Regional

Regional
3:42 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Immigrant Driver's Licenses Plunge In New Mexico

Records show that newly issued driver's licenses to immigrants in New Mexico have plunged by nearly a third in the past year despite no change in the state's policy of granting driving privileges to foreign nationals living in the country illegally.

There's no clear explanation for the 31 percent drop from 2012 to 2013, but the trend is continuing so far this year, according to state records obtained by The Associated Press.

Immigrant rights activist Marcela Diaz of Santa Fe contends that fewer immigrants are moving to New Mexico because of a weak economy and lack of jobs.

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Regional
2:59 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

NMSU Robotics Camp Underway In Las Cruces

Twelve-year-old Treant Soliz, Lynn Middle School student, tests out his robot. Middle- and high-school students learn how to build and operate robots at the Robotics Camp hosted by NMSU College of Engineering and Engineering New Mexico Resource Network. (NMSU photo by Kristen Sullivan)

  Students from across New Mexico have the opportunity to take part in robotics camps that will enhance their understanding and knowledge of basic power tools, engineering technology and how to go from design to a built product.

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Regional
12:09 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Town Hall Meeting Monday On VA Delays

   The American Legion will send enrollment and benefit experts to a West Texas city amid concerns over wait times for veterans seeking government health care.

The patriotic veterans group on Wednesday also announced plans for a town hall meeting next week in El Paso on medical assistance delays.

A recent Veterans Affairs Department audit found the El Paso VA center was fourth-worst nationally for mental health help. Veterans waited an average 60 days to get an appointment with a specialist.

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Regional
12:08 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Officials: New Mexico Bus Driver Had Sex On The Job

Albuquerque officials say a bus driver in the New Mexico city has been fired after surveillance cameras caught him in a sex act with a woman while at work.

KOAT-TV reports according to the video, the driver stopped at a park and ride on the morning of May 6 and a woman walked onto the bus without paying her fare. On the video Gonzales is heard saying, "You know what time it is!"

He was fired last week.

After the act, Gonzales said, "Man, if I could sell that I could make a million dollars."

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Regional
12:07 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Dallas County Endorses Reparations For African Americans

Dallas County leaders have passed a resolution supporting reparations to African-Americans for years of slavery — without even realizing they had done so.

County commissioners unwittingly gave their OK by unanimously passing a Juneteenth resolution on Tuesday that stated blacks' suffering should be "satisfied with monetary and substantial reparations."

The meeting agenda made no specific mention of it, but it was read aloud by Commissioner John Wiley Price, who introduced the measure.

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Regional
12:05 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

No More Immigration Holds In Dona Ana County

Dona Ana County will stop holding people in jail without charge at the request of federal immigration authorities.

The Dona Ana County Detention Center recently announced it would no longer honor requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain people arrested on unrelated charges for 48 hours while agents investigated their immigration status.

Immigrant rights groups lauded on Tuesday the decision and said it loosens disputed ties between local and federal law enforcement agencies.

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Regional
12:03 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Taos Clears Hurdle To Rename Kit Carson Park

  New Mexico officials say Taos can rename an old state park that's been named for years after scout and explorer Kit Carson.

The New Mexico Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department said Tuesday that a review of a 1990 deed shows Taos cannot lose ownership over the renaming of Kit Carson Park.

Department spokesman Jim Winchester says the park can only revert back to the state if Taos fails to maintain the property as a park.

The Taos Town Council last week passed a resolution to change the downtown park's name to Red Willow Park.

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Regional
11:26 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Heinrich Pleased With U.S. Decision Not To Renew Washington Redskins Trademark

Credit Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement today on the decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the Washington, D.C. football team's trademark registration:

"The U.S. Patent Office took a positive step today toward the goal of changing the Washington, D.C. football team's name. Racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports. Our tribal communities have always enhanced New Mexico's rich culture and traditions. It's past time for the football team to change its name."

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Regional
10:09 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Sunland Park Fills Vacant Council Seat

  The Sunland Park City Council has selected Kenneth B. (Ken) Giove to fill the First District seat. He was nominated by Mayor Javier Perea and elected by a 3-1 vote.

The seat became vacant when former Councilor Christian Lira resigned.  Councilor Giove had ran in the March election placing second in District 1 by a narrow margin of 3 votes. His selection at this time will be until the next city election in 2016 at which time he can run for a full term if he chooses.  

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Regional
8:35 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Democrat Gary King's Campaign Manager Resigns

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gary King's newly hired campaign manager has resigned because of disparaging comments about women and others that were posted on Twitter in the past.

The departure of Steve Verzwyvelt came Tuesday, a day after King announced he had hired the Louisiana native to run his general election campaign against Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

King announced the resignation after a conservative web site, the Washington Free Beacon, posted a story Tuesday on tweets by Verzwyvelt, many of them from 2011 and 2012.

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Regional
8:30 am
Wed June 18, 2014

El Paso Extends Public Bans On Cigarettes To E-Cigs

El Paso is extending its ban on cigarette smoking in public places to electronic cigarettes.

The City Council voted Tuesday to extend the ban, effective Sept. 1. The El Paso Times  reports the ban will bar smoking and vaping in 2015 from all city-owned properties, including parks. The ban also would keep smoke-free areas within 20 feet of all public entrances, except for El Paso International Airport.

Violators are fined $100 for the first offense, $200 for a second offense and up to $500 for other repeat offenses.

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Regional
8:27 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Medicaid To Cover Overdose Drug

    

New Mexico health and human services officials say the state Medicaid program now covers the cost of a medicine used to reverse drug overdoses.

Officials announced Tuesday that Centennial care will cover Naloxone, which is a prescription medication that can be sprayed into the nose of a person experiencing an overdose from heroin, methadone or prescription pain medications like oxycontin and hydrocodone.

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Regional
8:26 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Sentencing Set For Governor's Hacked Email Case

Sentencing has been scheduled in a case involving a Gov. Susana Martinez's former campaign manager who pleaded guilty to stealing her email.

Jamie Estrada is slated to go before a federal judge in Albuquerque on Sept. 15.

The 41-year-old pleaded guilty this week to one count of unlawful interception of electronic communication and one count of lying to FBI agents as part of a plea deal.

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Regional
4:46 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Las Cruces Minimum Wage Increase Supporters Gather 5,000+ Signatures

 In just 3 days, CAFé faith leaders say they have collected 1,000 more signatures for a minimum wage increase ballot initiative, placing them over the 5,000 mark.  CAFé says it will turn in all the signatures they collect to the City Clerk, Esther Martinez, by June 30th. Martinez then has 20 working days to review and validate exactly 2,257 signatures and provide CAFé with a certificate as to the petition’s sufficiency. or insufficiency.  The ballot initiative would raise the Las Cruces minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017. 

 

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Regional
3:43 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

New Programs Expand Offerings At NMSU Carlsbad

NMSU Carlsbad is now offering new programs in Heritage Interpretation and Social Services to better meet student needs in New Mexico. 

The Associate of Arts in Heritage Interpretation is designed to prepare students for service as park interpreters and technicians or for any field in which knowledge of the cultural and natural heritage of the area would be useful.  Participants in the program will help meet the growing need for qualified professional educators in the field of curatorial studies  in museums heritage sites, and art galleries for example.

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Regional
3:41 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

50 New Jobs In Española

   Governor Susana Martinez announced 50 new jobs coming to Española with Performance Maintenance, Inc. (PMI) and joined Blue Heron, an Embudo-based brewery, in a ribbon cutting ceremony for a taproom near the historic Española Plaza.

 

"I could not be happier with the news of the expansion of both PMI and Blue Heron Brewing Company in Española  in northern New Mexico," said Governor Susana Martinez. "Small, local businesses like these are exactly the kind of enterprises we want to help grow. When they succeed, our families and communities succeed."

 

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Regional
1:42 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Trial For Las Cruces Murder Suspect Underway

  Dominic Montoya is on trial facing Murder in the First Degree, Possession of a Weapon, and Tampering with Evidence for the murder of fellow inmate Adam Avalos that occurred in April 2006.

The defendant allegedly murdered Mr. Avalos in the shower by using a prison issued razor.

Testimony from the Detention Pod Officer, on duty nurse and medical examiner were heard by the jury today.

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Regional
1:05 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

New Mexico Wildfire Health Resources

  The New Mexico Department of Health and Environment Department continue to track the Assayii Lake Fire along the McKinley/San Juan county line in New Mexico. The departments advise residents in areas vulnerable to wildfire to learn how to reduce risk to themselves and their families from smoke exposure.

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Regional
12:14 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Blind New Mexico Man Gets Auto Mechanics Degree

  A blind New Mexico man has earned an auto mechanics degree and says he can fix cars by listening.

KOAT-TV reports that Clifford Alderson recently graduated from New Mexico State University and earned his degree by learning to feel his way around the vehicle.

Born with a genetic disease that led to his blindness, Alderson got his on-the-job training at a small auto shop in Alamogordo.

Damian Orchard, of All Makes Automotive, says, for the most part, he could just tell Alderson what needed to be done on a car and turn him loose.

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Regional
12:12 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Two Horses Euthanized After Bee Attack

Two horses had to be euthanized after being swarmed by bees in West Texas.

The owner of one of the horses told KTXS-TV in Abilene that the stinging bees completely covered the animals and there was nothing he could do to save them.

Heath Watson says he was at home near Eula (YOO'-luh) on Friday and tied up his horse and a neighbor's horse when the bees swarmed the animals. Watson was also attacked but ran into his house.

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Regional
12:10 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

New Mexico Hantavirus Death

New Mexico health officials say a 67-year-old woman has become the first person to die of Hantavirus this year.

The state Department of Health said Tuesday that the San Juan County home of the woman is being investigated to help reduce the risk of infection for others.

Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. People can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus.

The department says the deer mouse is the main reservoir for the Hantavirus strain found in New Mexico.

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Regional
12:09 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

New Mexico Wildfire Rages

  A fire that has forced residents of two Native American communities on the Arizona-New Mexico border from their homes and is threatening the heart of the Navajo Nation's sheep industry is growing larger.

Fire officials say the Assayii (ah-SAH'-he) Lake Fire has ballooned to more than 19 square miles. The flames already have destroyed four structures. About 50 homes near the rural communities of Naschitti (NAS'-chit-ee) and Sheep Springs are threatened.

Crews were bracing Tuesday for wind gusts up to 50 mph, along with more high temperatures and low humidity levels.

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Regional
12:08 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Is Perry Moving To California?

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

  Could Texas Gov. Rick Perry be California dreamin'?

The Republican has made convincing top employers to move to Texas a centerpiece of his administration. He's even led job-poaching missions in Democratically controlled states.

California has been a prime target, with Perry bashing what he calls the Golden State's high-tax, over-regulated ways.

But a New York Times Magazine story released Tuesday says Perry told the reporter "he loves California" and "might even move" there in January, when his term ends.

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Regional
12:00 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Flood Prevention Project Underway

  Drivers along Berino Road will see construction activity this summer as Phase III of the Berino Pond Project is put into place.

Construction begins this week on the project, which is designed to alleviate flooding in the area.  The pond – once expanded and completed – is intended to intercept water that flows from the east under Interstate 10 during heavy rains.

Drainage and floodwaters will be detained within the pond, thereby eliminating historic flooding of area roadways, septic tanks, leach fields and residential wells.

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Regional
9:11 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Border States More Vulnerable To Transmission Of Infectious Disease

In 2011 more than 3.6 million passenger vehicles, 4.2 million pedestrians and 300,000 commercial vehicles crossed into Ciudad Juárez through one of El Paso's international bridges.
Credit Simon Thompson

Many in the US consider Tuberculosis as infectious disease of an age past. But that’s not the case in Mexico, where according to the World Bank people are five times more likely to contract the disease.  As Simon Thompson reports cross border trade and migration can make border states just as vulnerable to incidences and even outbreaks of deadly and contagious diseases.

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Regional
7:54 am
Tue June 17, 2014

N.M. To Sell Leftover Licenses

Credit facebook.com/nmdgf

New Mexico is offering hunters another opportunity to buy a license to hunt deer and javelina later this year and in early 2015.

The state Game and Fish Department plans an online sale next week of about 1,000 javelina licenses and more than 3,000 deer licenses, many of them for archery and muzzleloader hunts.

The licenses were left over after the department's annual drawing for hunting permits.

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Regional
7:52 am
Tue June 17, 2014

44 Cadets Revamp Albuquerque Police Academy

    

More than 40 police cadets have begun their 26-week training course at the Albuquerque Police Roger Hoisington Training Academy.

Officials say the training started Monday and involves a new, intense emphasis on crisis intervention and scenario-based training.

Cadets will study New Mexico State Law, city ordinances, Constitutional law and criminal law, traffic regulations and criminal investigation techniques.

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Regional
7:52 am
Tue June 17, 2014

44 Cadets Revamp Albuquerque Police Academy

    

More than 40 police cadets have begun their 26-week training course at the Albuquerque Police Roger Hoisington Training Academy.

Officials say the training started Monday and involves a new, intense emphasis on crisis intervention and scenario-based training.

Cadets will study New Mexico State Law, city ordinances, Constitutional law and criminal law, traffic regulations and criminal investigation techniques.

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Regional
7:48 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Las Cruces Firefighters To Get Raise

    

Las Cruces city officials have settled on a new contract with firefighters that will mean salary bumps.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that city councilors unanimously approved a new contract with the firefighters' union that includes three pay raises.

Officials say the contract calls for an immediate wage increase of 2 percent.

Salaries would then go up another 2 percent next month followed by a 2.5 percent increase in July 2015.

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Regional
3:16 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Former Martinez Campaign Manager Pleads Guilty

Credit Office of the Governor

  New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez's former campaign manager has pleaded guilty to two counts in a case that accused him of intercepting her email.  Jamie Estrada entered his plea Monday as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors. He initially pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Under the plea agreement, Estrada faces up to one year in jail for intercepting email from Martinez's campaign account and for making false statements to federal investigators.

Some of the electronic messages were leaked to Martinez critics, who publicly released them.

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