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Five local deaths during Thanksgiving holiday

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One possible exposure death

The Gallup Police Department reported five deaths occurring over the Thanksgiving holidays, four of them resulting from medical causes.

One death was possibly the result of exposure, according to police. The victim was found on Nov. 22 behind Papa John’s Pizza, 2102 E. Hwy 66, and identified as...

Hit-and-run traps victims in vehicle

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Suspect faces charges in Navajo tribal court

Nizhoni Jacob, 39, of St. Michaels, Ariz. faces DWI charges in Navajo tribal court, but other charges, including leaving the scene of an accident, may be filed against him in New Mexico State court.

It began with a report of a two-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 491 near Gamerco at 10 am Nov. 24.

McKinley County Sheriff Deputy Cecil Sanders said when arrived at the scene, he met a tribal police officer who said the vehicle that caused the accident had left the scene.

The officer reportedly said the driver and passenger in the other vehicle were OK but were trapped in their vehicle.

Sanders spoke to the two people who were trapped; they...

State lacks policies allowing inmates to breastfeed their children

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The New Mexico Department of Corrections does not have a current policy that would allow inmates to breastfeed their children, despite a judge’s order last year to put one in place.

While Corrections implemented a lactation policy, it only covers access to electric breastfeeding pumps, a department spokesman told NM Political Report. Despite the order, the spokesman said in-person breastfeeding only applied to one woman.

Last June, inmate Monique Hidalgo sued the Corrections Department to be able to use an electric breast pump and breastfeed her then-newborn daughter, Isabella, in-person.

The injunctive order handed down last August by state District Court Judge David K. Thomson...

Drunk school bus driver receives felony charges

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Case turned over to FBI; driver on recognizance

An investigation by the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office and the Navajo Nation Police resulted in the arrest of a former Chichiltah-Jones Ranch Community School bus driver on charges of felony child abuse after he took students on a drunken bus ride.

According to tribal police reports, Duane Aaron Skeet, 48, picked up 18 students, ages 5 through 14, on the afternoon of Sept. 24 and drove them home while intoxicated, causing many of them to cry and plead for him to stop the bus.

School officials said they received reports from parents shortly after Skeet began his route. The parents said as Skeet dropped children off, they ran up to...

Kewa Pueblo man pleads guilty to assaulting federal officer

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Faces eight years in prison

ALBUQUERQUE – Avery Cate, 27, an enrolled member of Kewa Pueblo who resides in Bernalillo, pled guilty in federal court in Albuquerque Nov. 15 to assaulting a federal officer.

Cate was arrested in June on an indictment charging him with assaulting a federal officer.

According to the indictment, Cate assaulted a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer on Jan. 30, 2015, on Kewa Pueblo in Sandoval County while the officer was engaged in the performance of his official duties.

During the Nov. 15 proceedings, Cate pled guilty to the indictment.

In entering the guilty plea, Cate admitted that on Jan. 30, 2015, on Kewa Pueblo, he cursed, threatened, and approached...

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