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2:45 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Senate Confirms President's Immigration Nominee

A divided Senate has confirmed President Barack Obama's pick to head the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

The 55-39 vote Tuesday elevates Sarah Saldana, now the U.S. attorney in Dallas, to lead the $6 billion federal agency that enforces federal border control, trade and immigration laws.

Saldana had claimed strong support among Republicans when she was nominated earlier this year, but that changed after Obama took executive actions to grant work permits to millions in the U.S. illegally.

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Regional
2:44 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Federal Judge: President's Immigration Action Is Unconstitutional

A federal judge in Pittsburgh is declaring that President Barack Obama's recent executive actions on immigration are unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab says Obama's order in November designed to spare millions living illegally in the United States from deportation amounts to "unilateral legislative action" in violation of the Constitution. Schwab issued his opinion Tuesday in a criminal case involving an immigrant here illegally from Honduras.

The administration has said the new policy does not apply to criminal cases.

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Regional
8:43 am
Tue December 16, 2014

New Mexico Court Tells Judge She Must Step Down

Credit nmsupremecourt.nmcourts.gov

The state Supreme Court says a District Court judge for three northern New Mexico counties must step down after losing a retention election.

The justices ruled unanimously Monday that the election results stand and that Judge Sheri Raphaelson must give up her judicial post ion Dec. 31.

Raphaelson serves in a judicial district comprised of Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Rio Arriba counties, and she primarily hears cases in Tierra Amarilla.

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Regional
8:41 am
Tue December 16, 2014

22 Fugitives Arrested During New Mexico Operation

Credit https://www.facebook.com/pages/US-Marshals-Service/219176894842440

Federal authorities say a law enforcement task force made 22 arrests during a fugitive-apprehension operation in northwestern New Mexico last weekend.

The U.S. Marshals Service says the task force attempted to serve more than 60 state and federal warrants during the two-day operation.

According to the Marshals Service, all of those sought are violent fugitives and three of those arrested are charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Others face charges for robbery, aggravated burglary with a deadly weapon and sex offenses.

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Regional
8:36 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Obama Administration Urges Dismissal Of Lawsuit Over Immigration

The Obama administration is urging dismissal of a lawsuit that would dismantle the president's immigration program, an initiative designed to spare nearly 5 million people in the U.S. illegally from deportation.

The case was brought by an Arizona sheriff, Joe Arpaio, who contends that President Barack Obama's program serves as a magnet for more illegal entries into the U.S. Arpaio says the new arrivals will commit crimes and thus burden his law enforcement resources.

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Regional
8:31 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Court Clears Way For Dairy Hearings In Roswell

A hearing on proposed changes to the way New Mexico's dairy industry deals with wastewater will be held in Roswell after all.

The state Supreme Court on Monday upheld an earlier decision by the Water Quality Control Commission to hold the hearing in southeastern New Mexico. State officials say about 90 percent of dairies are located in the region.

Environmental groups had argued that state law required the technical hearing to be in Santa Fe.

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Regional
8:27 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Gallup Diocese Gives 'Credibly Accused Clergy' List

The Diocese of Gallup has released a list of "credibly accused clergy" linked to decades-old sex abuse cases in New Mexico and Arizona.

The list released Monday includes 31 priests and one lay teacher assigned to parishes from the 1950s to last year.

Gallup Diocese Bishop James Wall says he was making the new list public to protect children and in the spirit of transparency.

In a statement, Wall apologized for the actions of those who committed "these terrible acts."

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Regional
8:27 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Pueblo, Feds Appealing Ruling On Gambling Compact

The federal government and a northern New Mexico tribe are appealing a judge's ruling in the tribe's dispute with the state over a proposed new gambling compact.

The Interior Department and the Pojoaque Pueblo last week filed notices that they're appealing U.S. District Judge James Parker's October rulin that stopped the department from approving a compact for the pueblo without the state's consent.

The pueblo and Gov. Susana Martinez's administration have failed to agree on a compact to replace one set to expire in mid-2015.

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Regional
8:24 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Review: N.M. Agency Overwhelmed By Relief Requests

Credit https://twitter.com/nmdhsem

Internal reports, emails, audits and interviews show relief aid for New Mexico communities affected by fires and flooding was slowed by dysfunction within the state Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports a review of records shows the agency was overwhelmed by even relatively modest requests for relief.

Officials in San Miguel County say it took nearly a year after torrential rains forced a disaster declaration that the department came out to assess the damage from 2013. Heavy rain in September then caused more damage.

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue December 16, 2014

NMSU Researchers Collaborate On Massive Bird Research Study

The red-throated bee-eater is among the 48 groups of birds whose genome was sequenced and studied. It is representative of a group of many diverse but closely related land birds including songbirds, parrots, and all the birds of prey. NMSU biology professor Peter Houde took this photograph in July 2013 on the Nile River in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda. (Photo courtesy Peter Houde)

  A New Mexico State University professor and a graduate student are part of an international collaboration among more than 200 researchers in sequencing the DNA of all major groups of birds. It is the first study of its kind, resulting in the release of dozens of publications in special issues of several premier scientific journals.

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Major Federal Funding Fuels NMSU-Led Research

Chemistry professor Jeffrey Arterburn speaks about the INBRE program during a Scholarly Excellence Rally at O'Donnell Hall. (NMSU Photo)

  The New Mexico IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence, which fosters biomedical- and community-based research excellence in the state of New Mexico, has received renewed funding from the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) of more than $18 million over the next five years. 

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Regional
9:26 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Late Night Shooting Lands Las Cruces Man In Jail

  Las Cruces Police arrested a man suspected of firing a handgun at a pedestrian late Sunday evening.

Robert L. Barnett, 45, is charged with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of negligent use of a deadly weapon.

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Regional
9:23 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Hit And Run Crash In Las Cruces Injures Twin Teenage Girls

  Las Cruces Police are investigating a Monday afternoon hit-and-run crash on Picacho Avenue that injured two teenage girls who were walking across the roadway in a designated crosswalk.

Shortly after 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15, police were dispatched to Picacho Avenue, just west of Melendres Street, where two 16-year-old girls – twins – were struck by a pickup. One of the girls was airlifted to University Medical Center of El Paso while the other was transported to Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces.

The extent of their injuries is not known at this time.

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Regional
3:05 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

NMSU To Host Conference To Promote STEM Careers For Girls

Credit Courtesy: US Dept. of Education

  New Mexico State University is the first of several locations throughout the state to host an “Expanding Your Horizons” conference for girls in grades 5-10 next year. The event will provide hands-on training in science and computing from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31, in Science Hall on the Las Cruces campus.

The Network for Women in Science & Engineering is helping to sponsor the conferences across New Mexico.

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Regional
1:13 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Papen Center Added To New Mexico Register Of Historic Places

  The Frank O' Brien Papen Community Center, 304 W. Bell Ave., in now on the New Mexico Register of Historic Places. The Cultural Properties Review Committee, under the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, voted favorably on Friday, Dec. 12, to add the center to the register.

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Regional
12:14 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Major I-25 Project Complete

Credit Office of the Governor

  Gov. Susana Martinez and others are celebrating the completion of a $93 million project aimed at smoothing travel through a major Albuquerque traffic corridor.

Officials are scheduled to attend a ribbon-cutting event Monday evening for the reconstruction of the I-25 and Paseo del Norte interchange.

Crews are expected overnight to open the last piece — a flyover that takes drivers headed northbound on the interstate to westbound Paseo del Norte.

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Regional
11:34 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Wood Stove Ignites Fire, Destroys Home

Credit <p><a href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=879">Image: luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>

  Several crews with the Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services Department responded to a fire in the 100 block of Schneberger Road in Chaparral Sunday morning, which investigators say was caused by a wood stove that was left unattended.

   The first engine arrived 10 minutes after a call was made to 911, alerting first responders that a single-wide mobile home was fully engulfed in flames.

   Firefighters from Chaparral, Chamberino, La Union, La Mesa and Otero County worked to bring the fire under control in just under an hour.

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Regional
11:28 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Sheriff's Office Offers Online Reporting System

  Victims of certain crimes that happen within Doña Ana County can now file a report with the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office using a new online system.

The Citizen’s Online Police Reporting System can take temporary reports for lost property, vandalism, theft or larceny, telephone harassment or vandalism to a motor vehicle. Once a victim fills out the online form, a temporary police report can then be downloaded and printed free of charge. A sheriff’s deputy will then follow up with the victim to ask additional questions and begin the investigation process, where applicable.

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Local Viewpoints
11:15 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Archbishop Sheehan: Have We Forgotten The Reason For The Season?

Credit http://www.archdiocesesantafe.org/ABSheehan/ABSheehan.html

  Christmas decorations are up all over New Mexico.  But it seems the emphasis is on large Santa Claus figurines, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman.  There are twinkling lights and tinsel everywhere and people are busy buying and wrapping gifts in fancy paper with big bows.  We are all sending and receiving Christmas cards.  Dinners and trips are being planned.  Lots of money is being spent.  We are told we are supposed to say “Happy Holidays” -  not Merry Christmas!

 

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Regional
8:14 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Feds Inaugurate New Texas Family Detention Center

The Obama administration is officially inaugurating a new family detention center in rural South Texas commissioned amid the recent influx of children pouring across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is visiting the lockup Monday in Dilley, about 70 miles southwest of San Antonio.

Initially, it will hold about 450 adults and children but could grow to 2,000-plus capacity.

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Regional
8:12 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Albuquerque Police: Man's Shooting Was Accidental

An Albuquerque man was wounded in what police describe as an accidental shooting by an officer.

Police spokesman Simon Drobik say the officer's gun discharged as he climbed through a broken window of a second-floor apartment while investigating a burglary early Sunday.

The bullet went through the apartment's floor and into the unit below, where it struck a man in the back.

Drobik says the man was hospitalized in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries.

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Regional
8:08 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Las Cruces To Vote On Supporting Film Industry

Las Cruces officials are considering ways to boost the city's appeal to the film industry.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the city council will vote Monday afternoon on a resolution to increase support for the local movie industry.

The resolution would call for the city's economic development department and a film liaison to promote the area as an ideal location for film shoots.

The measure also calls for Las Cruces to develop a film, television and media center and try to increase the workforce.

___

Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News. 

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Regional
8:07 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Deadline For Jan. 1 Health Insurance Coverage Arrives In New Mexico

Credit NM Department of Health

New Mexicans who are looking for health insurance through the state's exchange will have to enroll now if they want coverage by the first of the year.

If they miss Monday's deadline, they'll still have a chance to enroll through the BeWellNM exchange until February 15.

Exchange CEO Amy Dowd says she doesn't have any hard figures about the enrollment rate so far, but counselors, agents and brokers have fielded a steady stream of inquiries via the website, phone and in-person visits at the exchange's enrollment center in Albuquerque.

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Regional
8:06 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Police: Man Fatally Shot At Las Cruces Smoke Shop

Las Cruces police say an armed man who entered a smoke shop is dead after being shot by a store employee.

Police say the shooting occurred Sunday night at the D.C.P.S. Smoke Shop on South Solano Drive.

According to police, responding officers found the dead man lying on the store's floor.

Police say preliminary information indicates that the man was armed with a gun when he entered the store and that he was subsequently shot by a store employee.

Identities weren't released and further details on the shooting weren't immediately available.

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Regional
8:01 am
Mon December 15, 2014

New Mexico U.S. Senators Get New Committee Assignments

US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

New Mexico's two U.S. senators will have new committee assignments when Congress starts up a new session in January.

Sen. Martin Heinrich will join the Armed Services Committee. His announcement notes that New Mexico has several military installations, including White Sands Missile Range and Kirtland, Holloman and Cannon Air Force Bases.

Heinrich will continue to serve on several other committees, including the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon December 15, 2014

FACT SHEET: Alamogordo-White Sands Regional Airport Runway Expansion

  Current and Future Runway Lengths

Runway 3-21 is currently 7,005’ long.  The 2,200’ runway extension will result in a 9,205’ long by 150’ wide paved runway with a maximum load capability of 120,000 pounds.

·       The 2,200’ extension is being added to the end of Runway 21 – the southwest end

·       For reference, a NATO standard runway is 8,000’

Purpose

Provides the ability to continue safe flight operations in high density altitude situations.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon December 15, 2014

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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Local Viewpoints
10:27 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Goodman: Las Cruces Recall Effort "A Naked Power Grab"

The present Recall effort is a naked power grab aimed at destroying local democracy.  A couple of wealthy families and their companies are trying to use money to intimidate present and future councilors who might wish to be guided by their constituents' needs or their own consciences, not fear of Big Money.

   Forget their somewhat comical outside operative, Jeffrey Isbell, who can only hurl misleading mud but doesn't seem ready to debate issues.  (Maybe he's still too new here to have a clue.)

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Regional
10:24 am
Sun December 14, 2014

"SantaLand Diaries" Cancelled In Las Cruces

Due to illness and additional complications , The Fusion Theater Company, producers of The SantaLand Diaries, has cancelled all performances of The SantaLand Diaries in Northern and Southern New Mexico, including the Rio Grande Theatre on 12/20 and 12/21/14.  The Doña Ana Arts Council apologizes for the inconvenience to its Rio Grande Theatre patrons.

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