Regional

Regional
1:30 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Cruz Pushes Budget Showdown

Credit Senator Ted Cruz (R) Texas

  Immigration hardliners in Congress are mounting a challenge to House Republican leaders' plans for legislation to keep the government running. They are insisting that the funding bill include explicit language to block President Barack Obama's move to extend deportation relief to millions here illegally.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas warns against holding what he calls a "meaningless show vote" and says Congress cannot let a single dime go for a "lawless and unconstitutional amnesty."

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Regional
1:27 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Texas Sues Over President's Immigration Order

Credit Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R)

  Texas is leading a multistate coalition in suing over the Obama administration's recently announced executive actions on immigration.

Many top Republicans have denounced the president's unilateral move designed to spare as many as 5 million people living illegally in the United States from deportation.

But Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott took it a step further with filing a lawsuit in federal court in the Southern District of Texas.

Texas is joined by 16 states, mostly in the South and Midwest, including Alabama, Georgia, Idaho and Indiana.

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Regional
1:27 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Public Land Measures Placed In Defense Bill

Wilderness in New Mexico and other western states and a program for streamlining oil and gas permitting would be expanded as part of a $585 million defense bill crafted by House and Senate negotiators.

Lawmakers managed to squeeze the energy and public land proposals into the bill following weeks of negotiation. Final action is expected before the end of the year.

A bipartisan contingent of lawmakers is touting the legislation, but critics say the bill shouldn't be used as a bargaining chip to get the land packages through Congress.

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Regional
1:25 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Las Cruces Mayor Responds To Questions About Automated Phone Calls Against Recall Election Effort

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima

Organizers of a recall campaign against three Las Cruces city council members are calling for Mayor Ken Miyagishima to recuse himself from discussions about the recall. 

The group New Mexicans for a Better Tomorrow issued a statement demanding that the Mayor recuse himself from any discussions relating to its recall effort because of the Mayor’s recent automated phone call asking people not to sign recall petitions.

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Regional
8:46 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Convicted Ex-Sheriff's Bid For New Trial Changes

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

A convicted former northern New Mexico sheriff has a new strategy in his attempt to win a new trial.

Attorneys for former Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas Rodella had been seeking a new trial on grounds that two key witnesses lied while testifying against Rodella.

However, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports that defense attorney Robert Gorence says in court documents that he can't prove that the witnesses perjured themselves.

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Regional
8:33 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Texas Expected To Sue Over Obama Administration Immigration Order

Credit Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R)

Gov.-elect Greg Abbott appears poised to keep his promise and sue the Obama administration over executive actions on immigration — the 31st time he's filed suit against the federal government since 2009.

The outgoing Texas attorney general is addressing reporters Wednesday afternoon.

Abbott vowed "swift action" after President Barack Obama announced his order Nov. 21, then suggested last week that a lawsuit was coming soon.

It's Abbott's first major issue since his easy victory to succeed Gov. Rick Perry, who's also clamored for a lawsuit.

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Regional
8:29 am
Wed December 3, 2014

New Mexico Drops Proposed Fee For Medical Pot ID

Credit New Mexico Department of Health

New Mexico officials continue to make changes to proposed new medical marijuana regulations, including one that drops a proposed new $50 annual fee for identification for pot purchasers.

Department of Health spokesman Kenny Vigil says the proposed fee is being dropped because many people said they couldn't afford it.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the proposed fee was criticized by many people during a June public hearing after the department unveiled several proposed rule changes in May.

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Regional
8:27 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Report: Fewer New Mexico Adults Dying From Falls

State health officials say the rate of fall-related deaths among New Mexico adults has dropped nearly 10 percent over a two-year period.

A report released Tuesday on fall-related deaths and injuries shows the rate among adults age 65 and older decreased to 79.6 per 100,000 people. That's nearly the same rate as in 2002.

Older adults accounted for 85 percent of fall-related deaths in New Mexico in 2013. Unintentional falls among adults resulted in 234 deaths and more than 12,000 emergency room visits last year.

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Regional
8:26 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Lawsuit: New Mexico Inmate Denied Showers, Health Care

A New Mexico inmate says he's been in solitary confinement for seven years and prison officials aren't giving him proper health care nor letting him shower enough.

A lawyer for Justin Hinzo filed a federal lawsuit this week against the New Mexico Department of Corrections and claims the 39-year-old prisoner isn't being allowed to exercise or leave his cell.

But corrections spokeswoman Alex Tomlin says logs show Hinzo often refuses to take showers and is given access to health care.

The lawsuit seeks attorney fees and $1.4 million in damages.

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Regional
5:01 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Task Force: New Mexico Water Supplies At Risk

Researchers from universities around the state say New Mexico is undoubtedly dealing with a dire situation thanks to a persistent drought and there's no telling when conditions will improve.

The task force of experts on Tuesday delivered their preliminary findings to lawmakers on the vulnerability of the state's water supplies.

University of New Mexico Professor David Gutzler says the current drought has been bad but not as bad as the 1950s. However, he says matters are more complicated now thanks to warmer temperatures and four straight years of dismal snowpack.

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Regional
3:07 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

ATM Stolen From Coffee Shop Dragged Down Street

Silver City police say an ATM was stolen from inside a coffee shop and then draggd down the street behind a pickup truck as the thieves left the scene.

The theft occurred at the Javalina Coffee House just before dawn Monday. That's when a man walking his dog saw what he later realized was the ATM lying on the street. When Terry Sheffield returned a short time later, he saw a truck dragging away a large metal box.

Javalina owner Pauline Hassler-Cook says the thieves broke a window and smashed open the front door, apparently to get the ATM outside.

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Regional
3:05 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Applications Sought For Vacant Senate Seat

The Bernalillo County Commission is accepting applications for a vacant seat in the state Senate.

Tim Keller, a Democrat who represented much of Albuquerque's Southeast Heights, won the race to become state auditor.

The commission is tasked with appointing a person to serve out the remainder of Keller's legislative term.

Bernalillo County Deputy Attorney Peter Auh says since Senate District 17 is wholly within Bernalillo County, commissioners will appoint a replacement.

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Regional
3:03 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

NM Agency Seeks More Details On Water Proposal

A revamped application by a commercial venture to pipe billions of gallons of drinking water from western New Mexico to more populated areas of the drought-stricken state still lacks key information.

That's the latest finding by the state engineer's office.

The agency's general counsel told state lawmakers during a meeting Tuesday that Augustin Plains Ranch has been directed to provide more specifics on what type of water rights would be developed and what municipalities or industries would benefit.

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Regional
3:01 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Hobbs Boy, 14, In Critical Condition From Crash

A 14-year old Hobbs boy remains in critical condition after four members of his family were killed in a late-night collision in the Texas Panhandle.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that the boy is recovering this week at the University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas.

The Texas Department of Public Safety says 30-year-old Ryan Painter of Corpus Christi died when his pickup crossed the center line shortly before midnight Saturday north of Vega and struck an oncoming Chevy van.

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Regional
3:00 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Health Center To Pay Settlement In Disability Suit

An Albuquerque health and rehabilitation center will pay $145,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit involving a worker who was terminated while on leave for a heart attack and other medical conditions.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission says the worker was terminated by Paloma Blanca Health and Rehabilitation in January 2012, about five weeks into an approved 12-week leave under the Family Medical Leave Act.

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Regional
2:57 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

NM School Gets Extra Security After Gunman Scare

Extra security has been dispatched to an Albuquerque elementary school a day after authorities searched a nearby neighborhood following reports of an active shooter.

The beefed up security presence Tuesday follows a tense afternoon when the school was placed on lockdown and parents had to wait for hours to pick up children.

The school was on lockdown after police received reports of a man with a rifle and handgun. Sandia National Laboratories and nearby businesses also were locked down for a nearly four-hour manhunt.

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Regional
8:15 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Hobbs Facing Shortage Of Developed Land

Credit http://www.hobbsnm.org/government.html

A bustling city in southeastern New Mexico's oil patch has another problem aside from its housing crisis.

Despite the resulting construction boom, Hobbs real estate agents say the city just doesn't have enough land developers.

Real estate agent Bobby Shaw tells the Hobbs News-Sun that many homebuilders don't develop land because of the high cost of putting in streets and water, sewer and communication infrastructure. Shaw says they would rather focus simply on building homes.

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Regional
8:13 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Las Cruces Delays Parts Of Minimum Wage Plan

The Las Cruces City Council is delaying the second and third steps of a three-step plan to implement a higher minimum wage in the southern New Mexico city.

Under the City Council's vote Monday, the first increase to $8.40 will take effect Jan. 1 as previously approved.

However, an increase to $9.20 is being delayed to January 2017 instead of January 2016. And an increase to $10.10 would take place in January 2019 instead of January 2017.

New Mexico's statewide minimum wage is $7.50.

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Regional
8:08 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Doña Ana County Facing Bail Problems After Ruling

A recent state Supreme Court decision on high bail has created a jump in Dona Ana County's jail population.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that after the November decision, the southern New Mexico county had to change the way bail was set. That led to a lag in setting bail as officials worked through the changes.

Magistrate Court Presiding Judge Joel Cano says workers do not like the new directive.

Last month, the state's highest court ruled that judges couldn't use exorbitant bond setting to keep a criminal defendant in jail pending trial.

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Regional
8:06 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Navajo President Signs Bill For Tougher Sentences

Navajo President Ben Shelly has signed off on a bill to stiffen penalties for misdemeanor crimes on the reservation.

New jails and the confirmation of a handful of judges gave the tribe an opening to reconsider penalties. Lawmakers had eliminated or reduced penalties for nearly 30 offenses more than a decade ago because of a lack of detention facilities.

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Regional
4:36 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Loading Facility To Create 200 Jobs In New Mexico

A railroad construction and maintenance business is expanding with a new transloading facility in Albuquerque.

Gov. Susana Martinez took part in a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for New Mexico Transloading, an expansion of GandyDancer LLC. The company says it will create 200 jobs over the next several years. The initial 35 jobs will come in the first year, with an average annual salary of $84,000.

The facility in southeast Albuquerque will allow goods such as oil, propane, lumber, heavy equipment and steel to be shipped via rail lines.

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Regional
3:46 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Project Protects NM Forested Land From Development

More than 11,000 acres that adjoins the Carson National Forest has been permanently protected from development through a conservation easement.

A conservation effort on the Upper Rio Chama River property in northern New Mexico began in 2009. The final and largest piece of the 11,655-acre property became part of the easement Monday.

The $8.4 million project aims to protect the local water supply and wildlife habitat. Nearly half of the funding came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Legacy Program. The state of New Mexico and the landowner chipped in as well.

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Regional
2:55 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Texas OKs Extra $86M For Border Security 'Surge'

Texas has approved spending another $86 million on border security as it begins replacing previously deployed National Guard units with state troopers as part of its ongoing "surge."

The Legislative Budget Board's 10 state Senate and House lawmakers unanimously approved the extra funding Monday.

They did so despite Democratic concerns about a "militarized" border. Some Republicans also worried that the National Guard may yet be needed because of unintended consequences of President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.

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Regional
2:44 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Sheriff's Sergeant Injured In Hit-And-Run Accident

A Bernalillo County sheriff's sergeant has been injured in a hit-and-run accident while riding his department-issued motorcycle.

Capt. Ray Chavez says 36-year-old Darren Sanchez has been charged with leaving the scene of the Monday accident and great bodily harm by vehicle.

He initially was arrested for driving under the influence. Chavez says authorities caught up with Sanchez after he fled the scene. Chavez says Sanchez's blood-alcohol content was above the legal limit for driving.

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Regional
2:43 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Naming Rights To The Pit In New Mexico Go For $5M

WisePies Arena
Credit wisepiespizza.com

The beloved name of New Mexico's legendary basketball arena has changed.

A local restaurant chain donated $5 million to the University of New Mexico, securing the naming rights for The Pit for the next 10 years. It will now be called WisePies Arena.

The donation is the largest cash gift ever made to the athletics department. The money will be used to pay off $60 million in renovations.

The WisePies Pizza & Salad logo will appear on signs outside the arena, on the court and on tickets.

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Regional
2:39 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Lawyer: Albuquerque Officer In Shooting Fired

A lawyer says an Albuquerque officer who fatally shot a 19-year-old woman and did not record the encounter has been fired.

Attorney Thomas Grover, who represents Officer Jeremy Dear, told reporters Monday that his client was terminated after an internal investigation. Grover says the probe centered on Dear's lapel camera use and the type of gloves he wore.

Dear had been on administrative leave since he fatally shot suspected truck thief Mary Hawkes following an April 21 chase.

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Regional
2:29 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Sheriff's Sergeant Injured In A Hit-And-Run Accident

Credit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bernalillo-County-NM

A Bernalillo County sheriff's sergeant has been injured in a hit-and-run accident while riding his department-issued motorcycle.

Capt. Ray Chavez says 36-year-old Darren Sanchez has been charged with leaving the scene of the Monday accident and great bodily harm by vehicle.

He initially was arrested for driving under the influence. Chavez says authorities caught up with Sanchez after he fled the scene. Chavez says Sanchez's blood-alcohol content was above the legal limit for driving.

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Regional
2:24 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

New Mexico Senate Has Backlog Of Confirmations

The Democratic-led New Mexico Senate will convene in January with a backlog of pending confirmation decisions on dozens of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez appointees

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Martinez's office says the 85 first-term appointees awaiting confirmation votes includes numerous members of state boards and commissions as well as three Cabinet secretaries.

The governor has accused Senate Democrats of playing politics by slowing the pace of confirmations.

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Regional
2:24 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Naming Rights To The Pit Go For $5 Million

The beloved name of New Mexico's legendary basketball arena has changed.

A local restaurant chain donated $5 million to the University of New Mexico, securing the naming rights for The Pit for the next 10 years. It will now be called WisePies Arena.

The donation is the largest cash gift ever made to the athletics department. The money will be used to pay off $60 million in renovations.

The WisePies Pizza & Salad logo will appear on signs outside the arena, on the court and on tickets.

Read more

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