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Regional
9:23 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Las Cruces City Council Approves $5.4 Million Civic Plaza

  The Las Cruces City Council Monday approved a $5.4 million dollar downtown civic plaza.  It will be built between Griggs Avenue and the Bank of the West building.

The plaza design includes a splash pad and a stage for performances.

The council approved the plaza 4 to 1.

Mayor Pro Tem Greg Smith was the lone vote against the plaza, saying more input was needed on its design.  

Councilors Ceil Levatino and Olga Pedroza did not attend the meeting.

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Regional
9:15 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

U.S. Appeals Judge's Hold On Immigration Relief

The Justice Department has urged a federal appeals court to lift a temporary hold a judge placed on President Barack Obama's immigration executive action.

The 69-page brief was filed Monday with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ahead of arguments scheduled for next month.

Lawyers for the federal government are challenging a preliminary injunction issued in February by a federal judge in Texas. That decision placed on hold an executive action that could spare from deportation as many as 5 million people who are in the U.S. illegally.

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Regional
3:22 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

New Safety Rules For BNSF Crude Oil Trains

BNSF railroad has started taking additional safety measures for crude oil shipments because of four recent high-profile derailments in the U.S. and Canada.

The railroad said Monday that is slowing down crude oil trains to 35 mph in cities with more than 100,000 people and increasing track inspections near waterways.

The Fort Worth, Texas, based railroad also is stepping up efforts to find and repair defective wheels before they can cause derailments.

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Regional
12:57 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Road Rage Attack In Santa Fe

Santa Fe police say a motorist was attacked by a man and then a woman in an apparent road-rage incident.

According to police, the Saturday incident started when the man pulled up to the motorist's car and accused the motorist of cutting him off. The man then followed the motorist and attacked his vehicle with a metal bar before the two men began struggling in the street.

Police said the motorist grabbed the bar, but then he was struck and pinned against the male attacker's car by the minivan of a woman who'd just driven up after apparently following the man.

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Local Viewpoints
10:31 am
Mon March 30, 2015

What Really Happened To Capital Outlay During New Mexico's 2015 Legislative Session?

Credit Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

  Santa Fe, NM – Following the Governor’s press conference at the end of the 2015 Legislative Session, residents of New Mexico may be excused for being confused about what actually happened to spending on infrastructure projects across the state.  Governor Susana Martinez did not help matters when she levelled false accusations against Senate Democrats.

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Regional
7:10 am
Mon March 30, 2015

UPDATE: New Mexico AG Unveils Changes On Hiring Private Lawyers

Credit Hector Balderas

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has announced new reforms on hiring private lawyers to file lawsuits on behalf of the attorney general's office.

Balderas on Monday unveiled new policy changes on the practice and promises to make all documents from a bidding process available to the public.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Senator Heinrich Fights For More Opportunities For New Mexico's Military Community

Credit US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich lobbied for a new active duty mission at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) during a Senate Committee on Armed Services hearing this month. He argued that placing active duty at the range would make the best use of its facilities and lower costs over time.

Heinrich then spoke about the effects of sequestration and the empty facilities that could be used by active duty military at WSMR.

During the hearing…the New Mexico Democrat also expressed his support for housing F-35 fighter planes at Holloman Air Force Base (HAFB).

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Monday Business Watch

  Every Monday at 7:51am on Morning Edition, Edmundo Resendez covers the week's top local business stories with Las Cruces Sun News Business Editor Jason Gibbs. 

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Local Viewpoints
1:05 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

Goodman: Enjoying The Theater In Las Cruces

  May I take a break from drought and recall and be playful?

Last Saturday evening we saw “Recreational Living” at the Las Cruces Community Theater.

David Spence's play won a contest among former students of Mark Medoff. The prize was this production at LCCT directed by Mark.

I expected a good evening, because I know and respect Mark; but the performance was more fun that we'd anticipated.

Let's admit first that I'm an old curmudgeon who often leaves the theater growling.

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Regional
11:10 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Budget Battle, In-State Tuition Fight In Texas

Get ready for budget battle week.

The House on Tuesday is scheduled to debate its version of the proposed state budget. That will likely mean slogging through numerous proposed amendments, and possibly fighting off Democratic- or tea party-led procedural challenges meant to stall the process.

The Senate is also expected to take up its budget plan this week, though the amendment fight shouldn't be as raucous as in the lower chamber.

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Regional
11:08 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Texas Spent $30 Million On Tuition Program With Lax Rules

Texas agencies have spent millions on tuition payment programs for state workers in a program with lax rules and oversight.

The state has spent at least $30 million during the past two decades for employee tuition. The Texas Department of Transportation has paid out at least $13 million since 1993, the most of any state agency.

TxDOT makes all of its tuition payments before classes begin.

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Regional
11:07 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Drownings Spike Along Rio Grande

More immigrants have been drowning in the Rio Grande over the last six months.

Authorities say that's because immigrants are choosing more dangerous crossings into South Texas to avoid detection. Many of the bodies have been found in the weed-choked irrigation canals that feed into the Rio Grande.

The Border Patrol has responded by expanding its search-and-rescue teams to monitor the area.

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Regional
12:13 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

High Hopes For Garnet Mining In Otero County

A historic southern New Mexico mining town that once shined with the gold rush could sparkle again with some garnet.

Otero County commissioners approved financial assistance Tuesday for a proposed garnet mining operation in Orogrande.

Commissioners and the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce have been in talks with former Rosemont Realty CEO Dan Burrell about the $20 million project.

Burrell discovered one of the largest freestanding deposits of garnet in the U.S. in the Jarilla Mountains Mineral District.

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Regional
12:02 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

Albuquerque Becomes State's First "Purple Heart City"

Credit Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry

There will soon be new signs popping up around Albuquerque to reflect its designation as a "Purple Heart City."

Mayor Richard Berry unveiled the signs during a news conference Friday.

The first of 36 signs that will be installed around the city will be located at the intersection of Eubank and Southern, adjacent to the Nuclear Museum.

The effort is part of a national campaign by the Military Order of the Purple Heart of the USA to recognize those who have received the prestigious military decoration.

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Regional
11:57 am
Sat March 28, 2015

New Mexico Brothers Charged In Murder

Authorities say three brothers ganged up to fatally stab a Fruitland man who was dating an ex-girlfriend of one of the siblings.

36-year-old Maynard Shirley was charged in federal court Friday with murder and assault resulting in serious bodily injury in the killing of Brandon BlueEyes. His brother, 29-year-old Elijah Shirley, was charged with the same counts Wednesday.

FBI spokesman Frank Fisher says a third brother, Michael Shirley, was arrested Thursday in connection with the attack.

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PUENTES
4:31 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

BLM Offers Employment Opportunities to Youth

McKinney Briske and Eileen Davis at KRWG FM studios.

  March 27, 2015 – Las Cruces, NM - On this edition of PUENTES, Emily Guerra bridges the community with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Outdoor Recreation Planner, McKinney Briske, and DOI/VISTA AmeriCorps Volunteer, Eileen Davis. They are working with Doña Ana Groundworks to hire Youth Rangers that will lead outreach programs throughout BLM sites in New Mexico such as Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, and other partner sites such as Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park and White Sands National Monument.

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Regional
2:48 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Disaster Drill Tuesday In Santa Teresa

  

  Several law enforcement agencies and first responders will launch a full-scale exercise designed to test readiness and communications in the event of a widespread disaster – a simulated emergency near the U.S./Mexico border that causes a mass migration of about 3,000 people.

The simulated emergency involves the detonation of a weapon of mass destruction.

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Regional
1:00 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Sexual Assault Claim At State Juvenile Center Near Ruidoso

A southern New Mexico juvenile detention center is the focus of a State Police investigation into a male detainee's claim that a female staff therapist sexually assaulted him.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the director of the state's juvenile justice services has resigned and two administrators have been placed on paid administrative since the alleged assault was reported in early February.

All of the youths detained at the Lincoln Pines Youth Center near Ruidoso have been relocated to other facilities while authorities investigate what happened at the center.

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Regional
12:56 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Texas Jobless Rate Declines To 4.3 Percent

The Texas unemployment rate slipped to 4.3 percent during February for the sixth month in a row of declines.

The Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday that the latest statewide jobless rate compares to 4.4 percent unemployment in January. The nationwide unemployment rate last month was 5.5 percent.

TWC officials say Texas had a net gain of 7,100 nonagricultural jobs in February, with 357,300 positions added over the year.

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Regional
12:55 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

DA: No Charges Warranted In Non-Fatal Albuquerque Police Shooting

Bernalillo County's district attorney says no charges should be filed against an Albuquerque police officer in the 2013 shooting and wounding of an armed motorist.

District Attorney Kari Brandenburg announced Friday there was no probable cause to bring charges against Officer Pete Romero.

The district attorney's office reviewed police reports, lapel camera recordings and witness interviews before making a determination.

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Regional
12:53 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Abbott: National Guard Can't Leave Border Yet

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

Gov. Greg Abbott remains noncommittal on a timeline for pulling the National Guard off the Texas-Mexico border after hundreds of police officers applied for jobs to effectively replace those troops.

Abbott toured the border Friday with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a likely Republican presidential contender. But Walker was out of sight to reporters after arriving in Texas hounded by uncomfortable new questions about his stance on immigration.

Abbott has not endorsed anyone for 2016.

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Regional
12:52 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Official: International Rail Crossing Study On Fast Track

The head of the New Mexico Border Authority says a $2 million study on the feasibility of building an international rail crossing at Santa Teresa is on a fast track.

Bill Mattiace says the feasibility study could be completed as early as July.

Mattiace says the rail crossing would be a key element in building the border community into a regional powerhouse for international trade.

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Regional
12:49 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

New Mexico Adding Jobs, But Unemployment Rate Rises In February

In February, New Mexico's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6 percent, up from 5.9 percent in January but down from 6.7 percent in February 2014.

Officials said Friday the state's economy added 15,900 jobs from a year earlier for a 2 percent increase.

February was the first month since May 2006 that no industry posted an over-the-year job loss.

Across the economy, 12 industries added jobs while only one — financial activities — remained unchanged from February 2014.

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Local Viewpoints
11:02 am
Fri March 27, 2015

NMPIRG: President's Plan Does Not Adequately Address The Antibiotic Threat

Today the National Task Force for Combatting Resistant Bacteria released a five-year action plan to tackle the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.  While the plan takes several important steps necessary to control the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it misses the opportunity to call for critical reforms in the agricultural sector that are essential to protect public health.

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Online EXTRA
9:15 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Obama Administration Releases National Action Plan To Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

  Today, the White House released a comprehensive plan that identifies critical actions to be taken by key Federal departments and agencies to combat the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  The National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, which was developed by the interagency Task Force for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in response to Executive Order 13676: Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, outlines steps for implementing the National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and addressing the policy recommendations

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Regional
8:18 am
Fri March 27, 2015

NM Officials: Flu Sickened More This Year; Season Not Over

Credit New Mexico Department of Health

New Mexico health officials are warning that the flu season is not over.

Officials say more people have been hospitalized in the state this season than in many years.

According to the state Department of Health, the virus hospitalized 40 people per 100,000 this flu season as compared with 29 per 100,000 during 2012-13.

Children under 5 and the elderly are particularly vulnerable.

One Dona Ana County child and 27 adults have died from flu-related complications since the start of the 2014-15 flu season.

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Regional
8:11 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Gov. Martinez Orders Flags Lowered In Honor Of Fallen Navajo Officer

Credit Office of the Governor

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff until sunset Friday in honor of a Navajo Nation police officer killed in a shootout with a gunman.

Friday is also when law enforcement officers and area residents are expected to gather in Farmington to remember 42-year-old Alex Yazzie.

A funeral service for Yazzie will be held at 10 a.m. at Pinon Hills Community Church. A procession will then travel down Main Street to Memory Gardens.

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Regional
8:01 am
Fri March 27, 2015

No Decision On Large Development Plan Near Albuquerque

Credit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bernalillo-County-NM

Bernalillo County commissioners have punted a final decision on the future of a planned community west of Albuquerque that developers say could someday be home to as many as 90,000 people.

Commissioners decided Thursday to schedule another hearing on the development known as Santolina for May 11.

The nearly 22-square-mile development would rival some of New Mexico's largest cities once completed.

It's the largest development master plan ever considered by Bernalillo County.

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Regional
7:57 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Ft. Bliss Spokesman: 11 Injured In Multi-Vehicle Accident

A Fort Bliss spokesman says 11 airmen were injured in an accident involving several Humvees at the Army post.

Lt. Col. Lee Peters tells the El Paso Times that all of the injured airmen were expected to be released from a hospital Thursday night.

Officials say six vehicles were in a convoy when the accident occurred in a training area more than 15 miles northeast of the main portion of Fort Bliss. The accident is under investigation.

Peters says the accident wasn't linked to a large training exercise going on at Fort Bliss.

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Regional
7:55 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Hobbs May Change Street Name To Honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

Credit http://www.hobbsnm.org/government.html

The city of Hobbs is mulling a proposal to change the name of a portion of South Dal Paso Street to MLK Street after the iconic civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that City Manager J.J. Murphy said the consideration comes after Joe Cotton, president of Hobbs NAACP, approached city commissioners about changing the street name.

Murphy said the NAACP submitted its request to commissioners after a recent MLK celebration where participants marched down South Dal Paso.

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