News

Pages

Regional
1:30 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

New Mexico AG Names Widow Of Murdered Officer To Review Panel

Credit New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has named the widow of a murdered Rio Rancho police officer to taskforce reviewing the state's criminal justice system.

Balderas said Wednesday that Julie Benner, the wife of the late Gregg "Nigel" Benner, will join the Violent Crimes Case Review Team.

Authorities say Benner was shot and killed by 28-year-old Andrew Romero during a traffic stop last month in the Albuquerque suburb. Romero was a repeat offender who critics say slipped through the justice system before his encounter with Benner.

Read more
Regional
1:28 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

Court Rules Out Key Evidence In New Mexico Sexual Assault Trial

A federal appeals court says a 911 recording can be excluded in the trial of a Jemez Pueblo man charged with sexual assault resulting in death.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Albuquerque upheld a district court's decision in a ruling issued Wednesday.

The district court prohibited a 911 call made by victim Lynette Becenti during the assault because prosecutors had added it to an evidence list three months past deadline.

Read more
Regional
10:22 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Las Cruces Police: Fewer Crashes Along North Main Street

  The increased presence of police along north Main Street appears to be limiting the number of motor vehicle crashes between Interstate 25 and the Spitz Avenue/Solano Drive intersection.

In the first 16 days of June, police responded to only four crashes along that stretch of north Main Street. LCPD investigated at least 19 motor vehicle crashes along that stretch of roadway in April and another 28 in May.

Read more
Regional
9:28 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Former Felon Sentenced For Having Gun At Roswell Graduation

A former convicted felon who brought a firearm to a Roswell high school graduation last year has been sentenced to federal prison.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for New Mexico says 32-year-old Brandon Warford received a sentence of three years and one month Tuesday in federal court in Las Cruces.

Warford will also have to serve two years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Prosecutors say school district officials notified Roswell police that Warford had a gun at the ceremony.

Read more
Regional
9:25 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Clovis Man Sentenced In Meth Trafficking Case

A Clovis man has been sentenced for his role in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy.

A judge in Albuquerque sentenced 38-year-old Christopher Jason Kidd on Tuesday to 78 months in federal prison. He will be on supervised release for five years after serving prison time.

Kidd and three co-defendants were indicted in February 2014 on federal charges of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in New Mexico's Curry County.

Kidd pleaded guilty in November 2014.

Read more
Regional
9:23 am
Wed June 17, 2015

DOE Official: Workers To Practice Before Nuke Dump Opens

Credit facebook.com/energygov

An official with the U.S. Department of Energy says workers at the federal government's troubled nuclear waste repository will practice with "dummy drums" before limited operations resume next year.

Monica Regalbuto with DOE's Office of Environmental Management testified Tuesday during a Senate hearing in Washington, D.C., that workers will start by moving non-radioactive drums.

When officials are confident the work can be done safely, workers will switch to dealing with real waste. That's expected sometime next spring.

Read more
Regional
9:19 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Gov. Martinez To Sign Capital Spending Bill In Las Cruces

Credit Office of the Governor

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is set to sign a capital spending bill that includes more than 1,000 projects lawmakers say will create jobs across the state.

The Republican governor is scheduled Wednesday to sign the measure at St. Luke's Health Care Clinic in Las Cruces.

Last week, the GOP-controlled House and the Democratic-led Senate passed the capital spending bill following a four-hour special session that came after an agreement between Martinez and Senate Democrats.

Read more
Online EXTRA
6:00 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Don't Leave Loved Ones Behind

Get online and go to the search engine of your choice. Type in “child in hot car” and see what you find.

As I write this, there’s the story about two moms arrested in separate incidents in Georgia for allegedly leaving their kids locked in their hot cars while they went about their errands. A South Carolina woman was arrested after a witness called police to report three small children crying loudly and drenched in sweat. The mom was shopping inside a local store.

Read more
Regional
6:00 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Film Project Tells The Story Of The First Service Member From Las Cruces To Die In Vietnam

John Milton Risner
Credit www.johnnyscactus.com

  Efforts are underway to create a short film that tells the story of the first Las Cruces service member to die in Vietnam.

The project is called “Johnny’s Cactus,” a short film about making peace with war.  The project website, www.johnnyscactus.com says John Milton Risner became the first service member from Las Cruces to die in the Vietnam War on June 26, 1966.  

Read more
Regional
9:32 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Doña Ana County Works Toward Finalizing Budget

The Doña Ana County Commission wrapped up their budget discussion yesterday at a final budget work session. Doña Ana County’s $152 million budget is almost ready to be finalized, but Commissioner Rawson says he still has a few problems with the budget.

Read more
Online EXTRA
8:31 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

NMSU Storm Management Program Prepares For Monsoon Season

Credit Courtesy Photo

Each year, according to the National Weather Service Forecast Office, monsoon season affects the Southwest between June 15 and Sept. 30. With record levels of rainfall throughout Texas, New Mexicans are keeping an eye on the Doppler radar.

Much of the landscape design on the NMSU campus was created to manage storm runoff. From swales to cuts in curbs, it all serves a purpose – moving storm water away from buildings and to areas where it can absorb into the ground.

Read more
Regional
7:53 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Opponents Promise Legal Action Over Master Plan For Massive Santolina Development Near Albuquerque

Credit bernco.gov

   A planned community west of Albuquerque that developers say could someday be home to as many as 90,000 people has cleared a major hurdle.

The commission in the state's most populous county voted 3-2 to approve Tuesday a master plan for a nearly 22-square-mile development known as Santolina. The development would rival some of New Mexico's largest cities once completed.

Bernalillo County commissioners narrowly approved the plan despite opposition from Albuquerque's historical Hispanic South Valley area over fears that Santolina would draw from much needed water sources.

Read more
Regional
5:13 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Are Two Deans Better Than One? UNM Will Find Out

Two deans might be better than one.

That's the hope of University of New Mexico Provost Chaouki Abdallah, who says no one person can address the full spectrum of today's challenges.

Abdallah announced Tuesday that Alfred Mathewson and Sergio Pareja will serve as co-deans at the UNM law school. The professors will begin their new duties Aug. 1.

The University of New Mexico is taking a page from Case Western Reserve University law school in Ohio, which has had co-interim deans since November 2013.

Read more
Regional
4:15 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Doña Ana County Juvenile Detention Center Could Remain Closed For Over a Year

Doña Ana County temporarily closed the juvenile detention center last month due to staffing problems, moving juvenile detainees to a portion of the adult facility.

At a work session Tuesday, Doña Ana County Detention Center Director Chris Barela said it could be 12- 14 months before they are able to reopen the detention center.

“Based on the attrition rates that we have,” Barela said. “Unless we get an influx of recruits and we are able to retain the existing officers that we have currently on the rolls then in may take that long. Just last month alone I lost 5 people.”

Read more
Online EXTRA
3:34 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Planning Meeting To "Re-Imagine" The Historic Amador Neighborhood In Las Cruces

  The City of Las Cruces will join residents and business leaders June 25 - 29 to create a new neighborhood plan for the Amador neighborhood bounded by Mesilla Street, West Hadley Avenue, Valley Drive and West Amador Avenue. This is the area just west of the Las Cruces Railroad Museum.

Read more
Online EXTRA
2:23 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Lawsuit Launched to Protect Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Under Endangered Species Act

Credit nps.gov

  The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its denial of Endangered Species Act protection to the highly imperiled Rio Grande cutthroat trout.

Read more
Regional
2:14 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Texas Spending $800 Million On Border Security

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

Texas is going on a spending spree aimed at securing the Mexican border, but the spending raises questions about whether the state is creating its own border patrol.

The state's new Republican governor, Greg Abbott, this month approved $800 million for border security over the next two years — more than double any similar period in the previous 14 years under former Gov. Rick Perry.

Texas is doing so at a time when the number of immigrants crossing the border illegally has subsided.

Read more
Regional
2:13 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

McAllen Police Officer Resigns; Accused Of Human Smuggling

A South Texas police officer has resigned and faces a human smuggling charge after being stopped at a border checkpoint with two women allegedly in the U.S. illegally.

McAllen police Officer Joan De La Fuente-Garza is in custody pending a federal detention hearing Thursday.

Prosecutors say the officer was off-duty Friday and in a northbound car with two women at the Falfurrias (fal-FYOO'-ree-uhs) checkpoint. They say the passengers could not produce identification on their immigration status.

Read more
Regional
10:03 am
Tue June 16, 2015

NMSU’s Loui Reyes Selected As President Of New Mexico Council Of Graduate Deans

Credit Dr. Loui Reyes, NMSU

  Loui Reyes, dean of the New Mexico State University Graduate School, was unanimously elected as president-elect of the New Mexico Council of Graduate Deans at a meeting recently. 

The council serves as a recommending body for the state’s graduate education endeavors including graduate curriculum review for new graduate programs, graduate program review and any other items regarding statewide graduate education.

Read more
Regional
8:26 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Man Convicted Of Rape Pleads No Contest To More Attacks

An Albuquerque man who was convicted and sentenced for the rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1988 has added six more convictions to his history of violent sex crimes.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that 58-year-old Joseph Blea pleaded no contest Monday to five counts of first degree rape and one count of kidnapping involving attacks on three victims between 1990 and 1993.

A District Attorney's Office spokeswoman in Albuquerque identified the victims as one child and two adults.

Read more
Regional
8:21 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Decision Set On Heavily Debated New Mexico Development

Credit bernco.gov

The fate of a planned community west of Albuquerque that developers say could someday be home to as many as 90,000 people is in the hands of Bernalillo County commissioners.

The commission in the state's most populous county is expected to make a final decision Tuesday on a nearly 22-square-mile development known as Santolina. The development would rival some of New Mexico's largest cities once completed.

However, the plan has drawn opposition from Albuquerque's historical Hispanic South Valley area over fears that Santolina would draw from much needed water sources.

Read more
Regional
8:17 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Suspects Plead Not Guilty In Death Of Rio Rancho Policeman

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

A man and woman accused in the fatal shooting of a Rio Rancho police officer during a traffic stop last month have pleaded not guilty.

Andrew Romero and his 30-year-old girlfriend, Tabitha Littles, entered their pleas Monday in a Sandoval County courtroom.

Romero and Littles were indicted last week in the May 25 death of Officer Gregg Benner.

Prosecutors say the 28-year-old Romero allegedly told Littles that he was going to shoot the officer before opening fire.

Read more
Regional
8:14 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Albuquerque City Council Delays Pay Raise Vote For Police Negotiator

The costs of implementing reforms at the Albuquerque Police Department does not yet include a pay increase requested by Mayor Richard Berry for the attorney negotiating with the Department of Justice.

The mayor has asked that attorney Scott Greenwood's pay be increased to half a million dollars. Council members postponed the decision Monday night, and had questions about the attorney's spending and his presence at a convention for Taser International.

The company's no-bid contract awarded in 2013 to supply body cameras to officers has garnered criticism in recent months.

Read more
Local Viewpoints
9:21 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Governor's Office: Tax Package Will Recruit New Business

Today, Governor Susana Martinez signed into law a bipartisan jobs package designed to recruit new businesses to New Mexico, make it easier for small businesses to get off the ground and grow, expand trade and commerce along our southern border, and increase employment in the technology sector of New Mexico's economy.

Read more
Local Viewpoints
9:17 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Democrats: Tax Package Favors Out-Of-State Corporations At The Expense Of New Mexico Taxpayers

Democrats agreed to this tax package in order to get Republican support for what was really important to New Mexico's working families; the $287 million capital outlay package. These capital projects will create jobs and economic stimulus.

We don't believe the tax package will create new jobs or help the small businesses that are the backbone of the state's economy. We do believe the tax package favors out-of-state corporations at the expense of New Mexico taxpayers.

As Democrats, we will continue to do what's necessary to move our state forward.

Regional
3:35 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Costs Mount For Albuquerque Police Reforms

The costs of overhauling Albuquerque's police force and paying for a federal monitor to oversee the work are beginning to mount for the city.

Crisis intervention training, recruitment efforts, support staff to implement the federally-mandated reforms and costs related to body cameras totaled more than $668,000 for the first three months of the year.

That's on top of fees charged by federal monitor James Ginger. The first U.S. Department of Justice invoice shows Ginger's services cost nearly $400,000 for the first quarter.

Read more
Regional
3:32 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Police Investigating Rollover That Ejected Nine People Near Las Cruces

Police say they're investigating a rollover crash that sent nine people to the hospital.

New Mexico State Police spokesman Sgt. Chad Pierce says the crash happened Sunday night along Interstate 25 north of Las Cruces. Officers responded and found in the median an SUV that had rolled several times.

Pierce says the nine people who were inside the SUV were ejected. They were taken from the scene to nearby hospitals via air and ground ambulances.

Read more
Regional
3:30 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

In Depth: Vote On Massive Santolina Development Tuesday

Credit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bernalillo-County-NM

Commissioners in the state's more populous county are set to finally make a decision on planned community west of Albuquerque that developers say could someday be home to as many as 90,000 people.

The Bernalillo County Commission is scheduled Tuesday to vote on a nearly 22-square-mile development known as Santolina that would rival some of New Mexico's largest cities once completed. Santolina would be located along Interstate 40 and would have its own business parks and town center.

Read more
Local Viewpoints
1:11 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

New Mexico Democratic Chair: Jeb Bush Comments On Single Mothers Make Bid For Presidency Terrifying

  Jeb Bush announced his candidacy for President of the United States today, marking the third Bush to run for the office since 1989.

Read more
Regional
8:13 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Doña Ana County Using Polygraph To Probe Work Allegations

Dona Ana County road workers have been undergoing polygraph testing as part of an investigation into alleged wrongdoing.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Dona Ana County Manager Julia Brown confirmed the testing last week.

Brown says she has received numerous complaints in the last several months of misconduct, retaliatory activity, and theft of equipment and supplies.

Some of the roads department's nearly 40 employees say polygraph testing is demoralizing.

Read more

Pages