Regional
11:09 am
Wed February 16, 2011

Rocket Launch Canceled

Las Cruces – Officials at White Sands Missile Range say a target missile firing scheduled Wednesday morning from Fort Wingate in northwestern New Mexico to White Sands has been canceled.

White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Specialist Cammy Montoya says the launch was scrubbed because of unfavorable weather conditions. Montoya did not say when the launch will be rescheduled.

The Juno missile was to drop a booster into an evacuated safety zone near Datil during its flight to the missile range.

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Regional
8:18 pm
Tue February 15, 2011

Report Says NM Families Protected By Health Reform Law

Las Cruces, NM – The Affordable Care Act passed last March introduces annual caps on out -of-pocket expenses. The caps will reduce the costs associated with unexpected injuries or illnesses.

The spending caps don't go into effect until 2014, but the consumer health group Families USA conducted a study to look at the impact of the caps on New Mexico families and if they were going into effect this year.

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Regional
8:15 pm
Tue February 15, 2011

Senator Bingaman Opposed To Public Broadcasting Cuts

Las Cruces, NM – House Republicans proposed eliminating public broadcasting funding entirely last week as part of an effort to cut $100 billion in federal spending from the president's 2011 fiscal year budget.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting or CPB provides funding for PBS and NPR stations across the country.

Congressional Democrats are vowing to fight the public broadcasting cuts as they did with previous budget battles.

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Local Viewpoints
5:43 pm
Tue February 15, 2011

Wild Ride

Hatch – My experience fighting my first Wildfire was eerily similar to my most exciting Combat mission in what was often called "Tony Blair's War"; suddenly nothing was going right in a high threat environment.

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Regional
5:34 pm
Tue February 15, 2011

Shock And Outrage: Officer Involved In Fatal Shooting Called Job "Human Waste Disposal"

Albuquerque – Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz says he's disgusted by a gang unit officer listing "human waste disposal" as his occupation on his Facebook page and it will be part of an internal affairs investigation into a fatal shooting by the officer last week.

The Albuquerque Journal reports in a copyright story Tuesday the chief says the posting by detective Trey Economidy III puts the department in a very bad light.

Still, he says, he knows Economidy and that's not the type of person he is.

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Regional
5:32 pm
Tue February 15, 2011

Budget Cuts Lead To Closure Of Drug Court

Alamogordo – A judge has suspended a juvenile drug court in southern New Mexico's Otero County.

State District Judge District Jerry Ritter Jr. cites budget cuts to courts statewide in suspending his juvenile drug court for an indefinite period.

Ritter says other drug courts in the county are not affected.

He sent a memo Friday saying there will be no court or counseling sessions or other juvenile drug court activities in Otero County until further notice.

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Regional
5:30 pm
Tue February 15, 2011

Fatal Fire In Las Cruces

Las Cruces – Las Cruces police say a man who died over the weekend might have been heating water on his stove when his clothes caught fire.

Police say 80-year-old Ismael Lujan Sr. had severe burns on his body when he was found Saturday afternoon on his kitchen floor.

Police spokesman Dan Trujillo tells the Las Cruces Sun-News a neighbor alerted Lujan's family after hearing water running at Lujan's home Friday and Saturday.

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Regional
5:28 pm
Tue February 15, 2011

Heated Debate Over Voter ID Law

New Mexico – Secretary of State Dianna Duran is asking lawmakers to approve legislation requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.

Duran testified Tuesday in support of voter identification legislation by Rep. Dianne Hamilton, a Silver City Republican.

The legislation drew a large crowd to a hearing of the House Voters and Elections Committee, forcing it to move to a larger room in the Capitol.

Hamilton and Duran said a voter identification requirement will provide more integrity in state elections.

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Regional
5:27 pm
Tue February 15, 2011

Medicaid Fraud Crackdown

Texas – A state official says increased enforcement has helped Texas recover more than $500 million in Medicaid fraud cases since 2007.

David Morales, deputy first assistant attorney general, told state senators Tuesday the increase coincides with an expansion of the Medicaid civil fraud division in Texas four years ago.

State lawmakers are still looking for ways to boost fraud prevention. Texas faces a budget shortfall of at least $15 billion. Controlling the state's Medicaid expenses has been identified as a top priority.

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Regional
10:54 am
Tue February 15, 2011

Massive Fort Bliss Training Exercises Through March

El Paso – The 214th Fires Brigade is conducting convoy and transport operations between Lawton, Oklahoma and El Paso, Texas, culminating in live-fire exercises and squad-level tactical training at Fort Bliss, Texas.

The exercise, which spans the months of Feb. and March, is designed to test the combat readiness and logistical capabilities of 1st Battalion, 14th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery, and 168th Brigade Support Battalion, across full-spectrum operations.

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