Regional

Regional
2:56 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

New Student Art Show Announced, Reception On Friday

  More than 100 pieces of new, original student artwork from the Las Cruces, Gadsden and Hatch Public Schools have been installed in the first-floor corridors of the Doña Ana County Government Center at 845 N. Motel Blvd. in Las Cruces. The exhibit includes paintings, etchings, photographs and drawings. The artists range in age from elementary students to high schoolers.

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Regional
2:49 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

New Mexico Public Hearing Wednesday On State's Largest Polluter

Credit sierrraclub.org

New Mexico utility regulators plan a two-part meeting Wednesday for the public to comment on Public Service Co. of New Mexico's proposal to shut down half...but not all...of a coal-fired power plant near Farmington, the state's largest polluter, according to New Energy Economy.  Environmental groups oppose the plan, saying the entire plant should be closed in favor of clean energy alternatives.

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Regional
2:40 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Texas GOP Wades Into Education Battle

Credit Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick - R

Top Republicans clamoring for "school choice" voucher plans in the Texas Legislature are offering other priorities that are less hot-button but still may spark bitter floor fights.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Senate Education Committee Chairman Larry Taylor presented a package of bills Tuesday. They include a plan to issue A-F grades for individual public schools, plus expanded online learning.

Some proposals link teacher evaluations to pay raises and allow parents to petition to close failing public schools after just two years, instead of the current five.

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Regional
2:38 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

New Mexico Couple Gets Engaged, Then Stranded Atop Sandia Peak

An ecstatic New Mexico couple who got engaged on top of Sandia Peak had to curtail their celebrations after getting stuck for hours because of high winds.

Arthur Edelhoff and Lindsay Duncan of Corrales took the tram up the mountaintop early Sunday evening.

After taking happy engagement photos, the couple were told that they had to wait for the 40-mph wind to die down before they could return.

Jay Blackwood, the assistant manager of the Sandia Peak Tram, says around 140 people were stranded for about four hours.

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Regional
2:37 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

New Mexico Solitary Confinement Reform Passes Panel

A New Mexico House panel has passed a solitary confinement reform proposal with no recommendation a week after a heated exchange sparked by a Democratic member ended a meeting.

The House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee voted 6-0 on Tuesday to move along a measure that would ban the use of solitary confinement on juveniles and inmates suffering from mental illness.

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Regional
2:36 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Deming Man Sentenced To 10 Years In Meth Conviction

  ALBUQUERQUE – Matthew Peña, 29, of Deming, N.M., was sentenced this morning in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to ten years in prison followed by four years of supervised release for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction.

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Regional
2:33 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Las Cruces Reminds Residents About Yard, Garage Sale Rules

  Las Cruces residents who host a garage or yard sale are reminded that the city has ordinances regulating the frequency of such sales and posting of signs that advertise them.

Whether they’re called yard, garage, rummage, tag or moving sales – or by any other name – such sales are allowed to be held for no more than four days and no more than three times per calendar year at any one location.

If the sale is held at a business or other property not used mainly for residential or institutional purposes, a temporary-use permit must be obtained from the city.

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Regional
8:20 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Southeastern New Mexico Highway Ranks High On Needed Improvement

A new study says a busy a highway in southeastern New Mexico's oil region ranks high on a state list of highways needing repairs.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that a new study by a national transportation research group found U.S. 82 to be the highway in greatest need of an overhaul in the state.

U.S. 82 in Lea and Eddy counties sees a high volume of traffic due to the oil industry in the region.

The number one ranked U.S. 82 project, which involves expanding the roadway into four lanes with frontage roads, is estimated to cost $180 million.

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Regional
8:18 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Utility Regulators To Hear Public On Power Plant Proposal

New Mexico utility regulators plan a two-part meeting Wednesday for the public to comment on Public Service Co. of New Mexico's proposal to shut down half of a coal-fired power plant near Farmington.

The Public Regulation Commission scheduled afternoon and evening sessions in the Farmington council chambers on PNM's proposal to shut down two units of the San Juan Generating Station.

The commission is holding a public comment period after finishing evidentiary hearings on Jan. 27 before it makes a final decision.

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Regional
8:15 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Unlicensed Dentist In Santa Fe Sentenced To Six Years In Prison

An unlicensed dentist who worked on the teeth of numerous people in Santa Fe is going to prison.

State District Court Judge Glenn Ellington on Monday sentenced Mexican national Eliver Kestler to six years in prison after calling him a "one-man health hazard" to the people of Santa Fe.

Prosecutor Peter Valencia told Ellington that Kestler preyed on the disadvantaged, didn't use gloves or anesthesia while working on patients and carried his tools in a dirty toolbox.

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Regional
8:12 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Deadline Looms For States To Respond In Immigration Suit

A deadline is nearing for a coalition of states suing to stop President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration to respond to a request by the U.S. government to lift a temporary hold of the orders.

The states have until Tuesday to submit court documents detailing why U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas should not lift a preliminary injunction.

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue March 3, 2015

NMSU Composting Worm Bins Project Brings Students, Community Together

The Cooperative Extension Services at New Mexico State University partnered with two elementary schools in Hidalgo county to set up worm bins and teach students life science, gardening and composting, integrating as many activities and subjects as possible. (Courtesy Photo)

  The Cooperative Extension Services at New Mexico State University recognize the importance of teaching newer and older generations the importance of sustainability as part of their Extension outreach efforts. 

John R. Allen, program director of the Hidalgo County Cooperative Extension Service, partnered with two elementary schools to set up a composting worm bin, which students kindergarten to fourth-grade have to care for and use as a learning tool.

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Udall Promotes Legislation To Address Child Well-Being

Credit Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  Senator Udall brought attention to the Saving Our Next Generation…or SONG…Act during a recent conference call with reporters.  Udall introduced the bill…which is designed to increase access to federal education and anti-poverty programs.

"Children are our future workforce," Udall said. "We must break the vicious cycle of poverty. The first step is to invest in child well-being."

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue March 3, 2015

950 Las Cruces Students Walk Out On PARCC Test

About 100 Mayfield High School Students walked out on the PARCC test in protest.
Credit Simon Thompson

Nearly one thousand Las Cruces students staged a walkout Monday protesting the increasing number and intensity of high stakes tests. They say an overemphasis on testing is ruining their education.

Students at Mayfield High School in Las Cruces walked out to protest a new standardized test being administered throughout New Mexico.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, known as the PARCC test.

About 100 students walked out at Mayfield. And 950 throughout the Las Cruces Public Schools.

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Regional
9:51 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Students Aren't The Only Ones Concerned With PARCC Testing

The New Las Cruces School Board Members were sworn into office, the same day close to 950 students around the district walked out of class. New member Ed Frank taught math for 39 years, and he says changes need to be made to standardized testing.

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Regional
1:59 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Las Cruces Man Sentenced To More Than 20 Years For Molestation

  Las Cruces—Deputy District Attorney Heather Chavez’ success in proving Jason Reyes guilty resulted in a 31 ½ year sentence; 10 years of which were suspended by Judge Fernando Macias in the Third Judicial District Court.  Reyes pled to Criminal Solicitation to Commit Criminal Sexual Penetration (Child under 13), Criminal Sexual Contact of a Minor, Criminal Sexual Penetration,  Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor and Sexual Exploitation of Children (Recording) (Child Under 18) totaling a possible 43 year sentence.

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Regional
11:25 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Thursday Water Outage In Las Cruces East Mesa Neighborhood

  There will be a water outage on Moonlight Ridge Arc between Lookout Ridge Drive and Twilight Ridge Way from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, March 5, for water delivery infrastructure repairs.

Once water service is restored, residents in the Lookout Ridge area may notice discolored water due to mineral deposits. Although the water is safe to drink, the City recommends waiting to wash laundry until after the water becomes clear.

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Regional
10:35 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Las Cruces Public School Students Walk Out On PARCC Test In Protest

Mayfield High School Students Protest PARCC Test
Credit Simon Thompson

Many Las Cruces students staged a walkout Monday protesting the increasing number and intensity of high stakes tests. They say an overemphasis on testing is ruining their education.

Students at Mayfield High School in Las Cruces walked out to protest a new standardized test being administered throughout New Mexico:  the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, known as the PARCC test.

About 100 students walked out at Mayfield.

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Regional
8:51 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Electric Grid Operator Expects Sufficient Supplies

The grid operator for Texas says electric users should have sufficient supply for spring and summer.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, on Monday announced its seasonal forecast.

The report for spring identifies more than 76,600 megawatts of generation resources available, with expected peak demand of about 62,000 megawatts.

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Regional
7:56 am
Mon March 2, 2015

NM Senate Passes Bill To Create State Board For Tattoo Artists

Legislation that would create a state board to regulate New Mexico tattoo and piercing artists has received overwhelming approval from the Senate.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the Senate voted Friday 39-1 in favor of the bill that proposes a five-member Board of Body Art Practitioners.

Businesses that specialize in tattoos, piercings and other body art currently report to the same board that regulates barbers and cosmetologists.

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Regional
7:54 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Gov. Martinez Traveled Out Of State 272 Days During First Term

Credit Office of the Governor

Recently re-elected New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez frequently traveled out of the state during her first term.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that a list provided by Martinez's lawyers indicates she spent all or parts of 272 days traveling out of state in 2011 through 2014.

The 272 days amount to nearly one-fifth of the 1,461 days that made up Martinez's first term, but Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell said many of the days involving out-of-state travel also included meetings or other work in New Mexico.

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Regional
7:51 am
Mon March 2, 2015

New Mexico Students Walking Out Over New Tests

Students frustrated over a new standardized test are walking out of schools around New Mexico in protest.  KRWG News spoke with students at Mayfield High School in Las Cruces who are fed up with the state's focus on standardized testing.

A few hundred students at Albuquerque High School defied warnings from administrators that they would not graduate and could face discipline. They walked out Monday morning, carrying signs and chanting as supporters honked their horns.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Latino Week Emphasizes Border Culture On NMSU Campus

  The New Mexico State University CAMP Student Council, Mexican American Engineers and Scientists, and the Associated Students of New Mexico State University present an all-day event for this year’s Latino Week.

“Latino Week is intended to highlight the diversity within the campus,” Juan Esparza, president of CAMP student council said. “This week creates an opportunity to experience other cultures.”

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon March 2, 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
7:00 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

Planned Student Walkouts Highlight Testing Concerns

  Many students across the Las Cruces Public School District and the state of New Mexico are planning on walking out of school today to protest PARCC testing. Some parents and students attended a press conference held by Superintendent Stan Rounds to get more information about these new standardized tests, and the planned walkout.

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Regional
11:39 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Goodman: Las Cruces Must Change The City Charter To Uphold The Petition Process

  Recent minimum-wage initiative and recall controversies have taught us that Las Cruces needs to amend its City Charter.

The initiative provision requires that when citizens gather sufficient signatures, the City Council must either pass the ordinance as it stands or schedule a referendum.  Last fall, the Council did neither.   The Councilors ignored the charter, avoiding a popular vote by purporting to adopt the ordinance then changing it significantly.  

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Regional
11:31 am
Sun March 1, 2015

New Mexico Land Commissioner Orders Removal Of Sculpture

Credit tylersculpture.com

A public sculpture outside a state office in Santa Fe is relocating at the request of a New Mexico land commissioner.

Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn says  the large brick head on display outside the State Land Office in Santa Fe is unattractive and he doesn't like it.

The sculpture, which is called "Brickface Hope" and has the word "hope" etched in several places, was created by artist James Tyler.

"Brickface" is part of New Mexico's permanent collection and has been on a five-year loan to the Land Office since 2011.

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Regional
11:27 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Increasing Adult Criminal Age To 18 May Be Non-Starter In Texas

Efforts are underway in the Texas Legislature to change a state law that automatically classifies 17-year-olds charged with a crime as adults, but they'll likely be halted by a senator who chairs a committee that would hear the bills.

Democratic Sen. John Whitmire says he "hasn't even thought about" whether his committee will have a hearing for bills that propose raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18.

Texas' law has been in place since 1918, long before research revealed that a human brain isn't fully developed until age 25.

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Regional
11:23 am
Sun March 1, 2015

New Mexico Committee Approves New Gaming Compact

A New Mexico legislative committee has thrown its support behind a proposed new gambling compact between the state and Native American tribes.

The compact committee voted 15-1 in favor of the proposal Saturday after hearing several hours of public testimony.

The revamped gambling compact would let tribal casinos stay open around the clock and offer complimentary food and lodging.

The committee also voted against six amendments. The proposed agreement now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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Regional
10:22 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Are New Mexico's Economic Initiatives Aimed In Wrong Direction?

Kitchen staff at Italian restaurant Bella Luca serve up the night's dinner menu. Economists say businesses with a stake in the local community like this one may have more economic staying power.
Credit Simon Thompson

According to MIT, mid-size companies, that’s businesses with 10 to 99 employees, generate 35% of jobs nationally.  And these companies are better at creating middle class jobs in high-skilled areas. New Mexico economic initiatives are not focused on supporting the growth of these companies.

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