Regional

Regional
12:52 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Researchers Warn Farmers To Prepare For Invasive Pests

New Mexico's number one crop, alfalfa, is at risk of new invasive pests as they establish themselves in the state.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports New Mexico State University entomologists are predicting new insects to affect fruit and vegetable crops, including the state's $300-million alfalfa industry.

NMSU Extension entomologist Jane Pierce says larvae of the white fringe beetle cause damage that can be mistaken for disease. Alfalfa farmers should look for thinning spots, check roots for holes and treat adult insects with insecticide.

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Regional
11:20 am
Mon May 18, 2015

"Flame Of Hope" Arrives In Las Cruces Thursday

File, 2012
Credit Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department

   Law enforcement officials from all over southern New Mexico, including deputies with the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department, will run into Las Cruces Thursday carrying the Special Olympics flame of hope.

   The event is part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which carries the flame of hope to Albuquerque to summon the beginning of the New Mexico Special Olympics summer games.

   Three different torches from Deming, White Sands Missile Range, and Anthony will converge at11 a.m. at Albert Johnson Park in Las Cruces, next to Thomas Branigan Memorial Library.

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Regional
11:07 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Dona Ana County Ranked 5th Healthiest In The State

Every year The University of Wisconsin publishes County Health Rankings to help local governments see how they compare to other communities and what they can improve.

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Regional
7:57 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Open Carry Likely Starting Final Approach To Abbott's Desk

Legalizing open carry of handguns in Texas is beginning the final approach to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's desk.

The last two weeks of the legislative session begin Monday. It started in January with expanded gun rights ranking among the biggest priorities for Republicans, who swiftly passed bills that would allow licensed Texas gun owners to carry their handguns.

Texas is only of only six states that don't allow some form of open carry.

A Senate committee Monday could put final touches on an open-carry measure that Abbott has already said he'll sign into law.

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Regional
7:55 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Farmer Pleads Guilty To Falsely Claiming Organic Crops

A Portales-area farmer will be on five years' probation after he pleaded guilty to charges stemming from claims that his crops were organic when they were not.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Houston Wall pleaded guilty to the federal misdemeanor of misbranding products in interstate commerce for claiming in 2010 that crops of corn were organic. Wall farms about 6,000 acres in Roosevelt County.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Wall made $300,000 by saying his crops were organic but not paying for the operation.

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Regional
7:53 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Albuquerque Zoo Supporters Push For Raising Receipt Tax

Supporters of the Albuquerque Zoo are seeking to put a proposed tax raise on the municipal ballot to raise money for renovations.

KOB-TV reports that the New Mexico Bio Park Society is petitioning to have voters decide in October on whether to increase the gross receipt tax by one-eighth percent for 15 years.

The Bio Park Society says it needs to get more than 14,000 signatures in the next two months to get it on the ballot.

If it were to pass, the tax increase would go into effect July 1, 2016.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Monday Business Watch

Every Monday at 7:51am on Morning Edition, Edmundo Resendez covers the week's top local business stories with Las Cruces Sun News Business Editor Jason Gibbs. 

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Proposed Paving Of Dripping Springs And Baylor Canyon Roads Divides Some County Residents

According to the Bureau of Land Management the proposed road pavings with have "no effect" of endangered wildlife.
Credit Simon Thompson

In 2013, Dona Ana County received $9 million dollars in federal money to pave dirt sections of Dripping Springs and Baylor Canyon roads all the way up to the Organ Mountains. But some residents remain divided over the plans just months before the work is scheduled to begin.

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Regional
10:43 am
Sun May 17, 2015

In Depth: Hot Button Issues Vex Texas Legislators

Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock says he could have muscled his sweeping overhaul of the state's school finance system through the House with hours to go before the bill-passing deadline.

But the Killeen Republican and head of the House Public Education Committee decided that doing so ultimately would have been pointless.

There was no support — or even appetite — for his $3 billion bipartisan plan in the Senate, even though the way Texas pays for its schools has already been declared unconstitutional in a case awaiting appeal before the state Supreme Court.

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Regional
10:42 am
Sun May 17, 2015

Protesters Removed From Abbott Commencement Speech

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

Police escorted about a dozen protesters from the audience as Gov. Greg Abbott began his commencement address to graduates at the University of North Texas.

One student turned his back on the governor as he began speaking Saturday at the UNT Coliseum.

Abbott's appearance was controversial from the start after more than 2,500 students signed an online petition asking the university to choose a different speaker.

Among the reasons the students opposed the governor's appearance were his opposition to Denton's ban on hydraulic fracking and to gay marriage.

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Regional
10:40 am
Sun May 17, 2015

Las Cruces Family Seeks Return Of Stolen Custom Stroller

A Las Cruces mother is hoping whoever stole a custom wheelchair-stroller needed for her disabled daughter will return it.

Ana Salinas discovered Thursday night that the stroller was missing from her vehicle.

Salinas says the stroller is for her 6-year-old daughter, Dominique Perriguey.

Dominique was born with a rare chromosomal disorder called Phelan-McDermid Syndrome.

The disorder leaves her unable to walk and verbalize.

Salinas bought the $2,000 EZ Rider Mobility Stroller a few months ago because Dominique is too heavy to be carried everywhere.

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Regional
10:39 am
Sun May 17, 2015

Perry Pushes Keystone Pipeline In Iowa

Credit Former Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry says American workers would benefit from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Speaking before roughly 1,300 people gathered Saturday night at an Iowa Republican Party dinner, Perry said the pipeline would drive down the cost of electricity and help lower taxes and boost wages.

Perry says blue-collar workers should say, "I'm going to vote for Republicans because they're going to raise my wages."

The proposed pipeline would transport oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

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Regional
10:38 am
Sun May 17, 2015

Two Sentenced To Prison For Bribing Voters With Cash, Drugs

Two women who worked in a South Texas school board campaign in 2012 have been sentenced to prison for bribing voters with cocaine, cash and other enticements.

A federal judge in McAllen sentenced Veronica Saldivar of Donna to eight months in prison after she pleaded guilty to election fraud. Rebecca Gonzalez received a four-month prison sentenced for her guilty plea to alteration of voting qualification and procedure.

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Regional
2:35 pm
Sat May 16, 2015

Dexter Police Chief Under Investigation

The police chief of a southeastern New Mexico town is the subject of a criminal investigation.

New Mexico State Police said Friday that they have opened an investigation into Dexter Police Chief Mario Contreras.

State Police Capt. Lance Bateman declined to disclose further details.

Dexter Mayor Mitch Daubert confirmed Contreras has been placed on administrative leave but would not say what allegations he faces.

Daubert says if the allegations stand, the city and police will take them very seriously.

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Regional
2:32 pm
Sat May 16, 2015

Report Says New Mexico Schools Can Do More To Prevent Teen Pregnancy

A legislative report says New Mexico has no clear strategy on how to keep decreasing the number of teens giving birth, a rate that is the second-highest nationwide.

A Legislative Finance Committee report released this week says inconsistent implementation of comprehensive standards for sex education may be a contributing factor.

Public schools are required to instruct students on various ways to prevent pregnancy but not all of them do.

The report says New Mexico taxpayers spend $75 million a year on babies born from teens.

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Regional
2:31 pm
Sat May 16, 2015

Blue Bell Layoffs Spark Outrage, Gratitude

Some were outraged, some were sympathetic, but there was no indifference among the families of workers affected by Blue Bell Creameries' announced plans for layoffs and furloughs.

The Brenham, Texas-based company is cutting more than a third of its workforce after a series of listeria illnesses linked to its ice cream prompted a nationwide recall of all its products. Another 1,400 workers will be furloughed.

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Regional
2:30 pm
Sat May 16, 2015

Body Found In Sandia Mountains Identified As Missing Woman

Authorities say human remains found in the Sandia Mountains on Friday have been identified as a missing woman.

Bernalillo County Sheriff's Lt. Pete Golden said Saturday that the remains are those of 24-year-old Brittany Johnson and her death appears to be accidental.

The Office of the Medical Investigator has conducted an autopsy but the findings won't be released for some time.

Golden says the recovery of her body from the base of a steep cliff in rugged terrain took more than six hours because of bad weather.

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Regional
2:28 pm
Sat May 16, 2015

NMSU Free Water Well Testing Continues Through June

  A popular program that provides Luna County property owners with free well water testing is being extended through June, said Jack Blandford, program director at New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service Office in Deming.

“If you haven’t done so, now is a good time to get your well tested,” Blandford said. “We wrap up in June.” 

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Regional
3:11 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

New Mexico Reports Cases Of Plague And Tularemia In Animals

  (Santa Fe) – The New Mexico Department of Health is reporting 4 cases of plague and 10 cases of tularemia in animals in New Mexico since the beginning of the year. Cases include one cat from Bernalillo County and one dog, a rabbit and a mouse from Santa Fe County, all with plague. Tularemia cases include 1 cat from Los Alamos County, 1 dog from Taos County, 3 dogs and a rabbit from Santa Fe County, and 3 dogs and 1 rabbit from Bernalillo County. Confirmatory testing was conducted at the Department’s Scientific Laboratory Division.

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Regional
3:01 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Former Las Cruces Volunteer Teacher Indicted On Sex Charges

  Las Cruces---Gary Vau, 31, was indicted by a District Court Grand Jury on (3) charges of Criminal Sexual Penetration in the 4th degree (school personnel) and (2) charges of Criminal Sexual contact of a minor in the 4th degree; Contributing to the delinquency of minor and tampering with evidence.

Vau was a volunteer Art Teacher at Holy Cross and St. Mary’s Catholic High School where the victim, less than eighteen years of age, is a student.

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Regional
1:04 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Seeking "Common Ground" With Claudette Ortiz-Franzoy

  

  Fred Martino interviews author Claudette Ortiz-Franzoy about her new book "Common Ground," a collection of columns first published in the Las Cruces Sun News, profiling a wide variety of interesting people in the region.

 Proceeds from the book benefit the Hatch Library.

Ortiz-Franzoy holds a book signing on Saturday, May 30, at noon at Coas Books on Main Street in downtown Las Cruces.

Another signing will be held at the Hatch Public Library on June 10 from 2:00 to 4:00.

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Regional
12:56 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

This Week In The Las Cruces Bulletin

  Every Saturday at 5:30pm on Images, Fred Martino speaks with Las Cruces Bulletin Managing Editor Brook Stockberger about the week's top stories and much more in the Bulletin.

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Regional
12:49 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Deadline Kills Hundreds Of High Profile Bills...For Now

A Texas House deadline has come and gone, killing many top-priority bills for both parties — including raising the criminal age of responsibility, Tesla-backed direct car sales, regulating ride-hailing companies and limiting or expanding gay rights.

Midnight Thursday was the last chance for House bills to win initial, full-chamber approval.

Since any proposal can be tacked onto other bills as amendments, no measure is completely dead until the legislative session ends June 1. But even with such resurrections, actually becoming state law now gets far tougher.

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Regional
12:45 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

NMSU Chile Pepper Institute Set To Ignite With Holy Jolokia Spice Rub

  As the weather warms up and grills begin to fire up, New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute wants to make sure backyard chefs are equipped to bring the heat. That’s why they are partnering with CaJohns Fiery Foods to unveil the newest in the Holy Jolokia collection, a spice rub specially designed for barbecue. 

“The Holy Jolokia rub goes great with ribs,” said Adan Delval, a program specialist with the Chile Pepper Institute. “It is spicy but also sweet, giving meat a sweet and hot flavor. The best part is it is sodium free.”

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Regional
12:42 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

New Mexico Investigates Salmonella Cluster; May Be Related To Sushi

  (Santa Fe) – The New Mexico Department of Health, the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department, and the New Mexico Environment Department are jointly investigating a cluster of illness caused by Salmonella paratyphi.  There have been six confirmed cases reported in New Mexico residents, with onsets of illness from April 4 to May 1, 2015.  Five individuals reside in Bernalillo County and one resides in Sandoval County.  The cases range in age from 23 to 68 years, and one individual was hospitalized as a result of the illness. 

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Regional
12:38 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Perry To Announce Presidential Plans In June

Credit Former Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will say next month whether he's running for president.

Perry is the longest-serving governor in Texas history. He's been traveling in Iowa and other early-voting states to explore a second campaign for the White House.

A spokesman says the Republican former governor is not ready to say he's made up his mind, and says Perry will announce his intentions June 4 in Dallas.

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Regional
12:36 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Santa Fe Mayor Weighs In On Teacher Accused Of Throwing Books At Students (Literally)

Credit NMSU

The Santa Fe mayor has cautiously weighed in on criminal charges against a middle school principal and teacher in a book-throwing incident that has pitted school officials against police.

Mayor Javier Gonzales said Thursday that he didn't want to judge a situation still under investigation but wants any possible crime against a child to be investigated.

Gonzales called the safety of Santa Fe's children "paramount."

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Regional
6:47 am
Fri May 15, 2015

NM Governor Has No Plans To Call A Special Session

Negotiations have failed again and Gov. Susana Martinez has no plans to call a special session to consider more than $260 million in funding for public works projects.

Martinez spokesman Chris Sanchez says the governor met twice Thursday with Senate Finance Committee chair John Arthur Smith in an attempt to forge a compromise.

Later in the day, the Senate Democrats renewed their call for a special session.

Lawmakers failed to agree on the capital outlay projects during the regular session.

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Regional
6:44 am
Fri May 15, 2015

Family Of Man Who Died Of Suicide Sues Albuquerque Police

The family of an Albuquerque man who killed himself after a shootout with authorities is suing Albuquerque police.

Attorneys for the estate of Santiago Chavez filed a wrongful death lawsuit this week in U.S. District Court and claim Albuquerque police unnecessarily escalated a standoff in July 2012.

Police say Chavez took his own life after a 15-hour standoff with officers following reports he was tossing large rocks at motorists.

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Regional
6:42 am
Fri May 15, 2015

Las Cruces, CVS Preserve Decades-Old Tile Mosaics

When a building on a Las Cruces street corner was slated to be razed to make way for a new CVS, City Councilor Miguel Silva asked the company to preserve decades-old tile mosaics that adorned the building's exterior walls.

That's how El Paso construction employee Ivan Ponce ended up spending his week meticulously re-grouting colorful one-inch by one-inch mosaic tiles to a pillar outside a new CVS Pharmacy.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that residents urged Silva to find a way to save the depictions of a katchina, bullfighter and roadrunner made some 40 to 50 years ago.

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