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Regional
1:23 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Federal Data: As Oil Production Soars, So Do Pipeline Leaks

The oil pipeline leak that fouled a stretch of California coastline this week reflects a troubling trend in the nation's infrastructure: As U.S. oil production has soared, so has the number of pipeline accidents.

An analysis of federal data by The Associated Press shows that since 2009, the annual number of significant accidents on oil and petroleum pipelines has shot up by almost 60 percent, roughly matching the rise in U.S. crude oil production.

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Regional
1:20 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Texas Jobless Rate Holds At 4.2 Percent

The Texas unemployment rate for April held steady at 4.2 percent.

The Texas Workforce Commission on Friday announced last month's statewide jobless figure compares to nationwide unemployment of 5.4 percent.

Texas through March had seven straight months of unemployment rate declines.

Amarillo had the state's lowest jobless rate for April at 2.7 percent. Commission officials say McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the highest unemployment statewide at 7.3 percent.

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Regional
1:19 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Skandera: PARCC Testing Time To Be Reduced By 90 Minutes

New Mexico's top public school official says a decision to reduce the time students spend taking tests based on the Common Core standards will make a difference in the state.

Public Education Secretary Hannah Skandera and members of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Career, or PARCC, governing board voted this week to reduce the testing time by about 90 minutes.

They also decided to narrow the testing window to once a year.

Rolled out earlier this year, the testing sparked intense opposition from teachers, parents and students.

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Regional
1:18 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

El Paso Police Shoot, Kill Man Who Confronted Them With Gun

El Paso police say two officers fatally shot a 22-year-old armed man after he had tried to get inside a children's day care center.

Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Mears say officers on Thursday morning shot the man after he ignored commands and made a "threatening motion" with his gun toward them. The man, who wasn't identified, died at the scene. It's the third fatal shooting by El Paso police this year.

Officers had responded after receiving a report of a man who appeared to be distraught and holding a gun to his head while walking behind a business.

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Regional
10:57 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Additional Charges Filed In Attempted Murder

  Las Cruces—Margarita Flores was indicted by a district court grand jury in March 2014 for the attempted murder of her boyfriend Carl Edwards in Chaparral, NM.

Flores is charged with Attempted Murder in the first degree and now, or in the alternative, Aggravated Battery (Great Bodily Harm) and Aggravated Battery (Deadly Weapon) (Firearm Enhancement); superseding charges.

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Regional
10:33 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Tax Cut Deal Struck With End Of Texas Legislature In Sight

A newly struck budget deal gives new Republican Gov. Greg Abbott the tax cuts he demanded but is blemished by skepticism that Texas homeowners will notice any savings.

An agreement late Thursday on $3.8 billion in tax cuts ends weeks of discord between the House and Senate. It puts Abbott closer to signing Texas' biggest tax cuts in a decade and finishing his first legislative session on time.

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Regional
10:23 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Ten People Get Federal Prison Over El Paso Methamphetamine Ring

Ten people have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a West Texas-based methamphetamine ring that sent drugs to California, Illinois and Georgia.

Federal prosecutors in El Paso on Thursday announced the sentences ranging from nearly 21 years to 18 months behind bars.

All ten people earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Investigators say the case involves crystal meth that was smuggled last year from Mexico.

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Regional
10:19 am
Fri May 22, 2015

White Sands Missile Range Destroys Missile During Test Flight Gone Wrong

Living near a missile testing range comes with its share of unexplained oddities.

For Las Cruces residents on Thursday, those included twisting, vertical contrails in the sky and a brief highway closure. The strange contrails above the Organ Mountains were left by a missile that was destroyed when a test flight went wrong at White Sands Missile Range.

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Online EXTRA
9:58 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Martinez Veto Stands As Courts Are Denied Emergency Funds; Move Will Leave Insurance Bills Unpaid

Credit Office of the Governor

  SANTA FE _ Administrative Office of the Courts Director Artie Pepin expressed disappointment Friday that the state Board of Finance denied a request for emergency funding of $750,000 for magistrate court operations in the final weeks of the current budget year.

 

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Online EXTRA
9:37 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Support For Dual Language Programs Passes Texas Legislature

Credit SEN. JOSÉ RODRÍGUEZ

  AUSTIN - SB 159/HB 218, which help maintain and expand cutting-edge dual-language education in schools across the state, including programs in the El Paso Independent School District, has passed the Texas Legislature. 

The Texas Education Agency had interpreted requirements for teachers in such a way as to cast into doubt the continuation of successful programs in El Paso and elsewhere in the state. The bills, by state Sen. José Rodríguez and state Rep. Marisa Marquez, clarify the rules to allow continuation and expansion of the programs. 

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Regional
6:00 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Local Veterans Support Run For The Wall

For the past 10 days, Veterans have been riding motorcycles across the United States as part of the bike run, “Run for the Wall.” They rode through Las Cruces last week, and stopped at the local American legion.

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Regional
6:00 am
Fri May 22, 2015

O'Rourke Calls For End To Mass Detention Of Immigrants

Credit Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D) Texas

  El Paso-area Congressman Beto O’Rourke Thursday called on the United States to end the mass detention of undocumented immigrants.  O’Rourke was joined by a handful of other Democrats in a Washington D.C. press conference.  The Department of Homeland Security recently announced a number of reforms to improve the treatment of detainees.  But O’Rourke said the system cannot be fixed and it is un-American.

An editorial earlier this month in the New York Times called for an end to mass immigrant detention. 

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Intermezzo
5:59 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Ukulele artist to perform with local ensemble: A conversation with Cheryl Fallstead and Bob Hull

Ukulele players Cheryl Fallstead and Bob Hull
Credit Leora Zeitlin

The ukulele has enjoyed great popularity since it was developed in Hawaii in the 19th century, and Las Cruces now boasts its own ensemble, the Las Cruces Ukes. Musicians Cheryl Fallstead and Bob Hull – with ukulele in hand – came to the KRWG studios to talk about a special weekend coming up with visiting ukulele artist Mark Baker, who will perform a concert with the group and teach two workshops in Las Cruces. Fallstead and Hull also talked about the history of the ukulele and the origins of their local  ensemble, and Hull provided some musical entertainment.

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Regional
3:08 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Legislature Approves Texas Fertilizer Safety Bill

Texas lawmakers have sent to Gov. Greg Abbott a bill meant to strengthen regulations for storing the chemical fertilizer that caused a fatal explosion in West in 2013.

The Senate gave final approval Thursday to requiring ammonium nitrate be kept separate from combustible material. The bill also grants the state fire marshal new powers to inspect businesses that store the chemical and issue citations.

Businesses would have 10 days to fix problems or face penalties.

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Local Viewpoints
1:22 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Udall And Heinrich: Monument Anniversary Is A Reason To Celebrate

Credit US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  The local coalition recently is hosting a series of anniversary events this week in Las Cruces; and if you didn't already get the chance, we hope everyone soon will take the opportunity to enjoy and celebrate this very special national monument right here in our own backyard.

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Local Viewpoints
1:04 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Pearce Claims Legislation Is Needed To Protect Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument

Credit Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Today, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement announcing the introduction of H.R. 2467, legislation that will help protect New Mexico’s local communities, secure its southern border and strengthen national security.

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Online EXTRA
11:30 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Moms: Make Your Health A Priority

Credit New Mexico Department of Health

  I have a question for all you moms out there: what did you get for Mother’s Day? Well, I certainly hope you were treated right, because you’ve earned it all: Flowers, the opportunity to sleep in, go for a bike ride, and hopefully even get a few hours to get to do a little binge watching of your favorite show on Netflix.

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Regional
10:13 am
Thu May 21, 2015

NM Public Defender's Office, Courts Seek Emergency Cash

Without an infusion of nearly $600,000 in emergency cash, the state public defender's office says about 1,600 people may be left with no legal representation.

Chief Public Defender Jorge Alvarado will be seeking funding from the New Mexico Board of Finance on Thursday. If the board approves, his office would have enough to provide criminal defense services for low-income people for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends in June.

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Regional
10:08 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Ranchers, Farmers Sue Feds Over Jaguar Habitat

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

Farmers and ranchers are suing the federal government over a decision to set aside hundreds of square miles near the U.S.-Mexico border as habitat essential for the conservation of the jaguar.

The New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, the New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association and the New Mexico Federal Lands Council filed their complaint Wednesday.

They say the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should not have set aside habitat in New Mexico because the area wasn't occupied by the jaguar when the animal was listed as an endangered species.

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Regional
10:04 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Feds Shoot Mexican Gray Wolf In New Mexico

Federal authorities say a Mexican gray wolf has been shot and killed in southwestern New Mexico after it was exhibiting escalating nuisance behavior.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the male wolf, dubbed M1130, was shot Wednesday in Catron County following reports of the wolf's behavior by residents.

Officials say the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team tried to remove the wolf by nonlethal means first before it was shot.

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Regional
10:00 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Albuquerque Teachers Burn Evaluations In Protest

Credit ped.state.nm.us

More than three dozen teachers burned their teacher evaluations as a sign of protest in front of the Albuquerque Public Schools headquarters.

The teachers set their evaluations ablaze Wednesday, as they described their ratings and the process used to assess them as meaningless and unfair.

Education Secretary Hanna Skandera launched the evaluation system, which connects student test scores to teacher ratings, in 2012. The system remains a source of controversy between the department and teacher unions.

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Local Viewpoints
9:18 am
Thu May 21, 2015

ACLU-NM Applauds Congressman O’Rourke and House Democrats’ Call to End Family Detention

Credit Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D) Texas

  LAS CRUCES, NM—In a press conference today in Washington, DC, Congressman Beto O’Rourke joined the growing number of House Democrats calling on the Department of Homeland Security to put an end to its shameful practice of family detention. The ACLU of New Mexico played a key oversight role to monitor conditions and defend due process for children and women locked up in the Artesia, NM last year. 

The following quote can be attributed to Vicki Gaubeca, Director of the ACLU of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights.

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Regional
8:39 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Bridge Demolition Friday In Silver City

  Silver City: The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) with Interstate Highway Construction (IHC) is in the first phase as they move towards the demolition of the bridge on NM90/Hudson Street.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Las Cruces Losing Jobs In Higher-Paying Sectors

  Some New Mexico State University experts provide an assessment of the national and regional economies Thursday at 7 p.m. on KRWG-TV during the Chamber Economic Forum, a partnership between KRWG and the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce.  

In the Las Cruces metro area….the top three sectors with job losses are also high paying industries.  In the last year…Manufacturing was down more than 11 percent...Natural resources and construction was down by about nine percent…and business services was off by about four percent.

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Regional
3:59 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Texas Approves Border Security Funding To Fight Rio Grande Plant

A roughly $800 million border security package working its way through the Texas Legislature is meant to curb drug and people smuggling. But it could also attack another common enemy along the Rio Grande: Carrizo cane.

The House gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill passed last month by the Senate. It seeks to use part of the border security package's funding to eradicate the cane, which grows along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Regional
3:58 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Texas Court Throws Out Convictions Of Former Daycare Workers

An appeals court has thrown out the 1992 sex assault convictions of two ex-day care owners in Austin who deny abusing children.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals court on Wednesday reversed the convictions but did not exonerate Dan and Fran Keller. Both spent more than 20 years in prison.

The pair, who divorced while incarcerated, were released on bond in 2013 when the physical evidence was found to be mistaken by an examining doctor.

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Regional
3:57 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Texas Doctor Indicted In $5 Million Health Care Fraud Billing Case

A Dallas anesthesiologist has been indicted on 17 counts of health care fraud in what investigators say involves $5 million in fraudulent billing.

Dr. Richard Toussaint Jr allegedly submitted false claims during 2009 and 2010.

Prosecutors on Wednesday announced the case involving claims to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, United Healthcare and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

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Regional
1:56 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

DEA Announces Largest-Ever Prescription Drug Crackdown

  DEA and federal prosecutors today announced unprecedented enforcement action across the states of Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi in an effort to reverse the horrible effects produced by the trafficking and abuse of pharmaceuticals.  As part of this effort, dubbed Operation Pilluted, 22 doctors and pharmacists were arrested in the 15-month operation which involved nearly a thousand law enforcement officers across the four states. 280 arrests took place total across the four states as part of the operation.

 

 

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Regional
12:08 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Las Cruces Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Drug Charges

  ALBUQUERQUE – Mario A. Oros, 32, of Las Cruces, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces to methamphetamine trafficking charges.

   Oros was arrested on Feb. 20, 2015, on an indictment charging him with distributing methamphetamine on Sept. 5, 2014 and Sept. 12, 2014, in Doña Ana County, N.M.  The indictment also calls for Oros to forfeit $3,000.00, representing the amount of money he derived from the drug trafficking offenses.

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Online EXTRA
10:57 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Momentum Grows For Renewable Electricity Standard Legislation

Credit US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  A bill introduced by U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) to create a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) received an important hearing today in the U.S.

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