban police from enforcing certain gun laws is playing out in a rural Oregon county. It's one of a wave of U.S. counties declaring itself a Second Amendment sanctuary. The measure Columbia County voters narrowly approved last year prohibits local officials from enforcing most federal and state gun laws. Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions have been adopted by some 1,200 local governments in states like Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico and Florida. The group Everytown for Gun Safety is among those urging a judge to invalidate the ordinance that's been divisive in the county outside Portland.

  • Navajo Nation reports 7 new COVID-19 cases and 1 more death

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has reported seven new confirmed COVID-19 cases and one additional death. Tribal health officials say the latest figures released Sunday pushed the total number of cases since the pandemic began more than a year ago to 30,715 on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The known death toll now is 1,293. After four days of no reported coronavirus-related deaths, tribal health officials say there 12 new COVID-19 cases Friday and five deaths _ including several that were delayed in reporting _ and 15 cases with one death Saturday. Health care facilities on the Navajo Nation started vaccinating adolescents in the 12-to-15 age range late last week.

  • Albuquerque police arrest man connected to 3 shooting deaths

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A man who police say was involved in a shooting where three people were killed has been arrested. Police say in a Saturday news release that detectives tracked 41-year-old Richard Kuykendall to a home on the city's east side and called in a SWAT team to make the arrest. He was questioned and then booked into jail on a federal firearms charge. Police say they're still investigating the shooting deaths of the three men and have not charged Kuykendall. The three were found Wednesday inside a vehicle in a northeast Albuquerque hospital parking lot and a man was seen running away.

  • Clovis police say 1 dead, others wounded in shooting, crash

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — Police in the eastern New Mexico city of Clovis say one person was killed and others wounded or injured after a shooting and vehicle crash. Police Capt. Captain Roman Romero says a 911 caller reported that they have been shot late Friday night and arriving police found a Mercedes sedan crashed into a sheared-off power pole.  The occupants of the Mercedes were taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries, where a passenger died. Another person with life-threatening injuries was driven to the hospital in another vehicle that was associated with the Mercedes. No details about what prompted the shooting were released.

  • Navajos say new Arizona restrictions will complicate voting

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Native American tribes say two new Arizona election laws won't make it any easier for their voters. Gov. Doug Ducey recently signed the bills that he and fellow Republicans say will strengthen the integrity of elections. Tribes and voting rights advocates say the measures will disproportionately affect communities of color, tribal members who have to drive long distances to cast a ballot and voters who speak limited or no English. The bills target the length of time voters have to fix signature problems on mailed ballots and require periodic purging of a list of voters who automatically receive mailed ballots.

  • 'There was no going back': Migrants send kids into US alone

LA JOYA, Texas (AP) — Growing numbers of migrant families are making the heart-wrenching decision to separate as they try to get their children into America. Many families with kids older than 6 have been quickly expelled from the country under federal pandemic-related powers that don't allow migrants to seek asylum. But they know that President Joe Biden is allowing children traveling alone to stay in the U.S. while their asylum cases are decided. Forced out of the country, they're sending their older children back to cross alone. These self-separations mean children arrive in the United States confused and in distress. Many have traveled hundreds of miles with their parents without understanding why they can't cross that last stretch together.

  • New Mexico man ends trial, admits killing wife, 4 daughters

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — A prosecutor in New Mexico says a man ended his trial and admitted he killed his wife and four daughters in 2016 at their home in Roswell. The local district attorney, Scot Key, said Friday that 39-year-old Juan David Villegas-Hernandez will face five life-in-prison sentences following his no-contest plea to five murder charges. Villegas-Hernandez acknowledged shooting his 34-year-old wife, Cynthia Villegas, and their four daughters, ages 3 to 14. Key said Villegas-Hernandez fled to Mexico before he was arrested and transferred back to the U.S. in custody. Sentencing is scheduled next Wednesday at the Chaves County Courthouse in Roswell.