Regional

Regional
7:28 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

El Paso Customs Agent Charged With Smuggling Immigrants

  A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer has been charged with smuggling four Mexican nationals into the United States.

In a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday, prosecutors charged 53-year-old Lawrence Madrid with smuggling immigrants into the United States on two separate occasions at the Bridge of the Americas in El Paso.

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Regional
2:59 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Man Accused Of Abducting Teen To Be Extradited To New Mexico

A Rio Rancho man accused of abducting a 16-year-old girl and taking her to Indiana will be extradited back to New Mexico.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Albuquerque announced Tuesday that 37-year-old Joe Medina faces federal charges of kidnapping and transporting a minor in interstate commerce for purposes of engaging in sexual activity.

Indiana State Police arrested Medina on July 20 after locating him with the missing girl at a bus station in downtown Indianapolis.

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Regional
2:10 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Imprisoned Former Sheriff Asks Court To Protect Bank Funds

A former sheriff serving a 10-year prison sentence is asking a judge to prohibit the seizure of $70,000 to pay fines pending an appeal.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports former Rio Arriba County sheriff Tommy Rodella says his wife needs the money in their joint bank account so she can run her bail bond business.

Rodella was convicted in September of brandishing a firearm and depriving a motorist of his rights during a March traffic stop.

Prosecutors have been trying to collect court fines totaling more than $200,000 from Rodella, with a balance of $147,000 remaining.

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Regional
1:56 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Santa Fe County GOP Official Voted Out After Anti-Trump Piñata Event

Credit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Fe-County-GOP/685708494827481

A New Mexico Republican Party official has been removed from his post after hosting an anti-Donald Trump event that included a necktie-wearing blonde piñata.

Former Santa Fe County GOP treasurer Ignacio Padilla says he wasn't acting as a party official when he organized the event last week to allow residents to hit a piñata that bore Trump's likeness.

Padilla says he was exercising his right to free speech and believes Trump's previous comments about Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans belittles Latinos.

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Regional
12:57 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

NTSB: Co-Pilot Of Spaceship Unlocked Braking System Early

Credit facebook.com/virgingalactic

Federal safety investigators say the crash of a Virgin Galactic spaceship last year was caused by a catastrophic structural failure triggered when the co-pilot unlocked the craft's braking system early.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigators say the resulting aerodynamic forces caused the brakes to actually be applied without any further action by the crew.

Investigators are also telling the board that no safeguards were built into system to overcome the error of the co-pilot.

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Regional
12:30 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Santa Fe Police Chief Announces Immediate Retirement

Credit santafenm.gov

Santa Fe's police chief is stepping down after just more than a year in office.

Police Chief Eric Garcia on Tuesday announced his retirement effective immediately after a meeting with the city manager.

Garcia said in a statement released by the city that the department has laid a foundation for improving community policing, and City Manager Brian Snyder expressed gratitude for Garcia's work to decrease crime, expand community engagement and raise morale within the department.

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Regional
8:33 am
Tue July 28, 2015

Pedestrian Underpass To Be Added Next To Nogales Port Of Entry

The Arizona Department of Transportation is building a pedestrian underpass next to the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales with the expected cost of the project at more than $3 million.

ADOT officials say the 10-foot-by-10-foot concrete box culvert will extend 356 feet and include a ventilation system and lighting.

The agency also plans to build new sidewalks, add traffic signals and make storm drain improvements.

ADOT expects to finish the project in December.

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Regional
8:29 am
Tue July 28, 2015

Experts And Farmers Look To Machines To Help Improve New Mexico Green Chile Acreage

Credit krwg.org

A group of investors and inventors are set to launch a test run they believe could save New Mexico chile.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the group this week plans scaled-up trial runs of mechanized harvesting and de-stemming of green chile.

Experts and farmers say mechanization is the best way to halt, and even reverse, a long-term trend of declining chile acreage in New Mexico.

The trial runs involve a harvesting machine by a U.S. company matched with a specialized chile-harvesting device from Etgar, an Israeli company.

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Regional
8:07 am
Tue July 28, 2015

Federal Officials Examine Probable Cause Of Virgin Galactic Crash

Credit facebook.com/virgingalactic

The National Transportation Safety Board is meeting to try to determine what likely caused a Virgin Galactic spaceship to break apart over the Mojave Desert during a test flight 10 months ago, killing the co-pilot and seriously injuring the pilot.

Investigators have been looking into pilot training, the rocket's design and whether mechanical problems played any role.

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Regional
6:49 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Over 150 Swear Oath Of US Citizenship

158 people, from 19 different countries, ranging in age from 19-94 all swore the same oath and became US citizens. Mayra Ontiveros, the youngest new citizen at 19-years- old said it was one of the best feelings.

“It’s a great feeling,” Ontinveros said. “I came a long way to come here, it’s a great feeling.”

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Regional
5:04 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Countersuit In California Case References State Auditor

New Mexico's state auditor has surfaced in a California legal fight involving a former employee of a Native American consulting firm.

The Albuquerque Journal reports court documents claim State Auditor Tim Keller was "improperly paid" to help the company win contracts from Native American clients.

Keller is not party in the lawsuit and denied last week ever soliciting work for the firm, where he worked as a financial analyst from the summer of 2009 until last fall.

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Regional
3:50 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Overnight Closures Wednesday, Thursday For Missouri Avenue In Las Cruces

  Las Cruces: The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) along with FNF Construction will need to continue with their overnight closures at the intersections of Triviz Drive, Don Roser Drive and Missouri Ave.

The closures are necessary in order for Bixby Electric to proceed with the installation of the electrical lines for the new traffic signals that will be placed at these intersections.

The work scheduled for Missouri Ave at Triviz Dr and Don Roser Dr will be as follows:

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Regional
2:49 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Trial Set For Man Who Threw Banana Peel At Dave Chappelle

The man accused of throwing a banana peel at comedian Dave Chappelle during a New Mexico performance is headed to court.

Assistant District Attorney Anastasia Martin told the Santa Fe New Mexican that jury selection is scheduled for Sept. 23 for Christian Englander's trial.

The 31-year-old Englander, who is white, is facing charges of disturbing the peace and battery after the fruit-throwing disturbance in March. The petty misdemeanors each carry a jail sentence of up to six months and a possible fine of $500.

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Regional
2:16 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Countersuit In California Case References State Auditor

New Mexico's state auditor has been referenced in a countersuit filed in California by a former employee of a Native American consulting firm.

The Albuquerque Journal reports attorney Michael Khouri is representing former employee Nikishna Polequaptewa and says State Auditor Tim Keller got a percentage of each contract he won for Blue Stone Strategy Group LLC.

Khouri says he doesn't know which contracts his client is referring to.

State Auditor Tim Keller said last week he never solicited contracts for the California-based company.

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Regional
2:14 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Air Force Base Near Clovis Accused Of Religious Favoritism

Cannon Air Force Base
Credit cannon.af.mil

Officials at an Air Force base near Clovis are denying claims that they improperly promoted an upcoming religious event.

The Clovis News Journal reports emails about an Aug. 15 Gospel Explosion event planned for the Cannon Air Force Base chapel said "please post everywhere and spread the word."

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Regional
2:10 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Most expensive Trips For Albuquerque Employees Reported Late

City Of Albuquerque
Credit cabq.gov

The city of Albuquerque is three months late in posting four of last year's most expensive employee trips to its transparency website.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the city spent about $3,400 to send four Cultural Services Department employees to the New Orleans Jazz Fest in April.

City employees have a week from the day they return from their trips to file taxpayer-funded travel expenses with the city clerk.

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Regional
8:53 am
Mon July 27, 2015

Vietnam War Memorial In Las Cruces Accepting Photos From Those Who Served During The War

Credit https://newmexicovietnamveteranswarmemorialproject.org/category/news/

The committee involved with completion of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Veterans Memorial Park in Las Cruces is looking for help from the community through donations and also photographs to help complete the memorial.

Jim Harbison, a Vietnam veteran who served two tours in Vietnam during his Army Career spends most of his retired days at the memorial working on its completion.

He says that the marble panels of the monument tells the story of all branches of the U.S. Military that took part in Vietnam as told by veterans who were there.

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Regional
8:16 am
Mon July 27, 2015

Nephew Of Woman Found Dead Shoots Himself After Standoff

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

The nephew of a woman whose body was found in Bernalillo County is dead following an 8-hour SWAT situation.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Sgt. Aaron Williamson says the body of 65-year-old Ignacia Saiz was found Sunday by family members who say she had a gunshot wound to the head.

They say she'd gone to Pajarito Mesa to reclaim a camper from her son and nephew, 45-year-old Edward Jaramillo.

She was unaware her son was in jail at the time.

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Regional
8:13 am
Mon July 27, 2015

Police: One Teenager Killed, Two Wounded In Albuquerque Park

Albuquerque police say one teen is dead and two others wounded after being shot at a park early Monday morning.

Officer Fred Duran says the shooting occurred at about 2 a.m. at Pat Hurley Park in the vicinity of Central Avenue and Yucca Drive.

Duran says officers responding to multiple 911 calls found one victim lying on a street and two others in the park itself.

A large group of teens was in the park. Duran says they were interviewed and released to their parents.

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Regional
8:10 am
Mon July 27, 2015

Farmington Officials To Consider Raising Taxes

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

Farmington city officials will consider this week whether to raise taxes for the first time in nearly 20 years.

The Daily Times in Farmington reports the Farmington City Council are scheduled to discuss the issue at a meeting Tuesday.

Council members say they have to find a way to make up for millions of dollars in lost tax revenue due to a state plan to phase out "hold harmless" payments.

The council is supposed to formally vote on Aug. 11.

Councilor Mary Fischer is the only councilor so far to say publicly she will not vote for the tax.

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Regional
5:36 am
Mon July 27, 2015

Family Of Missing Woman Find Her Body In Rio Puerco Area

The family of a missing woman says her body was found Sunday in Bernalillo County.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that relatives of 65-year-old Ignacia Saiz say they found her body on Pajarito Mesa, where her son lives.

According to Saiz's sister, Saiz has been missing since Thursday when she went to retrieve a camper vehicle from her son.

Bernalillo County deputies found her vehicle vandalized and abandoned.

Authorities have not commented on the body's identity but are treating the death as suspicious.

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Regional
10:32 am
Sun July 26, 2015

Brother And Sister Charged In 1996 Murder Of Their Aunt

Investigators say a brother and sister have been charged with capital murder in the 1996 killing of their aunt during a South Texas robbery.

Edwards County jail records show 37-year-old George Torres Jr. and 40-year-old Angelica Maria Torres were being held without bond Sunday.

35-year-old Patricia Paz of Rocksprings was stabbed to death in February 1996 during a robbery. Sheriff's Capt. Darrell Volkmann says the victim was mentally challenged and the alleged motive for the attack was to get money to buy drugs.

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Regional
10:30 am
Sun July 26, 2015

Texas Police Chief Resigns After Being Accused Of Trying To Lure Teen Online

A jailed North Texas police chief has resigned after being accused of going online and trying to lure a 14-year-old girl into a sexual relationship.

Ellis County jail records show ex-Maypearl police Chief Kevin Coffey was being held Sunday on $350,000 bond.

The Maypearl City Council met Saturday to fire the 49-year-old Coffey, but instead accepted his resignation.

Coffey was arrested Wednesday on charges of sexual assault of a child, indecency with a child by exposure, indecency with a child by sexual contact and sexual performance by a child.

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Regional
10:29 am
Sun July 26, 2015

Two Wounded In Roswell Flag Football Game Shooting

Police in Roswell are searching for a gunman who opened fire during a children's flag football game and wounded two people.

The shooting happened Saturday around 7:40 p.m. while kids were playing a game of flag football at Stiles Field in west Roswell.

Roswell police spokesman Todd Wildermuth says witnesses reported seeing a man in a black shirt running with a rifle and shooting at a couple in a vehicle.

Wildermuth says the man and woman were wounded but their injuries are not life-threatening.

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Regional
10:29 am
Sun July 26, 2015

Man Arrested After Stealing Car With Two Teens Inside

Albuquerque police say a high-speed chase that led to a suspect carjacking another car with two teenagers inside has ended with arrests.

Police spokesman Daren DeAguero says the pursuit began around 8:15 p.m. Saturday when an officer tried to pull over a stolen vehicle.

DeAguero says the vehicle got into a wreck and two male occupants fled on foot.

Authorities allege one man ran into a 7-Eleven parking lot and carjacked a truck while the owner was refueling.

The suspect drove off with two boys, ages 16 and 18, inside.

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Regional
10:28 am
Sun July 26, 2015

Texas County Where Inmate Died Has History Of Racial Tension

The Texas county where a black woman died in jail after a traffic stop by a white state trooper has a long history of racial strife.

Sandra Bland's death ignited long-simmering passions in Waller County, about 50 miles northwest of Houston. The county seat of Hempstead was once known as "Six Shooter Junction" because of white-supremacist violence in the 1800s.

District Attorney Elton Mathis acknowledges the county's past and says he understands how people from outside would jump to the conclusion that Bland was killed rather than killed herself.

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Regional
10:24 am
Sun July 26, 2015

Goodman: Taxpayers Continue To Pay As Turmoil Continues In Doña Ana County

  Two years ago I sat through a week-long trial involving Doña Ana County.

 

Witness after witness testified to discrimination, retaliation for reporting discrimination, or just plain meanness and bad management. Permeating the employees' testimony was an extreme and unhealthy fear that key officials could and would do whatever they wanted, without regard to fairness or legality. Other witnesses privately told me that the evidence at trial was just the tip of the iceberg.

 

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Regional
10:20 am
Sun July 26, 2015

Drones To Be Used In Flood Response Training

Credit imagebase.net

Drone technology will be part of a Texas A&M University seminar for emergency responders dealing with deadly flooding like the disastrous May storms.

The 2015 Summer Institute on Flooding runs Sunday through Tuesday at A&M's Riverside campus in Bryan.

Memorial Day weekend flooding in parts of Texas, including Wimberley, claimed more than two dozen lives statewide. That's prompted a closer look at how emergency responders can better deal with high-water issues, flood recovery and evolving technology, such as use of drones.

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Regional
10:19 am
Sun July 26, 2015

Convicted Murderer In New Mexico Transition Program

An ex-convict who terrorized a couple in southwestern New Mexico, leading to the woman's death, is the first participant in a New Mexico inmate transition program.

The Department of Corrections has hired 40-year-old David VanHorn to be a kitchen cook at a Santa Fe state prison.

The job is part of a pilot initiative to help released inmates settle into life outside prison.

VanHorn was released in May from the state penitentiary in Santa Fe.

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Regional
5:45 pm
Sat July 25, 2015

This Week In The Las Cruces Bulletin

  Every Saturday at 5:30pm on Images, Fred Martino speaks with Las Cruces Bulletin Managing Editor Brook Stockberger about the week's top stories and much more in the Bulletin.

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