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7:28 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

El Paso Customs Agent Charged With Smuggling Immigrants

  A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer has been charged with smuggling four Mexican nationals into the United States.

In a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday, prosecutors charged 53-year-old Lawrence Madrid with smuggling immigrants into the United States on two separate occasions at the Bridge of the Americas in El Paso.

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Local Viewpoints
3:03 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Udall, Heinrich Call For Hearing On Need To Expand Radiation Exposure Compensation Act

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that they have asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on their work to amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) to expand compensation for victims of radiation exposure in New Mexico as well as several Western states and Guam. Udall, Heinrich and Sens.

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Regional
2:59 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Man Accused Of Abducting Teen To Be Extradited To New Mexico

A Rio Rancho man accused of abducting a 16-year-old girl and taking her to Indiana will be extradited back to New Mexico.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Albuquerque announced Tuesday that 37-year-old Joe Medina faces federal charges of kidnapping and transporting a minor in interstate commerce for purposes of engaging in sexual activity.

Indiana State Police arrested Medina on July 20 after locating him with the missing girl at a bus station in downtown Indianapolis.

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Regional
2:10 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Imprisoned Former Sheriff Asks Court To Protect Bank Funds

A former sheriff serving a 10-year prison sentence is asking a judge to prohibit the seizure of $70,000 to pay fines pending an appeal.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports former Rio Arriba County sheriff Tommy Rodella says his wife needs the money in their joint bank account so she can run her bail bond business.

Rodella was convicted in September of brandishing a firearm and depriving a motorist of his rights during a March traffic stop.

Prosecutors have been trying to collect court fines totaling more than $200,000 from Rodella, with a balance of $147,000 remaining.

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Regional
1:56 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Santa Fe County GOP Official Voted Out After Anti-Trump Piñata Event

Credit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Fe-County-GOP/685708494827481

A New Mexico Republican Party official has been removed from his post after hosting an anti-Donald Trump event that included a necktie-wearing blonde piñata.

Former Santa Fe County GOP treasurer Ignacio Padilla says he wasn't acting as a party official when he organized the event last week to allow residents to hit a piñata that bore Trump's likeness.

Padilla says he was exercising his right to free speech and believes Trump's previous comments about Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans belittles Latinos.

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Local Viewpoints
1:51 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

NMSU TRiO Student Support Services Program Receives Nearly $2 Million In Funding

The U.S. Department of Education has recently awarded a five-year grant for $1,952,315 to the New Mexico State University TRiO Student Support Services Program. 

NMSU first received funding for this program in 1971. The goals of Student Support Services are to increase the retention and graduation rates of first generation students, low-income students and students with a disability. NMSU TRiO SSS participants receive a variety of academic success and social support services to assist with the transition to the university. The program supports 350 participants every year. 

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Local Viewpoints
1:49 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Additional Sex-Crime Charges Levied Against Jailed Man

Anthony Bramblett
Credit Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department

A Las Cruces man being held at the Doña Ana County Detention Center on charges of criminal sexual penetration of a minor will face additional charges filed this week by Doña Ana County Sheriff’s detectives.

Anthony Bramblett, 39, was arrested June 11 by Las Cruces Police after an investigation found evidence suggesting he sexually abused a female family member, who was in elementary school at the time of the alleged incident. He was charged with two counts of criminal sexual penetration.

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Regional
12:30 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Santa Fe Police Chief Announces Immediate Retirement

Credit santafenm.gov

Santa Fe's police chief is stepping down after just more than a year in office.

Police Chief Eric Garcia on Tuesday announced his retirement effective immediately after a meeting with the city manager.

Garcia said in a statement released by the city that the department has laid a foundation for improving community policing, and City Manager Brian Snyder expressed gratitude for Garcia's work to decrease crime, expand community engagement and raise morale within the department.

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Regional
6:49 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Over 150 Swear Oath Of US Citizenship

158 people, from 19 different countries, ranging in age from 19-94 all swore the same oath and became US citizens. Mayra Ontiveros, the youngest new citizen at 19-years- old said it was one of the best feelings.

“It’s a great feeling,” Ontinveros said. “I came a long way to come here, it’s a great feeling.”

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Regional
5:04 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Countersuit In California Case References State Auditor

New Mexico's state auditor has surfaced in a California legal fight involving a former employee of a Native American consulting firm.

The Albuquerque Journal reports court documents claim State Auditor Tim Keller was "improperly paid" to help the company win contracts from Native American clients.

Keller is not party in the lawsuit and denied last week ever soliciting work for the firm, where he worked as a financial analyst from the summer of 2009 until last fall.

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Local Viewpoints
4:00 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Governor Susana Martinez Announces Statewide Vaccination Program

Credit Office of the Governor

Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced a statewide vaccination program to help make it convenient for parents to get their children immunized before they head back to class. From Aug. 1 to 15, Got Shots? Protect Tots! program will offer clinics throughout the state at convenient hours and at little or no cost. The Governor made the announcement at a public health office in Albuquerque and reminded parents about the importance of vaccinating their children before the new school year.

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Regional
3:50 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Overnight Closures Wednesday, Thursday For Missouri Avenue In Las Cruces

  Las Cruces: The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) along with FNF Construction will need to continue with their overnight closures at the intersections of Triviz Drive, Don Roser Drive and Missouri Ave.

The closures are necessary in order for Bixby Electric to proceed with the installation of the electrical lines for the new traffic signals that will be placed at these intersections.

The work scheduled for Missouri Ave at Triviz Dr and Don Roser Dr will be as follows:

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Online EXTRA
3:41 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Wild Horse And Burro Adoption Coming To Silver City

 The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will hold a wild horse and burro adoption in Silver City, N.M., Aug. 7-8, 2015.  The two-day event at the Southwest Horsemen’s Association Rodeo Grounds will feature dozens of spectacular animals.  These are adult and yearling horses and burros that once roamed free on public lands in the West.  The BLM periodically removes excess animals from the range in order to maintain healthy herds and to protect other rangeland resources. The adoption program is essential for achieving these important management goals.

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Regional
2:49 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Trial Set For Man Who Threw Banana Peel At Dave Chappelle

The man accused of throwing a banana peel at comedian Dave Chappelle during a New Mexico performance is headed to court.

Assistant District Attorney Anastasia Martin told the Santa Fe New Mexican that jury selection is scheduled for Sept. 23 for Christian Englander's trial.

The 31-year-old Englander, who is white, is facing charges of disturbing the peace and battery after the fruit-throwing disturbance in March. The petty misdemeanors each carry a jail sentence of up to six months and a possible fine of $500.

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Regional
2:16 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Countersuit In California Case References State Auditor

New Mexico's state auditor has been referenced in a countersuit filed in California by a former employee of a Native American consulting firm.

The Albuquerque Journal reports attorney Michael Khouri is representing former employee Nikishna Polequaptewa and says State Auditor Tim Keller got a percentage of each contract he won for Blue Stone Strategy Group LLC.

Khouri says he doesn't know which contracts his client is referring to.

State Auditor Tim Keller said last week he never solicited contracts for the California-based company.

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Regional
2:14 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Air Force Base Near Clovis Accused Of Religious Favoritism

Cannon Air Force Base
Credit cannon.af.mil

Officials at an Air Force base near Clovis are denying claims that they improperly promoted an upcoming religious event.

The Clovis News Journal reports emails about an Aug. 15 Gospel Explosion event planned for the Cannon Air Force Base chapel said "please post everywhere and spread the word."

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Regional
2:10 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Most expensive Trips For Albuquerque Employees Reported Late

City Of Albuquerque
Credit cabq.gov

The city of Albuquerque is three months late in posting four of last year's most expensive employee trips to its transparency website.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the city spent about $3,400 to send four Cultural Services Department employees to the New Orleans Jazz Fest in April.

City employees have a week from the day they return from their trips to file taxpayer-funded travel expenses with the city clerk.

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Online EXTRA
12:33 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Democratic Party of New Mexico Announces New Executive Director

Democratic Party Chairwoman Deb Haaland announced DPNM’s new Executive Director Monday morning. Joe Kabourek, an attorney and top-level staffer from Colorado has been called on to lead the Dem’s into the crucial 2016 election cycle.

"I look forward to working with Democrats across New Mexico to win in 2016 and to create a strong foundation for elections to come,” said Kabourek on Monday.

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Local Viewpoints
12:08 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino: We Need Wet Water, Not Paper Water

Credit Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino

  I’ve been a New Mexico state senator for eleven years.  When I first ran, it was because as a retired social worker my background in health planning, mental health care and children’s services seemed like a way to make a contribution in shaping state policies in those fields.  I quickly realized, however that most of the time I’d be voting on issues far removed from my fields of interest.

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Online EXTRA
10:21 am
Mon July 27, 2015

Film Produced In Las Cruces To Screen At El Paso Plaza Classic Film Festival

  After a very successful year of screenings in theaters from Santa Fe to Buffalo, NY, Las Cruces-made feature film TRUTH will receive one final screening as part of the Local Flavor Film Series at the 8th Annual Plaza Classic Film Festival, before being released to DVD by Borderlands Media in early November. One of only three locally-produced feature films selected from 70 submissions, TRUTH will receive a screening at the Philanthropy Theatre in El Paso, at 9:30pm Saturday, August 8, 2015.

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Regional
8:53 am
Mon July 27, 2015

Vietnam War Memorial In Las Cruces Accepting Photos From Those Who Served During The War

Credit https://newmexicovietnamveteranswarmemorialproject.org/category/news/

The committee involved with completion of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Veterans Memorial Park in Las Cruces is looking for help from the community through donations and also photographs to help complete the memorial.

Jim Harbison, a Vietnam veteran who served two tours in Vietnam during his Army Career spends most of his retired days at the memorial working on its completion.

He says that the marble panels of the monument tells the story of all branches of the U.S. Military that took part in Vietnam as told by veterans who were there.

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Online EXTRA
8:46 am
Mon July 27, 2015

FACT SHEET: Focusing Higher Education on Student Success

  U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today laid out his vision for America’s higher education system of the future. Duncan noted that while more students are graduating college than ever before at our nation’s world-class colleges and universities, for far too many students, the nation’s higher education system isn’t delivering what they need and deserve.

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Local Viewpoints
8:36 am
Mon July 27, 2015

Fischmann: Legislature Should Adopt Advance Agenda Requirements

  Columnist Walt Rubel recently wrote about missing an important presentation at a legislative committee hearing because it wasn’t listed on the agenda.  He correctly pointed out that similar last minute agenda changes would be illegal for a local city council or county commission.  “Just because state lawmakers wrote the open meetings act doesn’t mean they feel compelled to follow it” he observed.

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Regional
8:10 am
Mon July 27, 2015

Farmington Officials To Consider Raising Taxes

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

Farmington city officials will consider this week whether to raise taxes for the first time in nearly 20 years.

The Daily Times in Farmington reports the Farmington City Council are scheduled to discuss the issue at a meeting Tuesday.

Council members say they have to find a way to make up for millions of dollars in lost tax revenue due to a state plan to phase out "hold harmless" payments.

The council is supposed to formally vote on Aug. 11.

Councilor Mary Fischer is the only councilor so far to say publicly she will not vote for the tax.

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Regional
5:36 am
Mon July 27, 2015

Family Of Missing Woman Find Her Body In Rio Puerco Area

The family of a missing woman says her body was found Sunday in Bernalillo County.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that relatives of 65-year-old Ignacia Saiz say they found her body on Pajarito Mesa, where her son lives.

According to Saiz's sister, Saiz has been missing since Thursday when she went to retrieve a camper vehicle from her son.

Bernalillo County deputies found her vehicle vandalized and abandoned.

Authorities have not commented on the body's identity but are treating the death as suspicious.

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Regional
10:32 am
Sun July 26, 2015

Brother And Sister Charged In 1996 Murder Of Their Aunt

Investigators say a brother and sister have been charged with capital murder in the 1996 killing of their aunt during a South Texas robbery.

Edwards County jail records show 37-year-old George Torres Jr. and 40-year-old Angelica Maria Torres were being held without bond Sunday.

35-year-old Patricia Paz of Rocksprings was stabbed to death in February 1996 during a robbery. Sheriff's Capt. Darrell Volkmann says the victim was mentally challenged and the alleged motive for the attack was to get money to buy drugs.

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Regional
10:30 am
Sun July 26, 2015

Texas Police Chief Resigns After Being Accused Of Trying To Lure Teen Online

A jailed North Texas police chief has resigned after being accused of going online and trying to lure a 14-year-old girl into a sexual relationship.

Ellis County jail records show ex-Maypearl police Chief Kevin Coffey was being held Sunday on $350,000 bond.

The Maypearl City Council met Saturday to fire the 49-year-old Coffey, but instead accepted his resignation.

Coffey was arrested Wednesday on charges of sexual assault of a child, indecency with a child by exposure, indecency with a child by sexual contact and sexual performance by a child.

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Regional
10:29 am
Sun July 26, 2015

Two Wounded In Roswell Flag Football Game Shooting

Police in Roswell are searching for a gunman who opened fire during a children's flag football game and wounded two people.

The shooting happened Saturday around 7:40 p.m. while kids were playing a game of flag football at Stiles Field in west Roswell.

Roswell police spokesman Todd Wildermuth says witnesses reported seeing a man in a black shirt running with a rifle and shooting at a couple in a vehicle.

Wildermuth says the man and woman were wounded but their injuries are not life-threatening.

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Regional
10:29 am
Sun July 26, 2015

Man Arrested After Stealing Car With Two Teens Inside

Albuquerque police say a high-speed chase that led to a suspect carjacking another car with two teenagers inside has ended with arrests.

Police spokesman Daren DeAguero says the pursuit began around 8:15 p.m. Saturday when an officer tried to pull over a stolen vehicle.

DeAguero says the vehicle got into a wreck and two male occupants fled on foot.

Authorities allege one man ran into a 7-Eleven parking lot and carjacked a truck while the owner was refueling.

The suspect drove off with two boys, ages 16 and 18, inside.

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Regional
10:28 am
Sun July 26, 2015

Texas County Where Inmate Died Has History Of Racial Tension

The Texas county where a black woman died in jail after a traffic stop by a white state trooper has a long history of racial strife.

Sandra Bland's death ignited long-simmering passions in Waller County, about 50 miles northwest of Houston. The county seat of Hempstead was once known as "Six Shooter Junction" because of white-supremacist violence in the 1800s.

District Attorney Elton Mathis acknowledges the county's past and says he understands how people from outside would jump to the conclusion that Bland was killed rather than killed herself.

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