Regional

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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Regional
4:36 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Las Cruces Man Pleads Guilty To Drug And Firearms Charges

 

         

   ALBUQUERQUE – Eric G. Acosta, 28, a resident of Las Cruces, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to methamphetamine trafficking and firearms charges.

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Regional
1:51 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Texas School Finance Bill Dies

An ambitious House plan overhauling the troubled way Texas pays for its public schools has collapsed as a key deadline to pass bills looms.

Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock began presenting his proposal Thursday, calling it a near-total tear down of the school finance system.

But he scrapped it after only a few minutes, saying that debate would take too long and derail too many other important bills. Aycock also noted that the Senate "almost certainly" wouldn't even consider his measure.

Midnight Thursday is the deadline for House bills to get their first full chamber vote.

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Regional
1:49 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Murder Case Against Fort Bliss Soldier And Teen Girlfriend Moves Forward

The homicide case against a Pennsylvania eighth-grader and her soldier boyfriend is headed to county court for trial after a hearing in which prosecutors showed photos of the victim, the girl's mother.

A district judge determined there was sufficient evidence against 14-year-old Jamie Silvonek and 21-year-old Caleb Barnes, a soldier once stationed at Fort Bliss, for the case to continue.

Prosecutors showed crime scene photos and a detective spoke of finding the couple in bed inside the victim's home near Allentown.

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Regional
10:44 am
Thu May 14, 2015

NMSU President To Serve As Batboy For Aggie Softball Team

  New Mexico State University President Garrey Carruthers will make good on a promise he made to the NMSU softball team and serve as the batboy during the Aggies’ game Friday in Tucson, Arizona, at the NCAA Softball Tournament.

“I made a commitment to Coach Kathy Rodolph that if she took her team to the NCAA Tournament, I would be the batboy for the team,” Carruthers said. “I made that commitment to her more than a year ago, and she didn’t forget it, so I’ll be on my way to Arizona this Friday. The team may now have the oldest batboy ever in the NCAA Softball Tournament.”

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Regional
10:03 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Balderas: Insufficient Evidence Against Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg

  Albuquerque, NM – New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas released the following statement today regarding the investigation of Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg:

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Regional
9:31 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Las Cruces Couple Charged After Children Test Positive For Cocaine

  The man arrested in March for allegedly keeping his girlfriend from leaving their residence has now – along with his girlfriend – been charged with child abuse after the couple’s two young children tested positive for cocaine.

Santana D. Jaramillo, 23, and Deva Leshae Blunt, 21, are charged with two counts of negligent child abuse. Jaramillo was served with the new charges last week at the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he is being held on previous charges. Blunt was detained Wednesday on a warrant issued by Magistrate Court.

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Regional
7:53 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Proposed Medical Marijuana Farm Near Roswell Gets OK

A medical marijuana growing facility near Roswell has been given the green light.

The Roswell Daily Record reports that Roswell-Chaves County Extraterritorial Commission voted late Tuesday to change the zoning use to allow the facility to go up.

Kevin Cheney, a consultant for Pecos Valley Pharmaceuticals, says the approval boost the chances of the company receiving a license from the New Mexico Department of Health to grow medical marijuana.

But he says it does not ensure that a cannabis growing facility will be built at the site of the former Nature's Dairy.

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Regional
7:50 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Underground Radiation Levels At Waste Plant Increase

Credit wikipedia commons

Underground air sampling results show an increased level of radiation at one station in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant following a fire that shut down the plant last year.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that radiation measurements taken in late April at WIPP's Station A were high, but similar samplings at Station B were normal -- meaning that a particulate air filter between the two stations is capturing the radiation.

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Regional
7:48 am
Thu May 14, 2015

State Seeks Public Comment On Draft Transportation Plan

A state agency is soliciting public comment on its draft long-range transportation plan for New Mexico.

The Department of Transportation says the plan will guide the department and other planning agencies by setting goals and strategies for the next 20 years.

The department says funding constraints dictate taking a "preservation first" strategy that emphasizes maintaining existing assets. It also establishes a tiered system to focus on projects and facilities considered most critical for the movement of people and goods.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu May 14, 2015

NMSU To Host Adolescent Mental Health Conference Saturday

  The New Mexico State University School of Nursing and the National Alliance for Mental Illness on Campus chapter at NMSU will host the Adolescent Mental Health Conference, “Inspiring, Empowering, and Motivating for Action,”Saturday, May 16, at the Las Cruces Convention Center. The conference will open at 8:30 a.m. with check-in beginning at 7:30 a.m. 

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Local Wilderness Painter Uneasy About Potential Development Near Tortugas Mountain

Las Cruces artist Meg Freÿermuth is painting a view of Organ Mountains that is likely to be blocked by a proposed retail development.
Credit Simon Thompson

Area residents are celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument.  But some are concerned about how the surrounding area will be managed. 16 acres of land at the base of Tortugas Mountain is at the center of a long-running dispute.  The landowners are pushing for commercial zoning that could pave the way for retail businesses like fast-food restaurants.

Native Las Crucen Meg Freÿermuth is a professional artist who paints abstract, color drenched portraits of natural landscapes mainly around Las Cruces and Dona Ana County.

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