Regional

Regional
5:36 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

$10,000 Reward In Las Cruces Robberies

  Las Cruces Pic Quik stores are offering a $9,000 reward and an additional $1,000 is available from Crime Stoppers for information that helps identify the suspects in any of the recent robberies and Aug. 19 shooting at their stores.

The $9,000 Pic Quik reward is only good for the first viable tip received before Nov. 23, 2014.

The three robberies at Pic Quik stores include:

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Regional
5:35 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Plan To Protect Albuquerque Groundwater

  The U.S. Air Force has unveiled a proposal to start drilling wells next year to try to intercept groundwater contamination from a Kirtland Air Force Base fuel spill.

The plan released Wednesday is aimed at stopping contamination before it can reach Albuquerque municipal drinking water wells.

Under the plan, eight new cleanup wells will be operating by August 2016.

But a top Air Force official acknowledged that the first of the wells will not be installed until mid-2015, missing a December deadline to get that phase of the work completed.

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Regional
5:33 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Poll: 66 Percent Support Tapping New Mexico Permanent Fund

A new poll says nearly two-thirds of New Mexico likely voters believe the state should tap its $14 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund to expand early childhood programs.

The poll conducted for the Albuquerque Journal found 66 percent said they would support tapping the permanent fund. The fund currently pays out hundreds of millions of dollars each year for New Mexico K-12 and higher education programs.

Twenty-four percent of voters said they opposed tapping the fund for more money for early childhood programs.

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Regional
5:31 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Contempt Case Against Perry Prosecutor Reopened

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

  The special prosecutor handling the felony indictment against Gov. Rick Perry is himself facing legal trouble after a court ruling cleared the way for a criminal case to be filed against him.

In January, prosecutors in Bexar County filed a contempt-of-court motion against Michael McCrum, but the case was halted because it was filed after deadline. An opinion this week by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals renewed the case.

McCrum is accused of telling a witness in a manslaughter trial to "get lost for a while" to hinder her being called to testify.

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Regional
5:29 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Border Patrol To Test Wearing Cameras

  The head of the Border Patrol's parent agency says a test of body-worn cameras for agents will begin next month as part of an effort to improve accountability and transparency.

Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske said Thursday the government has purchased a variety of cameras to be used at the Border Patrol academy in Artesia, New Mexico, starting Oct. 1.

He isn't saying when or even if they will be introduced to the roughly 21,000 agents in the field.

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Regional
5:27 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

King And Martinez Spar In Las Cruces

  With early voting set to begin in a few weeks, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and Democratic challenger Gary King are sparring over the economy and taxes.

King and Martinez outlined their campaign views Thursday in separate appearances at a public policy conference at New Mexico State University.

King said New Mexico has been going down "the wrong path." He pointed to a Census Bureau report showing the state's poverty rate had increased last year. He also said it's unacceptable that New Mexico ranks at or near the bottom nationally in child well-being.

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Regional
10:09 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Storm Hits Hard In Southern New Mexico

Overnight rainfall from Hurricane Odile has water-logged several communities in southern Doña Ana County, flooding some roadways in La Union and Berino and prompting a temporary shelter to open in Sunland Park.  The American Red Cross had opened the shelter just after midnight at the Senior Center in Sunland Park in anticipation of a few homes that were evacuated, but the shelter was deactivated early Thursday morning.

About 250 sandbags were sent to Sunland Park overnight, courtesy of the Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services Department.

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Regional
9:10 am
Thu September 18, 2014

New Mexico Under Flash Flood Watch As Storm Moves

Much of New Mexico remains under a flash flood watch thanks to remnants from Tropical Storm Odile.

The storm system's center approached New Mexico on Thursday bringing threats of flooding and possible mudslides in areas previously level by wildfires.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation says Highway 152 in the southwestern part of the state was closed indefinitely Wednesday after severe weather damaged portions of the road.

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Regional
9:04 am
Thu September 18, 2014

55 Indicted In El Paso Gang Investigation

Investigators say 55 suspected gang members and associates in far West Texas have been indicted on charges including murder, drug dealing and extortion.

Federal officials in El Paso on Wednesday announced that 20 people believed connected to the Barrio Azteca gang face charges.

Authorities say 35 others face state charges of organized crime as part of the multi-agency investigation. Officials say six people facing federal charges and nine facing state charges remain at large.

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Regional
9:02 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Navajo High Court To Hear Case On Language Fluency

The Navajo Nation Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments in a case challenging a presidential candidate's ability to speak Navajo.

The candidates are required under tribal law to speak Navajo fluently and understand it.

Dale Tsosie contends that Chris Deschene lied about being fluent when he entered the race to preside over the country's largest American Indian reservation.

Deschene says fluency is a matter of opinion and that his language skills are progressing.

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Regional
8:59 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Funding To Boost Training For Alzheimer's Care

Training for family caregivers of those with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias will be getting a boost thanks to $100,000 in state funding.

Gov. Susana Martinez announced the funding Wednesday. She says the investment will triple the number of Alzheimer's caregivers in New Mexico.

About 50 new teachers are expected to complete a seven-week course offered through the Alzheimer's Association. The course focuses on practical strategies for caregiving and helps decrease caregiver stress.

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Regional
8:58 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Marijuana Ballot Dispute Before Federal Judge

Credit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bernalillo-County-NM

A federal court is to consider whether it will referee a legal fight over New Mexico's largest county trying to place nonbinding questions over marijuana and taxes on the November general election ballot.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Molzen has scheduled a hearing Thursday afternoon in a dispute between Bernalillo County and Secretary of State Dianna Duran.

The county has approved advisory ballot questions to ask voters whether they support decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana and favor a tax for mental health services.

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Regional
8:56 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Census Data Shows Poverty Rate Rises In New Mexico

Credit census.gov

A New U.S. Census Bureau numbers show New Mexico has the nation's second-highest percentage of people living in poverty.

Figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that 21.9 percent of New Mexico residents lived in poverty last year, roughly 22,000 more people than in 2012.

The national rate was 15.8 percent in 2013 compared to 15.9 percent the year before.

Only Mississippi had a poverty rate higher than New Mexico in 2013 with 24 percent of that state's residents living in poverty.

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Regional
7:00 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Critics: Democratic Process Denied In Las Cruces Minimum Wage Debate

The Las Cruces City council voted 4-to-3 to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017. But the new wage law won’t necessarily be enacted. Some say the council majority is subverting the democratic process to keep the minimum wage from increasing that quickly.

State legislators passed a bill to raise New Mexico’s minimum wage to $8.50 in 2013, a bill Governor Susana Martinez vetoed. And despite calls by President Obama to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 Congress has failed to act. For local group CAFÉ, Communities in Action and Faith that was a call to action.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu September 18, 2014

New Exhibit Reception Friday At NMSU University Museum

A Quiet Moment, Monastery of Christ in the Desert, 1995/2009. Photo by Tony O'Brien. Selenium-toned silver gelatin print. Photo Archives at the Palace of the Governors, No. HP.2009.52.02.

  After being imprisoned in Afghanistan while on assignment for Life magazine in 1989, photojournalist Tony O’Brien sought solace and perspective at Christ in the Desert Monastery. During his year-long residency, O’Brien was granted rare access to traditions dating back to the Middle Ages. O’Brien’s camera became an instrument of contemplation and spiritual healing, his reverent photographs reflecting, as well, the harsh beauty and austerity of the monastic life.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Candidates Will Be Able To Campaign At NMSU For Aggie-Lobo Football Game

Credit NMSU President Dr. Garrey Carruthers

  Candidates for political office will be permitted to campaign at New Mexico State University during the tailgate activities ahead of the Aggie-Lobo football game Saturday, Sept. 20. NMSU President Garrey Carruthers spoke with the state Democratic chair and the local Republican chair about the idea earlier this month.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu September 18, 2014

NMSU Faculty Partner With Community To Launch Parent Library At Las Cruces School

New Mexico State University College of Education faculty, from left, Mary Fahrenbruck and David Rutledge worked with Eunice Zemek, Title I coordinator at Central Elementary School, to launch a Parent Library Zone at the school. (NMSU photo by Julie M. Hughes)

  For Central Elementary School parents, taking their children to school each morning now includes the chance to grab a book or magazine from a new Parent Library Zone launched this year.

The idea for the new literacy opportunity was presented to the school by New Mexico State University College of Education faculty Mary Fahrenbruck and David Rutledge, based on a national initiative called the Little Free Library.

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Regional
4:30 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Perry Blasts Mexico Border "Failure"

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

  In a sharp criticism of Mexico's "failure" on immigration and crime policies, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has invited President Enrique Pena Nieto to visit his state and observe law enforcement efforts on the U.S. side of the border.

Pena Nieto recently criticized Perry's highly-publicized deployment of National Guard troops to the border as "unpleasant" and "reprehensible."

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Regional
4:29 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Woman Sentenced To Prison In Alamogordo Killing

  The last of three people convicted in the 2011 killing of a woman outside a Burger King in Alamogordo has been sentenced to life in prison and an additional 26 years.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports that District Judge James W. Counts sentenced Alexias Torres on Tuesday on convictions of first-degree murder and other crimes stemming from the killing of 33-year-old Shavon Twitty.

Fellow defendant Jonathan Montoya confessed to firing the fatal shots, although he said he had only intended to fire a warning shot. He was sentenced to life in prison.

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Regional
4:26 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Group Levels Abuse Charges Against New Mexico Dairy

  The New Mexico Livestock Board has launched an investigation into a southern New Mexico dairy after an activist secretly recorded workers abusing cows.

The video shows workers at Winchester Dairy near Dexter whipping cows with chains and wire cables, kicking and punching the animals, and shocking them with electric prods.

Board officials are interviewing the activist with the group Mercy for Animals and tracking down the workers identified in the video. They say the dairy is cooperating with investigators.

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Regional
4:25 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Taxi Group Sues To Stop Uber And Lyft In New Mexico

  A group of taxi and limousine operators has filed a lawsuit seeking to stop ride-sharing services from operating in New Mexico.

The Public Regulation Commission which regulates taxis and limos previously ruled that Lyft and Uber were in violation of state law. However, the two companies have continued to operate.

Unlike traditional taxi businesses, Lyft and Uber use smart-phone programs to connect people seeking rides with people who have cars.

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Regional
4:24 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

State No Longer Insures UNM Child Cancer Claims

Credit Office of the Governor

   A top official in Gov. Susana Martinez's administration says taxpayers have subsidized insurance costs for the University of New Mexico while the state has paid $48 million for medical malpractice claims over the treatment of children with leukemia.

State Risk Management Director A. J. Forte describes the insurance rates as a "sweetheart deal."

He said medical malpractice premiums for UNM hospital have been too low because the state didn't properly factor in settlement payments and potential liability of child cancer claims since the late 1990s.

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Regional
4:22 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Supreme Court Refuses To Block Execution Of Texas Woman For Starvation Of Child

Credit supremecourt.gov

  The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block the execution of a Texas woman convicted of the starvation and torture death of her girlfriend's 9-year-old son a decade ago.

The high court rejected a last-day appeal about an hour before 38-year-old Lisa Coleman was to be taken to the death chamber for lethal injection Wednesday evening.

Coleman faces execution for the death of Davontae Williams. His emaciated body was found in July 2004 at the North Texas apartment Coleman shared with his mother, Marcella Williams.

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Regional
7:55 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Tropical Storm Brings More Rain To The Area

 

Flash flood watches are in effect for most of New Mexico as remnants from Tropical Storm Odile move through the state and are expected to bring heavy rain throughout the week.

Weather radar shows large storm clusters over the state Wednesday morning, generally moving the southwest toward the northeast.

Five-day National Weather Service forecasts call for 2 to 5 inches in southern New Mexico, with up to 8 inches in the southwestern and south-central mountain regions.

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Regional
7:51 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Hobbs Lab Now Capable Of Firearms Forensic Testing

Credit nmsp.dps.state.nm.us

The New Mexico Department of Public Safety says its laboratory in Hobbs is now capable of doing forensic analysis on firearms.

The lab can also test cartridge cases, make bullet comparisons, restore serial numbers and do other examinations related to firearms.

Agency officials say the lab's new capabilities will mirror those offered in Santa Fe and will help expedite cases around the state that involve firearms.

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Regional
7:44 am
Wed September 17, 2014

NMSU Fall Enrollment Down

New Mexico State University says fall enrollment is down more than 5 percent from the previous year.

The university released the numbers Tuesday. They show nearly 26,700 students enrolled throughout the NMSU system as of Sept. 5.

At the Las Cruces campus, more than 15,800 students were enrolled for the fall. That represents a 5.6 percent decrease from 2013.

The vice president for student affairs and enrollment, Bernadette Montoya, says the university had several large classes early during the economic downturn and those students are now leaving with degrees.

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Regional
6:00 am
Wed September 17, 2014

NMSU Researchers Study Coyotes And Kit Foxes At White Sands National Monument

A curious coyote discovers one of the cameras used in NMSU’s study to determine whether kit foxes are in harm’s way. (NMSU photo provided by Gary Roemer)

  Take a stroll through the unique gypsum dunes of White Sands National Monument and you might come across paw prints belonging to a kit fox or coyote.

These two predators coexist in an extreme form of competition called intraguild predation. When two predators compete for the same prey, the larger often kills and may even consume the smaller predator. This is a phenomenon familiar with sharks, spiders, hyenas and many other animals. In this case, the coyote is the predator of the kit fox.

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Regional
3:46 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Poll: Majority Favors Higher Minimum Wage

A new poll of New Mexico likely voters finds that a majority favors increasing the state's current minimum hourly wage of $7.50.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the poll conducted for the newspaper found that 68 percent support an increase.

Of the overall survey group, 53 percent said the minimum wage should between $8 and $10 and 12 percent said it be more than $10.

Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed a 2013 proposal to raise the statewide minimum wage to $8.50 an hour.

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Regional
3:36 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

New Mexico To Get Share Of Tropical Storm Odile

Heavy rains are expected to strike the state this week thanks to remnants of Tropical Storm Odile.

The National Weather Service said severe weather from the Odile will move across most of northern and central New Mexico bringing possible flooding and thunderstorms

Flash flood watches already are in effect through Tuesday evening in parts of northern and central New Mexico along the Rio Grande and in the state's southwest mountains. Forecasters say the storms will be capable of producing 1 to 3 inches of rain during short periods, creating the threat of flash flooding.

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Regional
3:34 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Prodded By Farmington, Post Office Gets A Cleanup

After a year of prodding by Farmington Mayor Tommy Roberts and a citation, the weeds outside the post office have been pulled and the trash is also gone.

As a result, The Daily Times reports that the city has dropped the petty misdemeanor citation it issued the postmaster this summer because of the building's appearance.

Back in June, yellow grass grew up through gravel and trash hung in bushes outside the building, which had broken light boxes, peeling paint and heaved-up sections of sidewalk.

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