Regional

Regional
2:14 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Wolves Gain Greater Area To Roam In New Mexico, Arizona

  Federal officials will allow Mexican gray wolves to roam a greatly expanded area in the Southwest.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the first major changes Monday to a reintroduction program that began in 1998.

The wolves currently roam about 7 million acres of federal, tribal and private land in far eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. Up to 325 of the wolves eventually will be allowed to disperse south of Interstate 40 to the U.S.-Mexico border in both states.

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Regional
2:12 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Attorney: No Evidence For Murder Charge Against Albuquerque Officer

The lawyer for an Albuquerque police officer charged with murder in the death of a homeless man says there is "not one shred" of evidence to support the case.

Sam Bregman says the district attorney has no basis to file a murder charge against former Detective Keith Sandy. He says the officer had absolutely no criminal intent when he encountered the knife-wielding homeless man who had a long history of violent encounters with authorities.

Bergman says the officer followed training procedures outlined by the police department.

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Regional
9:58 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Albuquerque Officers Face Murder Charges In Death Of James Boyd

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

Two Albuquerque police officers were charged with murder Monday in the killing of a homeless man, a shooting that led to sometimes violent protests and a federal investigation into the city's police force.

Police said SWAT team member Dominique Perez and former detective Keith Sandy fatally shot Boyd, who was holding two knives, during a standoff in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. Video from an officer's helmet camera showed Boyd, who authorities say was mentally ill, appearing to surrender when officers opened fire.

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Regional
9:24 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Luna Rossa Winery Receives International Award

When you run a successful business you don’t know where an award might came from. In this case, a Chamber of Commerce in Udine, Italy recently awarded Deming's Luna Rossa winemaker the Entrepreneur Abroad Award for his business skills operating the successful business. Paulo D'Andrea is the owner of Luna Rossa Winery both in Deming and in Las Cruces, he is originally from that region and was honored to travel there to receive the award along with his wife, Sylvia. Edmundo Resendez spoke to D’Andrea about the award and about his advice for up and coming entrepreneurs.  

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Regional
9:05 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Native Son: New Book On Geronimo

In February 2009, Las Cruces resident, Carlos Melendres filed a lawsuit seeking to repatriate the remains of Geronimo to his homeland “at the headwaters of the Gila.” The account of the repatriation effort has recently been published, "America! Don't You Know Me? I'm Your Native Son: Geronimo, The Controversial Campaign to Repatriate the Remains of America's Most Famous Warrior to his homeland" was written by Melendres.

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Regional
8:55 am
Mon January 12, 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
6:48 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Some Las Cruces Residents Allege Recall Petitioners Used Misleading Tactics

 The recent recall effort targeting Las Cruces City Councilors Gill Sorg, Nathan Small, and Olga Pedroza is now facing allegations by some citizens who say that they have been victims of misleading attempts to get them to sign the recall petition form.

Susan Lindeman resides in Las Cruces. One weekend day she was relaxing with a book when she says a pleasant young man approached her door to speak with her.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon January 12, 2015

The High Skilled Visa Dilemma: Maintaining A Competitive Edge Without Losing American Jobs

Tech companies are pushing for the expansion of the H-1B high-skilled visa program and are hoping the yearly allotted amount can be more than doubled.
Credit Simon Thompson

Every year, the U.S. allocates 65,000 working visas for high-skilled foreign workers to allow companies to address labor shortages in certain fields.  In November President Obama announced an executive action to make it easier for U.S. companies to recruit foreign talent. But critics say high-skill foreign born workers are taking jobs away from Americans and dragging down market salaries in certain fields.

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Regional
5:53 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Police: Albuquerque Officer Remains In Critical Condition

Authorities say an Albuquerque police detective who was shot by a fellow officer during an undercover drug bust remains in critical but stable condition.

Police spokeswoman Celina Espinoza says the male officer underwent a third surgery Sunday morning.

Police are not releasing the name of the injured officer or of the lieutenant who shot him.

Authorities say two undercover, plain-clothed detectives were conducting a narcotics operation on Friday when the shooting occurred.

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Regional
5:51 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Autopsy Finds Mom Killed With Sword Died From 'Chop Wounds'

A woman whose son allegedly killed her with a sword last year as she slept died from "chop wounds," according to an autopsy report.

The Las Cruces Sun-News says a state Office of the Medical Investigator released its report Thursday on the cause of death of 56-year-old Lisa Cano.

The Dec. 10 report describes Cano's body as having a series of "chop and incised wounds to the face, neck, upper chest and left arm."

Prosecutors have charged 35-year-old Joshua Hunt with first-degree murder and evidence tampering.

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Regional
5:45 am
Mon January 12, 2015

New Mexico Lawmakers Eye Hemp Production Bill

A Democratic New Mexico senator wants to allow farmers to grow an industrial version of marijuana's non-intoxicating cousin.

Sen. Cisco McSorley has filed legislation aimed at legalizing the selling hemp and licensing of farmers to grow the crop.

Hemp has a negligible content of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high. Many products made from hemp, such as oils and clothing, are legal.

But some law enforcement agencies have said marijuana growers could camouflage their illegal crops with hemp plants.

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Regional
9:47 am
Sun January 11, 2015

NMSU College Of Education To Highlight Distance Delivery Programs In El Paso

  New Mexico State University’s College of Education will host a Discovery Night from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, at the El Paso Community College Administrative Services Building, 9050 Viscount Blvd. The event will highlight graduate programs that use a distance-delivery model.

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Regional
9:42 am
Sun January 11, 2015

Former Santa Fe Executive Avoids Jail Time With Plea Deal And $250,000

A former Santa Fe hospital executive accused of embezzling $3 million has avoided jail time.

60-year-old Richard Crabtree was ordered Friday to pay $250,000 restitution and serve five years' probation under a plea agreement.

The former chief operating officer at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center and his then-girlfriend, Loretta Mares, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud over $20,000 and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Prosecutors say the pair defrauded the hospital in 2007 and 2008 through payments to companies owned by Mares' brothers.

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Regional
9:40 am
Sun January 11, 2015

Keystone XL Pipeline Still Needed?

  A 50-percent plunge in the price of crude oil, and cheaper gasoline at the pump, raise questions about whether the Keystone pipeline is still needed — or even makes financial sense.

Opponents will use lower prices to argue that it now could pose a greater threat to the environment than first thought.

Low oil prices could make it more important to the development of oil sands projects in Canada than anticipated. So it could be more likely to increase emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases linked to global warming.

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Regional
9:40 am
Sun January 11, 2015

Texas Child Welfare Agency Not Reporting Hundreds Of Deaths

  A newspaper investigation has found that Texas is not reporting hundreds of child deaths related to abuse and neglect.

The results of a six-month Austin American-Statesman investigation are heaping more criticism on the state's beleaguered Department of Family and Protective Services. The agency is expected to come under intense scrutiny when the Texas Legislature reconvenes Tuesday.

The newspaper found 655 child abuse-related fatalities between 2010 and 2014 that weren't publicly reported because caseworkers decided that mistreatment didn't directly cause those deaths.

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Regional
9:38 am
Sun January 11, 2015

Albuquerque Hikers Rally: "Take Back The Trail"

Hundreds of people ran along an Albuquerque trail Saturday night to show they would not be scared off by the recent assault of a female jogger.  More than 200 supporters came out for a "Take Back the Trail" event near the Bear Canyon Arroyo in the Northeast Heights area.

Participants ran or walked for 3 miles down the same trail where a woman was assaulted last month.

Members of the Albuquerque police department and the National Guard also attended.

Many say they were there because they wanted to combat the fear the assault had stirred up.

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Regional
9:37 am
Sun January 11, 2015

Lawyer: "Nothing Unreasonable" About Use Of Stun Gun On 76-Year-Old

A lawyer for a Texas police officer fired for using a stun gun on a 76-year-old man during a traffic stop says there was "nothing unreasonable" about that level of force.

Former Victoria police officer Nathanial Robinson plans to appeal his termination with the city. His attorney, Greg Cagle, told the Victoria Advocate in a story published Sunday (http://bit.ly/1FHB3AP) that the 23-year-old officer acted constitutionally within the law.

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Regional
9:36 am
Sun January 11, 2015

Casinos Are Key To Indian Scholarship Program

  Tribes in New Mexico say revenue from their casinos has been crucial in developing scholarship programs and boosting graduation rates.  Indian pueblos in the state are siphoning more gambling funds each year into college scholarships.

Leaders of the Pojoaque Pueblo, which operates two casinos, say their scholarship program is why the tribe's graduation rate is currently 85 percent, compared to 50 percent a decade ago.

They say the $1.5 million set aside for college scholarships each year all comes from gaming.

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Regional
12:36 pm
Sat January 10, 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
12:34 pm
Sat January 10, 2015

Liquor Stores Near Navajo Nation Denied State Licenses

  Arizona regulators have effectively shut down two liquor stores near the Navajo Nation with their denial of a liquor license transfer.

The Arizona State Liquor Board voted unanimously 6-0 Thursday against granting the transfer to George Ryan, who acquired Red Barn Liquor in Sanders and Leeds Liquors in Chambers.

Apache County Attorney Michael Whiting says Ryan has failed previously to implement policies to address concerns of nearby residents.

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Regional
12:33 pm
Sat January 10, 2015

Improvements Sought For DH Lawrence Ranch In New Mexico

A northern New Mexico ranch where novelist D.H. Lawrence once sought spiritual renewal is working to reshape itself.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Taos groups like the D.H. Lawrence Ranch Alliance, Friends of D.H. Lawrence and elements within University of New Mexico are helping to raise funds for the ranch.

The ranch was closed to visitors from 2008 until 2014 but reopened last summer. The property has languished due to a lack of funds for upkeep, an unreliable water supply and its isolated location.

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Regional
12:32 pm
Sat January 10, 2015

Former Top Perry Aide Hired Without Competition, Then Given $97,000 Tuition Money

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

  A top deputy at Texas' massive state health agency was given the job without any competition and then granted nearly $100,000 to pay for his graduate school tuition, according to state records.

Casey Haney, a former aide to Gov. Rick Perry and state Health Commissioner Kyle Janek, was hired in 2012 as deputy chief of staff at the health commission at $159,000 without a formal application process. He was later given $97,000 to pursue a master's degree in business.

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Regional
12:29 pm
Sat January 10, 2015

Feds Contest New Mexico Fines At Nuke Dump

  The U.S. Department of Energy is contesting more than $54 million in fines, the largest penalty levied by New Mexico for numerous violations that resulted in the indefinite closure of the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository.

The Energy Department and the contractors paid to operate the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and Los Alamos National Laboratory said Friday that they want a hearing on the matter.

Energy officials are also asking for the penalties to be reduced or forgiven.

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Regional
12:25 pm
Sat January 10, 2015

UNM Gives Feds Requested Information On Sexual Assault Policy

  The University of New Mexico has given numerous documents to the U.S. Department of Justice, which is investigating how the school has handled reported sexual assaults and sexual harassment of students.

The university said that it turned over its report by the Friday deadline to federal officials.  The document includes copies of university guidelines, procedures and training to deal with incidents involving sexual violence or harassment.

The university says in a statement that officials are confident they will show the school's commitment to creating a safe campus.

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Regional
12:24 pm
Sat January 10, 2015

El Paso Officer Shoots Armed Passenger Dead During Stop

  El Paso police say an officer shot dead an armed male car passenger who refused the officer's demand that he drop his handgun during a traffic stop.

The incident happened about 9:50 p.m. Friday on a side street just off U.S. 54 in the northeastern part of the West Texas city, about two miles north of Fort Bliss.

Police spokesman Darrel Petry says officers stopped the car for displaying an expired registration sticker, but as one of the officers approached the car the passenger brandished a handgun and yelled at him.

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Regional
10:06 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

U.S. To Allow Mexican Trucks In With Screening

The U.S. Department of Transportation says it will soon allow Mexican trucking firms to apply for authorization to make long-haul cross-border runs, potentially ending a longstanding dispute.

It says it expects the move to permanently end Mexico's on-again, off-again retaliatory tariffs on $2 billion in U.S. imports.

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Regional
1:47 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

House Republicans Target President's Relief For Children Brought To U.S. Illegally

  House Republicans plan to take broad aim at President Barack Obama's immigration policies next week, including votes to overturn protections for immigrants brought illegally to this country as kids.

The plan emerging Friday satisfies demands from the most conservative lawmakers and goes beyond the approach initially discussed within the House GOP leadership ranks.

House Republicans had planned to vote on a bill to block funding for executive actions Obama announced in November that provided deportation protections for millions of immigrants in the country illegally.

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Regional
1:46 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

New Mexico Legislators Propose More Education And Child Welfare Funding

  A legislative committee has recommended boosting funding for education and child welfare initiatives with a budget proposal that would increase overall spending in New Mexico by $140 million next year.

The plan from the Legislative Finance Committee provides for an additional $71 million in general funds for public schools and $25 million for expanding programs that specifically target early childhood initiatives such as prekindergarten programs.

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Regional
1:44 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

UPDATE: Albuquerque Detective Shot By Another Officer

  Albuquerque police say an undercover detective is in critical condition after being shot by another undercover officer while conducting a narcotics operation.

The shooting happened just before noon Friday near a busy intersection on the city's southeast side.

Police Chief Gordon Eden says preliminary information shows both officers were working undercover and were in plain clothes when the shooting happened. He had no other details about the circumstances that led to the shooting and he did not release the names of the officers.

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Regional
1:42 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Las Cruces Museum Hosting Antique Treasures Day

Holly Radke, the registrar and collections manager for the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, is shown with some items in the museum’s collection storage room where 10,000 artifacts are stored.

  LAS CRUCES – The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces is adding a new twist to an event that celebrates old things.

Antique Treasures Day is from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 25, and the museum is inviting the public to bring unusual objects, or photos of unusual objects, to try to “Stump the Curator.” In this new activity, the panel of experts will try to identify the objects, and will also be available to answer questions and give advice about how to preserve artifacts and family heirlooms.

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