Regional

Regional
7:41 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Immigration Security Help Vowed For New Mexico

Federal authorities are promising a southeastern New Mexico county that immigration officials will pay for any additional security connected to a temporary detention center.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that Eddy County Manager Rick Rudometkin said last week U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement asked the county to provide backup security.

But Rudometkin says the county will have to go through a contractor to hire close 90 security personnel. He says ICE will foot the bill.

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Regional
7:38 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Unions Give $180,000 For N.M. Campaigns

Labor unions have contributed $180,000 to a Democratic-leaning political committee that was a top spender in New Mexico legislative races in 2012.

Campaign finance reports show Patriot Majority New Mexico received $100,000 from an American Federation of Teachers' political committee last month and $80,000 from a committee of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in May.

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Regional
7:38 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Dept. Of Veterans Affairs Whittles Down Waiting List In N.M.

Credit www.facebook.com/VeteransAffairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs has made progress in whittling down the number of new patients in New Mexico who are on the troubled health care system's electronic waiting list.

The latest audit shows there were 482 veterans on the waiting list. That's down from more than 1,040 a month ago.

The list includes new patients for whom appointments cannot be scheduled within 90 days.

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue July 8, 2014

New Program To Help NMSU Students Access Financial Aid

Financial aid, including scholarships, grants, work-study and loans, are resources most college students utilize, and New Mexico State University has a new program to help students maintain their financial resources as they work toward graduation. 

Claire Cortner Montoya joined NMSU as the financial aid outreach adviser in spring 2014. She works with both incoming and current NMSU students who need help maneuvering through the financial aid requirements. 

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Regional
10:13 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

University Medical Center To Pay $1.1 Million To New Mexico Woman

Attorneys say a settlement has been reached between a New Mexico woman and an El Paso hospital that was sued over allegedly unwarranted body-cavity searches of the woman.  A statement from the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas says University Medical Center of El Paso and its emergency room physicians have paid a $1.1 million settlement to the woman over cavity searches performed at the hospital.

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Regional
10:12 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Perry Refuses To Greet President On Texas Visit

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

  Gov. Rick Perry says he's declined an offer to greet President Barack Obama when he arrives in the Texas capitol on Wednesday.  Instead, the Republican says he'd like a "substantive meeting" with the president on the immigration crisis.  In a letter to the White House on Monday, Perry turned down what he called "a quick handshake on the tarmac."

But Perry said he'd be willing to rearrange his schedule to discuss "the humanitarian and national security crises" on the Texas-Mexico border.

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Regional
4:40 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

"Burning Bodhi" Starring "Big Bang's" Cuoco To Begin Filming In New Mexico

 New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis announced today that the feature "Burning Bodhi," will begin principal photography in New Mexico.  Production will take place in and around Albuquerque and Bernalillo County mid-July through the beginning of August. 

 

Produced by Albuquerque resident Marshall Bear, and written and directed by University of New Mexico professor in practice (screenwriting) and Albuquerque resident Matthew McDuffie, the production will employ at least thirty New Mexico crew members and three New Mexico actors. 

 

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Regional
4:27 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Task Force Investigates Las Cruces Officer Shooting Of Dog

Las Cruces Police and the Officer-involved Incident Task Force are investigating the shooting of a dog Monday morning.

Shortly before 11 a.m. officers were dispatched to the report of a vicious dog, possibly a terrier-mix, on the 1000 block of Larry Drive. Officers learned that the dog apparently bit or attacked a 79-year-old man who resides near the owners of the canine.

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Regional
1:55 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

New Mexico Independent Challenges Ballot Access

A Public Education Commission member has filed a lawsuit challenging New Mexico's requirements for independent candidates to secure a place on the ballot.

Tyson Parker of Corrales brought the lawsuit in federal district court last week, contending the state's election laws discriminate against independent candidates by requiring an unfairly high number of voter signatures on nominating petitions.

The signature requirement is about three times greater than for minor party candidates, according to the lawsuit.

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Regional
1:51 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Virgin Galactic Partners With Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces

Credit facebook.com/virgingalactic

Virgin Galactic appears to be getting closer to reaching its long-delayed goal of launching tourists into space.

The company said Monday it has selected Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces as the preferred hotel for its elite roster of passengers, who will pay $200,000 a person to make the flights from Spaceport America.

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Regional
1:46 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Rare Snakes In New Mexico, Arizona Get Federal Protection

Credit facebook.com/usfws

Two rare garter snakes found in New Mexico and Arizona have been added to the federal list of threatened species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized protections for the narrow-headed garter snake and northern Mexican garter snake.

Biologists say the snakes are threatened by exotic species and the loss of river and streamside habitats.

Environmentalists have been pushing for the snakes to be listed for more than a decade. They say the reptiles have undergone dramatic declines and are now limited to small, isolated populations.

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Regional
1:43 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Tourism Spending On The Rise In N.M.

Credit facebook.com/NewMexico

Gov. Susana Martinez says tourism spending is on the rise in New Mexico.

Martinez released the latest numbers that show the number of visitors grew by less than 1 percent in 2013, but overall spending was up 7 percent.

With the growth, she says the industry created 1,700 new jobs. Additionally, she says, another 700 tourism jobs have been created through May of this year.

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Regional
1:37 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Rain Prompts N.M. Forests To Lift Some Restrictions

Credit fs.fed.us

Two national forests in New Mexico have decided to lift some fire restrictions thanks to recent rains.

The Gila National Forest in southern New Mexico says it will be lifting its fire restrictions Tuesday morning. That means forest visitors will be able to have campfires again in undeveloped areas across the forest.

Forest Supervisor Kelly Russell is still urging visitors to ensure their campfires are cold to the touch before leaving their camp or retiring for the night.

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Regional
6:41 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Legal, Political Hurdles In Child Migrant Crisis

The Obama administration is facing a host of legal, humanitarian and political constraints as it copes with tens of thousands of Central American children entering the country illegally.

A Bush-era law to address human trafficking prevents the government from denying the children entry to the U.S. The same restrictions don't apply to minors from Mexico and Canada.

The administration says it wants the law made more flexible.

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Regional
6:36 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Award Winning Author To Teach At UNM

Award winning author N. Scott Momaday will be teaching at the University of New Mexico starting in the fall.

The university recently announced that Momaday will be a visiting professor in creative writing and American literary studies. He will specialize in poetry and the Native American oral tradition.

A UNM alumni, Momaday received the National Medal of Arts in 2007 for his writing and work that celebrated and preserved Native American art and oral tradition.

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Regional
6:35 am
Mon July 7, 2014

N.M. Forestry Division To Begin Seedlings Sale

Seedlings from the New Mexico State Forestry Division will be going on sale for fall distribution starting Monday.

Nearly five dozen different species of tree and shrub seedlings will be available to New Mexico landowners as part of the division's conservation program.

Land owners must have at least an acre, and they must agree to use the seedlings for purposes such as erosion control, wildlife habitat, reforestation, windbreaks or riparian restoration.

The seedlings will be shipped in September.

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Regional
6:31 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Las Cruces Council To Consider Climate Change Measure

The Las Cruces City Council will consider a proposed resolution that would urge Congress to pass legislation promoting reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the council is scheduled to take up the proposal Monday.

The measure states Las Cruces has a track record of acknowledging climate change and taking steps to counter it, such as the city's sustainability action plan.

It also states urgent action is needed since further delay only increases the risks to water supplies and boosts the frequency of severe weather.

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Regional
5:00 pm
Sun July 6, 2014

New Mexico Leads The Nation In Alcohol-Related Deaths

New Mexico leads the nation when it comes to deaths related to excessive alcohol use.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in a recent study that New Mexico experienced more deaths per capita that were attributable to alcohol. The rate of 51 deaths per 100,000 people was more than any other state.

Nationally, the study found excessive drinking led to about 88,000 deaths per year from 2006 to 2010 and shortened the lives of those who died by about 30 years.

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Regional
10:11 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Fierce Opposition To Care Plan For 2,000 Migrant Children

  The Dallas County judge expects strong opposition against a county plan to house and care for 2,000 children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border alone.

Clay Jenkins says there has been fierce debate over the proposal, with activists on both sides expected to attend meetings of the commissioners court, as well as community forums.

The judge, a Democrat, is also concerned that demonstrators would come out in force when the immigrant children began arriving in Dallas County at the end of the month.

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Regional
10:08 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Backlash Against Worker Visas

Amid calls for expanding the nation's temporary skilled worker program, some Americans are pushing back. They argue the so-called H-1B program has been hijacked by staffing companies that import cheaper, lower-level workers to replace more expensive U.S. employees.

Lawsuits have cropped up around the country. And some tech worker groups are calling for a boycott of firms that they say are ignoring qualified U.S. workers.

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Regional
10:07 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Veterans Turn To American Legion For Medical Help

  EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The American Legion is hosting crisis centers to help veterans get doctor's appointments and benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

More than 1,800 people in Arizona, North Carolina and Texas have been helped so far. The Legion will set up the temporary centers in seven more cities that also saw the longest waiting times.

The centers come in the wake of the VA scandal that brought to light long wait times and false record-keeping.

The American Legion also holds a town-hall meeting, where veterans can air their grievances.

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Regional
10:05 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Sibling Fight Ends In Stabbing

  A 24-year-old Berino woman was arrested early Saturday morning by Doña Ana County Sheriff’s investigators after the woman allegedly stabbed her younger sister during an argument.

            According to court documents, Laura Del Hierro was arguing with her 20-year-old sister just after 2 a.m.at a home in the 300 block of San Benito Street in Berino when the confrontation escalated to a physical fight. A third sister told investigators Del Hierro grabbed the victim by her hair and dragged her outside where she was reportedly seen “beating up” on the victim.

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Regional
1:45 pm
Sat July 5, 2014

NM Lottery Chief Wants To Cut 30 Percent Revenue Minimum For Scholarship

The head of New Mexico's lottery system wants the state Legislature to cut the 30 percent minimum it is required to provide in revenues to the college scholarship program, noting such a move could increase lottery sales and create a larger revenue stream for the program.

However, a Santa-Fe based think tank, whose 2006 study led state lawmakers to set the minimum, says the move would only put more money in the pockets of lottery administrators.

The Legislative Lottery Scholarship program provides tuition money for students at state-funded institutions.

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Regional
1:40 pm
Sat July 5, 2014

Former Union Pacific Contractor Could Face Fines

A former contractor on a $400 million Union Pacific railroad hub in Santa Teresa along the state's southern border with Mexico is accused of bidding for the job without a legal New Mexico license.  Potential fines levied against the company could reach into the millions of dollars.

The state Construction Industries Division began an investigation into the company about two years ago. The newspaper reports that formal complaints were filed in March.

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Regional
1:34 pm
Sat July 5, 2014

Bandelier Chief Ranger Wins Highest National Park Service Ranger Award

From left: National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis; Bandelier Chief Ranger Tom Betts with Yount Award; Tom's son Drew, wife Beth, daughter Dana, and mother Kathy.
Credit NPS photo

  BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT, NM – Tom Betts, Bandelier National Monument’s chief ranger and a 32-year veteran of the National Park Service (NPS), has been named the 2013 recipient of the Harry Yount National Park Ranger Award. The honor, bestowed at a ceremony June 25 in Washington, DC, is the NPS’s highest accolade for excellence in the art and science of rangering.

Betts, who grew up in national parks as a park ranger’s son, became chief ranger at Bandelier in 2009 after serving at some of the Park Service’s “crown jewel” parks from Alaska to Wyoming to Arizona.

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Regional
10:33 am
Sat July 5, 2014

Six Shot At Houston Music Festival

  Authorities say six people have been injured in a shooting at Houston music festival.

Houston police spokeswoman Jodi Silva says witnesses say a man opened fire at 1:55 a.m. Saturday on a crowd of several thousand people inside an arena at the Houston Caribbean Festival, hitting four men.

Silva says people panicked and began to flee, and two females were hurt.

Silva says the shooting victims were taken to hospitals, and one man is in critical condition.

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Regional
10:31 am
Sat July 5, 2014

Five Arrested At Immigration Protest

Authorities say five people were arrested amid dueling anti- and pro-immigration rallies after a confrontation with police near a U.S. Border Patrol station in Southern California.

Murrieta police Lt. Jon Flavin says police came to investigate a fight between two women in the crowd of protesters Friday. Flavin says officers identified one of the women, who resisted them as they tried to interview her, and two more women and two men then interfered with the officers.

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Regional
10:30 am
Sat July 5, 2014

Democrat Top Fundraiser In Attorney General Race

Credit Hector Balderas

  New campaign finance reports show Democrat Hector Balderas holding a big cash advantage in the race for attorney general.

Balderas, a two-term state auditor, had cash-on-hand of $787,000 last week. Republican Susan Riedel reported a balance of about $94,000. Balderas collected about $131,000 in contributions in the past month compared with $59,000 by Riedel.

Candidates and political committees filed reports Thursday showing fundraising from May 28 through June 28.

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Regional
4:02 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

King Seeks To Intervene In Veteran's Appeal

  Attorney General Gary King is asking the New Mexico Supreme Court for permission to intervene in a lawsuit on behalf of a disabled veteran who was fired by the state after serving two tours in Iraq.

King, a Democrat running against Gov. Susana Martinez, says the state should have already settled the case. Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell says the man was fired twice previously by the Richardson administration for insubordination and not showing up to work.

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Regional
4:00 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Immigrants Screened At El Paso Hospitals

  The Border Patrol in West Texas will use local hospitals to perform health screenings of immigrants apprehended crossing the border.

Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero says that they've met with local hospitals to find "the most ideal process of handling any undocumented immigrants flown into El Paso from South Texas."

As the number of immigrants —mostly unaccompanied minors and family groups— spiked in South Texas, the Department of Homeland Security is scrambling to find places to house the family groups.

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