Regional

Regional
11:29 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Child Migrant Processing Center Expected To Be Ready In July

  The conversion of a 55,000-square foot warehouse in South Texas into a processing facility for unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally is expected to be ready by mid-July.

An email Thursday from a Customs and Border Protection liaison to two Texas lawmakers confirmed the plans for the facility first reported earlier in the week.

Construction permits, obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request, revealed plans for four fence-enclosed pods inside a corrugated steel warehouse in McAllen that could accommodate about 1,000 children.

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Regional
8:26 am
Thu June 26, 2014

VIDEO: Drone Test Flights Underway Over South Texas

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Lone Star Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Center is conducting a series of flight missions this week, the first since becoming fully operational as a federally-designated test site.

Researchers conducted missions Wednesday and scheduled additional flights Thursday with the University’s RS-16 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

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Regional
7:08 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Las Cruces Second-Hand Clothing Store Damaged By Fire

Firefighters responded just after 11 p.m. Wednesday to a report of a building on fire on the 1200 block of West Picacho Avenue, a building used as a second-hand clothing store.  The first arriving unit reported fire and smoke coming from the roof and front of the building. Firefighters were able to contain the fire within 20 minutes.

Regional
4:49 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Newsmakers 6/26/14

On this episode of Newsmakers: Controversy regarding a proposed zoning change near Tortugas Mountain; an in-depth look at Sol y Tierra growers; and a proposal for a healthy food zone near Centennial High School in Las Cruces.

Regional
4:09 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Active Shooter Training Friday In Las Cruces

  The Las Cruces police and fire departments will be holding an active-shooter training exercise this Friday at Centennial High School.

The scenario-based training, which will include actors portraying victims and suspects, will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 27. The training exercise is not open to the public.

Representatives from other law enforcement agencies, fire departments and other first responders also will be participating in Friday’s training.

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Regional
3:29 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

New Mexico Expanding Digital Adoption Information

Today, Governor Susana Martinez unveiled the nation’s first permanent Digital Heart Gallery. The Digital Heart Gallery helps Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) foster children available for adoption find their forever families.

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Regional
12:34 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Las Cruces Woman Charged With Sexually Assaulting Girl

  Las Cruces Police have arrested a woman suspected of sexually assaulting a young relative and holding the girl against her will.

Polly Tellez, 40, is charged with two counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and one count of kidnapping.

Las Cruces Police detectives learned that Tellez had been drinking alcohol Monday evening before returning home with the girl at around 2 a.m. Tuesday. The two went to sleep in separate bedrooms but detectives were told that sometime later Tuesday morning the girl awoke to find Tellez attempting to remove her clothing.

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Regional
12:29 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

New Mexicans Offer Land To Attract Tesla Motors Plant

Credit facebook.com/tesla

  Several New Mexico residents have pledged to donate their own land if it will help lure electric car company Tesla to the state.

Some citizens are offering land in metro Albuquerque for a Tesla battery plant.

Businessman John Edward says he is willing to give up to 400 acres of his own land to reward entrepreneurs such as Tesla.

New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela says multiple offers of donated land have come from all over the state.

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Regional
12:23 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

"Fastest Nun In The West" On Track For Sainthood

Bishop Michael Sheehan

   The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is exploring sainthood for a Italian-born nun who challenged Billy the Kid and later helped open New Mexico territory hospitals and schools.

Archbishop Michael Sheehan is scheduled to announce Wednesday that he has received permission from the Vatican to open the "Sainthood Cause" for Sister Blandina Segale.

Church officials say it's the first time in New Mexico's 400-year history with the Roman Catholic Church that a decree opening the cause of beatification and canonization has been declared.

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Regional
12:22 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Soldier Released By Taliban Not Yet Interviewed For Investigation

The U.S. Army sergeant recently released from captivity by the Taliban is in something of a legal limbo as the investigation continues into why and how he left his post in Afghanistan five years ago and ended up in insurgents' hands.

Senior U.S. Army officials say Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl  has not yet been interviewed by the two-star general appointed last week to investigate the matter. They said he has not been read his legal rights and has not asked for a lawyer.

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Regional
12:21 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Investigation Of Immigrant Burials Planned

  Officials in a South Texas county have voted unanimously to move forward with a preliminary inquiry into the mishandled burials of unidentified immigrants who perished over the years on their way north.

Brooks County Judge Raul Ramirez said Wednesday after a private meeting with the district attorney, sheriff and county commissioners that the county will proceed in support of an inquiry led by the Texas Rangers.

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Regional
12:19 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

New Mexico Denies Permit To Ride-Sharing Service Uber

  New Mexico regulators have denied a temporary operating permit for a major ride-sharing company.

The Public Regulation Commission voted 3-2 on Wednesday to withhold the permit from Uber Technologies.

Commissioners say they could not grant the permit because of requested waivers for required filings such as driver safety records and insurance information.

Uber filed for a permanent certificate to operate in May.

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Regional
10:50 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Crews From Montana Help With Fire Prevention In The Gila National Forest

Donovan Suko and Katie Jones from Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest cleaning campfire ring at McMillan Campground for fire prevention duties.

  Even though a good percentage of the forest fires on the Gila National Forest are caused by lightning, human caused fires are on the rise.  Of the 26 fires detected this fire season, 10 have been human caused.  The 5484 acre Signal Fire was the largest human caused fire of the year.

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Regional
8:54 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Fire Damages Las Cruces Home And Vehicles

The Las Cruces Fire Department extinguished a garage fire in a private residence Wednesday morning.

Firefighters responded to the 2000-block of Wyoming Avenue just after 1:00 a.m. to report of a structure fire. The resident called 911 after arriving home to discover smoke coming from the garage. Crews encountered heavy fire conditions on arrival. The fire was immediately brought under control and a search the structure was conducted.

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Regional
7:32 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Lawmakers Question Federal Water Proposal

A coalition of more than three dozen lawmakers is raising concerns about a U.S. Forest Service proposal that would establish policies for managing and using groundwater resources on national forest land.

The lawmakers say the proposed directive seeks to further federalize water resources at the expense of state authority.

The lawmakers, including U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce of New Mexico and House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings of Washington, detailed their concerns in a letter sent Tuesday to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

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Regional
7:30 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Board OKs $26M In Special Education Dispute

Credit Courtesy: US Dept. of Education

The State Board of Finance has approved $26 million as a safety net if New Mexico loses a dispute with the federal government over special education funding.

The board on Tuesday agreed to a transfer of the money from this year's budget accounts.

The Legislature provided the money as part of a contingency plan for an ongoing fight over whether New Mexico met requirements for federal aid since 2010.

Federal officials contend New Mexico has improperly trimmed state funding available for special education. The state disagrees.

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Regional
7:27 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Police Union Decries Use Of 'Cop Shooter' In Protest

The Albuquerque police union president has called demonstrators' recent use of a violent suspect who shot four officers an "offensive" act. 

Albuquerque Police Officers Association President Stephanie Lopez said Tuesday that it was wrong for protesters to put the name of 35-year-old Christopher Chase on a tombstone among those depicting victims shot and killed by Albuquerque police. The tombstones were put of a police shooting protest that attracted around 500 people Saturday.

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Regional
7:24 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Taos Extends Talks On Kit Carson Park Name Change

Taos residents will have another opportunity to weigh in on changing the name of Kit Carson Park.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Taos Mayor Daniel Barrone said Tuesday that the proposal would be addressed again July 8.

Barrone made the announcement after the town council listened to public comments for more than an hour.

Council member Andrew Gonzalez says he regrets voting earlier this month to change the park's name to Red Willow Park.

Gonzalez says he should have waited to hear more opinions.

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Regional
7:23 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Man Sentenced For Selling Heroin In Albuquerque

A Mexican national who sold heroin from his Albuquerque home is going to federal prison.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for New Mexico says 42-year-old Ernesto Garcia-Castro was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years for a heroin trafficking conviction.

Garcia-Castro and another man from Mexico were arrested June 2013 after a search warrant turned up four pounds of heroin and narcotics paraphernalia at his southeast Albuquerque residence.

Both men were charged with conspiracy and possession of heroin with intent to distribute.

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Regional
6:00 am
Wed June 25, 2014

International Courses Continue To Grow At NMSU

Tim Wright, biology associate professor (fifth from right), and William Gould, economics, applied statistics and international business professor, taught a faculty-led international program course in March in northern Costa Rica. New Mexico State University offered 14 FLiP courses in 2014. (Courtesy photo)

  A passport is a ticket to the world, and New Mexico State University students have an opportunity to travel internationally through the Faculty-Led International Program (FLiP). 

“FLiP is a new program that is designed to help faculty members, who want to teach an international course,” FLiP coordinator Ed Boles said. 

In the second-year, FLiP offered 14 courses in 2014, which doubled the number from its first year. FLiP courses allow students the chance to study abroad without interfering with their regular semester classes on campus. 

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Regional
9:18 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Las Cruces Inmate Convicted In Murder

  A man accused of stabbing and slashing a fellow inmate at a Las Cruces jail in 2006 has been convicted of second-degree murder.

A state District Court jury on Tuesday also found 38-year-old Dominic Montoya guilty of possession of a deadly weapon by a prisoner.

Montoya had been facing a first-degree murder charge.

Investigators say Montoya was detained at the Dona Ana County Detention Center in April 2006 when he stabbed and slashed 29-year-old Adam Avalos and cut his right ear off.

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Regional
5:27 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Driver Hits Pedestrian And Knocks Down Light Poles On El Paseo Road In Las Cruces

  A suspected drunk driver knocked down two light poles, struck a pedestrian and three vehicles before being detained by Las Cruces Police.

Chris V. Morales, 40, is charged with aggravated DWI, two counts of leaving the scene of an injury accident, three counts of duty upon striking fixtures or property, two counts of failure to maintain lanes, and one count each of reckless driving, driving with an open container and failing to immediately notify.

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Regional
1:39 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Pearce Selected For Republican House Working Group

  Today, Congressman Steve Pearce was selected by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to participate on a seven-member House working group on the national security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border.  A release stated that this group will advise the House of Representatives and keep lawmakers informed on the situation. Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) will lead the effort.

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Regional
1:27 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

La Semilla - Rebecca Wiggins-Reinhard & Tae-Young Nam

Regional
1:25 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela

Regional
1:22 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Kennedy Center Theatre Festival Recognizes NMSU Student Work

  New Mexico State University’s recent production of “The Misanthrope” earned four nominations from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Two representatives from the regional committee attended a performance at NMSU’s Center for the Arts in April, bestowing nominations for acting awards and costuming awards. The group also is awaiting word on whether the production will be selected as part of the regional festival in Texas in January.

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Regional
12:44 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Bike Patrol Gets Boost

  The Doña Ana County Sheriff’ Office will roll out a new and improved bike patrol this week, thanks to nearly $14,000 in grant money that purchased eight new bicycles for the unit.

The funding was part of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant through the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Regional
12:42 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

UPDATE: Rape Charges Dropped Against UNM Football Player

  Rape charges have been dropped against a University of New Mexico football player and a community college student.

The Bernalillo County district attorney's office said Tuesday that prosecutors won't pursue charges against Crusoe Gongbay, a Lobos running back, and Ryan Ruff, a Central New Mexico Community College student.

However, officials said charges may be refiled pending an investigation.

Officials say charges against New Mexico cornerback SaQwan Edwards in the same case also are expected to be dropped later this week.

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Regional
12:39 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Progress In The Fight Against Feral Pigs

State and federal wildlife managers in New Mexico are making progress in their fight against feral pigs.

They say they have eliminated the majority of invasive porkers from 10 counties and progress is being made in another seven counties where pigs have taken up residency.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Service Division says federal hunters tracked down and eliminated about 700 pigs last year as part of a $1 million pilot project. Most of the work was done across New Mexico's eastern plains.

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Regional
12:38 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Former Lincoln County Postmaster Pleads Guilty To Embezzlement

A former Lincoln County postmaster will likely get probation for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the U.S. Postal Service.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for New Mexico says 55-year-old Kristi K. Sepkowitz pleaded guilty to a federal embezzlement charge Tuesday morning in federal court in Las Cruces.

As part of her plea agreement, Sepkowitz will receive three years of probation and pay a $1,000 fine.

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