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Regional
8:59 am
Wed July 30, 2014

King Asks To Intervene In Election Voting Case

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King wants to defend in court a state law that bars independents from voting in the primary election.

The Santa Fe New Mexican  reports that King is asking a state District Court judge to permit him to intervene in the lawsuit filed on behalf of nearly 294,000 voters registered as independents.

The lawsuit contends the law allowing only Democrats and Republicans to vote in the primary violates the New Mexico Constitution.

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Regional
8:57 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Minimum Wage Proposal Submitted In Las Cruces

Las Cruces officials say supporters of a minimum wage proposal collected enough valid signatures on petitions to either have it put into law or submitted to city voters.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the proposal seeks to raise the minimum wage within New Mexico's second most populous city to $8.40 per hour in 2015, to $9.20 in 2016 and to $10.10 in 2017.

New Mexico's hourly minimum wage is $7.50.

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Regional
8:53 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Arizona Wolf Pups Thrive In New Mexico Pack

Wildlife managers say two Mexican gray wolf pups from an Arizona pack are thriving with their new family in New Mexico.

Biologists in May transplanted a pair of 2-week old pups born in a large litter to another pack of wolves with a smaller litter and more rearing experience.

Wildlife managers have been troubled by the survival rates of wild-born pups. The goal with cross-fostering is to improve the genetic health of the endangered predators as they are reintroduced to the American Southwest.

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Regional
4:05 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Arroyo Management Has Dona Ana County In Over Its Head

Michael Mc Whirter advises a guest over for dinner on the best way to drive through the almost 2 feet of sand covering the road in front of his drive way.
Credit Simon Thompson

Michael Mc Whirter and his family bought their house near Picacho Mountain when it was one of the only properties there.

The realtor sold them on horizon to horizon views and the surrounding desert wilderness. But what wasn’t mentioned in the sales pitch was the arroyo that runs from the back to the front of the property.

“When we bought the property it was not disclosed to us that there was an issue with run off, when we bought the property it came as a surprise to us to realize that we had water swirling on the porch" he says.

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Regional
8:46 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Woman Appeals Texas Affirmative Action Ruling

Attorneys for a woman is renewing her appeal of a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the use of race in University of Texas undergraduate admissions.

Abigail Fisher's attorneys filed their appeal Tuesday with the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking that it overturn the three-judge 5th Circuit Court panel's ruling. That 2-1 ruling July 15th held that barring the university's "limited use of race" would hurt diversity on the Austin campus.

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Local Viewpoints
5:30 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Pearce: Arrivals And Departures At Artesia Facility Halted Due To Health Concerns

Credit Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Today, Congressman Steve Pearce received confirmed information about public health and safety issues at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) facility in Artesia. The information, confirmed by the Department of Homeland Security, detailed the conditions for the undocumented immigrant women and children held at FLETC. DHS confirmed that arrivals and departures have been halted as they treat and vaccinate the population for Varicella (Chicken Pox).

 

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Local Viewpoints
2:11 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

El Paso Baseball Team Celebrates: Over 400,000 Have Attended A Home Game

Credit epchihuahuas.com

  EL PASO, Texas – Weeks after breaking the all-time Minor League single-season attendance record for El Paso baseball, the Chihuahuas are proud to announce that more than 400,000 fans have walked through the Southwest University Park gates. This comes on the heels of a social media milestone, as the team’s Facebook page hit 100,000 likes, ranking second in all of Minor League Baseball.

 

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Local Viewpoints
1:58 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Heinrich Applauds Confirmation Of New VA Secretary

Credit Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement today after voting to confirm Robert McDonald as the next U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA):

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Regional
1:56 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Perry Slams New Hampshire Senator Who Voted For Immigration Reform

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

  Texas Gov. Rick Perry says New Hampshire voters should be embarrassed by Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's record on border security.

The Republican governor weighed in on New Hampshire's Senate race on Tuesday in a conference call with reporters. Shaheen will likely face former Republican Sen. Scott Brown in a re-election test this fall.

Perry has become a leading Republican voice in the immigration debate as he considers another run for president. The issue has emerged in elections nationwide as Central American children seek refuge at the border.

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Regional
1:54 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Lane Closures On University Avenue And Locust Street In Las Cruces

  University Avenue from Telshor Boulevard to Jack Nicklaus Drive will have lane closures beginning immediately. The closures will be in effect for approximately ten days for milling and overlaying asphalt pavement on University Avenue.

The closure will not affect any RoadRUNNER Transit routes. Motorists wanting to avoid possible delays should seek alternate routes. Access to businesses and residences will be maintained during construction.

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Regional
1:05 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Immigration And Defense Highlight NMSU Domenici Conference

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense and former CIA Director Leon Panetta will speak on Sept. 17 at the 2014 Domenici Public Policy Conference at the Las Cruces Convention Center. (Courtesy photo)

  The issues that dominate today’s news – the debate on immigration reform, the legislative stalemate in Washington and the future of our national defense strategy – are among the pressing state and national policy topics set to be discussed at the 2014 Domenici Public Policy Conference.

Experts including former U.S. Secretary of Defense and former CIA Director Leon Panetta, former U.S. counterintelligence head and inspector general of the National Security Agency Joel Brenner and national political strategists Donna Brazile and Charlie Black are among those scheduled to appear.

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Regional
12:57 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Santa Fe Wants To Lure "The Bachelor"

The city of Santa Fe is trying to get its hands on the "The Bachelor" and it may shell out some money for the mission.

Councilors are expected Wednesday to consider a request to spend between $50,000 and $100,000 from Tourism Santa Fe's reserve budget in an effort to attract the popular ABC-TV dating show.

Officials want the show to film one of next season's episodes in Santa Fe.

The New Mexico Department of Tourism has already agreed to a letter of intent to commit $50,000 to the effort.

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Regional
12:54 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

New Law Speeds Closure Of Troubled Texas Charter Schools

  The number of troubled charter schools that are forced to close is accelerating because of a new state law that makes it easier to shutter poorly performing ones.

The Texas Education Agency has revoked the license of five charter schools since February. Three others, including one co-founded by NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, have appeals pending.

If the three appeals are unsuccessful, it would result in the most revocations of a charter's license in a single year.

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Regional
9:53 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Parts Of New Mexico Remain Under Flash Flood Watch

Much of northern and eastern New Mexico remain under a flash flood watch as another storm system moves across the state.

The National Weather Service says scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected Tuesday to travel east and drop in intensity by mid-morning. But forecasters say another round of severe storms will likely pop up by late afternoon in central and northern New Mexico through the evening.

The storms could lead to flood and possibly bring hail. Forecasters say the areas also may see strong winds up to 50 mph.

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Regional
9:52 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Santa Fe Eyes Wooing 'The Bachelor' To Town

The city of Santa Fe is trying to get its hands on the "The Bachelor" and it may shell out some money for the mission.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that councilors are expected Wednesday to consider a request to spend between $50,000 and $100,000 from Tourism Santa Fe's reserve budget in an effort to attract the popular ABC-TV dating show.

Officials want the show to film one of next season's episodes in Santa Fe.

The New Mexico Department of Tourism has already agreed to a letter of intent to commit $50,000 to the effort.

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Regional
9:50 am
Tue July 29, 2014

King Says He Will Ask Court To Decide Donation Issue

A campaign finance case involving the New Mexico's race for governor is apparently headed to the state Supreme Court

Democratic nominee and current Attorney General Gary King says he'll ask the justices to decide whether he has to return certain donations as Secretary of State Diana Duran contends.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the issue centers on the timing of the contributions. They were made weeks after the June 3 primary election, and Duran contends that contributions for the primary election cycle cannot be accepted after that election.

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Regional
7:52 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Texas Lawmakers Scrutinize Costs Of Beefed Up Border

A legislative committee is scrutinizing the more-than-$5 million a week Texas spends on beefed-up security along the Mexican border amid a surge of unaccompanied immigrant children.

The special Texas House committee on border operations meets Tuesday after the state announced it was spending an extra $1.2 million per week on border security.

That "operational surge" means more helicopters, armed boats and police troopers — but exactly how it's being spent hasn't been made public.

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Regional
7:49 am
Tue July 29, 2014

New Mexico Tax Holiday Starts Friday For Shoppers

New Mexico's annual tax holiday is approaching and will provide shoppers with savings on purchases of school supplies, computers and some clothing and shoes.

Starting Friday through the weekend, there will be no gross receipts tax on certain products purchased at participating retailers.

The tax rate varies across the state, but exceeds 8 percent in some communities.

No tax will be imposed on computers up to $1,000, including tablets; and computer hardware costing no more than $500, including printers.

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Regional
7:43 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Man Arrested After New Mexico Capitol Evacuated

A 48-year-old man has been arrested following the evacuation of the New Mexico Capitol in Santa Fe after a caller allegedly threatened to kill himself there and blow up the building.

State Police Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez says the building was closed Monday afternoon after being evacuated. Normal operations resume Tuesday.

Gutierrez said officers arrested 48-year-old Matthew Pacheco Monday night at a drug store in Taos, which is about 55 miles north of Santa Fe.

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Regional
4:02 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Retiree Health Care Agency Proposes Solvency Plan

Taxpayers and public employees would chip in more money over three years under a proposal to improve the finances of a program providing health care for retired state and local government workers.

The Retiree Health Care Authority executive director Mark Tyndall said Monday the Legislature will be asked to approve the proposal when it convenes in January.

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Regional
3:59 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

New Mexico Capitol Evacuated Due To Threat

Authorities evacuated the New Mexico Capitol after a male caller threatened to kill himself in the building.

State Police Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez says the evacuation was ordered around 12:30 p.m. Monday. He says police know the identity of the caller, but haven't been able to locate him.

A spokesman for Gov. Susana Martinez says the governor's office had received a series of calls from someone threating suicide. Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell says the evacuation was ordered after an initial investigation by law enforcement found the threat to be credible.

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Regional
3:08 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

"Dig" To Film In New Mexico

Credit nmfilm.com

  SANTA FE - New Mexico Film Office Director, Nick Maniatis, announced today that the Universal Cable Productions television event series "Dig," premiering on USA Network this fall, starring Jason Isaacs (Awake) and Anne Heche (Save Me), will be partially filmed in New Mexico.

 

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Local Viewpoints
3:04 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Settlement Requires Feds To Review Pesticide Impacts

The Center for Biological Diversity reached a settlement today requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to analyze the impacts of five common pesticides on endangered wildlife across the nation. The pesticides up for review — carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, malathion and methomyl — have all been found to be toxic to wildlife and may pose a health risk to humans. 

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Regional
1:23 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Parts Of New Mexico See Record Rainfall

Parts of drought-stricken New Mexico have seen record rainfall and forecasters say more is coming.

The National Weather Service says Raton was hit with four inches of rain and Mosquero received close to five inches over a 24 hour period beginning Sunday. Officials say those are likely new daily rainfall records for those northern New Mexico communities.

Santa Fe also reported seeing up to two inches of rain across the metro area.

More severe weather in the state is expected this week, bringing the possibility of flooding and dangerous road conditions.

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Regional
1:20 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Man Gets 22.5-Year Sentence In Death Of 2-Year-Old

A Farmington-area man has been sentenced to 22.5 years in prison on convictions stemming from the beating death of a 2-year-old boy left in his care.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says 31-year-old Jason Yazzie of Fruitland was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque in the Aug. 2, 2013 death of the boy identified in court documents only as "KB."

Yazzie pleaded guilty on April 28 to charges of voluntary manslaughter and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

Regional
1:18 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

More Hospitals To Test Newborns For Heart Defects

More New Mexico hospitals are about to start screening all newborns for a type of heart disease.

State health officials say some hospitals already test for a group of heart defects that cause severe, life-threatening symptoms but that others will start doing so Friday.

That's a result of legislation enacted earlier this year. Health Secretary Retta Ward says it's important because some of the defects may not be apparent early on but the infants need life-saving interventions quickly.

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Regional
1:17 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Appeals Court Upholds Gun Rule

A federal appeals court has upheld the government's right to demand that gun dealers in Southwestern border states tell authorities if someone buys more than two semi-automatic rifles within five days.

The 10th U.S Circuit Court of appeals said it was siding with other appellate courts in affirming a lower court's decision in favor of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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Regional
1:15 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

New Mexico Capitol Evacuated Due To 'Threat'

Authorities have evacuated the New Mexico Capitol due to an unspecified "threat."

State Police Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez said the evacuation Monday was ordered around 12:30 p.m. after two threatening phone calls were made by a male caller. Gutierrez says he didn't know the nature of the threat but one call came to the office of Gov. Susana Martinez and another was made to another office.

He says the caller did not make a threat to an individual but to the Capitol.

It was not known if Martinez was in the building at the time the calls were made.

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Regional
12:14 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Doña Ana County Approved For Foreign Trade Zone Status

Doña Ana County now has the status as a foreign trade zone.  The County has been designated as Foreign-Trade Zone No. 197. The status provides an opportunity for the county to attract new manufacturing jobs to any part of the county.

In a press release, Doña Ana County Manager Chuck B. McMahon said, “The benefit of the designation is that it allows new companies that locate within Doña Ana County to secure Foreign-Trade Zone Status for warehousing and distribution operations within approximately 30 days from the time an application is accepted for filing.”

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Regional
8:30 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Overtime For Santa Fe Police Fell During Five Day Work Week

Santa Fe police say overtime costs fell significantly when officers worked five days a week, a schedule that has since been reversed by the current police chief.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that records show overtime payments dropped by 15 percent.

According to records, the department shelled out $1 million in overtime in 2010.

That figure decreased to $842,000 in 2011, after former Chief Ray Rael changed officers' schedules from five to four-day work weeks. The costs have remained steady since.

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