Regional

Regional
8:25 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Supreme Court Will Not Hear Arizona Appeal Over Harboring Ban

Credit supremecourt.gov

    

The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from the state of Arizona over a ruling that blocked enforcement of part of Arizona's 2010 immigration law.

The justices had no comment Monday on their order declining to review the ruling that barred police from arresting people for harboring immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found last year that the harboring ban was vague and trumped by federal law, which already prohibits the harboring of people who aren't in the country legally.

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Regional
8:22 am
Mon April 21, 2014

N.M. Judge To Resume Hearing On Election Challenge

A judge in Gallup is scheduled to resume a hearing on a lawsuit seeking to remove a legislator from the June 3 primary election ballot.

District Judge Lous DePauli Jr. began the hearing Friday on the candidacy of Rep. Sandra Jeff of Crownpoint, a maverick Democrat who has sided with the GOP and Gov. Susana Martinez on high-profile legislative votes.

DePauli previously dismissed the election challenge because he determined Jeff didn't receive proper legal notice of the lawsuit.

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Regional
8:19 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Oktoberfest To Continue At Fort Bliss

Oktoberfest at Fort Bliss will go on despite the loss of some German Air Force personnel who for more than 40 years organized the event.

The El Paso Times reported Sunday that that Fort Bliss Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation program will step in as Oktoberfest sponsor. The event includes traditional food, beverages and entertainment.

The German Air Force last October deactivated its USA/Canada Command after nearly 60 years of a presence in the West Texas desert. Deactivation was the first step toward closing the command center at Fort Bliss by 2017.

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Regional
1:57 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

New Mexico Bankruptcy Filings Below U.S. Average

Bankruptcy filings in New Mexico dipped in 2013, continuing a downward trend that has been going on since 2010.

The clerk's office for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Albuquerque says the state overall had a rate of two bankruptcy filings per capita last year, which falls below the national average of 3.3.

The data shows Valencia County with the highest rate of the state's 33 counties with a ratio of 2.8 filings.

Sandoval and Torrance counties came in second and third, respectively.

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Regional
1:55 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

Report: Texas Lab Delays Lead To False Drug Convictions

Lengthy crime lab delays have forced at least 21 people across Texas to serve time in prison or jail on drug possession charges when the substance they had wasn't actually illegal.

All pleaded guilty and began serving time before confiscated samples came back from public labs for conclusive identification.

Because of lab backups or delays, the test results declaring 14 men and seven women innocent didn't arrive until months or, sometimes even years, later.

And prosecutors say there are almost certainly more such cases — but no one is keeping close count.

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Regional
1:54 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

Officials: El Paso Baseball Stadium Will Be Ready

Credit epchihuahuas.com

  With barely a week to go, officials are promising that El Paso's new $72 million stadium will be ready before the city's minor league baseball team's home opener.

A temporary certificate of occupancy has been issued for $72 million Southwest University Park. That's the future home of the Chihuahuas, a Triple-A Padres affiliate.

But an official certificate won't be given until two three-story buildings beyond right field are completed, furniture is installed and the kitchen is ready.

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Regional
1:52 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

Indicted Martinez Campaign Manager Wants Racino Evidence

Credit Office of the Governor

   A former campaign manager for New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez accused of hijacking her campaign's email system and lying about it is seeking information tied to a state contract for the Downs at Albuquerque.

Jamie Estrada's attorney says in court documents filed last week that evidence related to the Downs Racetrack & Casino could reveal possible credibility problems with Martinez and other potential witnesses.

Prosecutors say the Downs case is unconnected to the charges Estrada faces.

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Regional
9:51 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Hunt Is On For New Mexico Fugitive

  A fugitive accused of pulling a gun on a U.S. marshal in Albuquerque has a history of arrests.

The U.S. Marshals Service in Albuquerque is searching for Rufus Phelps a day after he allegedly threatened a marshal who was serving a bench warrant.

James Badway, a spokesman for the Marshals Service, says law enforcement found his car Saturday morning.

A grand jury indicted Phelps in September 2013 on several drug-related charges, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault against a household member.

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Regional
9:50 am
Sun April 20, 2014

"Breaking Bad" Prequel Shooting In Albuquerque

Walter White's lawyer is calling on Albuquerque residents.  The same company that handled casting for AMC drama "Breaking Bad" is looking for extras for the show's spinoff, which will be shot in Albuquerque.

"Better Call Saul" will follow sleazy attorney Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk, as he defends drug lords, criminals and those allegedly injured in minor traffic accidents.

The show is scheduled to debut in November.

Casting Company asks that actors submit a current photo with their name, height, weight, age, availability and their city of residence.

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Regional
9:48 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Free National Park Admissions

  Those looking to save some money Easter weekend and are near a national park may want to consider a trip.

The National Park Service is waiving admission fees this weekend as part of National Park Week.

The various parks are hosting special events such as Junior Ranger Day.

The Current-Argus reports that visitors to Carlsbad Caverns can come enjoy the caves and see Mexican free-tailed bats in the evening.

Park spokeswoman Valerie Gohlke says additional fees will be required for special ranger-guided tours.

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Regional
9:47 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Probe Could Complicate Perry's Presidential Dreams

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

  Texas Gov. Rick Perry has spent a record 14 years in office vanquishing nearly all who dared confront him.

But with eight months left on the job and a decision to make about the 2016 presidential race, the nation's longest-serving governor is now the focus of a grand jury investigation over a veto he cast last summer.

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Regional
9:42 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Weekend Murder Under Investigation

  The Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office is investigating the stabbing death of a 21-year-old Anthony man.  A 911 call was made at 11:18 p.m. Saturday that alerted authorities to the 1200 block of Church Street in Anthony. When sheriff's deputies arrived, they found the body of Gilberto Wences, who reportedly suffered multiple stab wounds.  Wences worked at the McDonald's in Anthony, TX - just across the state line - and lived in the 500 block of Waterfront. His family has been notified. According to investigators, Wences ended his work shift at 11 p.m.

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Regional
3:19 pm
Sat April 19, 2014

States Want Federal Lands

Officials from nine Western states say it's time for them to take control of federal lands within their borders.

The lawmakers and county commissioners met at Utah's Capitol on Friday to discuss their joint goal of taking oil-, timber- and mineral-rich lands away from the feds.

The summit wasn't publicized until midday, when notice went out about a late-afternoon news conference.

The meeting's result wasn't clear, but Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder told reporters federal land management is hamstrung by bad policies, politicized science and federal budget cuts.

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Regional
3:17 pm
Sat April 19, 2014

State Not Finished With Cheating Scandal

Texas education officials want to repeal state certifications of 11 administrators linked to an El Paso classroom cheating scandal.

It marks the first time the state has tried holding individual employees accountable for rampant cheating in the El Paso district from 2007 to 2010. School officials were accused of holding students back or coercing them into dropping out to improve standardized test scores.

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Regional
3:15 pm
Sat April 19, 2014

After Perry Veto, Effort Continues To Ban Texting While Driving In Texas

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

Efforts to implement a statewide texting while driving ban in Texas are likely to resurface next year no matter who replaces Gov. Rick Perry.

Texas is one of only seven states without a law prohibiting all drivers from texting while driving. Many major cities have ordinances on the books but attempts to pass a statewide ban in the Legislature have failed.

A safety nonprofit has designated April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Perry vetoed a texting bill in 2011. The two candidates vying to replace Perry have taken opposite views on the issue.

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Regional
3:14 pm
Sat April 19, 2014

Schools Concerned About New Law

Some New Mexico officials are concerned schools could be left vulnerable in the wake of a new law requiring they stockpile medicine to treat students who experience severe allergic reactions or asthma attacks.

Some school districts are hesitant to follow the new law because they can be sued if something goes wrong.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed Senate Bill 75 into law last month, saying it would save children's lives.

The law, which takes effect July 1, permits school nurses to administer the medication even to students who don't have a prescription.

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Regional
1:39 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Deputy Accused Of Vehicular Homicide

A 22-year-old Dona Ana County sheriff's deputy is accused of vehicular homicide in the death of a pedestrian struck by the deputy's cruiser as it reportedly was traveling over 100 mph during a nighttime emergency call.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that a criminal complaint filed by New Mexico State Police says Deputy Eden Terrazas was driving 114 mph as she approached a curve on N.M. 192 at about 8 p.m. on April 1.

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Regional
1:38 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Pay Bias Complaint By New Mexico Lawyer Tossed

Credit via www.garyking.org

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit in which a former lawyer for the New Mexico Attorney General's Office alleged she was a victim of pay discrimination based on her gender.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that U.S. District Judge Judith Herrera on March 28 ruled that Lesley Lowe hadn't proved that her work for the office was sufficiently similar to that of higher-paid male attorneys.

Lowe worked for the office from 1987 to 2010 as an assistant attorney general. Her 2010 suit was dismissed when Herrera granted a pretrial motion by the office.

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Regional
1:37 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Report Touts Pre-K Benefits

A legislative committee report concludes that prekindergarten delivers a greater return on investment for New Mexico than taxpayer subsidized child care.

The Legislative Finance Committee staff report says prekindergarten's benefits outweigh the costs, although that's not the case for child care provided through registered homes and some state licensed programs.

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Regional
1:35 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Albuquerque Settles Lawsuits Over Feeding Homeless

Albuquerque is paying $98,000 to settle lawsuits by people arrested or given citations for giving food to the homeless in the downtown.

KRQE-TV reports that all of the criminal trespassing cases were thrown out.

City Attorney David Tourek says the officers were acting in good faith to ensure that the food code was being enforced.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Regional
1:35 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Texas Jobless Rate Drops To 5.5 Percent

The Texas unemployment rate has slipped to 5.5 percent.

The Texas Workforce Commission on Friday announced the March unemployment figure, compared to a 5.7 percent statewide jobless rate in both January and February.

The latest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Texas compares to a 6.7 percent nationwide jobless rate during March.

The TWC says Texas employers added 9,100 jobs last month — for a total of 310,000 jobs added over the year.

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Regional
1:34 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

80 Arrested At Immigrant Camp

At least 80 immigrants suspected of entering the U.S. illegally have been arrested at a makeshift encampment in suburban South Texas.

Border Patrol spokesman Danny Tirado said it was unclear whether any of those arrested Thursday afternoon were guides suspected of guarding the immigrants.

The immigrants told authorities they had been at the site in McAllen for at least a week with little food or water. Tents and huts were camouflaged with mesquite branches and they slept on pieces of cardboard on the ground.

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Regional
1:32 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Report: FBI Probe Includes Legal Work By Davis

Credit Senator Wendy Davis (D)

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis' legal work for a taxpayer-funded tollway agency is part of a larger FBI-led investigation into the agency.

A 2012 conflict-of-interest complaint alleges that the state senator from Fort Worth voted on toll legislation while representing the North Texas Tollway Authority.

Investigators in Travis County reviewed the case last year but closed it without an investigation. The FBI, however, continues examining the matter.

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Regional
1:31 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

What!? Texas University Overstated Finances By As Much As $23 Million

Financial documents released by the University of North Texas show accounting irregularities that have overstated the university's financial position by as much as $23 million.

Audits conducted by the university and a private firm show misleading budget entries made since 2012 to account for unresolved collections. But they were registered as accounts receivable, which are often recorded as assets. The university's budget in 2012 was $520 million.

The documents were obtained by the Denton Record-Chronicle through an open records request.

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Regional
1:29 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Thousands Make Good Friday March To New Mexico Shrine

Before dawn, thousands of pilgrims set off on a Good Friday march to El Santuario de Chimayo as part of a centuries old tradition.

Chimayo is a National Historic Landmark, and some 200,000 people are estimated to visit each year, with the bulk occurring during Holy Week. The draw is a shrine that houses a small pit of holy dirt that some believe possesses curing powers.

For two centuries, Hispanic and Native American pilgrims have made spiritual journeys to Chimayo. Many of them carry along photos of sick relatives and requests for miracles.

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Regional
1:28 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

New Mexico Jobless Rate Rises

New Mexico's unemployment rate rose to 7 percent in March, up from 6.7 percent in February but down from 6.9 percent in March 2013.

The state Workforce Solutions Department said Friday that the state's economy added 3,700 nonfarm jobs since February but lost 1,000 jobs over the year.

Over the year, the sector with the largest job gain was retail trade, which added 2,100 jobs since March 2013 for the sector's largest gain in six years. Meanwhile, financial activities added 1,900 jobs and leisure and hospitality had 1,500 additional jobs. Mining grew by 1,200 jobs.

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Regional
11:53 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Man Charged In Las Cruces Burglary

  Las Cruces Police arrested a man suspected of breaking into a neighbor’s home and stealing a credit card.

Joshua D. McKinney, 34, is charged with one count each of aggravated burglary and theft of a credit card.

On the morning of April 7, an alert neighbor summoned police to the 700 block of Del Monte after he saw a man climb through the window of a home. Officer arrived and found a .22 caliber rifle on a sofa but no one in the residence.

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Regional
7:41 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Feds To Release Water From Santa Rosa Dam

The Pecos River south of Santa Rosa will be flowing a little faster next week.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will begin a routine release of water from Santa Rosa Lake and Dam starting Wednesday morning.

The release follows a request by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Carlsbad Irrigation District for 30,000 acre-feet of water. The extra flows are expected to last through May 4.

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Regional
7:39 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Justice Dept. Seeks Input On Albuquerque Police

The U.S. Justice Department is seeking community input on possible reforms for the Albuquerque Police Department over its use of force.

The federal agency recently issued a scathing report on what it called excessive force and a culture of abuse and aggression at the Albuquerque Police Department.

Albuquerque officers have shot at 37 men since 2010, killing 23.

The report also criticized the city's oversight system and limited powers in investigating cases of questionable police conduct.

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Regional
7:25 am
Fri April 18, 2014

NMSU Police: Homeless Man Died Of Natural Causes

New Mexico State University police say the death of a homeless man whose body was found in an Interstate 25 drainage tunnel in Las Cruces in January has been determined to have been from natural causes.

Police say the Office of the Medical Investigator determined that 55-year-old Richard Livsay had various medical conditions and that he likely he was dead before a fire in the tunnel led to a discovery of his body.

Arson investigators determined that the fire started accidentally from a candle that ignited other materials and spread a mattress.

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