Regional

Regional
3:52 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

DOE Names Acting Field Office Manager At Nuclear Repository

The U.S. Department of Energy has named one of its longtime employees as the acting director of the field office that oversees the federal government's troubled nuclear waste repository.

Dana Bryson is replacing Joe Franco, who recently took another job with the agency at the Hanford site in Washington.

The department says Bryson has more than 30 years of experience in the nuclear industry and has served as the deputy manager of the Carlsbad Field Office since 2013.

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Regional
3:48 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

New Mexico Reports 'All-Time High' Tourism Numbers For 2014

New Mexico True Ad Campaign
Credit newmexico.org

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has announced close to 33 million visited the state last year, making it a record-breaking year for tourism.

Martinez said Monday that half a million more people visited New Mexico than in 2013 and credited the state's New Mexico True campaign. That campaign features the state's famous outdoor locations and New Mexico celebrities, such as mixed-martial arts fighter Carlos Condit.

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Regional
3:44 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

2 Former Officers Plead Not Guilty In Holding-Cell Beating

Las Cruces Police Department
Credit http://www.las-cruces.org/

Two former Las Cruces police officers charged with aggravated battery in the beating of a man in a holding cell have pleaded not guilty.

The District Attorney's Office said ex-officer Danny Salcido entered his plea during an arraignment Monday in state District Court, while an attorney entered the plea for Richard P. Garcia on his behalf.

Salcido and Garcia were indicted in the Dec. 23 beating in a holding cell at the Las Cruces Police Department.

Lawyers for Ross Flynn have said he was severely beaten while handcuffed in the cell.

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Regional
3:38 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Ex-Las Cruces Police Officers Arraigned

Danny Salcido and Richard Garcia were arraigned in the Third Judicial District Court today. Both former officers are facing a charge of Aggravated Battery for what took place in a holding cell on December 23, 2014 involving Ross Flynn.

 

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Regional
7:54 am
Mon June 29, 2015

Supreme Court Will Re-Hear Texas Affirmative Action Case

The Supreme Court says it will dive back into the fight over the use of race in admissions at the University of Texas, a decision that presages tighter limits on affirmative action in higher education.

The justices said Monday they will hear for a second time the case of a white woman who was denied admission to the university's flagship Austin campus.

The conservative-leaning federal appeals court in New Orleans has twice upheld the university's admissions process, including in a ruling last year that followed a Supreme Court order to reconsider the woman's case.

Regional
7:42 am
Mon June 29, 2015

Sen. Udall To Tour Chaco Canyon With Interior Deputy Secretary

Credit Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and Interior Deputy Secretary Mike Connor are visiting northwestern New Mexico.

The two are planning to tour the Chaco Canyon area before meeting Monday with residents and local officials with the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The visit comes after Udall sent a letter to the Interior Department in which he highlighted constituent concerns about oil and gas development and potential effects on archaeological sites in the region.

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Regional
7:41 am
Mon June 29, 2015

Part Of Proposed SunZia Transmission Line May Move

A portion of a proposed $2 billion transmission line that would carry electricity generated by renewable resources in New Mexico and Arizona to markets across the West may get rerouted.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reported Saturday that the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project has submitted a tentative plan to the U.S. Department of Defense to move part of the line away from the White Sands Missile Range to avoid burying it.

Defense Department officials say the line's proximity to White Sands would interfere with military exercises.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon June 29, 2015

Virgin Galactic CEO Discusses New Mexico Space Tourism

Credit facebook.com/virgingalactic

Last week’s Spaceport Visitor’s Center opening brought Virgin Galactic CEO, George Whitesides To Truth or Consequences.

Last years crash in Mojave set Virgin Galactic back in their progress toward achieving commercial spaceflight. CEO George Whitesides says they remain committed to bringing space tourism to New Mexico.

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Regional
7:19 pm
Sun June 28, 2015

Texas Attorney General: State Workers Can Deny Marriage Licenses

Credit Texas AG Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton calls the Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry a "lawless ruling" and says state workers can cite their religious objections in denying marriage licenses.

He warned in a statement Sunday that any clerk, justice of the peace or other administrator who declines to issue a license to a same-sex couple could face litigation or a fine.

But he says "numerous lawyers" stand ready to defend, free of charge, any public official refusing to grant one.

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Regional
11:19 am
Sun June 28, 2015

Blue Cross Blue Shield Of NM Files For Health Exchange Premium Increase

A major insurer on the New Mexico health exchange is not budging from a proposal to raise its premiums for some customers by more than 50 percent.

The Albuquerque Journal reported  Friday that Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico filed a request for a 51.6 percent increase with the state insurance office.

The exchange offers plans by five different insurance companies.

Three are asking to boost premiums between 2 and 17 percent, depending on the plan.

But CHRISTUS Health Plan, however, is not seeking any increase.

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Regional
11:13 am
Sun June 28, 2015

No Answers After Deming Woman Apparently Gave Birth, No Baby Found

Police say they are continuing to investigate the case of a Deming woman who showed up at an emergency room after giving birth but without a newborn baby.

The Deming Headlight reports that the 38-year-old woman was taken by ambulance from her home to the ER at Mimbres Memorial Hospital on June 14.

Authorities say she has since been transported to another medical center, but did not say where.

Although she denied that she was ever pregnant, police say a medical exam made it evident that the woman had recently given birth.

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Regional
11:03 am
Sun June 28, 2015

Judge Won't Block Santa Fe County Tax

A tax hike in the cities of Santa Fe and Espanola appears more likely to take effect this week.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that a judge late last week denied both cities' request for a temporary restraining order halting the tax increase.

However, First District Judge Sarah Singleton allowed a lawsuit initiated by the cities against Santa Fe County to move forward.

The cities are suing the county over a decision to raise its gross-receipts tax by one-eighth of a percentage point, a move that is supposed to start Wednesday.

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Regional
11:01 am
Sun June 28, 2015

NM Attorney General Criticizes Plan For San Juan Plant

Credit New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is not a fan of a plan to keep an aging coal-fired plant going with a mix of coal, natural gas, nuclear and solar generation.

The Daily Times in Farmington reported Saturday that Balderas says Public Service Co. of New Mexico's proposal regarding the San Juan Generating Station "isn't good enough."

Balderas, who was a supporter in the past, said during a news conference Wednesday that the current proposal doesn't utilize enough renewable energy resources.

Balderas says he wants to see a revised plan by Aug. 1.

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Regional
10:59 am
Sun June 28, 2015

Texas Environmental Agency Paid Millions For Smog Research

Texas environmental officials are paying consulting firms more than $2.6 million for research that supports the claim that tightening the ozone standard would cost Texans billions and have little to no impact on public health.

The Houston Chronicle reports that records show that Texas Commission on Environmental Quality officials hired the Massachusetts-based environmental consulting firm Gradient two years ago to "critically review" the science underpinning the EPA's proposal to further restrict the federal smog standard.

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Regional
6:00 am
Sun June 28, 2015

Dacia Sedillo named NMSU’s Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management

Dacia Sedillo has been named the associate vice president for enrollment management at New Mexico State University. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

  Dacia Sedillo has been named associate vice president for enrollment management at New Mexico State University. NMSU’s university admissions, university financial aid and scholarship services and university registrar’s offices will report to Sedillo. 

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Regional
6:00 am
Sun June 28, 2015

NMSU Professor Says Water Restrictions May Be In New Mexico's Future

  On May 5, California approved a 25 percent cut on water use in urban areas in an effort to conserve water after four years of intense drought. With these historic water restrictions, could New Mexico face the same future?

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Regional
12:05 pm
Sat June 27, 2015

Federal Legislation Takes Aim At Mexican Gray Wolf Program

Two Congressmen from New Mexico and Arizona have introduced legislation that they say would protect farmers, ranchers and rural communities in Arizona and New Mexico from economic losses stemming from the reintroduction of Mexican gray wolves.

But environmentalists argue that the legislation would be a death sentence for the endangered predators.

U.S. Reps. Steve Pearce of New Mexico and Paul Gosar of Arizona introduced the bill this week.

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Regional
11:18 am
Sat June 27, 2015

Albuquerque Police Investigating Fatal Drive-By Shooting

Albuquerque police are searching for a suspect in a drive-by shooting that has left a juvenile victim dead.

Police spokesman Fred Duran says officers responded shortly after 10 p.m. Friday to reports of shots fired in the northeast part of town.

Responding officers found a juvenile-age victim with a single gunshot wound.

The victim was taken to a hospital but later died.

Duran says the young victim's identity is not being released pending notification of next of kin and because of the victim's age.

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Regional
11:03 am
Sat June 27, 2015

Former NMSU Coach Henson Out Of Hospital, Starting Chemotherapy

Former New Mexico State University and University of Illinois basketball coach Lou Henson has been released from a Texas hospital and is scheduled to soon begin chemotherapy treatments.

Henson's wife, Mary, told The News-Gazette in Champaign that the 83-year-old retired coach is staying with family in Houston. He'll begin regular chemotherapy treatments before a planned return to his home in Champaign, Illinois, on July 12. The treatments will continue from there.

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Regional
10:40 am
Sat June 27, 2015

Albuquerque Man Shot And Killed In Driveway

Police say an Albuquerque man may have been confronting a group breaking into cars and homes when he was fatally shot.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that officers found the 59-year-old homeowner dead in his driveway early Friday in the city's Northeast Heights neighborhood.

Police spokesman Tanner Tixier says several suspects broke into at least five vehicles.

Tixier says investigators think the victim went to confront them.

He says another man in his 80s was shot at but was unharmed.

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Regional
8:12 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

3 In El Paso Get Prison For Gang-Related Sex Trafficking

A third man linked to a West Texas gang and sex trafficking has been sentenced to federal prison.

Emmanual Lockhart was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison. He was convicted in El Paso of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking in the ring that also operated in New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado.

Richard Gray was sentenced to three concurrent life prison terms Thursday. Gray was convicted of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of persons, sex trafficking of children and sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion. He received 10 years for transportation for prostitution.

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Regional
8:07 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

County Fire And Emergency Services To Offer One-Stop Shop For Fire Prevention And Education

The Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services division has a new fully-equipped trailer to provide fire emergency preparedness and education for adults and children of all ages.

The 2015 BullEx Fire Safety Trailer is an all-inclusive mobile classroom that will assist staff in teaching on-site firefighting skills and fire prevention training throughout Doña Ana County.

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Regional
8:03 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Las Cruces RoadRUNNER Transit System Seeks Input On Transportation Plan

The Las Cruces RoadRUNNER Transit System is in the process of revising its routes as part of a Short Range Transit Plan Update.

On July 1, from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. at the Mesilla Valley Intermodal Transfer Terminal (MVITT), the staff of the Mesilla Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will hold an open house where the proposed routes and other material will be discussed.

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Regional
3:59 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

The Latest In Texas: Abbott's Office Says Memo Not Discriminatory

Texas Governor Greg Abbot
Credit http://gov.texas.gov/

A Timeline

4:10 p.m.

Gov. Greg Abbott's office says the governor's directive that ordered state agencies not to reprimand those who deny benefits to gay couples does not condone discrimination.

Abbott spokesman John Wittman says the order issued earlier Friday does not authorize state agencies to deny benefits to same-sex couples. He says it only ensures that people doing business with the state cannot be discriminated against because of their religious beliefs.

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Regional
3:53 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Pearce: Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage Ignores The Will Of The People

Credit Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which addressed the issue of whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple.

 

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Regional
3:44 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

New Mexico Business Boss 'Optimistic' About Boost In Funding

Secretary Of Economic Development, Jon Barela
Credit gonm.biz

New Mexico's top economic development official says the state's decision this year to pour millions of dollars into wooing businesses and spurring job creation isn't being taken lightly.

Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela told lawmakers during a meeting Friday that his office is crafting policies to ensure that the money is spent wisely and that the program is transparent.

Barela says proving the state is getting a return from its investments under the Local Economic Development Act — or LEDA — will be key.

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Regional
3:37 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

New Mexico AG Disputes Campaign Finance Violations

Credit New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says incorrect allegations about his own campaign finances show there are flaws in the state's reporting process.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Balderas said Thursday he is worried some candidates may be on the end of wrongful accusations by the Secretary of State's Office.

Secretary of State Dianna Duran told Balderas this week that he submitted three late campaign finance reports a few years ago.

But Balderas said she was wrong about two of the reports.

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Regional
3:34 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Arizona Man Pleads Guilty To 12 Wire Fraud Charges

An Arizona man has pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud charges in New Mexico.

Prosecutors say 54-year-old Joseph Lawler of Peoria pleaded guilty to all 12 counts of a superseding indictment.

It alleged Lawler defrauded investors out of at least $288,000 between August 2010 and July 2014.

Prosecutors say Lawler got others to create a company that purported to provide investment services.

He also got others to open four accounts for the company at a bank in Farmington, New Mexico and one at a Phoenix bank.

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Regional
3:30 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

New Mexicans Call On Congress To Protect Their Public Lands And Recreation Opportunities

From national parks like Chaco Canyon to handball courts in Albuquerque, many open spaces in American have been made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). This critical funding for conservation is set to expire in just 100 days unless Congress acts quickly.

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Regional
2:03 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

NM Democratic Chair Haaland Statement On Marriage Equality

New Mexico Democratic Chairwoman Deb Haaland and Somáh
Credit New Mexico Democratic Chairwoman Deb Haaland

Today, New Mexico Democratic Chairwoman Deb Haaland released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding marriage equality across the US:

 

“As the mother of a lesbian daughter, I am thrilled to know that her future is free from barriers to marry whomever she wishes. Somáh came out to me as a senior in high school and since that time she has advocated for acceptance of this fundamental right. I share this victory with her. Love wins!

 

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