Regional

Regional
2:25 pm
Wed July 15, 2015

New Mexico AG Creates Fraud Task Force

Credit Hector Balderas

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says he has created a special task force that will target cheats and recover public funds that are lost due to fraud.

Balderas announced the Fraud Recovery Strike Force on Wednesday.

He says it will be charged with investigating false claims and deceptive practices, and will partner with whistle-blowers to expose abuse and corruption.

Some of these efforts are already under way in the form of ongoing litigation against companies accused of misusing public funds and offering sub-par care to vulnerable New Mexicans.

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Regional
2:22 pm
Wed July 15, 2015

Lawmakers Question Spaceport America's Financial Outlook

State lawmakers are still asking questions about the financial outlook of the nearly half-billion-dollar, taxpayer-financed spaceport in the desert of southern New Mexico.

Spaceport Authority Executive Director Christine Anderson updated the Legislative Finance Committee on Spaceport America during a meeting in Alamogordo on Wednesday.

The spaceport had ramped up operations in anticipation of commercial launches this year, but crashes of test vehicles and rockets in recent years have stalled plans by Virgin Galactic, SpaceX and Armadillo Aerospace.

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Regional
2:20 pm
Wed July 15, 2015

2 Former Cibola County Officials Face Criminal Charges

Two former Cibola County officials face criminal charges accusing them of ethics violations and using their positions for personal gain.

The Gallup Independent reports that the charges against former County Manager Jimmy Scott Vinson and former Commissioner Antonio Gallegos resulted from a citizens petition that sought the convening of a grand jury.

Charges against Vinson include an embezzlement count accusing him of using a county credit card for personal expenses, while charges against Gallegos stem from the county's purchase of property.

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Regional
2:07 pm
Wed July 15, 2015

Officer Bit In Struggle With Suspect

Credit https://www.facebook.com/TheLasCrucesPoliceDepartment

A Las Cruces Police officer received a bite wound while trying to contain a suspect and the man suspected of inflicting the injury was arrested Sunday evening.

 

Charles McNally, 53, of the 1900 block of Carlyle Drive, is charged with one count of battery upon a peace officer and one count of resisting an officer.

 

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Regional
1:47 pm
Wed July 15, 2015

Man Faces 16 Years For Murder

  The Office of Attorney General Hector Balderas has secured a second degree murder conviction in the shooting death of Brandy Capps. Today, a Carlsbad jury found Dallas Hnulik guilty of murdering Ms. Capps, age 32, who was found dead in her vehicle five years ago.

“Justice was served today, and we hope that this conviction can bring some closure to the family of Brandy Capps,” Attorney General Hector Balderas said. “My office will continue to work with local law enforcement across New Mexico to attack violent crime and make New Mexico safer for our families.” 

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Regional
8:12 am
Wed July 15, 2015

Rio Rancho School Board Passes Drug Testing For Student-Athletes

The Rio Rancho school board has unanimously passed a policy for random drug testing of students in grades eight through 12 who play on district sports teams.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Rio Rancho Public Schools is the first public school district in the metro area to drug test its athletes.

District officials will inform parents of the policy during the annual mandatory meeting Cleveland and Rio Ranch high schools hold for the parents of all athletes at the beginning of each school year.

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Regional
8:03 am
Wed July 15, 2015

Santa Teresa Port Of Entry Hours Extended Through Public-Private Partnership

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is partnering with Dell Inc. to extend hours at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry in New Mexico.

Dell will be funding four additional hours for southbound commercial traffic Monday through Friday for one year.

Sen. Tom Udall backed Dell's application for the partnership with fellow New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich last month.

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Regional
6:00 am
Wed July 15, 2015

Doña Ana County District Attorney Discusses Law Enforcement Issues At Town Hall

Credit facebook (Mark D'Antonio)

Doña Ana County District Attorney Mark D’Antonio is holding town halls in the smaller cities throughout the county.

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Regional
6:00 am
Wed July 15, 2015

Special Programs On Pluto, Clyde Tombaugh Air Wednesday And Thursday On KRWG-TV

Credit NMMSH Archives Clyde Tombaugh as a young man, with a home-built telescope.

 

  Wednesday at 8pm KRWG-TV presents NOVA: Chasing Pluto….a special program focusing on the New Horizons spacecraft that is taking the first detailed images of Pluto this week.  

The New Horizons journey has a Las Cruces connection.  When the spacecraft launched in 2006…on board was an ounce of the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh…the New Mexico State University researcher who discovered Pluto in 1930….then known as Planet X.   Caralyn Contreras of the Las Cruces Museum of Nature and Science said the discovery was a real point of pride for the United States.

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Regional
3:16 am
Wed July 15, 2015

County Votes To Leave Baylor Canyon Road Unpaved And Pave Dirt Sections Of Dripping Springs Road

Credit Simon Thompson

In 2013, Dona Ana County received $9 million dollars in federal money to pave Baylor Canyon road and the unpaved sections of Dripping Springs Road.  But some county residents fought the project and the county commission only approved paving for Dripping Springs Road.

A study commissioned by the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce said the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument should generate an additional 7.4 million dollars in tourism every year. 

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Regional
9:04 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

Collectible K9 Toys To Benefit Law Enforcement Torch Run

Credit Dona Ana County Sheriff

The Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department is offering six varieties of plush K9 toys for sale, with all proceeds to benefit the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics.

Each dog stands approximately nine inches tall, features the DASO badge of office and represents a different popular K9 breed: a bloodhound, a Belgian Malinois, a German shepherd, a yellow Labrador, a chocolate Labrador and a black Labrador. The Belgian Malinois was the first collectible K9 toy, introduced in 2014.

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Regional
8:57 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

Abbott Orders Investigation Of Use Of Tissue From Abortions

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered an investigation of the use of fetal tissue of abortions. That's after anti-abortion activists released an undercover video showing a senior Planned Parenthood official discussing the disposition of parts from aborted fetuses.

The activists contend the video released Tuesday reveals illegalities, but Planned Parenthood said the activity in question was the legal, not-for-profit donation of fetal tissue to research firms.

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Regional
8:53 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

Albuquerque Police Arrest 2 Suspects In Motorcyclist's Death

Authorities say two suspects are in custody in the shooting death of a motorcyclist on an Albuquerque street.

Albuquerque police arrested 32-year-old Michael Kaumans and 30-year-old Mariah Kent Hothan after a SWAT situation at a motel Tuesday.

They say 29-year-old Vincent Francis McAneney was on a motorcycle and being shot at early Saturday by someone chasing him in truck.

McAneney later was pronounced dead at a hospital from apparent gunshot wounds.

Police say McAneney allegedly had stolen Kaumans' motorcycle, which he was riding when he was gunned down.

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Regional
4:38 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

Governor Appoints Matthew Chandler To Judgeship

Gov. Susana Martinez has appointed former District Attorney Matthew Chandler to a vacant state district court seat.

Her office made the announcement Tuesday. She also appointed Emilio Chavez of Ranchos de Taos to the Eighth District Court and Patrick Cordell of Flora Vista to San Juan County Magistrate Court.

Chandler was the top prosecutor for a two-county district in eastern New Mexico before stepping down to start a private law practice.

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Regional
3:14 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

Roswell Police Apologize After Body Found After Their Search

Credit http://roswellpolice.com/

Police in Roswell have apologized to a family after officers failed to locate a body during a search of a missing woman's home only to find it days later.

The police department issued a statement Tuesday that steps will be taken to ensure future searches are carried out in a thorough manner.

Police also apologized to the community, pledging "to take the necessary internal actions to prevent such an unfortunate situation from happening again."

Margarita Diaz was reported missing by her family on Thursday.

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Regional
2:38 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

Heinrich "Optimistic" About Iran Nuclear Deal

Credit US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

 

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, had the following initial reaction after negotiators in Vienna announced that Iran and the P5+1 reached a nuclear agreement:

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Regional
2:33 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

Judge Could Halt Oil Drilling Permits In Mancos Shale

A judge is deciding whether to impose a moratorium on oil drilling permits filed for land in northwestern New Mexico.

The Albuquerque Journal reports U.S. Judge James Browning could implement a moratorium as a lawsuit filed in March by environmental organizations moves forward.

The groups want a more thorough environmental impact study from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

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Regional
2:26 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

New Mexico Supreme Court To Review 'Copper Rule'

The New Mexico Supreme Court has agreed to review an appellate court's upholding of regulations that govern groundwater pollution by copper mines.

The court decision was made public Tuesday, almost a month after Attorney General Hector Balderas and environmentalists filed a petition asking the court to weigh in.

The regulations were initially approved by state water regulators in September 2013. Opponents argued that the regulations violated the state Water Quality Control Act in addition to giving mining companies too much leeway to pollute groundwater.

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Regional
2:24 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

PNM: Rejecting Proposal Would Force Closure Of Power Plant

The state's largest electric provider says rejection of its proposal by New Mexico regulators will lead to the complete closure of a coal-fired power plant that provides power to 2 million customers in the Southwest.

Officials with the Public Service Co. of New Mexico on Tuesday reiterated the consequences if the state Public Regulation Commission does not approve a plan that calls for shutting down half of the plant to meet a federal mandate for reducing haze-causing pollution.

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Regional
2:06 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

Pearce Statement On Iranian Nuclear Agreement

Credit Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

This morning the President announced that a final nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran had been reached. Just last Friday in Tehran, Iranians chanted “death to America, death to Israel” in the streets and burned the American flag. I cannot reconcile the two apparent contradictions. 

 

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Regional
1:10 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

Living Here: Clyde Tombaugh

Regional
7:59 am
Tue July 14, 2015

UNM, Sandia National Labs To Promote Research

Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico have signed a pact to promote research and recruiting.

The memorandum of understanding signed Monday aims to explore strategies enabling the future of engineering for national security.

It also seeks innovative facility partnerships that enable collaborative research and jointly recruit and hire nationally prominent researchers for UNM faculty and Sandia technical staff.

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Regional
7:57 am
Tue July 14, 2015

Gamblers Spend Less In New Mexico For Second Consecutive Year

Gamblers are spending less at New Mexico casinos, and the state is seeing a drop in tax revenue as a result.

The Albuquerque Journal reports tribal casinos, racinos and nonprofits statewide paid $1.3 million less to the state in gaming taxes in 2014 than the year before.

Tribes paid a total of $66 million to the state in 2014.

Data filed with the New Mexico Gaming Control Board also shows a 2.6 drop in net winnings, an indicator of gambling activity that reflects how much is wagered on slots minus certain expenses.

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Regional
5:23 am
Tue July 14, 2015

Case Of Tularemia Confirmed In A Los Alamos County Man

The New Mexico Department of Health has confirmed that a 51-year-old man in Los Alamos County contracted tularemia.

The case was confirmed Monday at the Department's Scientific Laboratory Division.

Health officials say the man was hospitalized, but has recovered and gone home.

There have also been 33 cases of tularemia this year in pet dogs and cats from Bernalillo, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Taos, and Torrance counties.

Tularemia is a potentially serious illness in people that occurs in many parts of the country.

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Regional
5:46 pm
Mon July 13, 2015

President Commutes Sentences Of 46, Including A Las Cruces Man

  Sentences commuted by President Obama:

·         John M. Wyatt – Las Cruces, NM

            Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute marijuana (Southern District of Illinois)

Sentence:  262 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release; $500 fine (Aug.  30, 2004)

            Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

 

 

·         Jerry Allen Bailey – Charlotte, NC

Offense: Conspiracy to violate narcotics laws (crack) (Western District of North Carolina)

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Regional
5:28 pm
Mon July 13, 2015

Man Sentenced To 16 Years In Las Cruces-Area Home Invasion

  Las Cruces—On July 1, 2015 a jury found Leonard Calvillo guilty of Attempted Aggravated Battery (deadly weapon); Aggravated Burglary; Child Abuse and Criminal Damage to Property in the January 2014 home invasion case. Today, Judge Fernando Macias sentenced him to a total of 16 years, which included a 1 year enhancement for having a prior felony conviction under the habitual offender act.

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Regional
4:09 pm
Mon July 13, 2015

Martinez Announces $250,000 Grant; 25 New Jobs Expected In Socorro

Socorro, NM - Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced that manufacturing company Solaro Energy is expanding its operations in Socorro by doubling its production and creating 25 new jobs. The Governor's office says Solaro, a solar energy manufacturer, moved its operations to New Mexico from California in 2012 in part because of the state's improved business climate.

 

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Regional
3:16 pm
Mon July 13, 2015

Bankruptcy Mediation To Start Again For Gallup Diocese

Credit dioceseofgallup.org

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup wants a new mediator in its bankruptcy case after negotiations fell apart last week.

The Gallup Independent reports the diocese filed for bankruptcy in November 2013 as lawsuits mounted over claims of clergy sex abuse.

Lawyers for the diocese filed a motion in bankruptcy court following last week's mediation, calling for a new mediator, while attorneys representing the claimants have filed a motion to remove bankruptcy protections preventing civil lawsuits against the diocese from proceeding.

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Regional
3:10 pm
Mon July 13, 2015

Albuquerque Police Look For Shooter Who Killed Motorcyclist

Authorities still are searching for a driver who allegedly chased down a motorcyclist and shot him dead on an Albuquerque street.

Albuquerque police on Monday identified the victim as 29-year-old Vincent Francis Mcaneney and say they are investigating the case as a homicide.

A witness called 911 around 6 a.m. Saturday and reported a person driving a truck at a high rate of speed on Central Avenue.

The caller told police that truck driver was holding a gun out of the window and shooting at a motorcyclist.

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Regional
2:46 pm
Mon July 13, 2015

Man Who Threw Banana Peel At Dave Chappelle Appears In Court

The black attorney for the man accused of throwing a banana peel at comedian Dave Chappelle during a performance in Santa Fe says his client isn't a racist and that Chappelle should have to testify in the case or drop it.

Attorney Rod Thompson made the comments to The Santa Fe New Mexican following a status hearing Monday in magistrate court.

His client, Christian Englander, who is white, is facing charges of disturbing the peace and battery after the fruit-throwing incident in March.

At the time, Chappelle's agent declined to comment on the situation.

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