Regional

Regional
12:14 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

NMSU Plans Celebration Of Heritage During Founders Day April 10

The cornerstone of the university’s first building, McFie Hall, still remains on the campus Horseshoe. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

  An event this spring will celebrate the heritage of New Mexico State University April 10 with guest lectures, a historic carriage ride across campus, a portrayal of NMSU’s first president, Hiram Hadley, by current President Garrey Carruthers, and a picnic lunch on Traders Plaza for employees, spouses and retirees. 

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Regional
12:10 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Medical Marijuana Growers Sue New Mexico Over New Rules

New rules for New Mexico's medical marijuana program are being challenged in court.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that a lawsuit filed by 19 growers against the state Department of Health contends the rules are arbitrary and capricious, not based in evidence and go beyond the department's authority.

The department adopted the new rules last month after a lengthy public process. The lawsuit was filed Monday in state District Court.

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Regional
12:05 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

New Mexico State Police Officer Fired After Minivan Shooting Hired In Taos

A fired New Mexico State Police officer who made national headlines after he shot at a minivan full of children near Taos has a new job.

Taos Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe announced this week that Elias Montoya was one of two new deputies hired out of a pool of 17.

The 12-year veteran was fired in December 2013 after an internal investigation into his use of force during an October shooting. Video footage showed Montoya firing into a van with five children inside during a chaotic traffic stop.

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Regional
12:03 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

One Dead In Plane Crash 30 Miles East Of El Paso

Authorities say a pilot has been killed in the crash of a single-engine plane on a West Texas mountaintop.

Law enforcement officers flying over the area located the debris Wednesday morning about 30 miles east of El Paso.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection statement says the pilot was believed to alone on the Cessna 182. The crash happened near Hueco Tanks State Park.

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Regional
9:57 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Farmworkers In Crisis

Today we conclude with our two part series looking at the lives of farm workers in our region. Joseph Sorrentino is a freelance journalist based in Albuquerque who recently had an article titled “Social Security Doesn’t Come To All Who Paid” published in the magazine, In These Times, reported in collaboration with the Nation Institute's Investigative Fund. Sorrentino recently had a conversation with Edmundo Resendez about the article and the time he spent in the region. 

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Regional
8:40 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Big Texas Border Security Bill Heads To House Floor

A sweeping border security bill that would accelerate the hiring of state troopers along the Texas-Mexico bill is set to clear a major hurdle in the Capitol.

The House on Wednesday is expected to give preliminary approval to the measure that would put retired troopers back on duty and explore putting more southbound checkpoints in the Rio Grande Valley.

Some Democrats had expressed concerns that the original proposal contained anti-immigrant language. Republicans say the wording has been tweaked to allay those worries.

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Regional
8:38 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Albuquerque To Award $2 Million In Contracts To Combat Homelessness

Credit cabq.gov

The city of Albuquerque will award more than $2 million to six nonprofits to help address homelessness and mental health issues.

Mayor Richard Berry said the funding announced Tuesday shows Albuquerque that has a heart for the most vulnerable and that it backs up its concern with substantial resources.

Almost half of the money will help with improving access and distribution of food to the homeless and other at-risk people. The funds will go to the Roadrunner Food Bank, St. Martin's and the First Nations Community Health Source.

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Regional
8:36 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Feds: Fugitive In Albuquerque-Area Killing Caught In Mexico

Credit https://www.facebook.com/pages/US-Marshals-Service/219176894842440

Authorities say a United States citizen sought in a 2008 drug-related killing in the Albuquerque area has been apprehended in Mexico and deported to the United States.

The U.S. Marshals Service said Mario Jerardo Talavera is being held in the Otero County Prison Facility in southern New Mexico after being deported from Mexico on Friday.

The Marshals Service says Talavera was sought in the killing of Danny Baca, whose burned and bullet-riddled body was found in the West Mesa area by the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department.

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Regional
6:00 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Doña Ana County Features Elementary School Artists

Art can be found displayed throughout Doña Ana County, and at the Doña Ana County government center even young elementary school artists get the chance to have their work featured.

Suravi Gurung, a fourth grader from University Hills Elementary proudly showed off her artwork.

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Regional
6:04 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Senate Panel Stops Bill That Would Have Reduced Renewable Energy Standards

A Senate panel has tabled a measure that called for reducing the amount of renewable energy sources utilities would have to tap to provide electricity for their customers by 2020.

The Senate Conservation Committee voted 6-2 to keep the bill from advancing.

The measure sponsored by Rep. Larry Scott, R-Hobbs, cleared the House by just one vote last week.

Utilities are facing higher renewable-energy standards this year as numerous states and the federal government push for a reduction in the use of fossil fuels for generating electricity.

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Regional
6:03 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Martinez Vetoes Racehorse Drug-Testing Bill

Credit Office of the Governor

Gov. Susana Martinez has vetoed a racehorse drug testing bill that required New Mexico's horse racing regulating body to follow the guidelines for testing set up by an international umbrella organization.

Roswell Republican Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell's bill was unanimously approved by both chambers of the Legislature.

In her veto message to the House, the governor said she finds the legislation "unnecessary and potentially detrimental."

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Regional
3:04 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

New Mexico Announces Decrease In Child Obesity

  (Santa Fe) – The New Mexico Department of Health announced today that childhood obesity rates among New Mexico 3rd grade students continue to decline, with a 20 percent decrease since 2010. In 2010, 22.6 percent of 3rd grade students were obese, compared to 18.1 percent in 2014. Also, for the first time since the Department began collecting Body Mass Index (BMI) data in 2010, the obesity rate in New Mexico kindergarten students is lower than in 2010, going from 13.2 percent to 11.6 percent in 2014.

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Regional
3:01 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

New Mexico Struggles With Big Money's Influence

Mark Veteto, president of Hobbs-based Me-Tex Oil and Gas, comes in at No. 8 on the power players list, having given $200,359 to Republican candidates and causes since 2011.

  Guy Bowers imagines his phone ringing off the hook if New Mexico were to return to the days of contributors giving unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns.

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Regional
2:57 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

New Mexico Bill May Require Public Comment Periods

  You may not want to listen to your nutty neighbor badger the city council about chemtrails or aliens, First Amendment advocates say allowing public comments—even wacky comments—is essential. A bill moving through the state Legislature would make it the law.

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Regional
2:54 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Padilla: Governor Should Sign "Ready To Work" Plan

Credit http://www.nmlegis.gov

  Santa Fe, NM – The 2015 Legislative Session now has less than a week to finish all its work, but there is still plenty of time to address the most pressing need in New Mexico today: more jobs.

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Regional
2:50 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

NMSU Engineer Develops Wearable Microsensors

  Wei Tang, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at New Mexico State University, is taking a cue from nature to devise the next generation of integrated low-power, wearable micro-devices. 

The human brain inspired his approach in the novel design of a system of state-of-the-art miniaturized sensors that can detect, transmit and reliably process valuable data.

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Regional
2:31 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

New Mexico Senate Approves Year-Round Daylight Saving Time

  Santa Fe- “Stop the outdated practice.” “We want to be pioneers.” “We want to show the federal government that there is no reason to change our clocks.”

Those were the opening statements State Senator Cliff Pirtle made on his bill to keep New Mexico on Daylight Savings Time year around. It is one of the most talked about bill of the session.

In closing, Senator Pirtle  said while legislators took some of the debate lightly,  he said it is a serious issue that affects New Mexico families. 

The Senate passed the bill 28-10. It now goes to the House.

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Regional
2:25 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

New Mexico Jobless Rate Drops To 5.9 Percent

New Mexico's unemployment rate is down.

The state Department of Workforce Solutions reports that the seasonally adjusted rate in January was 5.9 percent, down from 6 percent in December and 6.7 percent in January 2014.

The department reports that the state's nonfarm employment had 10,200 more jobs in January compared with January 2014, an increase of 1.3 percent.

According to the department, education and health services led the January increases in employment.

Overall, nine industries added jobs while four lost jobs in January.

Regional
8:26 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Debate Over Senate Vacancy Lands Before Supreme Court

A group of registered voters wants Gov. Susana Martinez and commissioners in four counties to move faster in filling a vacant state Senate seat.

Anthony and Jennifer Trujillo of Santa Fe County and Rick Lopez of Torrance County filed an emergency petition with the New Mexico Supreme Court on Monday.

They're seeking to force Bernalillo, Santa Fe, San Miguel and Valencia counties to perform their duty to call emergency meetings so nominees can be chosen for the seat left vacant by the abrupt resignation of Democratic Sen. Phil Griego.

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Regional
8:24 am
Tue March 17, 2015

New Mexico AG, Anti-DWI Advocates Team For Safe Rides

Credit Hector Balderas

Attorney General Hector Balderas and Mothers Against Drunk Driving New Mexico are urging party-goers to plan ahead for St. Patrick's Day and not drive after drinking.

Balderas says numerous options offered around the state include designated drivers, taxis and Safe Ride Home services.

He says it's not worth endangering lives or getting stopped by law enforcement.

The director of MADD New Mexico, Ben Lewinger, says even one life lost due to an impaired driving crash is one too many.

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Regional
8:23 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Lawmaker Wants Investigation Into Delay On Lobbyist Disclosure Bill

Credit Rep. Brian Egolf

A Democratic lawmaker wants an investigation into why the New Mexico House delayed sending a bill on lobbyist disclosures to the Senate.

House Democratic Leader Brian Egolf says the delay in sending the bill to the Senate likely killed it as the legislative session nears its end.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the bill would require lobbyists to disclose what issues or causes they have been hired to represent. It also would extend how long the state keeps lobbyist records.

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Regional
7:45 am
Tue March 17, 2015

NMSU Students Educate Public About Risks Of Drinking Alcohol While Pregnant

Students in a New Mexico State University Public Health Sciences Class have launched a campaign to spread awareness about the risks that are involved with drinking alcohol while pregnant. It’s called, “Sober Choices, Healthy Babies.”

According to Ruben Marquez, an NMSU Senior studying Public Health Sciences, their goal is to spread awareness about the impact that Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder can have and what people can do to prevent it.

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Regional
10:52 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Texas Senate Approves Open Carry Of Handguns

Credit <p><a href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2617">Image: Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>

  The Texas Senate has given preliminary approval to allowing licensed open carry of handguns in the state.

The first major gun-rights vote of the legislative session came Monday after more than two hours of debate. A final vote to send the bill to the House is expected Tuesday.

Texas has allowed concealed carry of handguns since 1995, but a recent push for open carry has been taken up by new Republican leaders such as Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

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Regional
10:19 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

New Mexico Senate Approves Budget

The New Mexico Senate has approved a $6.2 billion spending proposal for the next fiscal year.

Senators Monday night took up a budget bill largely unchanged from what the House approved last month.

The spending plan includes pay raises for new teachers and state police officers. Most department budgets remain flat, but education, the state's child welfare agency and tourism department get more money.

Gov. Susana Martinez and lawmakers have highlighted education as a priority with low performing schools. The bill calls for a $37 million bump for education initiatives.

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Regional
5:35 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Safe Ride Home Services Available For St. Patrick's Day

Credit Hector Balderas

  Santa Fe, NM – New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas and Mothers Against Drunk Driving New Mexico (MADDNM) are teaming up to urge New Mexicans to plan ahead for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and not drive after drinking.

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Regional
5:33 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Meetings Scheduled To Discuss Doña Ana County Capital Priorities

  A series of five community meetings – one in each of Doña Ana County’s five commission districts – has been scheduled to solicit public input on priority needs for capital-outlay funding in individual communities. Once a priority list is compiled, it will be used to lobby the 2016 New Mexico Legislature for funding.

Meeting dates and locations are as follows:

Tuesday, April 14 – Radium Springs Community Center, 10260 Lindbeck Rd.

Wednesday, April 15 – Betty McKnight Community Center, 190 County Line Rd.

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Regional
5:25 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Heinrich To Participate In 26.2-Mile Bataan Memorial March At White Sands Missile Range

Credit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bataan-Memorial-Death-March/112650288784723

 

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) will participate for the second year in a row in the Annual Bataan Memorial Death March on Sunday, March 22, 2015. The memorial event is a challenging 26.2-mile march through the high desert terrain of White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health and, in many cases, their lives.

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Regional
4:36 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

New Mexico Senate Confirms New Child Welfare Agency Leader

The New Mexico Senate has confirmed Gov. Susana Martinez's nominee to head the state's beleaguered child welfare agency.

Secretary of the Children, Youth and Families Department Monique Jacobson's nomination sailed through with a 35-2 vote Monday.

About two dozen senators voiced confidence in Jacobson, praising her organizational and leadership skills.

Las Cruces Democrat Sen. Mary Kay Papen said New Mexico families and children "are very lucky" to have Jacobson as the head of CYFD.

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Regional
4:35 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Economic Slump Continues: Santa Fe Facing $2.1 Million Deficit

Santa Fe is facing a budget deficit of more than $2 million in the upcoming fiscal year.

City finance director Oscar Rodriguez says the city has been operating with about $10 million less each year in gross receipts tax revenue for the past several years when inflation is factored in.

To keep from making cuts, the city dipped into reserves, deferred maintenance and tapped into bond money that was intended for brick-and-mortar projects.

Rodriguez says that strategy can't be sustained.

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Regional
4:34 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Texas Leads State Effort To Scrap EPA Ozone Rules

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

Gov. Greg Abbott has requested that the Environmental Protection Agency scrap plans to lower the national standard for ground-level ozone, the toxic gas that can harm the respiratory system and cause asthma, a day before a public comment period ends.

Abbott said in a statement Monday that the new regulations would "stifle economic growth and job creation."

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