Regional

Regional
3:20 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Chair Of Otero County Commission Under Fire For Comments

  

  The Chair of the Otero County Commission is under fire for comments at a meeting earlier this month. 

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Regional
2:53 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

New Mexico Jobless Rate Rises; Job Losses In High-Paying Fields

New Mexico's unemployment rate rose to 6.2 percent in April, up from 6.1 percent in March, while the state continued a long string of over-the-year job growth.  Despite the growth, the state lost jobs in two high paying sectors.  Eleven economic sectors added jobs in the past year while two — construction and financial activities — lost jobs.

The Department of Workforce Solutions said Wednesday the economy added 12,600 nonfarm jobs in April compared with April 2014, when the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.7 percent.

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Regional
2:51 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

U.S. Won't Seek Supreme Court Review To Permit Immigration Relief

The government says it won't ask the Supreme Court to review a judge's decision that put on hold President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.

The Justice Department announcement on Wednesday came one day after a federal appeals court panel refused to stay a Texas judge's injunction that kept the sweeping immigration plan from taking effect.

Spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said the Justice Department is instead focused on its appeal that will be argued the week of July 6 before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Regional
2:09 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Interim President Named For NMSU Alamogordo

Ken Van Winkle, associate dean of New Mexico State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, has been named interim president at NMSU Alamogordo, effective June 1. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

  Ken Van Winkle, associate dean of New Mexico State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, has been named interim president at NMSU Alamogordo, effective June 1. Garrey Carruthers, who serves as chancellor of the NMSU system, announced the appointmentWednesday morning. 

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Regional
1:02 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

New Mexico Regulators Delay Power Plant Decision

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

New Mexico regulators are giving Public Service Co. of New Mexico more time to ink agreements with a mining company, delaying a decision on whether to approve a plan to close part of the San Juan Generating Station.

The Public Regulation Commission voted 4-1 during its meeting Wednesday.

Commissioner Valerie Espinoza voted against extending the deadline for PNM, suggesting the utility was trying to submit new evidence in hopes of getting a different outcome.

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Regional
12:55 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

NMSU Featured On Top 100 Colleges And Universities For Hispanics List

Credit Darren Phillips, NMSU

  New Mexico State University has been recognized as one of the best institutions for Hispanics in the United States, according to the Top 100 Colleges and Universities for Hispanics as featured in the May edition of The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education. 

Using data from the Department of Education, NMSU ranked in the top 25 in both total bachelor’s degrees granted (24th) and graduate student enrollment (22nd). NMSU awarded 1,193 bachelor’s degrees (46 percent) to Hispanics, and 1,089 Hispanic students (34 percent) were enrolled in graduate school. 

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Regional
9:04 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Ex-LAPD Officer Wanted In Killing Arrested In Ciudad Juarez

A fugitive former Los Angeles police officer charged with killing a man during an off-duty fight has been deported back to the U.S. after his arrest in northern Mexico, authorities said.

Shortly after his arrest Tuesday in Ciudad Juarez, Henry Solis, 27, was deported to El Paso, Texas, where he'll be detained for now, said Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles. The FBI did not give further information on the next legal steps for Solis, but Eimiller said more would be revealed Wednesday.

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Regional
8:55 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Fatal Shooting Of Officer Rocks Rio Rancho

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

The fatal shooting of a police officer by a suspect described as a known gang member has shaken the normally quiet bedroom community of Rio Rancho.

Officials say residents are "jolted" in this the Albuquerque suburb where people move to escape city life and where officers patrol alone in vehicles.

Police say 28-year-old Andrew Romero shot and killed Officer Gregg Benner on Monday in what started off as a routine traffic stop.

Authorities say Romero was later arrested in Albuquerque's South Valley after robbing a gas station.

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Regional
8:47 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Texas Senate OK's Border Security Bill, Top Priority For Governor

The Texas Senate has passed a $300 million border security bill — one of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's priorities and part of a sweeping, $800 million border package.

Senators advanced the bill Tuesday 27-4 Tuesday, then gave it final approval later by the same vote. It now heads back to the House, which must agree upon tweaks.

The plan includes hiring hundreds of new troopers to guard the Texas-Mexico border, where they'll replace National Guard troops that then-Gov. Rick Perry deployed last summer.

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Regional
8:39 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Texas Legislature Doubles Benefits For Line-Of-Duty Deaths

The Texas Legislature has passed a bill to double the amount of money the state pays surviving spouses, children or parents of public employees killed in the line of duty.

The measure was unanimously approved by the Senate late Tuesday, after previously clearing the House.

If it becomes law, surviving spouses of a police officer, firefighter or other public employee killed on-duty would receive $500,000, up from $250,000 currently.

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Regional
6:00 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Las Cruces Participates In National Bike Safety Month

May is National Bike Safety Month, and cyclists across Las Cruces have been holding events to promote both cycling and safety. Cindy Robbins is a Certified Instructor with the League of American Bicyclists. She says there are many benefits to bike riding.

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Regional
4:20 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Overnight Closure Thursday On Missouri In Las Cruces

  Las Cruces – The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) District One office along with FNF Construction continue with work along I-25 between Lohman Avenue (exit 3) and University Avenue (exit 1). An overnight closure is scheduled for Thursday May 28, 2015 as work progresses on the southbound bridge.

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Regional
2:22 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Gessing: Be Prepared For Obamacare Changes

  The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to issue its decision in King v. Burwell in June. The ruling could have tremendous consequences for the healthcare law commonly known as Obamacare – and more importantly, it could have a huge impact right here in New Mexico.

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Regional
2:17 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Texas House Mulls Shielding Agencies That Bar Gays From Adopting

The Republican-controlled Texas House is poised to hear rules allowing religious child welfare agencies to block gays and same-sex couples from adopting children.

The measure protects agencies that object to such adoptions on religious grounds from being sued.

Social conservatives are championing it, but Democrats want to block it via stall tactics.

The prohibition should come via an amendment to a bill reorganizing the Department of Family and Protective Services, up for consideration Tuesday.

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Regional
2:16 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Rio Rancho Officer Shot To Death Identified

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

A police officer in a suburb of Albuquerque who was shot and killed during a traffic stop has been identified.

Rio Rancho police said Tuesday that Gregg Benner, a military veteran who had been with the department for four years, was gunned down while pulling over a vehicle shortly after 8 p.m. Monday.

Police say Benner later died at a hospital.

A person believed to be involved in the shooting was taken into custody in the Albuquerque area early Tuesday, but authorities are still searching for another suspect.

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Regional
2:15 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Border Patrol Agent Who Shot Into Mexico And Killed Teen Wants Case Dismissed

A U.S. Border Patrol agent who fired shots across the U.S.-Mexico border, killing a teenager, wants a civil rights lawsuit against him dismissed on grounds that the boy was in Mexico and therefore wasn't protected by the U.S. constitution.

A federal judge will hear arguments on his lawyer's motion to dismiss Tuesday.

The case was filed in Tucson, Arizona, on behalf of Araceli Rodriguez, the mother of 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez. The teen was killed Oct. 10, 2012, while in Nogales, Sonora, near the border fence.

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Regional
2:13 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Actor Sam Shepard Arrested For Suspicion Of DWI In Santa Fe

Actor and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard has been booked into the Santa Fe County jail on suspicion of aggravated drunken driving.

Police say Shepard was arrested Monday evening outside La Choza restaurant in downtown Santa Fe.

The 71-year-old Shepard told a police officer that he had two tequila drinks and was planning to drive home. The officer could smell alcohol on Shepard's breath and the actor had bloodshot, watery eyes.

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Regional
11:53 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Indictments Sought For Former Las Cruces Police Officers In Holding Cell Incident

  The Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General Tuesday announced the completion of their review of the investigation conducted by the New Mexico State Police in reference to a holding cell incident which occurred on December 23rd, 2014, involving former Las Cruces Police Officers Richard Garcia and Danny Salcido.

As a result of the review, District Attorney Mark D’Antonio and Attorney General Hector Balderas announced their offices will jointly prosecute Garcia and Salcido.

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Regional
8:28 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Texas House Bill Would Allow Concealed Weapons On Campus

The Texas House is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to allow concealed handguns in public college classrooms and buildings.

The measure sailed through the Republican-controlled Senate in March, but hasn't been set for a vote in the House until the final week of the legislative session. If approved there, it would go to Gov. Greg Abbott to sign into law.

Abbott has pledged to expand gun rights in his first session and the state's chief executive.

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Regional
8:25 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Doña Ana County's Onion Crop Looking Strong

Dona Ana County's onion crop is looking stellar so far this harvest season.

Agriculture officials say the crop hasn't suffered much from disease or pests.

The onion harvest tends to begin in the final week of May but this season actually kicked off last week.

Luna and Dona Ana counties are the main growing areas in New Mexico for onions.

New Mexico produced about 306 million pounds of onions in 2014.

Both the amount and the production value were up from 2013, though both figures tend to fluctuate — sometimes significantly — from year to year.

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Regional
8:21 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Rio Rancho Officer Fatally Shot; Person In Custody

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

A suburban Albuquerque police officer has been fatally shot during a traffic stop, the first time a Rio Rancho officer has been killed in the line of duty in the department's 34-year history.

Police Capt. Paul Rogers says the officer, a military veteran who had been with the Rio Rancho Police Department for four years, was shot while pulling over a vehicle Monday night.

The officer died at a hospital. His identity was not released immediately.

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Las Cruces Remembers Those Who Served On Memorial Day

Across the country, people took time out of their schedules to reflect on all those veterans who died while serving. Las Cruces held many events to remember those who’ve fallen.

Teckla McGuinness was one of many who attended a memorial service at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens Cemetery; she laid a wreath on the veteran’s monument to remember those she lost.

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Regional
8:00 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Texas Senate Approves Sharp Limits On Accident Report Info

The Texas Senate has voted to bar law enforcement from giving the media the names of people involved in traffic accidents.

The move came on a bill to protect accident victims from being harassed by lawyers seeking to file lawsuits. But the Senate pushed it further in what would be a drastic rollback of state public records law.

Sen. Charles Perry, a Lubbock Republican, says he wants to protect the families of fatal accident victims from hearing their loved one's name in the media. He said the media would still get access to criminal reports.

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Regional
7:58 am
Mon May 25, 2015

San Juan County Septic Pump Companies Facing State Fines

The New Mexico Environment Department is ramping up enforcement of required certification for septic pumping companies in San Juan County.

The Daily Times in Farmington reports that the department plans to fine non-compliant companies $100 per violation or face court action.

Department documents show only three of 22 septic pumping businesses in the county are properly certified.

State environmental regulators say the companies have until June 15 to get certified before receiving violation notices.

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Regional
7:55 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Work Begins On Interim Ventilation System At Nuke Dump

Credit Department of Energy

Workers at the federal government's nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico are installing a temporary ventilation system that will increase airflow in the underground facility.

The system will include two above-ground filter units and fans that will be connected to ductwork that feeds the underground portions of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

The plant has been closed for more than a year following a radiation release that stemmed from a chemical reaction among waste improperly packed inside a drum at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Monday Business Watch

 

   Fred Martino speaks with Jason Gibbs, Business Editor of the Las Cruces Sun News, for the latest local business updates.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Camp For Young Writers Coming To NMSU

NMSU doctoral student Michael Alarid is shown working with area middle and high school students during a previous summer creative writing workshop hosted at NMSU. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

  New Mexico State University is hosting a summer camp titled “Ink Spilling and Pixel Piling: An adventure for young writers.” The weeklong day camp runs from June 22-26. Workshops will include creative dramatics, poetry, creative nonfiction and short story writing.

This is the third year the Borderlands Writing Project and the English department in NMSU’s College of Arts and Sciences have sponsored the program, which gives writers from 7th – 12th grades the opportunity to explore their abilities with professional writers. 

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Regional
3:00 am
Mon May 25, 2015

For Southern New Mexico’s Best Spellers Competing Nationally Often Means Representing Texas

Native Las Crucen student Olivia Weinbaum holds the sign she wore while was representing Texas in the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Credit Simon Thompson

Only twice has a New Mexican ever won the Scripps National Spelling Bee… 

And both times the victory ended up going to Texas.

A lot of New Mexico’s best spellers only get a shot at making the national spelling bee by crossing state lines and competing in a Texas competition.

New Mexico ranking second to last nationally in both reading and writing the trend might spell out a bigger problem for the state education.

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Regional
11:20 pm
Sun May 24, 2015

Texas House And Senate Approve Tax Cuts

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

  The Texas House gave preliminary approval to increasing homestead property tax exemptions, key to a $3.8 billion tax cut package on Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's wish list.

Hours later Sunday, the Senate voted to cut business taxes by more than $2 billion.

The property tax cut saves homeowners about $120 annually, but only if approved by voters statewide in November. Homeowners could exempt $25,000 of their appraisal value from being taxed by local school districts.

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Regional
12:27 pm
Sun May 24, 2015

About 1 In 4 NMSU And UNM Graduates In STEM Majors

New Mexico's major universities may not be turning out graduates in science and mathematics at a rate fast enough for employers in those fields.

The University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University have given fewer degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — known as STEM subjects — than in liberal arts.

Records showed 25 percent of the more than 3,700 bachelor's degrees UNM conferred in fall 2014 were for STEM.

Twenty-eight percent of NMSU's 1,300 graduates at that time earned STEM degrees.

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