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Local Viewpoints
3:08 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Advocates: New Plan Gives Mexican Wolves More Room, But Also Subjects Them To More Traps, Bullets

SILVER CITY, N.M.— A new federal plan for managing endangered Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest would expand the areas where wolves could be released and roam, including farther south, east and west in both Arizona and New Mexico. But the plan, released today by the U.S.

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Regional
3:05 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

EPA: Texas Plants Must Spend $2 Billion To Cut Emissions

  Federal regulators are proposing that the largest coal-powered plants in Texas invest $2 billion in new technology to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions, a measure energy companies are likely to resist.

The plan released Monday would require that 15 units at eight coal-fired plants be retrofitted with controls to help clear the air near national parks and other federally protected land in Texas and Oklahoma.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the proposal would cut about 230,000 tons of sulfur dioxide emissions each year.

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Regional
2:15 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

UPDATE: Fatal Crash At Las Cruces Airport

New Mexico State Police says a plane has crashed at the Las Cruces Airport, killing at least one.

Police spokesman Emmanuel Gutierrez said the single-occupant plane went down Monday and one man has died.

Gutierrez says he also did not know the cause of the crash.

No further details were available.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Regional
1:09 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

UPDATE: NMSU Graduate Named Next Athletics Director

Mario Moccia has been appointed New Mexico State University’s new Director of Athletics. Moccia, an NMSU graduate, has served as Director of Athletics at Southern Illinois University since 2006. 

As part of his contract, Moccia will make $240,000 per year, plus incentives.

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Regional
11:36 am
Mon November 24, 2014

New Mexico And Texas Among States Asking Court To Strike Down Maryland Gun Control

Twenty-one states are asking a federal appeals court to overturn provisions of Maryland's gun-control law that ban 45 assault weapons and limit gun magazines to 10 rounds.  West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey led the coalition in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

The brief says the law violates the Second Amendment right to keep firearms in homes for self-protection.

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Regional
7:54 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Lawmakers Want $50 Million Into State Development Fund

Lawmakers and Gov. Susana Martinez are asking that millions of dollars be added to a state fund in the hope of creating more jobs.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the legislative Jobs Council is recommending that $50 million be earmarked for a state "closing fund" in the coming year.

That sum is more than triple the $15 million appropriated this year.

Lawmakers say closing funds in other states are much bigger and give them an edge in courting businesses and developing jobs.

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Regional
7:52 am
Mon November 24, 2014

New Mexico Commission To Make Gila River Decision

Credit NMFO

New Mexico's most powerful water planning commission is set to vote Monday on how to manage the state's share of the Gila River.

The Interstate Stream Commission's vote comes after more than 200 meetings and complaints about transparency.

The commission is facing a Dec. 31 deadline for deciding whether to accept federal funds to build a diversion and storage system along the Gila.

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Regional
7:50 am
Mon November 24, 2014

New Mexico House Democrats Elect Leadership

New Mexico House Democrats have chosen a new leader now that they'll be the minority in that legislative chamber.

Democratic representatives over the weekend elected Rep. Brian Egolf (EE'-golf) of Santa Fe to serve as the House minority leader when the Legislature begins his 2015 session on Jan. 20.

Egolf defeated three other candidates to win election on the first ballot Saturday as House Democrats reorganized after the Nov. 4 election saw Republicans win a majority of the House.

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Regional
6:36 pm
Sun November 23, 2014

Las Cruces Shooting Suspect Charged With Two Counts Of Attempted Murder

  The man suspected in Sunday morning’s shooting that injured two others has been charged.  Philip Curtis Zaman, 23, of Cochiti Lake, N.M., is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder. The charges are second-degree felonies.

The two shooting victims, ages 22 and 23, were transported to University Medical Center of El Paso. Their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

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Regional
11:44 am
Sun November 23, 2014

911 Not Called For An Hour In Fatal Chemical Plant Incident

  Four workers killed by poisonous gas during a recent Texas chemical leak were trapped inside the pesticide plant for an hour before 911 was called, and no one told dispatchers what substances were inside.

The DuPont plant in La Porte typically housed as much as 250 tons of highly flammable methyl mercaptan.

But it also contained at least some methyl isocyanate. That's the same chemical that escaped a Bhopal, India, pesticide plant in 1984, killing more than 2,200 people in the world's worst industrial accident.

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Regional
11:42 am
Sun November 23, 2014

Two UNM Students Killed In Collision With Stolen Truck

  University of New Mexico officials say two students were killed and two other students injured in a collision involving a stolen truck.

UNM spokeswoman Dianne Anderson confirmed Sunday that all four people riding in a sedan that was T-boned in a Friday night crash were current students.

According to a criminal complaint, Briana Hillard, who was driving the sedan, died at the scene. Matthew Grant underwent surgery but was pronounced dead.

Police say Julia Thompson and Joseph Mendoza remain in critical condition.

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Regional
7:19 am
Sun November 23, 2014

Autopsy Report Issued In Las Cruces Plane Crash

Four people killed in an air ambulance crash west of Las Cruces in August died from a combination of burns, smoke inhalation and blunt force trauma, according to autopsy reports.

The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator's findings also found that pilot Juan A. "Freddy" Martinez did not have drugs or alcohol in his system.

Federal safety investigators said in September that the twin-engine aircraft got the wrong fuel at the Las Cruces airport before it took off and crashed Aug. 27.

All three crew members and one patient were killed.

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Regional
8:10 pm
Sat November 22, 2014

Aggies Lose Final Home Game

  LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Freshman running back Larry Rose III ran for 229 yards, etching his name in the New Mexico State record book Saturday, Nov. 22, in a 30-17 loss to Louisiana Monroe in the Aggies’ final home game of the season.

NM State is now 2-9 on the season and 1-6 in Sun Belt play, while ULM moved to 4-7 overall and 3-4 in the SBC.

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Regional
5:32 pm
Sat November 22, 2014

New Mexico Deputy Resigns After DWI Arrest

   An Eddy County Sheriff's Office deputy has resigned a day after being arrested for DWI.

32-year-old Jeffrey Clifton handed in his resignation Friday morning.

Carlsbad police stopped Clifton on Thursday after seeing his vehicle, a Chevy truck, driving erratically.

Police say he had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit.

Clifton faces a charge of suspicion of aggravated DWI.

He is the third deputy to resign in the last two months.

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Regional
5:31 pm
Sat November 22, 2014

New Mexico Man Sentenced In Murder Over Video Game

  A La Mesilla man has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for killing a man he suspected stole his PlayStation.

23-year-old Eric Rodriguez received his sentence Friday as part of a plea agreement in the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Marco Bequett.

Prosecutors say Rodriguez is pleading guilty to second-degree murder and kidnapping. He initially faced other charges including first-degree murder.

Authorities say Bequett's body was found New Year's Day 2013 near Espanola.

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Regional
5:29 pm
Sat November 22, 2014

Board Hopes To Increase Texas College Graduation Rate

Credit Courtesy: US Dept. of Education

  A state board working to increase the percentage of Texas college graduates has made strides since 2000, but has work to do if 60 percent of residents are going to have earned at least associate degrees by 2030.

The number of people enrolled in colleges and universities is rising thanks to plans implemented by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

But it's failed to keep pace with Texas' booming population.

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PUENTES
10:16 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Community Service in Action - Part 2 of 2

Dawn Hommer, CEO of Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico, outside of the CAASNM office. (photo by Niki Rhynes for the Las Cruces Sun News)

  November 22, 2014 – Las Cruces, NM - On this edition of PUENTES, Emily Guerra continues with Part Two of an interview with Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico (CAASNM) Chief Executive Officer, Dawn Hommer. CAASNM serves over 30,000 low-income New Mexico familes every year through high impact programs that build self-esteem.

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Online EXTRA
12:59 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

FACT SHEET: Immigration Accountability Executive Action

  The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions will help secure the border, hold nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants accountable, and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules.  Acting within his legal authority, the President is taking an important step to fix our broken immigration system.

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Regional
12:45 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Los Alamos Director Denies Lab Hid Facts From WIPP

   The head of Los Alamos National Laboratory is denouncing a published report that exposed missteps at the lab that had played a part in a radiation leak at the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports lab director Charlie McMillian sent a memo to employees earlier this week.

In it, he dismisses suggestions that the lab was hiding scientific theories about the Feb. 14 accident at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

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Regional
12:44 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

New Mexico Jobless Rate Drops To 6.5 Percent

  New Mexico's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped in October to 6.5 percent, down from 6.6 percent in September and below the 6.8 percent rate of October 2013.

The state Department of Workforce Solutions reported Friday that New Mexico's economy added 9,100 jobs during October, with gains in nine economic sectors more than offsetting losses in four others.

The education and health services sector added 4,900 jobs — more than half of the new positions — while manufacturing lost 2,300 jobs for the biggest loss by one sector.

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Local Viewpoints
12:42 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Pearce: President's Actions On Immigration "Gross Abuse Of Power"

  “President Obama’s decision to use executive powers to alter immigration policy for 5 million people is a gross abuse of power,” said Congressman Steve Pearce.

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Local Viewpoints
12:39 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Heinrich: We Must Fix Our Broken Immigration System

Credit US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement on the actions President Obama is taking to help fix our broken immigration system:

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Regional
11:49 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Transcript: President Obama's Speech On Immigration

  REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

IN ADDRESS TO THE NATION ON IMMIGRATION

 

Cross Hall

 

8:01 P.M. EST

 

THE PRESIDENT:  My fellow Americans, tonight, I’d like to talk with you about immigration.

 

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Regional
9:50 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Mom Who Fled Police Who Shot At Her Van With Kids Faces New Charges

New charges have been filed against a Tennessee woman in a chaotic 2013 traffic stop and chase during which a New Mexico State Police officer fired shots at her minivan full of children.

A Taos County grand jury Thursday indicted 40-year-old Oriana Farrell of Memphis on fleeing and child abuse charges. An appeals court dismissed previous charges, saying a prosecutor shouldn't have been involved in excusing a grand jury member.

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Regional
9:48 am
Fri November 21, 2014

What Else Las Cruces Is Doing To Increase Economic Opportunity

The Las Cruces minimum wage debate has thrust the question of economic opportunity and development into city politics. Economic analysts say raising the minimum wage is no silver bullet. Spurring growth and raising opportunity demands a mixture of targeted strategies and initiatives.  What else is  the city of Las Cruces is doing to generate economic opportunity.

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Regional
9:45 am
Fri November 21, 2014

October Jobless Rate In Texas Slips To 5.1 Percent

The Texas unemployment rate slipped to 5.1 percent in October for a second straight month of declines.

The Texas Workforce Commission on Friday reported the latest jobless figure compares to statewide unemployment of 5.2 percent in September.

Steady job gains helped push the October nationwide unemployment rate to 5.8 percent, a six-year low.

TWC reports Texas added 35,200 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs last month. Texas in the past year added 421,900 total nonfarm jobs.

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Regional
9:40 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Gov. Martinez Denounces President Obama's Immigration Move

Credit Office of the Governor

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the country's only Latina governor, is denouncing President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.

The Republican said in a statement Thursday she was disappointed with his move and that he should have tried one more time to work with Congress to tackle the issue.

Martinez said the executive action didn't reflect "good common-senses" and was not "an act of compassion."

She said the move was an "invitation to further law-breaking" and didn't address the systemic issues along the border.

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Regional
9:36 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Judge Lifts Restraining Order In Gila Lawsuit

Credit NMFO

The Interstate Stream Commission can now move forward with a meeting next week to consider the future of the Gila River.

During a hearing Thursday, state District Judge Francis Mathew lifted a temporary restraining order that had blocked action by the commission.

New Mexico faces a Dec. 31 deadline for deciding how to manage its share of the river under the Arizona Water Settlements Act.

The commission plans to meet Monday to consider a recent staff recommendation to build a diversion and storage system along the Gila.

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Regional
9:35 am
Fri November 21, 2014

UTEP: Former Athletics Head, Wife Killed By Truck

The University of Texas at El Paso is mourning the loss of a former athletic director and his wife, who were fatally hit by a truck while crossing the street.

UTEP President Diana Natalicio confirms Ben and Mary Gene Collins died on Thursday. El Paso police say the couple didn't use a crosswalk. They were taken to an area hospital where they died.

The accident occurred outside of the Don Haskins Center, named after the legendary basketball coach that Ben Collins is credited with hiring. Collins worked at Texas Western College, now UTEP, from 1946 to 1961.

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Regional
9:31 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Arizonans Sue Over Border Patrol Checkpoints

Two southern Arizona residents have filed a lawsuit in federal court over an ongoing battle against a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint.

The checkpoint is about 20 miles north of the U.S. border with Mexico near the town of Arivaca. Residents there have staged protests and began monitoring the checkpoint this year.

Leesa Jacobson and Peter Ragan say border agents have harassed them in their efforts to document encounters they witness between the Border Patrol and drivers who must stop at the checkpoint.

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