Regional

Regional
4:23 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

In Depth: Election 2014 In New Mexico

New Mexico voters will be choosing a lot more than a governor this November. They will also be electing a new attorney general and deciding whether Democrats will retain control of the state U.S. Senate seats and the statehouse. Here are five things to know about the midterm elections:

— U.S. SENATE

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Regional
4:21 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Texas To Appeal Ruling Against New Abortion Law

Tough new Texas abortion restrictions are on hold after a judge found Republican-led efforts to hold abortion clinics to hospital-level operating standards unconstitutional.

The state has vowed to appeal. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled Friday that Texas has reached a "tipping point" with new laws that he called state-imposed obstacles to a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.

His decision throws out requirements that threatened to effectively close more than a dozen clinics.

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Regional
4:21 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Texas Voter ID Trial Set To Begin

  A major election year in Texas has overshadowed an upcoming trial on the fate of the state's tough new voter ID law.

A trial begins Tuesday in Corpus Christi over one of the most stringent voter ID measures in the nation. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos will decide whether the Texas law is a legal safeguard or a discriminatory mandate that suppresses minority turnout.

Her ruling is unlikely to come before Election Day. That means 13.6 million registered voters will still be required to show a photo ID.

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Regional
4:20 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Cruz Addresses Conservative Summit

Credit Senator Ted Cruz (R) Texas

  An address by firebrand U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz keynotes the closing day of an influential conservative group's national summit.

The tea party darling from Houston will address the Americans for Prosperity gathering in Dallas on Saturday. The organization is the powerful political arm of the billionaire Koch brothers.

Cruz is frequently the undisputed star of grassroots gatherings around the country, but he has to share the spotlight this time.

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Regional
4:15 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

New Voting Machines To Debut Across New Mexico

   New Mexico voters will be casting ballots on brand new machines this November.

The voting machines, which cost nearly $12 million to buy and set up, will make their debut at the polls in the Nov. 4 general election.

The Secretary of State's Office says clerks in all 33 counties have been thoroughly trained in how to use them.

Officials say more than 1,700 of the new voting tabulators have been distributed across the state.

A Legislative Finance Committee report released earlier this month, however, questioned the reliance of the machines.

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Regional
4:13 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Cartels Ramp Up Human Smuggling

  A U.S. intelligence official says Mexican cartels are increasingly profiting from human trafficking due to the surge of Central American migrants seeking to cross into the U.S.

Oscar Hagelsieb is the assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in El Paso. He tells The Dallas Morning news for a report published Saturday  that the cartels have "clamped their claws" into human smuggling, though they haven't abandoned drug smuggling.

He says U.S. authorities have identified the Gulf and other cartels heavily involved in smuggling in the region.

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Regional
6:00 am
Sat August 30, 2014

VA To Hold Town Halls In Albuquerque

  ALBUQUERQUE – All veterans are invited to attend two Town Halls on Sept. 10 in southeast Albuquerque.  The purpose of the meetings will be to offer veterans and their family members an opportunity to discuss VA health care services and veterans’ disability claims.

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Regional
4:29 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Texas Firm And Indiana Doctor To Pay $2.6 Million Settlement

A Texas company and an Elkhart spinal surgeon accused by the U.S. Justice Department of being involved in a kickback scheme have agreed to pay a $2.6 million settlement.

The settlement announced Friday involves payments that Omni Surgical, doing business as Spine 360, made between 2007 and 2009 to an entity controlled by Dr. Jamie Gottlieb. Although the payments were purportedly involved of intellectual property agreements, the Justice Department contended the agreements were shams, and the payments were intended to pay Gottlieb for using the company's products.

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Regional
4:27 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Abbott Says Plastic Bag Bans Are Illegal

Credit Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R)

  Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says municipal bans on single-use plastic bags are illegal.

In a five-page attorney general's opinion Friday, the Republican gubernatorial nominee said a state law prohibits local governments from prohibiting, restricting or charging a fee, for solid waste management purposes, for "the use of a container or package in a manner not authorized by state law."

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Regional
4:14 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

"Cowboys For Cancer" Golf Tournament In Las Cruces

  Local residents and cancer research supporters took part in the Cowboys for Cancer Research and NMSU Aggies Tough Enough to Wear Pink Golf Tournament fundraising event Friday.

The event began with an official opening ceremony with special performances from the Bel Air High School Bagpipes, the Oñate High School Band, and the Las Cruces High School color guard.  

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Regional
4:04 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Two Guard Troops On Texas-Mexico Border Request Financial Help

The Texas National Guard says at least two of its troops have requested financial assistance after deployment to the Texas-Mexico border in response to a surge of children pouring illegally into the United States.

Spokeswoman Lt. Col. Joanne MacGregor says the National Guard had initially identified 50 soldiers who might need financial help, but only two asked for help. These soldiers are part of the 1,000 troops ordered to the border in July by Gov. Rick Perry.

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Regional
3:54 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Costs Of NM Coal Power Plant Proposal Challenged By Santa Fe-Based Group

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

Renewable energy advocates say the state's largest electric utility is underestimating the costs that will be passed on to customers under a proposal to shut down part of an aging coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico.

The Santa Fe-based group New Energy Economy in a filing with the Public Regulation Commission on Friday accused the utility of withholding from regulators key information about the plan's price tag.

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Regional
3:45 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

West Texas Man Convicted For Rape Gets Life In Prison

An El Paso man convicted of rape has been sentenced to life in prison.

The El Paso Time reports that jurors on Thursday sentenced 26-year-old Arturo Valtierra-Payan to four life sentences after he was convicted Tuesday of three counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of aggravated robbery. He also was sentenced to 99 years for burglary of a habitation.

The convictions are the result of a June 26, 2013, case in which prosecutors say Valtierra-Payan broke into a woman's home and then threatened her with a knife and demanded money and jewelry after raping her.

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Regional
3:36 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Family: Man Shot By Bloomfield Police Unarmed

Credit https://www.facebook.com/pages/City-of-Bloomfield-NM/160827133956526

The family a Bloomfield man fatally shot by police says he was unarmed.

The Daily Times reports the son of Jonathan Rogers said Thursday his father did not have a firearm in his hand when he was killed.

Authorities say Bloomfield police fatally shot the 61-year-old Rogers following a report of a domestic dispute.

New Mexico State Police say two Bloomfield police officers responded to a domestic and were confronted with a suspect with a deadly weapon.

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Regional
3:34 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Albuquerque Mayor Vetoes Bill To Decriminalize Pot

Credit http://www.cabq.gov/mayor

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry has vetoed a measure that would have allowed voters to decide if small amounts of marijuana would be decriminalized in New Mexico's largest city.

Berry said in a video message Friday that the proposal would contradict state and federal laws, and he couldn't "in good conscience" support the bill.

A divided Albuquerque City Council voted to put the measure on the November ballot after activists failed to collect enough signatures.

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Regional
11:45 am
Fri August 29, 2014

New Mexico Public School Students Feeling The Pressure Of Standardized Testing

Mayfield High School Senior Jacqueline Sanchez prepares for state mandated math test.
Credit Simon Thompson

State standards have dramatically increased the number of standardized tests in public schools and some educators say it’s causing undue pressure on students and damaging their education.

Jacqueline Sanchez, daughter of National Education Association President Patrick Sanchez is a senior at Mayfield High School in Las Cruces and she says all the tests they are taking have become a source of despair among her classmates.

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Regional
11:45 am
Fri August 29, 2014

New Mexico Students Feeling Pressure Of Standardized Testings

Mayfield High School Senior Jacqueline Sanchez prepares for state mandated math test.
Credit Simon Thompson

State standards have dramatically increased the number of standardized tests in public schools and some educators say it’s causing undue pressure on students and damaging their education.

Jacqueline Sanchez, daughter of National Education Association President Patrick Sanchez is a senior at Mayfield High School in Las Cruces and she says all the tests they are taking have become a source of despair among her classmates.

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Regional
9:55 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Complaint: Three Sierra County Dentention Guards Had Sex With Inmates

Credit http://www.sierracountynm.gov/department/138755-detention-facility

Three Sierra County Detention Center jail guards are facing charges they harassed and threatened female inmates into having sex with them.

KOB-TV reports a criminal complaints filed Thursday says 38-year-old Virgil Eaton, 22-year-old Miguel Herrera and 23-year-old Joshua Corley had sex with inmates and harassed them in spots hidden from security cameras at the Truth or Consequences jail.

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Regional
8:07 am
Fri August 29, 2014

FBI Offering Reward In Attack On Iraqi Woman

The FBI is offering a reward in a case involving a man who assaulted and robbed an Iraqi Catholic refugee in Albuquerque and yelled obscenities about Muslims.

The agency announced Thursday it will offer a $2,000 reward for the capture of a suspect who stole $20,000 in gold during the violent home invasion in June.

Authorities say the assailant forced his way into the home of Seham Jaber, shouting nasty remarks about Muslims and punched her in the head and stomach. Investigators say the intruder then tore up her family's citizenship papers.

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Regional
8:05 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Carlsbad Caverns National Park Bans Drones

Credit facebook.com/nationalparkservice

Carlsbad Caverns National Park has adopted the ban on drones.

Officials say anyone caught using model airplanes, quadcopters or other types of drones within the park's boundaries could face fines and possible jail time.

National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis directed all parks in June to take steps to prohibit the use of the increasingly popular aircraft that are often used to take photos and videos.

Southwest national parks like Canyonlands, Arches, Grand Canyon and Zion have recently put bans in place.

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Regional
8:01 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Albuquerque Mayor Appoints Chair To Native American Homelessness Task Force

Credit cabq.gov

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry has appointed Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly's former chief of staff to chair the city's new Native American Homelessness Task Force.

Berry says Sherrick Roanhorse joins the task force with extensive knowledge of Native American affairs. In addition to his role with Shelly, Roanhorse has worked as a policy analyst for the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department and as and a government and legislative affairs specialist with the Navajo Nation in Washington, D.C. He currently works in the state government affairs office of PNM.

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Regional
8:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Bernalillo County Changes Policy On Immigration Checks

Credit bernco.gov

New Mexico's most populous county no longer will keep inmates in jail while their immigration status is being checked if there's no order to keep them in custody once they've posted bail.

Bernalillo County officials say the new policy means the county won't keep inmates confined at the Metropolitan Detention Center merely on the basis of a request from immigration authorities.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, County Attorney Randy Autio said the policy change is a result of court cases around the country.

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Regional
7:10 am
Fri August 29, 2014

N.M. Democratic, Republican Party Chairs Discuss Opening Primary Elections To Independents

Low turnout in New Mexico Primary Elections and a lawsuit have people talking about opening up the state’s primaries to independent voters. 

New Mexico’s Democratic Chair supports the change….but the Republican chair is opposed.

With only 20 percent of voters turning out in the last primary election, there are calls for opening up the state’s closed primary to include independent voters.

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Regional
6:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Park Renaming Dedication Today In Rincon

  District 5 Doña Ana County Commissioner Leticia Duarte-Benavidez will emcee the dedication of Doña Ana County’s newly renamed V. Dale Antreasian Memorial Park at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 29, in the northern Doña Ana County community of Rincon.

   The Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Aug. 12 to name the park after Antreasian, who lived and worked in the Rincon area for more than 20 years, and was the manager of the Rincon Water Association and was also a Doña Ana County wastewater system operator in Rincon and Salem for more than 10 years.

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Regional
6:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Major Honors For NMSU Media Productions Team

Students work together in the Learning Games Lab. (photo by Darren Phillips)

  The New Mexico State University Media Productions team, responsible for projects with more than 40 universities, agencies and nonprofit groups nationwide, has recently received multiple awards for interactive media programs.

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Regional
2:02 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Texas School Finance System "Unconstitutional"

A judge has again declared Texas' school finance system unconstitutional, reaffirming his 2013 decision despite $3.4 billion in extra classroom funding approved by the Legislature last summer.

State District Judge John Dietz's written opinion Thursday followed his verbal ruling last year that public school funding was inadequate.

He also said the "Robin Hood" system doesn't share funding fairly between school districts in wealthy and poor areas.

The Legislature cut $5.4 billion from public education in 2011, prompting more than 600 school districts statewide to sue.

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Regional
2:01 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Perry V. Cruz In 2016?

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

   Two Texans, one White House. Is the 2016 Republican campaign trail big enough?

After plummeting from prime contender to political punchline three years ago, Gov. Rick Perry is gearing up for a second run for president. And he's turned his recent indictment on felony abuse-of-power charges into a campaign rallying cry.

But Perry may find himself bumping up against his state's junior senator, Ted Cruz. The tea party darling's firebomb approach on Capitol Hill has grassroots activists clamoring for him to make a White House run.

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Regional
1:59 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

New Parking Lot To Be Built For Air Show

  Amigo Airsho officials have announced that the proposed parking lot for this year’s event has been approved by Dona Ana County and construction has begun on the plot of land that will become patrons’ parking.  The parking lot will be attached to the Dona Ana County International Jetport in Santa Teresa.  In addition to the construction of the new parking lot, approval was also granted for repairs to be made to complete the existing taxiway at the airport.   These infrastructure projects should be complete within the next 30 days. 

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Regional
12:18 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Fatal Crash In Las Cruces

A two-vehicle crash Thursday morning on Lohman Avenue has claimed the life of an 84-year-old woman.

At around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, Las Cruces Police were dispatched to the report of a crash on the 2001 block of east Lohman Avenue. The 84-year-old driver of one of the vehicles was critically injured in the crash. She was rushed to MountainView Regional Medical Center but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

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Regional
11:42 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Las Cruces Plane Crash Victims Identified

New Mexico authorities say all four people aboard a medical flight were killed when the plane crashed in Las Cruces.  New Mexico State Police say the twin-engine aircraft had just left the Las Cruces airport and was headed to Phoenix at a low altitude before it crashed and burst into flames Wednesday evening.

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