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12:36 pm
Mon July 6, 2015

Teens Accused Of Homeless Killings Could Be Tried As Adults

The state's high court could decide whether teens charged alongside 18-year-old Alex Rios with beating two homeless men to death will be tried as adults.

Second Judicial District Judge Briana Zamora is letting defense lawyers for the two minors challenge the state's serious youthful offender law before the New Mexico Supreme Court ahead of the October trial.

Zamora issued an opinion disagreeing with defense lawyers' arguments that the statute violates a guarantee for equal protection under New Mexico's constitution.

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Regional
12:35 pm
Mon July 6, 2015

San Juan College Goes Smoke-Free

San Juan College is phasing out its few remaining smoking areas as it moves toward becoming a completely tobacco-free campus by 2020.

The college has been tightening rules since April 2013, when lawmakers dedicated a memorial and asked educators to push for policies that reduce on-campus smoking.

Vice president for student services Dave Eppich says health and trash are both concerns when it comes to tobacco use. A task force with members including students and nursing program staff has been compiling best practices from across the country to implement the policy change.

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Regional
12:34 pm
Mon July 6, 2015

Gay Texas Couple Granted Marriage License After Filing Federal Lawsuit

A gay couple has received a marriage license after filing a federal lawsuit against a North Texas county clerk who previously cited her religious opposition to gay marriage in denying the license.

Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton filed the lawsuit Monday against Hood County Clerk Katie Lang, saying they repeatedly had been turned away when trying to obtain a license last week.

The couple was quickly granted a license later in the morning in Granbury, the county seat. The city is southwest of Fort Worth.

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Regional
8:53 am
Mon July 6, 2015

Albuquerque Firefighters Recieve 1,000 Fireworks Calls

Credit https://www.facebook.com/ABQFireDept

 

Albuquerque firefighters responded to nearly 1,000 calls about possible illegal fireworks over Fourth of July weekend.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that department spokeswoman Melissa Romero in an email reported that the department received more than 200 calls on Friday, more than 600 on July Fourth and about 150 calls on Sunday.

This year's total was less than last year, which brought in about 1,200 calls about fireworks.

This year, the department also issued 22 citations for illegal fireworks, up from last year when they issued 19.

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Regional
8:38 am
Mon July 6, 2015

Program Offers Food Stamp Recipients More At NM Farmers' Markets

Credit https://www.facebook.com/LasCrucesMarket

Food stamp recipients now get double their money at New Mexico farmers' markets.

People who belong to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, can scan $20 from their benefits cards at participating markets to get another $20 in spending.

According to the New Mexico Farmers' Marketing Association, the USDA awarded $100,000 for the program last month.

State lawmakers appropriated $400,000 toward the program last week.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon July 6, 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
11:04 am
Sun July 5, 2015

Goodman: Electric Utilities Often Clinging To The Past

  Thinking about El Paso Electric, it helps to step back and contemplate the situation of electrical utilities generally.

 

These utilities are granted a monopoly on a valuable commodity, they're regulated by the states. Most function under somewhat backward laws that enable them to profit only by buying or building things, which often pressures them to solve problems in otherwise unnecessarily inefficient and (for us) expensive ways.

 

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Regional
3:35 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

Texas AG Breaks State Law; Fills Jobs Without Posting

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office hired several people from his campaign and elsewhere before they submitted applications or the jobs were posted publicly, as required by state law.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that five people from Paxton's successful campaign last year were given administrative jobs in the attorney general's office. Five others came from former Gov. Rick Perry's office, and four more worked for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

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Regional
3:33 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

Controversy Over Martinez Appointment

Credit http://www.riedelfornm.com/

The New Mexico governor's reappointment of a career prosecutor to the Public Defender Commission has revived lawmakers' questions about whether Susan Riedel is legally qualified for the post.

Riedel resigned from the commission before its January 2014 meeting to run for attorney general but lost the race. Gov. Susana Martinez reappointed Riedel on Friday.

The announcement prompted State Rep. Brian Egolf, a Santa Fe Democrat, to say the governor "has it out for" public defenders and the accused who can't afford an attorney.

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Regional
3:30 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

Man Charged With Killing Rio Rancho Officer Now Accused Of Attacking Jail Guard

A man charged with killing a Rio Rancho police officer is accused of assaulting a jail guard.

KOB-TV reported Saturday that Metropolitan Detention Center officials say Andrew Romero has been charged with assault by a prisoner for allegedly trying to head butt an officer.

According to the criminal complaint, Romero refused to leave a segregation unit's recreation yard cage.

Staff members allege he refused to cooperate despite verbal commands and was subdued with a stun gun and cuffed.

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Regional
12:22 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

State Police: Man Killed In Crash Near Truth Or Consequences

Credit nmsp.dps.state.nm.us

New Mexico State Police say a man has died after his car rolled over north of Truth or Consequences.

Authorities say 46-year-old Brent R. Bason, of Hillsboro, was driving a Ford pickup truck northbound on Interstate 25 late Thursday when the crash occurred.

They say the pickup left the right shoulder of the roadway and then rolled.

Bason was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle.

The Office of the Medical Investigator pronounced him dead at the scene.

State Police say the crash is still under investigation.

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Regional
9:22 am
Sat July 4, 2015

Texas Democrat Files Complaint Against AG

Credit Texas AG Ken Paxton

A Texas Democrat has filed a complaint against Attorney General Ken Paxton accusing the Republican of instructing county clerks to "break the law" over gay marriage.

Glen Maxey, a former state legislator, wrote to the State Bar of Texas accusing Paxton of violating rules of professional conduct set out for lawyers.

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Regional
9:17 am
Sat July 4, 2015

Federal Training Center In Artesia Hiring Amid Strike

A company contracted to maintain the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia is seeking to replace 50 striking workers.

The Omni Corp. is recruiting people for several positions as the labor dispute enters a second week.

A union representing the workers claims the training facility is already feeling the effects of the strike with unsanitary bathrooms, overflowing trash and dirty training areas.

The full-time and part-time positions that need filling include janitorial services, grounds maintenance, carpenters and warehouse personnel.

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Regional
9:15 am
Sat July 4, 2015

Texas Wants Its Gold Back Inside State Borders

Forget Fort Knox or the Federal Reserve.

Texas has decided to keep its gold holdings within in its own borders. But what makes sense politically in such a sovereignty-loving place is creating a logistical conundrum.

Texas is the only state that owns an actual stockpile of gold. That's not just gold futures, but approximately 5,600 gold bars worth around $650 million. It's currently stored at a New York bank.

The Legislature's decision to bring its gold cache home was hailed by many conservatives who are suspicious of national government.

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Regional
9:14 am
Sat July 4, 2015

Immigrant Children Struggle To Stay, Adapt

At 1-year-old, a wide-eyed, restless Joshua Tinoco faces the prospect of deportation to Honduras. He is one of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border last year.

While his teenage mother has been allowed to stay and seek a green card under a program for abused and abandoned children, Joshua's lawyer says he has been classified as an enforcement priority by government lawyers.

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Regional
3:26 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

Santa Fe Commission Delays Vote On $40M Hospital Expansion

Santa Fe officials are delaying a vote on whether to allow a proposed expansion of a hospital that is one of the city's largest private employers.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the Santa Fe Planning Commission decided Thursday to postpone the vote on the $40 million expansion of Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center until August.

The plan calls for a new 65,000-square-foot, two-story hospital wing that would house more private rooms.

Area residents say they are worried about the increased traffic and construction noise the project would generate.

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Regional
3:24 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

1 Dead, 2 Injured In Car Crash Near Deming

Authorities say a 23-year-old man from Louisiana has died in a single-vehicle crash near Deming.

New Mexico State Police say officers responded Friday shortly before 12:30 a.m. to the crash scene on Interstate 10 east of Deming.

According to investigators, a car driven by 26-year-old Charles Preece, of Berwick, Louisiana, was heading eastbound on the interstate when it struck a guardrail.

The vehicle flipped and came to a rest on its top.

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Regional
8:10 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Los Alamos National Laboratory Selects NMSU Physics Professor For Award

New Mexico State University Assistant Professor Edwin Fohtung was named the 2015 Rosen Scholar, a high-profile fellowship, which comes with $150,000 in funding.

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Regional
3:24 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Police Investigate Shooting With Ex-CNN Reporter As Homicide

Police are trying to sort out a fatal shooting at an Albuquerque motel involving a former CNN anchor and her former CNN reporter husband during an alleged robbery attempt.

Albuquerque police spokesman Tanner Tixier said Thursday the shooting that left one man dead is being investigated as a homicide.

Lynne Russell says her husband, Chuck de Caro, and another man exchanged gunfire after the man entered their room at a Motel 6 on Albuquerque's western edge and demanded jewelry.

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Regional
3:12 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Udall, Heinrich Announce $365,000 To Prevent Drunk Driving, Improve Traffic Safety In New Mexico

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced more than $365,000 for the New Mexico Department of Transportation to help prevent drunk driving and improve safety on New Mexico roads. The funds will support local safety efforts including sobriety checkpoints, seat belt safety education and enforcement, and ignition interlock programs. The department will receive four grants funded through the U.S.

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Regional
2:58 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

World's Largest Folk Art Market To Open In Santa Fe

A mecca for master artisans from around the world, Santa Fe is in the final stages of preparing for this year's International Folk Art Market.

In its 12th year, the market will feature more than 150 artists from around the world. The three-day event begins July 10 in Santa Fe and some 20,000 people are expected to attend.

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Regional
1:48 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Suspect In Beating Sought By Police

2002 Dodge Neon
Credit Las Cruces Police Department

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a man suspected of beating a 61-year-old man, dumping the victim on the East Mesa and stealing his vehicle sometime Wednesday evening.

 

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Regional
9:12 am
Thu July 2, 2015

Special Election Fills Vacant Seat On Navajo Council

A Utah man is the Navajo Nation Council's news member, winning a seat vacated by the tribe's vice president.

Unofficial results from a special election this week show Herman Daniels Jr., of Monument Pass, winning the post. He defeated several others for the job.

Daniels served on the council in 2010 and 2011, filling in for his father who died while in office. He'll represent four Navajo communities on the 24-member council.

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Regional
9:07 am
Thu July 2, 2015

Albuquerque Settles Excessive Force Lawsuit For $500K

The city of Albuquerque is paying a man a half-million dollar settlement to conclude an excessive force lawsuit.

The Albuquerque Journal reports this new amount includes $200,000 previously awarded by a jury to Jerry Rodriguez for compensatory damages and eliminates a second trial phase that would have focused on municipal liability.

Rodriguez and his long-time partner Elaine Romero filed the lawsuit over a 2010 incident with police that took place a month after they questioned him about a homicide.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu July 2, 2015

Silver City Report

Join Edmundo Resendez every Thursday for The Silver City Report, with guests from the Silver City Daily Press.

Catch up on the most important stories in Silver City, Grant County, and the region every Thursday on Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

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Regional
7:40 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Santa Fe Cardiologist Pleads Not Guilty To Fraud Charges

A Santa Fe cardiologist accused of health care fraud and wire fraud has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say 51-year-old Roy G. Heilbron was arraigned in federal court in Albuquerque on a 24-count indictment Wednesday.

He's been released on his own recognizance.

The indictment alleges that Heilbron executed a scheme to defraud Medicare and other health care benefit programs by submitting false and fraudulent claims between January 2010 and May 2011.

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Regional
5:08 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Pearce: US-Cuba Deal Fails Americans

Credit Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released the following statement after the U.S. State Department and Cuban regime announced they will reopen embassies in Havana and Washington, D.C.

 

“The announcement today by the President again rewards a brutal, tyrannical regime, and secures little in return,” Pearce stated.

 

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Regional
4:06 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

New Mexico Governor Denounces Trump's Comments

Credit Office of the Governor

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is denouncing GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump's recent remarks about Mexican immigrants.

A Republican and the nation's only Latina governor, Martinez said Wednesday following a news conference that Trump's comments were uncalled for and that no politician should make generalizations about any group.

Martinez said she hadn't been keeping up with Trump, but expressed shock after learning about comments he made during his presidential campaign announcement.

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Regional
3:51 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Daycare: Same-Sex Marriage, Finances Reasons For Closing

A Las Cruces church daycare says it's closing due to troubled finances and the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.

First Baptist Church's Senior Pastor David Burrows told KFOX-TV in El Paso on Monday that church officials are refusing to accept government funds because they don't want the government telling them who they can hire.

That move comes after Burrows says a new security system, nine new employees and a lack of government funds created a $300,000 shortfall for the church.

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Regional
2:50 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Heinrich Commends Agreement To Re-open Embassies In U.S. And Cuba

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement after President Obama announced an agreement to re-open embassies in the United States and Cuba:

"Re-opening our embassy in Havana and agreeing to open a Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. is a positive step in changing the course of our relationship with Cuba. This embassy will serve as a way to increase contact between governments, establish diplomatic relationships, and engage with the Cuban people.

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