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Las Cruces man accused of scuffling with city police officer

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A Las Cruces man has been arrested and accused of throwing rocks at a hospital security officer and attempting to disarm a policewoman. Authorities say 26-year-old Sergio Sotelo is jailed without bond on suspicion of battery on a peace officer plus resisting, evading or obstructing a police officer. Las Cruces police were dispatched to a home about 8 p.m. Sunday where Sotelo was reportedly acting violent and throwing items. Officers took Sotelo into protective custody and transported him to a hospital for evaluation. Hospital staff later called 911 for help, saying Sotelo was throwing rocks at security personnel. A police officer responded and Sotelo allegedly tried to disarm the officer by grabbing her stun gun before he was arrested.


Brother pleads not guilty to aiding Arizona murder suspect

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The brother of an Air Force airman charged in the death of a Sunday school teacher has pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempting to hinder prosecution. Samuel Gooch entered the plea Monday in Coconino County Superior Court. Authorities say he flew to Arizona from Wisconsin last month to pick up what he thought was the rifle used in the killing. His younger brother, Mark Gooch, has pleaded not guilty in the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Sasha Krause. She had been living in a Mennonite community in northwestern New Mexico when she disappeared in mid-January. Her body was found in the forest outside Flagstaff.


International Balloon Fiesta grounded over virus concerns

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — There will be no hot air balloons lifting off this fall as part of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. This would have marked the 49th year for the annual event. It usually draws hundreds of thousands of visitors and ballooning teams from around the world for nine days in October. It also contributes millions of dollars to the economy. The fiesta’s board of directors had considered numerous options for trying to make the spectacle happen but instead decided to put off this year’s gathering until October 2021. They made the announcement Monday, citing the safety of the pilots, spectators, sponsors, staff and volunteers.


New Mexico lawmakers back mandatory police body cameras

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Legislature has approved a proposal to make police body cameras mandatory for nearly all state and local law enforcement officers. The Democrat-led House of Representatives voted 44-26 to send the police accountability reforms to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for consideration. It would permanently revoke certification for police convicted of unlawful use of physical force. Republicans largely opposed the bill as hastily written and financially burdensome to law enforcement agencies. Lawmakers also sent an economic recovery bill to the governor that would offer more than $400 million in low-interest loans to small businesses and local governments in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.


Man charged in New Mexico protest melee to be released

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A man who opened fire after a fight broke out as protesters tried to tear down a statue of a Spanish conquistador is being released from custody pending trial. The decision was made Monday during a detention hearing for Steven Ray Baca. He’s facing a weapons charge and charges of battery for interactions with three unidentified women during the protest. One man was shot and injured during the June 15 confrontation in Albuquerque. Police are defending their response to the violence as the debate continues over what to do with the Juan de Oñate statue and other Spanish representations around New Mexico. 


Robot helping to sanitize Albuquerque International Sunport

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s largest airport has enlisted a robot to help with cleaning in the age of coronavirus. KOAT-TV reports the Albuquerque International Sunport is employing an autonomous robot to sanitize spaces in the airport. Airport officials say the robot, dubbed Breezy One, will be employed every night. The device came from Build with Robotics and Fetch Robotics. Fetch Robotics officials say it decontaminates spaces of mover than 100,000 square feet in under two hours. The robot uses a disinfectant developed at Sandia National Labs.


Navajo Nation reports 55 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Department of Health reported 55 new cases of coronavirus on the Navajo Nation on Monday, but no additional deaths. That pushes the total of positive COVID-19 cases to 7,045 with the death toll remaining at 335. Tribal officials also say preliminary reports from 11 health care facilities indicate about 3,716 people have recovered from COVID-19 with one hospital report still pending.  The Navajo Nation has resumed weekend lockdowns with businesses closed as the number of coronavirus cases off the reservation increases, most notably in Arizona. The tribe’s vast reservation stretches into northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico and southeastern Utah.


Dad, brother’s deaths leave family bereft on Father’s Day

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The deaths of two Ohio brothers have left five boys spending their first Father’s Day without their dad and the man they called “Uncle Phils.” Authorities and their family say Philip and Matthew Reagan were headed to California in March when their journey got cut short in northern Arizona. Their vehicle got stuck in the mud, and the brothers were fatally shot likely while walking to seek help. The FBI has no suspects and now is offering a reward for information that could lead to an arrest. The brothers from near Cleveland are remembered as funny, charitable and hard workers.

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