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2:40 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Heinrich: USA FREEDOM Act Only Responsible Path Forward

Credit US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

 

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is calling for the passage of the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 to ensure the Intelligence Community has an updated legal framework to strengthen national security while also protecting the privacy rights of Americans. The legislation will end the National Security Agency's (NSA) bulk collection program that has allowed the government to collect billions of Americans' private records while suspecting them of no wrongdoing.

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Regional
2:29 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Energy Department To Investigate Contractor That Manages Los Alamos

Following a series of electrical accidents, the U.S. Department of Energy has ordered two separate investigations of the contractor that manages the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The Energy Department will review potential violations by the Los Alamos National Security LLC consortium.

A federal Accident Investigation Board will also examine several incidents at the nuclear weapons research facility, including a May 3 accident that injured nine workers. One of those workers remains in the hospital in stable condition but severely burned.

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Regional
2:26 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

New Mexico: More People Have A License To Teach

Credit ped.state.nm.us

The New Mexico Public Education Department says the state is on pace to issue around 9,600 new and renewed teacher licenses, marking a 41 percent increase since 2011.

The agency said this week that New Mexico also is expected to issue more than 2,000 new licenses this year. That will be the largest number in six years.

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Regional
2:25 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

More Libel Protections For Texas Reporters

Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law a measure further shielding journalists from libel lawsuits if they accurately report a whistleblower's allegations — even if they turn out to be false.

The bill-signing took place late Thursday. The protection initially appeared stalled, but rallied after lengthy negotiations between organizations that represent journalists and trial lawyers.

All sides eventually agreed that accuracy in reporting is a defense to libel.

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Regional
2:24 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Texas Lawmakers Vote To End High School Steroid Testing

Texas lawmakers voted Friday to dismantle the state's high school steroids testing program after eight years.

The move came in a budget vote that stripped out all funding for the program over the next two years. It had cost taxpayers more than $10 million since 2007, tested more than 60,000 students and caught just a handful of cheaters.

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Regional
2:23 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Game And Fish Kills Puppy-Eating Cougar In Raton

Credit wildlife.state.nm.us

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish officers have killed a cougar in a Raton neighborhood after it reportedly attacked a puppy on a woman's front porch.

The woman called 911 on Thursday night, saying she saw a small cougar attack her puppy.

She later told officers that she had lost another puppy a few days before and also was missing several cats.

Officers found cougar tracks and blood near the woman's porch and say the cougar climbed a tree near the home.

A subsequent necropsy confirmed that the young female cougar recently had eaten a puppy.

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Regional
12:39 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Las Cruces Teen Heads To USA Boxing National Championship

  Amy Salinas, age 14 of Las Cruces, won the USA Boxing Junior Olympics Regional Championships held May 22-24 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Salinas, a boxer with the Las Cruces Police Athletic League (PAL), beat Hayleigh Solano, age 14 from Arizona, in the 106.lb girls division.

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Regional
10:42 am
Fri May 29, 2015

NMSU College Of Arts And Sciences Names Interim Associate Dean

Anne Hubbell was named interim associate dean for NMSU’s College of Arts and Sciences. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

  Anne Hubbell, a communication studies professor, has been named interim associate dean in New Mexico State University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Hubbell was selected by Arts and Sciences Dean Christa Slaton to serve the college in place of Ken Van Winkle, who was recently named interim president at NMSU Alamogordo, effective June 1.

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Regional
9:05 am
Fri May 29, 2015

Judge Allows Former Prison Inmate To Dig For Evidence Of Mistreatment

Credit corrections.state.nm.us

A 23-year inmate of the now-closed Penitentiary of New Mexico Complex is being allowed to dig for evidence at the facility to prove his claims that prisoners were experimented on and poisoned.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Samuel P. Chavez entered the prison after being convicted of second-degree murder in 1988. He filed a lawsuit in 2007 saying he lost his sight from mistreatment by prison officials and was kept in solitary confinement for a decade.

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Regional
9:02 am
Fri May 29, 2015

Energy Department To Investigate Los Alamos Lab Consortium

Credit facebook.com/energygov

Following a series of electrical accidents, the U.S. Department of Energy has ordered two separate investigations of the contractor that manages the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The Energy Department will review potential violations by the Los Alamos National Security LLC consortium.

A federal Accident Investigation Board will also examine several incidents at the nuclear weapons research facility, including a May 3 accident that injured nine workers. One of those workers remains in the hospital in stable condition but severely burned.

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Regional
8:56 am
Fri May 29, 2015

Director Of Bipartisan NM Legislative Education Panel To Retire

The director of the bipartisan New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee says she will retire at the end of the year.

Frances Ramirez-Maestas told committee members Thursday that she was stepping down as leader of the panel that studies educational issues and recommends public education funding levels.

Ramirez-Maestas says it was time to retire after years of service.

Dennis Roch, a Logan Republican, says the committee will look to hire a replacement who understands the legislative process and New Mexico's issues.

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Regional
8:54 am
Fri May 29, 2015

Albuquerque Officers Shoot At Suspect Driving Towards Them

Albuquerque police say officers opened fire on a man suspected of stealing a car when he allegedly drove directly at police.

Police say 20-year-old Rodrigo Garcia was taken to a hospital Thursday evening with unknown injuries.

Spokeswoman Celina Espinoza says events leading up to the shooting began Wednesday when Garcia was suspected of being in a stolen car that rammed an officer's vehicle.

Thursday evening, she says Garcia was spotted getting out of that stolen car, but when police moved to detain him he jumped back into it.

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Regional
6:00 am
Fri May 29, 2015

Local Teen Honored As Everyday Hero For Work With Community Of Hope

Every Month the company Free Country honors someone in the United States with the Everyday Hero Award and this month a teenager in Las Cruces was honored for a project he did with Community of Hope.

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Regional
6:00 am
Fri May 29, 2015

Republican-Controlled House Votes For Major Business Tax Break, But Against "Pay As You Go" Measure

Credit Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  During political campaigns…politicians often complain about the increased federal spending and deficits.  But when votes are taken…elected officials sometimes fail to take action.  

This month…the Republican-controlled House voted to approve a major tax break for business.  It’s called the research and development tax credit.  Right now, the tax break is reviewed from time to time.  But the House bill would make the tax permanent and expand it from 14 percent to 20 percent. 

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Online EXTRA
5:24 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Las Cruces Seeks To Intervene In El Paso Electric Rate Hike Case

  The City of Las Cruces today submitted a request with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) to intervene in the El Paso Electric (EPE) rate case filed Monday, May 11. EPE is seeking an increase in electric rates of approximately $8.6 million or 7.1 percent of non-fuel base rates. These proposed rates will result in a 9 percent increase, on average, to total residential bills. The City filed on behalf of itself and the residents of Las Cruces.

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Online EXTRA
4:45 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Energy Group: Sage Grouse Land Use Plans Should Defer to States

Credit fws.gov

  DENVER – In reaction to today’s release of several land use plan amendments for Greater Sage-Grouse by the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Western Energy Alliance issued the following statement:

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Online EXTRA
11:03 am
Thu May 28, 2015

ACLU Investigation: Border Patrol Harasses And Racially Profiles in Southern New Mexico

  LAS CRUCES, NM—Today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights (RCBR) released the results of an investigation detailing over fifty complaints in which U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers allegedly harassed and/or racially profiled New Mexicans living inside the 100-mile zone north of the U.S.-Mexico border. The RCBR’s report, Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Living in New Mexico’s 100-Mile Zone, details disturbing evidence that Border Patrol agents:

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Regional
8:55 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Uber, Cab Companies Fighting Recent NM Regulations

The company that operates the ride-booking service Uber wants the New Mexico Supreme Court to overturn new state rules governing "transportation network companies."

Uber is joining a group of cab companies in challenging new regulations recently outlined by the state Public Regulation Commission.

Both the two sides are going to court for different reasons.

The taxi companies say the rules are too easy for Uber, objecting specifically to Uber's exemption from mandatory drug testing unless a driver has an accident.

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Regional
8:51 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Ex-CIA Officer, Author To Speak To New Mexico Graduates

norah levine photography, llc
Credit https://www.facebook.com/ValeriePlameWilson/photos/a.532701626746003.137943.532055920143907/547806445235521/?type=1&theater

Former CIA operative, author and activist Valerie Plame will be the keynote speaker at next week's graduation ceremony for the New Mexico School for the Arts.

The ceremony will be held Monday at the Santa Fe Convention Center.

Officials say this will mark the second full four-year class to graduate from the school, which opened its doors in 2010.

In 2003, Valerie Plame was exposed as a CIA operative by officials of the George W. Bush administration in an effort to discredit her husband, Joe Wilson, a former ambassador who had criticized the decision to invade Iraq.

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Regional
8:44 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Report Alleges Border Patrol Engaged In Abusive Behavior In NM

An American Civil Liberties Union report alleges that border patrol agents have engaged in racial profiling and intimidation tactics along southern New Mexico's border with Mexico.

The ACLU of New Mexico's Regional Center for Border Rights on Thursday released the report entitled, "Guilty Until Proven Innocent."

The report cites unjustified detentions and searches, intimidation, racial profiling, among other accusations of abusive behavior by border patrol agents.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office Presents Study Highlighting Low Wages

The Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department is currently struggling to recruit and retain officers in their department. In an effort to highlight some of those struggles the Sheriff’s department presented a salary study to the Doña Ana County Commission.

Doña Ana County Sheriff Enrique “Kiki” Vigil says the main reason they are struggling to recruit and retain officers is wages.

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Regional
4:27 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Texas House Approves Family Agency Bill Without Gay Adoption Limits

The Texas House has passed a bill reorganizing a state family agency — without divisive rules allowing private child welfare agencies to block gays and same-sex couples from adopting children on religious grounds.

The lower chamber voted 146-0 Wednesday to advance an overhaul of the Department of Family and Protective Services. The bill already cleared the Senate.

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Local Viewpoints
3:43 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

PRC Commissioner: Time To Send A Stern Message To PNM

  SANTA FE – Today, I motioned that my fellow commissioners approve an order presented by the Office of General Counsel to the Public Regulation Commission (PRC).

That order effectively grants the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) additional time to settle matters regarding an ownership restructuring agreement as well as the utility’s coal supply contract, and sets into motion a final timeline for PNM to submit contracts to the PRC.

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Regional
3:20 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Chair Of Otero County Commission Under Fire For Comments

  

  The Chair of the Otero County Commission is under fire for comments at a meeting earlier this month. 

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Regional
2:53 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

New Mexico Jobless Rate Rises; Job Losses In High-Paying Fields

New Mexico's unemployment rate rose to 6.2 percent in April, up from 6.1 percent in March, while the state continued a long string of over-the-year job growth.  Despite the growth, the state lost jobs in two high paying sectors.  Eleven economic sectors added jobs in the past year while two — construction and financial activities — lost jobs.

The Department of Workforce Solutions said Wednesday the economy added 12,600 nonfarm jobs in April compared with April 2014, when the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.7 percent.

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Regional
2:51 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

U.S. Won't Seek Supreme Court Review To Permit Immigration Relief

The government says it won't ask the Supreme Court to review a judge's decision that put on hold President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.

The Justice Department announcement on Wednesday came one day after a federal appeals court panel refused to stay a Texas judge's injunction that kept the sweeping immigration plan from taking effect.

Spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said the Justice Department is instead focused on its appeal that will be argued the week of July 6 before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Local Viewpoints
2:11 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Sen. José Rodríguez Blasts Texas "Border Security" Bill

Credit SEN. JOSÉ RODRÍGUEZ

  AUSTIN – The Texas Senate today voted to approve HB 11, the "border security" bill that expands DPS' staffing and mission with little oversight or accountability, adding not only to the billion-dollar tab already credited to state with no clear purpose but now creating an obligation for future Legislatures. Sen. José Rodríguez voted no on the bill and issued the following statement:

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Regional
2:09 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Interim President Named For NMSU Alamogordo

Ken Van Winkle, associate dean of New Mexico State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, has been named interim president at NMSU Alamogordo, effective June 1. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

  Ken Van Winkle, associate dean of New Mexico State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, has been named interim president at NMSU Alamogordo, effective June 1. Garrey Carruthers, who serves as chancellor of the NMSU system, announced the appointmentWednesday morning. 

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Regional
9:04 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Ex-LAPD Officer Wanted In Killing Arrested In Ciudad Juarez

A fugitive former Los Angeles police officer charged with killing a man during an off-duty fight has been deported back to the U.S. after his arrest in northern Mexico, authorities said.

Shortly after his arrest Tuesday in Ciudad Juarez, Henry Solis, 27, was deported to El Paso, Texas, where he'll be detained for now, said Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles. The FBI did not give further information on the next legal steps for Solis, but Eimiller said more would be revealed Wednesday.

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Online EXTRA
9:04 am
Wed May 27, 2015

NRDC: Obama Administration Restores Clean Water Protections For 117 Million Americans

Credit imagebase.net

  The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today unveiled a Clean Water rule that will restore pollution protections for tens of millions of acres of wetlands and thousands of streams all across the United States.

The following is a statement by Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council:

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