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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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Regional
8:55 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Fatal Shooting Of Officer Rocks Rio Rancho

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

The fatal shooting of a police officer by a suspect described as a known gang member has shaken the normally quiet bedroom community of Rio Rancho.

Officials say residents are "jolted" in this the Albuquerque suburb where people move to escape city life and where officers patrol alone in vehicles.

Police say 28-year-old Andrew Romero shot and killed Officer Gregg Benner on Monday in what started off as a routine traffic stop.

Authorities say Romero was later arrested in Albuquerque's South Valley after robbing a gas station.

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Regional
8:47 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Texas Senate OK's Border Security Bill, Top Priority For Governor

The Texas Senate has passed a $300 million border security bill — one of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's priorities and part of a sweeping, $800 million border package.

Senators advanced the bill Tuesday 27-4 Tuesday, then gave it final approval later by the same vote. It now heads back to the House, which must agree upon tweaks.

The plan includes hiring hundreds of new troopers to guard the Texas-Mexico border, where they'll replace National Guard troops that then-Gov. Rick Perry deployed last summer.

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Regional
8:39 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Texas Legislature Doubles Benefits For Line-Of-Duty Deaths

The Texas Legislature has passed a bill to double the amount of money the state pays surviving spouses, children or parents of public employees killed in the line of duty.

The measure was unanimously approved by the Senate late Tuesday, after previously clearing the House.

If it becomes law, surviving spouses of a police officer, firefighter or other public employee killed on-duty would receive $500,000, up from $250,000 currently.

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Online EXTRA
6:00 am
Wed May 27, 2015

The Facts About Asthma

Credit New Mexico Department of Health

  Did you know that 1 in 10 adults and 1 in 11 children are currently living with asthma here in New Mexico?

The New Mexico Department of Health reports asthma is one of the leading causes of pediatric hospitalizations and missed days from school. In 2013, New Mexicans made 8,568 visits to non-federal in-state emergency departments for uncontrolled asthma, costing New Mexico Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs an estimated $1.9 million per year.                 

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Regional
4:20 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Overnight Closure Thursday On Missouri In Las Cruces

  Las Cruces – The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) District One office along with FNF Construction continue with work along I-25 between Lohman Avenue (exit 3) and University Avenue (exit 1). An overnight closure is scheduled for Thursday May 28, 2015 as work progresses on the southbound bridge.

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Regional
2:22 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Gessing: Be Prepared For Obamacare Changes

  The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to issue its decision in King v. Burwell in June. The ruling could have tremendous consequences for the healthcare law commonly known as Obamacare – and more importantly, it could have a huge impact right here in New Mexico.

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Regional
2:17 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Texas House Mulls Shielding Agencies That Bar Gays From Adopting

The Republican-controlled Texas House is poised to hear rules allowing religious child welfare agencies to block gays and same-sex couples from adopting children.

The measure protects agencies that object to such adoptions on religious grounds from being sued.

Social conservatives are championing it, but Democrats want to block it via stall tactics.

The prohibition should come via an amendment to a bill reorganizing the Department of Family and Protective Services, up for consideration Tuesday.

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Regional
2:16 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Rio Rancho Officer Shot To Death Identified

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

A police officer in a suburb of Albuquerque who was shot and killed during a traffic stop has been identified.

Rio Rancho police said Tuesday that Gregg Benner, a military veteran who had been with the department for four years, was gunned down while pulling over a vehicle shortly after 8 p.m. Monday.

Police say Benner later died at a hospital.

A person believed to be involved in the shooting was taken into custody in the Albuquerque area early Tuesday, but authorities are still searching for another suspect.

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Online EXTRA
11:57 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Springer Electric Cooperative Dedicates Large Solar Power Generation Station

Don Schutz, Springer Electric Cooperative Board President (center) cuts the ribbon to dedicate the new seven acre photo voltaic solar array which will provide enough electricity to power 400 homes. Looking on is 3rd District Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (second from left) and USDA Rural Development State Director (third from left). Others include the rest of the Springer Electric Cooperative Board of Directors.

  USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner was joined by 3rd District Congressman Ben Ray Lujan to help Springer Electric Cooperative in Springer, New Mexico celebrate the completion of construction of a new solar power generation facility.

During the ribbon cutting ceremony Brunner said, “Today’s dedication of this project shows USDA Rural Development’s commitment to modernize America's infrastructure.” Brunner added, “We are proud to help Springer Electric lead the way in diversifying energy sources among rural electric coops by investing in their solar project.”

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Regional
8:28 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Texas House Bill Would Allow Concealed Weapons On Campus

The Texas House is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to allow concealed handguns in public college classrooms and buildings.

The measure sailed through the Republican-controlled Senate in March, but hasn't been set for a vote in the House until the final week of the legislative session. If approved there, it would go to Gov. Greg Abbott to sign into law.

Abbott has pledged to expand gun rights in his first session and the state's chief executive.

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Regional
8:25 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Doña Ana County's Onion Crop Looking Strong

Dona Ana County's onion crop is looking stellar so far this harvest season.

Agriculture officials say the crop hasn't suffered much from disease or pests.

The onion harvest tends to begin in the final week of May but this season actually kicked off last week.

Luna and Dona Ana counties are the main growing areas in New Mexico for onions.

New Mexico produced about 306 million pounds of onions in 2014.

Both the amount and the production value were up from 2013, though both figures tend to fluctuate — sometimes significantly — from year to year.

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Regional
8:21 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Rio Rancho Officer Fatally Shot; Person In Custody

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

A suburban Albuquerque police officer has been fatally shot during a traffic stop, the first time a Rio Rancho officer has been killed in the line of duty in the department's 34-year history.

Police Capt. Paul Rogers says the officer, a military veteran who had been with the Rio Rancho Police Department for four years, was shot while pulling over a vehicle Monday night.

The officer died at a hospital. His identity was not released immediately.

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Las Cruces Remembers Those Who Served On Memorial Day

Across the country, people took time out of their schedules to reflect on all those veterans who died while serving. Las Cruces held many events to remember those who’ve fallen.

Teckla McGuinness was one of many who attended a memorial service at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens Cemetery; she laid a wreath on the veteran’s monument to remember those she lost.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Camp For Young Writers Coming To NMSU

NMSU doctoral student Michael Alarid is shown working with area middle and high school students during a previous summer creative writing workshop hosted at NMSU. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

  New Mexico State University is hosting a summer camp titled “Ink Spilling and Pixel Piling: An adventure for young writers.” The weeklong day camp runs from June 22-26. Workshops will include creative dramatics, poetry, creative nonfiction and short story writing.

This is the third year the Borderlands Writing Project and the English department in NMSU’s College of Arts and Sciences have sponsored the program, which gives writers from 7th – 12th grades the opportunity to explore their abilities with professional writers. 

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Monday Business Watch

 

   Fred Martino speaks with Jason Gibbs, Business Editor of the Las Cruces Sun News, for the latest local business updates.

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Regional
3:00 am
Mon May 25, 2015

For Southern New Mexico’s Best Spellers Competing Nationally Often Means Representing Texas

Native Las Crucen student Olivia Weinbaum holds the sign she wore while was representing Texas in the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Credit Simon Thompson

Only twice has a New Mexican ever won the Scripps National Spelling Bee… 

And both times the victory ended up going to Texas.

A lot of New Mexico’s best spellers only get a shot at making the national spelling bee by crossing state lines and competing in a Texas competition.

New Mexico ranking second to last nationally in both reading and writing the trend might spell out a bigger problem for the state education.

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Regional
11:20 pm
Sun May 24, 2015

Texas House And Senate Approve Tax Cuts

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

  The Texas House gave preliminary approval to increasing homestead property tax exemptions, key to a $3.8 billion tax cut package on Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's wish list.

Hours later Sunday, the Senate voted to cut business taxes by more than $2 billion.

The property tax cut saves homeowners about $120 annually, but only if approved by voters statewide in November. Homeowners could exempt $25,000 of their appraisal value from being taxed by local school districts.

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Regional
12:27 pm
Sun May 24, 2015

About 1 In 4 NMSU And UNM Graduates In STEM Majors

New Mexico's major universities may not be turning out graduates in science and mathematics at a rate fast enough for employers in those fields.

The University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University have given fewer degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — known as STEM subjects — than in liberal arts.

Records showed 25 percent of the more than 3,700 bachelor's degrees UNM conferred in fall 2014 were for STEM.

Twenty-eight percent of NMSU's 1,300 graduates at that time earned STEM degrees.

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Local Viewpoints
11:36 am
Sun May 24, 2015

Heinrich: Only Responsible Path Forward Is To Pass The USA Freedom Act

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 on a daily basis.

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Regional
11:32 am
Sun May 24, 2015

Udall, Heinrich Announce Major Grant To Study Viability Of Health Startup Companies At NMSU

Credit Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that New Mexico State University will receive $488,000 in grant funding from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for a study on the creation of a health care delivery and medical technology development cluster at Arrowhead Park. The funding will help New Mexico State University expand activities at the multi-disciplinary Arrowhead Park to better support the creation of startup companies focused on improving health care for New Mexicans and diversify New Mexico’s economy. 

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Local Viewpoints
11:23 am
Sun May 24, 2015

Goodman: Hope For The Dusty Desert Spaceport? Well...

Credit Spaceport America

  Another week, another tidbit of desperate hope that the Dusty Desert Spaceport will pay off soon.

Start-up Exos Aerospace Systems and Technologies has bought Armadillo Aerospace's assets and supposedly will develop and launch its new gizmo from Dusty Desert.

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