Regional

Regional
3:41 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

In Depth: Busy Week In Austin

Nearly 180 years after Mexican soldiers surrounded the Alamo, state Sen. Donna Campbell worries another invading foreign force may be closing in on the historic outpost.

The tea party darling has filed a bill prohibiting Texas from allowing the Alamo to fall under foreign control. It's administered by the state, which has no plans to cede it to another entity, foreign or otherwise.

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Regional
3:39 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

Tribe Asks Court To Compel Martinez To Sign Compact

Credit Office of the Governor

An Oklahoma-based American Indian tribe wants New Mexico's highest court to force Gov. Susana Martinez to sign a gambling compact with them.

The Fort Sill Apache Tribe filed documents in state Supreme Court on Friday, arguing that Martinez has ignored requests by its chairman to sign on to existing compacts.

Tribe officials say a new gambling compact being considered in the state Legislature prevents Fort Sill Apaches from being able to sign because their land wasn't held in federal trust status before 1988.

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Regional
5:15 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Murder Charge In Failed Drug Burglary

  Las Cruces---A grand jury found that the state’s evidence brought against Joshua Jones warranted a 1st Degree Murder charge along with Attempt to Commit 1st Degree Murder; Attempt to Commit Aggravated Burglary (Deadly Weapon); Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Burglary and (4) counts of Tampering with Evidence.

On the afternoon of February 14, 2015 emergency services received multiple calls reporting gunfire in the Claude Dove and Delano Drive area.  Responding officers located Fernando Molina and his brother Antonio Molina both with gunshot wounds to the abdomen.

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Regional
4:09 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Las Cruces Public Schools Prepare For Possible Student Walkout

Las Cruces Public schools are preparing for Monday’s planned student walkout to protest the new PARCC tests.

There are a number of risks for students planning on walking out of Monday’s test. The test is necessary to receive a high school diploma. An Alternate Demonstration of Competency, which would be an end of course exam approved by the state, can be taken only if the student has attempted the PARCC test three times.

Superintendent Stan Rounds says students who walk out on Monday can still graduate if they take the make-up within the next three weeks.

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Regional
2:59 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Another Guilty Plea In Heroin Trafficking Investigation

  ALBUQUERQUE – Patrick Gonzalez, 39, of Las Cruces, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court to heroin trafficking and firearms charges under a plea agreement that requires him to serve an 18-year federal prison sentence followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

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Regional
2:51 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Las Cruces Man Gets 20 Years For Violating Federal Firearms Laws

  ALBUQUERQUE – Clemente Eduardo Vasquez-De La Cruz, 27, a naturalized citizen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, who resides in Las Cruces, N.M., was sentenced this afternoon in federal court to 20 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for violating the federal firearms laws. 

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Regional
2:50 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Federal Jury Finds Deming Residents Guilty On Kidnapping And Firearms Charges

ALBUQUERQUE – A federal jury sitting in Las Cruces, N.M., returned a guilty verdict earlier today finding Jessie Hopper, Sr., 54, and Polly Hopper, 61, of Deming, N.M., guilty on kidnapping and firearms charges after a five-day trial.  The verdict was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent Carol K.O. Lee of the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, Special Agent in Charge Thomas G. Atteberry of the Phoenix Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas and Luna County Sheriff Jonathon Mooradian.   

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Regional
2:06 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Outrage Over Standardized Testing In New Mexico

Several dozen students protested at the State Capitol on Friday and more plan to walk out of schools around New Mexico next week as frustration over a new standardized test grows.

Some lawmakers say there's confusion over the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers or PARCC tests that start Monday, especially over whether students have the right to opt out if they so choose.

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Regional
2:01 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

NMSU Offers Sustainability Minor

David Boje and his colleagues, Raymond Fierro and Sebastien Vendette prepare a table on sustainability opportunities at the annual Career Fair.

  By implementing four sustainability minors housed in the colleges of Engineering; Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Business; and Arts and Sciences, management professor and faculty coordinator David Boje is “greening the curriculum.” The 18-credit, university-wide undergraduate minor offered in three tracks allows students to explore challenges in local and global sustainability. 

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Regional
1:59 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Book Sale To Benefit Branigan Library In Las Cruces

  An upcoming book sale will benefit Thomas Branigan Memorial Library by generating revenue to pay for summer reading programs for children and adults, and purchase library materials including books and DVDs.

The Friends of Thomas Branigan Memorial Library (FTBML) will conduct the book sale at the library, 200 E. Picacho Ave., from 1 – 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 6, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, and 1 – 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 8.

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Regional
8:19 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Bernalillo County Commission Approves Gross Receipts Tax Increase

Credit bernco.gov

People shopping in the Albuquerque area will be paying more sales tax on many purchases.

The Bernalillo County Commission on Thursday voted 3-2 vote to increase the gross receipts tax by three-sixteenths of 1 percent effective July 1.

That increase amounts to an additional 19 cents on a $100 purchase.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the increase is projected to raise $30 million annually.

Two-thirds of that amount is supposed to pay for mental- and behavioral-health programs.

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Regional
8:15 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Nonprofit Care Provider Reportedly Plans To Leave New Mexico

A nonprofit reportedly plans to stop providing mental health services in southern New Mexico.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that La Frontera New Mexico would be the second Arizona-based provider to give up on New Mexico after being brought in to replace other Medicaid providers terminated under a 2013 shake-up by Gov. Susana Martinez's administration.

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Regional
8:15 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Latest Winter Storm, Ice Covers Highways In New Mexico

The latest winter storm to hit New Mexico is covering highways with snow and ice and closing schools in some areas.

Highways with severe or difficult driving conditions Friday include a 161-mile stretch of Interstate 25 between Glorieta and Raton Pass in northern New Mexico and a 155-mile stretch of Interstate 40 between Milagro and the Texas line.

The state Department of Transportation says its crews are plowing, salting and cindering.

Areas were schools are closed include Rio Rancho and Albuquerque's east mountains.

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Regional
6:00 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Community Members Come Together To Create Lasting Artwork

The Las Cruces Creates exhibit at the New Mexico State University closes this weekend, but the results of a community-weaving project were unveiled last night.

John Garrett directed the Community Weave at Las Cruces creates, a large piece that includes fabric from t-shirts donated by the community. He says the project was about more than creating art.

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Regional
7:29 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Heated Exchange Stalls New Mexico Solitary Confinement Reform

A New Mexico House panel did not vote on a solitary confinement reform proposal after a Democratic member questioned why anyone would oppose it, which led to a heated exchange.  The House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee ended abruptly Thursday after Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero refused to stop talking over the objections of Chairman William Rehm, who then adjourned the meeting.

Witnesses who had testified in support of the bill sat stunned as the meeting suddenly ended.

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Regional
1:52 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

In Depth: Other States Already Require The Campaign Finance Disclosure Being Resisted In New Mexico

  How much, and what kind of information must lobbyists disclose. It’s a familiar issue at the Roundhouse.

New Mexico’s lobbyists already publicly say how they spend money, although it varies lobbyist by lobbyist how detailed those reports are.

Now New Mexico’s state lawmakers are being asked to require lobbyists to disclose the issues they’re working and the sources of their compensation -- and how much that is.

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Regional
1:45 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

New Mexico Panel Approves Uber, Lyft Regulation Bill

A measure aimed at regulating ride-booking companies like Uber and Lyft has cleared its first hurdle.

The House Transportation and Public Works Committee voted 8-3 on Thursday to approve a proposal that would require such services to provide insurance and conduct rigorous background checks on drivers

Rep. Monica Youngblood of Albuquerque and Sen. Phil Griego of San Jose are sponsoring the bipartisan legislation as state officials wrestle with how to respond to the expansion of Uber and Lyft in the state.

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Regional
1:45 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Perry Lawyers Continue Efforts To Get Felony Case Dismissed

Credit Former Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

Attorneys for former Texas Gov. Rick Perry have asked a state appeals court to dismiss felony abuse-of-power charges against the possible 2016 presidential candidate on free-speech grounds.

In briefs processed Thursday by the Third Court of Appeals, Perry's lawyers argue that more than just their client's freedom is at stake.

They say the Republican was acting within his rights when he issued a 2013 veto.

His attorneys also have repeatedly sought to dismiss the case with the district court judge presiding over it.

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Regional
1:43 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Republicans Take Aim At Abbott Appointments To UT Regents

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

Fellow members of the GOP are taking aim at Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's first appointments to the University of Texas System Board of Regents.

The Senate Nominations Committee on Thursday peppered the nominees with tough questions about admissions, transparency and rising tuition rates.

New appointment David Beck, a Houston attorney, and Regent Steve Hicks, who has been reappointed to a new term, were notably challenged on those issues by several Republican lawmakers.

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Regional
7:24 am
Thu February 26, 2015

New Mexico Panel Eyes Limiting Solitary Confinement

A New Mexico House panel is scheduled to debate a proposal that would ban the use of solitary confinement on juveniles and inmates suffering from mental illness.

The House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee is set Thursday to discuss a measure that would also limit solitary confinement to no more than consecutive 15 days and no more than 60 days a year.

The proposal comes after a number of high-profile lawsuits by inmates who alleged that they were placed in inhumane and filthy isolation cells in state prisons or county jails.

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Regional
7:22 am
Thu February 26, 2015

New Mexico House Panel Eyes Regulating Uber, Lyft

A New Mexico House committee is set to discuss a measure aimed at regulating ride-booking companies like Uber and Lyft.

The House Transportation and Public Works Committee is scheduled Thursday to discuss a proposal that would require such services to provide insurance and conduct rigorous background checks on drivers

Rep. Monica Youngblood of Albuquerque and Sen. Phil Griego of San Jose are sponsoring the bipartisan legislation as state officials wrestle with how to respond to the expansion of Uber and Lyft in the state.

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Regional
7:20 am
Thu February 26, 2015

State Official: Court Rulings Boost Cost Of Auto Insurance

A state official says New Mexico drivers are paying more for part of their automobile insurance because of court rulings.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Insurance Superintendent John Franchini says court rulings on uninsured motorist coverage are allowing more claims and increasing the size of settlements.

Franchini in particular points to a 2010 state Supreme Court decision in particular for increases in premiums for uninsured motorist coverage.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Traveling Exhibit Sheds Light On Human Trafficking

It is estimated that more than 27 million people worldwide are victims of Human Trafficking. Paso del Norte Center for hope tries to raise awareness of the issue, and brought the traveling exhibit SOLD: the human trafficking experience to Las Cruces.

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Regional
9:27 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Republicans Approve "Right To Work" Bill In New Mexico House

  The GOP-controlled New Mexico House of Representatives has approved a contentious right-to-work bill that tacks on an increase in the minimum wage from $7.50 to $8 an hour.   The Republican-sponsored bill prohibits requiring workers to pay dues as a condition of employment and applies to both public and private sectors.  

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Regional
5:41 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Otero County To Settle Solitary Confinement Lawsuit For $2.9 Million

A New Mexico man allegedly kept in filthy solitary confinement conditions and reportedly was denied proper health care has settled his federal lawsuit.

A lawyer for 51-year-old Jerome Gonzales announced Wednesday that his client settled his lawsuit with Otero County for $2.9 million.

Attorney Matthew Coyte said Gonzales suffered from mental illness and was not given proper treatment while in the southern New Mexico county jail.

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Regional
5:39 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

In Depth: A Busy Texas Legislature

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The rabbi who defied Texas' same-sex marriage ban and wed a lesbian couple last week led the morning prayer in the Republican-dominated Texas House on Wednesday, catching staunch supporters of the prohibition off-guard.

Rabbi Kerry Baker didn't reference the nuptials, which are being challenged by the state attorney general, but urged lawmakers to pay special attention to people who are marginalized and to treat everyone equally.

"It's not enough to do what is good for the majority, but to do what is good for all of us," Baker said.

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Regional
5:36 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Las Cruces Man Sentenced For Trafficking Heroin

  ALBUQUERQUE – Nathan Andrew Maestas, 31, of Las Cruces, N.M., was sentenced today in Las Cruces federal court to 72 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for heroin trafficking charges in connection with five cases filed in 2013 as the result of a multi-agency investigation into drug trafficking in Doña Ana County, N.M.

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Regional
12:55 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Armed Robbery Suspects Sought In Las Cruces

  Las Cruces Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that helps identify the two men suspected of committing an armed robbery Tuesday morning.

At around 7:20 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, a resident was walking from his vehicle near the 600 block of Lane when he was approached by two men who asked for loose change. The man began to hand over a few dollar bills when one of the suspects pulled out a knife and threatened the victim.

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Regional
12:08 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Five Doña Ana County Fugitives Captured In Statewide Warrant Round-Up

Moises Gallardo

  Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputies assigned to the U.S. Marshals Southwest Fugitive Task Force assisted in apprehending five known fugitives in the county during a recent statewide warrant round-up known as Operation Desert Snow.

            The five who were arrested were part of 24 fugitives who were caught during the operation, which enlisted local law enforcement personnel to assist in clearing high-risk felony warrants – many of which involved fugitives who were known to be armed and dangerous.

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Regional
7:58 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Child Protection Bills Roll Through New Mexico Legislature

In an otherwise rancorous legislative session, New Mexico lawmakers are finding common ground on bills aimed at keeping children safe.

Child protection measures are enjoying bipartisan support during a 60-day session that just passed its midpoint. That's despite party-line votes on a host of contentious issues that range from abortion and right-to-work to driver's licenses for those suspected of being in the country illegally.

Lawmakers say tackling crimes against children is a non-partisan issue.

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