Regional

Regional
7:29 am
Tue April 28, 2015

County Tax To Cost National Lab $2 Million Annually

A national lab in Albuquerque will have to pay about $2 million annually under a Bernalillo County tax hike taking effect this summer.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Sandia National Laboratories has not made any budget decisions yet. Spokeswoman Nancy Salem said the federally-funded lab will have to cut costs to come up with the tax payment.

Most goods and services will be subject to the 19-cent tax per $100 purchase that starts July 1. The increase is estimated to generate $30 million to balance the county budget and pay for behavioral health services.

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Regional
6:56 am
Tue April 28, 2015

Feds Plan Meeting To Discuss Valles Caldera Transition

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

Federal officials plan three public listening sessions as management of the Valles Caldera National Preserve transitions from a board of trustees to the National Park Service.

The first session will be in Albuquerque on May 11. Two more sessions will follow in Jemez Springs and Los Alamos.

The head of the park service's intermountain region, Sue Masica, says the meetings offer a chance for the agency to learn about the communities near the 140-square-mile property.

She says the goal is to form a working relationship with them.

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Regional
6:55 am
Tue April 28, 2015

Xcel Construction Plans In Southeastern NM Not Hampered By Oil Prices

Credit xcelenergy.com

Despite a swing in oil prices, a company that provides electricity to customers throughout southeastern New Mexico and West Texas says it's not backing down from plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the region's infrastructure.

Xcel Energy plans to spend more than $630 million on new high-voltage transmission and distribution lines and substations. A quarter of that will be used for projects this year.

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Regional
6:54 am
Tue April 28, 2015

More NM Mayors Call For Special Session To Pass Key Bill

The list of mayors urging Gov. Susana Martinez to call a special session to consider funding more than $260 million in public improvement projects has doubled to nearly 100.

The New Mexico Municipal League sent a second letter to the governor last week adding signatures of an additional 44 mayors from across the state.

All are asking the New Mexico Senate and House of Representatives to craft a mutually acceptable capital outlay bill. It stalled on the final day of the legislative session in March and much finger-pointing has followed.

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue April 28, 2015

Senator Udall Pushes For Better Care In New Mexico's VA Hospitals

Credit Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Senator Udall continued to put pressure on Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald on the VA’s efforts to provide better care. His comments came during a recent hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.

Udall discussed the barriers that prevent veterans from access in addition to the lengthy backlog of benefits claims. He also referenced a chart he brought to the hearing that displays a bar graph of veterans still waiting to have their claims resolved by the Albuquerque VA hospital.

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Regional
5:49 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

New College Of Osteopathic Medicine Breaks Ground At NMSU

Credit https://www.facebook.com/bcomNM.org

 

A new public-private partnership was touted at the groundbreaking for a new college of osteopathic medicine located at NMSU.

Cement poured into the ground signaling the future home of The Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine at New Mexico State University. The 80,000 square- foot facility will be located on the campus of NMSU’s Arrowhead Research Park.  

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Regional
4:42 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

In Depth: Feds Bust Major New Mexico And West Texas Pot Operation

  Twelve individuals are facing drug trafficking and money laundering charges as the result of a multi-agency investigation targeting marijuana traffickers and money launderers operating in southeastern New Mexico and west Texas.  The investigation culminated this morning when ten of the defendants were arrested during an early morning law enforcement operation led by the DEA.  Teams of federal, state, county and local law enforcement officers participated in the operation that included arrests in five cities and towns in New Mexico and Texas.  The operation also included the execution of f

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Regional
4:25 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Woman Thrown From Vehicle In Critical Condition

  An El Paso man suspected of throwing a 51-year-old woman out of his pickup Saturday evening was arrested while the victim remains in critical condition at an area hospital.

Rene Victor Carrillo, 48, of the 8400 block of Lockheed in El Paso, Texas, is charged with one count each of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, battery against a household member and possession of cocaine.

The 51-year-old woman was airlifted to University Medical Center of El Paso where on Monday she remained in critical but stable condition.

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Regional
4:19 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Las Cruces Man Arrested After Brandishing Gun

  A Las Cruces man was arrested Sunday night and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after Doña Ana County Sheriff’s detectives said he pulled out a gun while confronting two men inside a convenience store.

   According to court documents, Alejandro Wright, 24, was not allowed to board a bus at a stop in the 800 block of Thorpe Road because he was allegedly intoxicated. After being refused a seat, Wright reportedly walked into the convenience store and demanded a refund from the cashier for the bus ticket.

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Regional
4:10 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Texas House Approves Bill Requiring Warrants For Body Cavity Searches

The Texas House has preliminarily approved a bill requiring police and law enforcement officials to get a search warrant before conducting body cavity searches.

Houston Democratic Rep. Harold Dutton Jr. said that although officers rarely search a person's vagina or anal cavity, his bill would prohibit doing so without warrants.

Lawmakers' unanimous voice vote Monday came two years after the state settled a federal civil rights lawsuit for $185,000 with two women whose genitals were probed by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper.

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Regional
4:08 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Papen Wants Answers On Mental Health Care In New Mexico

A key Democratic state senator is asking Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration for answers as a mental health provider prepares to pull out of southern New Mexico.

Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen says she's concerned about the thousands of people who currently receive care from Arizona-based La Frontera. The provider is set to stop services June 1.

Papen outlined her questions about continuing patient care in a four-page letter made public Monday. She sent the letter to three of Martinez's cabinet members.

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Regional
4:07 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

How About This? Earn Your Degree In Four Years, Get A $1,000 Check

The New Mexico Highlands University board of regents has voted unanimously to offer incoming freshmen an incentive to earn their undergraduate degree in four years.

Students who do that will receive a $1,000 bonus check from the university after graduating.

The board on Friday also approved a 6.7 percent increase in tuition and fees for resident undergraduates and instituted a 6 percent per year tuition cap on increases going forward for the incoming freshman class.

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Regional
4:06 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Texas Governor Reports For Jury Duty

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's return to a courtroom had nothing to do with suing Washington.

Abbott on Monday spent most of his afternoon as potential juror No. 15 during selection for a domestic violence case in Austin. He joins Rick Perry and George W. Bush as other Texas governors who have been summoned for jury duty.

Abbott says he would make a fair juror but was excused after nearly three hours.

He is no stranger to courtrooms. Abbott is a former Texas Supreme Court justice and sued the Obama administration 30 times as attorney general.

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Regional
12:55 pm
Mon April 27, 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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Regional
8:44 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Rev. John C. Wester, Bishop of Salt Lake City, Appointed As Archbishop Of Santa Fe

  Pope Francis has appointed Most Rev. John C. Wester, Bishop of Salt Lake City, as the 12th Archbishop of Santa Fe. He succeeds Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe upon reaching the age limit has been accepted by the Holy Father.

 

The Installation Mass for Archbishop-Elect Wester will be at 2:00pm on Thursday, June 4, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe.  Until the installation Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan continues to serve as Archbishop of Santa Fe.

 

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Regional
7:21 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Civil Suit Targets NM Lenders

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

Two New Mexico lenders are the defendants in a $900,000 lawsuit that claims they tricked low-income individuals into taking out high-interest tax refund anticipation loans.

The Daily-Times reports interest rates were as high as 240 percent on loans offered by Jeffrey Scott Thomas of J. Thomas Development of NM Inc. and Dennis Gonzalez, owner of Southwest Tax Loans.

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Regional
7:17 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Rare California Condor Seen In Los Alamos

Credit https://www.facebook.com/friendsofcondors?fref=photo

A Los Alamos man who is also an avid birder says he spotted a California condor that was last seen in Colorado.

Joe Fitzgibbon told the Santa Fe New Mexican (http://bit.ly/1IcX8GN) that he was "flabbergasted" to see the bird in his backyard on Friday.

Fitzgibbon says saw a large radiotransmitter "N8" tag on its wing.

Fitzgibbon contacted the nonprofit The Peregrine Fund, which is monitoring 70 condors in Arizona and southern Utah.

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Regional
6:21 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Ed Frank: LCPS-PED Dispute Over Teacher Leave Not Over

Credit Carlos Carrea

Teachers in the Las Cruces Public Schools receive ten sick days

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Monday Business Watch

Every Monday at 7:51am on Morning Edition, Edmundo Resendez covers the week's top local business stories with Las Cruces Sun News Business Editor Jason Gibbs.

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Regional
2:34 pm
Sun April 26, 2015

Report: West Texas Space Flights May Begin Later This Year

In October, 2012, Blue Origin’s pusher escape system rockets the Crew Capsule away from its West Texas launch pad, demonstrating a key safety system for both suborbital and orbital flights.
Credit Blue Origin

VAN HORN, Texas (AP) — A remote operation that resembles the Air Force's famously secret Area 51 is one of two Texas sites playing host to a 21st-century space race.

The private ventures at opposite edges the state are backed by Internet billionaires whose strategies and personalities seem worlds apart.

Low-key Amazon founder Jeff Bezos over the past decade has bought huge tracts of West Texas mountains and desert for his Blue Origin firm's launch site. Officials, who rarely discuss their plans, have said suborbital test flights may begin late this year.

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Regional
2:29 pm
Sun April 26, 2015

In Depth: Abortion Restrictions And A Budget Battle In Texas

Abortion politics roared back to life in the Texas Legislature and after some wrangling on the House floor could loom over the final five weeks of the 2015 session.

Although the issue had been mostly quiet after 2013's Senate filibuster and rallies at the Capitol when lawmakers passed some of the toughest abortion restriction in the country, House Republicans reignited a push for even tighter controls with a vote to end abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy when the fetus has severe health abnormalities.

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Regional
2:27 pm
Sun April 26, 2015

Inmates Sue New Mexico County For Inadequate Medical Care

Several San Juan County prison inmates are suing the jail over claims they were left injured or in pain after being denied basic medical care.

18 current and former San Juan County Adult Detention Center inmates filed a complaint earlier this month in state district court.

In the April 17 complaint, they allege the jail's health care providers displayed a "severe and deliberate indifference" to their medical needs.

The inmates are asking for financial compensation as well as court-mandated changes in jail policies, training and procedures.

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Regional
2:26 pm
Sun April 26, 2015

High Rate Of STD In El Paso County

A health study has found an alarming rise in El Paso County of a sexually transmitted disease.

A report conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute shows that chlamydia cases in the county far exceed statewide and national rates.

The study found there are 600 new cases for every 100,000 people in El Paso. The state average is 488 cases per 100,000.

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Regional
2:24 pm
Sun April 26, 2015

Martinez Markets New Mexico For Nuclear Waste Site

Credit Office of the Governor

A rural area of southeastern New Mexico is being touted as an interim storage site for the country's high-level nuclear waste.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Gov. Susana Martinez reached out to the Obama administration earlier this month to consider the 1,000-acre parcel as a place for storing spent radioactive fuel rods from power plants.

In an April 10 letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, which was obtained by the newspaper, Martinez praised area residents for being able to "carve out a niche in the nuclear industry."

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Regional
6:00 am
Sun April 26, 2015

Holloman To Hold Active Shooter Exercise

A 49th Security Forces Squadron member covers fellow SFS members as they check and clear rooms during an active shooter exercise at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., last year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Montoya / Released) Edit | Remove

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Regional
4:24 pm
Sat April 25, 2015

North America's Largest Powwow Draws Thousands To New Mexico

Droves of Native American and other indigenous performers and spectators have converged in New Mexico for the 32nd annual Gathering of Nations, North America's largest powwow. Here are some things to know about the event:

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FROM FAR AND WIDE

More than 3,000 dancers, drummers and singers representing some 700 tribes from the United States and Canada typically attend the three-day festival in Albuquerque. The competitions also draw tens of thousands of spectators from around the world.

This year's celebration started Thursday.

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Regional
4:21 pm
Sat April 25, 2015

This Is Not A Misprint: Former Perry Staffer Is A Judge In Perry's Appeal

Credit Former Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

An ex-Rick Perry's staff member is one of three judges who will consider the ex-governor's appeal to have his felony abuse-of-power charges dismissed.

Justice Bob Pemberton is one of the judges from the Republican-dominated 3rd Texas Court of Appeals named to hear Perry's appeal. According to his court website biography, Pemberton was a deputy general counsel on the former governor's staff and briefing attorney to former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Phillips, who is now on Perry's legal team. Perry appointed him to the appeals court in 2003.

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Regional
4:19 pm
Sat April 25, 2015

Report: Albuquerque Officer Used Excessive Force

New Mexico State Police say their investigation has concluded that an Albuquerque police officer used excessive force during a call for service last month.

They say 24-year-old Officer Cedric Greer punched the individual in the head several times and struck the individual's chest enough to cause bruising on March 20.

Witnesses say the individual was cooperative before and after the battery.

The name and age of the person isn't immediately available.

Greer turned himself into State Police on Friday night.

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Regional
4:18 pm
Sat April 25, 2015

ENMU Drops Zia Name And Symbol

Eastern New Mexico University's board of regents has approved the school dropping the use of the Zia sun symbol and name for the women's sports teams.

University officials say the cost of discontinuing use of the symbol will be minimal and the policy will go into effect as soon as possible.

Both the ENMU men's and women's teams now will be called Greyhounds.

The Portales-based university has used the "Zias" name for women's sports teams since 1981.

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Regional
4:15 pm
Sat April 25, 2015

New Mexico Employees Accused Of Misusing Election Day Leave

Hundreds of New Mexico state employees are being accused of taking advantage of paid leave to go vote in last November's election but not actually voting.

Gov. Susana Martinez's administration has sent letters to more than 200 employees among 50 state agencies warning of possible disciplinary action.

The State Personnel Office says an audit of the Nov. 4 general election found that a majority of the workers were registered to vote but didn't.

According to the office, another 42 employees were not even registered.

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