Regional

Regional
1:23 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Federal Data: As Oil Production Soars, So Do Pipeline Leaks

The oil pipeline leak that fouled a stretch of California coastline this week reflects a troubling trend in the nation's infrastructure: As U.S. oil production has soared, so has the number of pipeline accidents.

An analysis of federal data by The Associated Press shows that since 2009, the annual number of significant accidents on oil and petroleum pipelines has shot up by almost 60 percent, roughly matching the rise in U.S. crude oil production.

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Regional
1:20 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Texas Jobless Rate Holds At 4.2 Percent

The Texas unemployment rate for April held steady at 4.2 percent.

The Texas Workforce Commission on Friday announced last month's statewide jobless figure compares to nationwide unemployment of 5.4 percent.

Texas through March had seven straight months of unemployment rate declines.

Amarillo had the state's lowest jobless rate for April at 2.7 percent. Commission officials say McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the highest unemployment statewide at 7.3 percent.

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Regional
1:19 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Skandera: PARCC Testing Time To Be Reduced By 90 Minutes

New Mexico's top public school official says a decision to reduce the time students spend taking tests based on the Common Core standards will make a difference in the state.

Public Education Secretary Hannah Skandera and members of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Career, or PARCC, governing board voted this week to reduce the testing time by about 90 minutes.

They also decided to narrow the testing window to once a year.

Rolled out earlier this year, the testing sparked intense opposition from teachers, parents and students.

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Regional
1:18 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

El Paso Police Shoot, Kill Man Who Confronted Them With Gun

El Paso police say two officers fatally shot a 22-year-old armed man after he had tried to get inside a children's day care center.

Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Mears say officers on Thursday morning shot the man after he ignored commands and made a "threatening motion" with his gun toward them. The man, who wasn't identified, died at the scene. It's the third fatal shooting by El Paso police this year.

Officers had responded after receiving a report of a man who appeared to be distraught and holding a gun to his head while walking behind a business.

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Regional
1:15 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Albuquerque School Board Refuses To Pay State $1.4 Million For PARCC Standardized Test

Credit ped.state.nm.us

Albuquerque Public Schools won't be reimbursing the state education department for this spring's PARCC testing costs.

The school board voted 4-3 on Wednesday night to hold back the $1.4 million reimbursement after audience members at the meeting voiced opposition to PARCC and the new teacher assessments that are partially based on them.

School board members didn't explain their votes. Superintendent Brad Winter and several board members couldn't be reached for comment.

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Regional
10:57 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Additional Charges Filed In Attempted Murder

  Las Cruces—Margarita Flores was indicted by a district court grand jury in March 2014 for the attempted murder of her boyfriend Carl Edwards in Chaparral, NM.

Flores is charged with Attempted Murder in the first degree and now, or in the alternative, Aggravated Battery (Great Bodily Harm) and Aggravated Battery (Deadly Weapon) (Firearm Enhancement); superseding charges.

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Regional
10:33 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Tax Cut Deal Struck With End Of Texas Legislature In Sight

A newly struck budget deal gives new Republican Gov. Greg Abbott the tax cuts he demanded but is blemished by skepticism that Texas homeowners will notice any savings.

An agreement late Thursday on $3.8 billion in tax cuts ends weeks of discord between the House and Senate. It puts Abbott closer to signing Texas' biggest tax cuts in a decade and finishing his first legislative session on time.

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Regional
10:23 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Ten People Get Federal Prison Over El Paso Methamphetamine Ring

Ten people have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a West Texas-based methamphetamine ring that sent drugs to California, Illinois and Georgia.

Federal prosecutors in El Paso on Thursday announced the sentences ranging from nearly 21 years to 18 months behind bars.

All ten people earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Investigators say the case involves crystal meth that was smuggled last year from Mexico.

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Regional
10:19 am
Fri May 22, 2015

White Sands Missile Range Destroys Missile During Test Flight Gone Wrong

Living near a missile testing range comes with its share of unexplained oddities.

For Las Cruces residents on Thursday, those included twisting, vertical contrails in the sky and a brief highway closure. The strange contrails above the Organ Mountains were left by a missile that was destroyed when a test flight went wrong at White Sands Missile Range.

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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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