Regional

Regional
2:41 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Official: Court Ruling Should Not Affect New Mexico Health Insurance Subsidies

Credit NM Department of Health

  A state health insurance exchange official says a recent federal court ruling shouldn't prevent New Mexicans from qualifying for premium subsidies.

New Mexico Health Connections CEO Martin Hickey told fellow board members Friday that New Mexico is considered a state-based exchange by federal health officials.

Federal appeals courts have issued conflicting rulings about subsidies, with one deciding that subsidies are available only in states running their own exchange. About three dozen states rely on the federal online system.

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Regional
2:38 pm
Fri July 25, 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
12:04 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Plague Activity Continuing In New Mexico

  (Santa Fe) – The New Mexico Department of Health and the Department of Game and Fish report continuing instances of plague in the East Mountain area, which includes parts of Bernalillo, Torrance, and Santa Fe counties. Two animals, a mountain lion and a small raccoon-like mammal called a coati, from the Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood recently died from complications due to plague. The infected animals both died within the last few weeks.

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Regional
11:49 am
Fri July 25, 2014

New Mexico HPV Vaccine Coverage Above National Average

  (Santa Fe) – The New Mexico Department of Health announced today that coverage levels for the three vaccines routinely recommended for adolescent boys and girls increased in 2013.

Those three recommended vaccines are:  Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis)vaccine, meningococcal vaccine, and HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine.

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Regional
11:02 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Auditor: No Federal Review Of Alleged Medicaid Fraud

Credit Hector Balderas

  State Auditor Hector Balderas says a federal Medicaid agency isn't planning to review a decision by Gov. Susana Martinez's administration last year to freeze payments to mental health providers because of alleged fraud and overbillings.

In a letter Thursday to a legislative panel, Balderas said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services informed him in March it decided not to review state findings of "credible allegations of fraud" against more than a dozen providers.

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Regional
10:59 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Police Shooting Video: Officers Told Suspect To Drop Gun

  A newly released video shows Albuquerque SWAT officers yelling at an armed man several times to drop his gun before he was fatally shot.

Videos made public Thursday showed two tactical officers running after a fleeing 33-year-old Jeremy Joe Robertson before at least two shots are heard. Another video shows what police say is a witness who was held at gunpoint by Robertson prior to his encounter with officers.

Albuquerque police said the ATF was seeking to take Robertson into custody when Albuquerque officers Anthony Sedler and Ramon Ornelas shot him Tuesday.

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Regional
10:56 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Lifetime Drops "Reality" Show On Texas Mortuary...Yes, They Have Run Out Of "Reality" Show Ideas

The Lifetime TV network says it dropped a reality show about a Texas mortuary after eight decaying bodies were found at the facility and the co-owners were charged with corpse abuse.

Lifetime announced in June it would produce a show called "Good Grief" about the Johnson Family Mortuary in Fort Worth. The show was due to air July 23.

Lifetime Networks vice president Les Eisner says the show "has not and will not air on Lifetime." The Associated Press left messages for Eisner seeking further comment Friday.

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Regional
10:54 am
Fri July 25, 2014

FBI Arrests Dallas County Commissioner

Federal authorities have charged a longtime Dallas County commissioner with accepting nearly $1 million in bribes in exchange for providing insider information and voting in favor of certain projects.

John Wiley Price and three other individuals are in custody Friday after being charged in a 13-count indictment. They are set to make initial court appearances Friday afternoon.

U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña said at a news conference that during a decade-long scheme, two political consultants provided Price with $950,000 in money, cars and land.

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Regional
10:54 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Judge Wants Rape Conviction Tossed Due To DNA Evidence

   A judge has recommended the exoneration of a Texas man who prosecutors say did not commit a 1990 rape based on recent DNA testing.

Judge Gracie Lewis said Friday that the conviction of 57-year-old Michael Phillips should be vacated. The matter now goes to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Dallas County district attorney Craig Watkins sought the exoneration after DNA testing identified another man as the culprit in the rape of a 16-year-old girl at a motel where both men lived.

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Regional
10:28 am
Fri July 25, 2014

El Paso Baseball Team Celebrates Latino History With Special Jersey

  EL PASO, Texas – In honor of El Paso’s rich Hispanic culture and tradition, the El Paso Chihuahuas will celebrate Latino Heritage Night presented by Pepsi and Telemundo on Friday. First pitch against the Fresno Grizzlies (San Francisco Giants) is slated for 7:05 p.m.

The Chihuahuas will wear specially made black jerseys that feature green sleeves, a red stripe down the sides and the emblem “Los Chihuahuas” across the chest.

The first 2,000 fans with paid admission will receive a Southwest University Park replica.

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Regional
10:23 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Child Immunization Clinic In Las Cruces

  (Las Cruces) – The New Mexico Department of Health announces back-to-school immunizations are available at its West Las Cruces Immunization Center, 1850 Cooper Loop, Building A by appointment only.

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Regional
9:07 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Fighter Relieved He Won't Be Charged In Stabbing

A professional mixed martial artist says prosecutors' decision to not charge him in the fatal stabbing of an intruder at his New Mexico home is a relief.

The District Attorney's office in Las Cruces announced Thursday that an investigation did not produce evidence to prove that Joseph Torrez killed 25-year-old Sal Garces on Jan. 1 without legal justification.

Sheriff's officials have said Torrez fatally stabbed Garces after Garces and other people forced their way into Torrez's home.

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Regional
9:02 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Navajo Leaders Meet With Albuquerque Mayor On Homeless Killings

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry says he has directed police to thoroughly investigate last weekend's brutal slaying of two homeless Navajo men as a possible hate crime.

Berry met with Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and other tribal leaders Thursday. He says data the city has collected as part of its efforts to fight homelessness shows Native Americans are on the streets longer than other populations and are more likely to be victimized. He says he and Shelly have agreed to work together to figure out why, and find solutions.

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Regional
9:00 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Video: Swat Officers Told Suspect To Drop Gun

A newly released video shows Albuquerque SWAT officers yelling at an armed man several times to drop his gun before he was fatally shot.

Videos made public Thursday showed two tactical officers running after a fleeing 33-year-old Jeremy Joe Robertson before at least two shots are heard. Another video shows what police say is a witness who was held at gunpoint by Robertson prior to his encounter with officers.

Albuquerque police said the ATF was seeking to take Robertson into custody when Albuquerque officers Anthony Sedler and Ramon Ornelas shot him Tuesday.

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Regional
8:52 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Decision Looms On New Mexico Insurance Exchange

Credit NM Department of Health

New Mexico is trying to decide whether to continue using a federal online system to enroll individuals in health insurance plans.

The state's health insurance exchange governing board meets Friday in Santa Fe. Vice chairman Jason Sandel said he expects a decision on how to handle an upcoming round of enrollment that starts in November.

The exchange serves as a marketplace for buying medical coverage.

New Mexico has been using a federally operated exchange to determine eligibility and enroll individuals, but technical problems plagued the start-up last year.

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Regional
8:50 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Environmentalists Sue Feds Over Rio Grande Flow For Fish

A lawsuit filed by environmentalists accuses federal agencies of breaking promises and failing to provide Rio Grande flows needed to protect two endangered species of fish.

WildEarth Guardians filed the suit Thursday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque against the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers over protection for the silvery minnow and the Southwestern willow flycatcher.

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Regional
8:42 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Report: Most STEM College Graduates Not Working In STEM Jobs

According to a new U.S. Census Bureau report, college students with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM degrees have a greater chance of finding employment after graduation, but not necessarily in their field of study.

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Regional
2:40 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Colorado Urged To Fight Rio Grande Water Change

  A southern Colorado water district says the state should fight a conservation group's push to force Colorado to change the way it sends water to New Mexico in the Rio Grande.

Rio Grande Water Conservation District attorney David Robbins says Colorado is fulfilling its obligations under the 1939 Rio Grande Compact that governs the river's use.

WildEarth Guardians wants Colorado to change the timing of its water diversions from the river.

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Regional
2:39 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

New Mexico Public School Grades: Some Improvement, But More "D" And "F" Grades

  State officials say the overwhelming majority of New Mexico's public schools improved or maintained their performance grade this year.  But nearly two-fifths of schools received a "D" or "F", about the same percentage as those receiving an "A" or "B".

There were 332 schools with grades of A or B. That's exceeded the 323 receiving a D or F.

The number of schools receiving a D or F increased by nearly 7 percent from last year while those getting A or B grew by about 8 percent. Schools getting a C dropped by 18 percent.

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Regional
2:32 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Schwab To Open El Paso Operations Center With 445 Jobs

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

  Charles Schwab Corp. is getting nearly $6 million in incentives from Texas to open an El Paso operations center and increase its presence in Austin, creating more than 1,200 jobs.

Gov. Rick Perry announced Thursday that the financial services company's Austin expansion will create 823 jobs and should generate $210 million in capital investment over the next decade.

The governor's signature Texas Enterprise Fund offered $4.5 million to seal the deal.

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Regional
2:27 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Albuquerque Agrees To Oversight Of Police

  The city of Albuquerque has agreed to submit to independent oversight of federally mandated reforms to its troubled police department.

Under an agreement announced Thursday by the Department of Justice, the city signed off on a framework for addressing eight problem areas Justice officials identified in a scathing report on police practices earlier this year.

Among the findings: officers too frequently used deadly force on people who posed a minimal threat and used a higher level of force too often on those with mental illness.

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Regional
2:26 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Stories Of Texas Foster Care Abuse Sound "Like Prison"

A legislative committee looking to improve the state's foster care system is hearing from Texans who told lawmakers of abuse and trauma in the foster homes where they grew up.

Some choked back tears Thursday during emotional testimony before the Texas House Select Committee on Child Protection.

Committee Chairwoman Dawnna Dukes even said what she heard sounded "like prison."

The state's 17,000-child foster system has been under scrutiny since seven children died of abuse or neglect in fiscal year 2013.

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Regional
2:23 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Obama Administration May Give Refugee Status To Honduran Children

The Obama administration is considering giving refugee status to young people from Honduras as part of a plan to slow the influx of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S. border.  Senior White House officials caution that no final decision on the matter has been made and say the proposal is among a range of ideas the White House is considering.

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Regional
11:43 am
Thu July 24, 2014

"Captain Fantastic" To Film In Las Cruces, Other New Mexico Locales

Credit nmfilm.com

      Santa Fe - New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis announced today that the feature "Captain Fantastic," produced by Electric City Entertainment and ShivHans Pictures, will begin principal photography in New Mexico. Production will take pace in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Mesilla mid-August through the end of August.

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Regional
11:25 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Torrez Will Not Be Charged In Home Invasion Death

Joseph Torrez

  The District Attorney’s Office concurs with the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office that after a thorough investigation, that included numerous interviews and police field investigations, finger print, DNA and blood type analysis, and a complete autopsy report, the evidence does not exist to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Joseph Torrez killed Sal Garces without legal justification.  Torrez claimed he was the victim of a home invasion.

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Regional
9:53 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Energy Secretary To Visit Nuclear Waste Facility In Carlsbad

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce announced that U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will visit Carlsbad, N.M., on Aug. 12 for a discussion about the ongoing recovery at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

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Regional
8:09 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Report To Outline Concerns From Espanola Shooting

The Rio Arriba Community Health Council is set to release a report citing inadequate behavioral health and gun policies it says led to Espanola police shooting a teenager armed with a cap gun.

The council is expected to unveil the report Thursday at a Legislative Behavioral Health Subcommittee at Northern New Mexico College in Espanola.

Authorities say 16-year-old Victor Villalpando was shot by two Espanola officers June 8 after he called 911 using a different name. Police say he reported that the suspicious person was armed with a gun and hitting himself.

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Regional
8:05 am
Thu July 24, 2014

New Mexico Tribe Proposes Ending Gambling Payments

Pojoaque Pueblo has proposed a gambling compact to the federal government that would allow the tribe to stop revenue sharing payments to the state.

The Interior Department has asked Gov. Susana Martinez and Attorney General Gary King to comment on Pojoaque's proposals for casino gambling on tribal lands north of Santa Fe.

The pueblo's compact with the state expires in mid-2015. The tribe is seeking a new compact through a procedure that would allow the Interior secretary to decide terms of a gambling agreement.

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Regional
8:04 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Six Mexican Gray Wolves Released In Gila

Credit facebook.com/usfws

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it has released six more Mexican wolves into the Gila Wilderness as part of its 15-year-effort to reintroduce the endangered predator to the Southwest.

Officials say the wolves were driven from the service's wolf sanctuary in Sevilleta to the Gila Cliff Dwellings on Monday night, then packed into the wilderness for release on Tuesday.

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Regional
8:01 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Navajo Judge Orders Joint Trial In Slush Fund Case

A Navajo Nation judge has ruled that tribal council President Johnny Naize and four current or former council delegates will stand trial together on bribery charges stemming from alleged improper use of a discretionary fund.

The Daily Times reports that District Judge Carol Perry's ruling Tuesday grants a motion by the special prosecutor in the cases of Naize, Delegate David L. Tom and former delegates George Arthur, Leonard Teller and Ernest D. Yazzie Jr..

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