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PUENTES
9:16 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Community Service in Action - Part 1 of 2

Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico

  November 15, 2014 – Las Cruces, NM - On this edition of PUENTES, Emily Guerra bridges the community with Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico (CAASNM) Chief Executive Officer, Dawn Hommer. She was appointed by the agency’s Board of Directors in 2011, after working for six years with New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center.

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Regional
4:30 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Man Accused Of Hitting Young Las Cruces Boy Arrested In Iowa

  The man suspected of punching his girlfriend’s young son Monday and stealing her car was arrested Thursday in Muscatine, Iowa.

Juan Bazan Agilar, 45, is charged with one count each of child abuse and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.

LCPD investigators learned that Agilar was released from a local hospital Nov. 16 and intended to sell prescription medication Monday to an unidentified woman who resides on Colorado Avenue.

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Online EXTRA
3:23 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

NHTSA Calls For Recall Of All Vehicles With Certain Takata Airbags

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced it is calling for a national recall of vehicles with certain driver’s side frontal air bags made by Takata. This decision is based on the agency’s evaluation of a recent driver’s side air bag failure in a vehicle outside the current regional recall area and its relationship to five previous driver’s side air bag ruptures, all of which are covered by existing regional recalls.

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Regional
1:51 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Spaceport Loss Due To Delay: $1.7 Million A Year

Credit Spaceport America

  Spaceport America stands empty, and New Mexico expects to lose an estimated $1.7 million a year now that commercial fights by Virgin Galactic have been delayed indefinitely.

The head of the spaceport authority, Christine Anderson, is scheduled to update lawmakers on the budget shortfall during a meeting Thursday.

Anderson will also discuss plans for attracting tenants to the taxpayer-financed spaceport.

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Regional
9:20 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Ex-Las Cruces Police Officer Sentenced In Sex Case

    

A former Las Cruces police detective has been sentenced to nine years in prison for sexually assaulting a teenage intern while on duty.

Prosecutors say 38-year-old Michael Garcia also was sentenced Wednesday to five years of supervised release, ordered to forfeit his law enforcement certification and comply with federal and state sex offender registration requirements.

Garcia pleaded guilty in the case in April.

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Regional
9:16 am
Thu November 20, 2014

New Mexico Advocates Preparing For Immigration Change

Immigrant rights groups in New Mexico say they are preparing for possible immigration changes with planned legal clinics and by reaching out to oil field workers.

The New Mexico Immigrant Law Center said Wednesday it will launch a text messaging system targeting immigrants around the state. The organization also will use Skype to assist immigrants living in rural areas.

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Regional
9:15 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Former Guard Pleads Guilty In New Mexico Drug Case

A former corrections officer at a state prison in southern New Mexico has pleaded guilty to charges of smuggling drugs into the penal facility.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says 38-year-old Luis Delgadillo of El Paso, Texas, pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges in an August federal indictment.

The indictment charged Delgadillo with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin into the Otero County Prison Facility in Chaparral.

According to the office, Delgadillo was the last of six defendants to enter a guilty plea in this case.

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Regional
9:13 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Legislators Expect Smaller New Mexico Revenue Gain

New Mexico legislators may have a smaller increase in state revenue to divvy up in the next budget year than they expected just a few months ago.

A revenue forecast released in August said about $285 million should be available for spending increases or for tax cuts.

However, key legislators say that increase now apparently will be smaller, in the range of $185 million to $235 million.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the decrease in the size of the expected revenue increase is due to an ongoing dip in oil prices.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu November 20, 2014

NMSU’s La Catrina Quartet Nominated For 2014 Latin Grammy Award

  The La Catrina String Quartet at New Mexico State University has been nominated for 2014 Latin Grammy Award. They’ll find out if they win at the annual awards ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 20, in Las Vegas. 
It’s not the first time the group has been nominated for a Latin Grammy. They won the award for one of their recordings in 2012.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Major Honor For NMSU Engineering Students

New Mexico State University engineering students Ember Krech (left) and Brendan Sullivan will advocate for lasting institutional change and create opportunities for students to engage with entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, design thinking and venture creation as University Innovation Fellows named by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation. (Courtesy photo)

  New Mexico State University engineering students Brendan Sullivan and Ember Krech are part of a cohort of 58 students from 26 higher education institutions across the United States recently named University Innovation Fellows by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter). The University Innovation Fellows program empowers students to become agents of change at their schools. 

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Regional
4:12 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Martinez Pushes Immigration Reform

Credit Office of the Governor

   New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says Congress should put aside partisan differences and pass comprehensive immigration reform.

The Republican and nation's first elected Latina governor said Tuesday in a Washington Times opinion piece that Congress needed to craft a bill that tightens the border and revamps a "dysfunctional system."

She says solutions shouldn't reward those who have broken the law but they also shouldn't involve "rolling up the welcome mat."

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Regional
4:05 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

UNM Team Captain Dismissed After Assault Charge

   The captain of the University of New Mexico women's basketball team has been dismissed from the team after being arrested and accused of assaulting her boyfriend.

Coach Yvonne Sanchez said Wednesday that her decision to dismiss Ebony Walker was "made with thoughtful consideration" for the program and for Walker, whom Sanchez called a good person."

Sanchez said there shouldn't be a rush to judgment about Walker and that the judicial process should be allowed to play out for the 22-year-old from Albuquerque.

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Regional
3:05 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

New Record For New Mexico Exports South Of The Border

  The New Mexico Economic Development Department announced that New Mexico exported $1,082,000,000 in goods to Mexico according to the third quarter report released by the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. This is first time exports to Mexico have surpassed $1 billion. The 2014 third quarter number also exceeds the record yearly number which was last year's at $800,733,264.

 

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Local Viewpoints
12:27 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Senator: Time For Real Solutions To Alcoholism Challenge In Gallup

  Santa Fe, NM –Senator George Munoz (D-4-Cibola, McKinley & San Juan) said he’s met with several representatives from the Department of Health (DOH) and the Human Services Department (HSD) to discuss and effectively address the well-documented alcoholism issue in Gallup. According to Sen.

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Regional
12:25 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Apartment Fire In Las Cruces

The Las Cruces Fire Department extinguished a fire in an apartment complex Tuesday evening.

Firefighters from the Las Cruces Fire Department responded shortly before 9 pm to an apartment fire in the 300 block of Foster Tuesday November 18. Firefighters were able to force entry and quickly extinguish the fire located in a bedroom. The apartment tenants were not home at the time of the incident. Alert neighbors called 911 after hearing a smoke detector. There were no reported injuries to firefighters or civilians.

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Regional
8:21 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Bernalillo County Inmate-release Plan Approved

Bernalillo County has a contingency plan to release some prisoners deemed to be low risk if the jail population gets too large.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the county jail's population of just under 1,900 inmates is now well below its peak and slightly below a court-ordered target.

County commissioners late Tuesday approved a plan allowing for emergency releases if the jail population exceeds the court-ordered target two weeks in a row.

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Regional
8:19 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Case Against Former Las Cruces Official Dropped

    

Prosecutors in Las Cruces are dropping a criminal case against a former city official who was accused of orchestrating an illegal kickback scheme.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that 50-year-old Jeff Honeycutt was arrested in April and accused of giving overtime assignments to employees in exchange for cash.

District Attorney Mark D'Antonio says prosecutors reviewed new evidence and decided to not take the case to a grand jury.

Citing cases still pending against other former city workers, D'Antonio's office declined to discuss the additional evidence.

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Regional
8:15 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Immigrant Rights Group To Sue On Jail Detentions

An advocacy group and three immigrants are suing a northwestern New Mexico county over jail detentions from immigration holds.

The Santa Fe-based Somos un Pueblo Unido is scheduled to announce Wednesday details about a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of three immigrants who live in Farmington.

According to the lawsuit, all three were stopped for minor traffic violations and held unlawfully by the San Juan County Sheriff's Office while federal officials checked their immigration status.

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Regional
5:26 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Former Deputy Accused Of Killing Partner Released On Bond

  A former sheriff's deputy charged with first-degree murder in the killing of a fellow lawman during an alcohol-fueled argument in New Mexico has been released on bail.

Ex-Deputy Tai Chan was released Monday night after posting $600,000 bond. His lawyer earlier Monday entered a not guilty plea in state District Court to the murder charge on Chan's behalf.

Authorities say Chan fatally shot fellow Santa Fe County Deputy Jeremy Martin at a Las Cruces hotel last month after they drank at a nightspot and got into a heated argument.

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Regional
5:25 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Perry Wants To Spend Another $86 Million In Border Security Push

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

  Gov. Rick Perry wants to spend more than $86 million to extend extra security patrols along the border with Mexico to next August.

He and other state officials said in a statement Tuesday that they're seeking the approval of a legislative budget panel that would allow enhanced patrols by the Department of Public Safety, the Texas National Guard and other personnel to continue.

Officials want to divert nearly $48 million in general revenue bonds and other monies to cover the cost.

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Regional
5:17 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Las Cruces Man Pleads Guilty In Drugs, Firearms Case

A Las Cruces man has pleaded guilty in federal court to drug trafficking and firearms charges.

Prosecutors say 33-year-old Armando Conrad Gonzales entered his plea Tuesday morning.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Gonzales will be sentenced to 100 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Gonzales was charged in July 2014 with two co-defendants from Tucson, Arizona who previously had been arrested.

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Regional
5:03 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Group Moves Forward On Effort To Recall Three Las Cruces City Councilors

  A group organizing a recall campaign against three Las Cruces city councilors is moving ahead with its efforts.  

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Regional
9:22 am
Tue November 18, 2014

A Closer Look At The Lawsuit Against The Public Education Department

Deborah Romero was one of the teachers that rallied in front of Las Cruces City Hall in opposition to the Public Education Department's public education overhaul.
Credit Simon Thompson

They are calling it a war against teachers. Many New Mexico teachers say they are being demoralized by a rigid, one size fits all evaluation system that doesn’t accurately measure their performance.  Teachers are firing back with a national lawsuit filed against the New Mexico public education department by the NEA teachers’ union.

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Regional
8:24 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Lawmakers Back 'Timeout' On Pension System Changes

Some New Mexico legislators agree that there shouldn't be policy changes made to the state's big retirement system for public employees for at least five years.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that a legislative oversight committee on Monday indicated support for a "timeout" proposed by the board that oversees the Public Employee Retirement Association,

It'd be up to the full Legislature to decide whether there actually would be a pause on changes to the retirement system's retirement and benefit guidelines.

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Regional
8:22 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Ex-Navajo Lawmaker Pleads Guilty In Criminal Case

A former Navajo Nation lawmaker accused of funneling nearly $25,000 in tribal funds to her family has pleaded guilty in a criminal case.

Orlanda Smith-Hodge entered her plea Monday in Window Rock District Court to a single count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

She had been charged with six counts of bribery, four counts of abuse of office and five counts of unauthorized compensation. Those charges will be dismissed with prejudice if she cooperates with prosecutors in similar cases against her onetime colleagues.

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Regional
8:20 am
Tue November 18, 2014

New Mexico Says It Is Working To Improve Teacher Evaluations

Education Secretary Hanna Skandera says New Mexico is taking steps to improve its system for evaluating public school teachers but that decreasing its reliance on students' test scores won't be one of them.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Skandera told a legislative study committee Monday that steps being taken include assigning a Public Education Department liaison to each school district and charter school and increasing training on how the system works.

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Las Cruces City Council Moves Forward With Minimum Wage Increase

Las Cruces City Council decided to move forward with the public led minimum wage ordinance passed in September that will increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017, repealing the other increase the city council passed in June.

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue November 18, 2014

NMSU Student Wins Award From New Mexico Press Association

  A love of photography led New Mexico State University student Kyle Chancellor to make a career change during his second year of college. 

“I realized I didn’t want a career in engineering, and I saw journalism as a way for me to take my love of photography and apply it to a real career, photojournalism,” Chancellor said. “As I spent more time and classes in the major, I realized I want to be a writer and not just a photographer.”

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Quilt Exhibit Coming To Las Cruces Gallery

  Las Cruces, NM —  The Tombaugh Gallery at 2000 South Solano Drive presents the “UU Bee Welcome” show, an exhibit opening December 7 featuring the work of this long-time quilting group and associated artists.

 

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Flu Shot Clinic Friday In Las Cruces

Credit New Mexico Department of Health

  The New Mexico Department of Health’s Las Cruces Central Public Health Office will be hosting a flu shot clinic onFriday, November 21 from 1:00 – 3:30 pm at the St. Genevieve Parish Hall, 1025 E. Las Cruces Ave. in Las Cruces, NM. There is no charge to those attending the clinic, but everyone should bring their insurance card, including Medicaid or Medicare, with them.   

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