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6:00 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Stand4KidsNM: State Education Policy Critics Gagged And Silenced

Credit Simon Thompson

Krazy Kathy Korte, that is what some are calling the Albuquerque mother and outspoken critic of education policies developed by the Martinez administration.

Korte’s advocacy group Stand4kids New Mexico has put education at the center of the November election. But a Republican lawmaker has filed a complaint against the group’s conduct with the Secretary of State.

Kathy Korte was elected to the Albuquerque Public School board, right after Susana Martinez became governor and began her campaign to overhaul public education.  

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Regional
6:00 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Billy The Kid In American Culture

Some people can stick in the mind of people for generations. Others pass without another thought. One local psychologist who is looking into what makes certain historical figures more memorable than others. Using a famous outlaw that people in New Mexico are sure to recognize.

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Regional
6:00 am
Wed September 24, 2014

NMSU Professors Use Tablets To Study Technology, Health Behaviors

  In the United States, chronic illnesses such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, pain, cancer or asthma are responsible for 75 percent of health care costs. New Mexico State University College of Health and Social Services faculty members have partnered to study how mobile technology can improve health behaviors.

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Regional
6:02 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

45 More Infants May Have Been Exposed To TB At El Paso Hospital

  Health officials say an additional 45 infants may have been exposed to a West Texas hospital worker infected with tuberculosis, bringing the total number of children potentially exposed to the disease to 751.

Health officials said Tuesday that they received a list of another 45 infants at Providence Memorial Hospital in El Paso. Authorities have said the infants were exposed to the worker at Providence from September 2013 to August.

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Regional
6:01 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Tough New Rules At Ruidoso Downs

   Track officials at Ruidoso Downs have announced strict new policies to ensure integrity during next year's horse racing season.

Tuesday's announcement comes after the recent arrest of a jockey at the southern New Mexico track for allegedly using an electronic device to make his horse run faster.

Four horses tested positive in July 2013 at Ruidoso Downs for a prohibited drug that's an ingredient of Viagra.

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Regional
6:00 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Prosecutor: Perry Making A Mockery Of The Criminal Justice System

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

   The special prosecutor who secured two felony indictments against Texas Gov. Rick Perry says the Republican is making a mockery of the criminal justice system by asking to skip a pretrial hearing.

Michael McCrum tells the San Antonio Express News that Perry is asking for "special favors" to which he shouldn't be entitled.

A Travis County grand jury in Austin indicted Perry last month on two abuse-of-power counts for threatening to veto state funding for public corruption prosecutors.

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Local Viewpoints
4:25 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

More Than 71,500 People Speak Out For Endangered Mexican Gray Wolves

  More than 71,500 people submitted comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in support of stronger protections for Mexican gray wolves during the comment period ending today. In July the agency proposed a new rule updating management of the wolves that would, for the first time, allow releases of captive-bred animals into New Mexico and allow wolves much more room to roam than they’re currently allowed. Scientists and citizens have long urged adoption of these measures.

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Regional
12:40 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Bombshell In Las Cruces: DA Says Missing E-mail Shows Inappropriate Actions By Previous DA

  Las Cruces, NM----Third Judicial District Attorney, Mark D’Antonio released an “Administrative Investigative Report” of missing e-mails and destruction of computer hard drives by former District Attorney employees.  The report was prompted by difficulty encountered in the District Attorney’s Office responding to a request made under the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA). Mr. D’Antonio issued the following statement:   

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Regional
12:03 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

New Mexico Health Exchange Insurance Premiums To Drop In Price

  Many New Mexico residents getting health coverage through the state health insurance exchange will generally see slightly lower premiums in 2015.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the state Office of the Superintendent of Insurance says premiums will go down for three of the five insurers.

According to the office, premiums for a 50-year-old non-smoking Albuquerque-area resident will drop on average by 7 percent at Molina Healthcare, 1.5 percent at New Mexico Health Connections and 1 percent at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico.

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Regional
12:00 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Woman Breaks Window, Rescues Baby From Hot Car

A 9-month-old boy has been treated for dehydration after being rescued from a hot car in San Antonio by a woman who used a tire iron to smash the windshield.

Angela Radtke (RAD'-kee) said Monday that she knew she had to get the baby out of the locked car in a grocery store parking lot. Police say store surveillance video shows the baby was in the car nearly 40 minutes.

Radtke, who's a retired Army captain with three children, says the boy in the infant seat appeared red and sweaty. She says she's been trained to immediately assess a situation and then act.

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Regional
11:58 am
Tue September 23, 2014

911 Problem In Alamogordo

  Officials in Otero County say 911 emergency phone service in the Alamogordo area is partially disrupted because of damage to a fiber-optic line.

Officials say 911 calls in the Alamogordo area are being answered by dispatchers in Roswell, who then convey the necessary information to the appropriate responder agency in Alamogordo.

People with emergencies to report also can call Alamogordo-area responder agencies on their administrative phone lines.

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Regional
11:56 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Prosecutors: Texas Man Used Cocaine To Buy Votes

Federal prosecutors say a 47-year-old man provided cocaine to secure votes for school board candidates in South Texas.

A federal judge in McAllen on Monday scheduled the arraignment of Francisco "Frankie" Garcia of Donna for next month. He's facing voter fraud and other charges.

The Monitor cites an indictment in reporting Garcia allegedly paid voters by giving them a "dime bag" of cocaine. Others were paid $10 for their vote in the 2012 Donna school board elections.

FBI agents arrested Garcia last week in Illinois.

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Regional
11:55 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Texas Backs Off Plan To Allow Alcohol Sales At Gun Shows

Texas officials have withdrawn a plan to allow sales of alcohol at some gun shows, which would have come with strict conditions, such as a ban on sales of live ammunition.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission had received hundreds of negative responses to the idea and agreed Tuesday to back off the proposal.

The change was meant to aid the Dallas Safari Club's annual convention, a massive event that draws up to 50,000 people. Alcohol sales would have come with a series of conditions, including that a firearm be disabled and not immediately turned over to the buyer.

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Local Viewpoints
11:30 am
Tue September 23, 2014

The Push To Allow New Mexico Voters To Decide On Using Permanent Fund For Early Childhood Education

  ALBUQUERQUE—State Senator Michael Padilla will announce at a press conference Wednesday his intent to sponsor legislation that will allow the voters to decide on using a portion of the state’s $14 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund for early childhood care and learning. Invest in Kids NOW!, a coalition of more than 40 groups, is hosting the press conference tomorrow, Sept. 24, at 10am at the Cristina Kent Early Childhood Center in response to recent polling that shows significant support for expanding early childhood care and learning services from the Land Grant Permanent Fund.

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Local Viewpoints
11:25 am
Tue September 23, 2014

King: Education Listening Tour Was A Success

  From north to south, east to west, Gary King crisscrossed New Mexico to learn first hand what people think about our state’s stumbling education system while offering his vision on how, as Governor, he will help pull education out of its downward spiral under the Martinez administration.

Just finishing his statewide visits that began in August, Gary King declared the tour a resounding success.

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Regional
11:20 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Additional Charges Filed in 2011 Las Cruces Massage Parlor Case

Charges have been filed against the suspected owners of two Las Cruces massage parlors that were believed to be providing illegal services to their male clientele in 2011.

An Sun Lee, 64, and Danny Yoonsung Hwang, 55, both of San Bernardino, Calif., were both indicted by a grand jury last week.

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Regional
8:28 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Chief Deputy Clerk Resigns

  Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins has announced the resignation of Chief Deputy Clerk Mario O. Jimenez III, effective Friday, Sept. 26.

   “Mario has done a terrific job for me and for the voters of Doña Ana County during his tenure,” Ellins said. “He is leaving for personal reasons, and while my staff and I are sorry to see him go, we support his decision and wish the very best for him going forward.”

   Jimenez informed the office staff of his decision at a 5 p.m. meeting on Monday, Sept. 22.

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Election 2014
7:31 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Another County Wants Advisory Ballot Questions

Secretary of State Dianna Duran says another county is proposing nonbinding ballot questions to poll its voters in the November general election.

Duran said Monday that Chaves County has approved five advisory questions, including ones to ask the county's voters whether they would support local ordinances to require voter identification, ban the release of wolves in the county and repeal a prevailing wage that must be paid by contractors on certain taxpayer-financed construction projects.

The county also wants to poll its voters about a possible right-to-work measure.

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Regional
7:30 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Oil Lease Sales On State Land Generate $7 Million

The state Land Office says it received $7.3 million from the most recent sale of oil and gas leases.

The agency said Monday the revenue is the highest from leases since getting $7.8 million in December 2013.

Leases were sold last week for oil and gas development on three dozen tracts of state land in Lea, Eddy, Chaves and Roosevelt counties. The highest bid was nearly $1.8 million for a 320-acre parcel in Lea County.

The Land Office said it's collected more than $246 million from oil and gas lease sales since 2011.

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Regional
7:28 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Trial Of Sheriff Accused Of 'Road Rage' Continues

A motorist says he thought a northern New Mexico sheriff was going to execute him during a heated traffic stop.

Michael Tafoya told jurors Monday he begged for his life as Rio Arriba County Thomas Rodella pulled a gun on him following a road rage chase in March.

Rodella is standing trial of federal charges of deprivation of rights and brandishing a firearm. He has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities say Rodella was in plainclothes when he pulled over Tafoya, jumped out of his personal SUV with a gun, and shoved his badge in Tafoya's face.

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue September 23, 2014

NMSU Confucius Institute Helps College, K-12 Students Across Region Study Chinese

Cathedral High School in El Paso, Texas, is one of New Mexico State University’s Confucius Classrooms, and a small group of students had the chance to spend three weeks in the Hanban Chinese Bridge Summer Camp in Henan, China, in July. (Courtesy photo)

  In global references, New Mexico State University and Las Cruces occupy a small section of the United States, but an NMSU professor believes students can have a connection across the Pacific Ocean.

“We can’t just think of ourselves as a little corner of the Southwest, we are a little corner of the world and our students really take to Chinese culture,” said Elvira Hammond, co-director of NMSU’s Confucius Institute.

Across the state of New Mexico and southwest Texas, the Confucius Institute oversees the Chinese language and cultural instruction programs.

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue September 23, 2014

NMSU Students Redesign School Building In Mexico

NMSU Engineering students worked side-by-side with members of the community to build a school in Queretaro, Mexico. (Courtesy photo)

  The old school structure in Queretaro, Mexico, was a tarpaper and pallet shack with a dirt floor. It served as both an overflow school building for a school too small to hold all of its students and a community medical clinic for the doctor who visits each week.

Over the summer, 14 students in New Mexico State University’s Engineering Without Boundaries helped to replace the shack with a proper schoolhouse.

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Regional
8:49 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Environmental Artist Visits New Mexico

  Prominent environmental artist and writer, Louise Phillips, will be visiting New Mexico from Washington, D.C. to inspire children to conserve nature through art.  Ms. Phillips has donated 3 paintings to commemorate her support of U.S. Forest Service efforts in New Mexico to take more kids to the woods. Her paintings celebrate the beauty of the Rio Grande Bosque, the Gila National Forest and the Lincoln National Forest.

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Local Viewpoints
6:23 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Secretary Of State's Office: Chaves County Seeks Five Advisory Ballot Questions

  SANTA FE—The Office of the Secretary of State today received a resolution requesting that five advisory ballot questions be placed on the general election ballot.   Last week the county manager had sent a letter stating he “would like to see” if the county could put certain advisory questions on the ballot.   The response from the Secretary of State last week was that the advisory questions were not allowable on a general election ballot under New Mexico law.  However, today Chaves County passed a resolution that included five advisory questions (shown below). 

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Local Viewpoints
3:50 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

For Lara, It's Teamwork And Ideas That Count

  As a Democrat living and working in a Republican-leaning community in southern New Mexico, 2nd Congressional District candidate Roxanne “Rocky” Lara says she’s developed a knack for working well with political opponents.

Lara, a 39-year-old family law attorney from Carlsbad, said that kind of collaborative attitude is an essential for Congress these days.

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Local Viewpoints
3:44 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

A Great Discussion About Immigration

Panelists were, l-r: Ali Noorani (Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum), U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego, and International Bank of Commerce Executive Vice President Eddie Aldrete. Moderator, at end, was the Tribune's Julian Aguilar.

  

  We had a great conversation about the importance of comprehensive immigration reform, from the perspective of welcoming immigrants, at the Texas Tribune Festival on Saturday.

I believe, and I think the majority of Americans do as well, that the perspective of welcoming rather than shunning immigrants, is both humane and practical.

During the panel, we discussed at length the critical role that immigrants have and continue to play in our nation’s economy.

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Local Viewpoints
3:33 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

King: Martinez Sticks To Scripted Comments During Forum

  Democratic candidate for New Mexico Governor Gary King today wasted no time correcting Governor Martinez about the misrepresentations contained in one of her latest campaign attack ads.  King told a crowd of several hundred that Martinez forgot to mention that it was his office that put the ‘Casanova Con Man’ in prison, that his agents went to the east coast to arrest him, and his prosecutors who convicted him.

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Regional
3:22 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Texas District Temporarily Bans Seven Books

Credit Courtesy: US Dept. of Education

  A Texas school district has temporarily removed seven books from classroom-use after parents complained about them.

Some parents complained to the Highland Park school district about the novels because of sex scenes and references to rape, abuse and abortion.

The district's superintendent Dawson Orr says the books will be reviewed by committees of parents, teachers and students. Orr says the process could take months.

One book that will be reviewed is "The Glass Castle: A Memoir" by Jeannette Walls.

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Regional
3:20 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

SpaceX Breaks Ground On Texas Rocket Launch Site

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says his company expects to spend $100 million in South Texas over the next three to four years on the first commercial orbital spaceport.

Musk was joined Monday by Gov. Rick Perry and other officials as SpaceX broke ground at the state's southernmost tip.

The ceremony marked the start of construction of the $85 million site at Boca Chica Beach, east of Brownsville, where commercial satellites will be launched.

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Regional
3:17 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

El Paso Woman Dies After Accident During Flood

Authorities are investigating the death of a woman in El Paso after torrential rains from the remnants of Hurricane Odile battered West Texas.  Rainfall amounts across Texas in the past week have ranged from 2 inches to as much as 14 inches. The greatest amount was recorded over a four-day period in a community about 70 miles southeast of Lubbock.

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