Regional

Regional
12:29 pm
Sun April 12, 2015

In Depth: An Education Battle And More In Texas

The House's top education leader is focused on school finance, promoting a $3 billion plan to overhaul the way Texas distributes classroom funding.

In the Senate, it's all about "school choice," with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick pushing a school voucher plan to let parents get state money to remove students from struggling public schools and send them to private alternatives.

Something will have to give.

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Regional
12:28 pm
Sun April 12, 2015

"Payday Loan" Legislation Fails In New Mexico

Attempts to rein in payday loans in New Mexico fell by the wayside during the recent 60-day legislative session.

While the small loans industry says it helps people in need, consumer advocates say a fix is sorely needed.

According to a 2014 study by the Pew Charitable Trusts, 14 states and the District of Columbia either ban payday loans or cap interest rates at 36 percent. Nine states have some restrictions, while 27 allow single-repayment loans with rates 391 percent or higher.

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Regional
12:27 pm
Sun April 12, 2015

In Depth: Immigrants Grow Catholic Parish In Santa Fe

Credit nps.gov

A couple of hundred Catholics gathered inside the San Isidro-San José Parish's historic mission church in the southwest part of town on Holy Thursday to hear a sermon on the Last Supper by the Rev. Franklin Pretto-Ferro.

Along with other Christians around the globe, they were marking the final week of Lent leading up to Easter Sunday.

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Regional
7:17 pm
Sat April 11, 2015

Texas Bill To Limit Filming Of Police Dropped

Amid renewed controversy over footage of a South Carolina police shooting, a Texas Republican lawmaker's bill limiting police filming has been dropped.

The Dallas Morning News reports that State Representative Jason Villalba of Dallas confirmed Friday that he will not seek a public hearing for his bill, which would have made it illegal for a resident to film within 25 feet of police activity, or within 100 feet if the person carried a handgun.

Traditional news media would have been exempted from the Class B misdemeanor charge.

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Regional
7:16 pm
Sat April 11, 2015

UTEP Wins $5 Million Grant To Study Shrinking Water Supply

The University of Texas at El Paso has won a $4.9 million grant to lead a study of how to do more with less water.

The El Paso Times reports that the university will use the money to investigate the impacts of climate change in the Rio Grande Basin.

UTEP was among six recipients of the U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, tasked with inventing ways to manage competing demands for decreasing water supplies.

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Regional
7:14 pm
Sat April 11, 2015

UNM Approves 3 Percent Tuition Hike

Costs to attend the University of New Mexico will rise in the coming school year after the Board of Regents approved a series of tuition and fee hikes for the university's main Albuquerque campus and others across the state.

Students at the Albuquerque campus will see tuition rise by 3 percent in the fall under a proposal approved by regents on Friday. Students attending the university's branch campuses in Gallup, Taos, Los Alamos and Valencia County will see even bigger increases.

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Regional
7:13 pm
Sat April 11, 2015

Film Incentive Bills Aimed At Boosting Production

A pair of bills signed into law by New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez are designed to give a boost to the state's already booming film industry.

A measure signed Friday expands the state's film incentive program to allow qualifying television pilot episodes to receive additional rebates.

Television productions currently qualify for a 30 percent tax rebate on direct expenditures if they film at least six episodes. The new law would allow pilots to receive that level of rebate.

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Regional
7:11 pm
Sat April 11, 2015

Albuquerque Schools Names California Educator As New Leader

The Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education has named a California educator to lead the district of nearly 88,000 students.

The board picked Luis Valentino for the superintendent's job on Saturday from three finalists for the job.

Valentino currently is associate superintendent and chief academic officer for the San Francisco Unified School District. He previously worked as director of school services for the Los Angeles Unified School District and has been a principal, university and elementary school teacher and an adult school counselor.

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Regional
5:04 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

NMSU Names New Dean For College Of Education

  A longtime educator with a background in psychology and diversity has been named dean of New Mexico State University’s College of Education after a national search.

Donald B. Pope-Davis’ first day at NMSU will be July 15. He succeeds current dean Michael A. Morehead, who will retire from NMSU on July 31.

Pope-Davis said NMSU’s mission and status as a land-grant university attracted him to the institution.

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Regional
4:50 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Man Arrested, Woman Escapes After Dramatic Police Chase

Mayra Cristina Marquez

  An El Paso man was arrested Thursday evening on charges of receiving stolen property, evading a police officer, and injury to a police dog after a pursuit that crossed state lines and involved three law enforcement agencies.

Just before 3 p.m., Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputies were alerted that Jose Antonio Garcia, 23, had evaded an El Paso County Sheriff’s deputy after the deputy attempted to make a traffic stop in Canutillo. Garcia was allegedly driving a white, four-door Mitsubishi that had been reported stolen in El Paso on March 29, 2015.

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Regional
4:43 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Judge Blocks Navajo Coal Expansion In New Mexico

A federal judge has blocked efforts by a Navajo Nation coal mine to expand operations within its permitted area in northwestern New Mexico.

The Navajo Transitional Energy Company, LLC. is seeking an emergency stay on the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge John Kane in Colorado. The company says the ruling will not impact supply to the Four Corners Power Plant but jeopardizes its long-term sustainability.

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Regional
4:36 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

International Conference For Taekwondo Puts NMSU In Spotlight

New Mexico State University International Academic Conference for Taekwondo co-organizer John Johnson of Kyung Hee University presents World Taekwondo Federation President Chungwon Choue with a packet that includes the iACT 2015 Conference Booklet, a commemorative medallion (mapae) and NMSU pin, and a cover letter thanking him and the WTF for its sponsorship ($500) and giving a summary of iACT 2015’s success. (Photo courtesy of Ron Dziwenka)

  The New Mexico State University College of Education’s recent International Academic Conference for Taekwondo (iACT) has received international attention.

The January event has already been covered by a global Taekwondo magazine, said event organizer Ron Dziwenka, program manager for assessment in the College of Education. 

“George Vitale, one of the iACT presenters, whose Ph.D. was conferred in North Korea, has written the first of a series of articles on the iACT conference and its significance, in ‘Totally TKD News,’” Dziwenka said.

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Regional
1:55 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Las Cruces Launches Business Assistance Program

  The City of Las Cruces Economic Development Office has launched a Business Assistance Program (BAP) designed to assist current and emerging city businesses and would include help in expanding their product or service offerings. It will also assist businesses outside the region to relocate or establish local branches.

“We can help identify markets and competitors, and provide data that will help businesses make informed decisions to develop core strategies,” said Gary Camarano, Economic Development Coordinator for the City.

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Regional
1:53 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

ENMU Considers Dropping Zia Name And Symbol

Students at Eastern New Mexico University are recommending that the school drop the use of the Zia sun symbol and name.

The vote this month sends the recommendation to the university president, who will discuss the matter with the Board of Regents at its April 24 meeting.

The Portales-based university has used the "Zias" name for women's sports teams since 1981. The Zia symbol — a circle with four lines in each cardinal direction — sometimes accompanies a Greyhound.

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Regional
1:50 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Martinez Signs Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform; Read Her Letter On The Issue

Credit Office of the Governor

  Governor Susana Martinez has signed legislation that reforms civil asset forfeiture in New Mexico.  The Rio Grande Foundation celebrated the news with this statement: 

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Regional
9:24 am
Fri April 10, 2015

State Fair Official: Deal With New Midway Operator A Winner

The New Mexico State Fair's general manager says it's getting a boost from a deal negotiated with a new midway operator.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that General Manager Dan Mourning briefed the State Fair Commission on Thursday regarding the agreement with Reithoffer Shows of Gibsonton, Florida.

Mourning said the agreement will provide the fair with a larger slice of revenue from rides as well as $25,000 for advertising and $25,000 for capital improvements to the fairgrounds in Albuquerque.

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Regional
9:22 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Court Ruling Allows Suits By Former State Workers To Proceed

An appellate court ruling allows two lawsuits challenging firings of former employees of the New Mexico Secretary of State's office to proceed toward trial.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the state Court of Appeals this week overturned a District Court judge's dismissal of one case and upholds a different judge's refusal to dismiss the other case.

Both cases stem from the single term of former Secretary of State Mary Herrera, who left office after losing her 2010 re-election bid.

The lawsuits allege retaliation against former workers who talked to the FBI.

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Regional
9:17 am
Fri April 10, 2015

State Official: Veto To Distrupt Magistrate Court Services

A top New Mexico courts official says the state budget signed by Gov. Susana Martinez provides a modest budget increase overall for the court system but that a veto of supplemental funding for Magistrate Court services spells trouble.

Administrative Office of the Courts Director Artie Pepin said the signed budget increases in funding for drug courts' treatment services. He says that will allow more offenders with substance abuse problems to participate in programs that he said are less costly than prison time and more effective in reducing recidivism.

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Regional
9:09 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Alamogordo Facility Hosts Contest For Desalination Technologies

    

With limited sources of water available in the western U.S. and developing countries, The Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Agency for International Development are looking for innovations that may help meet the growing challenge of water scarcity, and have launched a on a contest for innovators to come up with small, affordable, and sustainable desalination systems.

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Regional
6:01 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Climate Change Scientist And Skeptics Both Preparing For Water Scarce Future

Mesilla Valley Pecan Farmer Greg Daviet says when surface water allocations are low he waters his farm with ground water.
Credit Simon Thompson

Mega drought, climate change or a combination of the two scientists and climate change skeptics may not see eye to eye on what’s behind dryer weather and increasingly scarce water supplies in New Mexico but many agree on the need to dramatically improve water management. 

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Regional
9:06 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Recall Attempt Against Las Cruces City Councilor Olga Pedroza Fails

  A supplemental petition filed by the petitioner seeking to initiate a recall election of City Councilor Olga Pedroza, District 3, lacked the necessary number of valid signatures.  It's the second failure for the group New Mexicans For A Better Tomorrow, which also failed in its recall attempt of District 5 Councilor Gill Sorg.

A total of 949 valid signatures were required to certify the petition for a recall election. A total of 704 valid signatures were verified today by the Las Cruces City Clerk’s office – 245 valid signatures short of the required number.

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Regional
4:00 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Lt. Gov. Sanchez Says Talks For Special Session Continue

Credit http://www.ltgov.state.nm.us/

Lt. Gov. John Sanchez say pressure is building for a special legislative session to fund capital improvement projects.

Sanchez spoke at an annual Chaves County Republican Party dinner this week, saying that negotiations with Democratic leaders for a special session are ongoing.

Legislators couldn't agree on about $270 million in a capital outlay bill, leaving the annual spending measure unfunded.

Gov. Susana Martinez says she had no plans to call back lawmakers to reconsider it. However, Sanchez says lawmakers could call themselves back for a special session.

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Regional
3:56 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Rio Grande Water Users In For Another Tough Year

Credit NMFO

Federal officials say cities and farmers that depend on Rio Grande water are in for another tight year.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the annual operating plan for the Middle Rio Grande on Thursday.

Snowpack from the mountains that feed the Rio Grande now is halfway gone, and there has been little to no precipitation in the last month.

That means federal officials will be managing the waterway for drought for a fifth consecutive year.

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Regional
3:54 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

DA's Office: Las Cruces Man Fatally Shot Himself With Stolen Gun

District Attorney investigators say a Las Cruces man fatally shot himself with a stolen police gun during a confrontation with officers last year.

An autopsy also shows 29-year-old Jose Salas was shot multiple times by Las Cruces police during the Dec. 22 incident but it's unclear which gunshot wound caused his death.

The autopsy report says Salas had five gunshot wounds to his head, back, arm and shoulder.

Police responded to a disturbance at a home and say Salas assaulted an officer who arrived in an unmarked police vehicle.

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Regional
7:06 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Man With Firearm Is Arrested At Navajo Technical University

Credit https://www.facebook.com/NavajoTech

Tribal police say a man with a firearm has been arrested without incident at Navajo Technical University in Crownpoint.

Students at the school were on lockdown after an armed man was reported near the student housing on campus about 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Navajo Police and the tribal Strategic Response Team responded to the call.

They say the campus is secured and students are returning to their dorms.

The name of the man arrested wasn't immediately released.

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Regional
6:55 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Lengthy Waits Persist At Texas VA Medical Facilities, Despite Efforts To Streamline Process

An Associated Press analysis shows that Texas veterans spend more time waiting for care than the national average.

An average of 3.4 percent of appointments at the state's 54 VA facilities were delayed longer than 30 days from September to February. Nationally, the average is 2.8 percent.

In the wake of last year's VA scandal and resulting federal changes, some facilities are still struggling to improve how often they meet the goal to have patients seen within 30 days.

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Regional
6:53 am
Thu April 9, 2015

New Mexico VA Clinic Among Nation's Worst For Care Delays

Credit www.facebook.com/VeteransAffairs

A Veterans Affairs clinic in northwestern New Mexico ranks among the nation's worst when it comes to the percentage of appointments delayed a month or longer.

While local VA officials say they're doing their best to expand services in rural areas where recruiting is a challenge, advocates say more needs to be done — and fast.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu April 9, 2015

NMSU To Open Community Health Clinics

The new College of Education Community clinics located at the Arrowhead Medical Academy will include a Mental Health and Wellness Clinic, and a speech and hearing Center. Something Marlene Salas- Provance, assistant dean for college community clinics, says is currently underserved in Southern New Mexico.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu April 9, 2015

NMSU Hosts Students From Colombia

    From the jungles of Colombia to the fields of southern New Mexico, agriculture students who were once victims of the drug trade will visit New Mexico State University April 7-22 as part of its Partners of the Americas and the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund Grant.

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Regional
5:52 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Competition To Highlight Desalination Technology

With clean water supplies dwindling, federal officials put out a call around the world in hopes of finding innovative technology that could turn brackish water into potable water.

Five finalist teams will be showing off their desalination systems as part of the international completion beginning Thursday in Alamogordo.

They're competing for $200,000 in prizes and the chance at federal grants to continue their research.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says the finalists were culled from a list of 68 teams from 29 countries.

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