Regional

Regional
5:49 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

$9.1 Million In Budget Cuts On Tap At NMSU

Credit NMSU President Dr. Garrey Carruthers

  The following memo was issued Wednesday by NMSU President Dr. Garrey Carruthers.  It outlines additional budget cuts of more than $9.1 million.  The memo states that layoffs are not being considered, but a hiring freeze is in place on the Las Cruces campus.

Here is the full text of the memo:

To:  NMSU System Faculty and Staff

From:  Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.

   Chancellor, NMSU System

   President, NMSU

Subject:  Financial Restructuring of the NMSU System  

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Regional
1:04 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Navajo Officials Weigh In On Latest Order In Election Case

Officials on the Navajo Nation say the tribe's high court overstepped its authority in directing the controller to fund a belated presidential election.

Meanwhile, early voting for the tribe's top official is underway. The election featuring Joe Shirley Jr. and Russell Begaye is scheduled April 21.

The Navajo Nation Supreme Court granted a motion last month to enforce an order to hold the election without further delay. It also ordered the tribal controller to transfer $317,000 to the election office to cover the cost.

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Regional
12:58 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Man Arrested After Strangulation Attempt On Mother

  Doña Ana County Sheriff’s detectives arrested a 32-year-old Las Cruces man after he allegedly tried to strangle his mother during an incident that reportedly happened in front of the man’s 9-year-old daughter.

According to court documents, Omar Barrio, who lives in the 2400 block of Picacho Avenue, went to his mother’s Chaparral home Tuesday night after he had reportedly been drinking.

Barrio’s mother, 66, told detectives that her son became confrontational, so she reportedly locked herself and her granddaughter in her bedroom.

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Regional
12:57 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

DA: Albuquerque Police Sitting On Shooting Investigations

A district attorney who recently made national headlines by seeking murder charges against two Albuquerque police officers says police aren't sending her information on other shootings to review.

District Attorney Kari Brandenburg on Tuesday sent Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden a letter asking about 13 investigations into police shootings her office is waiting to review. She says some of the investigations are 17 months old.

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Regional
12:54 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Toy Gun Draws Police Response In Las Cruces

The spotting of what proved to be a toy gun drew a police response to a medical building in Las Cruces.

Police spokesman Dan Trujillo said a 12-year-old boy visiting the MountainView Regional Medical Center Plaza medical building with family members Wednesday morning had a toy rifle.

According to Trujillo, the toy rifle was either in a plastic bag or wrapped in plastic of some sort.

Trujillo said there was no evacuation but he said people in the building were told to stay in their offices while police investigated the report of a gunman.

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Regional
11:57 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Dona Ana Communities Concerned Dairy Waste Plan Does Not Go Far Enough To Protect Ground Water

Dairy cows get a feed at one of the farms on 'Dairy Row' just south of Las Cruces.
Credit Simon Thompson

According to New Mexico State University New Mexico dairies generate one hundred eighty million dollars in economic impact annually in Dona Ana County alone… But that might be coming at the expense of some communities scarce ground water resources.  

While a number of dairies in Dona Ana County will tasked with new ground water monitoring requirements- County residents are concerned they won’t go far enough to protect their drinking water.

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Regional
9:00 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Sarah Nolan, Executive Director-Communities in Action and Faith

Fred Martino interviews Sarah Nolan, Executive Director-Communities in Action and Faith of Las Cruces.

Regional
7:49 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Forecasters Say Weather Creates Conditions For Wildfires

Forecasters are warning that low humidity and strong winds are creating critical conditions for wildfires in much of New Mexico.

The National Weather Service says a red flag warning is in effect into late Wednesday in west-central New Mexico and along and east of the central mountain chain.

The service also issued a fire weather watch for Thursday afternoon and evening for much of northern and central New Mexico due to strong winds and low humidity.

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Regional
7:45 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Trinity Test Site Opening To Face Protest From Residents

Credit http://www.wsmr.army.mil/PAO/Trinity/Pages/default.aspx

Seven decades after an atomic bomb helped end World War II, families in New Mexico's Tularosa Basin want tourists to know nearby residents later suffered from health problems.

Protesters are planning a demonstration this weekend as the Trinity Test site opens to visitors.

Tina Cordova, co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders, says a bomb tested at the site later caused rare forms of cancer for many residents in the area.

Cordova wants the federal government to compensate New Mexico families hurt by the test.

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Regional
7:40 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Law Allows New Mexico Drivers To Take Safety Courses Sooner

Gov. Susana Martinez has signed a bill to allow New Mexico drivers to take safety courses at a younger age.

Currently, people can take the refresher courses when they turn 55. Under the bill signed into law Tuesday, they can take the courses beginning at age 50.

The AARP's state director, Gene Varela, says many people took the state driving test years ago but both the laws and the technology available in automobiles has significantly changed.

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Regional
7:39 am
Wed April 1, 2015

New Mexico Starts New Economic Development Grant Program

New Mexico economic development officials have unveiled a new grant program aimed at boosting job creation and encouraging startup activities.

Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela says the Local Economic Assistance and Development Support program allows the state to supplement the work of local communities that are looking to diversify their economy.

He says by identifying viable economic development projects, the state can stretch and target limited resources.

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Regional
6:24 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Graduation Implications Of PARCC Testing In New Mexico

There has been a lot of debate over PARCC testing and its implications, specifically on how the test could affect a student’s ability to graduate with a diploma.

Leighann Lenti, Deputy Secretary of the New Mexico Public Education Department, says passing a test in order to show competency is part of New Mexico State Law.

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Regional
3:33 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Former Corrections Officer Pleads Guilty To Conspiring To Distribute Narcotics

  Francisco Balderrama, 27, of El Paso, Texas, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to conspiracy to distribute heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine within the Doña Ana County Detention Center (DACDC).  At the time he committed the offense, Balderrama was employed as a corrections officer at the DACDC.

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Regional
3:31 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

New NMSU Student Regent On The Job

  Amanda Lopez Askin, a New Mexico State University doctoral student who already holds multiple NMSU degrees, has been confirmed as the university’s newest student regent. 

“First and foremost, I am honored to be appointed by Gov. Susana Martinez as the NMSU student regent,” Lopez Askin said. “As a graduate student in the College of Education, I am excited to bring this unique perspective to the board. Moreover, as a native Las Crucen, I am proud to be able to be part of this historically significant board, which includes four women.”

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Regional
3:11 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Martinez On Cruz: I Don't Know Him...I Don't Follow Him

Credit Senator Ted Cruz (R) Texas

The nation's only Latina governor says she knows next to nothing about GOP presidential candidate and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she had no opinion on Cruz's recent announcement at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, that he would seek the Republican presidential nomination.

Martinez says she doesn't personally know Cruz nor does she "follow him."

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Regional
2:45 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Audit: Weakness In Hatch Financial Controls

Credit New Mexico State Auditor Timothy Keller (D)

  SANTA FE – State Auditor Tim Keller released a forensic audit of the Village of Hatch. The audit examined the finances of the Village during fiscal years 2012 and 2013 to determine if public funds were properly handled. The report identifies weaknesses in financial controls in the Village of Hatch during past years and offers recommendations to protect taxpayers moving forward. 

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Regional
1:37 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

UPDATE: All Clear At NMSU Residence Hall After Reports Of Smoke

UPDATE:  There is an all clear for the smoke investigation at Rhodes Garrett Hamiel Hall and the building is open at this time. 

Earlier post:

  There is a report of smoke at Rhodes Garrett Hamiel, a residence hall on the New Mexico State University Campus. 

Fire Department is on scene and is investigating.  Please avoid the area until the scene is safe and fire department has cleared the scene.

As information becomes available, more details will be posted.

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Regional
12:01 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Balderas To Ask for Arrest Of Fraudulent Auto Shop Owner

Credit Hector Balderas

  Albuquerque, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas released an update in the Office of the Attorney General’s lawsuit against A Reliable Engine Rebuilder. Earlier this month, Second Judicial District Judge Nan Nash ordered the business closed after the owner, Robert “Bobby” Mitchell, failed to appear at a hearing where he was set to explain how he would comply with a 2013 court order requiring Mr.

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Regional
11:58 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Free Speech Lawsuit: Farmington Man Arrested For Using Offensive Word

A New Mexico man is suing Farmington police after he says officers arrested him for using an offensive word at an IHOP.

Lawyers for Tye Trujillo filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque last month and say the June 2013 arrest violated the 32-year-old's free speech rights.

According to lawsuit, Trujillo was having lunch with three men near a table of three officers. Court documents say when the officers heard the men repeatedly use an expletive, an officer went over to the table and warned them not to use it again.

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Regional
11:56 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Santa Fe Man Arrested After Throwing Banana Peel At Comedian Dave Chappelle On Stage

Santa Fe police say a man tossed a banana peel at Dave Chappelle during a show, hitting in the comedian in the leg.

Police Lt. Andrea Dobyns says 30-year-old Christian Englander of Santa Fe was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor disorderly conduct and battery after the fruit throw Monday night at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in the northern New Mexico city.

Dobyns says Englander acknowledged throwing a peel from a banana he had eaten earlier because he took offense to jokes Chappelle made about his companion.

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Regional
11:53 am
Tue March 31, 2015

What?! Texan Impersonated Police Officer To Cut In The Drive-Thru Line

A West Texas man has been charged with impersonating an officer by using sirens and flashing lights to skip to the head of the drive-thru line at a fast-food restaurant.

Odessa police say Michael Chico was arrested after an off-duty officer spotted the suspect's truck outfitted with law-enforcement trappings.

Cpl. Steve LeSueur (luh-SWEER') says Chico's vehicle looked like an unmarked police unit.

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Regional
11:52 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Groups Oppose Higher PNM Electric Rates

Credit pnm.com

A proposal by New Mexico's largest electric provider to raise its rates is running into opposition.

The water utility that serves Albuquerque and parts of Bernalillo County and an environmental group say Public Service Co. of New Mexico's application for a rate increase is incomplete and should be rejected by state regulators.

In filings this month with the Public Regulation Commission, the groups say PNM fails to offer any explanation for some of the expenses the utility is expecting in future years.

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Regional
11:50 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Grand Jury: UT Regent Wallace Hall Used His Power "To The Point Of Abuse"

Credit utsystem.edu

A grand jury has declined to indict a University of Texas regent for releasing confidential student information, instead issuing a blistering report decrying his "unaccountable and abusive behavior."

Prosecutors in Travis County, which includes Austin, asked grand jurors to consider whether Wallace Hall disseminated confidential student information during his relentless pursuit of Austin campus records.

State lawmakers already have censured Hall over his actions during a years-long personal investigation of the campus administration, including President Bill Powers.

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Regional
8:10 am
Tue March 31, 2015

New Mexico State University On-Campus Post Office May Close

New Mexico State University and U.S. Postal Service officials say the on-campus post office may close, with retail services being shifted to another facility 1.6 miles away.

The Las Cruces Sun-News says the Postal Service is considering whether to move retail services now provided in the campus post office in Corbett Center to an existing Idaho Avenue post office.

The Idaho Avenue post office now houses mailboxes but offers no retail services.

The Postal Service says a final decision hasn't been made yet.

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Regional
8:06 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Work On Catwalk Recreation Area To Pick Up Again

Credit https://twitter.com/GilaNForest/status/526826124358078464/photo/1

Reconstruction of the Catwalk National Recreation Trail and its parking area is expected to get a boost now that federal funding has been approved.

Officials with the Gila National Forest say a change in the process to approve and disburse emergency funds from the Federal Highway Administration to another division initially resulted in a delay.

District Ranger Debbie Cress says designs are now being finalized so contractors can bid on the project. The next step would be reviewing the proposals and picking a contractor.

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Regional
8:04 am
Tue March 31, 2015

New Mexico Supreme Court Rejects Fort Sill Petition

New Mexico's highest court has turned down a request by an Oklahoma-based American Indian tribe that sought to force Governor Susana Martinez to sign a gambling compact with them.

The state Supreme Court issued its denial of the Fort Sill Apache's petition on Monday. The justices offered no explanation for their decision.

The tribe filed its request earlier this year, saying Martinez ignored requests by its chairman to sign on to existing compacts.

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Regional
9:58 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Rep. Bill McCamley

Regional
9:23 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Las Cruces City Council Approves $5.4 Million Civic Plaza

  The Las Cruces City Council Monday approved a $5.4 million dollar downtown civic plaza.  It will be built between Griggs Avenue and the Bank of the West building.

The plaza design includes a splash pad and a stage for performances.

The council approved the plaza 4 to 1.

Mayor Pro Tem Greg Smith was the lone vote against the plaza, saying more input was needed on its design.  

Councilors Ceil Levatino and Olga Pedroza did not attend the meeting.

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Regional
9:15 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

U.S. Appeals Judge's Hold On Immigration Relief

The Justice Department has urged a federal appeals court to lift a temporary hold a judge placed on President Barack Obama's immigration executive action.

The 69-page brief was filed Monday with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ahead of arguments scheduled for next month.

Lawyers for the federal government are challenging a preliminary injunction issued in February by a federal judge in Texas. That decision placed on hold an executive action that could spare from deportation as many as 5 million people who are in the U.S. illegally.

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Regional
3:30 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

NMSU And Las Cruces Public Schools Team Up To Provide More Clinical Services

  New Mexico State University is taking the wraps off a new project that will benefit the community and students.

On Wednesday, April 8, NMSU will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new College of Education Community Clinics. The ceremony will take place at the Arrowhead Medical Park Academy, located at 3600 Arrowhead Dr., Building 08, on the NMSU campus. The event starts at 4 p.m.

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