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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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Regional
9:28 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Police: Man, Woman Found Dead In El Paso Home

Police are investigating the deaths of a man and a woman found in an El Paso home.

El Paso police say the Thursday killings appear to be a murder-suicide. Officers were called out to the home on Thursday for a welfare check after the woman didn't arrive at work. They say a family member of one of the people killed had tried to get in touch with that person but couldn't.

Police haven't released their identities, how they were related or how they died. Officers are investigating.

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Regional
9:27 am
Fri November 21, 2014

State Securities Division Proposes Broker Suspensions

Credit bernco.gov

The state Securities Division has proposed taking action against two brokers accused of breaching their duties and contributing to an investment crisis at the Bernalillo County treasurer's office.

The division sent one notice to the Bank of South Carolina, which was doing business as Bank of Albuquerque, and broker Thomas Wayne Hayes. The other notice went to Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. and broker Royce O. Simpson.

The notices were sent Thursday, a day after the state auditor released a special review that detailed risky investments by the county treasurer's office.

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Regional
9:25 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Man Accused Of Trying To Choke New Mexico Deputy

A 28-year-old Albuquerque-area man is accused of assaulting and trying to choke a Bernalillo County sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop.

Sheriff's Capt. Justin Dunlap says 28-year-old Joshua R. Vigil hit Deputy Diana Young with her Taser and his fists and feet, tried to grab her gun and attempted to choke the deputy after he pulled into his driveway Wednesday night.

The Sheriff's Office says Vigil fled the scene when an Albuquerque police helicopter arrived over the scene, leading to a chase that ended in a crash and another fight with officers.

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Regional
9:18 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Gov. Martinez Highlights New 'Katie's Law' Successes

Credit Office of the Governor

Gov. Susana Martinez is touting more success from a DNA testing law that bears the name of a New Mexico college student who was murdered in 2003.

Martinez announced Friday an 88 percent increase in matches by the New Mexico DNA Identification System thanks to the expanded Katie's Law. She says the system has matched DNA from 463 arrestees to 478 cases since 2011.

The law was named in memory of Kathryn Sepich, a New Mexico State University student whose killer was identified with DNA evidence after he was convicted of another crime.

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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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