Regional

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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Regional
4:33 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

2 Stores, 2 Bars Fined Over Fatal Crashes In New Mexico

Two bars and two convenience stores in New Mexico have been fined and had their liquor licenses suspended for either eight days or two weeks.

The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department's Alcohol and Gaming Division announced the penalties Monday against a Stripes store in Hobbs, a Circle K store in Tucumcari, the Topless Country bar in Moriarty and the Ojos Locos Sports Cantina in Albuquerque.

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Regional
11:36 am
Mon March 16, 2015

17,000 Inactive Dona Ana County Voters To Be Purged From Rolls

  The Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office will soon purge 17,000 inactive voters from its roster. Inactive voters are identified when mail from the Bureau of Elections is returned and the voter fails thereafter to vote for four consecutive years.

State law requires counties to purge the voter rolls on a regular basis in years following a General Election.

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Regional
7:45 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Gov. Martinez Criticizes Delay By Counties On Senate Vacancy

Credit Office of the Governor

Gov. Susana Martinez is criticizing delays by some counties in submitting names of nominees to fill a vacant state Senate seat.

Senator Phil Griego resigned Saturday amid criticism about his role in a real estate sale involving a state-owned building. His district included parts of six counties, and each county must nominate a possible replacement.

Martinez called on the counties to submit their nominees to her by late Sunday, but Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties are among those which said their processes will run into later this week.

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Regional
7:27 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Is The City Of Las Cruces Effectively Enforcing The Minimum Wage Law?

Amber Care employs 318 people in Las Cruces.
Credit Simon Thompson

Employees of Amber Care an in home personal care provider in Las Cruces say they haven’t been getting paid the Las Cruces minimum wage. Unlike Albuquerque- Las Cruces doesn’t threaten criminal or financial penalties to companies boycotting the city’s  minimum wage. A Las Cruces city councilor is considering on a policy that could change that.

On January 1st of this year Las Cruces minimum wage workers saw a wage increase from $7.50 an hour to $8.40.

At least they were supposed to.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon March 16, 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
10:17 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

Aggies To Meet No. 9 Kansas In NCAA Tournament

  LAS CRUCES, N.M. –The New Mexico State Aggies drew No. 9 Kansas as their first opponent in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

The NCAA selection committee tapped the Western Athletic Conference champion Aggies (23-10) as a No. 15 seed in the Midwest Region, while Kansas (26-8, the regular season Big 12 champion and tournament runnerup, is the No. 2 seed.

The game will be Friday in Omaha, Neb., at the CenturyLink Center in the opening contest at 10:15 a.m. Mountain time (11:15 Central).

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Regional
9:26 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

Martinez Will Choose New Senator From Nominations Submitted By Six Counties

Credit Office of the Governor

The Santa Fe County Commission has decided to solicit applications for potential candidates as Gov. Susana Martinez pushes to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of New Mexico Sen. Phil Griego.

The county commissioners held an emergency meeting Sunday to consider the next step. They voted to seek applications and postpone making a final decision until Friday.

Griego resigned Saturday, saying a controversy surrounding the sale of a state-owned building that he brokered last year had become a distraction.

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Regional
2:59 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

Mining Bill Could Endanger New Mexico Groundwater

The New Mexico House is considering legislation that would allow mines to remain on standby for as long as 100 years without obligation of restoration.

The House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee has heard two debates on HB 625.

The bill, which has the support of New Mexico's largest copper mines, would permit mines to defer operations for up to 100 years and reopen with little public notice.

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Regional
12:28 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

In Depth: Lots On Tap In Austin

The halfway point of Texas' 120-day legislative session has come and gone, meaning constitutional limits are lifted and lawmakers are free to vote on any bill they like.

Let the new law bonanza begin, right? Well, no. At least not yet.

Most of the hardest work has been and will continue to be done in committee, where Senate and House members delay or outright discard proposals without enough support to survive while hashing out differences on bills likely headed for full floor votes in each chamber.

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Regional
12:26 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

Texas Agencies Routinely Shield Settlements In Secrecy

State agencies have routinely concealed from the public details of thousands of legal settlements and judgments involving millions of dollars of taxpayer money.

State payments must be recorded by the comptroller's office and a review of its records shows that over the past five years anywhere from a quarter to nearly half of the payments have been classified as "confidential."

In fact, every legal settlement and judgment paid by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in recent years has been deemed a secret.

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Regional
12:23 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

UPDATE: New Mexico Senate Panel Tables Abortion Restrictions

A New Mexico Senate panel has tabled a second abortion-related bill, this one requiring parents be notified at least 48 hours before a minor ends a pregnancy.

The Public Affairs Committee's 5-3 vote Sunday blocks the bill from moving forward.

The action came after a similar party-line vote — with Democrats voting in the majority — earlier on a bill that proposed banning late-term abortions.

The New Mexico House of Representatives had approved both bills that generated hours of intense testimony and debate, sending them on to the Senate.

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Regional
12:21 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

New Mexico Senate Passes Bill Reducing Marijuana Penalties

Two marijuana-related bills have cleared hurdles in the New Mexico Senate and House.  Legislation that would not include jail time for offenders having less than an ounce of pot just passed the Senate on Saturday in a 21-20 vote.

According to the bill, anyone with an ounce or less of marijuana would get a ticket and a $50 fine. Anyone with up to 8 ounces wouldn't receive jail time but would be charged with a misdemeanor.

The bill now moves to the House, which passed a measure affecting employees at medical marijuana providers.

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Regional
11:14 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Dona Ana County Soil And Water Conservation District Plans Election; Candidates Must File By Tuesday

  An organization that lost a controversial election to raise property taxes last year is electing three new district supervisors in May.  With little notice…the deadline to run in the election is Tuesday.

The Dona Ana County Soil and Water Conservation District election to raise property taxes was extremely controversial…with long lines and some very unhappy voters.  In the end….those who did get a chance to vote turned down a proposed tax increase by a large margin.

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Regional
6:26 pm
Sat March 14, 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
6:12 pm
Sat March 14, 2015

Saddle Exhibit Honors Late Mounted Patrol Volunteer

  A member of the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department Mounted Patrol has donated a handcrafted wooden saddle stand to the Historical Museum of Lawmen as a tribute to a fellow patrolman who died in November of 2014. The stand is part of a new display that features a saddle that belonged to the late William “Bill” Crawford, who volunteered with the sheriff’s department since 2001.

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Regional
6:08 pm
Sat March 14, 2015

Doña Ana County Residents Graduate From Citizens' Police Academy

 

  Nearly 20 Doña Ana County residents successfully completed a recent eight-week citizens' police academy, sponsored by the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department.

            A graduation ceremony was held at the sheriff’s department main headquarters last week, hosted by Doña Ana County Sheriff Enrique “Kiki” Vigil.

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Regional
6:01 pm
Sat March 14, 2015

Albuquerque May Offer Incentive For Equal Pay

Credit Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry

The city of Albuquerque is proposing offering incentives to encourage companies to pay female workers as much as their male counterparts.

Mayor Richard Berry says the proposed legislation was still being drafted Friday but it could make Albuquerque one of the few cities to push for equal pay.

Berry says such a bill would show the city is a national leader "for the right reasons."

The bill would give businesses bidding on a city contract a 5 percent preference when it comes time to evaluate prospects.

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Regional
5:59 pm
Sat March 14, 2015

Former Perry Advisor Pushes Bill To Limit Access To Texas Records

The Texas Legislature is mulling giving state agencies and other governmental entities the option of ignoring out-of-state open records requests.

It's too early to tell if the bill will pass, but if it does, Texas would join seven other states that have imposed limits on non-resident open-records requests.

So far, such restrictions have held up in court. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 2013 that states don't violate the Constitution when their public records laws bar non-residents from obtaining government records.

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Regional
5:55 pm
Sat March 14, 2015

Records Show Debate Over Undue Influence In UT Admissions

Records show the former chancellor of the University of Texas System believed he had barred the practice of having anyone, including university administrators, unduly influence admissions decisions at the system's campuses, including the flagship school in Austin.

But a review of emails, minutes of meetings and other records by the Austin American-Statesman shows that UT-Austin President Bill Powers believed it appropriate to overrule the admissions office in limited cases to protect the university's interests.

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Regional
5:25 pm
Sat March 14, 2015

New Mexico Senator Phil Griego Resigns Amid Scrutiny

New Mexico Sen. Phil Griego has resigned.  The Democratic senator handed in his letter of resignation Saturday to Secretary of State Diana Duran's office as well as the chief clerk of the Senate.  In the letter, Griego says he has decided to step down effective immediately.

Griego says the action is necessary "to avoid a major distraction to the important work that needs to be accomplished for the families and children throughout the state of New Mexico."

Griego has drawn scrutiny for a real estate deal involving a state-owned building in Santa Fe.

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Regional
5:10 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Colfax County Sheriff's Deputy Arrested On Federal Narcotics Charge

ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, and Chief Pete N.

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Regional
4:51 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Federal Judge: Tigua Tribe Near El Paso Violated Gaming Injunction

Credit <p><a href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2280">Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>

A federal judge has ruled the Tigua tribe's sweepstakes game violates a previous injunction that closed down Speaking Rock Casino and prohibits the tribe from hosting gambling activities on its property.

U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone ordered Tigua officials to cease all gaming operations and submit a proposal for a sweepstakes that operates in accordance to state and federal laws. The tribe will be fined $100,000 per day if they do not stop gaming operations.

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Regional
12:19 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

ASNMSU President Promotes Higher Education At Las Cruces Elementary Schools

ASNMSU President Wesley Jackson reads to Sonoma Heights Elementary children, promoting a positive image of NMSU in the community. (Photo provided by Wesley Jackson)

  Spread across an alphabet carpet of a brightly decorated classroom, observant and curious little children patiently wait for Wesley Jackson, president of the Associated Students of New Mexico State University, to read the part about the dinosaur being, “gone, gone, gone.” 

Through a new reading campaign, Jackson plans to visit each elementary school in the Las Cruces Public School District, in an effort to teach children the importance of reading and education. 

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Regional
11:26 am
Fri March 13, 2015

NM House Votes To Reduce Renewable Energy Standard

A measure that would reduce the amount of renewable energy utilities have to provide to customers by 2020 has narrowly passed the New Mexico House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Larry Scott of Hobbs cleared the chamber on a 33-32 vote late Thursday. It now heads to the Senate.

From New Mexico to New York, 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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