Regional

Regional
12:03 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

New Mexico Health Exchange Insurance Premiums To Drop In Price

  Many New Mexico residents getting health coverage through the state health insurance exchange will generally see slightly lower premiums in 2015.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the state Office of the Superintendent of Insurance says premiums will go down for three of the five insurers.

According to the office, premiums for a 50-year-old non-smoking Albuquerque-area resident will drop on average by 7 percent at Molina Healthcare, 1.5 percent at New Mexico Health Connections and 1 percent at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico.

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Regional
12:01 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Poll: Most New Mexico Voters Oppose Licenses For Undocumented

  A new poll shows likely New Mexico voters still oppose an 11-year-old state law that allows immigrants who are in the country illegally to obtain driver's licenses.

The Albuquerque Journal reports three-fourths of the likely voters surveyed opposed the law, echoing findings of similar Journal polls.

Meanwhile, the September Journal poll found that 20 percent supported it. Three percent had mixed feelings, and 2 percent didn't know or wouldn't say.

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Regional
12:00 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Woman Breaks Window, Rescues Baby From Hot Car

A 9-month-old boy has been treated for dehydration after being rescued from a hot car in San Antonio by a woman who used a tire iron to smash the windshield.

Angela Radtke (RAD'-kee) said Monday that she knew she had to get the baby out of the locked car in a grocery store parking lot. Police say store surveillance video shows the baby was in the car nearly 40 minutes.

Radtke, who's a retired Army captain with three children, says the boy in the infant seat appeared red and sweaty. She says she's been trained to immediately assess a situation and then act.

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Regional
11:58 am
Tue September 23, 2014

911 Problem In Alamogordo

  Officials in Otero County say 911 emergency phone service in the Alamogordo area is partially disrupted because of damage to a fiber-optic line.

Officials say 911 calls in the Alamogordo area are being answered by dispatchers in Roswell, who then convey the necessary information to the appropriate responder agency in Alamogordo.

People with emergencies to report also can call Alamogordo-area responder agencies on their administrative phone lines.

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Regional
11:56 am
Tue September 23, 2014

First 2014 West Nile Death In New Mexico

  New Mexico health officials are reporting the state's first West Nile virus death of 2014.

The Department of Health says an 89-year-old Lea (lee) County man who died from West Nile had been hospitalized for encephalitis, the more severe clinical form of the disease.

The department says eight cases of West Nile virus infection have been confirmed in the state this year.

New Mexico reported 38 cases of West Nile in 2013, including three fatalities.

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Regional
11:56 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Prosecutors: Texas Man Used Cocaine To Buy Votes

Federal prosecutors say a 47-year-old man provided cocaine to secure votes for school board candidates in South Texas.

A federal judge in McAllen on Monday scheduled the arraignment of Francisco "Frankie" Garcia of Donna for next month. He's facing voter fraud and other charges.

The Monitor cites an indictment in reporting Garcia allegedly paid voters by giving them a "dime bag" of cocaine. Others were paid $10 for their vote in the 2012 Donna school board elections.

FBI agents arrested Garcia last week in Illinois.

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Regional
11:55 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Texas Backs Off Plan To Allow Alcohol Sales At Gun Shows

Texas officials have withdrawn a plan to allow sales of alcohol at some gun shows, which would have come with strict conditions, such as a ban on sales of live ammunition.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission had received hundreds of negative responses to the idea and agreed Tuesday to back off the proposal.

The change was meant to aid the Dallas Safari Club's annual convention, a massive event that draws up to 50,000 people. Alcohol sales would have come with a series of conditions, including that a firearm be disabled and not immediately turned over to the buyer.

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Regional
11:53 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Google Investments And Government Subsidies

Credit Office of the Governor

  Moriarty - Governor Susana Martinez has announced a $1 million infrastructure investment in Moriarty.  In a press release, the state Economic Development Department says the subsidies will help create more than 200 aviation and aerospace-related jobs at the Moriarty Municipal Airport and the nearby industrial park. The funds will improve water and sewer connections needed to retain and expand existing businesses, as well as to recruit new ones. Economic Development Department (EDD) Cabinet Secretary Jon Barela and local leaders joined Governor Martinez for the announcement.

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Regional
11:20 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Additional Charges Filed in 2011 Las Cruces Massage Parlor Case

Charges have been filed against the suspected owners of two Las Cruces massage parlors that were believed to be providing illegal services to their male clientele in 2011.

An Sun Lee, 64, and Danny Yoonsung Hwang, 55, both of San Bernardino, Calif., were both indicted by a grand jury last week.

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Regional
8:28 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Chief Deputy Clerk Resigns

  Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins has announced the resignation of Chief Deputy Clerk Mario O. Jimenez III, effective Friday, Sept. 26.

   “Mario has done a terrific job for me and for the voters of Doña Ana County during his tenure,” Ellins said. “He is leaving for personal reasons, and while my staff and I are sorry to see him go, we support his decision and wish the very best for him going forward.”

   Jimenez informed the office staff of his decision at a 5 p.m. meeting on Monday, Sept. 22.

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Regional
7:30 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Oil Lease Sales On State Land Generate $7 Million

The state Land Office says it received $7.3 million from the most recent sale of oil and gas leases.

The agency said Monday the revenue is the highest from leases since getting $7.8 million in December 2013.

Leases were sold last week for oil and gas development on three dozen tracts of state land in Lea, Eddy, Chaves and Roosevelt counties. The highest bid was nearly $1.8 million for a 320-acre parcel in Lea County.

The Land Office said it's collected more than $246 million from oil and gas lease sales since 2011.

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Regional
7:28 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Trial Of Sheriff Accused Of 'Road Rage' Continues

A motorist says he thought a northern New Mexico sheriff was going to execute him during a heated traffic stop.

Michael Tafoya told jurors Monday he begged for his life as Rio Arriba County Thomas Rodella pulled a gun on him following a road rage chase in March.

Rodella is standing trial of federal charges of deprivation of rights and brandishing a firearm. He has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities say Rodella was in plainclothes when he pulled over Tafoya, jumped out of his personal SUV with a gun, and shoved his badge in Tafoya's face.

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue September 23, 2014

NMSU Confucius Institute Helps College, K-12 Students Across Region Study Chinese

Cathedral High School in El Paso, Texas, is one of New Mexico State University’s Confucius Classrooms, and a small group of students had the chance to spend three weeks in the Hanban Chinese Bridge Summer Camp in Henan, China, in July. (Courtesy photo)

  In global references, New Mexico State University and Las Cruces occupy a small section of the United States, but an NMSU professor believes students can have a connection across the Pacific Ocean.

“We can’t just think of ourselves as a little corner of the Southwest, we are a little corner of the world and our students really take to Chinese culture,” said Elvira Hammond, co-director of NMSU’s Confucius Institute.

Across the state of New Mexico and southwest Texas, the Confucius Institute oversees the Chinese language and cultural instruction programs.

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue September 23, 2014

NMSU Students Redesign School Building In Mexico

NMSU Engineering students worked side-by-side with members of the community to build a school in Queretaro, Mexico. (Courtesy photo)

  The old school structure in Queretaro, Mexico, was a tarpaper and pallet shack with a dirt floor. It served as both an overflow school building for a school too small to hold all of its students and a community medical clinic for the doctor who visits each week.

Over the summer, 14 students in New Mexico State University’s Engineering Without Boundaries helped to replace the shack with a proper schoolhouse.

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Regional
8:49 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Environmental Artist Visits New Mexico

  Prominent environmental artist and writer, Louise Phillips, will be visiting New Mexico from Washington, D.C. to inspire children to conserve nature through art.  Ms. Phillips has donated 3 paintings to commemorate her support of U.S. Forest Service efforts in New Mexico to take more kids to the woods. Her paintings celebrate the beauty of the Rio Grande Bosque, the Gila National Forest and the Lincoln National Forest.

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Regional
3:37 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Ad Race Heats Up For Pearce And Lara

  The ad war in the 2nd Congressional District race between incumbent GOP Rep. Steve Pearce and Democratic challenger Rocky Lara is heating up.

Lara is outspending Pearce for ads running in September, $209,020 to $151,265. But Pearce retains a substantial lead in spending on campaign TV ads, with more than $600,000 in ads scheduled through Election Day. He's the third-largest ad spender among New Mexico's political candidates, behind Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and Democrat U.S. Senator Tom Udall.

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Regional
3:24 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Police: Fort Bliss Soldier Murdered 2-Year-Old Daughter

  El Paso police have charged a Fort Bliss soldier with capital murder after they say he beat his 2-year-old daughter to death because she soiled her diaper.

Police Det. Mike Baranyay says 20-year-old Dartarious Graham was arrested Sunday.

He says the U.S. Army specialist beat his daughter, Peyton Graham, with a belt Saturday. When firefighters were called to the home, they found her unresponsive. She was taken to an area hospital where she later died.

The child's mother and the father's cousin also were charged with injury to a child by omission.

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Regional
3:22 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Texas District Temporarily Bans Seven Books

Credit Courtesy: US Dept. of Education

  A Texas school district has temporarily removed seven books from classroom-use after parents complained about them.

Some parents complained to the Highland Park school district about the novels because of sex scenes and references to rape, abuse and abortion.

The district's superintendent Dawson Orr says the books will be reviewed by committees of parents, teachers and students. Orr says the process could take months.

One book that will be reviewed is "The Glass Castle: A Memoir" by Jeannette Walls.

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Regional
3:20 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

SpaceX Breaks Ground On Texas Rocket Launch Site

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says his company expects to spend $100 million in South Texas over the next three to four years on the first commercial orbital spaceport.

Musk was joined Monday by Gov. Rick Perry and other officials as SpaceX broke ground at the state's southernmost tip.

The ceremony marked the start of construction of the $85 million site at Boca Chica Beach, east of Brownsville, where commercial satellites will be launched.

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Regional
3:19 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Perry Asks To Miss Court Date For European Trip

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

  Indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry wants to skip his next scheduled court appearance because he'll be out of the country.

In a motion Monday, Perry's attorneys asked the judge to let him miss an Oct. 13 pretrial hearing due to "long-standing plans to be in Europe" all that week.

The motion says that if Perry has to appear, the hearing should be delayed until at least a day after he returns on Oct 19.

An Austin grand jury indicted last month Perry on two felony counts of abuse of power for threatening to veto state funding for a public corruption investigative unit.

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Regional
3:17 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

El Paso Woman Dies After Accident During Flood

Authorities are investigating the death of a woman in El Paso after torrential rains from the remnants of Hurricane Odile battered West Texas.  Rainfall amounts across Texas in the past week have ranged from 2 inches to as much as 14 inches. The greatest amount was recorded over a four-day period in a community about 70 miles southeast of Lubbock.

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Regional
8:15 am
Mon September 22, 2014

24 Spend Night In Carlsbad Shelter Due To Flooding

 

Some Carlsbad residents spent the night in a shelter because of Pecos River flooding that is now receding.

Red Cross spokeswoman Beverly Allen says 24 people took refuge at a shelter at Carlsbad High School.

Eddy County emergency center spokesman Kenny Rayroux says the problem stems from flooding of the Pecos River that runs through Carlsbad.

However, Rayroux says the river crested early Monday morning and is now receding.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Monday Business Watch

Every Monday at 7:51am on Morning Edition, Edmundo Resendez covers the week's top local business stories with Las Cruces Sun News Business Editor Jason Gibbs.

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Regional
2:08 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

El Paso Hospital Working With Feds After TB Exposure

  The El Paso hospital where more than 700 infants were exposed to tuberculosis over the past year says it will work with federal authorities to show its procedures were adequate.

A Providence Memorial Hospital nursery employee tested positive for TB in August and was placed on leave. Health officials believe she may have exposed infants and about 40 other hospital workers starting in September 2013.

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Regional
2:06 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Las Cruces Area Prisoner Cuts Himself With Razor

  A man who was about to be sentenced for a murder conviction cut himself with a razor blade and had to be forcibly removed from a court holding cell and rushed to a hospital.

An investigation is being conducted into how 38-year-old Dominic Martin Montoya obtained the razor that he used to cut his arms and neck on Friday.

Montoya was supposed to be sentenced Friday for his murder conviction in the 2006 killing of 29-year-old Adam Avalos, then a fellow detainee at the Dona Ana County Detention Center, with a jail-issued razor.

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Regional
2:05 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Albuquerque Workers Fighting Pay Raise Imposed By City

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry
Credit http://www.cabq.gov/mayor

  More than 2,000 Albuquerque municipal employees say a proposed pay raise by the city would come at the cost of an unapproved contract.

KOAT-TV reports that representatives for more than 2,000 workers have filed a temporary restraining order against the city.

Mayor Richard Berry's administration announced earlier this month a 3 percent pay hike following an impasse with union locals representing workers.

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Regional
2:03 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Lead In 60-Year-Old Santa Fe Case May Fizzle

  Investigators say several bone fragments are looking less likely to be connected a Santa Fe woman who disappeared more than 60 years ago.

Police said Thursday a lab in Texas determined that all but one of four fragments came from an animal.

Police spokeswoman Celina Espinoza says the lab will continue testing the last bone.

Police found the fragments in March in the garage of a home that once belonged to the husband of 26-year-old Inez Garcia.

Garcia was last seen in the early morning of Nov. 6, 1952 by her sister when the two were at a downtown bar.

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Regional
2:01 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Carlsbad Caverns Closed Due To Flooding

  Carlsbad Caverns will remain closed because of hazardous road conditions caused by recent flooding.

National Park Service officials say crews are working Sunday to clear debris on a road brought in by high water.

The park has been closed since Thursday.

Southeastern New Mexico has been experiencing flooding the last few days as a result of the remnants of Hurricane Odile.

The New Mexico National Guard on Saturday rescued 40 oilfield workers stranded by floodwater on a county road near Artesia.

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Regional
2:00 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Citing Joan Rivers, Perry Backs Clinic Law

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

  Republican Gov. Rick Perry has pointed toward comedian Joan Rivers dying at a surgery clinic while defending a Texas law that would shutter abortion facilities statewide.

Perry said Sunday "it's a curious thought" whether Rivers might be alive had there been tighter regulations at a New York outpatient surgery center where she went into cardiac arrest this month.

The 81-year-old Rivers was undergoing a routine procedure. Health officials in New York are investigating.

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Regional
1:59 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Poll Shows New Mexico Is Split On Business Incentives

  A newspaper's poll has found that nearly half of New Mexico voters support luring employers to the state with financial incentives.

The poll by the Albuquerque Journal shows 49 percent of voters are behind offering as much as $1 billion worth of financial incentives to attract a large company.

Thirty-nine percent say they were against offering public incentives. The remaining voters say they had mixed feelings or were undecided.

The poll was conducted Sept. 9-11, a few days after New Mexico lost out to be the site of a new Tesla plant.

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