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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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Regional
1:31 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

What!? Texas University Overstated Finances By As Much As $23 Million

Financial documents released by the University of North Texas show accounting irregularities that have overstated the university's financial position by as much as $23 million.

Audits conducted by the university and a private firm show misleading budget entries made since 2012 to account for unresolved collections. But they were registered as accounts receivable, which are often recorded as assets. The university's budget in 2012 was $520 million.

The documents were obtained by the Denton Record-Chronicle through an open records request.

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Regional
1:29 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Thousands Make Good Friday March To New Mexico Shrine

Before dawn, thousands of pilgrims set off on a Good Friday march to El Santuario de Chimayo as part of a centuries old tradition.

Chimayo is a National Historic Landmark, and some 200,000 people are estimated to visit each year, with the bulk occurring during Holy Week. The draw is a shrine that houses a small pit of holy dirt that some believe possesses curing powers.

For two centuries, Hispanic and Native American pilgrims have made spiritual journeys to Chimayo. Many of them carry along photos of sick relatives and requests for miracles.

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Regional
11:53 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Man Charged In Las Cruces Burglary

  Las Cruces Police arrested a man suspected of breaking into a neighbor’s home and stealing a credit card.

Joshua D. McKinney, 34, is charged with one count each of aggravated burglary and theft of a credit card.

On the morning of April 7, an alert neighbor summoned police to the 700 block of Del Monte after he saw a man climb through the window of a home. Officer arrived and found a .22 caliber rifle on a sofa but no one in the residence.

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Regional
4:20 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Doctors Sue Texas Hospital To Get Admitting Rights

Two doctors who perform abortions have sued a Dallas hospital alleging that their admitting privileges were illegally revoked after a court upheld strict new Texas abortion restrictions.

Dr. Lamar Robinson and Dr. Jasbir Ahluwalia perform abortions on their own time, away from the hospital.

A Texas law approved last summer contains a series of rules, including one that required doctors to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of where they perform abortions.

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Regional
3:52 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

New General Counsel For NMSU

Lizbeth Ellis, the interim associate dean for academics at New Mexico State University’s College of Business, has been named as the university’s new general counsel. NMSU President Garrey Carruthers announced the appointment today. Her new position begins July 1. 

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Regional
12:42 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Finalists Chosen For NMSU College Of Business Dean

Two finalists have been chosen to interview on campus later this month in the search for a newdean to lead New Mexico State University's College of Business. The finalists will be on the NMSU campus to interview for the dean's position April 23 and 29.
  
The two finalists and the day they interview are:
 
Stuart Michelson, a professor and former associate dean for Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University, will interview April 23.

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Regional
10:12 am
Thu April 17, 2014

NMSU Launches Specialized Reading Program

  In an effort to help teachers be more effective at teaching reading as well as identifying children who may have dyslexia, the New Mexico State University College of Education has launched a Read to Succeed concentration in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders.

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Local Viewpoints
10:07 am
Thu April 17, 2014

New Mexico First: Reforms Generated At "Water Town Hall"

New Mexicans want a balanced water policy that plans for future shortages, expands water storage and reuse, addresses legal issues, and protects environmental resources. They want to explore the potential of cleaning up brackish water (non-potable, highly salty water) in our aquifers. They also identified potential improvements to the ways the state finances water projects.

 

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Drones Help NMSU Researchers

  A small group of researchers and technicians recently gathered on a dirt airstrip at the USDA Jornada Experimental Range to launch a Bat 4 unmanned aircraft on a mission, flying through both military restricted airspace and the National Airspace System. 

“We do rangeland monitoring, and it’s a way to gauge rangeland health to see how the plants are doing over the course of the year,” said Connie Maxwell, USDA biological science technician and NMSU affiliated faculty member.

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Local Viewpoints
5:46 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

New Mexico Senate Democrats: "Shameful" Conduct By Martinez

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

  Santa Fe, NM –The conduct of Governor Susana Martinez and her staff revealed in a recent Mother Jones article can only be described as shameful, embarrassing and unprofessional. These are the thoughts of Democratic lawmakers in the New Mexico State Senate as they try to understand how a governor who is charged with taking care of New Mexico can act with such disregard for those who rely on her and her policies.

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Regional
3:47 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

NMSU Regents Approve Revenue Bonds For Energy Savings

  At a special meeting April 16, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents gave final approval to issue $15.9 million in system subordinate lien revenue bonds. 

The proceeds from the sale of the bonds will be used to fund various energy cost savings improvements throughout the campus. These improvements are part of a guaranteed utility savings contract with Ameresco, an energy services company.

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Regional
3:45 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

New Mexico Prisons To End Overnight Family Visits

The New Mexico Department of Corrections has announced that it is ending overnight family visits for inmates.

The agency said Wednesday inmates will no longer be allowed conjugal visits beginning May 1.

Officials say the policy change comes after two years of "careful consideration."

The policy recently drew scrutiny after it was revealed last year that convicted killer and rapist Michael Guzman fathered multiple children while serving a life sentence.

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Regional
3:45 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

New Mexico Supreme Court Revives Election Challenge Against Democrat

New Mexico's highest court has revived a lawsuit seeking to remove maverick Democratic Rep. Sandra Jeff of Crownpoint from the June 3 primary election ballot.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the case back to a district court in Gallup for a hearing Friday on whether Jeff submitted enough valid voter signatures on nominating petitions to qualify as a candidate.

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Regional
3:43 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Arizona House Passes Bill Allowing Self-Defense Killing Of Endangered Wolves

The Arizona House of Representatives has approved a Senate bill allowing ranchers to kill endangered wolves in self-defense.

Senate Bill 1211 would allow livestock owners to kill a Mexican gray wolf if one was caught attacking livestock or a person.

Wildlife activists say the bill violates the federal Endangered Species Act. But a staff attorney says the bill has been watered down and now meets constitutional requirements.

A separate bill approved by both chambers sets up a reimbursement fund for ranchers who lose cattle to wolves. It stills final action.

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Regional
3:42 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Texas Awards $4.8 Million For West Recovery

State officials say an additional $4.8 million in disaster assistance will be provided to the Central Texas community of West as it continues to rebuild from the devastating fertilizer plant explosion last year that killed 15.

The office of Gov. Rick Perry announced Wednesday that the funding comes at the request last week by West officials for additional state money.

It will be used for work on water treatment and storage facilities, infrastructure repairs and other needs.

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