Regional

Regional
8:12 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

3 In El Paso Get Prison For Gang-Related Sex Trafficking

A third man linked to a West Texas gang and sex trafficking has been sentenced to federal prison.

Emmanual Lockhart was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison. He was convicted in El Paso of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking in the ring that also operated in New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado.

Richard Gray was sentenced to three concurrent life prison terms Thursday. Gray was convicted of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of persons, sex trafficking of children and sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion. He received 10 years for transportation for prostitution.

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Regional
8:07 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

County Fire And Emergency Services To Offer One-Stop Shop For Fire Prevention And Education

The Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services division has a new fully-equipped trailer to provide fire emergency preparedness and education for adults and children of all ages.

The 2015 BullEx Fire Safety Trailer is an all-inclusive mobile classroom that will assist staff in teaching on-site firefighting skills and fire prevention training throughout Doña Ana County.

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Regional
8:03 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Las Cruces RoadRUNNER Transit System Seeks Input On Transportation Plan

The Las Cruces RoadRUNNER Transit System is in the process of revising its routes as part of a Short Range Transit Plan Update.

On July 1, from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. at the Mesilla Valley Intermodal Transfer Terminal (MVITT), the staff of the Mesilla Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will hold an open house where the proposed routes and other material will be discussed.

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Regional
3:59 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

The Latest In Texas: Abbott's Office Says Memo Not Discriminatory

Texas Governor Greg Abbot
Credit http://gov.texas.gov/

A Timeline

4:10 p.m.

Gov. Greg Abbott's office says the governor's directive that ordered state agencies not to reprimand those who deny benefits to gay couples does not condone discrimination.

Abbott spokesman John Wittman says the order issued earlier Friday does not authorize state agencies to deny benefits to same-sex couples. He says it only ensures that people doing business with the state cannot be discriminated against because of their religious beliefs.

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Regional
3:53 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Pearce: Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage Ignores The Will Of The People

Credit Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which addressed the issue of whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple.

 

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Regional
3:44 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

New Mexico Business Boss 'Optimistic' About Boost In Funding

Secretary Of Economic Development, Jon Barela
Credit gonm.biz

New Mexico's top economic development official says the state's decision this year to pour millions of dollars into wooing businesses and spurring job creation isn't being taken lightly.

Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela told lawmakers during a meeting Friday that his office is crafting policies to ensure that the money is spent wisely and that the program is transparent.

Barela says proving the state is getting a return from its investments under the Local Economic Development Act — or LEDA — will be key.

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Regional
3:37 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

New Mexico AG Disputes Campaign Finance Violations

Credit New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says incorrect allegations about his own campaign finances show there are flaws in the state's reporting process.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Balderas said Thursday he is worried some candidates may be on the end of wrongful accusations by the Secretary of State's Office.

Secretary of State Dianna Duran told Balderas this week that he submitted three late campaign finance reports a few years ago.

But Balderas said she was wrong about two of the reports.

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Regional
3:34 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Arizona Man Pleads Guilty To 12 Wire Fraud Charges

An Arizona man has pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud charges in New Mexico.

Prosecutors say 54-year-old Joseph Lawler of Peoria pleaded guilty to all 12 counts of a superseding indictment.

It alleged Lawler defrauded investors out of at least $288,000 between August 2010 and July 2014.

Prosecutors say Lawler got others to create a company that purported to provide investment services.

He also got others to open four accounts for the company at a bank in Farmington, New Mexico and one at a Phoenix bank.

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Regional
3:30 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

New Mexicans Call On Congress To Protect Their Public Lands And Recreation Opportunities

From national parks like Chaco Canyon to handball courts in Albuquerque, many open spaces in American have been made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). This critical funding for conservation is set to expire in just 100 days unless Congress acts quickly.

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Regional
2:03 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

NM Democratic Chair Haaland Statement On Marriage Equality

New Mexico Democratic Chairwoman Deb Haaland and Somáh
Credit New Mexico Democratic Chairwoman Deb Haaland

Today, New Mexico Democratic Chairwoman Deb Haaland released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding marriage equality across the US:

 

“As the mother of a lesbian daughter, I am thrilled to know that her future is free from barriers to marry whomever she wishes. Somáh came out to me as a senior in high school and since that time she has advocated for acceptance of this fundamental right. I share this victory with her. Love wins!

 

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Regional
1:56 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Udall, Nelson Urge FTC To Investigate Concussion Prevention Claims Used To Sell Soccer Headgear

Credit Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate potentially misleading safety claims used to sell soccer headgear. The FTC enforces federal consumer protection laws that prevent fraud, deception and unfair business practices.

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Regional
1:52 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Moore Fire Update

There was very little activity on the Moore Fire in the Gila Wilderness Thursday. The lightning-caused fire is reported as 4,000 acres with 107 personnel assigned. The fire continued to burn slowly in large fuels near the perimeter as light rain fell during the day.   

Today, crews will continue to monitor and improve boundary management lines around the fire.  With the predicted increase in moisture for the weekend, decreasing the size of the organization is in the planning stages.   

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Regional
1:52 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Branigan Cultural Center Receives ’Latino Americans: 500 Years Of History’ Grant

Branigan Cultural Center has been selected to receive a competitive Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA).

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Regional
10:47 am
Fri June 26, 2015

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott To Issue Directive After Ruling By SCOTUS On Same-Sex Marriage

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

 

 

Gov. Greg Abbott is vowing to keep defending traditional values, saying he's preparing a directive to state agencies "instructing them to prioritize the protection of Texans' religious liberties."

In a statement Friday, the Republican decried the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide.

Abbott said the court acted as "an unelected nine-member legislature" and that five justices who ruled in favor of gay marriage "have imposed on the entire county their personal views."

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Regional
10:35 am
Fri June 26, 2015

New Mexico Advocates Praise Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

The Supreme Court's ruling that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States comes almost two years after gays and lesbians began marrying in New Mexico.

But gay-rights advocates and their supporters praised the landmark decision Friday, which expanded the right nationwide.

Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, a Santa Fe Democrat, says it momentous day for the millions of Americans who now have the freedom to marry regardless of sexual orientation.

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Regional
8:03 am
Fri June 26, 2015

Father Charged After Baby Dies From Head Injury

The father of an infant who died from what doctors say were non-accidental injuries has been accused of child abuse.

The Albuquerque Journal reports 25-year-old Spenser Phillips was charged Wednesday with child abuse in connection with the death of his 2-month-old son.

On May 30, the baby was taken to University of New Mexico Hospital in critical condition with a brain bleed.

According to a criminal complaint, a doctor told police the baby had suffered abusive head trauma and non-accidental injuries.

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Regional
8:00 am
Fri June 26, 2015

Two In El Paso Sentenced In Gang-Related Sex Trafficking Case

A West Texas gang member must serve life in prison for helping run a sex trafficking ring also operating in New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado.

Richard Gray was sentenced to three concurrent life prison terms Thursday by a federal judge in El Paso.

Gray in January was convicted of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of persons, sex trafficking of children and sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion. He received 10 years in prison for transportation for prostitution.

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Regional
9:26 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Grant And Luna Counties Sign On To Joint Power Agreement For Gila Diversion

Credit NMFO

Local governments and organizations are deciding whether or not to sign on to a joint powers agreement to move forward with the New Mexico Central Arizona project, the CAP entity that will be deciding the future of the project to diver the Gila River, the last free flowing river in New Mexico.

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Regional
9:08 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Service Workers Go On Strike At FLETC In Artesia

Service workers at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia have gone on strike.

It comes after their labor union and a FLETC contractor have been unable to reach a deal on a collective bargaining agreement.

The Roswell Daily Record reports that about 50 maintenance, custodial and groundskeeping workers for the Omni Corp. went on strike Thursday morning.

Operating Engineers Local 953 of Albuquerque represents employees of the Omni Corp., which has a maintenance contract with FLETC in Artesia.

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Regional
8:29 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Albuquerque Woman Gets Prison Term For Embezzling From Bank

A former bank employee accused of embezzlement and aggravated identity theft has been sentenced to two years in federal prison in New Mexico.

Prosecutors say 38-year-old Angela Giddings, of Albuquerque, also was ordered Thursday to pay more than $217,000 in restitution to Bank of the West.

Giddings was indicted in December 2014 on 16 counts of embezzlement and four counts of aggravated identity theft.

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Regional
8:26 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Report: New Mexico Middle Schools Struggling

With New Mexico's focus centered on building reading skills among younger students and ensuring that high school students make it to graduation, the state's middle schools have been slipping through the cracks.

Analysts with the Legislative Finance Committee detailed the challenges facing middle schools in a first-of-its-kind report that looked at everything from standardized test scores to truancy and social issues.

The report was released Thursday during the committee's meeting in Albuquerque.

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Regional
2:58 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Case Dropped Against Men Suspected In Cousin's Slaying

Two men charged with fatally shooting their cousin near Roswell last year are now free.

A judge dropped murder charges against Domingo and Angel Martinez on Wednesday after the only witness changed his testimony.

Prosecutors say both men drove around with 21-year-old Fabian Ward on Dec. 1 before shooting him to death.

The suspects' uncle initially told authorities he witnessed the incident. But during the preliminary hearing, the uncle said he hadn't been present.

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Regional
2:55 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

High Court Rules New Mexico Investment Suits Constitutional

New Mexico Supreme Court

New Mexico's highest court has cleared the way for two lawsuits alleging political support for former Gov. Bill Richardson influenced state investment deals.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the Supreme Court found Thursday that former chief state investment office Frank Foy can receive triple-damage awards if he can prove corruption was taking place.

The Court of Appeals and district judges ruled two years ago that triple-damage awards under the Fraud Against Taxpayer Act were unconstitutional because they were punitive.

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Regional
2:51 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

NM Court Of Appeals Rules On Exclusion Of Farm And Ranch Workers From Workers Compensation

In a unanimous decision from the NM Court of Appeals, the Court held that the exclusion of farm and ranch laborers from the Workers’ Compensation Act violates farmworkers rights to equal protection, under the New Mexico Constitution. In a historic decision, the Court found that the exclusion of farm and ranch workers from workers’ compensation is not “rationally related to a legitimate state interest,” Opinion at 14, and struck the exclusion down as unconstitutional discrimination. 

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Regional
11:21 am
Thu June 25, 2015

New Mexico Now Set To Debut On KRWG

 

New Mexico Now with Anthony Moreno debuts tonight at 7 on KRWG-TV. The program features insight and analysis on top issues facing our state.

Guests include: Walt Rubel of the Las Cruces Sun-News, Lauren Villagran of the Albuquerque Journal-Southern NM reporter and Heath Haussamen of www.nmpolitics.net. 

On tonight’s first episode our guests discuss the recent state legislature's special session along with the capital outlay bill, Spaceport America, and the recent arrests in the Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office. 

 

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Regional
9:08 am
Thu June 25, 2015

Eastern NM Communities Test Water Quality

Water managers say 30 samples from wells in eastern New Mexico have been sent to a lab for testing in an effort to develop a better picture of the region's water resources.

Raymond Mondragon with the Eastern Plains Council of Governments said during a meeting Wednesday that the testing is part of an ongoing analysis in Roosevelt and Curry counties. He says results from the samples should be available in July. 

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu June 25, 2015

Silver City Report

 

Join Edmundo Resendez every Thursday for The Silver City Report, with guests from the Silver City Daily Press.

Catch up on the most important stories in Silver City, Grant County, and the region every Thursday on Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu June 25, 2015

Spaceport America Holds Grand Opening Of Visitor's Experience

In the wake of the controversy over the visitor's center, Spaceport America officially opened their Spaceport Visitor’s Experience, Wednesday, with their official tour operator Follow the Sun Tours.

Politicians, business leaders, students, and educators were present for the grand opening of the Spaceport America Visitor’s Experience beginning at the new interim visitor’s center in Truth or Consequences, and then traveling by bus to see the Gateway Gallery Exhibit and the grounds of Spaceport America with a replica of the Virgin Galactic Spaceship.

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Regional
5:40 am
Thu June 25, 2015

Independent Monitor Begins Albuquerque Police Reform Forums

A court-appointed independent monitor overseeing Albuquerque police reforms is beginning to have community meetings around the city.

James Ginger met with Latino activists on Wednesday and is scheduled to address a community forum in Albuquerque on Thursday.

Ginger says he plans to meet with community members to inform them how his team will operate and to hear from all parties who have a stake in Albuquerque police reforms.

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Regional
5:37 am
Thu June 25, 2015

Bernalillo County Commission Approves Development Agreement

Credit https://twitter.com/santolinanm

The Bernalillo County Commission has approved the development agreement between Western Albuquerque Land Holdings and the county which impacts the Santolina Master Plan.

The agreement passed on a 3-2 vote Wednesday.

The commission passed the Santolina Master Plan on June 16.

Western Albuquerque Land Holdings received approval of a Planned Communities Level A Master Plan and Planned Communities Zoning for nearly 14,000 acres of undeveloped land in the county's southwestern area.

The Santolina Master Plan is contingent upon future demand and market conditions.

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