Regional

Regional
10:57 am
Sun December 21, 2014

New Mexico Hospitals Hit With Medicare Penalty

Credit NM Department of Health

  Nearly a dozen New Mexico hospitals will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in Medicare payments because of hospital-acquired infections.

11 New Mexico hospitals are among more than 700 nationwide that have been hit with penalties for high rates of certain conditions brought on during hospitalization.

According to Kaiser Health News and the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, hospitals will see a 1 percent loss in reimbursements for the fiscal year that started Oct. 1.

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Regional
10:55 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Report: New Mexico Counties Not Spending DWI Funds Effectively

  New Mexico counties are not effectively spending funds from a DWI grant program to combat drunk driving, according to a state legislative report.

The Legislative Finance Committee study says counties are wasting money from the Local DWI Grant program on strategies such as media campaigns and outreach.

According to the study, officials should devote more funds to increased patrols and tougher prosecutions. Also, most counties are not funding treatment as required by state law.

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Regional
10:53 am
Sun December 21, 2014

UPDATE: Arizona Woman Dies In Las Cruces Multiple Vehicle Crash

  New Mexico State Police say an Arizona woman has died and four were injured in a multiple-car crash in Dona Ana County.

Authorities say a commercial motor vehicle going eastbound on Interstate 10 near Las Cruces on Saturday around 6 p.m. rear-ended a passenger vehicle.

The passenger car then struck the back of a flatbed of another commercial vehicle.

The first commercial vehicle continued traveling eastbound but struck another car, causing a chain reaction that led to three more cars getting hit.

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Regional
10:50 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Federal Oversight Of Immigrant Shelter Questioned

  A Texas congressman says he wants more information about a behavior treatment shelter for immigrant children near Houston that has received $13 million in federal funding.

Congress is pressuring the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement to increase oversight of facilities such as the Shiloh Treatment Center.

State records show that children at Shiloh have made allegations of physical abused and painful restraints. A local prosecutor wrote to federal authorities in 2011 with concerns.

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Regional
10:50 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Neil Patrick Harris Among Stars Planning To Speak At NMSU

   Organizers of a New Mexico State University lecture series named after longtime professor and playwright Mark Medoff say some big names will appear in its inaugural year.

Coordinator Ross Marks says organizers are discussing dates for actors Kevin Costner and Neil Patrick Harris to be lecturers.

Costner starred in the 2008 movie, "Swing Vote," which was primarily filmed in New Mexico.

Harris, who is slated to host the Academy Awards in February, is an Albuquerque native.

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Regional
7:01 am
Sun December 21, 2014

I-10 Eastbound In Las Cruces Closed Until Mid-Morning Due To Fatal Accident

Las Cruces: Interstate 10 eastbound lanes remain CLOSED due to  a fatal crash that occurred on Saturday night near mile marker 148 south of Las Cruces. Motorists are advised to exit at Avenida de Mesilla or University Ave where they can access the frontage roads in order to enter back on to I-10 at Mesquite.  One person died in the multiple vehicle accident.

This closure will remain in effect until the mid-morning hours of Sunday December 21st as law enforcement completes their investigation, and the area is clear, and safe for the traveling public.  Please proceed with caution.

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Regional
3:30 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

Waiter Accused Of Drugging Woman Won't Be Tried

A man accused of drugging a woman nearly four years ago while he was waiting tables at an Albuquerque restaurant is no longer facing charges.

A Sandoval County judge dismissed the case Friday against Damon Morgan because prosecutors were taking too long to go to trial.

In his order, Judge George Eichwald wrote prosecutors had already taken an "excessive" amount of time.

Prosecutors say the case is complicated because the alleged victim is a Bernalillo County assistant district attorney.

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Regional
3:28 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

Dallas Stores To Begin Charging For Shopping Bags

Businesses and consumers in Dallas are preparing to comply with an environmentally friendly bag ordinance that takes effect Jan. 1.

The measure basically requires retail customers to pay a 5 cent fee per plastic or paper bag used.

The law approved in March requires retailers to charge for most single-use carryout bags. Exemptions include dry cleaning bags and most restaurant takeout bags.

Supporters say the measure will help limit the public mess associated with tossed plastic bags.

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Regional
3:26 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

New Mexico Wants Ballot Investigation In Colfax County

   The New Mexico Secretary of State's Office is seeking a judge's permission to investigate how initial election returns from one county were grossly miscalculated.

Bureau of Elections Director Bobbi Shearer wants to conduct a full audit and open locked ballot boxes in Colfax County.

County officials say a recount in the land commissioner's race showed Democrat Ray Powell had 84 fewer votes and Republican Aubrey Dunn had more than 100 fewer than what was first reported.

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Regional
3:25 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

Police Union Challenges Reform Deal With Feds

  The union representing Albuquerque police officers is challenging a settlement between the city and the U.S. Justice Department to overhaul police procedures, saying the deal undermines their own agreement.

The Albuquerque Police Officers' Association wants to argue in federal court for involvement in the settlement terms.

Union attorney Frederick Mowrer says in court documents filed Thursday that issues such as how officers will be disciplined for misconduct are in conflict with a collective bargaining agreement.

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Regional
3:23 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

Perry: Health Official Out Over No-Bid Contracts

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

  A top state health official has resigned at the request of Gov. Rick Perry over $110 million in no-bid contracts that public corruption prosecutors say they will likely investigate.

Texas Health and Human Services Commission Inspector General Doug Wilson submitted his resignation Friday. Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed says the governor has lost confidence in Wilson as the fallout from lucrative deals with an Austin tech company widens.

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Regional
3:22 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

New Mexico Listeria Cases Include Three Newborns

A handful of listeria illnesses in New Mexico linked to prepackaged caramel apples include three newborn boys who were infected in the womb.

New Mexico Department of Health epidemiologist Paul Ettestad said Friday that the newborns from Bernalillo and Lea counties have recovered. A 9-year-old McKinley County boy and a 42-year-old Bernalillo County man also have recovered after being hospitalized.

Ettestad says the illnesses were reported between late October and mid-November. Officials haven't determined which brands of caramel apples are involved.

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Regional
3:20 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

Las Cruces Mobile Operations Center At Highland Elementary

  Las Cruces Police will park its Mobile Operations Command center near Highland Elementary School beginning Sunday. Officers will have an increased presence along the Sonoma Ranch Blvd. and Las Colinas residential area through December 24, 2014.

Offices will work out of the MOC and have around the clock patrols of the residential area along the Las Colinas and Sonoma Ranch Boulevard neighborhoods.

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Regional
3:18 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

Las Cruces Fire Displaces Four

  The Las Cruces Fire Department extinguished a fire in a southwest Las Cruces home Saturday.

Firefighters responded to the 1300-block of Branding Iron Circle just before 7:00 a.m. after neighbors reported smoke coming from the single-wide mobile home. Crews encountered heavy smoke conditions on arrival. The residence was quickly searched for occupants and the fire was brought under control within 20 minutes.

The residents were not home at the time of the fire.

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Regional
3:14 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

UTEP Cheerleading Coach Arrested For DWI

  Authorities say a cheerleading coach for the University of Texas-El Paso was arrested for driving while intoxicated the day before the team's New Mexico Bowl match-up.

KOB-TV reports that court records show David Vasquez was pulled over in downtown Albuquerque around 2 a.m. Friday.

According to the documents, Vasquez told officers he had consumed two drinks at Effex Night Club,

Police say Vasquez refused to take a Breathalyzer test and was booked on aggravated DWI charges.

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Regional
6:00 am
Sat December 20, 2014

NMSU Extension Program Helps Pre-Diabetics Make A Lifestyle Change

Registered dietitian Gaby Phillips, left, a program specialist with New Mexico State University’s Extension Family and Consumer Sciences department, shows off the latest weigh-in results of Barbara Dutton, 74, a participant in the National Diabetes Prevention Program. (NMSU photo by Amanda Bradford)

  When Barbara Dutton’s doctor told her last January that the 157 pounds she was carrying on her slight 5-foot frame put her body mass index over the line from overweight to obese, she knew she had to take action. Her father had been diabetic, and she didn’t want Type 2 diabetes to be part of her future.

Since then, the 74-year-old retired teacher has dropped 45 pounds – thanks, in part, to the National Diabetes Prevention Program offered by New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service, in partnership with Molina Healthcare.

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Regional
3:54 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Newsmakers 634 Education In Southern New Mexico

This program includes the following field reports:  A look at a National Education Association lawsuit against the New Mexico Public Education Department; some parents are refusing to allow their children to take some New Mexico standardized tests; a profile of the Mesquite Learning Center in Las Cruces. 

Regional
3:11 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Suspected Las Cruces Hit And Run Driver Charged

  The driver suspected in Monday’s hit-and-run crash on Picacho Avenue that injured two teenage girls has been arrested and charged with various offenses.

Rudalfo Villegas, 81, was arrested Thursday evening and is charged with two counts of failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, two counts of failure to render aid, one count of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury, one count of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in great bodily injury and one count of failing to immediately provide notice of an accident.

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Regional
3:06 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

NMSU Receives $853,815 Grant For Integrated Behavioral Health Training

  The New Mexico State University School of Social Work in the College of Health and Social Services has received a three-year Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Health Professionals Training grant, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 

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Regional
2:46 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Court: Texas "Stand Your Ground Trial" Unfair

  A Texas appeals court says a 49-year-old man who was convicted of murder after jurors rejected his "stand your ground" self-defense claim didn't get a fair trial and deserves a new one.

Raul Rodriguez was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the 2010 slaying of a 36-year-old man during an argument over loud music in a rural Harris County neighborhood northeast of Houston.

The 1st Texas Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the instructions given to the jury in Rodriguez's 2012 trial, before deliberations, were too confusing.

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Regional
2:44 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Texas Jobless Rate Drops To 4.9 Percent

The Texas unemployment rate has declined for the third month in a row to 4.9 percent in November as the state continues to add jobs.

The Texas Workforce Commission said Friday that Texas added 34,800 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in November for a total of 441,200 jobs added since last year.

The November seasonally adjusted unemployment was slightly lower from 5.1 percent in October, and down from 6.1 percent a year ago. The rate was 5.2 percent in September and 5.3 percent in August.

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Regional
2:44 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Texas Death Among Five Reported In Listeria Outbreak

  Texas health officials say one person has died and three became sick in a food poisoning outbreak linked to prepackaged caramel apples.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said the listeria outbreak includes 10 states and five deaths linked to the bacterial illness. More than two dozen people got sick.

Minnesota reported two deaths.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reports four cases, including one death that's among the five listed by the CDC. No formal cause of death was released.

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Regional
2:41 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Three Arrested In Fatal Shooting

  Albuquerque police say they've made three arrests in a fatal shooting.

Police say the arrests were made in the Wednesday night killing of 22-year-old Andrew Junquiera.

Police said the three people arrested include a male 17-year-old and two 19-year-old men: Ryan Baca and Juan Anthony Martinez, who is also known as Juan Puentes.

The Associated Press is not identifying the 17-year-old by name because of his age.

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Regional
2:41 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

New Mexico Jobless Rate Drops To 6.4 Percent

   New Mexico's unemployment rate is down as the state continues to add jobs.

The state Department of Workforce Solutions reported Friday that the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November was 6.4 percent.

That's down from 6.5 percent in October and down from 6.7 percent in November 2013.

The department says the state's economy added 14,100 jobs during the year between November 2014 and November 2013, making it the greatest year-over-year monthly increase since the Great Recession.

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Regional
2:40 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Patients Return To Dallas Hospital Where Ebola Hit

The Dallas hospital where a man diagnosed with Ebola died and two nurses were infected by the virus says patients are returning and revenue is back to what it was before the crisis.

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Regional
9:28 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Two Sentenced In Gallup Housing Fraud Case

The Gallup Housing Authority's former executive director and another man have both been sentenced to prison for plotting to defraud the federal government.

Prosecutors say 39-year-old Danny Garcia received a 20-month prison term Thursday while 62-year-old Michael Virruso got an 18-month sentence.

Both pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to commit false claims against the government and false claims against the government. Garcia also pleaded guilty to theft from a program receiving federal funds.

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Regional
9:26 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Lawsuit: Deputies Falsely Held Rio Rancho Woman

A woman suffering from mental illness says Sandoval County Sheriff's deputies roughed her up and falsely arrested her for child abuse.

Attorneys for Kari Mantilla say in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court that deputies entered her Rio Rancho home without a warrant in April 2013 and arrested for child abuse after concluding her house was a mess. The lawsuit say deputies were there to serve an order to appear for domestic violence.

Court documents say a deputy slammed Mantilla onto the pavement causing her to suffer head injuries.

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Regional
9:25 am
Fri December 19, 2014

George R.R. Martin Offers To Show "The Interview"

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

"Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin is offering to show "The Interview" at his theater in Santa Fe.

Martin wrote on his blog this week that the Jean Cocteau Cinema would be glad to screen the film if Sony ever releases the comedy for theatrical exhibition.

Martin called the decision to shelve "The Interview" in the face of terrorist threats a "stunning display of corporate cowardice."

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Martin hasn't seen the film and doesn't know whether it's good or bad.

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Regional
9:20 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Artwork Display Lights Up El Paso Highway

El Paso has illuminated its latest piece of public artwork.

More than 20 color-changing towers and sculptures were lit up Thursday evening along Interstate 10 near Airway Boulevard. The lighting marked the end of a $7 million project by the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority, which also includes lighting, landscaping, painting and pedestrian walkways.

The neon attraction by Seattle-based artist Vicki Scuri is powered by wind turbines that generate electricity. She says the sculptures were inspired by aeronautical forms and the shape of desert plants.

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Regional
9:13 am
Fri December 19, 2014

New Mexico Lawmakers Propose Minimum Wage Hike

New Mexico legislators are again proposing increases in the state's minimum wage.

Democratic Sen. Clemente Sanchez has introduced a bill to raise the current hourly minimum wage of $7.50 to $8.30. Democratic Rep. Luciano "Lucky" Varela of Santa Fe has one to raise the minimum to $10.10.

Varela told the Albuquerque Journal that the current minimum wage isn't a livable wage.

Republicans have won control of the state House, and Majority Leader Nate Gentry says he's open to an increase that keeps New Mexico competitive with neighboring states.

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