Regional

Regional
7:40 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Santa Fe Cardiologist Pleads Not Guilty To Fraud Charges

A Santa Fe cardiologist accused of health care fraud and wire fraud has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say 51-year-old Roy G. Heilbron was arraigned in federal court in Albuquerque on a 24-count indictment Wednesday.

He's been released on his own recognizance.

The indictment alleges that Heilbron executed a scheme to defraud Medicare and other health care benefit programs by submitting false and fraudulent claims between January 2010 and May 2011.

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Regional
7:33 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Multiple Burgularly Reports, Stolen Stroller Linked To Las Cruces Woman Currently Jailed In Arizona

Doña Ana County Sheriff’s detectives have uncovered a complicated web of burglaries that allegedly link back to one woman who detectives say habitually stole property to sell and/or exchange for drugs.

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Regional
5:08 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Pearce: US-Cuba Deal Fails Americans

Credit Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released the following statement after the U.S. State Department and Cuban regime announced they will reopen embassies in Havana and Washington, D.C.

 

“The announcement today by the President again rewards a brutal, tyrannical regime, and secures little in return,” Pearce stated.

 

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Regional
4:06 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

New Mexico Governor Denounces Trump's Comments

Credit Office of the Governor

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is denouncing GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump's recent remarks about Mexican immigrants.

A Republican and the nation's only Latina governor, Martinez said Wednesday following a news conference that Trump's comments were uncalled for and that no politician should make generalizations about any group.

Martinez said she hadn't been keeping up with Trump, but expressed shock after learning about comments he made during his presidential campaign announcement.

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Regional
3:51 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Daycare: Same-Sex Marriage, Finances Reasons For Closing

A Las Cruces church daycare says it's closing due to troubled finances and the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.

First Baptist Church's Senior Pastor David Burrows told KFOX-TV in El Paso on Monday that church officials are refusing to accept government funds because they don't want the government telling them who they can hire.

That move comes after Burrows says a new security system, nine new employees and a lack of government funds created a $300,000 shortfall for the church.

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Regional
2:50 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Heinrich Commends Agreement To Re-open Embassies In U.S. And Cuba

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement after President Obama announced an agreement to re-open embassies in the United States and Cuba:

"Re-opening our embassy in Havana and agreeing to open a Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. is a positive step in changing the course of our relationship with Cuba. This embassy will serve as a way to increase contact between governments, establish diplomatic relationships, and engage with the Cuban people.

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Regional
2:43 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Udall, Heinrich Urge OPM To Minimize Impact Of Data Breach On Federal Employees, Improve Security Co

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich strongly urged the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to take steps to minimize harm to federal employees in New Mexico and across the country who were affected by the recent data breach that resulted in the theft of millions of employees' personal information.

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Regional
2:39 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Civil Forfeiture Reform Among New Laws In New Mexico

A measure that keeps police from seizing money or assets from people unless convicted of a crime is one of many new signed bills that now are state law.

A number of new laws go into effect Wednesday following a divisive New Mexico Legislative session that saw many proposals died amid partisan bickering. But some did pass the GOP-controlled House and the Democratic-led Senate.

Among the new laws is a bill aimed at providing transparency and accountability of the civil forfeitures by police and providing protections to innocent property owners.

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Regional
2:38 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Robber Killed In Shootout With Ax-anchor's Husband At Motel

A former CNN anchor says her husband fatally shot a would-be robber at motel in Albuquerque.

Lynne Russell told KOAT-TV that a man pointed a gun at her head when she went to get something from her car late Tuesday night.

Russell said the man then pulled her into her hotel room at gunpoint where her husband exchanged gunfire with the man. The robber was killed and husband wounded.

Russell did not immediately respond to inquiries from The Associated Press, but former CNN colleagues Ted Kavanau and Patrick Clawson told the AP she had described the incident to them.

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Regional
2:35 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Police Find Car Loaded With Explosives In Mexico Border City

Police in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez say they have detained three men who were pushing a car laden with explosives.

The explosives included two tubes of ANFO, or ammonium nitrate-fuel oil, a potent explosive often used in industry. Officials say the explosives would have caused damage in a 40-yard (meter) radius had they detonated.

The Chihuahua state prosecutors' office said Tuesday that police also found three batteries, two bottles of fuel and electrical wire in the car. It said the men who were pushing the car also had marijuana and guns.

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Regional
2:33 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

More Tribes Sign Gambling Agreements With New Mexico

More Native American tribes have signed gambling agreements with the state in recent weeks as one northern New Mexico tribe digs in its heels.

Gov. Susana Martinez's office confirmed Wednesday that Taos, Isleta, Zuni and Ohkay Owingeh pueblos have signed on to a compact that was hammered out over three years of negotiations and approved by the Legislature during its last session.

Five tribes already had signed on, including the Navajo Nation, the Mescalero and Jicarilla Apache nations and Acoma and Jemez pueblos.

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Regional
5:53 am
Wed July 1, 2015

NMSU To Lead Research Using Drones To Inspect Dams

Federal water managers plan to use a drone to inspect Elephant Butte Dam.

The Bureau of Reclamation has selected New Mexico State University to lead a research project on the feasibility of using unmanned aircraft systems to inspect dams.

The project marks a first for the agency and researchers will be looking at whether light detection, infrared and high-definition video can be used as tools for infrastructure inspection.

New Mexico State has been awarded $35,000 to help with the project.

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Regional
5:47 am
Wed July 1, 2015

New Mexico Aims To Make Clearinghouse For Farmers Markets

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

New Mexico agriculture officials are asking for help in creating a clearinghouse for the price of goods found at farmers' markets.

The state agriculture department is looking for people across New Mexico who can take a few notes about the prices of fruits and vegetables, eggs and specialty items such as honey and mushrooms that are being sold at their local markets.

Officials say the goal is to help New Mexico growers — and customers — know the price range of produce at local markets.

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Regional
5:37 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Gov. Martinez Names Otero County Attorney To Open Judge Seat

Credit Office of the Governor

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has appointed an Otero County attorney to an open judge seat in the 12th Judicial District Division III in Carrizozo.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports that Daniel Bryant was appointed last week and will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Judge Karen Parsons.

The 12th Judicial District Division III in Carrizozo covers Lincoln County but is part of the 12th Judicial District Court which encompasses both Lincoln and Otero counties.

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Regional
8:54 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

New Mexico Restaurant Owners Sentenced For Wage Violations

Two brothers who own Chinese restaurants in New Mexico have been sentenced to two years' probation for violating the federal minimum and overtime wage laws.

Prosecutors say 30-year-old Wen Ping Chen of Rio Rancho and 31-year-old Wen Qiu Chen of Santa Fe also were sentenced Tuesday for harboring immigrants who were in the U.S. illegally.

The amount of restitution to be paid by the brothers will be determined at a later date, but the court noted that it'll be at least $120,000.

Ping Chen and Qiu Chen were arrested in August 2013 following an investigation.

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Regional
8:52 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Pojoaque Pueblo's Gambling Compact With State To Expire

There's uncertainty swirling around Pojoaque Pueblo's casino operations since the tribe's gambling compact with the state expires at midnight.

Tribes must have compacts in place if they want to operate casinos. Four tribes have signed new agreements with Gov. Susana Martinez's administration, but Pojoaque remains embroiled in a dispute with the state in federal court.

The phones went unanswered Tuesday afternoon at the pueblo.

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Regional
8:49 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

FAA Grants License To Houston Spaceport Launch Site

The Federal Aviation Administration has granted the Houston Airport System a launch site license to use Ellington Airport as a launch site for reusable launch vehicles.

The license makes Ellington the nation's 10th commercial spaceport. Officials plan to launch the reusable vehicles horizontally, like conventional commercial aircraft, rather than vertically. A city statement Tuesday says the license clears the way for developing the facilities needed for reusable launch vehicle operations.

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Regional
4:51 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Heinrich Lauds New Rules To Extend Overtime Pay Protection For New Mexico Workers

Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) welcomed President Obama's plan to extend overtime pay protection for workers in New Mexico and across the country. The President's plan would guarantee overtime pay to most salaried workers earning less than an estimated $50,440 next year. The increased threshold would tie overtime protections to the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried workers.  The plan would raise the salary threshold from $455 a week -- below the poverty threshold for a family of four -- to a projected level of $970 a week in 2016.

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Regional
3:45 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Walmart Shoplifting Suspect Wanted

Wal Mart Crime Stoppers
Credit Crime Stoppers

Las Cruces Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that helps identify a man suspected of stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise from a local Walmart store.

 

During the early-morning hours of Monday, June 29, the man is suspected of loading a shopping cart full of merchandise and leaving the store without paying. The man is suspected of leaving the store with more than $4,000 in stolen merchandise.

 

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Regional
3:40 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Jury Acquits Woman In Fatal Shooting Of Man In Rio Rancho

A state District Court jury in Sandoval County has acquitted a 25-year-old woman of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a longtime friend in Rio Rancho in 2013.

In returning a not-guilty verdict Monday, the jury concluded that Amanda Jo Lucero might have shot 23-year-old Andrew Anderson in self-defense. His body was found on a busy street.

According to police, Anderson was shot during a confrontation over items missing from a residence that he had just left.

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Regional
3:38 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Navajo Nation Chapters Have More Than $77M In Unspent Funds

An audit of the Navajo Nation revealed that the tribal government's 110 chapters had more than $77 million in unspent funds.

The Gallup Independent reports last week Tribal Auditor General Elizabeth Begay reported that the chapters hadn't spent $77.6 million as of December 2014.

Since the report's release, the Navajo Nation council has been looking into the impact of allowing the chapters to carry over their unspent annual budget into the next year.

Begay says an average of $650,000 annually had been appropriated to the 110 chapters from 2006 to 2013.

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Regional
1:18 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

NMSU Rodeo’s Josh Davison Captures All Around Honors At National Finals

New Mexico State University’s rodeo team competed at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming, June 14-20, bringing home many honors. 

“With several top 10 finishes at this year’s CNFR, I am very proud of what my team has accomplished,” said Jim Brown, head rodeo coach for NMSU. 

Eleven regions compete within the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association for a shot at a CNFR championship title. Overall, the NMSU men’s team placed 29th out of 53 teams, while the women’s team ranked 27th of 35. 

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Regional
9:39 am
Tue June 30, 2015

Achaeologists Call On Feds To Protect Chaco Canyon Area

Credit National Park Service

Archaeologists from universities and organizations around the nation are calling on the U.S. Interior Department to protect the area around Chaco Culture National Historical Park from oil and gas development.

Nearly 30 archaeologists sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Tuesday to highlight their concerns. It comes a day after Interior Deputy Secretary Mike Connor and U.S. Sen. Tom Udall toured the area in northwestern New Mexico.

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Regional
9:34 am
Tue June 30, 2015

New Mexico Corrections Halts Halfway House Connection In Alamogordo

Credit corrections.state.nm.us

The New Mexico Department of Corrections says it will no longer send female inmates to a halfway house named in a sexual-assault lawsuit.

Corrections spokeswoman Alex Tomlin said Monday the agency is ending its relationship with New Life Recovery House in Alamogordo out of safety concerns.

The move comes after three women last year sued a motel owner and the halfway house's director, saying they were sexually assaulted at work and threatened with being returned to prison when they complained.

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Regional
9:32 am
Tue June 30, 2015

First Woman Chosen To Lead New Mexico State Parks

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

For the first time in the more than 80-year history of the New Mexico State Parks Division, a woman has been selected to run its operations.

The state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, which oversees the parks division, announced Tuesday that Christy Tafoya will take over immediately.

She replaces Tommy Mutz, who retired after three decades with the parks division.

Tafoya is an archaeologist by training. She began her career with State Parks when she was selected as the division's first archaeologist nearly 17 years ago.

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Regional
7:06 am
Tue June 30, 2015

Road To Spaceport America Hits Snag Due To Planning Error

Credit spaceportamerica.com

Officials say start of construction on an improved southern New Mexico road to Spaceport America will be delayed around three months thanks to a planning error.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Dona Ana County staff told commissioners last week surveying work for the proposed construction didn't align with a corridor that was studied as part of a key environmental review.

County Engineer Robert Armijo says he didn't know why that happened but staff has to redesign the roadway to match the corridor.

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Regional
6:38 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Texas Leads Multistate Suit Against EPA Over Water Rule

Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi have sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers in Houston federal court over a rule that they say strips them of jurisdiction over water.

In a separate case filed Monday, 13 states are also seeking to have the rule overturned.

The May rule would greatly expand federal authority under the Clean Air Act over the bodies of water the EPA can legally regulate, restoring protections to tributaries and wetlands.

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Regional
6:34 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Authorities ID Boy Scout Who Died In New Mexico Flash Flood

Authorities have released the name of a Boy Scout who died after being swept away by a flash flood on a northern New Mexico camping trip with his troop.

New Mexico State Police announced Monday that the victim was 13-year-old Alden Brock of Sacramento, California.

Police say Brock was one of eight Boy Scouts participating in a 12-day trek at the Philmont Scout Ranch.

Floodwaters came through North Ponil Canyon where they were camping around 4:30 a.m. Saturday.

The water over-ran their camp site, taking four boys down the canyon.

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Regional
6:28 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Body Of Mexican Man Found In Desert Area Near Santa Teresa

Authorities say the body of a 36-year-old Mexican man has been found in a remote desert area near Santa Teresa while two other suspected border crossers have been rescued.

Dona Ana County Sheriff's officials say the body was discovered Saturday evening and is being sent to Albuquerque for an autopsy.

U.S. Border Patrol agents were patrolling about 12 miles northwest of Santa Teresa when they discovered footprints.

Agents followed the prints for about a mile and found the body just before 6 p.m.

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Regional
4:35 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Udall Hosts Deputy Interior Secretary Connor At Chaco Canyon

Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall thanked U.S. Department of the Interior Deputy Secretary Mike Connor for joining him at Chaco Culture National Historical Park to learn more about the region's sensitive archaeological sites as Interior Department officials make decisions about future oil and gas leasing in the area. Connor's visit was in response to Udall’s letter asking the Department of the Interior to send a top-level official to New Mexico.

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