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

Jun 21, 2021
  • CAPITOL BREACH-COWBOYS FOR TRUMP

TULAROSA, N.M. (AP) — He rodeoed in a Buffalo Bill-style Wild West show, carried his message on horseback from the Holy Land to Times Square and was invited to the White House to meet the president. But luck may have run out for Couy Griffin after the cowboy, pastor and county commission rode to national political fame by embracing President Donald Trump with a series of horseback caravans. Griffin came crashing down with a defiant stand against President Joe Biden's election. He is charting an uncertain future among thousands of Trump loyalists in public office, and a smaller cadre who flirted with insurrection and could pay a high price.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has reported six new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths. Tribal health officials released the latest numbers on Saturday. The sprawling reservation that stretches into New Mexico, Arizona and Utah has seen at 30,965 known cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began and 1,346 deaths. The Navajo Department of Health on Friday lifted the nation's stay-at-home order, easing restrictions to allow in-person meetings and ceremonies of 25 people or fewer and drive-thru gatherings of up to 100 vehicles. Face masks are required by everyone, whether or not they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

  • BICYCLISTS STRUCK-DRIVER SHOT

SHOW LOW, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities say a driver in a pickup truck plowed into bicyclists competing in a community road race in Arizona, critically injuring several riders. Police say officers chased the driver Saturday and shot him outside a nearby hardware store. Six cyclists are in critical condition after the crash in the mountain town of Show Low, about a three-hour drive northeast of Phoenix. One was flown to a hospital near Phoenix. The 35-year-old suspect also was hospitalized in critical condition. A city spokeswoman said the suspect didn't comply when officers tried to arrest him, but the circumstances of the shooting haven't been released.

  • FORMER STATE TAX CHIEF-GUILTY

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A jury in New Mexico found the state's former tax chief guilty of embezzling more than $25,000 from a trucking company while she was in former Gov. Susana Martinez's cabinet. Demesia Padilla could face up to 18 years in prison for her conviction Friday on embezzlement and intent to defraud charges. A sentencing date wasn't immediately set. Her attorney didn't immediately respond Saturday to a message. The jury was told that between 2011 and 2013, while she was cabinet secretary, Padilla linked her personal credit card to the checking account of a Bernalillo business. She resigned in late 2016 during an investigation.

  • JAIL GUARD STABBING

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Authorities in New Mexico say a Las Cruces jail guard who was stabbed by a detainee was hospitalized in El Paso, Texas, and sheriff's deputies are investigating. The name and condition of the officer were not immediately made public following the late Thursday incident in a medium custody unit at the Dona Ana County Detention Center. The detainee was identified as a 28-year-old Las Cruces man who was arrested in July 2020 in Los Lunas and was being held without bond awaiting trial on charges related to a shooting at a house.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says all remaining pandemic-related public health restrictions on commercial and day-to-day activity in the state will be lifted July 1. She made the declaration Friday as state health officials continued to crunch the vaccination numbers. The Democratic governor had wanted at least 60% of residents 16 and older to be vaccinated two weeks ahead of the reopening. Her office said vaccinations stood at 59.4% on Thursday but that the state was waiting for more federal data. Republican lawmakers said it's about time restrictions were lifted. They've criticized the governor's handling of the pandemic.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday no additional deaths. The sprawling reservation that stretches into New Mexico, Arizona and Utah has seen 30,959 known cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began and 1,343 deaths. The Navajo Department of Health on Friday lifted the nation's stay-at-home order, easing restrictions to allow in-person meetings and ceremonies of 25 people or fewer and drive-thru gatherings of up to 100 vehicles. Face masks are required by everyone, whether or not they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

  • NEW MEXICO STREAM ACCESS

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The debate over whether the public has a right to fish or float streams and other waterways that flow through private property has percolated for decades in many western U.S. states. It has reached a boiling point in New Mexico, but a resolution has been delayed again. The state Game Commission chairwoman opted Friday to defer a vote on the applications of landowners seeking to prohibit public access to portions of streams that run through their property. She cited recent questions raised by critics about a potential conflict of interest. She denied having conflicts, but asked the attorney general's office for a review.