Regional

Regional
3:40 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Work On Key Spaceport Road May Start In Summer

Credit spaceportamerica.com

Officials say an improved southern New Mexico road to Spaceport America is slated to be under construction by next summer.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Dona Ana County officials told lawmakers Monday the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is reviewing the environmental impact of the road proposal. Officials also told lawmakers during a committee meeting the decision on the road could come in April.

Supporter of the taxpayer-funded Spaceport have said a paved southern route is crucial for county residents and businesses to benefit economically from the project.

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Regional
3:34 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

New Mexico Unemployment Rate Declines In September

New Mexico's unemployment rate declined in September as the state's economy added thousands of jobs.

The state Department of Workforce Solutions reports that the nonfarm unemployment rate in September was 6.6 percent, down from 6.7 percent in August and 6.9 percent in September 2013.

The department reports that the economy added 6,400 jobs in September, the largest increase in 13 months.

Gains in seven economic sectors offset losses in five others, while employment was unchanged in one sector.

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Regional
3:30 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Zoo Boosts Security After Tasmanian Devil's Death

Albuquerque BioPark Zoo
Credit cabq.gov

The killing of a rare Tasmanian devil on loan from Australia has prompted beefed-up security at a New Mexico zoo and a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

The Albuquerque Journal 

reports that the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo is adding more guards and surveillance cameras following the death of the animal named Jasper at the zoo last week.

An examination concluded that Jasper died from a fractured skull and brain trauma. A piece of asphalt was found nearby.

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Regional
3:23 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Forecasters: September Was A Good Month For NM

The numbers are in and forecasters with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque say September was a good month for New Mexico.

The state received 190 percent of its average rainfall last month. In all, an average of more than 3 inches fell across the state.

While last September ranked as the seventh wettest on record, state and federal officials said Tuesday during a monthly meeting that long-term drought is still a problem in New Mexico and that soil moistures have yet to recover.

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Regional
3:13 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Belen Woman Pleads Guilty To A Bank Fraud Charge

A Belen woman has pleaded guilty to a federal bank fraud charge and will have to pay more than $118,000 in restitution.

Prosecutors say 43-year-old Louisa Gabaldon entered into a plea agreement Tuesday with the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Gabaldon was indicted in August 2013 and charged with 12 counts of bank fraud.

The indictment alleged that from January 2004 through July 2010, Gabaldon engaged in an illegal scheme to defraud the Belen Railroad Employees Credit Union by making fraudulent withdrawal of funds from accounts belonging to her employer's customers.

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Regional
3:11 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

State Police: Tome Man Accused Of DWI For 6th Time

Authorities in New Mexico say a Tome man has been arrested on suspicion of DWI for the sixth time.

State Police say 60-year-old Michael Perea was pulled over on State Road 47 near Belen for failing to maintain his vehicle's lane of travel.

The officer who made the traffic stop detected an odor of alcohol on Perea's breath along with blood-shot, watery eyes and slurred speech.

Perea admitted to drinking four beers earlier.

Authorities say a breath test showed Perea had a blood-alcohol level of at least .16 percent and was arrested.

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Regional
12:25 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

New Mexico Unemployment Rate Declines In September

Credit New Mexico Department for Workforce Solutions

New Mexico's unemployment rate declined in September as the state's economy added thousands of jobs.

The state Department of Workforce Solutions reports that the nonfarm unemployment rate in September was 6.6 percent, down from 6.7 percent in August and 6.9 percent in September 2013.

The department reports that the economy added 6,400 jobs in September, the largest increase in 13 months.

Gains in seven economic sectors offset losses in five others, while employment was unchanged in one sector.

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Regional
8:21 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Spaceport America at ISPCS 2014

The International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight was held in Las Cruces, last week.

Christine Anderson gave the audience a quiz at ISPCS to help teach them the lessons she has learned as Executive Director of the world’s first purpose built commercial spaceport.

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Regional
8:17 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Police: El Paso Officer Shot, Hospitalized

El Paso police are searching for a man who they say shot an officer.

Police say a man shot the officer Monday night. The officer was taken to area hospital and his condition is unclear.

They haven't released the officer's identity or other information about the shooting.

Witnesses tell KVIA-TV and KTSM-TV that the officer had pulled over a car when a person in another car passed and fired several gunshots.

No arrests have been reported.

Information from: KVIA-TV and KTSM-TV.

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Regional
8:13 am
Tue October 21, 2014

WNMU, Cuidad Juarez School Sign Agreement

Western New Mexico University has signed an agreement with a Ciudad Juarez school to allow students from Mexico study at the university's language institute.

The agreement with Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez signed last week opens the Silver City school to 30 students from Mexico in November. They will take intensive English immersion four-week courses.

Another 50 students are scheduled to enroll in classes in June.

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Regional
8:12 am
Tue October 21, 2014

New Mexico GOP Hopes To Win Legislative Majority

Democrats have controlled the New Mexico House for the past 60 years, but the political landscape is giving Republicans hope for a breakthrough in the general election.

Republicans need a net gain of three seats to take control of the 70-member House. There are at least 10 competitive races, with Democrats and Republicans each holding five of those seats.

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Regional
8:10 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Reward Offered In Death Of Albuquerque Zoo Animal

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

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of anybody involved in the killing at the Albuquerque zoo of a rare animal from Australia.

The Albuquerque Journal also reports that the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo is ramping up its security with guards and surveillance cameras in the wake of the killing of a Tasmanian devil named Jasper at the zoo last week.

The animal was one of four Tasmanian devils on loan to the Albuquerque zoo from Healesville Sanctuary in Australia.

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Regional
4:47 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Sheriff's Office Warns Of Phone Scam

Credit Dona Ana County Sheriff

The Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a recent telephone scam that attempts to collect money for bogus warrants.

            About a dozen victims have reported the scam to the sheriff’s office in the last week. The victims all report the same nature of the call: a person falsely identifies themselves as a member of the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office, telling the victim that there is an outstanding warrant for their arrest. In order to clear the warrant, the victim is told to deposit money into a Pay Pal account.

 

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Regional
4:43 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Man Suspected Of Striking Two Officers

Adam Wayne Schmidt
Credit Las Cruces Police

A man suspected of striking two Las Cruces Police officers has been charged with a pair of felonies.

Adam Wayne Schmidt, 30, is charged with two counts of battery upon a peace officer and one count of resisting an officer. The battery charges are fourth-degree felony offenses.

At around 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, Las Cruces Police were dispatched to the report of a fight between three men on the 1100 block of east Montana Avenue. Officers spoke with neighbors who described what they saw but no fight was observed by police.

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Regional
4:39 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

WNMU To Open State's First Center For Gender Equity

WNMU students Enrique Soto Ruiz, Maria Montanez, Fabiola Barba and Marilynn Grijalva; professor Dr. Emma Bailey and professor Dr. Lydia Huerta
Credit Western New Mexico University

Western New Mexico University has a new initiative called The Center For Gender Equity. It is the first center focusing on all genders on a college campus in New Mexico and its opening marks another step in making the WNMU campus an open and diverse community for students.

The new Center will have a ribbon cutting and open house on Thursday, October 30 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Located on 1211 Mississippi Street, The Center will be the home of programs and initiatives celebrating gender and sexual identity diversity and inclusion for students at WNMU.

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Regional
3:19 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Officials: Dead Chickens Left At NM Cemetery

Authorities say dead chickens and pigeons are being left at a New Mexico cemetery.

Bernalillo County officials told KRQE-TV that Animal Care Services reported at least eigh

t mysterious cases where the dead birds have been left at an Albuquerque South Valley cemetery over the last year and a half.

Animal Care Services spokesman Larry Gallegos says he birds in bags and boxes appeared to have been killed humanly. But he says since the acts appear to be part of a religious ceremony, the person leaving the dead animals likely won't face charges.

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Regional
3:12 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Santa Fe Police: Wanted Man Arrested At Motel

Santa Fe police have arrested a 33-year-old man accused of attempting to ram a police car while trying to avoid arrest during a pursuit.

Police spokeswoman Celina Espinoza says Robert Pacheco was arrested early Monday morning after police received information he was hiding out a hotel.

Espinoza says officers were attempting to detain Pacheco on an outstanding warrant last Wednesday when the attempted ramming to place.

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Regional
3:11 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

VA Hospital In Albuquerque To Operate Fewer Beds

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Credit albuquerque.va.gov

The Department of Veterans Affairs says it is reducing the number of inpatient beds at its Albuquerque hospital by 20 percent due to a nationwide nursing shortage.

The department says the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center is limiting its inpatient beds to 120, down from 150.

The department says the reduction of the number of beds in multiple wards addresses concerns regarding patient safety and quality of care.

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Regional
3:05 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

El Paso Police Shoot, Kill Man Brandishing Gun

Police have shot and killed a reportedly armed man outside a hotel in east El Paso.

The El Paso Times reports that an employee at the Quality Inn on Montana Avenue reported being threatened by a man with a gun outside the hotel around 5 a.m. Monday.

Police spokesman Mike Baranyay said responding officers were also threatened by the same man. They eventually shot him.

The man, who has not been identified, died at the scene.

The incident is still being investigated, and few details were immediately available.

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Regional
3:02 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Fall Colors Dot Arizona, New Mexico Landscapes

From the snow-dusted peaks of northern Arizona's San Francisco Mountains to the fire-singed mountainsides of New Mexico, Mother Nature is signaling that fall is here.

Forest officials say colors are at their peak in the high country around Flagstaff, along the Mogollon Rim and on Mt. Lemmon near Tucson.

In New Mexico, some spots are already past their peak thanks to cooler temperatures but other areas are beginning to pop with splashes of yellow, red and orange as the aspens, oak and cottonwoods change color.

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Regional
3:00 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

New Mexico Prisons On Lockdown In Contraband Hunt

New Mexico Department of Corrections
Credit corrections.state.nm.us

New Mexico Corrections Department Secretary Gregg Marcantel has ordered a lockdown of the state's 11 prisons as part of an unannounced hunt for contraband.

The department announced the lockdown Monday and said staff would search every housing unit and review conditions of buildings.

Marcantel says the lockdown was part of periodic reviews aimed at safety and reducing recidivism rates.

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Regional
8:11 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Efforts To Create A Firewise Designation in Black Forest, Ruidoso

After the Little Bear Fire in 2012, areas in Ruidoso realized they needed to protect themselves from future disasters and formed the Little Bear Forest reform coalition.

After working with the organization and doing research, One man decided to lead an effort to do more

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Regional
8:05 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Inequality Presents Major Inhibitor To Economic Development For Las Cruces

Leslie Belt, a transplant from Austin TX works minimum wage jobs in Las Cruces.
Credit Simon Thompson

Income inequality has been on the rise nationally and in New Mexico for the last 40 years. Economists say it’s a drag on growth and opportunity that the federal government needs to address. But as Simon Thompson reports….cities like Las Cruces are already looking for ways to address the issue.

New Mexuci State University economics professor Jim Peach says the growing income inequality and
a vanishing middle class has had a dramatic affect on the economy both nationally and in New Mexico. 

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Regional
7:57 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Texas Begins Early Voting With Photo ID Law Intact

Early voting is starting in Texas and elections officials will enforce voter ID after the U.S. Supreme Court let the contested law remain in place.

Polls open Monday and early voting runs through Oct. 31. This will be the highest-turnout election in Texas under a strict voter ID measure that a federal judge this month found unconstitutional.

But the Supreme Court this weekend gave Texas permission to still require one of seven forms of photo identification. The court offered no explanation for its decision.

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Regional
7:55 am
Mon October 20, 2014

New Mexico Invests $1.1 Million In Preservation

A near record number of grants awarded by the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division resulted in more than $1.1 million being invested in preservation projects this year.

The division says work was completed in September on 16 projects around the state. That work was paid for with more than $300,000 in grants earlier this year. Communities invested another $735,000 in matching funds and labor.

The projects ranged from stabilizing 1,000-year-old ruins in northwestern New Mexico to rebuilding Santo Domingo Trading Post's 1880 warehouse façade.

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Regional
7:54 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Couple Sentenced In N.M. Embezzlement Case

    

A former New Mexico couple has been sentenced to five years of supervisory probation after pleading guilty to embezzlement and tax evasion charges in a case that involved the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars from an Albuquerque family business.

State authorities say 37-year-old Antoinette Greenlee and her husband, 48-year-old James Greenlee Jr., were sentenced last week.

In addition to probation, they must pay restitution to the woman's father for embezzling money from his construction materials business.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Grant Will Fund Study Of Public Policy Health Impacts

  EL PASO—The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) will be leading the development of a health impact assessment (HIA) program for the border region.  It’s a tool to look at the potential health impacts of proposed infrastructure improvements or policy changes.  UTEP’s program will focus on water, sanitation, and public transportation. 

UTEP received a grant of $250,000 from the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts based in Washington, DC, to develop the program. 

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

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
6:28 pm
Sun October 19, 2014

Texas GOP Closing In On Another Election Day Sweep

Credit Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R)

The biggest shakeup of Texas politics in decades is two weeks away.

As early voting begins Monday, little has changed since campaigns launched a year ago: Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott is still favored to become the next governor, George P. Bush is poised to win his political debut and Democrats remain longshots to break a 20-year losing streak in statewide races.

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Regional
6:21 pm
Sun October 19, 2014

Teen Stabbed To Death During Las Cruces-Area House Party

            

              Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a fight between several people at a house party north of Las Cruces that ended in the stabbing death of a 17-year-old boy.

            According to statements given to investigators, an 18-year-old man posted a message on Facebook last week that he was hosting a party at his house in the 5200 block of Bravo Road on Saturday while his mother was out of town.

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