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

Aug 6, 2019

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A southern New Mexico city will be able to digitize its permanent museum collection with the help of a $50,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation American Art Program.The city of Las Cruces announced the funding Monday. The city's museum collection includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and more.Officials say the project will increase the accessibility of the permanent collection as digital images and updated information about each piece will be made available online.Some objects also will be mapped and reproduced using three-dimensional printing technology. Visitors seeking a hands-on experience will be able to handle the reproductions.Funding from the grant will be used to hire four contract employees to complete the work.


FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A museum in northwestern New Mexico will be receiving hundreds of Navajo weavings from the estate of former Farmington Mayor Robert Culpepper.The Farmington Museum announced the gift Monday, saying some pieces date from the 1920s and others were done by contemporary weavers.Officials say several of the rugs, such as the Wide Ruins and Chinle styles, fill gaps within the museum's existing collection.The Farmington Museum plans to keep the best examples from the collection. The rest will be sold to benefit the museum along with the new Museum of Navajo Art & Culture.Culpepper, who died last year, and his wife had purchased a historic building and donated it to the city in 2013 to create the Museum of Navajo Art & Culture. That museum opened last year.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will be convening a summit to discuss ways to reduce the risk of domestic terrorist acts in the wake of the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.The first-year governor announced Monday that she'll bring together state legislative leaders from both political parties as well as public safety officials from within her administration.New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas also has been invited, and federal authorities are expected to give a briefing during the summit.The event is scheduled for Aug. 14.The governor says she wants to know what the state in partnership with local law enforcement jurisdictions can do to be a step ahead to ensure the safety of residents.


VAUGHN, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say four Illinois residents are dead and three others injured after a vehicle rollover in New Mexico.New Mexico State Police say the crash occurred Saturday on U.S. 54 north of the small town of Vaughn.They say the SUV crossed the highway's center line into the northbound lane for an unknown reason and then swerved back to the southbound lane before rolling.State Police say six passengers were ejected and three were declared dead at the scene — 69-year-old Ramon Morales, 17-year-old Daniel Salazar and 10-year-old Natalie Salazar, all from Chicago.They say 41-year-old Francisco Salazar died while being airlifted to a hospital.State Police say the 39-year-old driver and two other passengers — a 15-year-old boy and 21-year-old woman — were taken to a hospital for treatment.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — All New Mexico flags will fly at half-staff to honor the victims of the weekend's two deadly mass shootings.Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an executive order Monday for a mourning period for the 31 people killed in shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.Grisham is calling for state flags to stay lowered through sundown Wednesday.The Democratic governor also vowed to continue pushing for gun safety measures.Authorities in El Paso, which is a short distance from the New Mexico-Texas border, announced Monday the deaths of two more shooting victims. The news brings the total number of those killed to 22.Meanwhile, police say a gunman killed nine people in a popular entertainment district of Dayton, including his sister.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is failing to protect public health and the environment by not helping the state in its legal battle against the U.S. Air Force over contamination at two military installations.The governor took aim at the federal agency in a letter sent Friday to EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler.The state in July had asked for the agency to pursue enforcement against the U.S. Defense Department for contamination at Cannon and Holloman air bases. The EPA responded that it isn't permitted to take legal action against another branch or agency of the federal government.Lujan Grisham and New Mexico Environment Secretary James Kenney argue that the EPA in other cases has issued compliance orders forcing federal agencies to address contamination.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Declining student-athlete participation rates are hitting New Mexico high schools that are struggling to find football players to field teams.The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the falling participation rates and the fact that some schools canceling their seasons because of a lack of players have observers wondering if New Mexico high school football is dying.In June, McCurdy Charter School in Española canceled its season after half of the 26 players were declared academically ineligible. Questa High School, which prematurely ended back-to-back seasons in 2017 and 2018 because of a lack of players, will not field a team this year.The New Mexico Activities Association says 11 of the 113 schools expected to play football this year will do so as independents. That means they won't play in a district or complete in the playoffs. 


DALLAS (AP) — A federal judge will determine whether a profanity-laced tantrum by a Texas man aboard a Southwest Airlines flight last year constituted a threat to the flight crew and passengers or was merely rude behavior.Justin Riley Brafford was arrested and charged with flight crew interference after the Dallas-bound plane was diverted to Albuquerque, New Mexico, last October. A criminal complaint shows a female passenger complained that Brafford touched her and whispered unsolicited advances and she requested a seat change. Authorities say Brafford verbally attacked the woman and the flight attendant who granted her seat-change request.A lawyer for the 29-year-old man from Denton filed a motion in June to dismiss the indictment, saying Brafford simply "acted rudely."The Dallas Morning News reports that a ruling is slated for next week.___