Regional

Regional
6:00 am
Fri May 22, 2015

O'Rourke Calls For End To Mass Detention Of Immigrants

Credit Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D) Texas

  El Paso-area Congressman Beto O’Rourke Thursday called on the United States to end the mass detention of undocumented immigrants.  O’Rourke was joined by a handful of other Democrats in a Washington D.C. press conference.  The Department of Homeland Security recently announced a number of reforms to improve the treatment of detainees.  But O’Rourke said the system cannot be fixed and it is un-American.

An editorial earlier this month in the New York Times called for an end to mass immigrant detention. 

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Regional
6:00 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Local Veterans Support Run For The Wall

For the past 10 days, Veterans have been riding motorcycles across the United States as part of the bike run, “Run for the Wall.” They rode through Las Cruces last week, and stopped at the local American legion.

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Regional
8:20 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Texas GOP Didn't Keep Conservative Promises, Tea Party Says

A broad coalition of Texas tea party groups is slamming the state's top three Republicans, arguing they failed to ensure that the Legislature kept key conservative promises.

A letter Thursday signed by 28 grassroots leaders worried that, with the June 1 end of session looming, many of their top priorities didn't have enough time left to pass.

It singled out Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus, saying if these "liberty-advancing, government-restraining bills die, once again, we will get excuses rather than results."

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Regional
8:17 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

$6M Settlement For Family Of Albuquerque Man Shot By Police

The family of a schizophrenic man who was fatally shot by Albuquerque police in 2011 has settled a federal civil rights lawsuit for $6 million.

A New Mexico judge ruled last June that two police detectives weren't acting in self-defense when they punched and shot 27-year-old Christopher Torres after a fight in the backyard of his northwest Albuquerque home.

The judge also said the use of deadly force violated Torres' constitutional rights.

KRQE-TV reports the Torres family won a similar suit in state court but the payout was capped at $400,000.

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Regional
8:15 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Hispanic Ranchers Cite Discrimination In Grazing Suit

Credit fs.usda.gov

A federal judge is weighing whether to let a case move forward in which a group of Hispanic ranchers is suing the U.S. Forest Service over a decision to limit grazing on historic land grant areas in northern New Mexico.

The ranchers claim the agency is discriminating by trying to push them from land that has been worked by their families for centuries.

U.S. District Judge James Browning heard arguments Thursday on a motion by the Forest Service to dismiss the case. He's expected to make a decision by September.

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Regional
3:08 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Legislature Approves Texas Fertilizer Safety Bill

Texas lawmakers have sent to Gov. Greg Abbott a bill meant to strengthen regulations for storing the chemical fertilizer that caused a fatal explosion in West in 2013.

The Senate gave final approval Thursday to requiring ammonium nitrate be kept separate from combustible material. The bill also grants the state fire marshal new powers to inspect businesses that store the chemical and issue citations.

Businesses would have 10 days to fix problems or face penalties.

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Regional
1:17 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Breakfast With Hillary In Albuquerque? $2,700 A Plate

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is planning a $2,700 per plate fundraiser for her visit to Albuquerque next month.

Former Albuquerque mayor Martin Chavez has spent months with the Clinton campaign and says the candidate likely won't hold any public events in states that don't have early primaries.

Most party nominations are clinched before the New Mexico primary, set for June 2016.

The June 3 breakfast is being hosted at the home of former U.S. ambassador to Spain and longtime Democratic fundraiser Ed Romero.

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Regional
10:13 am
Thu May 21, 2015

NM Public Defender's Office, Courts Seek Emergency Cash

Without an infusion of nearly $600,000 in emergency cash, the state public defender's office says about 1,600 people may be left with no legal representation.

Chief Public Defender Jorge Alvarado will be seeking funding from the New Mexico Board of Finance on Thursday. If the board approves, his office would have enough to provide criminal defense services for low-income people for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends in June.

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Regional
10:08 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Ranchers, Farmers Sue Feds Over Jaguar Habitat

Credit https://www.facebook.com/NMFarmBureau

Farmers and ranchers are suing the federal government over a decision to set aside hundreds of square miles near the U.S.-Mexico border as habitat essential for the conservation of the jaguar.

The New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, the New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association and the New Mexico Federal Lands Council filed their complaint Wednesday.

They say the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should not have set aside habitat in New Mexico because the area wasn't occupied by the jaguar when the animal was listed as an endangered species.

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Regional
10:04 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Feds Shoot Mexican Gray Wolf In New Mexico

Federal authorities say a Mexican gray wolf has been shot and killed in southwestern New Mexico after it was exhibiting escalating nuisance behavior.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the male wolf, dubbed M1130, was shot Wednesday in Catron County following reports of the wolf's behavior by residents.

Officials say the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team tried to remove the wolf by nonlethal means first before it was shot.

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Regional
10:00 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Albuquerque Teachers Burn Evaluations In Protest

Credit ped.state.nm.us

More than three dozen teachers burned their teacher evaluations as a sign of protest in front of the Albuquerque Public Schools headquarters.

The teachers set their evaluations ablaze Wednesday, as they described their ratings and the process used to assess them as meaningless and unfair.

Education Secretary Hanna Skandera launched the evaluation system, which connects student test scores to teacher ratings, in 2012. The system remains a source of controversy between the department and teacher unions.

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Regional
8:39 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Bridge Demolition Friday In Silver City

  Silver City: The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) with Interstate Highway Construction (IHC) is in the first phase as they move towards the demolition of the bridge on NM90/Hudson Street.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Las Cruces Losing Jobs In Higher-Paying Sectors

  Some New Mexico State University experts provide an assessment of the national and regional economies Thursday at 7 p.m. on KRWG-TV during the Chamber Economic Forum, a partnership between KRWG and the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce.  

In the Las Cruces metro area….the top three sectors with job losses are also high paying industries.  In the last year…Manufacturing was down more than 11 percent...Natural resources and construction was down by about nine percent…and business services was off by about four percent.

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Regional
6:32 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

State Judge Issues Ruling In Las Cruces Recall Election Lawsuit

District Judge Mary Rosner has rejected a lawsuit filed by a petitioner who wanted a recall election against Las Cruces city councilor Gill Sorg.

The petitioner, Robert Burow, challenged the Las Cruces city clerk's decision to throw out petition signatures, using the argument that signatures could only be withdrawn up until the petition was handed in to be certified.

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Regional
4:06 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

NMSU Listed Among Top Animal Science Graduate Programs

  New Mexico State University’s Department of Animal and Range Sciences’ graduate program has been ranked sixth nationally on the Graduate Program’s spring 2015 list for animal science programs. 

“Faculty in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences are very pleased that our program has been ranked sixth among all the animal science graduate programs in the United States,” said Dennis Hallford, Regents Professor and interim department head. 

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Regional
4:04 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

New Mexico Tax Break Granted For 14 Years By Mistake

New Mexicans will no longer be able to deduct a portion of their medical expenses from their taxes, even though many residents have been doing so for years.

The tax break has been granted to as many as 300,000 state taxpayers for 14 years.

A law creating the deduction passed in 2000, but its enactment was tied to the passage of other Medicaid-related measures that former Gov. Gary Johnson vetoed.

The state Compilation Commission caught the mistake last summer and went forward with removing the law from the state's books.

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Regional
3:59 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Texas Approves Border Security Funding To Fight Rio Grande Plant

A roughly $800 million border security package working its way through the Texas Legislature is meant to curb drug and people smuggling. But it could also attack another common enemy along the Rio Grande: Carrizo cane.

The House gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill passed last month by the Senate. It seeks to use part of the border security package's funding to eradicate the cane, which grows along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Regional
3:58 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Texas Court Throws Out Convictions Of Former Daycare Workers

An appeals court has thrown out the 1992 sex assault convictions of two ex-day care owners in Austin who deny abusing children.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals court on Wednesday reversed the convictions but did not exonerate Dan and Fran Keller. Both spent more than 20 years in prison.

The pair, who divorced while incarcerated, were released on bond in 2013 when the physical evidence was found to be mistaken by an examining doctor.

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Regional
3:57 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Texas Doctor Indicted In $5 Million Health Care Fraud Billing Case

A Dallas anesthesiologist has been indicted on 17 counts of health care fraud in what investigators say involves $5 million in fraudulent billing.

Dr. Richard Toussaint Jr allegedly submitted false claims during 2009 and 2010.

Prosecutors on Wednesday announced the case involving claims to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, United Healthcare and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

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Regional
3:56 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

NM Republicans Lodge Open Records Complaint Against State Auditor

Credit New Mexico State Auditor Timothy Keller (D)

The Republican Party of New Mexico has lodged a complaint with the state attorney general about what it says is a violation of the public records act by the state auditor.

Party spokesman Pat Garrett filed a request this month seeking all of Auditor Tim Keller's emails, expense payments and cellphone records since Jan. 1. That's when Keller, a former Democratic senator, assumed his new post.

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Regional
1:56 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

DEA Announces Largest-Ever Prescription Drug Crackdown

  DEA and federal prosecutors today announced unprecedented enforcement action across the states of Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi in an effort to reverse the horrible effects produced by the trafficking and abuse of pharmaceuticals.  As part of this effort, dubbed Operation Pilluted, 22 doctors and pharmacists were arrested in the 15-month operation which involved nearly a thousand law enforcement officers across the four states. 280 arrests took place total across the four states as part of the operation.

 

 

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Regional
12:08 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Las Cruces Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Drug Charges

  ALBUQUERQUE – Mario A. Oros, 32, of Las Cruces, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces to methamphetamine trafficking charges.

   Oros was arrested on Feb. 20, 2015, on an indictment charging him with distributing methamphetamine on Sept. 5, 2014 and Sept. 12, 2014, in Doña Ana County, N.M.  The indictment also calls for Oros to forfeit $3,000.00, representing the amount of money he derived from the drug trafficking offenses.

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Regional
11:40 am
Wed May 20, 2015

State Judge Rejects Las Cruces Recall Election Lawsuit

The Honorable Judge Mary W. Rosner

  District Judge Mary Rosner has rejected a lawsuit filed by a petitioner who wanted a recall election against Las Cruces city councilor Gill Sorg.

The petitioner, Robert Burow, challenged the Las Cruces city clerk's decision to throw out petition signatures.

In her ruling, Rosner cited state law, which allows the city clerk to "resolve issues of residency and major infractions."

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Regional
10:10 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Report: New Mexico Doing Better Than Most States In Placing Foster Chilldren With Families

A new report says New Mexico does better than most states in placing foster children in family settings.

An Annie E. Casey Foundation study released Tuesday found 92 percent of foster children in New Mexico are in family placements. That's a higher percentage than 43 other states.

The study says New Mexico also does well in the percentage of children who are placed in the care of a relative like a grandparent. Five percent of New Mexico's foster kids are in the care of relatives. Only four states have a higher percentage.

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Regional
10:04 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Republican Legislator Upset Over State Party Letter

Credit http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislator_details.aspx?SPONCODE=HGENN

Rep. Nate Gentry (R) is upset with the New Mexico Republican Party for a letter that appeared to be sent from him that contained a signature that wasn't his own and words he never said.

The politically-charged letter asking for donations was sent to nearly 11,000 New Mexico homes. It contained misspelled names and used the state's seal, which is not allowed in private political mailings.

KOB-TV reports Rep. Gentry says he found out about the letter Tuesday morning. He says he never reviewed it.

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Regional
10:00 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Vandalism May Prompt Closure Of Facilities In Chaparral

Doña Ana County officials may close several facilities in Chaparral due to what is described as "persistent vandalism and theft."

The county Facilities and Parks Department is preparing a recommendation to close the Delores Wright Community Center Park and the Colquitt Community Center.

County officials say thefts regularly steal air-conditioning and irrigation components from the facilities and have been causing more than $1,000 in damage weekly.

Recent damage included broken windows and graffiti.

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Regional
9:53 am
Wed May 20, 2015

May Storms Helping To Fight Wildfire Season

May has been an unusual month for drought-stricken New Mexico, with cool and wet storms throughout the state keeping wildfire season in check.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports a combination of factors are contributing to the latest weather trend. Experts say the arrival of El Nino and the early winter melting of snowpacks have brought some relief and increased hopes for a wet summer.

Meteorologist for the National Weather Service, Kerry Jones, says another reason for the increased moisture is that there isn't much delay between the storm systems, which keeps things wet.

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Regional
9:52 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Travelers Alert Family In Home After Spotting Arson Fire

A victim of an arson fire in Roswell is thankful that two travelers had trouble finding a relative's home.

The Roswell Daily Record reports that two men honked their vehicle's horn and knocked on windows to alert Brian Hurst after they spotted Hurst's SUV on fire in his home's carport late Monday night.

Hurst said his home is well insulated and the family hadn't heard anything before being alerted by the men, whose GPS had misdirected them.

The fire was beginning to catch the carport on fire, and Hurst says the strangers' actions may have saved his family's lives.

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Regional
6:00 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Doña Ana County Nears End of Comprehensive Plan And Unified Development Code

Doña Ana County is moving into the final phase of their Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Code as part of the Viva Doña Ana Initiative. Samantha Sonner has more on the last round of public input meetings.

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Regional
12:23 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Texas Senate Panel Passes Restrictions On Teen Abortions

A Texas Senate panel has approved tighter restrictions on a process enabling teens to have abortions in extreme cases, when they can't get the required parental consent.

Members of the Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday recommended Republican Rep. Geanie Morrison's bill to the full Senate. It passed the House last week and now only needs upper chamber approval.

Morrison's measure would drastically alter "judicial bypass," allowing girls under 18 to seek a judge's permission to have an abortion without parental consent.

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