Regional

Regional
9:25 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Clovis Man Sentenced In Meth Trafficking Case

A Clovis man has been sentenced for his role in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy.

A judge in Albuquerque sentenced 38-year-old Christopher Jason Kidd on Tuesday to 78 months in federal prison. He will be on supervised release for five years after serving prison time.

Kidd and three co-defendants were indicted in February 2014 on federal charges of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in New Mexico's Curry County.

Kidd pleaded guilty in November 2014.

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Regional
9:23 am
Wed June 17, 2015

DOE Official: Workers To Practice Before Nuke Dump Opens

Credit facebook.com/energygov

An official with the U.S. Department of Energy says workers at the federal government's troubled nuclear waste repository will practice with "dummy drums" before limited operations resume next year.

Monica Regalbuto with DOE's Office of Environmental Management testified Tuesday during a Senate hearing in Washington, D.C., that workers will start by moving non-radioactive drums.

When officials are confident the work can be done safely, workers will switch to dealing with real waste. That's expected sometime next spring.

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Regional
9:19 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Gov. Martinez To Sign Capital Spending Bill In Las Cruces

Credit Office of the Governor

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is set to sign a capital spending bill that includes more than 1,000 projects lawmakers say will create jobs across the state.

The Republican governor is scheduled Wednesday to sign the measure at St. Luke's Health Care Clinic in Las Cruces.

Last week, the GOP-controlled House and the Democratic-led Senate passed the capital spending bill following a four-hour special session that came after an agreement between Martinez and Senate Democrats.

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Regional
6:00 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Film Project Tells The Story Of The First Service Member From Las Cruces To Die In Vietnam

John Milton Risner
Credit www.johnnyscactus.com

  Efforts are underway to create a short film that tells the story of the first Las Cruces service member to die in Vietnam.

The project is called “Johnny’s Cactus,” a short film about making peace with war.  The project website, www.johnnyscactus.com says John Milton Risner became the first service member from Las Cruces to die in the Vietnam War on June 26, 1966.  

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Regional
9:32 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Doña Ana County Works Toward Finalizing Budget

The Doña Ana County Commission wrapped up their budget discussion yesterday at a final budget work session. Doña Ana County’s $152 million budget is almost ready to be finalized, but Commissioner Rawson says he still has a few problems with the budget.

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Regional
7:53 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Opponents Promise Legal Action Over Master Plan For Massive Santolina Development Near Albuquerque

Credit bernco.gov

   A planned community west of Albuquerque that developers say could someday be home to as many as 90,000 people has cleared a major hurdle.

The commission in the state's most populous county voted 3-2 to approve Tuesday a master plan for a nearly 22-square-mile development known as Santolina. The development would rival some of New Mexico's largest cities once completed.

Bernalillo County commissioners narrowly approved the plan despite opposition from Albuquerque's historical Hispanic South Valley area over fears that Santolina would draw from much needed water sources.

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Regional
5:13 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Are Two Deans Better Than One? UNM Will Find Out

Two deans might be better than one.

That's the hope of University of New Mexico Provost Chaouki Abdallah, who says no one person can address the full spectrum of today's challenges.

Abdallah announced Tuesday that Alfred Mathewson and Sergio Pareja will serve as co-deans at the UNM law school. The professors will begin their new duties Aug. 1.

The University of New Mexico is taking a page from Case Western Reserve University law school in Ohio, which has had co-interim deans since November 2013.

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Regional
4:15 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Doña Ana County Juvenile Detention Center Could Remain Closed For Over a Year

Doña Ana County temporarily closed the juvenile detention center last month due to staffing problems, moving juvenile detainees to a portion of the adult facility.

At a work session Tuesday, Doña Ana County Detention Center Director Chris Barela said it could be 12- 14 months before they are able to reopen the detention center.

“Based on the attrition rates that we have,” Barela said. “Unless we get an influx of recruits and we are able to retain the existing officers that we have currently on the rolls then in may take that long. Just last month alone I lost 5 people.”

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Regional
2:18 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Mescalero Apache Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Voluntary Manslaughter Charge

  Jerrick Blake, 22, a member of the Mescalero Apache Nation who resides in Mescalero, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning in Las Cruces, N.M., to a voluntary manslaughter charge.

   According to court filings, Blake killed the victim on the afternoon of Nov. 3, 2014, by stabbing him in the chest with a knife.  The crime occurred during an argument between Blake and the victim on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in Otero County, N.M.

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Regional
2:17 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Former Corrections Officer Sentenced For Conspiring To Distribute Drugs

  A former corrections officer was sentenced this morning in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., for conspiring to distribute heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine within the Doña Ana County Detention Center (DACDC).  Francisco Balderrama, 27, of El Paso, Texas, was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.

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Regional
2:14 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Texas Spending $800 Million On Border Security

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

Texas is going on a spending spree aimed at securing the Mexican border, but the spending raises questions about whether the state is creating its own border patrol.

The state's new Republican governor, Greg Abbott, this month approved $800 million for border security over the next two years — more than double any similar period in the previous 14 years under former Gov. Rick Perry.

Texas is doing so at a time when the number of immigrants crossing the border illegally has subsided.

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Regional
2:13 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

McAllen Police Officer Resigns; Accused Of Human Smuggling

A South Texas police officer has resigned and faces a human smuggling charge after being stopped at a border checkpoint with two women allegedly in the U.S. illegally.

McAllen police Officer Joan De La Fuente-Garza is in custody pending a federal detention hearing Thursday.

Prosecutors say the officer was off-duty Friday and in a northbound car with two women at the Falfurrias (fal-FYOO'-ree-uhs) checkpoint. They say the passengers could not produce identification on their immigration status.

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Regional
10:11 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Living Here: Deming Luna Mimbres Museum

Regional
10:08 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Artists in Juárez - Laura Turon and Alejandro Morales

Regional
10:04 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Aggies Go Global Visits India

Fred Martino interviews several students from the Aggies Go Global program about their recent experience exploring India as part of an UBELONG expedition.

Regional
10:03 am
Tue June 16, 2015

NMSU’s Loui Reyes Selected As President Of New Mexico Council Of Graduate Deans

Credit Dr. Loui Reyes, NMSU

  Loui Reyes, dean of the New Mexico State University Graduate School, was unanimously elected as president-elect of the New Mexico Council of Graduate Deans at a meeting recently. 

The council serves as a recommending body for the state’s graduate education endeavors including graduate curriculum review for new graduate programs, graduate program review and any other items regarding statewide graduate education.

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Regional
8:26 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Man Convicted Of Rape Pleads No Contest To More Attacks

An Albuquerque man who was convicted and sentenced for the rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1988 has added six more convictions to his history of violent sex crimes.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that 58-year-old Joseph Blea pleaded no contest Monday to five counts of first degree rape and one count of kidnapping involving attacks on three victims between 1990 and 1993.

A District Attorney's Office spokeswoman in Albuquerque identified the victims as one child and two adults.

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Regional
8:21 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Decision Set On Heavily Debated New Mexico Development

Credit bernco.gov

The fate of a planned community west of Albuquerque that developers say could someday be home to as many as 90,000 people is in the hands of Bernalillo County commissioners.

The commission in the state's most populous county is expected to make a final decision Tuesday on a nearly 22-square-mile development known as Santolina. The development would rival some of New Mexico's largest cities once completed.

However, the plan has drawn opposition from Albuquerque's historical Hispanic South Valley area over fears that Santolina would draw from much needed water sources.

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Regional
8:17 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Suspects Plead Not Guilty In Death Of Rio Rancho Policeman

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

A man and woman accused in the fatal shooting of a Rio Rancho police officer during a traffic stop last month have pleaded not guilty.

Andrew Romero and his 30-year-old girlfriend, Tabitha Littles, entered their pleas Monday in a Sandoval County courtroom.

Romero and Littles were indicted last week in the May 25 death of Officer Gregg Benner.

Prosecutors say the 28-year-old Romero allegedly told Littles that he was going to shoot the officer before opening fire.

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Regional
8:14 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Albuquerque City Council Delays Pay Raise Vote For Police Negotiator

The costs of implementing reforms at the Albuquerque Police Department does not yet include a pay increase requested by Mayor Richard Berry for the attorney negotiating with the Department of Justice.

The mayor has asked that attorney Scott Greenwood's pay be increased to half a million dollars. Council members postponed the decision Monday night, and had questions about the attorney's spending and his presence at a convention for Taser International.

The company's no-bid contract awarded in 2013 to supply body cameras to officers has garnered criticism in recent months.

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Regional
3:35 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Costs Mount For Albuquerque Police Reforms

The costs of overhauling Albuquerque's police force and paying for a federal monitor to oversee the work are beginning to mount for the city.

Crisis intervention training, recruitment efforts, support staff to implement the federally-mandated reforms and costs related to body cameras totaled more than $668,000 for the first three months of the year.

That's on top of fees charged by federal monitor James Ginger. The first U.S. Department of Justice invoice shows Ginger's services cost nearly $400,000 for the first quarter.

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Regional
3:34 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Abbott Signs $3.8 Billion Tax Cut

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law $3.8 billion in tax cuts for businesses and, potentially, for homeowners.

The Republican made slashing taxes a top priority of his first legislative session as governor, and headed to an Austin technology firm for Monday's signing ceremony.

Approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature, the new laws reduce business taxes by 25 percent. They also create a November ballot initiative, asking voters to approve tax reductions for homeowners.

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Regional
3:32 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Police Investigating Rollover That Ejected Nine People Near Las Cruces

Police say they're investigating a rollover crash that sent nine people to the hospital.

New Mexico State Police spokesman Sgt. Chad Pierce says the crash happened Sunday night along Interstate 25 north of Las Cruces. Officers responded and found in the median an SUV that had rolled several times.

Pierce says the nine people who were inside the SUV were ejected. They were taken from the scene to nearby hospitals via air and ground ambulances.

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Regional
3:30 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

In Depth: Vote On Massive Santolina Development Tuesday

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

Commissioners in the state's more populous county are set to finally make a decision on planned community west of Albuquerque that developers say could someday be home to as many as 90,000 people.

The Bernalillo County Commission is scheduled Tuesday to vote on a nearly 22-square-mile development known as Santolina that would rival some of New Mexico's largest cities once completed. Santolina would be located along Interstate 40 and would have its own business parks and town center.

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Regional
3:29 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Martinez Signs Business Tax Breaks Required To Get Capital Outlay Agreement

Credit Office of the Governor

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has signed into law a package of tax incentives recently approved by legislators during a special session.

The Republican governor signed the legislation during a visit to the Bioscience Center in Albuquerque.

She says the incentives will help recruit new businesses to New Mexico, make it easier for small businesses to grow and boost trade and commerce along New Mexico's southern border.

With Martinez's signature, roughly a half-dozen tax incentives already on the books are being expanded. Two new tax breaks are being created.

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Regional
3:26 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

New Mexico Supreme Court To State: Follow Collective Bargaining Agreements

Siding with a group of unions, the New Mexico Supreme Court has ordered state labor officials to revamp the way they set wages and benefits for certain public works projects.

The court issued its ruling Monday, saying a 2009 change in the law clearly requires wages and benefits for public projects to be based on collective bargaining agreements.

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Regional
8:13 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Doña Ana County Using Polygraph To Probe Work Allegations

Dona Ana County road workers have been undergoing polygraph testing as part of an investigation into alleged wrongdoing.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Dona Ana County Manager Julia Brown confirmed the testing last week.

Brown says she has received numerous complaints in the last several months of misconduct, retaliatory activity, and theft of equipment and supplies.

Some of the roads department's nearly 40 employees say polygraph testing is demoralizing.

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Regional
8:11 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Santa Fe Deputies To Receive Naloxone Training

By the end of this week, all 80 Santa Fe County deputies will be trained in how to use naloxone and will carry the overdose remedy in their patrol cars.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that it is the first law enforcement agency in New Mexico to train officers to administer naloxone, a powerful drug that can reverse the effects of opioid overdoses.

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Regional
8:01 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Check-Cashing Scheme Arrests Prompt Voter Privacy Concerns

Credit Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins

The Doña Ana County Clerk wants to end the use of complete Social Security numbers for voter registrations.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the push comes in the wake of last week's arrest of former Doña Ana County Clerk's office employee Maria Ceniceros on suspicion of stealing voters' names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth.

Three other employees were also arrested. Investigators say they notarized forged signatures on tax refund checks for returns filed with the stolen information.

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Professor Looks At Evolution Of American Indian Education

New Mexico is a state rich in American Indian culture and history, but the way American Indian children are educated has changed drastically over the years. This was the topic of a recent discussion at the Branigan Cultural Center.

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