Regional

Regional
10:12 am
Thu April 17, 2014

NMSU Launches Specialized Reading Program

  In an effort to help teachers be more effective at teaching reading as well as identifying children who may have dyslexia, the New Mexico State University College of Education has launched a Read to Succeed concentration in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders.

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Regional
9:22 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Air Force Says It Will Treat Toxic Plume

Credit Kirtland Air Force Base

The Air Force say its committed to treating an underground plume of toxic chemicals, backing away from a possible option of diluting contaminated water before it is delivered to customers of Albuquerque's water system.

The Albuquerque Journal says consideration of the option of diluting contaminated had received a stiff-arm response from local water officials and others who said it would be unacceptable to serve water with any contamination level.

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Regional
9:18 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Update Expected On Carlsbad Nuclear Dump

The Department of Energy plans an update on its latest entries into southeastern New Mexico's troubled nuclear waste dump.

Officials says crews made two more trips into the half-mile deep mine this week, and they plan to update the Carlsbad community about their findings at a community meeting Thursday evening.

The plant has been closed since mid-February, when a mysterious leak sent low levels of radiation into the air and contaminated 21 workers.

The leak happened nine days after a truck hauling salt underground caught fire on Feb. 5.

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Regional
9:16 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Helicopter Pilot Reported Problem With Controls

Credit facebook.com/UNMHospitals

The pilot of a medical helicopter that crashed in Albuquerque last week reported that the control pedals jammed or locked while taking off from the helipad on the University of New Mexico Hospital's roof.

The pilot's statement is contained in a National Transportation Safety Administration preliminary report on the April 9 crash.

It says the pilot began making a left turn but the helicopter kept turning and spun several crimes before crashing.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Drones Help NMSU Researchers

  A small group of researchers and technicians recently gathered on a dirt airstrip at the USDA Jornada Experimental Range to launch a Bat 4 unmanned aircraft on a mission, flying through both military restricted airspace and the National Airspace System. 

“We do rangeland monitoring, and it’s a way to gauge rangeland health to see how the plants are doing over the course of the year,” said Connie Maxwell, USDA biological science technician and NMSU affiliated faculty member.

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Regional
3:47 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

NMSU Regents Approve Revenue Bonds For Energy Savings

  At a special meeting April 16, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents gave final approval to issue $15.9 million in system subordinate lien revenue bonds. 

The proceeds from the sale of the bonds will be used to fund various energy cost savings improvements throughout the campus. These improvements are part of a guaranteed utility savings contract with Ameresco, an energy services company.

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Regional
3:45 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

New Mexico Prisons To End Overnight Family Visits

The New Mexico Department of Corrections has announced that it is ending overnight family visits for inmates.

The agency said Wednesday inmates will no longer be allowed conjugal visits beginning May 1.

Officials say the policy change comes after two years of "careful consideration."

The policy recently drew scrutiny after it was revealed last year that convicted killer and rapist Michael Guzman fathered multiple children while serving a life sentence.

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Regional
3:45 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

New Mexico Supreme Court Revives Election Challenge Against Democrat

New Mexico's highest court has revived a lawsuit seeking to remove maverick Democratic Rep. Sandra Jeff of Crownpoint from the June 3 primary election ballot.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the case back to a district court in Gallup for a hearing Friday on whether Jeff submitted enough valid voter signatures on nominating petitions to qualify as a candidate.

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Regional
3:43 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Arizona House Passes Bill Allowing Self-Defense Killing Of Endangered Wolves

The Arizona House of Representatives has approved a Senate bill allowing ranchers to kill endangered wolves in self-defense.

Senate Bill 1211 would allow livestock owners to kill a Mexican gray wolf if one was caught attacking livestock or a person.

Wildlife activists say the bill violates the federal Endangered Species Act. But a staff attorney says the bill has been watered down and now meets constitutional requirements.

A separate bill approved by both chambers sets up a reimbursement fund for ranchers who lose cattle to wolves. It stills final action.

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Regional
3:42 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Texas Awards $4.8 Million For West Recovery

State officials say an additional $4.8 million in disaster assistance will be provided to the Central Texas community of West as it continues to rebuild from the devastating fertilizer plant explosion last year that killed 15.

The office of Gov. Rick Perry announced Wednesday that the funding comes at the request last week by West officials for additional state money.

It will be used for work on water treatment and storage facilities, infrastructure repairs and other needs.

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Regional
3:38 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Outrage Over Martinez Statements

Democrats are calling on Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to apologize after a liberal publication released recordings in which she and aides used profanity and offensive names to describe political opponents.  Martinez said the tapes are stolen recordings of private debate prep sessions when she was running for her first term four years ago. She called their release by Mother Jones "the absolute height of desperation" by liberals trying to unseat her. But she does admit having "to fund the cuss jar a few times."

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Regional
3:31 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Victims Bilked Of Thousands By Fake Attorney

  Doña Ana County Sheriff’s investigators are seeking victims of a man who fraudulently acted as an attorney and took retainers for services he never provided. 

   According to court documents, Rafael Herrera, 38, worked for a local law firm from October 2011 to September 2012 and misrepresented himself as an attorney to at least one woman who claims Herrera charged her a $2,500 retainer for an immigration case.

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Regional
7:31 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Concession Stand Closures Eyed For Chimayo Walk

The New Mexico Department of Transportation is asking law enforcement agencies to stop all concession and roadside stands along the annual Good Friday pilgrimage route to the El Santuario de Chimayo.

The state agency said Tuesday to move to close concession stands is a safety measure aimed at protecting crowed walking areas.

Beginning Thursday through Good Friday, crews will work around the clock to provide the various accommodations for pilgrims.

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Regional
7:27 am
Wed April 16, 2014

NM Land Office Earns $69 Million In March

New Mexico schools, hospitals and universities received $69 million last month from the State Land Office.

Public Lands Commissioner Ray Powell announced the monthly distributions Tuesday, saying his office is working collaboratively with the private sector, tribes and local, state and federal agencies to create jobs for New Mexicans while taking care of the health of the state's working trust lands.

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Regional
7:23 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Gov. Martinez's PAC Raises $210K

Credit Office of the Governor

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's political action committee has raised about $210,800 in the past six months.

According to the latest campaign finance disclosure, Susana PAC had cash-on-hand of about $68,000 as of last week.

The oil and gas industry was a leading contributor to the PAC, providing $85,800. That included $10,000 each from five companies based in Artesia.

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who owns a house in Taos, contributed $10,400.

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Regional
6:00 am
Wed April 16, 2014

NMSU Researchers Study Tumbleweed Control

  In January, while the West made national news with extreme cold weather caused by the polar vortex, the Southwest experienced another phenomenon. It was the morning of Jan. 27 when strong winds hit the town of Clovis, breaking off dry tumbleweeds from the fields. In a matter of hours, thousands of weeds covered houses and businesses, many up to the roof. It took heavy machinery to help people out of their own houses. 

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Regional
4:10 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

New Mexico Holds A "Water Town Hall"

Credit Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

State officials, business leaders and others from around New Mexico are gathering for a two-day town hall focused on water use and other policy recommendations for dealing with severe drought.

Sen. Martin Heinrich, state engineer Scott Verhines, tribal leaders and mayors from several New Mexico towns are at the Albuquerque meeting, which runs through Wednesday. Meeting organizer Heather Balas says 31 of 33 counties are represented and interests span from lawmakers, farmers and students to researchers.

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Regional
4:09 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Santa Fe Mayor Proposes Higher Fines For Using Cell Phones While Driving

Credit NMSU

Santa Fe's mayor is proposing stiffer fines for people cited for using a cellphone while driving.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Mayor Javier Gonzales wants motorists who drive while using a cellphone to face a $200 fine.

That would be twice as much as the existing $100 fine.

The proposed fine would be $300 if the offense occurs in a school zone.

Gonzales says the city needs to do its part in combating distracted driving.

Municipal Court records indicate Santa Fe police issued 478 citations for cellphone violations last year.

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Regional
4:07 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Feds Condemn Anti-Police Fliers

Less than a week after the U.S. Justice Department blasted Albuquerque police for a pattern of excessive force, the federal agency is condemning threats of violence against officers in anti-police fliers that have surfaced in the city.

The Justice Department urged Albuquerque residents on Tuesday to "participate in the critical dialogue" after releasing Thursday the findings of its investigation into a string of police shootings since 2010, the majority of which were found to violate constitutional rights.

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Regional
4:06 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Groups Demand Immigration Action From Obama

Latinos and immigration activists are warning of political peril for President Barack Obama and Democrats in the fall election unless the president acts to curb deportations and allow more immigrants to remain legally in the U.S.

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Regional
4:04 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Abbott Faces Thorny Death Penalty Decision

Credit Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R)

The death penalty has strong public support in Texas. Political candidates don't dare get in the way of the state's use of the ultimate punishment. But Greg Abbott, Republican candidate for governor, must soon make a decision as attorney general that could disrupt the nation's busiest death chamber. Abbott must decide whether Texas must disclose the source of its execution drugs, which could prompt suppliers to halt their deliveries.

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Regional
4:02 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Navajo Code Talker Dies

A Navajo man who aspired to be a pilot but was recruited to become a Code Talker during World War II has died.

Michael Smith says his father, Samuel "Jesse" Smith, died Monday night in Albuquerque after recent bouts with pneumonia. He was 88.

The elder Smith enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps to become a pilot, but his plan was derailed because he didn't have a high school diploma. Instead, he became one of hundreds of Navajos who used a code based on their native language to confound the Japanese and help win the war.

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Regional
4:01 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Martinez Announces Proposals For New Veterans' Cemetaries

Credit Office of the Governor

Gov. Susana Martinez has announced that Angel Fire, Carlsbad, Fort Stanton, and Gallup are being proposed as sites for new rural veterans' cemeteries in New Mexico.

At a news conference in Albuquerque Tuesday, Martinez said choosing the towns is a first step in an effort to provide new cemeteries closer to homes of veterans. She recently signed a bill aimed at providing $600,000 to plan, design, and construct regional veterans' cemeteries.

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Regional
3:53 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

New Mexico's Largest County Settles For $570,000 With Former Employee

Bernalillo County will pay $570,000 to settle a lawsuit involving a former attorney and spokeswoman for the sheriff's office.  Jennifer Vega Brown sued in county in October 2012. She alleged she was retaliated against after raising concerns about discrimination and sexual harassment against Hispanic women in the sheriff's office.  The county admits no liability in the settlement, which is a combination of two lawsuits that Vega Brown filed.

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Regional
11:47 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Suspect Accused Of Making Threat Caught On Camera

 

  Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office deputies are looking for a man who walked into a north valley liquor store Monday evening, stole a 12-pack of beer and threatened to kill the clerk. The man was caught on surveillance video.

     Just after 7 p.m., deputies were called to the 5100 block of Doña Ana Road, where the clerk said a Hispanic male, believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s, walked in and grabbed a 12-pack of beer.

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Regional
9:22 am
Tue April 15, 2014

NM Water Issues To Be Addressed In Town Hall

State officials, business leaders and others from around New Mexico are gathering for a two-day town hall to hammer out a series of recommendations on water use and policy.

The meeting starts Tuesday in Albuquerque. Participants are focusing on the state's aging water infrastructure, conservation and planning for crisis situations.

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Regional
9:19 am
Tue April 15, 2014

New Drug Tip Hotline In Santa Fe

A new tip hotline aimed at fighting drug trafficking in Santa Fe is now up and running.

Santa Fe police and other officials launched his week a 24/7 drug tip hotline authorities hope will help reduce heroin in the region.

The Regional Emergency Communication Center will handle incoming calls and the hotline will carry a distinctive ring so police will know about an incoming drug tip.

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Regional
8:36 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Pearce, Ranchers Meet On Lesser Prairie Chicken

Credit Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

 

Around two dozen ranchers have expressed their frustration to U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce over the federal government's decision to list the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that the Republican congressman met with the ranchers in Lovington on Monday for what is a series of planned meetings over the rare grouse. Meetings are also scheduled in Roswell on Tuesday and Portales on Wednesday.

Pearce said some believed the drought and the federal government should take some of the blame for the dwindling numbers for the chicken.

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Regional
8:00 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Martinez Goes Into Fall Campaign With $4.2 Million In The Bank

  Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has raised $1.5 million for her re-election in the past six months, giving her big fundraising advantage over Democratic challengers.

The Martinez reported cash-on-hand of $4.2 million as of last week.

Monday was the deadline for candidates to file campaign finance disclosures with the secretary of state's office.

Five Democrats are running for their party's gubernatorial nomination in the June 2 primary election.

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Regional
3:46 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Grand Jury In Perry Ethics Case

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

A grand jury is being seated in an investigation into whether Republican Gov. Rick Perry abused his power by vetoing funding for public corruption prosecutors.

Special State District Judge Bert Richardson began impaneling jurors Monday in Austin.

The investigation began after Perry vetoed $7.5 million in funding last summer for a public integrity unit under Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.

Perry called on Lehmberg to resign after the Democrat was convicted of drunken-driving. When she refused, Perry pulled state funding for the unit.

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