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Regional
7:00 am
Fri August 21, 2015

Charges Thrown Out In Dave Chappelle Banana Peel Case

The charges have been tossed in the case of a man accused of throwing a banana peel at Dave Chappelle during a performance in New Mexico.

The Albuquerque Journal reports prosecutors dismissed two petty misdemeanor charges against 31-year-old Christian Englander after Chappelle was unresponsive to requests for testimony.

Chappelle had said the March incident at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe was a racist act, while Englander has acknowledged he threw the banana peel because Chappelle was making jokes about his friend.

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Regional
4:12 pm
Thu August 20, 2015

University Art Gallery at NMSU To Unveil Trade-Based Interactive Installation

“Your General Store” was created by artist Jason Middlebrook. The reconditioned shipping container-turned general store will arrive to campus from SITE Santa Fe, where it made its debut earlier this summer. (Photo by Eric Swanson)

  The New Mexico State University Art Gallery invites the public to trade their art for works crafted by artists from all over the country, as “Your General Store,” an interactive installation, is unveiled Sept. 3.

Created by artist Jason Middlebrook, the reconditioned shipping container-turned general store will arrive to campus from SITE Santa Fe, where it made its debut earlier this summer. The store is filled with inventory and art by hundreds of artists from across the world who have exchanged their artwork for pieces created specifically for “Your General Store.”

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Regional
2:55 pm
Thu August 20, 2015

Man Who Caused Las Cruces Bomb Scare Facing Felony Charge

A man who Las Cruces police say walked into an office supplies store and purported to have a bag with explosives is facing charges.

Las Cruces police said Thursday that 44-year-old Robert Schaffer has been charged with a felony count of intentionally delivering a facsimile or hoax bomb.

Schaffer is being held in Dona Ana County Detention Center without bond.

It was not immediately known if he had attorney.

Police say Schaffer allegedly entered a Staples store Wednesday evening and handed a bag to an employee, indicating there was a bomb inside.

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Regional
2:51 pm
Thu August 20, 2015

APS Staff To Receive Paid Leave While Serving In Legislature

District 4 Board Member
Credit aps.edu

The Board of Education has approved a policy that will allow Albuquerque Public Schools employees who are state lawmakers to receive paid "political leave" while they work in the Legislature.

The plan approved Wednesday comes after years of debate over the merits of such pay.

Board member Barbara Petersen tells the Albuquerque Journal the new policy could inspire more APS employees to become lawmakers, which would serve as a benefit to school districts.

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Online EXTRA
2:05 pm
Thu August 20, 2015

Health Department Reports West Nile Virus Cases in Humans and a Horse

(Santa Fe) – The New Mexico Department of Health announced today that a 75-year-old woman and a 60-year-old woman, both from Doña Ana County, and a 76-year-old man from Valencia County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus infection. All three are hospitalized with neuroinvasive disease, the more serious form of the illness. A horse from Valencia County has also been diagnosed with West Nile virus infection and is recovering.

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Online EXTRA
1:47 pm
Thu August 20, 2015

New Mexico Residents Demand Fair Share of Profits from Mining on Public Lands

  Denver -- Today nearly one hundred New Mexicans representing over a dozen organizations gathered at a session hosted by the Bureau of Land Management to testify in support of reforming the outdated federal coal lease program.

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Online EXTRA
1:19 pm
Thu August 20, 2015

Bandelier Announces Start of Project to Repair Flood Damage In Visitor Center Area

  Work has begun on a project to clean up and repair the area across Frijoles Creek from 

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Local Viewpoints
1:08 pm
Thu August 20, 2015

Small To Leave Las Cruces City Council

Credit Simon Thompson

  Nathan Small, Las Cruces City Councilor in District 4, announced that he will be leaving the Council in November, after two terms in office. Small pointed to work strengthening neighborhoods and expanding economic opportunity as two of his most important contributions in public service.

 

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Regional
1:07 pm
Thu August 20, 2015

Las Cruces Crime Stoppers Now Offering $15,000 For Info In Church Explosions

  Las Cruces Crime Stoppers has increased its reward for information that leads to an arrest in the Aug. 2 explosions outside a pair of local churches.

The reward Las Cruces Crime Stoppers is offering now stands at $15,000, but that amount is good only through Sept. 18, 2015. The deadline to claim the $15,000 reward was set to preserve the integrity of the investigation, and prevent any tips or leads from going cold.

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Regional
10:54 am
Thu August 20, 2015

Suspect In Wednesday Evening Bomb Scare Arrested

  The man believed to be responsible for the evacuation of several businesses after walking into Staples with a bag he claimed held explosives has been charged with a felony and is currently being held without bond.

Robert Schaffer, 44, who is believed to be homeless, is charged with one count of intentionally delivering a facsimile or hoax bomb. The offense is a fourth-degree felony.

Agents from the FBI and ATF responded to last night’s incident and will continue to assist with the investigations of all such threats.

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Regional
10:23 pm
Wed August 19, 2015

El Paso Abortion Clinic Set To Become Texas' First To Reopen

An El Paso clinic closed by Texas' tough abortion laws is set to become the state's first to reopen since the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked enforcement of key restrictions.

The reopening of the Reproductive Services facility would bring to 20 the number of abortion clinics in Texas, down from 41 in 2012.

An attorney for a group representing the Reproductive Services clinic said Wednesday it was only waiting on a state license.

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Regional
10:17 pm
Wed August 19, 2015

Expert: Convicting New Mexico Officers Of Murder A Challenge

Experts say it will be a challenge for prosecutors to convict an Albuquerque police officer and a retired detective of murder after they were ordered to stand trial in the fatal shooting of a homeless man.

Michael Benza of Case Western Reserve University School of Law says officers are rarely sent to prison for on-duty shootings because the law gives them protection based on their perceptions during dangerous encounters.

Benza says that if defense lawyers convince jurors that the officers felt afraid, it will be difficult to get convictions.

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Regional
10:15 pm
Wed August 19, 2015

Hobbs Woman Facing 5 years In Prison For Drug Trafficking

A Hobbs woman has pleaded guilty to violating federal narcotics trafficking laws and is facing a five-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors say 46-year-old Ida Rodriguez entered her plea Wednesday in federal court in Las Cruces.

Under the terms of her plea agreement, Rodriguez will be sentenced to 60 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Rodriguez was arrested in June on a criminal complaint charging her with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in Lea and Dona Ana counties.

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Online EXTRA
2:53 pm
Wed August 19, 2015

New Mexico PRC Chief Of Staff Resigns

  SANTA FE – Severo Vincent “Vince” Martinez has resigned as Chief of Staff of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) effective Friday, August 28.

Commission Chairwoman Karen Montoya stated that the Commission will immediately begin the procedures involved with naming an interim Chief of Staff as well as the process of recruiting a new Chief of Staff for the agency.

“I want to thank Vince for his many years of service at the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission,” Chairwoman Karen Montoya said. “I wish him success in his future endeavors.”

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Online EXTRA
2:42 pm
Wed August 19, 2015

Martinez Announces Investigation Of Toxic Waste Spill

Credit JONATHAN THOMPSON HIGH COUNTRY NEWS

  Santa Fe, NM — Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced that she has ordered the New Mexico Environment Department to launch an investigation into the recent massive 3 million gallon waste spill that impacted the Animas River in Northwest New Mexico and Southwest Colorado.  

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2:29 pm
Wed August 19, 2015

New York Times Covers Las Cruces Church Bombing Story

The New York Times posted an in-depth piece on the Las Cruces church bombings investigation Wednesday.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Two homemade bombs exploded early this month during busy Sunday services at Catholic and Baptist churches here, while a third, undetonated explosive was discovered on Friday near a leaking sprinkler valve at a Presbyterian church, fueling unease in this placid city in southern New Mexico, the second largest in the state.
Regional
1:48 pm
Wed August 19, 2015

Resolution Reached On Silver City Museum Trees

The large Silver Poplar tree in the Town of Silver City Museum courtyard.
Credit The Town of Silver City

The Town of Silver City has reached an agreement with the Lloyds, whose property is adjacent to the Silver City Museum. The agreement calls for the preservation of the large Silver Poplar tree in the Town of Silver City Museum courtyard. The Siberian Elm tree will be removed from the courtyard. The elm tree was examined by the Extension Service and determined to be infected with “slime flux” disease, which will eventually kill the tree and make it a public hazard.

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Regional
1:41 pm
Wed August 19, 2015

Cause Sought In Deadly New Mexico Scaffold Collapse

Investigators are trying to determine what led to the collapse of a six-story scaffold outside a New Mexico hospital that killed one construction worker and injured seven others.

New Mexico Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials were at the Rio Rancho site Wednesday, a day after 21 feet of scaffolding buckled and collapsed from the top down.

Work on a second patient tower at Presbyterian Rust Medical Center has been going on since last year.

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Regional
1:39 pm
Wed August 19, 2015

Economic Impact Of Kirtland Base Dips As Jobs Increase

Credit kirtland.af.mil

Jobs are up even as local economic impacts dip by $500 million for Albuquerque's Kirtland Air Force Base.

The Albuquerque Journal reports 2014 impact data from the financial analysis office of the 377th Comptroller Squadron shows the base contributed $7.6 billion to the Albuquerque economy, about 3.1 percent less than predicted.

Base commander Col. Eric Froehlich said during a meeting of community leaders Tuesday that the base is up by 774 jobs, mostly at federally contracted Sandia National Labs.

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Regional
1:36 pm
Wed August 19, 2015

Finance Chief Optimistic About New Mexico's Recovery

Credit nmdfa.state.nm.us

New Mexico's top finance official says declining oil and gas prices will continue to cut into revenues but the state has enough money to follow through with education reforms and public safety mandates.

The head of the Department of Finance and Administration, Tom Clifford, updated members of the Legislative Finance Committee on the latest revenue outlook during a meeting Wednesday in Taos.

Clifford's agency says revenues from oil and gas are expected to be around $840 million for the 2016 fiscal year. That's more than 16 percent less than the last fiscal year.

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Regional
12:35 pm
Wed August 19, 2015

New NMSU College Of Education Associate Dean

Enedina García Vázquez, a professor in the Counseling & Educational Psychology Department of New Mexico State University’s College of Education, has been named the college’s associate dean of academic affairs. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

  Enedina García Vázquez, a professor in the Counseling & Educational Psychology Department of New Mexico State University’s College of Education, has been named the college’s associate dean of academic affairs.

“I’m very excited to be working with our new dean, Donald Pope-Davis,” Vázquez said. “I look forward to working with students and faculty to develop new programs and new initiatives to advance the mission of the College of Education.”

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Regional
12:34 pm
Wed August 19, 2015

NMSU Convocation Includes Unveiling Of Marker Honoring Social Justice Advocate

NMSU Provost and Executive Vice President Dan Howard, far left, and President Garrey Carruthers, far right, stand with 2015 fall convocation awardees, left to right, Merranda Marin, Debra Cardinali, Mary Alice Scott, Janet Sanchez (standing in for Graciela Unguez), and Nathan Brooks. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

  New Mexico State University honored its faculty at the 2015 fall convocation ceremony Wednesday, Aug. 18, at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts. Every fall and spring, convocation is held to honor excellence on campus.

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Regional
12:32 pm
Wed August 19, 2015

Drunken Brawl Ends With Woman's Arrest

   A Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputy, en route to assist on another call, was detoured by a woman who said her neighbors had allegedly engaged in a drunken brawl.

   The incident happened just after 5 p.m. Tuesday in the 5000 block of Ortega Road east of Las Cruces. The woman flagged down the deputy and said her neighbor, 54-year-old Delia Soto, was straddling her boyfriend and was allegedly beating the man in the face.

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Online EXTRA
11:29 am
Wed August 19, 2015

Las Cruces Gets A 67 Out Of 95 On Website Analysis, Lowest Of New Mexico's Major Cities

  ALBUQUERQUE - The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, FOG, today released an audit of city and county websites, which evaluates whether the public can easily find important government information online.

Using objective criteria, the FOG audit examined the websites of 31 New Mexico cities and 27 of the 33 New Mexico counties and assigned scores in seven categories - financial data, accountability data, public meetings information, contact information, public records information, website functionality and other frequently sought information. 

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Local Viewpoints
11:28 am
Wed August 19, 2015

Heinrich, Hirono Announce Bill To Increase Access To Pell Grants, Make College More Affordable

Credit US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 19, 2015) - U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Mazie K.

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Local Viewpoints
11:26 am
Wed August 19, 2015

Pearce: New EPA Methane Regulations Derail Jobs

Credit Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Las Cruces, N.M. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce’s office statement following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of its proposed rule to limit methane emissions from oil and natural gas development:

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Online EXTRA
11:25 am
Wed August 19, 2015

Climate Study: Ending New Federal Fossil Fuel Leases Would Cut 450 Billion Tons of Carbon Pollution

  WASHINGTON— Ending new fossil fuel leasing on lands and offshore areas controlled by the U.S. government would keep up to 450 billion tons of greenhouse gases from polluting the atmosphere, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis by EcoShift on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth released today.

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Online EXTRA
11:22 am
Wed August 19, 2015

Las Cruces Comic Con Returns

LAS CRUCES, NM - Superheroes and villains alike will arrive in Las Cruces on September 11-13, 2015 for the second annual Las Cruces Comic Con (LC3). The event is organized by Zia Comics and will be held at the Las Cruces Convention Center, located at 680 E. University Ave.

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Local Viewpoints
11:21 am
Wed August 19, 2015

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture: Recognize The Role Of Farming In Culture, Economy, Water Cycle

Credit Jeff Witte-New Mexico Agriculture Secretary

  National Farmers Market Week got me thinking about the economic and cultural importance of not just the state’s 75 farmers markets, but of New Mexico agriculture more broadly.

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Online EXTRA
11:16 am
Wed August 19, 2015

New Mexico Ranks Tops in Multiple Health Categories

Credit New Mexico Department of Health

  (Santa Fe) – A health comparison, completed recently by the New Mexico Department of Health, finds New Mexico among the top 15 U.S. states in key health-related areas including fewest number of cancer or stroke deaths, highest rate of adult seatbelt use, and lowest number of overweight or obese adults. 

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