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Regional
11:45 am
Sat July 12, 2014

This Week In The Las Cruces Bulletin

  Every Saturday at 5:30pm on Images, Fred Martino speaks with Las Cruces Bulletin Managing Editor Brook Stockberger about the week's top stories and much more in the Bulletin.

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Regional
11:42 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Earthquake Aftershock Near Arizona-New Mexico Border

A 4.1-magnitude earthquake struck near the Arizona and New Mexico border and officials say it was the largest in a series of aftershocks from a temblor last month.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck at 7:48 p.m. PDT Friday and was centered about 40 miles south of Clifton and 5 miles west of the New Mexico border.

The Greenlee County Sheriff's office in Clifton says it hasn't received any calls from people reporting the quake.

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Regional
11:41 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Millions Paid In New Mexico Mining Settlement

A Rio Arriba company accused of illegally mining pumice from the Santa Fe National Forest has paid the federal government $2.25 million as part of a settlement.

Federal prosecutors announced the settlement with Copar Pumice Co. Inc. this week. They say the agreement requires the company to relinquish all rights to its mining claims within the Jemez National Recreation Area.

The U.S. Justice Department in 2009 filed a civil lawsuit against Copar and owners Richard Cook, Shirley Cook, Debbie Cantrup and Kelly Armstrong.

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Regional
11:35 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Scientists Identify New Plant Species In Texas

  Botanists in West Texas have identified a new species of plant that is likely poisonous and may be near extinction.

The spiny distant relative of the eggplant had already been discovered twice in 1974 and 1990 but were misidentified.

The study identifying the plant is published in the Aug. 1 issue of the Journal of the Botanical Research of Institute of Texas, which was released Wednesday.

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PUENTES
10:35 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

White Sands National Monument - Gypsum Sand

White Sands National Monument

July 11, 2014 – Las Cruces, NM - On this edition of PUENTES, Emily Guerra bridges the community with (WSNM) White Sands National Monument Chief of Interpretation, Becky Wiles Burghart to give us a brief history of WSNM, the world’s largest gypsum dune field, covering 275 square miles over the Chihuahuan Desert in the Tularosa Basin of southern New Mexico. The monument can be enjoyed all year-round. They receive approximately 490,000 visitors a year from around the world and locally. Enjoy a Full Moon Night on Saturday, July 12 at 8:30 p.m.

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Regional
4:45 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

UPDATE: U.S. 70 Reopens After Major Las Cruces Crash

  The two-vehicle crash that intermittently closed a portion of Highway 70 Friday afternoon is believed to have been caused by one of the drivers running a red light.

The crash, reported at around 11:40 a.m. Friday, July 11, sent the 19-year-old driver of a white Toyota Solara to University Medical Center of El Paso. The young man was airlifted and is now listed in stable condition at the hospital.

The 85-year-old female driver of the Chevrolet Traverse was not seriously injured.

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Regional
2:46 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

57th Annual "Bat Flight Breakfast" Coming To Carlsbad Caverns

  CARLSBAD, New Mexico – Carlsbad Caverns National Park will hold the 57th annual Bat Flight Breakfast on Saturday, July 19, beginning at 5 a.m. Visitors are invited to meet in the Bat Flight Amphitheater to watch the return of Brazilian free-tailed bats to the cave. Most bats will have returned to the cave by 6:30 a.m.

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Regional
2:44 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Lawmaker Appears Before Grand Jury In Perry Probe

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

  Rep. Phil King is appearing before the grand jury investigating whether Texas Gov. Rick Perry abused his power by making good on a veto threat.

The Weatherford Republican entered the room at the Austin courthouse where the grand jury is meeting Friday. Asked why he was there, King said only, "You probably know."

A special prosecutor is investigating whether Perry abused his power by threatening to veto $7.5 million for the state public integrity unit run by the Travis County district attorney's office.

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Regional
2:43 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Yikes! There's A Snake Under The Hood!

When a woman's pickup stalled on a street in Santa Fe, New Mexico, local chef Jackson Ault stopped to lend a hand.

Ault and the driver both ended up with a surprise Thursday when Ault popped the hood and found a brown and yellow python slithering across the engine block.

A police lieutenant responded to a call for help. He retrieved the 20-pound snake.

The python was taken to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, where spokesman Ben Swan says the reptile has minor injuries but otherwise is in good shape.

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Regional
2:40 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Migrant Boy's Body Arrives Back In Guatemala

The body of a 15-year-old boy who died while crossing the Texas desert has arrived in his home country of Guatemala.

The remains of Gilberto Francisco Ramos Juarez were flown to Guatemala City in a cargo plane and were turned over to his father at the airport's small chapel on Friday.

Gilberto's father, Francisco Ramos, is taking the gray and silver coffin in a pickup truck to his mountain hometown of San Jose de las Flores, where the family will hold a wake for him.

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Regional
2:37 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Free Class In Alamogordo Details Alzheimer’s Warning Signs

  The warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease will be the subject of a free class offered by The Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter at 11:00am on Friday, July 25th , at the Alamogordo Senior Center, 2201 Puerto Rico Ave, Alamogordo, NM 88310. Titled, “Know the 10 Signs,” the presentation will help participants differentiate between normal, age-related forgetfulness and Alzheimer’s disease indicators.  While there is presently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, proper diagnosis is critical for prescription of care and medications, as well as for caregiver training.

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Regional
2:34 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

NMSU New Mexico Youth Ranch Management Camp

  VALLES CALDERA NATIONAL PRESERVE – Some are calling the New Mexico Youth Ranch Management Camp a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Twenty-eight teens, an enthusiastic group of instructors from New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service, and the picturesque landscape of the Valles Caldera National Preserve in northern New Mexico created a unique event for the future ranch managers.

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Regional
2:28 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

NMSU Carlsbad Teams With Community On Early College High School

  New Mexico State University Carlsbad will be the site of the third NMSU-affiliated early college high school this fall.

The campus is providing a building for the new school, which will give high school students in southeastern New Mexico the ability to earn a two-year degree or certificate while still in high school.

NMSU-C President John Gratton said the project was not possible without widespread support from the community.

“Community support has been huge,” he said. “The community said this is a great opportunity for Carlsbad.”

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Regional
2:27 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Sinkhole Closes Portion Of Dona Ana Road

A section of Doña Ana Road between Eagle Nest and Thorpe roads will be closed indefinitely while crews repair a sinkhole that has developed in the northbound lane.

Warning signs and detours are prominently posted.

Motorists are advised to slow down and to expect delays in the construction areas. Motorists also are reminded to exercise caution in all areas where workers are deployed.

Regional
2:22 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Las Cruces Crash Temporarily Closes Part Of U.S. 70

  A two-vehicle crash on Highway 70 temporarily closed eastbound traffic between the Interstate 25 interchange and Rinconada Boulevard in the early afternoon hours Friday.

The traffic crash occurred at around noon when it appears a vehicle exited I-25 and was crossing the eastbound lanes of Highway 70 and was struck broadside by a vehicle heading eastbound. An occupant from one of the vehicles has been airlifted to University Medical Center of El Paso. The condition of that motorist is not known at this time.

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Regional
12:41 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

U.S. Border Effort Sputters As Migrants Cross Again

A U.S. effort to discourage immigrants' repeated attempts to enter the country illegally by dropping them back in Mexico hundreds of miles away from where they were caught has been sharply scaled back after producing relatively modest gains.

U.S. authorities insist the Alien Transfer Exit Program has contributed to overall achievements in border security and say the cutbacks reflected a need to shift resources to deal with Central Americans pouring into Texas.

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Regional
12:39 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Dispute Over Western Mouse Spurs Legal Action

Credit fs.usda.gov

Environmentalists are accusing the federal government of not doing enough to protect a rare western mouse that's already at the center of a dispute over access to national forest land and water rights.

The New Mexico meadow jumping mouse was recently added to the list of endangered species as a result of a multi-species settlement with the Santa Fe-based environmental group WildEarth Guardians.

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Regional
12:37 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Team Assessing Damages, Risks From N.M. Fire

Santa Fe National Forest officials say work is underway to assess damage and recommend work to be done in a 5.6-square-mile area burned by a wildfire.

Lightning started the Diego Fire on June 25 eight miles south of Coyote. The fire is fully contained.

Forest officials say the burned-area response team's work in the area is intended to identify post-fire threats to human life and safety, property and critical natural or culture resources on national forest land.

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Regional
8:38 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Former Las Cruces Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Felony Sex Charges

 

  Michael Garcia pleaded guilty Thursday to five counts of Criminal Sexual Contact a Child. Each count is a 2nd degree felony, carrying a penalty of up to 15 years prison. He entered the guilty plea in District Court in Las Cruces, NM. Sentencing will be set at a later date.

Dona Ana County District Attorney Mark D'Antonio said that he was happy to secure convictions in this case which is so important to the victim,  to the police, to the community, and to him.

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Regional
8:24 am
Fri July 11, 2014

DHS Secretary Johnson To Visit New Mexico Migrant Detention Center

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is scheduled to visit a newly opened temporary immigration detention center in southeastern New Mexico.

Johnson will meet later Today with officials in Weslaco, Texas. There, they'll discuss the ongoing humanitarian immigrant crisis caused in South Texas by the surge in unaccompanied minors and family groups. Most of the immigrants are fleeing violence and poverty in Central America.

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Regional
8:22 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Gov. Martinez Appoints Hobbs Lawyer To Judgeship

Credit Office of the Governor

Hobbs lawyer Laura Castillo has been appointed by Gov. Susana Martinez to a newly created district court judgeship in southeastern New Mexico.

Castillo has operated her own law practice in Hobbs since 2010, and before that worked in a private law firm in the community and was an assistant district attorney.

She received her law degree in 2004 from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. Castillo received an undergraduate degree from the University of the Southwest in Hobbs.

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Regional
8:21 am
Fri July 11, 2014

New Mexico Delegation: Public Faith In VA Is Eroding

New Mexico's congressional delegation has serious concerns about the handling of a patient's death at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Albuquerque and the agency's lack of transparency.

The delegation outlined the concerns in a letter sent Thursday to the acting VA director.

The senators and representatives say the agency's lack of transparency is eroding the public's faith and is inhibiting the delegation's ability to conduct any kind of oversight of the VA in New Mexico.

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Regional
6:00 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Border Reality Checkpoints Strive To Curb Customs And Border Protection Human Rights Abuses

A Border Reality Checkpoint advocate converses with a member of the border community who is concerned about the CBP abuses and conduct
Credit Simon Thompson

El Paso’s University Medical Center is being forced to compensate a New Mexico woman 1.1 million dollars for conducting unnecessary and illegal cavity searches.

The searches came at the request of Customs and Border Protection which is also facing a lawsuit.  CBP agents wrongly suspected the woman was trafficking drugs from Mexico. 

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Local Viewpoints
3:39 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

New Mexico Congressional Delegation Wants Answers About Albuquerque Veteran's Death

  WASHINGTON – Today, all five members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation sent a letter to the acting director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to express their serious concerns about the New Mexico VA’s handling of the recent tragic death of a veteran at its Medical Center in Albuquerque, as well as its lack of transparency in response to requests for information from the public and their offices.

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Regional
3:32 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Heinrich Riding With Amtrak CEO To New Mexico As Push Continues For State Rail Funding

Credit Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Amtrak's top executive plans to meet with New Mexico officials about keeping the Southwest Chief on its current route.

Amtrak announced that CEO Joe Boardman is taking a special train along the Southwest Chief route from Kansas to Albuquerque.  New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich will travel with Boardman.

Amtrak has warned that the route might be changed unless portions of the track are improved.

Boardman will stop Saturday at Raton, Las Vegas and Lamy. He'll go by car to the Philmont Scout Ranch.

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Regional
3:30 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Audubon Blasts Kansas Prairie Chicken Plan

Credit State of Colorado

   A Kansas environmental leader is calling Gov. Sam Brownback's plan for a program to breed lesser prairie chickens in captivity "far-fetched."

Audubon of Kansas executive director Ron Klataske (kluh-TAS'-kee) said Thursday he doubts the federal government would approve the plan.

The breeding program would be aimed at increasing the population of lesser prairie chickens after their decline led the federal government in March to list the bird as a threatened species. The listing also affects Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

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Regional
1:55 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Protections For Rare Mouse To Take Effect

Credit fs.usda.gov

The U.S. Forest Service says it hasn't decided whether to fence off watering holes and other wetlands to protect an endangered mouse found in New Mexico and parts of Arizona and Colorado.

Formal protections for the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse took effect Thursday.

Along with the mouse's listing, the federal government wants to set aside critical habitat for the mouse along streams and wetlands in a dozen counties in the three states.

Forest officials have floated the idea of erecting 8-foot-tall fences in some areas.

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Regional
1:52 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Mexico Donating Textbooks To Arizona Prison System

Mexico's government is donating more than 1,600 Spanish-language textbooks to the Arizona Department of Corrections.

The department says the textbooks donated Thursday will be distributed to prisons statewide to assist inmates who are receiving educational instruction in prisons.

Arizona's state prison population includes thousands of foreign nationals, with Mexican citizens being the largest group.

Arizona officials accepted the presentation by Mexico's consul general in Phoenix, Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez, at the Tucson prison complex.

Local Viewpoints
12:59 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Campaign Finance Reform Constitutional Amendment Bill

Today U.S. Senator Tom Udall welcomed the Senate Judiciary Committee's approval of his proposed constitutional amendment to restore power to regulate campaign finance to the people. Udall’s amendment would clarify in the Constitution that money does not equal speech, effectively reversing U.S. Supreme Court decisions, which have unraveled campaign finance regulations and handed undue influence over elections to corporations and wealthy donors. Following today's committee vote, Udall's amendment is expected to be considered by the full Senate later this year.

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Regional
11:45 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Mourners Remember Six Murdered In Houston-Area Attack

  Mourners have left candles and tied ribbons around trees to remember six members of a Houston-area family shot to death in an attack blamed on a relative.

Prosecutors say Ronald Lee Haskell was being held Thursday on capital murder charges after four children and their parents were slain in Spring.

The couple's 15-year-old daughter was critically wounded in Wednesday night's attack but managed to call 911 and identify Haskell. The suspect's estranged wife is the sister of the woman who was killed.

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