Regional

Regional
11:38 am
Mon June 30, 2014

N.M. Police Officer Hit By Suspected Drunk Driver

A state police officer has been discharged from a hospital after being struck by a suspected drunken driver while conducting a traffic stop in southeastern New Mexico.

According to state police, Officer Carlos Verdugo was in his patrol car near an intersection in Hobbs on Saturday when he was hit by a vehicle driven by 40-year-old Jason Allred.

Verdugo was initially reported to be in critical condition at a hospital in Lubbock, Texas, but state police say he later was discharged from the hospital to recuperate at home for an undetermined amount of time.

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Regional
11:27 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Bidding To Start Soon On Spaceport Road Project

Credit Spaceport America

Dona Ana County officials are getting ready to launch the bidding process to improve the southern road that leads to Spaceport America.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports bidding on the first phase of the roughly 24-mile-long road could begin within the next month.

The timing hinges on the Bureau of Land Management. The federal agency is reviewing construction plans as well as a study on cultural and other important sites in the area.

If the agency doesn't accept the plans, that could mean further delays and more costs for the proposed road.

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Regional
11:25 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Texting While Driving Ban Among New State Laws

A new law is ready to take effect that will ban texting while driving in New Mexico.

Starting Tuesday, the law will prohibit drivers from sending or reading text messages and emails — even while at a stop light.

Drivers also will be prohibited from searching the Internet from smartphones or other hand-held wireless devices.

A first violation will carry a $25 fine and it's a $50 fine for subsequent violations.

There are exceptions in the law, such as summoning medical or emergency aid.

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Regional
11:23 am
Mon June 30, 2014

The Full Schedule: Las Cruces Fourth Of July Celebration

  There is still time to enter the City of Las Cruces Electric Light Parade Presented by Wells Fargo. The parade is at 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 3. Enter by calling the City of Las Cruces Parks & Recreation Department for a parade packet at 575/541-2550, Monday thru Thursday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Deadline to enter is Friday, June 27. Entry is free and this year’s theme is “Hats Off to America.” The parade will remain in downtown Las Cruces.

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Regional
10:22 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Boosting High Tech In Southern NM Means Faster Commercialization Of University Technology

The water desalination product was developed from existing New Mexico State University technology and patents
Credit Simon Thompson

32 of New Mexico’s fastest growing tech companies saw collective growth of 14% since the recession. That is according to the ‘The Flying 40’, a list that reports on New Mexico’s tech industry progress annually. But when it comes to tech companies in the southern part of the state few are even mentioned.

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Regional
9:58 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Arizona Company Paid Before Mental Health Shake-Up

The state of New Mexico paid at least one Arizona company for salaries, travel and legal fees before it and others were brought in to replace 15 nonprofits that provided behavioral health services to needy New Mexicans.

That's according to documents obtained by The New Mexican (http://bit.ly/1nUKYED).

The newspaper found the state paid Agave Health Inc. more than $172,000 over six months, and half of that was disbursed prior to an audit being done on the nonprofits.

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Regional
9:57 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Carlsbad Campus Offers Cultural Program

New Mexico State University's campus in Carlsbad is now preparing students to share the culture and heritage of the Southwest through a new certificate program.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports the heritage interpretation program is designed to prepare students for careers as interpreters, tour guides, technicians and docents.

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Regional
9:54 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Homeland Security Secretary Johnson To Visit Border Facilities

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh (Jay) Johnson is traveling to South Texas to tour Border Patrol facilities amid the crush of immigrant children and families from Central America.

Johnson says his trip to the border Monday is focused on getting a firsthand view of the government-wide response to record numbers of child immigrants caught crossing the Mexican border alone.

This is the second trip Johnson has made to South Texas in two weeks.

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Regional
8:49 am
Mon June 30, 2014

KRWG 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 Interim Business Editor Jason Gibbs.

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Regional
4:50 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

Hot Temperatures Delay NM-28 Work Until Tuesday

Las Cruces: The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) District One with Blue Collar Construction will continue with maintenance work on a portion of NM 28 that resides in the Town of Mesilla. The NMDOT has rescheduled the maintenance resurfacing treatment that consists of chip sealing which will enhance and extend the roadway.

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Regional
10:21 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Boat Draining Required In Texas To Stop Spread Of Invasive Species

  Holiday boating over Fourth of July weekend in Texas will include more regulations meant to stop the spread of invasive zebra mussels.

Updated rules that take effect Tuesday require all boaters to drain their vessels and on-board receptacles when near any bodies of fresh water.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says the regulation applies to boaters leaving or approaching lakes and rivers. State officials say the rule applies to all types and sizes of boats whether motorized or not.

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Regional
10:20 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Priests From India Coming To Serve In New Mexico

Bishop Oscar Cantu
Credit archdiocesesantafe.org / New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops

  The Diocese of Las Cruces has announced that three priests from India are coming to work in southeastern New Mexico.

Bishop Oscar Cantu told a crowd last week the priests will work in parishes around Carlsbad.

The new priests are coming after the Franciscan order removed its three friars from churches in Carlsbad, Loving and Malaga.

Church officials say the new priests are part of a missionary group called Heralds of the Good News.

One of the priests has his visa and could be in Carlsbad this week.

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Regional
10:18 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Drought Sparks Fourth Of July Fireworks Concerns

The fire season has been relatively mild across the West this year, but officials in New Mexico and Arizona are doing what they can to rein in the use of fireworks given the dry conditions plaguing both states.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has been pushing hard for cities and counties to restrict fireworks with local ordinances.

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Regional
10:17 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Border Patrol Has Lots Of Agents...In The Wrong Places

   Agents at the San Diego Border Patrol station are doing long-distance interviews via video in response to the recent dramatic increase of Central Americans crossing the border in Texas.

The Border Patrol doesn't have staff to process all the immigrants crossing in the Rio Grande Valley, but faraway colleagues have time to spare and reel through a long list of questions.

Remote video processing, which was introduced last year in El Paso, Texas, and extended to California, reveals a perpetual predicament that has long bedeviled the Border Patrol.

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Regional
10:15 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Immigrant Surge Underscores Texas Political Divide

Wendy Davis, Texas Democratic Candidate for Governor
Credit Senator Wendy Davis (D)

  With a flood of immigrant children pouring into the U.S., Texas Democrats say the answer is a softer policy response.

State Republicans, meanwhile, have emphasized securing the border.

The divide over how to frame what both sides agree is a "humanitarian crisis" underscores deeper divisions on the larger issue of immigration. And each party has declared its approach key to wooing voters among Texas' booming Hispanic population.

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Regional
10:12 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Report: President To Seek $2+ Billion For Immigration Crisis

  President Barack Obama is seeking more than $2 billion to respond to the flood of immigrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and asking for new powers to deal with returning immigrant children apprehended while traveling without their parents.

A White House official said Saturday that Obama plans to make the requests of Congress in a letter to be sent Monday.

The official says that details of the emergency appropriation will come after lawmakers return from their holiday recess on July 7.

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Regional
10:10 am
Sun June 29, 2014

5.2 Earthquake Along Arizona/New Mexico Border

A moderate earthquake struck in Arizona near the New Mexico line late Saturday that was widely felt across the region, but no injuries or damages were immediately reported.  The Graham County Sheriff's office says it has received hundreds of calls from residents saying they had felt the quake.  The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude 5.2 temblor struck at 9:59 p.m. PDT Saturday and was centered in southeastern Arizona, about 35 miles east of Safford.

USGS geophysicist Jana Pursley says it touched off several smaller aftershocks.

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Regional
5:28 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

First Hispanic Party Chair Of Texas Democrats Re-Elected

Texas Democrats have easily re-elected state party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa, who remains the first Hispanic to hold the post.

More than 6,000 delegates overwhelmingly chose Hinojosa for the next two years Saturday, as they wrapped up the state Democratic Convention in Dallas.

A former county judge and Democratic National Committee member from Brownsville, the 61-year-old Hinojosa was challenged by a little-known party activist. But a series of top Democratic legislators took the stage to endorse him.

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Regional
11:07 am
Sat June 28, 2014

New Mexico, Other States Reward Dual-Language Grads

Credit Courtesy: US Dept. of Education

   Several states are starting to recognize and reward high school graduates who are bilingual.

California, New Mexico, Washington, Illinois and Louisiana recently moved to add special bilingual seals to the diplomas of students who are proficient in two languages.

Other states are working on rules to begin using diploma seals.

In Oregon, one high school granted the seals this month to more than a dozen students, and seals will be available statewide next year.

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Regional
11:05 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Dallas Man Gets 28 Years For Child Porn

A Dallas man has been sentenced to 28 years in prison in a child pornography case linked to online chat rooms and a desire to sexually assault youngsters.

Ted Lynn Snider was sentenced Friday in Dallas.

Jurors in March convicted Snider of receipt of child pornography, possession of child pornography and two counts of transporting and shipping child pornography.

FBI agents in May 2013 discovered that a person, later identified as Snider, was online sharing images and videos of children in sexual acts.

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Regional
11:04 am
Sat June 28, 2014

King Hires New Campaign Manager

  Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gary King says he's hired a new campaign manager.

King said Friday that Keith Breitbach will be responsible for day-to-day operations of his campaign against Republican Gov. Susana Martinez in the November general election.

Breitbach replaces Steve Verzwyvelt ((Ver-ZWEI-velt), who resigned last week because of disparaging comments posted on Twitter in the past about women and Republicans.

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Regional
11:03 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Water Planning Forum In Albuquerque

  The Middle Rio Grande Water Assembly wants to hear from residents as work gets underway to update the region's water plan.

The assembly is hosting a public forum Saturday in Albuquerque.

In the decade since the first water plan was adopted, significant conservation efforts have been undertaken to reduce water use in the Middle Rio Grande. Still, increased population and drought suggest future water supplies could fall short for people and the environment.

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Regional
11:02 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Baylor College Of Medicine Put On Probation

An accrediting group has cited more than a dozen areas of concern in placing Baylor College of Medicine in Houston on probation.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education made the formal notification Friday. The probation is based on deficiencies involving administrative processes and procedures, not instruction.

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Regional
11:01 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Albuquerque Police Sued Over Fatal Shooting Of Homeless Man

Credit 3/16/14 fatal shooting of James Boyd--Albuquerque Police Department video

   The family of a homeless camper has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Albuquerque police for a fatal shooting that sparked protests and calls for reform throughout the city.

The lawsuit filed Friday in state district court says the more than 40 officers dispatched to handle James Boyd had "no meaningful control" of the standoff, and their lack of training led to his death.

A helmet camera video of the March shooting showed 38-year-old Boyd, who authorities say suffered from schizophrenia, gathering his belongings before officers opened fire.

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Regional
11:00 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Endangered Species Act Protection Sought For Wild Horses

Credit Courtesy: Linda Kemmerer via NMFO

   Despite overall numbers in the tens of thousands, mustang advocates say the wild horse is on the verge of extinction in North America.

They say the icon of the American West deserves protection under the Endangered Species Act alongside grizzly bears, the desert tortoise and humpback whales.

The Cloud Foundation and Friends of Animals filed petitions earlier this month with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the wild horse as threatened or endangered.

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Regional
10:58 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Pelosi Holds Little Hope For Immigration Reform

   House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she sees little hope for comprehensive immigration reform this year.

The California Democrat said following Saturday's visit to a Border Patrol facility in Brownsville where unaccompanied children are being held that she was more optimistic a few days ago. She said Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner gives little reason to be hopeful now, but didn't elaborate.

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Regional
5:05 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

5-Year Prison Sentence For Man Convicted In Battery At Las Cruces Club

  Las Cruces—Judge Marci Beyer sentenced Nicholas Vallejos 5 years prison followed by 5 years probation for his violent actions at Graham’s Central Station in July 2011.      

Vallejos was charged with 3 counts of Aggravated Battery (Deadly Weapon or Great Bodily Harm), Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Battery (Deadly Weapon/Great Bodily Harm).

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Regional
4:42 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

New Mexico Denies Los Alamos More Time For Toxic Waste Removal

  The state is denying Los Alamos National Laboratory's request to extend deadlines for cleaning up toxic waste across its northern New Mexico campus.

The New Mexico Environment Department has sent more than 20 letters this month denying the lab for more time to meet deadlines under a 2005 consent order. In the letters, the state said past extensions were granted while the lab diverted resources to expedite the shipment of thousands of barrels of already processed waste to the government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico.

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Regional
4:23 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Road Work On NM-28 In Mesilla

  The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) District One Maintenance with Blue Collar Construction continues work with pavement preservation and rehabilitation on a portion of NM 28 that resides in the Town of Mesilla. The NMDOT has scheduled work that will enhance and extend the longevity of the roadway in order to provide a safe passage for the traveling public.

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Regional
3:34 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

UPDATE: Suspect In Custody In Burglary Of NMSU's O'Donnell Hall

  UPDATE---LCPD has received word that police at New Mexico State University have identified the male suspect who is now is custody. 

Original post:

Las Cruces Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information that helps identify the young man suspected of burglarizing an academic building at New Mexico State University twice within the past week.

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