Regional

Regional
9:51 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Students Aren't The Only Ones Concerned With PARCC Testing

The New Las Cruces School Board Members were sworn into office, the same day close to 950 students around the district walked out of class. New member Ed Frank taught math for 39 years, and he says changes need to be made to standardized testing.

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Regional
1:59 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Las Cruces Man Sentenced To More Than 20 Years For Molestation

  Las Cruces—Deputy District Attorney Heather Chavez’ success in proving Jason Reyes guilty resulted in a 31 ½ year sentence; 10 years of which were suspended by Judge Fernando Macias in the Third Judicial District Court.  Reyes pled to Criminal Solicitation to Commit Criminal Sexual Penetration (Child under 13), Criminal Sexual Contact of a Minor, Criminal Sexual Penetration,  Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor and Sexual Exploitation of Children (Recording) (Child Under 18) totaling a possible 43 year sentence.

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Regional
11:25 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Thursday Water Outage In Las Cruces East Mesa Neighborhood

  There will be a water outage on Moonlight Ridge Arc between Lookout Ridge Drive and Twilight Ridge Way from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, March 5, for water delivery infrastructure repairs.

Once water service is restored, residents in the Lookout Ridge area may notice discolored water due to mineral deposits. Although the water is safe to drink, the City recommends waiting to wash laundry until after the water becomes clear.

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Regional
8:51 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Electric Grid Operator Expects Sufficient Supplies

The grid operator for Texas says electric users should have sufficient supply for spring and summer.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, on Monday announced its seasonal forecast.

The report for spring identifies more than 76,600 megawatts of generation resources available, with expected peak demand of about 62,000 megawatts.

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Regional
7:56 am
Mon March 2, 2015

NM Senate Passes Bill To Create State Board For Tattoo Artists

Legislation that would create a state board to regulate New Mexico tattoo and piercing artists has received overwhelming approval from the Senate.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the Senate voted Friday 39-1 in favor of the bill that proposes a five-member Board of Body Art Practitioners.

Businesses that specialize in tattoos, piercings and other body art currently report to the same board that regulates barbers and cosmetologists.

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Regional
7:54 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Gov. Martinez Traveled Out Of State 272 Days During First Term

Credit Office of the Governor

Recently re-elected New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez frequently traveled out of the state during her first term.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that a list provided by Martinez's lawyers indicates she spent all or parts of 272 days traveling out of state in 2011 through 2014.

The 272 days amount to nearly one-fifth of the 1,461 days that made up Martinez's first term, but Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell said many of the days involving out-of-state travel also included meetings or other work in New Mexico.

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Regional
7:51 am
Mon March 2, 2015

New Mexico Students Walking Out Over New Tests

Students frustrated over a new standardized test are walking out of schools around New Mexico in protest.  KRWG News spoke with students at Mayfield High School in Las Cruces who are fed up with the state's focus on standardized testing.

A few hundred students at Albuquerque High School defied warnings from administrators that they would not graduate and could face discipline. They walked out Monday morning, carrying signs and chanting as supporters honked their horns.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Latino Week Emphasizes Border Culture On NMSU Campus

  The New Mexico State University CAMP Student Council, Mexican American Engineers and Scientists, and the Associated Students of New Mexico State University present an all-day event for this year’s Latino Week.

“Latino Week is intended to highlight the diversity within the campus,” Juan Esparza, president of CAMP student council said. “This week creates an opportunity to experience other cultures.”

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon March 2, 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
7:00 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

Planned Student Walkouts Highlight Testing Concerns

  Many students across the Las Cruces Public School District and the state of New Mexico are planning on walking out of school today to protest PARCC testing. Some parents and students attended a press conference held by Superintendent Stan Rounds to get more information about these new standardized tests, and the planned walkout.

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Regional
11:39 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Goodman: Las Cruces Must Change The City Charter To Uphold The Petition Process

  Recent minimum-wage initiative and recall controversies have taught us that Las Cruces needs to amend its City Charter.

The initiative provision requires that when citizens gather sufficient signatures, the City Council must either pass the ordinance as it stands or schedule a referendum.  Last fall, the Council did neither.   The Councilors ignored the charter, avoiding a popular vote by purporting to adopt the ordinance then changing it significantly.  

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Regional
11:31 am
Sun March 1, 2015

New Mexico Land Commissioner Orders Removal Of Sculpture

Credit tylersculpture.com

A public sculpture outside a state office in Santa Fe is relocating at the request of a New Mexico land commissioner.

Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn says  the large brick head on display outside the State Land Office in Santa Fe is unattractive and he doesn't like it.

The sculpture, which is called "Brickface Hope" and has the word "hope" etched in several places, was created by artist James Tyler.

"Brickface" is part of New Mexico's permanent collection and has been on a five-year loan to the Land Office since 2011.

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Regional
11:27 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Increasing Adult Criminal Age To 18 May Be Non-Starter In Texas

Efforts are underway in the Texas Legislature to change a state law that automatically classifies 17-year-olds charged with a crime as adults, but they'll likely be halted by a senator who chairs a committee that would hear the bills.

Democratic Sen. John Whitmire says he "hasn't even thought about" whether his committee will have a hearing for bills that propose raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18.

Texas' law has been in place since 1918, long before research revealed that a human brain isn't fully developed until age 25.

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Regional
11:23 am
Sun March 1, 2015

New Mexico Committee Approves New Gaming Compact

A New Mexico legislative committee has thrown its support behind a proposed new gambling compact between the state and Native American tribes.

The compact committee voted 15-1 in favor of the proposal Saturday after hearing several hours of public testimony.

The revamped gambling compact would let tribal casinos stay open around the clock and offer complimentary food and lodging.

The committee also voted against six amendments. The proposed agreement now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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Regional
10:22 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Are New Mexico's Economic Initiatives Aimed In Wrong Direction?

Kitchen staff at Italian restaurant Bella Luca serve up the night's dinner menu. Economists say businesses with a stake in the local community like this one may have more economic staying power.
Credit Simon Thompson

According to MIT, mid-size companies, that’s businesses with 10 to 99 employees, generate 35% of jobs nationally.  And these companies are better at creating middle class jobs in high-skilled areas. New Mexico economic initiatives are not focused on supporting the growth of these companies.

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Regional
3:41 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

In Depth: Busy Week In Austin

Nearly 180 years after Mexican soldiers surrounded the Alamo, state Sen. Donna Campbell worries another invading foreign force may be closing in on the historic outpost.

The tea party darling has filed a bill prohibiting Texas from allowing the Alamo to fall under foreign control. It's administered by the state, which has no plans to cede it to another entity, foreign or otherwise.

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Regional
3:39 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

Tribe Asks Court To Compel Martinez To Sign Compact

Credit Office of the Governor

An Oklahoma-based American Indian tribe wants New Mexico's highest court to force Gov. Susana Martinez to sign a gambling compact with them.

The Fort Sill Apache Tribe filed documents in state Supreme Court on Friday, arguing that Martinez has ignored requests by its chairman to sign on to existing compacts.

Tribe officials say a new gambling compact being considered in the state Legislature prevents Fort Sill Apaches from being able to sign because their land wasn't held in federal trust status before 1988.

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Regional
5:15 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Murder Charge In Failed Drug Burglary

  Las Cruces---A grand jury found that the state’s evidence brought against Joshua Jones warranted a 1st Degree Murder charge along with Attempt to Commit 1st Degree Murder; Attempt to Commit Aggravated Burglary (Deadly Weapon); Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Burglary and (4) counts of Tampering with Evidence.

On the afternoon of February 14, 2015 emergency services received multiple calls reporting gunfire in the Claude Dove and Delano Drive area.  Responding officers located Fernando Molina and his brother Antonio Molina both with gunshot wounds to the abdomen.

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Regional
4:09 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Las Cruces Public Schools Prepare For Possible Student Walkout

Las Cruces Public schools are preparing for Monday’s planned student walkout to protest the new PARCC tests.

There are a number of risks for students planning on walking out of Monday’s test. The test is necessary to receive a high school diploma. An Alternate Demonstration of Competency, which would be an end of course exam approved by the state, can be taken only if the student has attempted the PARCC test three times.

Superintendent Stan Rounds says students who walk out on Monday can still graduate if they take the make-up within the next three weeks.

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Regional
2:59 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Another Guilty Plea In Heroin Trafficking Investigation

  ALBUQUERQUE – Patrick Gonzalez, 39, of Las Cruces, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court to heroin trafficking and firearms charges under a plea agreement that requires him to serve an 18-year federal prison sentence followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

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Regional
2:51 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Las Cruces Man Gets 20 Years For Violating Federal Firearms Laws

  ALBUQUERQUE – Clemente Eduardo Vasquez-De La Cruz, 27, a naturalized citizen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, who resides in Las Cruces, N.M., was sentenced this afternoon in federal court to 20 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for violating the federal firearms laws. 

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Regional
2:50 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Federal Jury Finds Deming Residents Guilty On Kidnapping And Firearms Charges

ALBUQUERQUE – A federal jury sitting in Las Cruces, N.M., returned a guilty verdict earlier today finding Jessie Hopper, Sr., 54, and Polly Hopper, 61, of Deming, N.M., guilty on kidnapping and firearms charges after a five-day trial.  The verdict was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent Carol K.O. Lee of the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, Special Agent in Charge Thomas G. Atteberry of the Phoenix Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas and Luna County Sheriff Jonathon Mooradian.   

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Regional
2:06 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Outrage Over Standardized Testing In New Mexico

Several dozen students protested at the State Capitol on Friday and more plan to walk out of schools around New Mexico next week as frustration over a new standardized test grows.

Some lawmakers say there's confusion over the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers or PARCC tests that start Monday, especially over whether students have the right to opt out if they so choose.

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Regional
2:01 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

NMSU Offers Sustainability Minor

David Boje and his colleagues, Raymond Fierro and Sebastien Vendette prepare a table on sustainability opportunities at the annual Career Fair.

  By implementing four sustainability minors housed in the colleges of Engineering; Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Business; and Arts and Sciences, management professor and faculty coordinator David Boje is “greening the curriculum.” The 18-credit, university-wide undergraduate minor offered in three tracks allows students to explore challenges in local and global sustainability. 

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Regional
1:59 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Book Sale To Benefit Branigan Library In Las Cruces

  An upcoming book sale will benefit Thomas Branigan Memorial Library by generating revenue to pay for summer reading programs for children and adults, and purchase library materials including books and DVDs.

The Friends of Thomas Branigan Memorial Library (FTBML) will conduct the book sale at the library, 200 E. Picacho Ave., from 1 – 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 6, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, and 1 – 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 8.

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Regional
8:19 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Bernalillo County Commission Approves Gross Receipts Tax Increase

Credit bernco.gov

People shopping in the Albuquerque area will be paying more sales tax on many purchases.

The Bernalillo County Commission on Thursday voted 3-2 vote to increase the gross receipts tax by three-sixteenths of 1 percent effective July 1.

That increase amounts to an additional 19 cents on a $100 purchase.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the increase is projected to raise $30 million annually.

Two-thirds of that amount is supposed to pay for mental- and behavioral-health programs.

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Regional
8:15 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Nonprofit Care Provider Reportedly Plans To Leave New Mexico

A nonprofit reportedly plans to stop providing mental health services in southern New Mexico.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that La Frontera New Mexico would be the second Arizona-based provider to give up on New Mexico after being brought in to replace other Medicaid providers terminated under a 2013 shake-up by Gov. Susana Martinez's administration.

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Regional
8:15 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Latest Winter Storm, Ice Covers Highways In New Mexico

The latest winter storm to hit New Mexico is covering highways with snow and ice and closing schools in some areas.

Highways with severe or difficult driving conditions Friday include a 161-mile stretch of Interstate 25 between Glorieta and Raton Pass in northern New Mexico and a 155-mile stretch of Interstate 40 between Milagro and the Texas line.

The state Department of Transportation says its crews are plowing, salting and cindering.

Areas were schools are closed include Rio Rancho and Albuquerque's east mountains.

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Regional
6:00 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Community Members Come Together To Create Lasting Artwork

The Las Cruces Creates exhibit at the New Mexico State University closes this weekend, but the results of a community-weaving project were unveiled last night.

John Garrett directed the Community Weave at Las Cruces creates, a large piece that includes fabric from t-shirts donated by the community. He says the project was about more than creating art.

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Regional
7:29 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Heated Exchange Stalls New Mexico Solitary Confinement Reform

A New Mexico House panel did not vote on a solitary confinement reform proposal after a Democratic member questioned why anyone would oppose it, which led to a heated exchange.  The House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee ended abruptly Thursday after Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero refused to stop talking over the objections of Chairman William Rehm, who then adjourned the meeting.

Witnesses who had testified in support of the bill sat stunned as the meeting suddenly ended.

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