Regional

Regional
12:48 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Jeb Bush Watches Son George Sworn Into Office In Texas

Credit George P. Bush - Photo from texasgop.org

  Former President George H.W. Bush didn't make it, but Jeb Bush was on hand to see his son officially take office in Texas.

George P. Bush was sworn in Friday as Texas land commissioner. The 38-year-old political newcomer sat next to his father in the Texas Senate while formally taking the reins of the state agency that oversees vast oil and mineral rights.

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9:24 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Las Cruces "Tent City" Featured In The New York Times

The New York Times features Las Cruces as a progressive city in helping the homeless.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - On a dusty lot in a rough stretch of this city, homeless people have pitched dozens of tents, some nearly empty and others so packed with possessions that their residents are practically entombed inside. There is no electricity, and the unrelenting winds batter the tents so badly that duct tape, used for repairs, is coveted like gold.
Regional
7:34 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Joint Inauguration Set Saturday For 3 Officials

A joint inauguration is planned for three Democrats elected to statewide offices.

The inauguration ceremony for Attorney General Hector Balderas, Treasurer Tim Eichenberg and State Auditor Tim Keller will take place Saturday morning at Saint Francis Auditorium in Santa Fe.

Balderas has been the state auditor but he defeated Republican Susan Riedel to win the race for attorney general. He's succeeding Democrat Gary King, who ran unsuccessfully for governor.

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Regional
7:33 am
Fri January 2, 2015

State Revenue Picture May Postpone New Judgeship

The presiding judge for Dona Ana County's judicial district is concerned that a dimmer state revenue picture may put off creation of an additional judgeship.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Presiding Judge Fernando Macias' optimism has faded somewhat now that legislators and Gov. Susana Martinez have learned that a drop in oil prices apparently will reduce the increase in state revenue in the next fiscal year.

That means there likely will be stiffer competition among projects and programs for state funding.

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Regional
7:17 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

Winter Weather Advisory Through Friday Night Bringing Snow Throughout The Area

A MIX OF WINTER WEATHER FOR SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO AND FAR WEST TEXAS TODAY AND TONIGHT...AN UPPER LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM AND SURFACE FRONT WILL MOVE ACROSS SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO AND WEST TEXAS TODAY BRINGING SNOW OVER THE MOUNTAINS WITH SNOW OR SNOW MIXED WITH RAIN AND ICE PELLETS ACROSS THE LOWLANDS. SNOW AMOUNTS WILL BE AROUND 4 TO 8 INCHES ABOVE 7000 FEET WITH 1 TO 4 INCHES ELSEWHERE. HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS WILL OCCUR DUE TO LOW VISIBILITIES AND ICY SNOW COVERED ROADS.

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM THIS
MORNING TO 6 PM MST THIS EVENING...

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Regional
4:21 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

Inching Closer To Renewable Energy Standards

Credit pnm

  More than five dozen giant turbines erected on a remote mesa in western New Mexico began churning out power for the state's largest electric provider on New Year's Day.

Tapping into the multimillion-dollar Red Mesa Wind Energy Center marks the latest effort by utility PNM to add more renewable energy resources to its portfolio. The utility has also boosted its solar capacity by one-third.

From New Mexico and Texas to Montana and New York, PNM and other investor-owned utilities are facing higher renewable energy standards starting this year.

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Regional
4:16 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

Lawmakers Look To Curb Prescription Drug Abuse

  Texas state lawmakers looking to combat prescription drug abuse are poised to propose that doctors be encouraged to use online databases identifying patients who "doctor shop" for medications.

Some legislators have supported new laws that would mandate that physicians use monitoring databases.

But bills simply urging them to use databases are more likely to be considered when the Legislature reconvenes Jan. 13.

The databases are designed to flag patients who visit multiple doctors, hoping to stockpile drugs.

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Regional
4:14 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

Navajo Council Approves Special Election For President

  The Navajo Nation Council has approved a bill to conduct a special election for the tribal presidency next summer, months after a deadline set by the Navajo Nation Supreme Court.

The Daily Times reports that the council approved the legislation Tuesday during a special session in Window Rock, Arizona. The bill calls for a June 2 primary election and an Aug. 4 general election.

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Regional
4:13 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

Texas University Officer In Fatal Shooting Resigns

A university police officer in San Antonio has resigned a year after shooting and killing a student.

University spokeswoman Margaret Garcia confirmed Thursday that Cpl. Chris Carter submitted his resignation to the University of the Incarnate Word on December 10. That was days after the one-year anniversary of Cameron Redus' death.

Carter shot 23-year-old Redus five times, including once in the back, outside his Alamo Heights apartment.

Carter has said he stopped Redus because of erratic driving. That led to a physical confrontation and the shooting.

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Regional
4:12 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

Main Water Line Freezes, Closing Carlsbad Caverns

  Carlsbad Caverns will be closed Friday due to freezing and breaking of the main water distribution pipe that supplies water to the park. Due to freezing temperatures, about 100 feet of the main water line froze and broke.

The pipe supplies water to the visitor center, offices, and residential housing.

Park staff is determining a temporary fix to get water supplied to those places while a long-term solution is considered.

Information from: Carlsbad Caverns

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Regional
8:35 am
Thu January 1, 2015

Transcript: Martinez Second Inaugural Address

Credit The Albuquerque Journal (pool photographer)

  Santa Fe – The following is the text of Governor Susana Martinez’s second inaugural address as prepared for delivery from the chamber of the New Mexico House of Representatives on January 1, 2015:

My fellow citizens of New Mexico, I thank you. I am incredibly grateful and honored that you have once again given me the opportunity and the privilege to serve as your governor.

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Regional
7:16 am
Thu January 1, 2015

Inmates Attack Guards At Northern New Mexico Jail

Credit Image:sakhorn38/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.jpg

A San Juan County spokesman says four inmates at the county detention center attacked guards who were trying to break up a fight.

The incident took place on Sunday after guards responded to a fight between two inmates. When they arrived the fight had ended but a third inmate attacked a guard.

Three more inmates began attacking the guard, and other guards struggled to contain them. Police officers from Farmington and from the county sheriff's office also assisted.

One guard suffered from a fractured eye socket and others sustained minor injuries.

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Regional
7:12 am
Thu January 1, 2015

Martinez To Start 2nd Term As New Mexico Governor

Credit Office of the Governor

A public inauguration ceremony for Gov. Susan Martinez is planned New Year's Day at the State Capitol.

This time, she's taking the show inside.

The Republican is scheduled to take the oath of office for her second term inside the House chamber while Santa Fe battles freezing temperatures. Martinez held her first inauguration ceremony four years ago outside in frigid weather.

After the ceremony, Martinez will host a "Governor's True Inaugural Ball" at the Albuquerque Convention Center later Thursday.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu January 1, 2015

In Depth: Las Cruces Minimum Wage Increases To $8.40

  Las Cruces starts the new year with a new minimum wage.  The wage increases by 90 cents today...going from the state-mandated $7.50 an hour to $8.40.  It’s the first of three planned increases, which should result in a $10.10 minimum wage in 2019. 

The city council altered the law’s original schedule, which would have increased the wage to $10.10 two years earlier in 2017…a law proposed by the nonprofit group Communities in Action and Faith…or Café…which collected petition signatures to get the measure on the ballot or have it approved by city council. 

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Regional
3:24 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Feds Deny Performance Pay To Nuke Dump Operator

Credit wikipedia commons

  The contractor that runs the federal government's underground nuclear waste repository is being denied millions of dollars in performance bonuses and fees in financial fallout from a radiation leak.

Federal officials have said it could take years and a half-billion dollars to restart operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Project Plant near Carlsbad because of the February leak.

The Energy Department said in documents released Tuesday it is paying Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC just $21,576 of the $8 million of potential performance incentives for the past fiscal year.

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Regional
3:21 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Winter Storm Hits New Mexico

Credit nmroads.com

  Snow, sleet and freezing fog have combined to make for difficult driving conditions on numerous New Mexico highways, particularly in the east.

The National Weather Service says frigid temperatures and very low wind chill readings will persist through Friday.

Snow is forecast to spread into western New Mexico in the evening and then into central New Mexico early Thursday as low pressure system approaches the state.

In southern New Mexico, forecasters expect up to 6 inches of snow in the mountains around Silver City and Cloudcroft.

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Regional
7:58 am
Wed December 31, 2014

More New Mexico Agencies Getting Lapel Cameras

Law enforcement agencies in southeastern New Mexico are joining the movement to require body cameras for officers.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that the Lovington Police Department recently purchased nine lapel cameras right before the highly publicized police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. Officials say another 20 officers will get them next year.

Eunice Police Chief Jimmie Jones says his department has used the tiny cameras for four years and they have helped with investigations.

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Regional
7:55 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Martinez Prepares For 2nd Term With New GOP House

Credit Office of the Governor

  When the clock strikes midnight Thursday, Susana Martinez will be sworn in for her second term as the governor of New Mexico during a private ceremony in the governor's mansion.

Martinez, a rising star in the Republican Party, easily won re-election over Democrat Gary King and remains the nation's only Latina governor.

She enters her second term with a GOP House that is expected to be friendly on her education reform plans and her efforts to repeal a state law that allows immigrants in the country illegally to obtain driver's licenses.

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Regional
7:52 am
Wed December 31, 2014

BLM Extends Comment Period For Proposed Pipeline

Credit Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management is giving the public more time to comment on a proposed pipeline that would be capable of moving 50,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

The project by Saddle Butte Pipeline LLC would be made up of smaller pipelines that would gather oil at well pads and other points. A larger pipeline would then move the oil south to a distribution center near Interstate 40 in western New Mexico.

Experts say the San Juan Basin is on the verge of a shale-oil boom and the pipeline would ensure the oil developed as a result gets to market.

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Regional
3:51 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Navajo Panel Moves Forward On New Mexico Gaming Compact

Credit <p><a href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2280">Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>

  A panel of Navajo Nation lawmakers has settled on terms that the American Indian tribe would like to see adopted as part of a new gambling compact with the state of New Mexico.

The tribe's current compact is set to expire in June, and negotiations with Gov. Susana Martinez's office have been ongoing for months.

Navajo Speaker Pro Tem LoRenzo Bates says the result is a compact that's fair for Navajos and for New Mexicans.

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Regional
3:34 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Las Cruces Town Hall: Mental Health And The Law

  Las Cruces—District Attorney Mark D’Antonio will host a town hall meeting regarding “Mental Health and the Law” Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 6:30pm in the Doña Ana County Commission Chambers.

The focus of the meeting will be to discuss a bill, MENTAL HEALTH CARE DECISIONS ACT of 2015, that Senator Mary Kay Papen will be presenting to the Health and Human Services Committee and the Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee at the upcoming New Mexico 52nd Legislature. 

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Regional
3:08 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Dona Ana County Discusses The Budget Process

  The Dona Ana County Commission discussed the budget process in a work session on Tuesday. 

A number of commissioners expressed concern about large differences in the spending and revenue budgets. In the current fiscal year…the spending budget exceeds the revenue budget by more than $23 million.  Previous years also had large gaps. 

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Regional
12:07 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Killer's Wife Pleads Guilty In Texas DA Murder Case

  A North Texas woman has pleaded guilty to murder and been sentenced to 40 years in prison after she testified that she helped her husband gun down a district attorney, his wife and a top assistant in a revenge plot.

Kim Williams appeared in court Tuesday, two weeks after her husband, Eric Williams, was sentenced to death for one of the three killings.

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Regional
12:06 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Feds Penalize El Paso Hospitals

  Two El Paso hospitals will have funding withheld after being penalized by federal inspectors for having patients who developed health problems while hospitalized.

The penalties against University Medical Center of El Paso and El Paso Specialty Hospital will result in a 1 percent reduction in their total Medicare payment for the current fiscal year.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says patients at both facilities developed "hospital-acquired conditions," such as infections or other complications.

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Regional
12:04 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Police: Texas Man Kills Girlfriend And Daughters Before Suicide

Police in North Texas say a man fatally shot his girlfriend and killed two of her teenage daughters before turning the gun on himself.

Crowley Police Chief Luis Soler said Tuesday that investigators are still working to determine what led 36-year-old Samuel Morales to target the three at the home they shared south of Fort Worth.

Soler says 34-year-old Xiomara Leon was shot multiple times Sunday, as was her daughter, 18-year-old Linda Gonzalez. Thirteen-year-old Yasmine Zavala was strangled.

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Regional
12:00 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Winter Weather Advisory In Southern New Mexico

  The District One office for the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) and local law enforcement offices say they will be monitoring roadways as winter weather conditions continue through Friday. High winds, rain and snow fall accumulations have been forecasted throughout New Mexico. The National Weather Service reported that wind speeds may gust up to 50 MPH in parts of southern New Mexico, which will develop into hazardous driving conditions as rain and snow is mixed with these conditions.

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Regional
7:09 am
Tue December 30, 2014

New Mexico Hunting Rules Available Online

The New Mexico Game and Fish Department has posted rules and information about applying for hunting licenses on the agency's redesigned website.

The department says it will begin accepting online applications for 2015-16 big game and turkey licenses next week.

Deadlines for special permit bear and turkey hunts will be Feb. 4 and March 18 for deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, Barbary sheep, ibex, oryx and javelin licenses.

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Regional
7:05 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Nuke Repository Gets Visit From Carlsbad Mayor

Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway and state Rep. David Gallegos are the first officials to visit the underground area of the federal government's nuclear waste repository since recovery efforts began earlier this year following a radiation leak.

Janway says there's still a lot of work to be done at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, but he's impressed with how far recovery teams have come since February. That's when a container of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory ruptured and forced the plant's indefinite closure.

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Regional
7:04 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Proposed Fees Cause Concern Among Solar Industry

Credit pnm.com

New Mexico's solar industry is worried about fees the state's largest electric provider has proposed for its customers with rooftop solar panels.

PNM says the grid provides electricity to solar customers when the sun isn't shining and they should have to pay their fair share for the fixed costs of maintaining the system.

The fees could range from $21 to $36 a month depending on the size of a customers' system, and industry representatives say charging a monthly fee could end up undermining the economic benefits of going solar.

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue December 30, 2014

NMSU Research Aims To Increase Produce Purchases

NMSU researchers Mihai Niculescu, left, and Collin Payne show one of the grocery cart placards used in their studies of how in-store marketing can be used to influence shoppers to buy more fresh fruits and vegetables. (NMSU photo by Robert Yee)

  Researchers at New Mexico State University are exploring ways to encourage shoppers to use more of their food budgets for fresh fruits and vegetables, and are working with the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Paso del Norte Health Foundation to target some of New Mexico’s most nutritionally vulnerable residents.

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