Regional

Regional
6:00 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Doña Ana County Commission Indefinitely Postpones Voting On County Manager Campaign Donations

  Over the past 3 months, questions have been raised about a campaign donation given to County Commissioner Ben Rawson from County Manager Julia Brown. The County Commission was set to vote on a proposal that would have limited the County Manager’s ability to make donations, but the measure was indefinitely postponed.

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Regional
8:54 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

New Mexico House Approves Budget

The New Mexico House of Representatives has approved a $6.2 billion spending proposal that includes pay raises for new teachers and state police officers.

The House voted 42-25 Tuesday following a three-hour debate. The bill now moves to the Senate.

Adopting a budget is a must-do assignment for lawmakers before the session adjourns March 21.

The amount of spending in the bill is nearly the same as that outlined by Gov. Susana Martinez and the Legislative Finance Committee earlier this year.

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Regional
4:44 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Group Ranks NMSU College Of Education Fifth In The Nation For Best Online Master's Program

  The New Mexico State University College of Education has been ranked fifth for the Best Online Master’s Education Programs for 2015 according to TeachTomorrow.org. 

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Regional
12:26 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

New Mexico Offers Child Care Help For More Than 1,000 Children

  More than 1,000 additional New Mexico children could receive government-funded child-care assistance if their parents or guardians ask for it.

The state’s Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) is clearing a waiting list of 1,119 children, saying it now has the funds available to offer assistance for childcare.

Agency spokesman Henry Varela confirmed the administration of Gov. Susana Martinez is paying for the extra child-care assistance using $400,000 from millions of dollars in unspent federal funds.

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Regional
12:22 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Push For Transparency In New Mexico Health Costs

Credit NM Department of Health

  Whether they’re shopping for a refrigerator, a laptop or a used car, most people do some comparison shopping before making a big purchase. But that’s not the way healthcare works in New Mexico, where comparing prices for a hip replacement or asthma treatment is practically impossible.

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Regional
11:09 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Senate Committee To Hear Bills Related To Gila River Diversion

Credit NMFO

Santa Fe, NM – On Thursday at 2:00 PM, the Senate Conservation Committee is scheduled to hear SB542SB455, and SB461 in Room 311.  

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Regional
9:37 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Las Cruces Takes Public Comments Regarding Proposed Downtown Code Changes

  The City of Las Cruces has proposed enacting a SmartCode in the downtown area. If approved by City Council, this proposed Code would replace the existing Central Business District and Main Street Overlay.

The Community Development Department is initiating a 30-day public comment period for the proposed SmartCode. The comment period will be March 2, through March 31. In addition, staff will be arranging public input meetings during this period.

A city release states the benefits for downtown of the proposed SmartCode are:

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Regional
7:32 am
Tue February 24, 2015

250 Albuquerque Students Don't Meet Vaccine Requirements

Credit aps.edu

The Albuquerque public school district's move to enforce New Mexico's vaccination requirement resulted in at least 250 students being kept out of school.

Citing concerns about measles, the district had sent letters home to parents on Feb. 10 notifying them that students would not be allowed to attend school if they lacked current vaccinations and proof on file at schools by Feb. 20.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that 250 students didn't meet the requirements and either stayed home or were sent home Monday.

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Regional
7:30 am
Tue February 24, 2015

New Mexico Joins Other States In Grappling With Drones

Lawmakers in New Mexico are trying to grapple with new drone technology and how much freedom law enforcement agencies should have in using them.

And even New Mexico sheriffs' offices don't know how to respond.

A New Mexico legislative panel is expected soon to debate a measure that would limit the use of drones by law enforcement agencies without a warrant.

New Mexico Sheriffs' Association Executive Director Jack LeVick says sheriffs are mixed over the proposal and understand the privacy concerns.

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Regional
7:29 am
Tue February 24, 2015

New Mexico Tribes Get Federal Funds For Housing Help

Twenty-one of New Mexico's American Indian tribes will share more than $17 million in grants to boost affordable housing programs.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the funding Monday. Nationwide, more than $651 million is available to tribes in 34 states.

The grant funds primarily benefit low-income families living on Indian reservations or in other American Indian and Alaska Native communities. The amount of each grant is based on a formula that considers local needs and the number of housing units.

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Regional
7:25 am
Tue February 24, 2015

New Mexico Senate Confirms Martinez Appointment of Damron

The New Mexico Senate has confirmed Gov. Susana Martinez's appointment of Barbara Damron as secretary of the state Higher Education Department.

The Senate took the action unanimously on Monday.

Martinez in December announced Damron's appointment as one of several cabinet changes.

When appointed to replace Jose Garcia as higher education secretary, Damron was an associate professor at the University of New Mexico's College of Nursing.

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Regional
7:25 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Clock Ticking On Proposed New Mexico Gambling Compact

Credit <p><a href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2280">Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>

Lawmakers are set to consider a revamped gambling compact negotiated by Gov. Susana Martinez's office and a handful of American Indian tribes.

The Legislature's compact committee is meeting Tuesday morning to discuss the latest version, which would allow casinos to be open around the clock and have more flexibility to offer complimentary food and lodging.

The Legislature is under more pressure to act this session because the current compact for the tribes expires later this year.

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue February 24, 2015

NMSU Exhibit "Las Cruces Creates" Reflects Community

Visiting artist John Garrett leads a weaving class at NMSU’s University Art Gallery. (Photo by Isabel Rodriguez)

  It started last semester with an idea to make the Las Cruces community a part of the university. The University Art Gallery at New Mexico State University invited more than 20 local artists to show their work and invited community members to join together, weaving piles of donated clothing into a work of art. With threads of time and tradition, artists and members of the public have helped to create a tapestry reflecting Las Cruces. The gallery named the exhibit “Las Cruces Creates.” 

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Regional
6:00 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Las Cruces High Schoolers Discuss Voting In School Board Elections

 3% of registered voters voted during this year’s School Board Elections. Legislator Javier Morales is sponsoring a bill that could change that.
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Regional
9:35 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

New Mexico Students Protest State-Mandated Testing

Some students at Santa Fe High School and Capital High are protesting over state-required testing.

At Capital, some students briefly tore down a gate to leave campus Monday.

About 40 Santa Fe High students reportedly walked out of class and gathered for a indoors "town hall" style meeting with the principal.

The students are upset about the standardized tests known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

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Regional
4:23 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Overnight I-10 Exit Closures This Week

  Las Cruces: The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) with El Terrero Construction, continue with work at the Vado exit where motorists will encounter overnight closures starting Tuesday night February 24 until Friday morning February 27.

The contractor will need to close this section of roadway on NM 227/Vado Drive in order to mill, sub grade preparation and pave this section as it will align with the newly constructed roundabout. The closures will be stationed from 8:00 pm and will be lifted by 6:00 am the following morning.

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Regional
4:16 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Mother Of Abused Child Will Serve One Year Of 12-Year Sentence

  Las Cruces, NM---Judge Marci Beyer has sentenced Sierra Salas to 12 years imprisonment but suspended all but 1 year on (6) counts of Child Abuse-Intentional and (3) counts of Child Abuse-Negligently Permit, all third degree felonies. Salas pled “no contest” in June 2014 to all the charges.

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Regional
3:35 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

"Gathering Of Quilts" Coming To T or C

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, NM—At least 20 handcrafted quilts which will be exhibited as part of the 17th annual Gathering of Quilts show in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico will be donated to comfort foster children, cancer patients and people in distressed situations. The Gathering of Quilts show takes place between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Feb. 27 and 28.

In the past 10 years, the Winter Quilters – who are responsible for organizing the show – have donated at least 150 quilts annually.

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Regional
12:21 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

"Hellbent" To Film In New Mexico

Credit nmfilm.com

  SANTA FE - New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis announced today that the DDP Productions feature "Hellbent" will begin principal photography mid-February and continue filming mid-March in Albuquerque, Moriarty and Santa Fe. 

 

"I am pleased to welcome the new movie, 'Hellbent', to Albuquerque," said Mayor Richard J. Berry. "Albuquerque is open for business and is excited to see the economic boost this production brings to the city."

 

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Regional
12:15 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Texas: After Thinking About It...I Guess The Public Does Have A Right To Know

Texas officials have reconsidered their decision to withhold details of how many trains carry at least 1 million gallons of crude oil across the state each week.

The Texas Attorney General's office decided last week that the records BNSF and Kansas City Southern railroads gave the state should be disclosed.

Previously, the Texas Department of Public Safety refused to share those records when The Associated Press and others requested them.

It was not immediately clear Monday morning how quickly Texas officials will produce the records.

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Regional
12:12 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Hearing On Dairy Pollution Set For March

A plan to clean up contaminated groundwater resulting from dairy operations in southern New Mexico will be considered at a public hearing next month.

Officials with the state Environment Department say the hearing will be in the community of Anthony on March 25. It's expected to continue the following day.

The department says shallow groundwater beneath and beyond the boundaries of dairies along the Interstate 10 corridor between Anthony and Mesquite is contaminated with nitrate-nitrogen, chloride and dissolved solids.

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Regional
12:09 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

U.S. Seeks Stay Of Ruling On Immigration Lawsuit

The federal government has filed a notice of appeal of a ruling that temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.

The three-page notice was filed Monday with U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas. The appeal will be handled by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court in New Orleans.

Court documents detailing the legal arguments were expected to be filed at a later date.

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Regional
12:08 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Perry Lawyers: We'll Ask Again...Drop The Indictment

Credit Former Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry's attorneys are again arguing that the abuse-of-power case against the Republican shouldn't continue.

Perry was indicted in August by an Austin grand jury on two felony charges, abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. In response to an order from the state district judge overseeing the case, the special prosecutor modified one of those charges in a Feb. 14 filing.

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Regional
11:56 am
Mon February 23, 2015

NMSU Student Receives Top Award At New Horizons Symphony Competition

  New Mexico State University’s Joseph Seth Zamora received first place at the New Horizons Young Artist Competition, securing the chance to perform as a soloist during the Atkinson Recital Hall symphony performance taking place on March 15 at 3 p.m. 

Seventeen year old Zamora, a 2014 graduate of Tularosa High School, beat out fellow musicians including brass players, woodwind players, string players and other pianists. He has been playing the piano for about four years.

“This performance means so much to me,” Zamora said. “It represents a musical milestone.”

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Regional
10:48 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Carlsbad Caverns Closed Monday Due To Poor Road Conditions

  Carlsbad Caverns will remain closed today, Monday, February 23, due to hazardous road conditions. We will monitor the weather overnight and determine if the roads are safe in the morning for an early am opening.  Please check our website at www.nps.gov/cave or call 575-785-2232 for updates on the park's status. 

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Regional
7:51 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Difficult Conditions On Some New Mexico Routes Due To Storm

  Difficult driving conditions are reported on numerous highways in northern and eastern New Mexico as a winter storm plows southward and westward over large sections of the state.

Highways with difficult conditions reported Monday morning included Interstate 25 between Rowe and Raton, U.S. 64 between Agua Fria and Clayton and Interstate 40 between Clines Corner and Glenrio.

The National Weather Service says the cold front will be accompanied by accumulating snow, focused over the northern mountains, the upper Rio Grande Valley, northeast highlands and the plains.

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Regional
7:48 am
Mon February 23, 2015

State Office Won't Fine Ex-Official Over Campaign Spending

State officials are not imposing any fine against a former New Mexico utility regulator who had reported paying himself thousands of dollars from his public campaign funding.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the Secretary of State's Office this month wrote that it was closing its file on former Public Regulation Commissioner Ben Hall.

The office said that was because Hall had submitted amended reports that didn't show any wages or salary paid to him.

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Regional
7:43 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Dona Ana County Sheriff Says Vehicle Fleet At Crisis Point

Credit Dona Ana County Sheriff

The Dona Ana County sheriff says the woeful condition of his department's fleet of vehicles has reached a crisis point.

Sheriff Enrique "Kiki" Vigil says many vehicles' high mileages pose a risk to deputies and the public. Meanwhile, some vehicles' paints jobs have deteriorated to the point that they resemble Dalmatian dogs.

Vigil says the department recycles from vehicles being retired to keep others going. The department also has commanders and other non-patrol employees drive seized vehicles so deputies can use newer patrol vehicles.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon February 23, 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 February 23, 2015

New Mexico Legislature Considers Bill To Limit Driving Privileges For Truants

  Legislators in New Mexico are considering bills that are designed to keep children in school.  The bills would use a powerful punishment for truants and those who drop out.

The Senate Education committee passed a bill that is designed to keep students in school or have them risk losing their driving privileges. The bill, sponsored by Senator Craig Brandt, is meant to discourage truancy and decrease dropout rates. 

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