Regional

Regional
5:15 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Drunk Driver Charged With Killing Best Friend

  Las Cruces—Estevan Herrera was indicted on January 29, 2014 on 8 counts which included, Homicide by Vehicle (Driving While Under the Influence) Homicide by Vehicle (Reckless), Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Great Bodily Harm or Death), Aggravated Driving While Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor or Drugs, Reckless Driving, No Seat Belts, Negligent Use of a Deadly Weapon (Intoxication), Failure to Give Information and Render Aid, Failure to Give Immediate Notice of Accidents.

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Regional
4:25 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Man Sentenced To 39 Years For Murder

  Las Cruces---Today in district court, Leonard Telles was sentenced to 39 years for his conviction of 2nd Degree Murder, First Degree Kidnapping and Tampering with Evidence for the beating death of Jerome Saiz in November 2013.

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Regional
4:22 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

NMSU Regents Approve Land Lease For Possible Future Campus Hotel

  SANTA FE – The New Mexico State University Board of Regents approved a land lease for Aggie Development Incorporated during their regular meeting in Santa Fe Jan. 30. Aggie Development allows NMSU to better manage and develop its assets. The lease will allow Aggie Development to pursue a third-party to develop a hotel property on the NMSU campus. 

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Regional
1:15 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

High Speed Pursuit In Las Cruces Ends With Arrest And Near Tragedy

  A driver suspected of running a stop sign in Sonoma Ranch Thursday led a Las Cruces Police officer on a pursuit before attempting to hide the vehicle in his family’s garage.

Nicholas Newell, 23, is charged with one felony count of aggravated fleeing from a law enforcement officer. Newell also faces the possibility of being charged with multiple traffic offenses.

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Regional
1:06 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Health Audit Offers Striking Numbers, But No Proof Of Fraud

The headline the New Mexico Human Services Department trumpeted in June 2013 was eye-popping: An audit of 15 health organizations found nearly $36 million in potential overbilling and possible Medicaid fraud.

But the state-commissioned audit, released Thursday by new Attorney General Hector Balderas, does nothing to provide definitive proof that the 15 organizations defrauded Medicaid, the government’s health insurance program for the low-income, including those who are mentally ill or struggle with addiction.

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Regional
1:04 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

With Audit Release, Balderas Ends 19 Months Of Secrecy

New Attorney General Hector Balderas reversed a decision by his predecessor that had been upheld by two judges when he released a 2013 audit of 15 health organizations on Thursday.

Former Attorney General Gary King and the state’s Human Services Department (HSD) fought for a year and a half to keep most of the audit secret. They argued that releasing portions related to organizations under investigation for potential Medicaid fraud could compromise those probes.

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Regional
1:02 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

In Depth: Redacted New Mexico Behavioral Health Audit Released

Credit Hector Balderas

  Weeks after taking office, new Attorney General Hector Balderas released on Thursday the 2013 audit of 15 New Mexico behavioral health agencies, albeit with some redactions.

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Regional
12:30 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Lt. Gov. Sanchez Appointed To Innovate ABQ Board Of Directors

  SANTA FE – This week, Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez was appointed to the Innovate ABQ, Inc. Board of Directors by the University of New Mexico (UNM) Board of Regents.

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Regional
10:57 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Las Cruces Police Investigate Shooting

Las Cruces Police are investigating a shooting that injured a 38-year-old man.

At around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, Las Cruces Police were dispatched to Memorial Medical Center where a 38-year-old man was suffering from a gunshot wound to his abdomen. Police learned that someone transported the man to the hospital and left before providing information to medical personnel.

The 38-year-old man was stabilized at MMC before being airlifted to University Medical Center of El Paso. He remains hospitalized in critical condition Friday morning.

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Regional
8:08 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Balloon Crew Nearing North America Matches Duration Record

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

The pilots of a helium balloon flying across the Pacific Ocean have matched a duration record as they approach North America, marking another historic day for the team that's already set a distance record.

Pilots Troy Bradley of Albuquerque and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia marked another milestone early Friday when they hit 137 hours, 5 minutes and 50 seconds in the air in a traditional gas balloon.

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Regional
8:06 am
Fri January 30, 2015

George P. Bush Headlines Texas Capitol 'School Choice' Rally

Credit George P. Bush - Photo from texasgop.org

New Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush is leading a "school choice" rally supporting calls to expand voucher programs and charter schools statewide.

Organizers say Friday's gathering outside the Texas Capitol will be the largest of its kind in recent memory.

Bush served on the board of one of Texas' top charter-school operators, and his office oversees the nation's largest educational endowment.

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Regional
8:04 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Difficult Driving Conditions Reported On Some NM Highways

Forecasters predict heavy snow in the mountains and a mix of rain and snow in lower elevations as a winter storm moves across northern and central New Mexico.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation reported difficult driving conditions Friday morning on some highways, including Interstate 25 between Rowe and Watrous. That stretch of I-25 is wet, snow-packed and icy in spots, and crews are out plowing, salting and cindering.

Other highways in the Las Vegas area also have difficult driving conditions.

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Regional
7:54 am
Fri January 30, 2015

A.G. Balderas Offers Investigation Update After Releasing Behavioral Health Audit

Credit Hector Balderas

The New Mexico Attorney General on Thursday announced the release of a 2013 Behavioral Health Services Audit and said that his office is hoping to complete an investigation into the providers within six to eight months. 

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas on Thursday announced the release of a redacted version of a 2013 Behavioral Health Services Audit and also gave an update on a current investigation into the providers.

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Regional
7:39 am
Fri January 30, 2015

New Mexico Immigrant License Repeal Effort Passes First Hurdle

An effort to repeal a New Mexico law that allows immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally to obtain driver's licenses has cleared its first hurdle despite a comparison to the Holocaust.

The House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee voted 5-4 along party lines Thursday to move along the GOP-led proposal aimed at revamping the state driver's licenses laws.

But Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, an Albuquerque Democrat, said the effort reminded her of stories from the Holocaust and warned it would create more divisions in New Mexico.

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Regional
7:38 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Former EL Paso Schools Official Gets Probation

A federal judge has sentenced a former El Paso Independent School District administrator to five years of probation and fined her $5,000 for her role in a scheme to artificially inflate test scores.

The El Paso Times reports Myrna Gamboa cried before and during her Thursday sentencing. Gamboa, who pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to defraud the U.S., told the judge she wanted to apologize for her actions.

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Regional
7:36 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Increase In Vaccination Exemptions A Concern For New Mexico

A measles outbreak traced largely to Disneyland in Southern California has New Mexico health officials concerned.

The outbreak has spread to Arizona, Colorado and other states but hasn't hit New Mexico yet. However, state officials say they're concerned because an increasing number of families have been seeking vaccine exemptions for their children.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the state Department of Health reported 3,335 registered exemptions in 2014, up 17 percent from two years earlier.

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Regional
6:00 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Is Banning Plastic Shopping Bags The Green Thing To Do?

Is the ban on plastic shopping bags making Santa Fe greener less than a year after it was formally implemented? How will the ban in Silver City which was implemented earlier this month affect other cities in New Mexico who might be considering implementing a plastic shopping bag ban? Edmundo Resendez discussed these questions with Paul Gesssing, President of the Rio Grande Foundation.

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Regional
8:59 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Former El Paso School Official Gets Probation In Testing Scandal

  A federal judge has sentenced a former El Paso Independent School District administrator to five years of probation and fined her $5,000 for her role in a scheme to artificially inflate test scores.

Myrna Gamboa cried before and during her Thursday sentencing. Gamboa, who pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to defraud the U.S., told the judge she wanted to apologize for her actions.

Her attorney and prosecutors agreed she should serve only probation because she helped with the investigation and didn't receive any bonuses for her role in the scandal.

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Regional
8:29 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Teen Charged After Alleged Threat With Gun

  Doña Ana County Sheriff’s investigators have obtained a warrant for an18-year-old Las Cruces man after he allegedly threatened a 16-year-old girl with a shotgun.

According to court documents, Lawrence Lucero, who also goes by Josh Lucero, threatened the girl on or about Jan. 16.

The victim sent a text message about the incident to a friend of hers, who then alerted school administrators at Rio Grande Preparatory Institute.

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Regional
8:26 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Three Arrested In Connection With Burglary

William Fontana

   According to Doña Ana County Sheriff’s investigators, one man has been arrested and two others have been identified in connection with the alleged burglary of a Mesilla Park car wash.

            Media attention about the investigation prompted members of the public to identify William Fontana from surveillance photos taken during the alleged burglary. Fontana was arrested Wednesday by New Mexico State University Police.

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Regional
4:59 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

New Mexico Lawmaker Pushing Teen Voting In School Elections

A New Mexico lawmaker wants to allow 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds to vote in school board elections.

Rep. Javier Martinez of Albuquerque introduced this week a measure aimed at increasing voter participation in the election of school board members.

Martinez, a Democrat, says a similar measure has been passed in Takoma Park, Maryland.

The proposal comes as some lawmakers are pushing a voter I.D. measure that critics say might reduce voter participation in the state.

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Regional
4:52 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

New Mexico House Panel OKs 'Right-To-Work' Proposal

A New Mexico House committee has approved a right-to-work bill after hearing hours of impassioned appeals from speakers.

The House Business and Employment Committee voted 8-5 Thursday, largely along party lines with one Democrat joining seven Republicans, to move forward the contentious bill that prohibits requiring workers to join a union or to pay dues as a condition of employment.

Opponents far outnumbered proponents. They told lawmakers the bill would hurt workers by lowering wages and allows big business to bully them.

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Regional
4:48 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Roswell DA Won't Prosecute Santa Fe Police Over Shooting

The Roswell district attorney won't prosecute two Santa Fe police officers involved in a 2013 non-fatal shooting.

The Albuquerque Journal reports 5th Judicial District Attorney Janetta Hicks stated her decision in a letter Thursday to New Mexico State Police.

The Santa Fe police officers shot at a suspect who was driving his mother's van that had been reported stolen.

Hicks says the officers were defending themselves as they had to rapidly move out of the way of the vehicle to avoid being struck.

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Regional
4:46 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Man found Dead In Rio Rancho; Being Investigated As Homicide

The Sandoval County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a man in Rio Rancho that is being called suspicious and appears to be a homicide.

Sheriff's officials say deputies say deputies were called Wednesday afternoon to investigate an unattended death.

Deputies say they found 30-year-old Matthew Senter lying near his vehicle unresponsive.

They say Senter had an argument with his girlfriend the previous evening and left the residence.

He walked alone to his vehicle that was parked in a vacant lot that is owned by his friend.

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Regional
4:44 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

UNM names Heather Dyche As School's New Women's Soccer Coach

New Mexico has named Heather Dyche as the school's new women's soccer coach a season after the program was rocked by a bizarre hazing episode.

Dyche, an Albuquerque native, was a staff member with the United States Soccer Federation.

She was introduced Thursday as the Lobos' fourth head coach in the program's history after Kit Vela's contract wasn't renewed in November after 14 seasons.

An internal investigation showed underclassmen were humiliated by being forced to perform inappropriate gestures during the August incident.

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Regional
1:30 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

New Mexico Attorney General Makes Behavioral Health Audit Public

Credit Hector Balderas

A redacted version of an audit that led to the shake-up of behavioral health services for needy New Mexicans is now public.

State Attorney General Hector Balderas released the audit during a news conference in Albuquerque, saying the state needs to do a better job of ferreting out fraud without disrupting services that citizens depend on.

He says he's making changes in the way the attorney general's office investigates such matters.

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Regional
11:01 am
Thu January 29, 2015

NMSU To Fill Gap In Lottery Scholarship Aid

  New Mexico State University announced Thursday that it will make up the difference between tuition costs for the spring 2015 semester and the amount covered by the state’s Legislative Lottery Scholarships for all eligible students at NMSU’s Las Cruces campus.   Due to recent changes at the state-level, NMSU Las Cruces students eligible for the Legislative Lottery Scholarship now receive just 95 percent of the average tuition for 4-year comprehensive universities in New Mexico.

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Regional
9:15 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Another New Mexico Immigrant License Repeal Effort Begins

A House panel is expected to discuss efforts to repeal a New Mexico law that allows immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally to obtain driver's licenses

The House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee is scheduled Thursday to discuss two bills aimed at revamping the state driver's licenses laws.

One proposal by Rep. Paul Pacheco of Albuquerque calls for creating a "two-tier" driver's license system. But Marcela Diaz, executive director of the Santa Fe-based Somos Un Pueblo Unido, says that would only create "scarlet-letter" licenses from immigrants.

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Regional
9:13 am
Thu January 29, 2015

New Mexico Lawmaker Proposes No Clock Change

One New Mexico legislator is tired of springing forward and falling back every year.

Sen. Cliff Pirtle introduced a bill Wednesday that would keep New Mexico on daylight savings time year-round.

The Republican farmer from Roswell says changing the clock twice a year is an unnecessary inconvenience and no longer makes sense.

He says farmers and ranchers like daylight savings time and work from sunrise to sundown no matter what the clock says.

If the legislation passes, New Mexico time would remain unchanged after it springs forward on March 8.

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Regional
9:12 am
Thu January 29, 2015

New Mexico Sportsmen To Rally Against Public Lands Transfer

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

Some sportsmen are worried that legislation calling for the transfer of federal public lands to state control could be introduced in New Mexico.

While no such bills have been filed yet, the New Mexico Wildlife Federation and other groups are planning to rally Thursday at the State Capitol to voice their opposition to the idea.

Critics say a transfer law, like the one Utah passed in 2012, would amount to an assault on hunting and fishing access. They also argue that the state would be saddled with the costs of managing the land.

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