Regional

Regional
6:00 am
Wed April 16, 2014

NMSU Researchers Study Tumbleweed Control

  In January, while the West made national news with extreme cold weather caused by the polar vortex, the Southwest experienced another phenomenon. It was the morning of Jan. 27 when strong winds hit the town of Clovis, breaking off dry tumbleweeds from the fields. In a matter of hours, thousands of weeds covered houses and businesses, many up to the roof. It took heavy machinery to help people out of their own houses. 

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Regional
4:10 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

New Mexico Holds A "Water Town Hall"

Credit Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

State officials, business leaders and others from around New Mexico are gathering for a two-day town hall focused on water use and other policy recommendations for dealing with severe drought.

Sen. Martin Heinrich, state engineer Scott Verhines, tribal leaders and mayors from several New Mexico towns are at the Albuquerque meeting, which runs through Wednesday. Meeting organizer Heather Balas says 31 of 33 counties are represented and interests span from lawmakers, farmers and students to researchers.

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Regional
4:09 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Santa Fe Mayor Proposes Higher Fines For Using Cell Phones While Driving

Credit NMSU

Santa Fe's mayor is proposing stiffer fines for people cited for using a cellphone while driving.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Mayor Javier Gonzales wants motorists who drive while using a cellphone to face a $200 fine.

That would be twice as much as the existing $100 fine.

The proposed fine would be $300 if the offense occurs in a school zone.

Gonzales says the city needs to do its part in combating distracted driving.

Municipal Court records indicate Santa Fe police issued 478 citations for cellphone violations last year.

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Regional
4:07 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Feds Condemn Anti-Police Fliers

Less than a week after the U.S. Justice Department blasted Albuquerque police for a pattern of excessive force, the federal agency is condemning threats of violence against officers in anti-police fliers that have surfaced in the city.

The Justice Department urged Albuquerque residents on Tuesday to "participate in the critical dialogue" after releasing Thursday the findings of its investigation into a string of police shootings since 2010, the majority of which were found to violate constitutional rights.

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Regional
4:06 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Groups Demand Immigration Action From Obama

Latinos and immigration activists are warning of political peril for President Barack Obama and Democrats in the fall election unless the president acts to curb deportations and allow more immigrants to remain legally in the U.S.

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Regional
4:04 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Abbott Faces Thorny Death Penalty Decision

Credit Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R)

The death penalty has strong public support in Texas. Political candidates don't dare get in the way of the state's use of the ultimate punishment. But Greg Abbott, Republican candidate for governor, must soon make a decision as attorney general that could disrupt the nation's busiest death chamber. Abbott must decide whether Texas must disclose the source of its execution drugs, which could prompt suppliers to halt their deliveries.

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Regional
4:02 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Navajo Code Talker Dies

A Navajo man who aspired to be a pilot but was recruited to become a Code Talker during World War II has died.

Michael Smith says his father, Samuel "Jesse" Smith, died Monday night in Albuquerque after recent bouts with pneumonia. He was 88.

The elder Smith enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps to become a pilot, but his plan was derailed because he didn't have a high school diploma. Instead, he became one of hundreds of Navajos who used a code based on their native language to confound the Japanese and help win the war.

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Regional
4:01 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Martinez Announces Proposals For New Veterans' Cemetaries

Credit Office of the Governor

Gov. Susana Martinez has announced that Angel Fire, Carlsbad, Fort Stanton, and Gallup are being proposed as sites for new rural veterans' cemeteries in New Mexico.

At a news conference in Albuquerque Tuesday, Martinez said choosing the towns is a first step in an effort to provide new cemeteries closer to homes of veterans. She recently signed a bill aimed at providing $600,000 to plan, design, and construct regional veterans' cemeteries.

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Regional
3:53 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

New Mexico's Largest County Settles For $570,000 With Former Employee

Bernalillo County will pay $570,000 to settle a lawsuit involving a former attorney and spokeswoman for the sheriff's office.  Jennifer Vega Brown sued in county in October 2012. She alleged she was retaliated against after raising concerns about discrimination and sexual harassment against Hispanic women in the sheriff's office.  The county admits no liability in the settlement, which is a combination of two lawsuits that Vega Brown filed.

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Regional
11:47 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Suspect Accused Of Making Threat Caught On Camera

 

  Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office deputies are looking for a man who walked into a north valley liquor store Monday evening, stole a 12-pack of beer and threatened to kill the clerk. The man was caught on surveillance video.

     Just after 7 p.m., deputies were called to the 5100 block of Doña Ana Road, where the clerk said a Hispanic male, believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s, walked in and grabbed a 12-pack of beer.

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Regional
9:22 am
Tue April 15, 2014

NM Water Issues To Be Addressed In Town Hall

State officials, business leaders and others from around New Mexico are gathering for a two-day town hall to hammer out a series of recommendations on water use and policy.

The meeting starts Tuesday in Albuquerque. Participants are focusing on the state's aging water infrastructure, conservation and planning for crisis situations.

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Regional
9:19 am
Tue April 15, 2014

New Drug Tip Hotline In Santa Fe

A new tip hotline aimed at fighting drug trafficking in Santa Fe is now up and running.

Santa Fe police and other officials launched his week a 24/7 drug tip hotline authorities hope will help reduce heroin in the region.

The Regional Emergency Communication Center will handle incoming calls and the hotline will carry a distinctive ring so police will know about an incoming drug tip.

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Regional
8:36 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Pearce, Ranchers Meet On Lesser Prairie Chicken

Credit Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

 

Around two dozen ranchers have expressed their frustration to U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce over the federal government's decision to list the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that the Republican congressman met with the ranchers in Lovington on Monday for what is a series of planned meetings over the rare grouse. Meetings are also scheduled in Roswell on Tuesday and Portales on Wednesday.

Pearce said some believed the drought and the federal government should take some of the blame for the dwindling numbers for the chicken.

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Regional
8:00 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Martinez Goes Into Fall Campaign With $4.2 Million In The Bank

  Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has raised $1.5 million for her re-election in the past six months, giving her big fundraising advantage over Democratic challengers.

The Martinez reported cash-on-hand of $4.2 million as of last week.

Monday was the deadline for candidates to file campaign finance disclosures with the secretary of state's office.

Five Democrats are running for their party's gubernatorial nomination in the June 2 primary election.

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Regional
3:46 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Grand Jury In Perry Ethics Case

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

A grand jury is being seated in an investigation into whether Republican Gov. Rick Perry abused his power by vetoing funding for public corruption prosecutors.

Special State District Judge Bert Richardson began impaneling jurors Monday in Austin.

The investigation began after Perry vetoed $7.5 million in funding last summer for a public integrity unit under Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.

Perry called on Lehmberg to resign after the Democrat was convicted of drunken-driving. When she refused, Perry pulled state funding for the unit.

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Regional
3:45 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Webber Well-Financed In Run For Governor

Credit alanfornm.com

Democrat Alan Webber reports raising more than $800,000 for his campaign for governor, with personal money accounting for more than half of that.

Webber is among five Democrats seeking the party's nomination to run against Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

Webber's campaign released a finance summary Monday showing it had collected about $812,000 in cash contributions and $25,000 in donated goods and services.

Of the fundraising, Webber loaned his campaign $150,000 and contributed $300,000.

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Regional
3:42 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Judges Seek To Overturn Martinez Veto Of Pay Hike

Credit Office of the Governor

A group of New Mexico judges are seeking to overturn a veto by Gov. Susana Martinez that denied them an eight percent raise.

The judges filed a lawsuit Monday against Martinez in New Mexico State Supreme Court to reverse the governor's line-item veto.

Martinez said last month she vetoed the proposed raise because she felt an eight percent salary increase was too much. The Republican said she might have supported a 3 percent raise like all other state employees but lawmakers didn't give her that option.

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Regional
3:38 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Mother, Son Suspected Of Using Stolen Cards, Checks

  A 22-year-old Las Cruces man suspected of using stolen credit cards at a local department store was arrested Friday while his accomplice, his mother, fled from police.

Santana Jaramillo, of the 800 block of McFie Avenue, is charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit forgery, one count each of possession of stolen or lost credit cards, and one count of resisting or evading an officer.

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Regional
3:36 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

NMSU To Upgrade Nursing Simulation Lab

The New Mexico State University College of Health and Social Services has received $111,110 from the President’s Performance Fund to make improvements to the School of Nursing simulation laboratory. 

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Regional
3:35 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

NMSU Natural Resource Career Program For Students

Professor Martha Desmond and students from the Natural Resources Career Track on their retreat at the Valles Caldera Natural Preserve. (NMSU photo provided by Martha Desmond)

  New Mexico State University Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology Department Professor Martha Desmond was awarded Professional of the Year by the New Mexico chapter of the Wildlife Society for her development of the Natural Resource Career Track Program.

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Regional
3:33 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Effort To Help Deming Homeless Veterans

  ALBUQUERQUE – The New Mexico VA Health Care System (NMVAHCS) will join several other federal, state and local agencies on April 30 in reaching out to help Deming’s homeless veterans.

The 2014 Deming Stand Down will take place at the National Guard Armory, 700 S. Pearl, Deming.   The event will run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for veterans only, and 12-2 p.m. for veterans and non-veterans.

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Regional
11:35 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Las Cruces Police Seek Armed Robbers

  Las Cruces Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information that helps identify the suspects in Sunday morning’s armed robbery at a local convenience store.

Shortly after 4 a.m. Sunday, April 13, Las Cruces Police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery at the Pic Quik store at 1770 S. Telshor Blvd. Officers learned that two masked men entered the store. One of the men, armed with a handgun, demanded cash from a store clerk.

The suspects left the store on foot, heading north, with an undisclosed amount of cash. No injuries were reported.

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Regional
8:38 am
Mon April 14, 2014

NM Gov. Restricts Use Of Welfare Cards

Credit Office of the Governor

A new state rule implemented by Gov. Susana Martinez's administration bars welfare recipients from using their cash assistance cards at gambling establishments, liquor stores and strip clubs.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the rule took effect when it was published March 31 by the state Human Services Department.

The state House during the 2013 session approved a bill with the same restrictions on cash assistance cards, but the legislation died without a Senate vote.

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Regional
8:34 am
Mon April 14, 2014

NM LULAC To Hold Las Cruces Conference

New Mexico LULAC has announced it will hold its state convention in Las Cruces.

The civil rights group says the 85th Annual New Mexico LULAC State Convention will be held May 23 to 26. The group says it will discuss issues around education and the U.S. Justice Department investigation into Albuquerque police.

LULAC was one of the many advocacy groups pushing for a probe of the Albuquerque police amid 37 officer shootings since 2010.

The state convention comes as the organization is planning its national convention in New York in July.

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Regional
12:18 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

BLM Seeks Comments On Electric Transmission Project

Credit Bureau of Land Management

Federal land managers are seeking public comments on a plan to build a 360-mile-long transmission line from New Mexico to southern Arizona.

The Bureau of Land Management and the Western Area Power Administration have released a draft report covering the potential environmental effects of the Southline Transmission Line Project.

Project developers say the new line would improve reliability of the electrical grid and help bring more electricity generated with renewable resources such as wind and solar to markets throughout the region.

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Regional
12:16 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Memorial For Man Shot By Albuquerque Police

Credit 3/16/14 fatal shooting of James Boyd--Albuquerque Police Department video

A homeless camper who was shot by Albuquerque police in the Sandia foothills is being remembered.

A memorial service for 38-year-old James Boyd was held Sunday at Saint Martin's Hospitality Center in Albuquerque.

A procession to the Sandia Gardens followed.

Family members have requested that donations be made in Boyd's memory to Saint Martin's.

Authorities say Boyd was shot March 16 by police while camping in the Sandia Hills. A helmet camera video showed Boyd was turning away when police fired.

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Regional
12:14 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Drought Forces Texas City To Consider Treating Wastewater For Drinking

Wichita Falls is so far behind on rainfall that city leaders are asking state regulators for permission to use treated toilet flushes as drinking water.

The North Texas city near the Oklahoma border is about 34 inches behind on precipitation over the past three years. It's awaiting state regulatory approval of a system that would re-use wastewater, a small amount coming from flushes.

The two lakes that serve Wichita Falls are 26 percent full.

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Regional
12:13 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Former Guard Honored For Actions During Prison Riot

A former New Mexico prison guard has been honored for saving the life of another state corrections officer nearly 34 years ago during one of the nation's deadliest prison riots.

New Mexico Corrections Department Secretary Gregg Marcantel gave Louis C de Baca the Medal of Honor, the department's highest award, on Tuesday during a ceremony in Albuquerque.

C de Baca helped another guard out of the Penitentiary of New Mexico in February 1980 as inmates stormed the control center.

C de Baca was chosen for the honor in January 2013 but initially declined it.

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Regional
12:11 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Albuquerque Coach Arrested For Alleged Sex With Teen

Bond has been set at $50,000 for an Albuquerque volleyball coach accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

21-year-old Ryan Kapuscinski is being held on charges of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and criminal sexual contact of a minor.

Los Lunas police arrested Kapuscinski on Wednesday after receiving a tip from the New Mexico Attorney General's Office.

Authorities say the girl, who lives in Los Lunas, had been chatting online with Kapuscinski and admitted to having sex with him.

Police say Kapuscinski confirmed the sexual encounter.

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Regional
12:10 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

UPDATE: Wildfire 60 Percent Contained

A fire that has burned nearly 100 acres in the Sacramento Mountains in southern New Mexico in the vicinity of an observatory is 60 percent contained and some crews are being released.

The Bensen Fire is burning in timber, grass and logging slash about 20 miles southwest of Cloudcroft.

Crews over the weekend reinforced fire lines and extended lines toward the interior of the fire area, and its growth was stopped as of Sunday.

The fire started Thursday. Its cause is investigation.

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