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Regional
10:00 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Vandalism May Prompt Closure Of Facilities In Chaparral

Doña Ana County officials may close several facilities in Chaparral due to what is described as "persistent vandalism and theft."

The county Facilities and Parks Department is preparing a recommendation to close the Delores Wright Community Center Park and the Colquitt Community Center.

County officials say thefts regularly steal air-conditioning and irrigation components from the facilities and have been causing more than $1,000 in damage weekly.

Recent damage included broken windows and graffiti.

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Regional
9:53 am
Wed May 20, 2015

May Storms Helping To Fight Wildfire Season

May has been an unusual month for drought-stricken New Mexico, with cool and wet storms throughout the state keeping wildfire season in check.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports a combination of factors are contributing to the latest weather trend. Experts say the arrival of El Nino and the early winter melting of snowpacks have brought some relief and increased hopes for a wet summer.

Meteorologist for the National Weather Service, Kerry Jones, says another reason for the increased moisture is that there isn't much delay between the storm systems, which keeps things wet.

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Regional
9:52 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Travelers Alert Family In Home After Spotting Arson Fire

A victim of an arson fire in Roswell is thankful that two travelers had trouble finding a relative's home.

The Roswell Daily Record reports that two men honked their vehicle's horn and knocked on windows to alert Brian Hurst after they spotted Hurst's SUV on fire in his home's carport late Monday night.

Hurst said his home is well insulated and the family hadn't heard anything before being alerted by the men, whose GPS had misdirected them.

The fire was beginning to catch the carport on fire, and Hurst says the strangers' actions may have saved his family's lives.

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Regional
6:00 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Doña Ana County Nears End of Comprehensive Plan And Unified Development Code

Doña Ana County is moving into the final phase of their Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Code as part of the Viva Doña Ana Initiative. Samantha Sonner has more on the last round of public input meetings.

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Regional
3:50 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Martinez Veto Prompts Emergency Funding Request For Magistrate Courts

Credit Office of the Governor

  Administrative Office of the Courts Director Artie Pepin will appear before the state Board of Finance on Thursday to request emergency funding of $750,000 for operations of magistrate courts through June.

 

In April, the governor vetoed a $750,000 supplemental appropriation approved by the Legislature to address underfunding partly caused by a loss of revenues from vetoes in 2014.

 

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Regional
3:09 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Spaceport Attracts Satellite Communication Firm

Credit Spaceport America

A California-based company has announced plans to build a ground station at Spaceport America in southern New Mexico to boost its satellite communications business.

X2nSat and spaceport officials announced Tuesday that a memorandum of agreement has been signed. Negotiations are now underway on a long-term lease that would give the company access to land and infrastructure at the taxpayer-financed spaceport.

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Regional
3:07 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

In Depth: The Texas Medical Marijuana Law...Cannabis Oil Only

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas House gave final approval Tuesday to a limited medical marijuana bill that would give epilepsy patients access to trace amounts of cannabis oil. The next stop is Gov. Greg Abbott's desk, marking a milestone that marijuana-reform advocates say is nothing short of historic in Texas.

The Republican hasn't said whether he will sign one of the most talked-about measures in his first legislative session as governor. Here's a closer look at the plan:

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WHAT DOES IT DO?

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Online EXTRA
2:20 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Report: Too Many Foster Kids Unnecessarily in Group Homes

  ALBUQUERQUE—A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that, nationally, one in every seven children in the welfare system is in a group home. This, despite the fact that more than 40 percent of these children have no clinical need to be in such restrictive settings. The Casey Foundation report, “Every Kid Needs a Family,” makes the case that children do better when they are placed in a family setting.

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Regional
2:19 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

NMSU College Of Education Professors Showcase Research In Washington, D.C.

New Mexico State University College of Education professors Karin Wiburg, center, and Karen Trujillo, right, pose with Felice Levine, director of the American Educational Research Association, in Washington, D.C., April 29. (Courtesy photo)

  A trip by two New Mexico State University College of Education professors proved to be a worthwhile experience that allowed them to showcase their research to lawmakers and connect with New Mexico legislators.

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Online EXTRA
2:00 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Report: New Mexico's Rural Roads Among Worst In The Nation

  Washington, D.C. – America’s rural transportation system is in need of repairs and modernization to support economic growth in the nation’s Heartland, which is a critical source of energy, food and fiber and home to an aging and increasingly diverse population that is heavily reliant on the quality of its transportation system.

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Local Viewpoints
1:58 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Business Groups Back PNM Plan To Keep Coal-Fired Electric Plant Open

Credit Four Corners Power Plant. Photo courtesy of EcoFlight and San Juan Citizens Alliance

  ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Albuquerque, Farmington and statewide business organizations will hold a major press conference on Thursday to voice support for the PNM Plan for the San Juan Generating Station.  A closure of the plant would bring serious negative economic impact for New Mexico, including rate hikes and lost jobs.

Scheduled to appear at the press conference are ACI, the New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry; AED, Albuquerque Economic Development; NAIOP, the commercial real estate development association; the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, and others.

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Regional
1:49 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Former Comptroller Of Albuquerque Construction Company Pleads Guilty To Federal Fraud Charges

ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Special Agent in Charge WaldemarRodriguez of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso, Texas, announced today that Stephanie Pyle, 40, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty to federal fraud and identity theft charges. 

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Local Viewpoints
1:46 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Senator Rodríguez Disappointed With El Paso Children's Hospital Bankruptcy Filing

Credit SEN. JOSÉ RODRÍGUEZ

  EL PASO – State Sen. José Rodríguez issued the following statement regarding the El Paso Children's Hospital bankruptcy filing announced today: 

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Regional
10:43 am
Tue May 19, 2015

American Airlines To End Flights Between Santa Fe And LAX

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

American Airlines has confirmed that it will discontinue its non-stop service between Santa Fe Municipal Airport and Los Angeles.

The Sante Fe New Mexican reports that Monday's announcement will bring a stop to a four-year service that boosted the city's tourism industry and was a valuable link for business fliers.

The flight has also become popular with travelers making connections to Asia, Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest.

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Regional
10:24 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Corn Maze In Corrales Draws Complaints From Nearby Residents

Corn mazes might be fun for kids, but neighbors' complaints about one in Corrales may put it out of business.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the Village Planning and Zoning Commission denied the owners of the property's request for a special use permit that would have allowed them to operate their annual corm maze and pumpkin patch.

The zoning commission ruled in June 2014 that the corn maze and the additional activities were not compliant with the agricultural zoning and asked the family to apply for a special use permit on the property.

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Regional
9:59 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Albuquerque Council Weighs Police Chief Selection Proposal

Albuquerque voters could decide whether city councilors have more say in the hiring and firing of the police and fire chiefs under a proposal considered by the City Council.

The panel discussed the proposal at its meeting Monday. It is expected to take a vote on it next month. If approved, the measure would be placed on the October ballot.

The proposal comes as Albuquerque works to reform its troubled police department.

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Regional
9:53 am
Tue May 19, 2015

UNM Law School Journal Publishes Special Issue Examining 'Breaking Bad'

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

A University of New Mexico School of Law student journal has published a special issue analyzing legal issues related to the story line of AMC-TV's "Breaking Bad."

An edition of the New Mexico Law Review released this week looks at the war on drugs, the hypothetical arrest of Walter White, and questionable practices of defense lawyer Saul Goodman.

Editor Matthew Zidovsky says students wanted to use the fictional hit television series to discuss serious legal issues like the Fourth Amendment and professional lawyer ethics.

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Regional
9:48 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Body Camera Program Delayed For Las Cruces Police Dept.

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

Officials say Las Cruces Police Department officers won't get body cameras until they complete a mandatory training next month.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that officials recently announce they are delaying the launch of the camera program so officers can meet with representatives from Taser, the company that manufactures the cameras.

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Regional
9:41 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Texas Governor Bans Local Control Over Fracking In Move Sought By Oil And Gas Producers

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law a prohibition on cities and towns imposing local ordinances preventing fracking and other potentially environmentally harmful oil and natural gas activities.

The much-watched measure sailed through the GOP-controlled Legislature after voters in Denton, a university town near Dallas, banned hydraulic fracturing locally in November.

The new law limits not only the Denton ban but other actions communities could take limiting energy industry activities. It was backed by oil and gas concerns.

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Local Viewpoints
6:32 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Critics: Texas Legislature Approves Flawed Medical Marijuana Bill

  AUSTIN — The Texas State House approved a bill 96-34 on Monday intended to allow qualifying patients with intractable seizure conditions to access a marijuana extract containing high levels of cannabidiol, or CBD, and only trace levels of THC. SB 339, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler), is extremely unlikely to provide patients with relief because it requires doctors to engage in conduct that is prohibited by federal law. SB 339 previously passed the Senate on May 7. It now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott.

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Local Viewpoints
5:08 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Pat Hynes: The Secret To A Boredom-Free Life In Las Cruces

  Dorothy Parker, a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table, writer and member of the Editorial Board for the New Yorker, once wrote, the cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. This statement pretty much explains my approach to living in Las Cruces. 

There are multiple steps I am learning about why talking to interesting people from across the globe is scary work, yet when successful, rewarding. The steps involve research, persistence, ability to listen and absorb in real-time what is being said, then act.

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Regional
4:30 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Two Mexican Nationals Arrested Near Las Cruces On Federal Drug Charges

  ALBUQUERQUE – Two Mexican nationals were arrested on May 15, 2015, after U.S. Border Patrol agents allegedly found large quantities of cocaine in their vehicles during separate routine inspections at the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint on Interstate 25 north of Las Cruces, N.M.  J.

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Regional
4:29 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

UPDATE: Deming Public Health Office Reopens

(Deming, N.M.) – The Deming Public Health Office, 215 S. Silver, has resumed regular business hours. Luna County crews have completed work on plumbing problems at the county-owned building and all services at our public health office have resumed this morning.

Earlier post:

Regional
12:57 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Ted Turner Ranch In New Mexico Caught In Wolf Debate

A sprawling ranch in southern New Mexico owned by media mogul Ted Turner is caught in the middle of a dispute between the state and federal wildlife officials over management of the Mexican gray wolf.

A bid by the Ladder Ranch to renew its permit for holding wolves in captivity on the private property was recently denied by the state Game Commission, triggering calls for Gov. Susana Martinez to reverse the decision.

A rally is planned Tuesday at the capitol.

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Regional
12:54 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

District Attorney Serving Southeast New Mexico To Resign

Credit NM District Attorney Association

Three southeast New Mexico counties will need a new district attorney at the end of this month after Janetta Hicks announced her intention to step down.

The Roswell Daily Record reports the Fifth Judicial District Attorney says she is leaving office two years into her second four-year term for personal and financial reasons.

The fifth district attorney is paid $110,000 annually to oversee 67 employees and serve Chaves, Eddy and Lea counties.

Her last day is May 31. The governor is appointing a replacement until voters can decide who will take up the office in 2016.

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Regional
12:52 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Researchers Warn Farmers To Prepare For Invasive Pests

New Mexico's number one crop, alfalfa, is at risk of new invasive pests as they establish themselves in the state.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports New Mexico State University entomologists are predicting new insects to affect fruit and vegetable crops, including the state's $300-million alfalfa industry.

NMSU Extension entomologist Jane Pierce says larvae of the white fringe beetle cause damage that can be mistaken for disease. Alfalfa farmers should look for thinning spots, check roots for holes and treat adult insects with insecticide.

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Online EXTRA
11:28 am
Mon May 18, 2015

El Paso Chihuahuas Announce Nationally Televised Game

Credit epchihuahuas.com

  EL PASO – The El Paso Chihuahuas home game versus the Iowa Cubs on May 31st will be carried on the American Sports Network (ASN) as part of the Minor League Baseball Sunday Showcase. First pitch has been moved to 5:05 p.m. 
 

“We are honored to have Southwest University Park as the spotlight for the first nationally televised game on May 31st,” said Chihuahuas General Manager, Brad Taylor. “We encourage all of El Paso to pack the house and show the United States what kind of a fan base we have.”

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Local Viewpoints
11:27 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Mexican Gray Wolf Supporters To Rally In Santa Fe Tuesday

  SANTA FE, N.M.— Wildlife supporters, including local activists from the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance,  Animal Protection of New Mexico and WildEarth Guardians, will rally tomorrow, Tuesday, at noon at the state capitol to ask Gov. Susana Martinez to allow Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch in Sierra County to continue housing Mexican gray wolves as part of the reintroduction of these endangered animals.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Proposed Paving Of Dripping Springs And Baylor Canyon Roads Divides Some County Residents

According to the Bureau of Land Management the proposed road pavings with have "no effect" of endangered wildlife.
Credit Simon Thompson

In 2013, Dona Ana County received $9 million dollars in federal money to pave dirt sections of Dripping Springs and Baylor Canyon roads all the way up to the Organ Mountains. But some residents remain divided over the plans just months before the work is scheduled to begin.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon May 18, 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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