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Regional
6:00 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Researchers Launch "Smart Grid" Center At NMSU

Professor Enrico Pontelli has received a $5 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation’s Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) to launch research that will focus on intelligent technologies for smart grids and develop a broad culture of smart grids at New Mexico State University.

Pontelli and his colleagues were recognized for their efforts at a Research Rally held Friday, April 11, on the NMSU campus. There, Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard commended Pontelli for his tenacity and dedication.

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Regional
4:28 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

USDA Dedicates Wastewater System In Dona Ana County

  USDA-Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner was joined today by Lillian Salerno, administrator of USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service, to celebrate Earth Day and help dedicate the new wastewater system in Chaparral, New Mexico.

The Earth Day celebration in Chaparral coincided with hundreds of similar events across the nation to encourage people to be more responsible trustees of the Earth.  Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 to bring awareness and celebrate gains that have made to protect the environment by cleaning up contaminated areas.

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Regional
3:12 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Senators Seek Support For Amtrak Route In New Mexico

Credit Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Three U.S. senators are seeking support for capital improvements to Amtrak's long-distance routes, including one that passes through New Mexico and Colorado.

Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Mark Udall of Colorado have sent a letter to the chairman of an appropriations subcommittee that's considering funding for the U.S. Department of Transportation and other agencies that oversee Amtrak.

The senators say long-distance service is a critical link for small and rural communities.

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Regional
3:10 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Feds Schedule Public Meetings On Albuquerque Police Reform

   The U.S. Justice Department has scheduled a series of public meetings to gather comments on possible reforms for the Albuquerque Police Department over its use of force.

The federal agency recently issued a scathing report on what it called excessive force and a culture of abuse and aggression at the Albuquerque Police Department.

The agency also criticized the city's oversight system and limited powers in investigating cases of questionable police conduct.

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Regional
3:09 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Navajo "Junk Food Tax" Fails

  An effort to resurrect a junk-food tax on the country's largest American Indian reservation has failed.

The Navajo Nation Council earlier this year approved an additional 2 percent sales tax on snacks high in fat, sugar and salt. Tribal President Ben Shelly vetoed the measure, saying it was unclear how the tax would be enacted and enforced.

A bill to override that veto came before tribal lawmakers Tuesday but fell three votes short.

Lawmakers approved a separate measure to eliminate the tribe's 5 percent sales tax on fresh fruit and vegetables.

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Regional
12:21 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Marketing Students Partner With Community

  Marketing students at Western New Mexico University are not waiting to receive their degrees to begin advertising their newfound expertise in Silver City.

Marketing professor Dr. Steve Walker and his students are paving the way for the newly introduced marketing degree program by partnering with several organizations in the community as promotions teams.

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Regional
12:02 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Feds: New Laws, Oversight Needed After Texas Blast

A federal agency leading one of the investigations into last year's deadly Texas fertilizer plant explosion says that even if regulators don't know what started an initial fire, they know the resulting blast could have been prevented.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board on Tuesday announced its findings after a year of investigating the blast in West, Texas, that killed 15 people, injured 200 and damaged much of the tiny town.

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Regional
12:00 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Texas Pushes Online License Renewal

Renewing a Texas driver's license doesn't necessarily mean waiting in long lines or prepping your best photo ID look for the camera.

The Department of Public Safety on Tuesday urged residents to renew online and beat the typical summer rush at driver's license offices.

DPS Director Steven McCraw says many Texans can opt for online and phone renewal of licenses and ID cards.

To be eligible, the card holder must be a U.S. citizen. The expiration date on the card must be within one year.

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Regional
8:31 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Heinrich Holds Meetings In Grant County

Credit Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

   U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) will host community roundtable discussions in Grant County on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, focused on making the economic recovery work for all New Mexicans, including helping small businesses prosper, supporting job seekers, and making college more affordable. Senator Heinrich will also speak at the Continental Divide Trial Gateway Community Designation in Silver City on Wednesday afternoon.

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Regional
8:17 am
Tue April 22, 2014

N.M. Plans To Make Payments To State Workers In June

Thousands of current and past New Mexico state government workers are due to receive payments this summer for back wages in a union contract dispute with the state.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the state Department of Finance and Administration says it will start cutting checks for back pay in July. However, the department cautions that the payments to 10,300 past and current employees are subject to what it calls "budget availability."

The department also says 5,700 current employees will receive a corrected hourly pay rate beginning in June.

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Regional
12:55 am
Tue April 22, 2014

To Save Money, City Will Not Fill 17 Vacancies

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Regional
9:31 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

UNM Football Player Suspended; Facing Rape Charges

  The University of New Mexico says running back Crusoe Gongbay is facing rape charges and has been suspended from the team.

University officials issued a statement Monday night saying the 20-year-old turned himself in to campus police.

Coach Bob Davie says he's aware of the allegations, and due to the serious nature of the charges, the junior has been suspended indefinitely.

KOB-TV reports that Gongbay and another man who is not a student each face two counts of second-degree criminal sexual penetration and one count of kidnapping.

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Regional
4:14 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

UT President: Payment Was Properly Approved

University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers says he was told that $325,000 in extra compensation he received while dean of the law school was properly authorized at the time.

The UT rules would have required the system chancellor in 2001 to authorize the money that Powers received from a charitable foundation that supports the law school.

The newspaper reported finding no evidence of then-Chancellor Dan Burck approving the agreement.

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Regional
3:57 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Water Outage Thursday In Part Of Las Cruces

  Residents along McClure Road between Alameda Boulevard and Highland Avenue will experience a water outage, Thursday, April 24, between 9 a.m. and

1 p.m. for a water main connection.

Other impacted areas will include:

  • Highland Avenue between McClure Road and Phillips Drive.
  • Raymond Street between McClure Road and Linda Vista Street.
  • Kismet Place between McClure Road and cul-de-sac.

     

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Regional
3:55 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Man Charged With Assaulting Girlfriend

  An Anthony, N.M., man suspected of assaulting his girlfriend and holding the woman against her will was arrested Saturday morning.

Sergio Rojas-Martinez, 35, of 805 Clark road in Anthony, is charged with one count each of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment.

Shortly before midnight on Friday, April 18, Las Cruces Police were dispatched to 5300 Stern Drive where Martinez is said to have threatened his 34-year-old girlfriend with a large kitchen knife.

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Regional
1:57 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

New Mexico Bankruptcy Filings Below U.S. Average

Bankruptcy filings in New Mexico dipped in 2013, continuing a downward trend that has been going on since 2010.

The clerk's office for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Albuquerque says the state overall had a rate of two bankruptcy filings per capita last year, which falls below the national average of 3.3.

The data shows Valencia County with the highest rate of the state's 33 counties with a ratio of 2.8 filings.

Sandoval and Torrance counties came in second and third, respectively.

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Regional
1:55 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

Report: Texas Lab Delays Lead To False Drug Convictions

Lengthy crime lab delays have forced at least 21 people across Texas to serve time in prison or jail on drug possession charges when the substance they had wasn't actually illegal.

All pleaded guilty and began serving time before confiscated samples came back from public labs for conclusive identification.

Because of lab backups or delays, the test results declaring 14 men and seven women innocent didn't arrive until months or, sometimes even years, later.

And prosecutors say there are almost certainly more such cases — but no one is keeping close count.

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Regional
1:54 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

Officials: El Paso Baseball Stadium Will Be Ready

Credit epchihuahuas.com

  With barely a week to go, officials are promising that El Paso's new $72 million stadium will be ready before the city's minor league baseball team's home opener.

A temporary certificate of occupancy has been issued for $72 million Southwest University Park. That's the future home of the Chihuahuas, a Triple-A Padres affiliate.

But an official certificate won't be given until two three-story buildings beyond right field are completed, furniture is installed and the kitchen is ready.

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Regional
1:52 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

Indicted Martinez Campaign Manager Wants Racino Evidence

Credit Office of the Governor

   A former campaign manager for New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez accused of hijacking her campaign's email system and lying about it is seeking information tied to a state contract for the Downs at Albuquerque.

Jamie Estrada's attorney says in court documents filed last week that evidence related to the Downs Racetrack & Casino could reveal possible credibility problems with Martinez and other potential witnesses.

Prosecutors say the Downs case is unconnected to the charges Estrada faces.

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Regional
9:50 am
Sun April 20, 2014

"Breaking Bad" Prequel Shooting In Albuquerque

Walter White's lawyer is calling on Albuquerque residents.  The same company that handled casting for AMC drama "Breaking Bad" is looking for extras for the show's spinoff, which will be shot in Albuquerque.

"Better Call Saul" will follow sleazy attorney Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk, as he defends drug lords, criminals and those allegedly injured in minor traffic accidents.

The show is scheduled to debut in November.

Casting Company asks that actors submit a current photo with their name, height, weight, age, availability and their city of residence.

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Regional
9:48 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Free National Park Admissions

  Those looking to save some money Easter weekend and are near a national park may want to consider a trip.

The National Park Service is waiving admission fees this weekend as part of National Park Week.

The various parks are hosting special events such as Junior Ranger Day.

The Current-Argus reports that visitors to Carlsbad Caverns can come enjoy the caves and see Mexican free-tailed bats in the evening.

Park spokeswoman Valerie Gohlke says additional fees will be required for special ranger-guided tours.

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Local Viewpoints
3:25 pm
Sat April 19, 2014

Group Files Suit To Protect Prairie Dog

Credit Gunnison’s prairie dog---fws.gov

  WildEarth Guardians filed suit this week challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) refusal to protect the Gunnison’s prairie dog under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service denied the species protection despite a documented 95 percent decline since the early 1900s and numerous serious ongoing threats.

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Regional
3:19 pm
Sat April 19, 2014

States Want Federal Lands

Officials from nine Western states say it's time for them to take control of federal lands within their borders.

The lawmakers and county commissioners met at Utah's Capitol on Friday to discuss their joint goal of taking oil-, timber- and mineral-rich lands away from the feds.

The summit wasn't publicized until midday, when notice went out about a late-afternoon news conference.

The meeting's result wasn't clear, but Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder told reporters federal land management is hamstrung by bad policies, politicized science and federal budget cuts.

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Intermezzo
5:49 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Qing Li and Richard Dowling Bring their Music to Las Cruces

Violinist Qing Li and pianist Richard Dowling at KRWG-FM.
Credit Leora Zeitlin

When she was 16 years old and studying at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, violinist Qing Li was selected to play in a master class with the renowned violinist Berl Senofsky, who then invited her to study with him at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. Qing Li has been there ever since, performing as Principal Second Violinist in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and maintaining a busy career as a soloist and chamber musician.

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PUENTES
5:28 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Wise Latinas Empower and Educate

Liz Chavez, Founder and President of Wise Latina International.

April 18, 2014 – Las Cruces, NM - On this edition of PUENTES, Emily Guerra bridges the community with President and Founder of Wise Latina International (WLI), Liz Chavez. Founded in 2012, WLI is a non-profit organization serving the international border area of El Paso, Texas; New Mexico; and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. WLI helps to empower and educate women of all ages and walks of life, thereby impacting their lives, families, and communities.

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Regional
1:39 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Deputy Accused Of Vehicular Homicide

A 22-year-old Dona Ana County sheriff's deputy is accused of vehicular homicide in the death of a pedestrian struck by the deputy's cruiser as it reportedly was traveling over 100 mph during a nighttime emergency call.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that a criminal complaint filed by New Mexico State Police says Deputy Eden Terrazas was driving 114 mph as she approached a curve on N.M. 192 at about 8 p.m. on April 1.

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Regional
1:38 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Pay Bias Complaint By New Mexico Lawyer Tossed

Credit via www.garyking.org

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit in which a former lawyer for the New Mexico Attorney General's Office alleged she was a victim of pay discrimination based on her gender.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that U.S. District Judge Judith Herrera on March 28 ruled that Lesley Lowe hadn't proved that her work for the office was sufficiently similar to that of higher-paid male attorneys.

Lowe worked for the office from 1987 to 2010 as an assistant attorney general. Her 2010 suit was dismissed when Herrera granted a pretrial motion by the office.

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Regional
1:35 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Albuquerque Settles Lawsuits Over Feeding Homeless

Albuquerque is paying $98,000 to settle lawsuits by people arrested or given citations for giving food to the homeless in the downtown.

KRQE-TV reports that all of the criminal trespassing cases were thrown out.

City Attorney David Tourek says the officers were acting in good faith to ensure that the food code was being enforced.

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

Regional
1:35 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Texas Jobless Rate Drops To 5.5 Percent

The Texas unemployment rate has slipped to 5.5 percent.

The Texas Workforce Commission on Friday announced the March unemployment figure, compared to a 5.7 percent statewide jobless rate in both January and February.

The latest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Texas compares to a 6.7 percent nationwide jobless rate during March.

The TWC says Texas employers added 9,100 jobs last month — for a total of 310,000 jobs added over the year.

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Regional
1:34 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

80 Arrested At Immigrant Camp

At least 80 immigrants suspected of entering the U.S. illegally have been arrested at a makeshift encampment in suburban South Texas.

Border Patrol spokesman Danny Tirado said it was unclear whether any of those arrested Thursday afternoon were guides suspected of guarding the immigrants.

The immigrants told authorities they had been at the site in McAllen for at least a week with little food or water. Tents and huts were camouflaged with mesquite branches and they slept on pieces of cardboard on the ground.

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