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Regional
10:19 am
Sat December 12, 2009

El Paso TV Station Layoffs

El Paso – About half of the staff at El Paso's CBS-affiliated television station has been laid off.

Margaret Carrillo, the station's accounting and personnel supervisor, said Friday that about half of KDBC 4 News' nearly 50 employees were let go as part of a new joint sales agreement with the local NBC affiliate, KTSM.

Carrillo said about two-thirds of the layoffs were of editorial staff. The remaining employees were offered "the same or very similar" jobs.

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Regional
6:36 pm
Fri December 11, 2009

NMSU Regents Honor Cruzado, Pacheco

Las Cruces – The New Mexico State University Board of Regents honored and thanked Waded Cruzado and Manuel Pacheco for their service and dedication to the university at their regular meeting.

"We truly sit in the presence of excellence," Regents Chair Blake Curtis said of Cruzado and Pacheco after each was presented with a resolution in their honor.

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Regional
11:58 am
Fri December 11, 2009

El Paso Electric Rates Rising In NM

New Mexico – The state Public Regulation Commission has approved a proposed settlement that establishes the rates that El Paso Electric Company can charge its New Mexico retail customers.

Thursday's settlement was supported by the Commission's Staff, the New Mexico Attorney General, the City of Las Cruces, and other parties in the rate case.

Although El Paso Electric had originally proposed a $12.7 million increase in rates, the commission-approved settlement reduces that increase to $5.5 million.

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Regional
11:57 am
Fri December 11, 2009

NM Considers New Conditions For Medical Marijuana

New Mexico – A medical advisory board is considering petitions for adding new health conditions to the New Mexico Department of Health's medical marijuana program.

The board will review five petitions and make recommendations to the department secretary, who will then make a final decision.

If a condition is approved, anyone with that medical condition can apply to the program.

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Regional
11:55 am
Fri December 11, 2009

NM Working On Reimbursements To Indian Vets

New Mexico – American Indian veterans should begin receiving long-overdue reimbursements of tax dollars unlawfully withheld from their military paychecks.

An estimated 9,000 American Indian veterans live in New Mexico.

Those who can prove state income tax was unjustly withheld from their military paychecks can collect a piece of a settlement fund.

New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department Secretary Rick Homans told veterans in Shiprock Thursday that checks should begin showing up in mail boxes early next year.

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Regional
11:53 am
Fri December 11, 2009

Smugglers Hide Pot In Furniture

Lordsburg – Two North Carolina men are facing drug charges after New Mexico police found more than 740 pounds of marijuana hidden in a truck full of office furniture.

Officers stopped the truck at the Lordsburg port of entry in southern New Mexico on Wednesday night for an inspection. They noticed a discrepancy in the driver's paperwork and a search dog signaled the presence of drugs on board.

Bundles of marijuana were found in boxes mixed with cartons of chairs. The drugs were worth an estimated $1.1 million.

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Regional
11:52 am
Fri December 11, 2009

7,000 Drop TX Prepaid Tuition Plan

Texas – The state's prepaid college tuition plan will face a financial review during the 2011 Legislature after thousands dropped the program.

The state comptroller's office says about 7,000 investors left the Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan since August, when the state announced a now-defunct plan to cut refunds.

Agency spokesman R.J. DeSilva says about $110 million was withdrawn, equal to slightly more than 7 percent of the fund's value, which topped $1.4 billion as of Oct. 31.

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Regional
4:24 pm
Thu December 10, 2009

Las Cruces Man Arrested

Las Cruces – A Las Cruces man was arrested after detectives learned he held his girlfriend against her will and physically assaulted her while holding an 8-month-old girl in his arms.

Salvador R. Garcia, 25, of the 900 block of Foster Road, is charged with first-degree kidnapping, aggravated battery against a household member and two counts of negligent child abuse. Garcia is being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center with bond set at $40,000.

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Regional
4:17 pm
Thu December 10, 2009

NMSU Professor Studying Help for Stuttering

Las Cruces, NM – A research lab being conducted at New Mexico State University is finding ways to help those who stutter. KRWG's Vanessa Dabovich reports

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Regional
10:39 am
Thu December 10, 2009

University Student Killed In Juarez

Juarez – Mexican prosecutors say gunmen shot and killed a university student in the deadly border city of Ciudad Juarez.

Chihuahua state prosecutor's spokesman Arturo Sandoval says the student's body was found in a truck Tuesday at an intersection.

He is the second student from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua to be killed since Saturday.

Also Wednesday, state police spokesman Luis Banuelos said seven bullet-riddled bodies were found along a highway.

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Regional
10:38 am
Thu December 10, 2009

NM Official Leaving For Conservation Job

New Mexico – The secretary of the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department is leaving Gov. Bill Richardson's administration for a job with a conservation organization.

Joanna Prukop is retiring at the end of the month and will become director of business for wildlife with a group called Freedom to Roam. It's a coalition of businesses and conservation groups that wants to protect wildlife corridors that allow animals to move from place to place.

Richardson announced Wednesday that Jon Goldstein will replace Prukop.

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Regional
10:36 am
Thu December 10, 2009

Perry Asks EPA To Retract Greenhouse Gas Ruling

Texas – Texas Gov. Rick Perry is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw its finding that greenhouse gases threaten the public health and welfare of Americans.

Perry on Wednesday sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, asking her to retract the finding until the science and data forming the basis of the conclusion can be validated and verified.

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Regional
10:33 am
Thu December 10, 2009

Perry Foe Alleges Donation Sought For Appointment

Texas – When Corpus Christi Judge Rose Vela sought an appointment to the Texas Supreme Court, her husband turned to a friend and ally of GOP Gov. Rick Perry.

But Filemon "Fil" Vela said he was dismayed by what Cameron County Judge Cascos told him: He needed to publicly disavow his support of Perry rival Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, get on the Perry re-election bandwagon, and give the governor some campaign money.

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Regional
2:28 pm
Tue December 8, 2009

Wind Damage At White Sands

Las Cruces – White Sands Missile Range has begun releasing nonessential personnel and the wind conditions have caused damage.

High winds at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) tore the roof from the range's Directorate of Plans Training Mobilization and Security building (which acts as the post's police station) at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. Everyone was safely evacuated from the building. Two people were treated for injuries at WSMR's McAfee Army Health Clinic and released. Police services remained operational from an alternate location.

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Regional
11:00 am
Tue December 8, 2009

Deming Plans Town Hall Meeting Over "Sexting"

Deming – Deming's mayor and other officials are planning a town hall meeting to discuss "Keeping Kids Safe in a Digital Age."

Mayor Andres Silva said the meeting grew out of discussions from the Mayor's Round-table, a monthly session of invited students and community officials.

Silva said he is concerned with the use of digital devices to transmit messages and pictures called 'sexting.' He said parents, guardians and children may not realize their actions could have serious ramifications.

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Regional
11:28 pm
Mon December 7, 2009

Commercial Spacecraft Unveiled

Las Cruces – From Virgin Galactic:

Virgin Founder, Sir Richard Branson and SpaceshipOne (SS1) designer, Burt Rutan, have introduced the world's first manned commercial spaceship (SS2) to the public. It is expected that SS2 will be used at New Mexico's Spaceport America.

SS2 has been designed to take many thousands of private astronauts into space after test programming and all required U.S. government licensing has been completed.

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Regional
11:12 pm
Mon December 7, 2009

Richardson Revises Furlough Days

New Mexico – Gov. Bill Richardson is revising a schedule for unpaid furloughs for state government workers.

Richardson said Monday that one furlough day will be March 5 rather than Dec. 31. Without the change, three consecutive paychecks of government workers would have been reduced because of furloughs.

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Regional
11:02 pm
Mon December 7, 2009

NMSU Football Announces Staff Departures

Las Cruces – New Mexico State head football coach DeWayne Walker announced that offensive coordinator Timm Rosenbach and running back coach Earnest Wilson will not return for the 2010 season.

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Regional
10:58 pm
Mon December 7, 2009

Armed Robbery At Las Cruces Mall

Las Cruces – Las Cruces Police are investigating an armed robbery that was reported Monday morning at the Mesilla Valley Mall.

Shortly before 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, police were called to the delivery dock near the Famous Footwear store where an employee was assaulted and held up by two juvenile boys. One of the boys threatened the employee with a knife and cut the victim's hand during the incident.

The victim's injury is not life-threatening.

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Regional
10:54 pm
Mon December 7, 2009

Major Drug Bust

Santa Teresa – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at El Paso area ports of entry made one cocaine and several marijuana seizures during the last week. CBP officers confiscated a total of 53 pounds of cocaine and 1,156 pounds of marijuana. CBP officers working at ports of entry in the El Paso area seized 677 pounds of cocaine in all of fiscal year 2009.

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Regional
8:18 pm
Mon December 7, 2009

Ban on Cell Phone Use While Driving Passes

Las Cruces, NM – The Las Cruces City Council has voted to impose an ordinance against cell phone use while driving. KRWG's Vanessa Dabovich reports

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Regional
5:48 pm
Mon December 7, 2009

Businesswatch

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

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Regional
12:51 pm
Mon December 7, 2009

The 2010 Census is Working With the Tribal Nations to Get an Accurate Count

Las Cruces, NM – The U-S Census Bureau is making special efforts this time around with several groups including the tribal nations of the U.S. KRWG's Melissa Aguilera reports.

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Regional
11:10 am
Mon December 7, 2009

NM Senators Ask For Real ID Extension

New Mexico – Sen. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall have asked Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to extend the deadline that New Mexico be in compliance with the REAL ID law.

The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress on the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission.

It prohibits federal agencies from accepting a driver's license issued by a state that is not in compliance with new regulations including documentation and verification of an applicant's identity.

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Regional
11:09 am
Mon December 7, 2009

Juarez Protest

Juarez – More than 1,000 people marched through violence-plagued Ciudad Juarez in protest of the daily killings attributed to an ongoing drug cartel war.

Marchers moved toward City Hall beneath a massive Mexican flag Sunday just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas. They are protesting the lack of security in the sprawling border city besieged by cartel violence for nearly two years.

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Regional
12:25 pm
Sun December 6, 2009

Suspects In Teacher's Death Arrested

Wharton, TX – Authorities say two suspects wanted for questioning in the death of a Houston teacher were arrested while entering the U.S. from Mexico.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Tom Vinger says 24-year-old Monica Perez and 23-year-old Michael Moreno, both of Wharton, were detained at an international bridge in Brownsville on Friday night.

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Regional
12:22 pm
Sun December 6, 2009

NM Creates Efficiency Committee

New Mexico – New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has created a new committee whose members will be charged with finding ways for government to save money.

The new Committee on Government Efficiency is expected to look for ways of saving money by streamlining, consolidating or eliminating areas of government that aren't needed.

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Regional
5:32 pm
Fri December 4, 2009

Columbus, NM Plant Scores Major Federal Grants

Columbus, NM – U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall applauded today's announcement that a planned biorefinery in Columbus, New Mexico, will receive a $50 million economic recovery grant and up to $54.5 million in guaranteed loans to build the facility and develop algae-based biofuels for use in jet fuel and diesel.

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Regional
3:00 pm
Fri December 4, 2009

Las Cruces Police Investigate Armed Robbery

Las Cruces – Las Cruces Police are investigating an armed robbery that was reported Thursday evening at an area hotel.

Just before 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, police were called to the Teakwood Inn and Suites at 2600 south Valley Drive. Officer learned that a man entered the hotel lobby, threatened a clerk with a screwdriver and demanded cash from the register. The man then left the hotel on foot.

No injuries were reported.

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Regional
2:47 pm
Fri December 4, 2009

NM Budget Woes Worsen

New Mexico – New Mexico's revenue outlook continues to weaken, aggravating the state's budget problems.

The Legislative Finance Committee received a new financial forecast Thursday that says revenues will be $53 million lower next year than previously expected.

There's a potential budget gap of $500 million to $600 million next year. That's what would be needed to maintain a flat budget with no growth next year.

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