Local and State News

Bill advances to exempt New Mexico from time changes

Mar 6, 2021

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico would eliminate seasonal time changes under a bill endorsed by the New Mexico state Senate. On a 22-18 vote Friday, the Senate endorsed a Republican-sponsored bill that would keep New Mexico on daylight saving time throughout the year and do away with spring and fall clock adjustments. The bill moves to the House, where the level of support for it is uncertain. Republican Sen. Cliff Pirtle of Roswell has championed the initiative since 2013 without success.

  • New Mexicans in majority as Senate OKs COVID-19 relief bill

ALBQUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico Democrats Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan were both in the razor-thin majority Saturday as the U.S. Senate approved a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. The 50-49 vote gives President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies a victory that they say is crucial for hoisting the country out of the pandemic and economic doldrums. Senate passage sets up final congressional approval by the House next week.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-CONGRESS-NEW MEXICO

ALBQUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico Democrats Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan were both in the razor-thin majority Saturday as the U.S. Senate approved a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. The 50-49 vote gives President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies a victory that they say is crucial for hoisting the country out of the pandemic and economic doldrums. Senate passage sets up final congressional approval by the House next week.

  • ALBUQUERQUE POLICE-SETTLEMENT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Albuquerque Police Department on Saturday announced that the city will make $175,000 payments to a police sergeant and a police officer to settle retaliations claims. The department said in a statement that Sgt. Steven Martinez and  Officer Tillery DiCenzo both alleged violations of a whistleblower law after then-Police Chief Mike Geier transferred them after they reported misconduct by a now-former commander of the police academy.

Today in History

Mar 6, 2021

  • Today in History

Today is Saturday, March 6, the 65th day of 2021. There are 300 days left in the year.

  • Today's Highlight in History:

On March 6, 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Dred Scott v. Sandford, ruled 7-2 that Scott, a slave, was not an American citizen and therefore could not sue for his freedom in federal court.

  • New Mexico Senate backs bill to change school funding

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Senate is backing sweeping education funding reforms that will result in more money being sent to Native American school districts. The bill passed on Friday eliminates a credit long used by the state to send less education funding to schools surrounded by non-taxable lands like Native American reservations and army bases. Some senators argue the changes will sully a statewide funding formula focused on equality.

  • New Mexico Senate backs bill to change school funding

By CEDAR ATTANASIO Associated Press / Report for AmericaSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Senate is backing sweeping education funding reforms that will result in more money being sent to Native American school districts. The bill passed on Friday eliminates a credit long used by the state to send less education funding to schools surrounded by non-taxable lands like Native American reservations and army bases. Some senators argue the changes will sully a statewide funding formula focused on equality.

  • DAYLIGHT SAVING-NEW MEXICO

Bill advances to exempt New Mexico from time changesSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico would eliminate seasonal time changes under a bill endorsed by the New Mexico state Senate. On a 22-18 vote Friday, the Senate endorsed a Republican-sponsored bill that would keep New Mexico on daylight saving time throughout the year and do away with spring and fall clock adjustments. The bill moves to the House, where the level of support for it is uncertain. Republican Sen. Cliff Pirtle of Roswell has championed the initiative since 2013 without success.

  • TRIPLE SHOOTING-TEEN ARRESTED

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police say a 15-year-old boy has been arrested in the shootings of three people, including two women killed in the Jan. 27 incident. Police said the teen is accused of going to an apartment complex and fatally shooting 21-year-old Aerial Mallam and 31-year-old and Jessica Casaus Lucero and of shooting Stephen Mitchell, who survived his wounds. Police said the youth was wounded in an exchange of gunfire with another person as the youth tried to take a vehicle before running away.

  • Legislature approves bill to waive liquor license fees

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Legislature has approved a bill that would provide a one-time waiver of annual liquor license fees, amid discussions of a broad regulatory overhaul of alcohol sales. A 64-0 vote of approval by the House of Representatives on Thursday sent the measure to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has embraced a variety of economic relief measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Bill co-sponsor Rep.

Today in History

Mar 5, 2021

  • Today in History

Today is Friday, March 5, the 64th day of 2021. There are 301 days left in the year.

  • Today's Highlight in History:

On March 5, 1953, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin died after three decades in power.

  • Legislature approves bill to waive liquor license fees

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Legislature has approved a bill that would provide a one-time waiver of annual liquor license fees, amid discussions of a broad regulatory overhaul of alcohol sales. A 64-0 vote of approval by the House of Representatives on Thursday sent the measure to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has embraced a variety of economic relief measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Bill co-sponsor Rep.

  • NEW MEXICO CHILE

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — For chiles, 2020 wasn't all bad as New Mexico farmers reported increased production and yield levels for the state's most famous crop. Numbers released Thursday by the U.S. Agriculture Department's statistics service show 68,000 tons of red and green chile were produced in 2020. That's an 8% increase over the previous year. The crop's value also increased to nearly $52 million. Growers had reported labor shortages and reduced demand last year due to the pandemic.

Senate energy panel backs Haaland for interior secretary

Mar 4, 2021
AP Photo/File

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key Senate committee has approved the nomination of New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland to be interior secretary, clearing the way for a Senate vote that is likely to make her the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved Haaland's nomination, 11-9, sending it to the Senate floor. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was the lone Republican to support Haaland, who won unanimous backing from committee Democrats. The committee vote follows an announcement by Republican Sen.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's top insurance regulator is putting medical providers on notice that people cannot be charged for coronavirus testing after reports that residents have been required to pay for coronavirus rapid-result tests. Insurance Superintendent Russell Toal said Wednesday that his office is preparing an administrative bulletin to ensure testing costs are not passed directly on to consumers as state health officials push for robust testing to track infection rates and new strains of COVID-19.

  • Insurance regulator to issue warning on virus-test billing

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's top insurance regulator is putting medical providers on notice that people cannot be charged for coronavirus testing after reports that residents have been required to pay for coronavirus rapid-result tests.

Today in History

Mar 4, 2021

  • Today in History

Today is Thursday, March 4, the 63rd day of 2021. There are 302 days left in the year.

  • Today's Highlight in History:

On March 4, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt took office as America's 32nd president.

  • Medical Providers on Notice

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's top insurance regulator is putting medical providers on notice that people cannot be charged for coronavirus testing after reports that residents have been required to pay for coronavirus rapid-result tests. Insurance Superintendent Russell Toal said Wednesday that his office is preparing an administrative bulletin to ensure testing costs are not passed directly on to consumers as state health officials push for robust testing to track infection rates and new strains of COVID-19.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-MANDATORY VACCINATION

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A corrections officer is suing a New Mexico county over a requirement that first responders and other Dona Ana County employees be vaccinated. Isaac Legaretta says in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court that forcing employees to take vaccines that aren't yet fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration violates federal law. Legaretta is facing termination for declining a vaccination.

  • AP-US-BIDEN-CABINET-INTERIOR

WASHINGTON (AP) — Maine Sen. Susan Collins says she will support New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland to be Interior secretary. Collins is the first Republican senator to publicly back Haaland, who's set to become the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency. The announcement Wednesday makes Haaland's confirmation by the Senate nearly certain and follows Haaland's endorsement last week by Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

  • New Mexico's Spaceport America names new executive director

SIERRA COUNTY, N.M. (AP) — Spaceport America has named New Mexico native Scott A. McLaughlin as its new executive director. The company announced the appointment on Tuesday. McLaughlin served as the director of business development at Spaceport America prior to being named interim executive director in July 2020. He has worked at several government agencies including the U.S.

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Policing reforms are making for strange bedfellows in New Mexico as the co-founders of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and the conservative-backed nonprofit group Americans for Prosperity lobby for a bill to eliminate police immunity from lawsuits on civil rights violations. Ice cream entrepreneurs and civic activists Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield on Tuesday joined an online news conference to promote the proposed policing reforms that would allow civil right lawsuits against local officials in state courts.

Today in History

Mar 3, 2021

  • Today in History 

Today is Wednesday, March 3, the 62nd day of 2021. There are 303 days left in the year. 

  • Today's Highlight in History: 

On March 3, 1931, "The Star-Spangled Banner" became the national anthem of the United States as President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional resolution. 

  • New Mexico's Spaceport America names new executive director

SIERRA COUNTY, N.M. (AP) — Spaceport America has named New Mexico native Scott A. McLaughlin as its new executive director. The company announced the appointment on Tuesday. McLaughlin served as the director of business development at Spaceport America prior to being named interim executive director in July 2020. He has worked at several government agencies including the U.S.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Tuesday reported 16 new COVID-19 cases with 14 additional deaths. The latest figures from tribal health officials bring the total number of COVID-19 cases to 29,774 cases since the pandemic began. The death toll now is 1,184. Health facilities on the reservation and in border towns are conducting drive-thru vaccine events or administering doses by appointment. The Navajo-area Indian Health Service has vaccinated more than 135,000 people so far. A daily curfew from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

New Mexico governor touts progress on virus, draws criticismALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is touting her administration's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying the state stepped up last year with direct economic aid and is looking to provide more relief through pending legislation. She spoke Tuesday during an online forum, acknowledging that the pandemic has been a cruel hardship.

  • AP-US-BOY-SCOUTS-BANKRUPTCY

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The Boy Scouts of America has submitted a bankruptcy reorganization plan that envisions continued operations of its local troops and national adventure camps but leaves many unanswered questions about resolving tens of thousands of sexual abuse claims by former Boy Scouts. The plan was filed Monday, even though the BSA remains in intense negotiations with insurers over sexual abuse claims and with the official committee representing abuse victims.

New Mexico regulators want more details on power plant sale

Mar 2, 2021

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's largest electric provider must file an amended application with state regulators who will determine whether it can transfer its shares in a coal-fired power plant to an energy company backed by the Navajo Nation. Regulators say Public Service Co. of New Mexico's application to abandon its stake in the Four Corners Power Plant was insufficient and doesn't go far enough in explaining whether the transaction would benefit the public. The utility has until March 15 to submit a revamped application and additional evidence.

Today in History

Mar 2, 2021

  • Today in History 

Today is Tuesday, March 2, the 61st day of 2021. There are 304 days left in the year. 

  • Today's Highlight in History: 

On March 2, 1932, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which moved the date of the presidential inauguration from March 4 to January 20, was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. 

  • Boy Scouts submit reorganization plan to bankruptcy court

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The Boy Scouts of America has submitted a bankruptcy reorganization plan that envisions continued operations of its local troops and national adventure camps but leaves many unanswered questions about resolving tens of thousands of sexual abuse claims by former Boy Scouts. The plan was filed Monday, even though the BSA remains in intense negotiations with insurers over sexual abuse claims and with the official committee representing abuse victims.

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