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Regional
9:23 am
Fri May 8, 2015

Officials Fighting To Keep New Mexico Mussel-Free

Credit facebook.com/nmdgf

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is fighting an invasive species even though it hasn't established a population in the state.

The Daily Times reports that department officials fear out-of-state boaters could bring zebra mussels and quagga mussels to New Mexico.

Aquatic invasive species coordinator James Dominguez the mussels are native to eastern Europe but established themselves in the Great Lakes before spreading to almost every state east of New Mexico.

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Regional
9:21 am
Fri May 8, 2015

Texas Kicks Off Campaign To Halt Spread Of Zebra Mussels

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

Texas has kicked off a public awareness campaign to help stop the spread of invasive zebra mussels as boaters prepare for the summer.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department on Friday said the $400,000 advertising effort is called "Clean, Drain, and Dry."

The agency is joined by a coalition of river authorities, water districts and municipalities in the effort to raise public awareness about zebra mussels. The creatures can clog water intake systems.

Zebra mussels were confirmed in Texas in 2009 at Lake Texoma and have spread to several other waterways.

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Regional
9:18 am
Fri May 8, 2015

Man Pleads No Contest To 2012 Double Murder

After three years of legal battles, a man has pleaded no contest and will face up to life in prison for the 2012 slaying of his girlfriend and her nephew.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Brian Pulliam changed his plea in District Court Thursday. His trial was scheduled to start next week. Sentencing is scheduled for next Thursday.

Prosecutors say Pulliam shot 20-year-old Kirsten Landeau and her nephew 16-year-old Dillon Cearfoss in a northeast Albuquerque neighborhood. His trial was set

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Regional
9:12 am
Fri May 8, 2015

City Settles Harassment Suit Against Former Santa Fe Officer

Credit facebook.com/Santa-Fe-NM-Government

City officials put a dollar amount on the settlement for eight women who filed a lawsuit in 2012 accusing former Santa Fe police officer Michael Eiskant of harassment.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Eiskant pleaded no contest in April 2012 to charges involving women who sued him in civil court. Stalking, harassment, and two counts of unauthorized computer use were among 10 criminal charges.

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Regional
9:08 am
Fri May 8, 2015

NM Senate Democrats Agree To Proposal For Special Session On Funding

New Mexico legislators report making progress in effects to agree on a funding plan for projects across the state.

Senate majority Democrats announced that they've agreed on a proposal presented by their lead negotiator, Sen. John Arthur Smith.

According to Senate Democrats, the proposal would provide funding for senior centers, higher education institutions, and tribal communities and includes a compromise on highway funding.

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Regional
8:52 am
Fri May 8, 2015

A Conversation With Dr. David Grube About Physician-Assisted Death

Credit Dr. David Grube
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Regional
6:00 am
Fri May 8, 2015

Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office Struggles With Staffing Shortages

Credit Dona Ana County Sheriff

Dona Ana County is struggling with low staffing problems throughout the county, forcing the temporary closure of the Juvenile Detention Center. Another struggling department is the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s office.

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Regional
12:23 am
Fri May 8, 2015

House OKs Health Screenings Prior To Solitary Confinement

The Texas House has voted to require that prison officials perform mental health assessments on inmates before placing them in solitary confinement — and refrain from doing so if medical clearance isn't granted.

The bill by El Paso Democratic Rep. Marisa Marquez was approved Thursday by a voice vote. It needs a final, largely ceremonial vote to clear the House.

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Regional
4:55 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Funding To Help New Mexico's Acequias As Drought Persists

Federal officials are pumping more than $9 million into four water quality and conservation projects in New Mexico, including one aimed at revitalizing centuries-old communal canals that deliver water to farmers and ranchers.

The head of the Natural Resources Conservation Service visited northern New Mexico on Thursday to tour the oldest acequia in the nation and discuss ways the traditional irrigation canals can be used as a hedge against drought.

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Regional
4:54 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Albuquerque Program Directs Homeless To Shelters

An initiative launched in Albuquerque hopes to steer panhandlers to services rather than the streets.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Mayor Richard Berry unveiled a new effort Wednesday, "There's a Better Way," that focuses on getting panhandlers the help they need.

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Local Viewpoints
4:30 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Heinrich, Udall Introduce Bill To Establish Wilderness Areas

Today, U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) have introduced a bill to establish two wilderness areas, the Cerro del Yuta Wilderness and Rio San Antonio Wilderness, within the Río Grande del Norte National Monument northwest of Taos, New Mexico.

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Regional
10:32 am
Thu May 7, 2015

UNM Researchers Challenge Gila River Studies

Credit NMFO

Two University of New Mexico researchers say state water managers based their decision to pursue a multimillion-dollar diversion and storage project along the Gila River based on studies that lacked credibility.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the researchers outlined their concerns in a letter to the Bureau of Reclamation.

The Interstate Stream Commission last year informed the U.S. Interior Department that the state intends to divert water from the river should the effort be deemed economically and environmentally feasible.

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Regional
10:30 am
Thu May 7, 2015

NM Teachers To Get More Details On Evaluation Summaries

New Mexico teachers are getting more detail on their evaluations under a new system that had a rocky unveiling last year.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the state overhauled its teacher evaluation system to reflect students' standardized test scores, and fewer teachers statewide were rated effective or better this year than last year from more than 78 percent to less than 74.

Teacher complaints led the Public Education Department to turn the usual one-page report into a five-page description of each rating category in an attempt to clear up confusion.

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Regional
9:28 am
Thu May 7, 2015

Prosecutor In NM Police Shooting Wants More Ballistics Tests

Credit 3/16/14 fatal shooting of James Boyd--Albuquerque Police Department video

A special prosecutor reviewing the case of two Albuquerque police officers who have been charged with murder in the shooting death of a homeless man wants more ballistics testing to be done.

Randi McGinn says the scientific testing is to address defense attorneys' question about which of the two officers fired the most immediate fatal third shot into the man's back.

McGinn was tapped to prosecute officers Dominique Perez and Keith Sandy, who were charged this year in the March 2014 death of James Boyd during an hours long standoff.

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Regional
9:24 am
Thu May 7, 2015

New Mexico Utility To Break Ground On New Solar Plant

Credit pnm.com

New Mexico's largest electric provider is breaking ground on a new solar generating station in Santa Fe County.

Public Service Co. of New Mexico is hosting a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday at a site along Interstate 25 just south of Santa Fe.

The utility says the $19 million project will add nearly 10 megawatts of solar capacity to the utility's portfolio. With more than 40,000 solar panels, it will be capable of providing power for about 4,000 average residential customers.

The solar plant will also provide about $165,000 in taxes to Santa Fe County.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu May 7, 2015

Staffing Issues Force Temporary Closure Of Juvenile Detention Center

Juveniles at the Dona Ana County Detention Center were moved into the adult detention center. County Spokesperson Jess Williams said minor construction was done to keep them secluded from the adult population.

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Regional
3:17 am
Thu May 7, 2015

Recommendation For Commercial Zoning Near Tortugas Mountain Voted Down

Dona Ana County Development staff revise the amendments that can be made to zoning classifications in the Extra Territorial Zoning area between city and the county.
Credit Simon Thompson

Owners of a parcel of land at the base of Tortugas mountain or ‘A’ Mountain near Las Cruces have been pushing for a commercial zoning that could pave the way for a shopping mall on the site.

But in meeting on Wednesday night the Extra Territorial Zoning Commission voted unanimously to recommend industrial zoning.  This is consistent with the current land use in the area, where mining companies have been located for years.

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Regional
6:47 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Talks Break Down Over Benefits For Lab's Security Force

Talks between the security workers who protect Los Alamos National Laboratory and the subcontractor that employs them have broken down.

Union officials announced Wednesday that their negotiating team walked out after learning that security company SOC-Los Alamos did not have the ability to deliver better retirement benefits it had promised the union it would pursue.

Union agent Chris Mandril accused the company of negotiating in bad faith. He said the union has learned SOC doesn't have the authority to work directly with federal officials to set contract terms.

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Local Viewpoints
4:59 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Heinrich Continues To Tackle Veterans Claims Backlog

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 6, 2015) - Today, U.S.

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Regional
4:57 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Prosecutor In NM Police Shooting Wants More Ballistics Tests

A special prosecutor reviewing the case of two Albuquerque police officers who have been charged with murder in the shooting death of a homeless man wants more ballistics testing to be done.

Randi McGinn says the scientific testing is to address defense attorneys' question about which of the two officers fired the most immediate fatal third shot into the man's back.

McGinn was tapped to prosecute officers Dominque Perez and Keith Sandy, who were charged this year in the March 2014 death of James Boyd during an hourslong standoff.

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Local Viewpoints
4:53 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Heinrich: 10 Reasons Why The Republican Budget Is Wrong For N.M.

After U.S. Senate Republicans passed the joint budget resolution, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following 10 reasons why the Republican budget would hurt New Mexico's economy and weaken the middle class."This Republican budget is all wrong for New Mexico. It increases tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires while making cuts to programs that benefit average New Mexicans working hard to get ahead," said Sen. Heinrich.

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Regional
4:30 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

NM Senators Sign On To Minimum Wage Legislation

US Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

New Mexico's two Democratic senators are throwing their support behind legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage to $12 by 2020.

Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich said Wednesday that if the legislation were to pass and be signed into law, nearly 38 million workers would see an increase in wages.

Introduced by Democrats last week, the bill would raise the minimum wage for tipped workers and index the federal minimum wage to the national median wage.

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Local Viewpoints
1:21 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

New Mexico Workforce Participation Rate Remains Depressed

  New Mexico’s job market is finally showing signs of life in the wake of the “Great Recession."

New Mexico’s job situation remains far worse than it is in any of our neighboring states, but at least there is a pulse. Unfortunately, not much was done during the recent legislative session to set the stage for continued job and economic growth, so perhaps it was inevitable that New Mexico would see some job growth after years of the State economy being flat on its back.

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Regional
1:20 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Wills Canyon Mauldin Spring Closed To Protect Endangered Species

Credit fws.gov

  ALAMOGORDO, NM – A special closure order affecting 15.3 acres on the Sacramento Ranger District (Order No. 08-273) is in place until November 30, 2015, unless rescinded sooner, for the Mauldin Spring in Wills Canyon riparian area within the Lincoln National Forest, Sacramento Ranger District. The specified area encompasses occupied habitat for the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse (NMMJM), which has been listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This order is necessary to prevent and/or reduce risk to the endangered species’ occupied habitat.

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Regional
1:14 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

NEA Las Cruces President Patrick Sanchez

Simon Thompson

  

Simon Thompson interviews National Education Association Las Cruces President Patrick Sanchez.  Also includes an in-depth report on the Public Education Department's decision to force the Las Cruces Public Schools to treat contractually-negotiated sick and personal leave days as any other absence for teacher evaluations.

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Regional
9:33 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Police: El Paso Man Kills 14-Year-Old Daughter, Himself

El Paso police say a man fatally shot his 14-year-old daughter and then killed himself.

Investigators are trying to determine a motive for the shootings Tuesday at a house in El Paso.

Police say 51-year-old Ramon Nevarez shot and wounded his daughter, Emily, then shot himself. The father died at the scene. The teenager died at a hospital.

Grief counselors are available Wednesday at Eastwood Middle School, where the girl attended classes.

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Regional
9:20 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Lab Workers Recovering After Being Burned In Accident At Los Alamos

One Los Alamos National Laboratory employee has been released from the hospital and another remains in critical but stable condition after being burned in an accident last weekend.

Lab spokesman Kevin Roark said Wednesday the investigation into what caused the accident could take weeks or even months. Investigators from the nuclear weapons lab and the U.S. Department of Energy are on the case.

The accident happened Sunday while the employees were doing maintenance at an electrical substation that provides power to the lab's Neutron Science Center.

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Regional
9:13 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Doña Ana Water And Soil District Unofficial Election Results

Credit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dona-Ana-Soil-Water-Conservation-District/1409094076019599

 

Unofficial results from Tuesday's Doña Ana Soil and Water Conservation District Election:

 

 

Zone 1:
KURT ANDERSON 241 
JERRY SCHICKEDANZ 462

Zone 2:
SALLY WILLIAMS 208 
DON SANTIAGO JIMMY M. CARRILLO 14
D.J. MARTINEZ 314

Zone 5:
MELISSA GORHAM 1528
ROGER BECK 1349

 

 

 

Information from: Doña Ana County Clerk's Office. (https://www.facebook.com/DonaAnaCountyClerksOffice)

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Regional
8:47 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Dona Ana County To Hold Job Fair May 15

  The Commission Chambers, meeting rooms and halls of the Doña Ana County Government Center will be bustling on Friday, May 15, as job seekers have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with representatives of all county departments.

       The all-day event also will feature workshops to assist applicants with the county’s online application process, and there will be sessions devoted to interviewing tips, county benefits and other critical information for applicants seeking to join the Doña Ana County team.

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Regional
8:40 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Juvenile Detention Center Temporarily Shuts Down Due To Staffing Shortage

  Juvenile detainees at the Doña Ana County Detention Center are being moved today to a portion of the adult facility, but the adult and juvenile populations will be separated at all times by both sight and sound.

Doña Ana County Manager Julia T. Brown said the transfer is temporary until staffing in the adult detention center can be bolstered with a significant influx of additional, trained officers. In the meantime, combining the adult and juvenile staffing into one building will immediately lower the overall inmate-to-staff ratio.

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