Regional

Regional
10:18 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Indicted Texas AG Allowed To Stay In Suit And Tie For Mugshot

A judge says he allowed indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to forgo a jail policy requiring suspects to wear a towel in booking photos because the case is so high profile.

A copy of the order released Tuesday instructed Collin County jailers to not photograph Paxton wearing a white towel around his shoulders. The mugshot instead shows the Republican in a suit and tie, setting off accusations of special treatment.

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Regional
4:47 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Deming Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Participating In Meth Ring

   Ricardo Rodriguez-Magallanes, 38, of Deming, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 87 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction.

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Regional
3:47 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

El Paso Man And Mexican National Plead Guilty To Drug Charges In New Mexico

  Arturo Martinez, 23, of El Paso, Texas, and Bryan Marinelarena, 20, a Mexican national, each pleaded guilty this morning in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to a federal heroin trafficking charge.

Martinez and Marinelarena were arrested on May 23, 2015, during a routine inspection at the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 10 in Doña Ana County, N.M.  According to the criminal complaint, agents found approximately 6.6 kilograms of heroin concealed within the vehicle that Martinez and Marinelarena were driving from El Paso to California.

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Regional
3:13 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

West Nile Virus Detected In Bernalillo County Mosquitoes

Health officials in Albuquerque say the West Nile virus has been detected in some mosquitoes in Bernalillo County.

They say it's the first positive West Nile detection so far this year in the county.

The mosquitoes were collected through routine monitoring.

Health officials say an extremely wet spring plus a heavy monsoon season have created extensive mosquito breeding habitat throughout the county.

They also say mosquito numbers are significantly higher than experts have seen in the last three years.

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Regional
3:10 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Albuquerque Police Name Officers Who Shot Man In Chase

Authorities have named the two Albuquerque veteran police officers who shot and killed a man suspected of kidnapping a woman and leading police on a high-speed chase.

Albuquerque police said Tuesday that officers Cornel Heitzman and Carlos Hernandez fatally shot 33-year-old Rafael Molina Jr. on Friday as he tried to flee his disabled vehicle.

Police say preliminary evidence shows that Molina pointed a gun at an officer before Heitzman and Hernandez fired at him. No details were released on how many rounds were fired.

Authorities say Molina died at the scene.

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Regional
2:49 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Las Cruces Library Closed Next Week For Cleaning And Inventory

  Thomas Branigan Memorial Library will temporarily close Monday, Aug. 10, through Friday, Aug. 14.

But when the library’s doors open at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, it will feel, look, and smell like a new library! That’s because approximately 180,000 books, 15,000 DVDs, CDs and audiobooks, along with nearly 19,500 linear feet of shelving, will have received a much needed cleaning.

The overall cleaning will include carpeting and tile throughout the building, clean and wax the computer lab and children’s craft room, plus new paint in the magazine/newspaper reading room.

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Regional
1:20 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Hearing Focuses On Training Of Police Facing Murder Charges

More Albuquerque police are expected to testify about the training two officers received before they shot and killed a homeless man.

A special prosecutor is scheduled Tuesday to call officers to the stand as Officer Dominique Perez and former Detective Keith Sandy face murder charges in James Boyd's death last year. A judge will decide if they go to trial.

Boyd, who had schizophrenia, was shot during a standoff as police accused him of camping illegally.

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Regional
1:17 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

U.S. Lab In New Mexico, Univ. Of Arizona Team Up On Research

Credit kirtland.af.mil

A military laboratory in New Mexico and the University of Arizona have agreed to collaborate on technological research.

The agreement between the Albuquerque-based Air Force Research Laboratory New Mexico and the Tucson-based school calls for collaboration between scientists and engineers of the lab's directed energy and space vehicles directorates and students and faculty from the university.

An announcement of the collaboration agreement cites the university's work in optics research, which it said is particularly important to the lab's research.

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Regional
1:14 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Bondsman Arrested

In a story July 26 and in a previous story about the arrest of a man in a fraud case, The Associated Press, relying on information from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office, reported erroneously that Daniel Goldberg Sr. is a bondsman. Goldberg formerly was licensed by New Mexico as a bondsman but he currently does not have a bondsman's license.

A corrected version of the July 26 story is below:

New Mexico man says arrest is retaliation

Man claims arrest by San Juan County sheriff's deputies is retaliation over suit.

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Regional
8:08 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Los Alamos Vigils Eye 70th Anniversary Of Atomic Bombings

Credit https://www.facebook.com/VisitLosAlamos?fref=photo

Peace advocates are planning peace vigils in Los Alamos to mark the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The activists are scheduled to hold the peace vigils at Ashley Pond on Thursday and Sunday.

Thursday is the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, and Sunday is the anniversary of the Nagasaki bombing.

Activists also plan to hold nonviolent workshops this week in Santa Fe.

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Regional
7:52 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Witness To Testify At Evidence Hearing In El Rancho Killings

A pregnant inmate is expected to testify Tuesday at an evidence hearing related to the 2011 killings of an El Rancho couple and their adult son.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports 28-year-old Ashley Mae Roybal took a plea deal in exchange for her testimony against Nicholas Ortiz, who has pleaded not guilty to charges related to the three deaths.

Police say Ortiz killed Lloyd and Dixia Ortiz and their son Steven with a pickax.

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Regional
7:50 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Testing No Longer Required For First-Time Teacher Evaluations

Districts are no longer required to evaluate first-time teachers based on test scores from the previous year.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the state's public education department announced Monday that the exemption makes the evaluation process fairer for new teachers by replacing student improvement with observation, attendance data and other factors.

The state is applying the new criteria to last year's 1,876 new teacher evaluations, which the education department says will bring up 166 teachers' scores and downgrade 31.

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Regional
2:18 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Controversy Over The New Mexico Teacher Evaluation System Continues

Credit Simon Thompson

 

As part of a locally negotiated contract, teachers in the Las Cruces Public Schools are allowed ten sick days and two personal days. But following pressure from the New Mexico Public Education Department- during the last school year. Las Cruces teachers were marked down on their evaluations for taking any more than two days off.   One Las Cruces teacher recently told the school board how this policy affected her evaluation. 

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Regional
9:39 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

New Mexico Not Expected To Fight EPA's Emission-Cutting Rule

New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn says the state has properly prepared for President Barack Obama's efforts to cut greenhouse gases from power plants.

Flynn told The Associated Press on Monday that New Mexico won't be among the many Republican-led states expected to fight the plan because New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez had previously brokered an agreement.

Martinez moved to comply with the rule to allow the state to craft its own path to compliance. Flynn says New Mexico could have faced a federally imposed implementation plan.

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Regional
9:36 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Prosecutor: Police Officers Unlawfully Opened Fire In Death

A special prosecutor said Albuquerque police unnecessarily escalated an encounter last year that ended when two officers opened fire and killed a mentally ill homeless man despite signs that he wanted to surrender.

Special Prosecutor Randi McGinn spoke at a preliminary hearing Monday to determine if Officer Dominique Perez and former Detective Keith Sandy should stand trial for murder.

In their opening statements, defense attorneys said their clients did nothing wrong and both felt the lives of their fellow officers were in danger when they shot James Boyd.

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Regional
9:35 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Albuquerque Mayor Removes Confederate Flag From Old Town

Credit http://www.cabq.gov/mayor

An early version of the Confederate flag that had flown above Old Town Albuquerque for decades has been taken down.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry decided to remove the flag Monday after meeting last week with black leaders.

Berry says the city still will mark its role in the Civil War by keeping replica cannons and plaques that accurately describe the "Skirmish of Albuquerque" when Confederate and Union soldiers exchanged artillery fire.

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Regional
9:33 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

FBI: 3 devices Found At New Mexico Power Plant Not Dangerous

Credit Four Corners Power Plant. Photo courtesy of EcoFlight and San Juan Citizens Alliance

The FBI says three "suspicious devices" found at the Four Corners Power Plant near Farmington are not dangerous.

An FBI spokesman says agents and Farmington police secured the area Monday and analyzed the items.

According to investigators, the steel pipe devices were each 6 inches in length and capped on both ends.

But the FBI says nothing was inside the pipes so they were not explosive.

They say there's also no indication that the devices are related to the ones that exploded Sunday outside two churches in Las Cruces.

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Regional
9:26 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Investigations Ongoing In Explosions At 2 Las Cruces Churches

The FBI, New Mexico State Police, and several other law enforcement agencies are investigating the circumstances surrounding explosive devices that were detonated Sunday Morning at two local churches.

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Regional
8:57 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Three Teens Charged In Las Cruces Murder Plead Not Guilty

  Las Cruces---Three of the four suspects involved in a Las Cruces area shooting on July 31, 2015 which resulted in the death of Jaycob Alba, 17, were arraigned before Magistrate Court Judge Beverly Singleman.

All the suspects have been charged with one count each of the following: first-degree murder, aggravated burglary with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, shooting at an inhabited dwelling causing personal injury and tampering with evidence.

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Regional
1:31 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

NMSU Robotics Camp Challenges Las Cruces Students

Logan Campbell gives his robot a trial run at the Advanced Summer Robotics Camp hosted by the New Mexico State University College of Engineering this July. (NMSU photo by Linda Fresques)

  Elias Borchert, a seventh grader at Vista Middle School, leaned over his robot as he tried to figure out why the machine is not making a 180-degree turn as he programmed it to do.

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Regional
1:24 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Tiplines Set and Reward Offered in Explosions at Las Cruces Churches

Holy Cross Church

  Federal, state and local partners continue to investigate Sunday morning’s detonation of explosive devices outside Calvary Baptist Church and Holy Cross Catholic Church in Las Cruces.

Investigators spent the better part of Sunday and into the early morning hours of Monday gathering evidence at both scenes and their on-site investigation is now complete. Evidence gathered from both scenes has already been transported for professional analysis. Agents and investigators are continuing to follow up on several leads.

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Regional
8:11 am
Mon August 3, 2015

Gov. Martinez Vows Capture In Church Blasts

Credit Office of the Governor

New Mexico's governor says whoever set off explosions outside two churches "will feel the full pressure of the law."

Gov. Susana Martinez spoke at a news conference Sunday evening, hours after the two small blasts shattered the morning calm in Las Cruces, shocking congregants.

Police spokesman Danny Trujillo says that there were no injuries or deaths from the blasts outside Calvary Baptist and Holy Cross Roman Catholic churches, but each building had minor damage.

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Regional
8:08 am
Mon August 3, 2015

NM Attorney General To Hold First Anti-Crime Review Meeting

Credit Hector Balderas

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is set to hold his first meeting with a taskforce reviewing the state's criminal justice system.

The team made up of district attorneys, judges, sheriffs and the widow of a slain Rio Rancho police officer is scheduled to meet Monday at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

Balderas says Julie Benner, the wife of the late officer Gregg "Nigel" Benner, is a key member of the team.

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Regional
8:01 am
Mon August 3, 2015

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Denied Permit Renewal For Wolves In New Mexico

Federal fish and wildlife officials are appealing to the state to reconsider its rejection of two permits related to Mexican wolf conservation efforts.

The Albuquerque Journal reports this is the first year the state has denied the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's request to renew a permit to hold wolves at Ted Turner's Ladder Ranch in southwestern New Mexico.

State Game Commission members also denied a request to release wolf pups and two adults on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service in New Mexico.

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Regional
7:50 am
Mon August 3, 2015

Former Homeless Veteran And NMSU Alum Helps Other Veterans Find Jobs

Credit Robin Rollins

Last month, Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima announced that the city had joined a handful of others across the nation by having zero homeless veterans.

In 2014, The United States Housing and Urban Development Department estimated that on any given night just under 50,000 homeless veterans are on the streets in the United States, and between 2013 and 2014 there was an 11 percent decrease in homelessness among veterans, and a decline by 33 percent from 2009 to 2014.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon August 3, 2015

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
2:37 pm
Sun August 2, 2015

No Rush To Defend Indicted Texas Attorney General

Credit Texas AG Ken Paxton

Republican leaders in Texas are not rushing to the defense of Attorney General Ken Paxton before he's expected to turn himself in on felony securities fraud charges.

A grand jury indictment is expected to be unsealed Monday near Paxton's home in suburban Dallas. Special prosecutors and the Texas Rangers have been investigating Paxton for months over allegations that he misled investors before become the state's top law enforcement officer.

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Regional
12:03 pm
Sun August 2, 2015

Explosions Near Holy Cross And Calvary Baptist In Las Cruces; No Injuries

Las Cruces Police and several other law enforcement agencies are investigating the circumstances surrounding explosive devices that were detonated Sunday morning at two local churches.  The two explosions caused relatively minor damage at each location and no injuries have been reported.

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Regional
7:11 am
Sun August 2, 2015

Fourth Arrest In Shooting Death Of Las Cruces Teen

  Nearly 24 hours after receiving reports of shots fired in the 2600 block of Doña Ana Road, Doña Ana County Sheriff’s detectives have arrested and charged four Las Cruces-area teenagers with the murder of Jaycob Alba, 17, also of Las Cruces.

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Regional
4:23 pm
Sat August 1, 2015

Clovis Man Indicted In 2002 Murder

A Clovis man has been indicted on a first-degree murder charge in a 2002 shooting case.

Prosecutors say a Curry County grand jury on Friday indicted 33-year-old David Gutierrez Jr. in the death of Jose Valverde.

They say Valverde was found in a boxcar that he used as his residence with an apparent gunshot wound to the face.

A homicide investigation was opened by Clovis police.

They say witnesses began to come forward with new information about the unsolved murder case, which ultimately gave police enough information to secure an arrest warrant for Gutierrez.

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