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9:52 am
Wed August 19, 2009

Texas Tax-Free Weekend

Texas – In a couple of days the annual Texas sales tax break weekend will be in full swing.

The shopping period is from Aug. 21-23 and comes just in time for students returning to school.

School supplies have been added to the annual tax-free holiday. The state comptroller's office says the law exempts most clothing and footwear priced under $100 from sales and use taxes.

The agency says backpacks under $100 used by elementary and secondary students are also exempt.

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On the Net:

www.window.state.tx.us

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Regional
9:51 am
Wed August 19, 2009

New Mexico Film Program

New Mexico – The New Mexico Film Office is seeking proposals for a contract award program that provides up to $20,000 for filmmakers to fund original narrative, documentary, animation and experimental films.

The program is open to all New Mexico filmmakers and awards can be used toward the completion of existing projects or the development of new ones.

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Regional
8:45 pm
Tue August 18, 2009

Las Crucens flock to Clearance Sale at last Blockbuster Store

Las Cruces, NM – The last Blockbuster store in Las Cruces officially closed its doors this week. Company officials made the announcement Monday making this the third location to close shop in just one year; but as KRWG's Marco Grajeda reports, on Tuesday the store was looking very much alive with a number of people taking everything from five dollar movies to ten dollar TV's.

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Regional
8:44 pm
Tue August 18, 2009

Dona Ana County Man dies of West Nile

Las Cruces, NM – A forty-five year old Dona Ana County man died after developing the severe form of West Nile Virus. He is the state's first victim of West Nile Virus this year; and as KRWG's Marco Grajeda reports, health officials are asking people not to drop their guard and follow precautions diligently.

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Regional
3:31 pm
Tue August 18, 2009

Las Cruces City Council Approves Transit System Funding

Las Cruces, NM – This week the Las Cruces City Council approved a resolution allowing the city to accept close to two million federal dollars to improve the city transit system. KRWG's Vanessa Dabovich has more

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Regional
1:18 pm
Tue August 18, 2009

Alamogordo Woman Recovering from Swine Flu

Albuquerque, NM – A 48-year-old woman is recovering from H1N1 virus in Alamogordo, just weeks after being near death from the infection. The woman is home from the hospital, but tells KUNM's Jim Williams she's still far from well.

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Regional
1:01 pm
Tue August 18, 2009

Early College High School Coming to LC

Las Cruces, NM – Dona Ana County will soon be home to the first early college high school in southern New Mexico; expected to be the largest in the state, welcoming around five hundred students once it opens its doors two years from now. KRWG's Marco Grajeda has more

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Regional
10:42 am
Tue August 18, 2009

Race-Based Admission Policy Upheld

Texas – A federal judge has dismissed a federal lawsuit that claimed undergraduate admissions policies at the University of Texas at Austin violate the Constitution and federal law.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruled Monday that UT's use of race and ethnicity as factors in admissions is constitutionally acceptable.

The lawsuit was filed last year by two white students whose applications had been rejected.

In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed universities to use race as one of many decision-making factors.

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Regional
10:40 am
Tue August 18, 2009

Border Meth Bust

El Paso – An unusual bulge around a man's waistline yielded nearly 2 pounds of crystal methamphetamine during a search at an El Paso border crossing.

Customs and Border Protection officers at the Ysleta crossing discovered two tape-wrapped food containers with the drugs.

Port director William Molaski says an officer had identified the pedestrian as someone who needed additional scrutiny.

The suspect, from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, was taken into custody following the search Friday.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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Regional
10:39 am
Tue August 18, 2009

Test Capsule Heading to White Sands

New Mexico – Engineers at a NASA research center in California are putting the finishing touches on the Orion crew test module that will be used early next year at White Sands Missile Range.

The Orion is the capsule being designed to take people back to the moon.

The tests are aimed at Orion's launch-abort system, which will whisk astronauts and the capsule to safety in case of a problem on the launch pad, such as a fire, or during the climb to orbit.

Tests will be conducted without anyone inside the capsule.

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Regional
10:37 am
Tue August 18, 2009

New Homes Crumbling

New Mexico – Dozens of new homes are crumbling in Shiprock as the Navajo Nation continues its probe into a $9 million construction project gone awry.

Shiprock officials and representatives of the Navajo Housing Authority met this week to discuss an abandoned 91-home construction project that began nearly three years ago.

About 50 homes were built. They stand empty, vandalized and deteriorating near the existing Navajo Housing Authority community.

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Regional
10:36 am
Tue August 18, 2009

NM Woman Gets Life Sentence

New Mexico – A Hobbs woman has been sentenced to life in prison in the death of her 8-month-old daughter.

State District Judge Don Maddox sentenced 33-year-old Adriana Cabezuela on Monday.

She was convicted in July of abandonment or abuse of a child resulting in death in the June 2007 death of Mariana Barraza.

Such a conviction carries an automatic life sentence.

Emergency personnel had been called to Cabezuela's home because the baby was having trouble breathing. The baby died on the way to the hospital.

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Regional
4:54 pm
Mon August 17, 2009

KRWG Businesswatch

Las Cruces – Every Monday on Morning Edition at 7:51, Fred Martino speaks with Las Cruces Sun News Business Editor Brook Stockberger.

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Regional
10:58 am
Mon August 17, 2009

NM Receives Early Childhood Grant

New Mexico – Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish says the W. K. Kellogg Foundation has given New Mexico a $400,000 grant to support early childhood education.

Denish says the grant will be used to establish the New Mexico Early Childhood Partnership.

The partnership between her office and the United Way of Santa Fe County will develop expanded public financing strategies for early childhood development in the state.

Denish says the partnership will work to find permanent funding for early childhood programs.

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Regional
10:57 am
Mon August 17, 2009

Huge Freshman Class Arrives at NMSU

Las Cruces – These are exciting times for freshman students at New Mexico State University.

Students are starting to move-in as the school's largest freshman class in history, along with their families and friends, hustled to unload belongings in their new dwellings Sunday.

University Director of Housing and Residential Life Julie Weber said the school's dormitories are "beyond full" as more than 2,240 freshmen enrolled at NMSU last week.

The school had to assign two to three freshmen to each dorm room.

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Regional
8:14 pm
Sun August 16, 2009

Advocacy Group Urges Lawmakers to raise Revenue and not rely on Spending Cuts

Las Cruces, NM – A statewide advocacy organization is urging lawmakers to consider ways of raising revenue and not rely exclusively on spending cuts when fixing the budget. As KRWG's Marco Grajeda reports, a recent revenue forecast revealed the state's budget dipped another 400-million this fiscal year.

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Regional
12:51 pm
Sun August 16, 2009

Ex-Sunland Park Judge Guilty

Las Cruces – A jury in Las Cruces, N.M., has convicted a former Sunland Park municipal court judge of three counts of election fraud.

The jury returned the verdict against Horacio Favela after deliberating for less than three hours on Friday afternoon.

Evidence at the weeklong trial showed that Favela voted in both El Paso, Texas, and Dona Ana, N.N., counties in the November 2004 election. He was living in El Paso but ran for the judgeship in Dona Ana County and voted in both elections.

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Regional
12:49 pm
Sun August 16, 2009

Cold Case Murder Arrest

New Mexico – Police say they've solved the murder of a 74-year-old Farmington woman whose body was found bound and gagged in her home 20 years ago.

Farmington police Sgt. Robert Perez says detectives arrested 46-year-old Jimmie Lee on Thursday and charged him with murder and kidnapping for the 1989 death of Thelma Kline.

Perez says a cold-case unit reviewing old crimes sent evidence to the state police crime lab for analysis. The crime lab matched a DNA sample to Lee, an inmate at the state prison in Grants.

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Regional
12:48 pm
Sun August 16, 2009

Man Charged in Deadly El Paso Wreck

El Paso – El Paso police have identified the woman who was killed in a wreck and named the suspect facing charges in her death.

Thirty-one-year-old Emiliano Villanueva was arrested and charged with suspicion of intoxicated manslaughter. His bond was set at $50,000 but it was not immediately known whether he had an attorney.

Police said 79-year-old Arline Yonack was killed in Friday's wreck. Police said Villanueva ran a red light and drove into the passenger side of the car Yonack was riding in.

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Information from:

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Regional
12:47 pm
Sun August 16, 2009

NM House Speaker's Illegal Billboard to Come Down

New Mexico – Federal highway officials have ordered the state to demolish an illegal billboard owned by New Mexico House Speaker Ben Lujan by the end of next week.

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Regional
7:34 pm
Sat August 15, 2009

Embezzlement Claim has State Officials Urging School District's to Check Financial Affairs

Las Cruces, NM – New Mexico State Auditor Hector Balderas announced recently that a northern New Mexico School District employee may have embezzled close 3.4 million dollars from the school's budget; and as KRWG's Melissa Aguilera reports, Balderas is now urging school districts to check their books often.

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Regional
6:05 pm
Fri August 14, 2009

Energy Secretary To Speak at NMSU

Las Cruces – From NMSU:
U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu will be one of the keynote speakers at New Mexico State University's and honorary co-chairman Congressman Harry Teague's initiative to explore America's energy future at a two-day conference titled "Re-Energize America: Policy, Practice and Possibility for America's Future" Aug. 31 to Sept. 1 at NMSU's Corbett Center Ballrooms.

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Regional
5:32 pm
Fri August 14, 2009

NMSU Institute Receives Major Grant

Las Cruces – From NMSU:
Renewable energy from any of the potential sources requires adaptability for the current system in electrical production and delivery. Critical to these requirements are the electrical codes and standards that ensure safety of the users, installers and operators.

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Regional
5:30 pm
Fri August 14, 2009

NMSU Center For The Arts Receives $100K Donation

Las Cruces – From NMSU:
Local business owner Connie Hines has dedicated many of her volunteer hours during the last 10 years to the arts at New Mexico State University, including, along with her husband, Jerry, donating $100,000 to the Center for the Arts project.

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Regional
1:45 pm
Fri August 14, 2009

NMSU's Chile Pepper Institute Creates Super Tasty Chile

Las Cruces, NM – Researchers at New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute announced a new variety of pepper this chile season; and as KRWG's Melissa Aguilera reports, they say it's sure to win the taste buds of many New Mexicans.

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Regional
10:33 am
Fri August 14, 2009

NM To Offer Free College Board Exams

New Mexico – The state Public Education Departments says 10th graders in public schools will be able to take college board exams for free during the upcoming school year.

The department said all school districts, on a voluntary basis, will have the opportunity to have 10th graders participate in the preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test for free. This will save the districts about $13 per participating student.

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Regional
10:31 am
Fri August 14, 2009

Drought Hurts Texas Wineries

Texas – Drought has damaged crops across Texas, but another weather problem earlier this year added to the trouble for wine growers.

Freezing temperatures devastated some grapes at the Driftwood Vineyards, about 20 miles southwest of Austin.

Owner Gary Elliott told KXAN-TV that he started 2009 with an estimated 60 tons of fruit, but in early April the temperature dropped below freezing and "pretty much wiped out all the fruit."

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Regional
10:30 am
Fri August 14, 2009

Elephant Butte Shutting Down Irrigation Early

New Mexico – The Elephant Butte Irrigation District plans to shut off irrigation water at a month earlier than usual, and blames a dry summer and less runoff from snow last winter.

The district, which usually releases irrigation water until late September or into October, will end the season Aug. 28 this year.

Irrigation district manager Gary Esslinger says rains that typically come in July and August have not arrived, and water demand has remained high. In addition, temperatures have remained hot.

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Regional
10:29 am
Fri August 14, 2009

NM Revenues Down $700 Million

New Mexico – New Mexico's revenues are down more than $700 million over two years, and the shortfall is large enough to wipe out the state's cash reserves.

That's the message delivered Friday to legislators in a new revenue forecast from economists.

According to the projections, state revenues will drop to about $5 billion in the budget year that started in July. That's $433 million less than what had been anticipated when lawmakers enacted the budget.

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Regional
8:34 pm
Thu August 13, 2009

Eddy County Man in Critical Condition due to West Nile Virus

Las Cruces, NM – A southeast New Mexico man is fighting for his life at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque after developing a severe form of West Nile Virus. KRWG's Marco Grajeda this report.

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