Regional

Regional
8:21 am
Fri July 11, 2014

New Mexico Delegation: Public Faith In VA Is Eroding

New Mexico's congressional delegation has serious concerns about the handling of a patient's death at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Albuquerque and the agency's lack of transparency.

The delegation outlined the concerns in a letter sent Thursday to the acting VA director.

The senators and representatives say the agency's lack of transparency is eroding the public's faith and is inhibiting the delegation's ability to conduct any kind of oversight of the VA in New Mexico.

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Regional
6:00 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Border Reality Checkpoints Strive To Curb Customs And Border Protection Human Rights Abuses

A Border Reality Checkpoint advocate converses with a member of the border community who is concerned about the CBP abuses and conduct
Credit Simon Thompson

El Paso’s University Medical Center is being forced to compensate a New Mexico woman 1.1 million dollars for conducting unnecessary and illegal cavity searches.

The searches came at the request of Customs and Border Protection which is also facing a lawsuit.  CBP agents wrongly suspected the woman was trafficking drugs from Mexico. 

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Regional
3:32 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Heinrich Riding With Amtrak CEO To New Mexico As Push Continues For State Rail Funding

Credit Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Amtrak's top executive plans to meet with New Mexico officials about keeping the Southwest Chief on its current route.

Amtrak announced that CEO Joe Boardman is taking a special train along the Southwest Chief route from Kansas to Albuquerque.  New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich will travel with Boardman.

Amtrak has warned that the route might be changed unless portions of the track are improved.

Boardman will stop Saturday at Raton, Las Vegas and Lamy. He'll go by car to the Philmont Scout Ranch.

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Regional
3:30 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Audubon Blasts Kansas Prairie Chicken Plan

Credit State of Colorado

   A Kansas environmental leader is calling Gov. Sam Brownback's plan for a program to breed lesser prairie chickens in captivity "far-fetched."

Audubon of Kansas executive director Ron Klataske (kluh-TAS'-kee) said Thursday he doubts the federal government would approve the plan.

The breeding program would be aimed at increasing the population of lesser prairie chickens after their decline led the federal government in March to list the bird as a threatened species. The listing also affects Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

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Regional
1:55 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Protections For Rare Mouse To Take Effect

Credit fs.usda.gov

The U.S. Forest Service says it hasn't decided whether to fence off watering holes and other wetlands to protect an endangered mouse found in New Mexico and parts of Arizona and Colorado.

Formal protections for the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse took effect Thursday.

Along with the mouse's listing, the federal government wants to set aside critical habitat for the mouse along streams and wetlands in a dozen counties in the three states.

Forest officials have floated the idea of erecting 8-foot-tall fences in some areas.

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Regional
1:52 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Mexico Donating Textbooks To Arizona Prison System

Mexico's government is donating more than 1,600 Spanish-language textbooks to the Arizona Department of Corrections.

The department says the textbooks donated Thursday will be distributed to prisons statewide to assist inmates who are receiving educational instruction in prisons.

Arizona's state prison population includes thousands of foreign nationals, with Mexican citizens being the largest group.

Arizona officials accepted the presentation by Mexico's consul general in Phoenix, Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez, at the Tucson prison complex.

Regional
11:45 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Mourners Remember Six Murdered In Houston-Area Attack

  Mourners have left candles and tied ribbons around trees to remember six members of a Houston-area family shot to death in an attack blamed on a relative.

Prosecutors say Ronald Lee Haskell was being held Thursday on capital murder charges after four children and their parents were slain in Spring.

The couple's 15-year-old daughter was critically wounded in Wednesday night's attack but managed to call 911 and identify Haskell. The suspect's estranged wife is the sister of the woman who was killed.

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Regional
11:43 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Silver City Approves Ban On Plastic Bags

  New Mexico has another city prohibiting retailers from handing out thin plastic carryout bags.

The Silver City Town Council's unanimous approval of a ban Tuesday night follows Santa Fe's approval of its own ordinance.

The Silver City Sun-News reports that Silver City's ban applies only to thinner plastic bags of the type intended for single uses.

Supporters said the ban will help reduce litter.

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Regional
11:40 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Possible Compromise On Border Funding Request

  Outlines of a possible compromise over President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion emergency border spending request are emerging on Capitol Hill.

They involve making policy changes to allow the minors streaming to the border from Central America to be sent home more quickly.

The top House and Senate Republicans both said Thursday that they don't want to give the president a blank check and want to see the law changed to speed the children's deportations.

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Regional
11:39 am
Thu July 10, 2014

New Mexico Immigrant Detention Facility In The Spotlight

  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced that Secretary Jeh Johnson will visit a temporary immigration detention center in southeastern New Mexico.

The department said Johnson will tour Friday the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia. He also is scheduled to meet with officials in Weslaco, Texas about the surge of Central American immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Regional
11:35 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Serious Illness Found In People And Pets In New Mexico

  The New Mexico Department of Health announced today a laboratory confirmed case of tularemia in a 65 year-old woman from Bernalillo County. The cause of the woman’s illness was confirmed at the Department’s Scientific Laboratory Division. The woman was hospitalized but has recovered and gone home.

“We will be following up with a case investigation later this week in an effort to prevent future infections,” says Dr.  Paul Smith, Urban Biology Division manager for the City of Albuquerque’s Environmental Health Department.

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Regional
9:21 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Las Cruces Alert: El Paseo Road Closure Friday And Saturday Morning

  El Paseo Road from Boutz Road to Farney Lane will be closed from 5 a.m. Friday, July 11, until noon Saturday, July 12, for construction related to Las Cruces High School.  

Detour routes via South Main Street and Espina Street will be available.  Access to businesses will be maintained during construction. 

Scheduled RoadRUNNER Transit stops in the closed area will not be available during this time. The closure will affect RoadRUNNER Transit route #20.

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Regional
8:27 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Albuquerque P.D. Plans To Purchase Rifles For Officers

The Albuquerque Police Department plans to buy at least 350 military-style rifles as replacement for officer-owned weapons.

KOB-TV reports that a request for bid called for purchases of 350 AR-15 rifles in a two-year contract's first year, followed by more purchases as necessary.

Police Chief Gorden Eden in May said officers could no longer carry personally-owned weapons in the field.

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Regional
8:25 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Report: Most Santa Fe Workers Live Elsewhere

Credit New Mexico Department for Workforce Solutions

A new report says more than half of the people who work in Santa Fe live outside the northern New Mexico city.

The report by economist Ashley Leach of the state Department of Workforce Solutions says Albuquerque is the biggest source of commuters at 15 percent, followed by Rio Rancho at 7 percent.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, New Mexico's capital has long been known as a major commuting city in large part because of state government jobs.

Leach's report says the number of commuters grew to 51 percent in 2011 from 42 percent in 2002.

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Regional
8:23 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Gov. Martinez Appoints Two New Judges For 13th District

Gov. Susana Martinez has appointed two new judges to serve in New Mexico 13th Judicial District.

Gina Manfredi of Rio Rancho was appointed to fill a new position created under a law that established additional judgeships around the state.

The appointment of Pedro Rael of Los Lunas fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Violet Otero.

The 13th Judicial District includes Cibola, Sandoval and Valencia counties.

Regional
6:42 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Las Cruces Woman Accused In Baby Daughter's Death

Authorities say a Las Cruces woman is accused in the death of her infant daughter.

Las Cruces police say 33-year-old Annette Smith is being held on suspicion of intentional child abuse resulting in death and tampering with evidence.

Police were dispatched to a report of CPR being performed on a 7-month-old girl inside an apartment about 7 a.m. Wednesday.

They say Shania Smith was rushed to Memorial Medical Center, but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

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Regional
6:41 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Political Action Committee For Gov. Martinez Raises $71,000

Credit Office of the Governor

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's political action committee has raised nearly $71,000 in the past month.

According to the latest campaign finance reports, Susana PAC had cash-on-hand of about $120,800 after spending almost $20,700 from late May through late June.

The committee contributed about $10,400 to Republican candidates for attorney general, secretary of state and land commissioner.

The PAC collected nearly $43,000 from donors in El Paso, Texas, including $10,000 from the Border Livestock Company.

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Regional
6:39 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Post Office In Los Alamos Closer To Historic Designation

The Los Alamos post office is on its way to being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Los Alamos Monitor reports that the New Mexico Cultural Properties Review Committee recently recommended its listing on the national registry.

Constructed in 1948, the building was part of a multi-million dollar community center funded by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

It was one of several projects aimed at developing Los Alamos into a permanent scientific and civilian city.

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Regional
6:01 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Otero County Wants Game and Fish To Better Fund Feral Pig Eradication

Wild Life Specialist Lewis Reeves tours ranches and forest throughout Otero County hunting and trapping feral pigs posing a threat to wildlife, native plants and livestock
Credit Simon Thompson

Elk, bear, antelope and turkey there has always been plenty of fine game to hunt in New Mexico. But not without limitation.

Feral pigs on the other hand can be hunted without a license, year round, with any legal sporting gun. In fact there is no restriction on the number feral pigs you can hunt and kill in New Mexico.

Otero County pig trapper Lewis Reeves says that is the reason hunters started  trying to build up a feral pig hunting population in New Mexico.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

NMSU Effort Fights Global Warming While Improving The Soil

NMSU scientist David C. Johnson stands in a field at Leyendecker Plant Science Center with a cutting from a sesbania plant grown on his compost system. Johnson's compost work suggests that the solution to global warming lies in the soil. (Courtesy photo)

  A New Mexico State University scientist’s work in carbon sequestration is turning heads – not just here in New Mexico, but also in Austria and Australia. His work suggests a potential solution for dealing with the carbon dioxide-related problems that seem to be causing global warming.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Water Outage In Part Of Las Cruces Today

Residents and business along Colorado Avenue between San Pedro Street and Campo Street, and Campo Street between Texas Avenue and Arizona Avenue will experience a water outage Thursday, July 10, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. for a new water main connection. Adjacent areas also may be affected by the outage. 

City crews will post door hanger notices on buildings impacted by the outage a minimum of 24 hours in advance.

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Regional
6:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

NMSU Director Of Golf To Play In U.S. Senior Open This Week

  New Mexico State University Director of Golf Daniel Koesters is at Oak Tree National in Edmond, Oklahoma, this week to compete in the U.S. Senior Open golf tournament.

“The U.S. Golf Association has qualifying tournaments in each state. I qualified as an alternate for New Mexico, and got a last minute call to participate due to a withdrawal,” Koesters said. “It’s a pretty neat deal.”

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Regional
12:25 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

New Mexico Film Office Wants To Lure Gaming And App Developers

Credit nmfilm.com

   New Mexico Film Office director Nick Maniatis says the industry is thriving in the state, and he hopes to expand the momentum by luring gaming and app developers.

Maniatis discussed his efforts Wednesday at an Albuquerque hearing of the legislature's Economic and Rural Development Committee. He says he is trying to set up a private fund to also grow the gaming and app industries.

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Regional
12:20 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Man Killed By U.S. Marshal In Albuquerque Identified

  An Albuquerque official has identified an alleged probation violator fatally shot by a deputy U.S. marshal in Albuquerque last week.

Deputy City Attorney Kathryn Levy told the Albuquerque Journal that Deputy Marshal Kenneth Daniel shot and killed Anthony Chavez July 2 at a home.

Levy says Chavez was on probation on a conviction for transporting people illegally in the United States. The conviction resulted from a 2010 arrest in Luna County.

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Regional
12:18 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Farmers, Ranchers Take Advantage Of USDA Disaster Program

Credit facebook.com/USDA

  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack provided a 12-week progress report on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs today, announcing that USDA has processed 106,000 payments to farmers in 40 states across the country who suffered livestock and grazing losses between October 2011 and passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.

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Regional
12:16 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Immigrant Rights Groups Sue Federal Government

   A coalition of immigrant rights advocacy groups is suing the federal government over the fact that few minors have legal representation during deportation proceedings.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Seattle on behalf of eight plaintiffs, all minors. The plaintiffs are from Mexico and Central America, and they range in age from 10 to 17.

At deportation hearings, immigrants must hire their own lawyers or find someone to represent them pro bono, while the federal government has attorneys arguing for them to leave the U.S.

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Regional
12:11 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

County Diabetes Awareness Program Receives National Award

  A Doña Ana County health awareness initiative has received national recognition for its innovative diabetes management and prevention program.

   The Doña Ana County Nuestra Vida program was awarded the 2014 Annual Achievement Award on behalf of the National Association of Counties. Awards are given in 21 different categories, including children and youth, health and county administration.

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Regional
11:53 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Former West Texas Jail Being Considered For Migrant Children

A closed detention center in West Texas is being considered as a holding facility for hundreds of unaccompanied children entering South Texas from Central America.

The former Bill Clayton Detention Center in Littlefield, approximately 40 miles northwest of Lubbock, was built about 15 years ago by the town but has become a financial drain since its closure in 2009. City officials hope they can generate a revenue stream by reopening the 382-bed center to temporarily house migrant children.

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Regional
8:05 am
Wed July 9, 2014

WNMU To Honor Silver City LULAC Council

  Western New Mexico University is honoring a Latino civil rights group for their work in Grant County.

WNMU President Joseph Shepard is scheduled later this month to present the 2014 President's Award to the Silver City League of United Latin American Citizens Council 8003 for its long history of community service.

Shepard said the group's passion for service and education has changed the lives of thousands in Silver City and in New Mexico.

Founded in 1929, LULAC is the oldest Latino civil rights organization in the country.

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Regional
8:03 am
Wed July 9, 2014

New Mexico Among Leading Oil Producing States

Federal statistics are showing what many people in New Mexico already know: The state is in the midst of an oil boom.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration released figures Tuesday that show behind the Gulf of Mexico, New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming were the next largest crude oil producers on federal and tribal land during the 2013 fiscal year.

And despite steady decreases since 2003, New Mexico remained among the top producers of natural gas.

The boom has also been felt by oil and gas developers working on state trust lands.

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