Regional

Regional
6:00 am
Mon June 1, 2015

New Mexico Political News Website Being Re-Introduced Today

 

A New Mexico political news website is being re-introduced today. 

NMpolitics.net was active from 2006 to 2012.  The brainchild of former Las Cruces Sun News reporter Heath Haussamen, it went on hiatus for a few years, while Haussamen helped to launch another site, New Mexico In Depth.  Full disclosure:  KRWG is a content partner with both of those websites.

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Regional
4:19 am
Mon June 1, 2015

Las Cruces Police Department Expands Body Camera Policy

More than half of Las Cruces Police officers will be wearing cameras following a department expansion of police in June.
Credit Simon Thompson

The Las Cruces Police Department has been using body cameras on a limited basis since 2012. An expansion of the program this June will outfit more than half of uniformed offices with the cameras.

In December 2014 Ross Flynn was taken into police custody on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a police officer and resisting or obstructing a police officer.

Cell footage shows Flynn with his arms handcuffed behind his back repeatedly being dragged, kneed and thrown into the cell’s concrete walls and floor by two former Las Cruces police officers.

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Regional
7:23 pm
Sun May 31, 2015

Texas Legislature Approves Concealed Handguns At Colleges

The Texas Legislature has approved allowing residents with licenses to carry concealed handguns on public college campuses — but included a caveat that lets college presidents designate "gun-free zones."

The House voted 98-47 on Sunday to approve the measure, sending it to Gov. Greg Abbott to be signed into law.

The so-called "campus carry" bill was a priority for gun rights activists, even though top universities statewide opposed it.

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Regional
2:08 pm
Sun May 31, 2015

Some At Risk Children In Santa Fe To Get Free Summer Lunches

Santa Fe school children on free or reduced-price lunch programs won't be without during their summer break thanks to a new program.

The Lunch Box Express will begin delivering free sack lunches Monday to three mobile home communities on Santa Fe's south side.

The Food Depot, a nonprofit food bank that serves nine counties in northern New Mexico, is delivering the food on a Santa Fe Public Schools bus.

Each sack will contain nonperishable food, fresh produce and cold milk.

Organizers say they expect to feed at least 50 children at each site.

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Regional
2:04 pm
Sun May 31, 2015

Here Is The E-mail Address To File Your Comments About The Proposed Paving Of Dripping Springs Road

  The BLM is accepting comments about the proposed paving of Dripping Springs and Baylor Canyon Roads through Monday.

File your comments electronically by sending an e-mail to:

BLM_NM_LCDO_Comments@blm.gov

The BLM asks you to include “Dripping Springs Road/Baylor Canyon Road Improvement Project EA Comments” in the subject line of the e-mail.

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Regional
1:53 pm
Sun May 31, 2015

Many Rural New Mexicans Still Cannot Access High Speed Internet

High-speed Internet has become essential to the everyday lives of most Americans, but it has yet to reach many rural communities in New Mexico.

Some residents there say they feel taken advantage of. They are stuck with snail-paced service while being charged prices that exceed faster plans in urban areas.

A lack of competition and government incentives and the high cost of installing fiber-optic cables in thinly populated areas drive up prices for rural service.

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Regional
1:41 pm
Sun May 31, 2015

Is Climate Change To Blame For Fewer New Mexico Grasshoppers?

The grasshopper population could be decreasing this year. It's the latest data point in a trend that a researcher says has been thrown out of whack by climate change.

A University of New Mexico researcher says rain, temperature and plant growth combined last year to create perfect conditions for grasshoppers.

Dr. David Lightfoot says the insect's population can grow very rapidly.

He has tracked grasshopper numbers for more than 25 years, but says climate change has thrown them out of whack over the past decade.

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Regional
1:40 pm
Sun May 31, 2015

Texas Nursing Homes Use Loophole To Get Extra $69 Million In Federal Money

A special state program aimed at attracting additional federal money for government-owned nursing homes will bring an extra $69 million to Texas facilities this year, with more to come next year.

But owners of for-profit homes have found a way to also get federal dollars intended for only those nursing homes funded by local tax revenue. The for-profits need only partner with hospital districts to get the additional federal Medicaid money.

State officials say the program's rules are flawed and need to change.

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Regional
1:38 pm
Sun May 31, 2015

Newspaper: New Mexico Secretary Of State Collected Just 4 Percent Of Campaign Fines

Credit NM Sec. of State Dianna Duran / Official photo

Just a few months after announcing a task force to overhaul campaign finance practices in New Mexico, state officials are still not clear on how many violations are being investigated.

The Daily Times in Farmington reports that Secretary of State Dianna Duran's office is still compiling referrals of possible violations to send to Attorney General Hector Balderas.

Balderas' office released one violation referral from Duran on Friday. More are expected to be disclosed by June 10.

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Regional
6:00 am
Sun May 31, 2015

NMSU Onion Breeding Program Hosts Annual Field Day Wednesday

  In the next couple of weeks, the air in Las Cruces and surrounding communities will be filled with the distinctive aroma of onions, one of the state’s most important vegetable crops. 

The last week of May is the traditional start of the onion harvest season in southern New Mexico. Most production in New Mexico occurs in Dona Ana and Luna Counties. In 2014, 5,100 acres were harvested making New Mexico the eighth-highest onion producing state. 

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Regional
4:26 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

Free College Tuition For Texas Veterans To Continue

Texas House and Senate negotiators can't agree — and therefore won't change — a program offering free college tuition to veterans and their children, even amid concerns it's too expensive to be sustainable.

Sen. Brian Birdwell said Saturday there are "irreconcilable" differences on how to change the Hazlewoood Act.

Rep. John Zerwas said the chambers were "not going to get anywhere near agreement, so it's going to die."

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Regional
4:24 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

Senate Approves Concealed Guns At Texas Public Colleges

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

The Texas Senate has approved allowing license holders to carry concealed handguns on public college campuses — but included a caveat that lets college presidents designate "gun-free zones."

Senators voted NN-NN Saturday to approve the measure. House passage expected Sunday sends it to Gov. Greg Abbott to be signed into law.

The so-called "campus carry" bill was a priority for gun rights activists, even though top universities statewide opposed it.

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Regional
4:22 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

Texas Voters To Decide On Billions In Road Improvements

The Texas Legislature has approved a sweeping plan to potentially boost transportation funding by billions of dollars — hoping to bolster the state's traffic-clogged roads and highways.

Improving transportation infrastructure taxed by Texas' booming population is a top priority of Gov. Greg Abbott.

Both chambers passed major proposals to do that earlier in the session.

Under a compromise reached by chamber negotiators and given final passage Saturday in the House, voters in November will be asked to approve an amendment to the state Constitution.

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Regional
4:21 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

New Mexico Supreme Court: Search/Seizure Protections Don't Apply At The Border

The New Mexico Supreme Court says the state's protections against search and seizure do not apply at international border checkpoints.

The court made the distinction Thursday in overturning a previous ruling made by an appeals court in a 2012 drug smuggling case.

According to court documents, Aide Sanchez was entering the Santa Teresa Port of Entry from Mexico in January 2012.

A Border Patrol agent referred Sanchez's van to a secondary search even though she had valid documentation of her status as a permanent resident.

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Regional
6:00 am
Sat May 30, 2015

Autism Summer Camp Returns To Las Cruces

 The Hearts for Autism fund, in conjunction with New Mexico State University Campus Activities host Camp New Amigos - the 6th annual summer camp for children living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) on June 1st-5th at the NMSU Activity Center.

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Regional
6:00 am
Sat May 30, 2015

Free Lecture Coming To New Mexico Museum Of Space History

A wide-angle view showing two members of the prime crew of the Apollo 15 lunar landing mission riding in a Lunar Roving Vehicle trainer called "Grover" during a simulation of lunar surface extravehicular activity in the Taos, New Mexico area. They are astronauts David R. Scott (riding in left side seat), commander; and James B. Irwin, lunar module pilot.
Credit NASA

  An unsung hero of manned moon exploration, the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) extended the range of surface extravehicular activities for Apollo astronauts.  How far did they go? How fast did they go?  And how did we come up with the idea in the first place? Find out more during the free Launch Pad Lecture on Friday June 5 presented by Museum Director Chris Orwoll.

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Regional
4:45 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Texas Lawmakers Approve New Teen Abortion Restrictions

Texas lawmakers have voted to tighten rules for teenagers seeking to get an abortion without parental consent.

The bill sent to Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday changes the process that allows girls under 18 to get a court-approved abortion if they meet certain criteria.

The measure requires girls to show ID to prove they are under 18 and extends the time for a judge to make a ruling. It also bars girls from using abuse as a reason to apply for an application for a judicial bypass.

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Regional
2:34 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

New Mexico Health Department Reports First 2015 Human West Nile Case

Credit New Mexico Department of Health

  The New Mexico Department of Health announced Friday that a 12-year-old girl from Valencia County has been diagnosed with West Nile virus infection. She was hospitalized with neuroinvasive disease, the more serious form of the illness, but is now at home recovering. This is the first human case of West Nile virus infection identified in New Mexico this year.

To reduce the chances of a mosquito bite that can transmit West Nile virus, the health department says people should:

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Regional
2:29 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Energy Department To Investigate Contractor That Manages Los Alamos

Following a series of electrical accidents, the U.S. Department of Energy has ordered two separate investigations of the contractor that manages the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The Energy Department will review potential violations by the Los Alamos National Security LLC consortium.

A federal Accident Investigation Board will also examine several incidents at the nuclear weapons research facility, including a May 3 accident that injured nine workers. One of those workers remains in the hospital in stable condition but severely burned.

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Regional
2:28 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Report: Teen Pregnancy Still A Stubborn Problem In New Mexico

New Mexico has a stubborn problem: its persistent ranking at or near the top in the nation when it comes to teen pregnancies.

A new legislative analysis suggests that state agencies develop a comprehensive plan to reduce teen births.

While the birth rates are declining like the rest of the nation, the state's overall ranking hasn't budged.

The analysis recommends lawmakers direct the Health Department to develop strategies, including identifying communities with higher teen births as priorities and setting reduction targets.

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Regional
2:26 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

New Mexico: More People Have A License To Teach

Credit ped.state.nm.us

The New Mexico Public Education Department says the state is on pace to issue around 9,600 new and renewed teacher licenses, marking a 41 percent increase since 2011.

The agency said this week that New Mexico also is expected to issue more than 2,000 new licenses this year. That will be the largest number in six years.

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Regional
2:25 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

More Libel Protections For Texas Reporters

Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law a measure further shielding journalists from libel lawsuits if they accurately report a whistleblower's allegations — even if they turn out to be false.

The bill-signing took place late Thursday. The protection initially appeared stalled, but rallied after lengthy negotiations between organizations that represent journalists and trial lawyers.

All sides eventually agreed that accuracy in reporting is a defense to libel.

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Regional
2:24 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Texas Lawmakers Vote To End High School Steroid Testing

Texas lawmakers voted Friday to dismantle the state's high school steroids testing program after eight years.

The move came in a budget vote that stripped out all funding for the program over the next two years. It had cost taxpayers more than $10 million since 2007, tested more than 60,000 students and caught just a handful of cheaters.

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Regional
2:23 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Game And Fish Kills Puppy-Eating Cougar In Raton

Credit wildlife.state.nm.us

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish officers have killed a cougar in a Raton neighborhood after it reportedly attacked a puppy on a woman's front porch.

The woman called 911 on Thursday night, saying she saw a small cougar attack her puppy.

She later told officers that she had lost another puppy a few days before and also was missing several cats.

Officers found cougar tracks and blood near the woman's porch and say the cougar climbed a tree near the home.

A subsequent necropsy confirmed that the young female cougar recently had eaten a puppy.

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Regional
2:22 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Texas Legislature Passes Budget With $3.8 Billion In Tax Cuts

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

Final tweaks to Texas' $209 billion budget allowing for $3.8 billion in tax cuts have passed the Legislature and are headed to Gov. Greg Abbott.

On a 30-1 Senate vote, the only bill lawmakers must pass during the 140-day session was approved Friday. The House later endorsed it 115-33.

The House and Senate for weeks wrestled over whose tax cut proposal was best, between plans lowering property or sales taxes. But they reached a recent agreement, making the final votes drama-free.

Beginning Jan. 1, homeowners will stand to save roughly $120 annually in property taxes.

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Regional
12:39 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Las Cruces Teen Heads To USA Boxing National Championship

  Amy Salinas, age 14 of Las Cruces, won the USA Boxing Junior Olympics Regional Championships held May 22-24 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Salinas, a boxer with the Las Cruces Police Athletic League (PAL), beat Hayleigh Solano, age 14 from Arizona, in the 106.lb girls division.

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Regional
10:42 am
Fri May 29, 2015

NMSU College Of Arts And Sciences Names Interim Associate Dean

Anne Hubbell was named interim associate dean for NMSU’s College of Arts and Sciences. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

  Anne Hubbell, a communication studies professor, has been named interim associate dean in New Mexico State University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Hubbell was selected by Arts and Sciences Dean Christa Slaton to serve the college in place of Ken Van Winkle, who was recently named interim president at NMSU Alamogordo, effective June 1.

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Regional
9:05 am
Fri May 29, 2015

Judge Allows Former Prison Inmate To Dig For Evidence Of Mistreatment

Credit corrections.state.nm.us

A 23-year inmate of the now-closed Penitentiary of New Mexico Complex is being allowed to dig for evidence at the facility to prove his claims that prisoners were experimented on and poisoned.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Samuel P. Chavez entered the prison after being convicted of second-degree murder in 1988. He filed a lawsuit in 2007 saying he lost his sight from mistreatment by prison officials and was kept in solitary confinement for a decade.

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Regional
9:02 am
Fri May 29, 2015

Energy Department To Investigate Los Alamos Lab Consortium

Credit facebook.com/energygov

Following a series of electrical accidents, the U.S. Department of Energy has ordered two separate investigations of the contractor that manages the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The Energy Department will review potential violations by the Los Alamos National Security LLC consortium.

A federal Accident Investigation Board will also examine several incidents at the nuclear weapons research facility, including a May 3 accident that injured nine workers. One of those workers remains in the hospital in stable condition but severely burned.

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Regional
8:56 am
Fri May 29, 2015

Director Of Bipartisan NM Legislative Education Panel To Retire

The director of the bipartisan New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee says she will retire at the end of the year.

Frances Ramirez-Maestas told committee members Thursday that she was stepping down as leader of the panel that studies educational issues and recommends public education funding levels.

Ramirez-Maestas says it was time to retire after years of service.

Dennis Roch, a Logan Republican, says the committee will look to hire a replacement who understands the legislative process and New Mexico's issues.

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