Regional

Regional
7:06 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Texas Lawmakers Delay Debate On In-State Tuition Law Repeal

A Senate subcommittee has pushed back for a week debate on scrapping a law that grants in-state public university tuition to the children of some people in the United States illegally.

Texas Democrats and Hispanic advocacy groups champion the law, while top Republicans have pledged to repeal it.

The two sides were to begin their clash Monday, but a border security hearing was delayed until April 7.

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Regional
7:04 am
Mon March 30, 2015

New Mexico Nuclear Enrichment Plant OK'd For Expansion

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given its approval for URENCO USA to expand it nuclear enrichment facility east of Eunice in southeastern New Mexico.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that the panel gave the OK last week on URENCO's most recent license amendment application.

That means URENCO can double its capacity over the course of two more phases beyond the current three-phase $4 billion facility.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Senator Heinrich Fights For More Opportunities For New Mexico's Military Community

Credit US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich lobbied for a new active duty mission at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) during a Senate Committee on Armed Services hearing this month. He argued that placing active duty at the range would make the best use of its facilities and lower costs over time.

Heinrich then spoke about the effects of sequestration and the empty facilities that could be used by active duty military at WSMR.

During the hearing…the New Mexico Democrat also expressed his support for housing F-35 fighter planes at Holloman Air Force Base (HAFB).

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon March 30, 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
11:10 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Budget Battle, In-State Tuition Fight In Texas

Get ready for budget battle week.

The House on Tuesday is scheduled to debate its version of the proposed state budget. That will likely mean slogging through numerous proposed amendments, and possibly fighting off Democratic- or tea party-led procedural challenges meant to stall the process.

The Senate is also expected to take up its budget plan this week, though the amendment fight shouldn't be as raucous as in the lower chamber.

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Regional
11:08 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Texas Spent $30 Million On Tuition Program With Lax Rules

Texas agencies have spent millions on tuition payment programs for state workers in a program with lax rules and oversight.

The state has spent at least $30 million during the past two decades for employee tuition. The Texas Department of Transportation has paid out at least $13 million since 1993, the most of any state agency.

TxDOT makes all of its tuition payments before classes begin.

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Regional
11:07 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Drownings Spike Along Rio Grande

More immigrants have been drowning in the Rio Grande over the last six months.

Authorities say that's because immigrants are choosing more dangerous crossings into South Texas to avoid detection. Many of the bodies have been found in the weed-choked irrigation canals that feed into the Rio Grande.

The Border Patrol has responded by expanding its search-and-rescue teams to monitor the area.

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Regional
11:06 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Amid Border Surge, Fewer Stops/Arrests In Other Parts Of Texas

Outside of its surge along the Texas-Mexico border, state police agencies are making fewer arrests and fewer traffic stops than the same time period a year ago.

Highway Patrol citations have fallen 14 percent from last year, new investigations started by the state criminal investigations division have fallen 13 percent and Texas Rangers arrests have fallen by 25 percent.

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Regional
11:04 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Dairy Industry To Monitor More Wells In Southern New Mexico

An agreement has been made on new requirements to abate groundwater contamination on southern New Mexico dairies.

The New Mexico Environment Department, dairies and a coalition of Anthony and Mesquite residents recently agreed that the industry will monitor additional wells.

Under the agreement, dairies also will increase the frequency and duration of sampling and ensure a high level of accuracy when checking for background concentrations of pollutants in wells.

Tests will look for nitrate, chloride and dissolved solids.

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Regional
11:01 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Amtrak: New Mexico Routes Will Remain

Credit facebook.com/amtrak

Amtrak says it will stick with its existing New Mexico route of the Southwest Chief passenger train.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari told the Santa Fe New Mexican that the Southwest Chief will continue to make stops in New Mexico towns of Raton, Las Vegas, Lamy and Albuquerque.

The announcement ends more than two years of fear and uncertainty in Northern New Mexico's smaller communities about whether Amtrak would alter the route.

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Regional
12:13 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

High Hopes For Garnet Mining In Otero County

A historic southern New Mexico mining town that once shined with the gold rush could sparkle again with some garnet.

Otero County commissioners approved financial assistance Tuesday for a proposed garnet mining operation in Orogrande.

Commissioners and the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce have been in talks with former Rosemont Realty CEO Dan Burrell about the $20 million project.

Burrell discovered one of the largest freestanding deposits of garnet in the U.S. in the Jarilla Mountains Mineral District.

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Regional
12:09 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

"Chico" Makes His 500th Appearance For El Paso Baseball

File
Credit facebook.com/Chihuahuas

  As Chico entertained the students at Dr. Green Elementary School’s State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) Pep Rally, the Chihuahuas mascot recorded his 500th community appearance since he wandered onto the steps of Southwest University Park less than one year ago.

“____________________________________________________,” said Chico. “__________________________________ _____________________________!”

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Regional
12:04 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

Three Teens Charged In Las Cruces Vandalism Spree

Police arrested three juveniles suspected of vandalizing several vehicles early Friday morning in Las Cruces’ Bellamah neighborhood.

Blas Ramon Tarango, 16, Anthony Gonzalez, 17, and a 13-year-old girl have been detained and charged for their part in this morning’s vandalism spree.

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Regional
12:02 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

Albuquerque Becomes State's First "Purple Heart City"

Credit Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry

There will soon be new signs popping up around Albuquerque to reflect its designation as a "Purple Heart City."

Mayor Richard Berry unveiled the signs during a news conference Friday.

The first of 36 signs that will be installed around the city will be located at the intersection of Eubank and Southern, adjacent to the Nuclear Museum.

The effort is part of a national campaign by the Military Order of the Purple Heart of the USA to recognize those who have received the prestigious military decoration.

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Regional
12:01 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

In Depth: Busy Times For Texas Legislators

Having faced six major school finance lawsuits since 1984, the Texas Legislature has traditionally stayed away from passing major reforms while the courts are in the process of sorting out the issue.

Why? Because any eventual ruling can wipe out policies that legislators have just approved.

Well, so much for conventional wisdom.

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Regional
11:57 am
Sat March 28, 2015

New Mexico Brothers Charged In Murder

Authorities say three brothers ganged up to fatally stab a Fruitland man who was dating an ex-girlfriend of one of the siblings.

36-year-old Maynard Shirley was charged in federal court Friday with murder and assault resulting in serious bodily injury in the killing of Brandon BlueEyes. His brother, 29-year-old Elijah Shirley, was charged with the same counts Wednesday.

FBI spokesman Frank Fisher says a third brother, Michael Shirley, was arrested Thursday in connection with the attack.

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Regional
2:48 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Disaster Drill Tuesday In Santa Teresa

  

  Several law enforcement agencies and first responders will launch a full-scale exercise designed to test readiness and communications in the event of a widespread disaster – a simulated emergency near the U.S./Mexico border that causes a mass migration of about 3,000 people.

The simulated emergency involves the detonation of a weapon of mass destruction.

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Regional
1:00 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Sexual Assault Claim At State Juvenile Center Near Ruidoso

A southern New Mexico juvenile detention center is the focus of a State Police investigation into a male detainee's claim that a female staff therapist sexually assaulted him.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the director of the state's juvenile justice services has resigned and two administrators have been placed on paid administrative since the alleged assault was reported in early February.

All of the youths detained at the Lincoln Pines Youth Center near Ruidoso have been relocated to other facilities while authorities investigate what happened at the center.

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Regional
12:56 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Texas Jobless Rate Declines To 4.3 Percent

The Texas unemployment rate slipped to 4.3 percent during February for the sixth month in a row of declines.

The Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday that the latest statewide jobless rate compares to 4.4 percent unemployment in January. The nationwide unemployment rate last month was 5.5 percent.

TWC officials say Texas had a net gain of 7,100 nonagricultural jobs in February, with 357,300 positions added over the year.

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Regional
12:55 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

DA: No Charges Warranted In Non-Fatal Albuquerque Police Shooting

Bernalillo County's district attorney says no charges should be filed against an Albuquerque police officer in the 2013 shooting and wounding of an armed motorist.

District Attorney Kari Brandenburg announced Friday there was no probable cause to bring charges against Officer Pete Romero.

The district attorney's office reviewed police reports, lapel camera recordings and witness interviews before making a determination.

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Regional
12:53 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Abbott: National Guard Can't Leave Border Yet

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

Gov. Greg Abbott remains noncommittal on a timeline for pulling the National Guard off the Texas-Mexico border after hundreds of police officers applied for jobs to effectively replace those troops.

Abbott toured the border Friday with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a likely Republican presidential contender. But Walker was out of sight to reporters after arriving in Texas hounded by uncomfortable new questions about his stance on immigration.

Abbott has not endorsed anyone for 2016.

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Regional
12:52 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Official: International Rail Crossing Study On Fast Track

The head of the New Mexico Border Authority says a $2 million study on the feasibility of building an international rail crossing at Santa Teresa is on a fast track.

Bill Mattiace says the feasibility study could be completed as early as July.

Mattiace says the rail crossing would be a key element in building the border community into a regional powerhouse for international trade.

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Regional
12:49 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

New Mexico Adding Jobs, But Unemployment Rate Rises In February

In February, New Mexico's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6 percent, up from 5.9 percent in January but down from 6.7 percent in February 2014.

Officials said Friday the state's economy added 15,900 jobs from a year earlier for a 2 percent increase.

February was the first month since May 2006 that no industry posted an over-the-year job loss.

Across the economy, 12 industries added jobs while only one — financial activities — remained unchanged from February 2014.

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Regional
12:18 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Newsmakers 3/26/15

Reports include:  Concerns over a lack of enforcement for the new minimum wage law in Las Cruces; NMSU students help an historic La Mesa restaurant get state recognition, and the National Register of Historic Places could be the next step; and a look at the dwindling groundwater supply in southern New Mexico.

Regional
12:16 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Cancer In Southern New Mexico

Regional
12:05 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Critics: Failure Of New Mexico Capital Outlay Bill Shows Need For Reform

Click to enlarge

  Back-room debates. Angry lawmakers. A meltdown that doomed up to $297 million to pay for brick-and-mortar projects and roads across New Mexico.

The high-stakes political game of the just-ended legislative session over capital outlay might raise hopes among critics that their lonely chorus calling for reform might grow larger.

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Regional
8:18 am
Fri March 27, 2015

NM Officials: Flu Sickened More This Year; Season Not Over

Credit New Mexico Department of Health

New Mexico health officials are warning that the flu season is not over.

Officials say more people have been hospitalized in the state this season than in many years.

According to the state Department of Health, the virus hospitalized 40 people per 100,000 this flu season as compared with 29 per 100,000 during 2012-13.

Children under 5 and the elderly are particularly vulnerable.

One Dona Ana County child and 27 adults have died from flu-related complications since the start of the 2014-15 flu season.

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Regional
8:11 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Gov. Martinez Orders Flags Lowered In Honor Of Fallen Navajo Officer

Credit Office of the Governor

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff until sunset Friday in honor of a Navajo Nation police officer killed in a shootout with a gunman.

Friday is also when law enforcement officers and area residents are expected to gather in Farmington to remember 42-year-old Alex Yazzie.

A funeral service for Yazzie will be held at 10 a.m. at Pinon Hills Community Church. A procession will then travel down Main Street to Memory Gardens.

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Regional
8:01 am
Fri March 27, 2015

No Decision On Large Development Plan Near Albuquerque

Credit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bernalillo-County-NM

Bernalillo County commissioners have punted a final decision on the future of a planned community west of Albuquerque that developers say could someday be home to as many as 90,000 people.

Commissioners decided Thursday to schedule another hearing on the development known as Santolina for May 11.

The nearly 22-square-mile development would rival some of New Mexico's largest cities once completed.

It's the largest development master plan ever considered by Bernalillo County.

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Regional
7:57 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Ft. Bliss Spokesman: 11 Injured In Multi-Vehicle Accident

A Fort Bliss spokesman says 11 airmen were injured in an accident involving several Humvees at the Army post.

Lt. Col. Lee Peters tells the El Paso Times that all of the injured airmen were expected to be released from a hospital Thursday night.

Officials say six vehicles were in a convoy when the accident occurred in a training area more than 15 miles northeast of the main portion of Fort Bliss. The accident is under investigation.

Peters says the accident wasn't linked to a large training exercise going on at Fort Bliss.

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