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Local Viewpoints
4:25 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

After 90 Percent Decline, Federal Protection Sought For Monarch Butterfly

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Tiago J. G. Fernandes.

  The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety as co-lead petitioners joined by the Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower filed a legal petition today to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking Endangered Species Act protection for monarch butterflies, which have declined by more than 90 percent in under 20 years.

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Regional
4:21 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Udall Co-Sponsors Bill To Provide Background Checks To Organizations That Serve Children

Credit Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation that would enable children’s groups, summer camps, and other youth-serving non-profit associations to gain access to federal criminal background checks on new employees and volunteers.  He discussed the legislation yesterday during a visit with the Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails in Albuquerque.

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Regional
4:15 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Bridge Work In Las Cruces

  The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) District One office with Hasse Contracting Company, Inc. will continue with bridge preservation work at various bridges within the Las Cruces/Dona Ana area. The bridge work will consist of cleaning the existing bridge deck surfaces with a shot blast machine, applying a liquid sealant on the bridge decks, and then placing traffic makers.

The contractor is scheduled to start on the following routes:

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Regional
4:14 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

UNM Awarded $1.3 Million To Study Hepatitis C In Rural New Mexico

Credit unm.edu

  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) want UNM’s Dr. Kimberly Page to investigate how extensive the Hepatitis C epidemic is in New Mexico’s risk population – young and recent initiates to drug injections – and evaluate access to care and prevention services, with a $1.3 million grant.

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Regional
8:59 am
Tue August 26, 2014

I-25 Southbound Loop From U.S. 70 Closure In Las Cruces

The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) District One office with Smith and Aguirre Construction will need to CLOSE the I-25 southbound loop from US 70 in order have a large pole for the digital message board to be delivered.

The closure will take place today Tuesday August 26th with traffic control stationed by 11:00 am, and should be lifted by 1:00 pm this afternoon. Motorists are advised to avoid this area, and to follow detours as they are posted.

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Regional
7:57 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Navajos To Reduce List Of 17 Presidential Hopefuls

Navajos are narrowing down a list of 17 candidates hoping to become the next president on the country's largest American Indian reservation.

More than 114,000 Navajos are registered to vote in Tuesday's primary. The top two vote-getters advance to November's general election.

The candidates have focused their campaigns on securing water rights, improving education, growing business and sustaining Navajo culture.

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Regional
7:55 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Audit: N.M. Agencies Have $10 Million In Military Gear

Records show a U.S. Defense Department program which loans local law enforcement agencies surplus military gear has sent $10.2 million worth of weapons, helicopters and armored vehicles to New Mexico.

Documents obtained by public records requests from The Associated Press show the Defense Department's "1033 program" has sent Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles to small agencies like Clovis police and New Mexico State University Police.

Meanwhile, larger agencies like the Albuquerque Police Department have received weapons, utility trucks and mine-resistant vehicles.

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Regional
7:52 am
Tue August 26, 2014

New Mexico Panel To Discuss Future Of Gila River

The Interstate Stream Commission will hear from experts and advocates as a deadline approaches for deciding what to do with New Mexico's share of the Gila River.

The commission is meeting Tuesday in Albuquerque. The agenda includes presentations on the economic, recreational and cultural implications of diverting part of the river.

The commission has until the end of the year to make a decision.

New Mexico has rights to some of the Gila and one of its tributaries under a 2004 settlement with Arizona.

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Regional
7:51 am
Tue August 26, 2014

EPA Takes Comment On Four Corners Plant

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking comment on a proposed permit for a northwestern New Mexico power plant.

The operator of the Four Corners Power Plant near Farmington plans to upgrade two units at the coal-fired plant to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. The EPA says the installation of what's known as selective catalytic reduction technology will result in an increase in sulfuric acid emissions.

That increase means the power plant is required to get a permit from the EPA that requires the plant operator to minimize the emissions.

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Regional
4:01 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Woman Arrested After Attempted Flight From Las Cruces Police

  A woman suspected of embezzling a vehicle from a friend tried to escape police custody Monday morning.

Adria R. Salazar, 20, is charged with one count each of embezzlement of a motor vehicle, escape or attempt to escape from a peace officer, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.

Las Cruces Police learned that the owner of a 1990 silver Dodge Dynasty loaned the vehicle to Salazar at around noon on Sunday, Aug. 24, with the understanding that she return the vehicle later that afternoon or evening.

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Regional
3:43 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Las Cruces Armed Robbery Suspects Arrested

Armando Rodriguez

  Las Cruces Police arrested two men suspected of committing an armed robbery late Sunday evening near Young Park.

Javier D. Valenzuela and Armando Rodriguez, both 29, are charged with one third-degree felony count each of robbery. Valenzuela was also charged with possession of marijuana.

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Regional
3:41 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

99 Tickets And Two Arrests In NMSU Las Cruces Traffic Operation

  Las Cruces – Local law enforcement agencies teamed up during a traffic safety blitz on Monday near the NMSU Las Cruces campus, issuing a total of 99 citations and making 2 arrests.

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Regional
3:38 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Murder Investigation At New Mexico Prison

  Corrections Department officials say an inmate has been found dead at the Northeastern New Mexico Detention Facility.

Authorities said Jesus Dominguez was discovered unresponsive Monday during morning headcount and pronounced dead a short time later.

Officials say Clayton police were called to the scene and are now investigating the death as a homicide.

Authorities say other inmates are being interviewed.

No further details were available.

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Regional
3:02 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

County Cannot Place Signs On Private Roads

Dona Ana County's lawyers say its hands are tied regarding requests to put street signs along private roads, a situation that some officials say could mean emergency responders can't quickly find homes where residents need help.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the county Commission recently approved a proposal to allow county signs on private roads but later retracted the action because of questions about implementation.

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Regional
2:38 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Sheriff's Citizens Academy Rescheduled; Deadline Extended

  The Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office has delayed the start of its fall citizen’s academy until Saturday, Sept. 6. Because of the shift, the deadline for applications to be submitted is now Wednesday, Sept. 3.

The Citizen’s Police Academy will take place on six consecutive Saturdays beginning Sept. 6. Classes will be held from 8 a.m. to noon at 845 N. Motel Blvd.

Anyone who submitted an application earlier this year is currently on the Fall 2014 class roster.

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Arts/Life
12:21 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

"The Coasters" To Peform In Las Cruces

  THE COASTERS, one of the major bands from the 1950’s, will be in Las Cruces at the Rio Grande Theatre on Saturday, September 13 at 7:30 pm.  

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Regional
9:59 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Fired NMSU Officer Wants Job Back

A New Mexico State University-Alamogordo officer fired for removing a school soda cooler and selling it online wants his old job back.   David Moon is appealing his termination and says his civil rights were violated.

Moon says in court records university and city officials retaliated against him for investigating a stalking case on campus and for speaking out about problems within the former Alamogordo Department of Public Safety.

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Regional
9:58 am
Mon August 25, 2014

What? Albuquerque Questions May Not Fit Onto Ballot

   All of Albuquerque's proposed questions for voters may not fit onto Bernalillo County's general election ballot.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that county election workers are testing different ballot combinations of questions submitted by the city.

The City Council wants to add five items to the general-election ballot, which includes state and county races.

The proposed questions include a marijuana decriminalization measure and a proposed tax increase for social-service programs.

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Regional
9:51 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Motion To Dismiss Filed In Perry Indictment

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

  Attorneys for Texas Gov. Rick Perry are asking a judge to dismiss criminal charges alleging that the possible 2016 presidential candidate abused his power with a veto last summer.

Perry's attorneys filed the motion Monday in district court in Austin. They say the law being used to prosecute Perry is unconstitutionally vague.

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Local Viewpoints
9:39 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Voters Lack Vital Protections After Shelby Decision

  The League of Women Voters celebrates the 94th Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gave women the right to vote (August 26, 1920).  Marring the celebration, however, is the one year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder case.  That decision gutted key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and opened the door for discrimination to gain a better foothold at the ballot box.

 

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Regional
7:42 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Stolen NMSU Laptop Had Students' Information

New Mexico State University officials say a theft of a university employee's laptop containing dozens of students' personal information is unlikely to lead to identity theft.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reported Sunday that 170 students received a letter Aug. 11 saying the thief wasn't targeting the computer's data.

NMSU head of information technology Norma Grijalva says there was no information that could make the school's central computing system vulnerable to hackers.

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Regional
7:40 am
Mon August 25, 2014

New Mexico Lawmakers To Get Revenue Update

New Mexico legislators are to receive a new revenue forecast that will help shape the debate over spending in next year's state budget.

Top officials in Gov. Susana Martinez's administration will outline the revenue projections Monday to the Legislative Finance Committee during a meeting in Las Vegas.

The report will estimate how much revenues are expected to grow next year, providing money for spending increases on programs and services. The Legislature meets in January to work on a budget for the 2016 fiscal year, which starts next July.

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Regional
7:39 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Sheriff: El Paso-Area Man Charged In Kidnapping

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office says it's charged a 43-year-old man in the kidnapping of a 12-year-old girl.

Forty-three-year-old Carlos Holcombe was arrested and charged on Sunday. Authorities say other unspecified charges are pending.

The girl tells authorities a bearded man kidnapped her at the Horizon High School football scrimmage on Friday. She says the man intercepted her when she was walking to the restroom and took her to his car. She says he sexually assaulted her before dropping her off at a movie theater.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Teachers Say State Evaluation System Does Not Effectively Measure Performance

Mayfield High School physics teacher Del Hansen is concerned the Public Education Department evaluation system is driving good teachers out of the profession.
Credit Simon Thompson

Before Del Hansen started teaching physics at Mayfield high in Las Cruces, he  accumulated a slew of teaching awards and held  a number influential positions in state education;  As an evaluator, school administrator and even working with the Golden Apple Foundation selecting the top teacher in the state each year. 

He says teacher evaluations must prioritize two things; subject knowledge and being able to impart key concepts

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon August 25, 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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Regional
9:59 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Seed Company Sued By Migrant Farm Workers

  A major seed company is being sued by more than 30 migrant farm workers who say they were underpaid while removing tassels from corn in southwestern Michigan.

The workers are mostly from Texas and were hired in 2012 to work in Cass County. Detasseling is hot, labor-intensive work that occurs while the corn still is in the ground.

The lawsuit in Grand Rapids federal court accuses Johnston, Iowa-based DuPont Pioneer and two recruiters of violating federal wage and migrant labor laws.

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Regional
9:54 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Texas Police Chief Killed Executing Arrest Warrant

  The police chief of a small Texas town has been killed while executing an arrest warrant.

Authorities say Elmendorf Police Chief Michael Pimentel was killed Saturday. The mayor of Elmendorf, a small town located about 25 miles southeast of San Antonio, said in a news release that the subject of the warrant opened fire, striking Pimentel once in the shoulder and once in the abdomen.

A 24-year-old man is in custody and will face a charge of capital murder of a police officer.

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Regional
9:50 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Three Sharks Born At ABQ Biopark

Three baby Whitespotted Bamboo sharks have been born at Albuquerque's BioPark Aquarium.

ABQ BioPark officials announced Friday that the shark babies were born last Monday.

They were hatched from eggs laid by one of the female sharks in the aquarium's Shark/Ray Encounter exhibit.

The baby sharks measure about 4 inches long. They are projected to grow up to 3 feet.

Officials say Whitespotted Bamboo sharks are harmless to people. They are known for reproducing without the need for a male presence.

Local Viewpoints
9:48 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Islamic Scholar Fethullah Gulen Condemns ISIS

Fethullah Gulen

  "I deplore the brutal atrocities being committed by the ISIS terrorist group hiding behind a false religious rhetoric and join the people of conscience from around the world in calling for these perpetrators to immediately cease their cruel and inhuman acts. Any form of attack, suppression or persecution of minorities or innocent civilians is an act that contradicts the principles of the Qur'an and the tradition of our Prophet upon whom be peace and blessings.

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Regional
4:53 pm
Sat August 23, 2014

Poodle Stuck In The Bathtub...Albuquerque Police To The Rescue!

A poodle was freed with the help of Albuquerque firefighters after one of its paws got stuck in a bathtub drain for several hours.

Twelve-year-old Selene Ortega says she was giving her dog, Morita, a bath Friday at her northeast Albuquerque home when the poodle started screaming.

Ortega says she and her family called their veterinarian, a plumber and then 911.

A 911 dispatcher contacted Albuquerque Animal Welfare. The agency ended up calling the fire department.

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