Regional

Regional
3:25 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Regents Approve Construction Projects, Including Privately-Funded Skybox

Credit NMSU President Dr. Garrey Carruthers

  During its regular meeting March 9, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents approved renovations to Jett Hall, including Jett Annex, and Rentfrow Hall using funding from the General Obligation Bond approved by voters last fall. Regents also gave the go-ahead to construction of a new skybox for Aggie Memorial Stadium, funded through a private donation.

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Regional
12:15 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Texas Activists Push Tighter Ethics Rules

Buoyed by Gov. Greg Abbott fast-tracking tougher ethics rules proposals through the Legislature, a coalition of political and civil groups has unveiled a package of changes they're championing.

The Texas Anti-Corruption Campaign features left-leaning groups including Public Citizen, and conservatives like the state Libertarian Party.

They'd like to strengthen existing but rarely enforced conflict-of-interest rules against lawmakers voting on bills that could profit their outside livelihoods.

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Regional
12:14 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Navajo Nation Eyes Immigration Program To Boost Economy

Navajo Nation officials hope to lure foreign investments by using a carrot provided by a federal immigration program.

The Daily Times in Farmington, New Mexico, reports that an immigrant investor program known as EB-5 offers legal residency to foreign investors who start a new business or rescue an existing one in the United States, including on tribal lands.

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly said using the EB-5 program could help create jobs and accelerate the tribe's economy with outside investment.

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Regional
9:43 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Legal Challenge Could Halt PARCC Testing In New Mexico

A legal challenge by a Washington-based testing company may halt a controversial assessment exam in New Mexico that has sparked school walkouts and anger from parents and teachers.

A Santa Fe judge is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday in an appeal by the American Institutes for Research. The company is fighting the state's granting of a potentially multi-year contract for Common Core testing to Pearson.

AIR wants to limit Pearson's contract to a year and is seeking another bidding process for later contact years.

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Regional
9:41 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Site Of First Test Of Atomic Bomb To Hold Open House

Credit http://www.wsmr.army.mil/PAO/Trinity/Pages/default.aspx

The test site of the world's first atomic bomb will be open for visitors for one day next month.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports that the public can access Trinity Site during an open house April 4.  

Visitors will be able to walk about a quarter-mile to where a small obelisk marks the spot where the bomb went off.

They can also ride a shuttle to the ranch house where scientists put together the bomb's plutonium core.

The only other day Trinity Site will be open this year is Oct. 3.

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Regional
9:29 am
Mon March 9, 2015

New Mexico Data On State Water Supply Not Sufficient For Future Planning

A ground water well that is used to irrigate a pecan orchards south of Las Cruces
Credit Simon Thompson

New Mexico has been in a sustained drought since 2002 far longer than experts predicted.  And scientists from NASA, Cornell and Columbia University are warning if climate change continues the way it has the drought may get a lot worse.  As Simon Thompson reports some water experts say New Mexico is trailing far behind other southwestern states in developing strategies for sustained growth and water access.

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Regional
9:22 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Spaceport Director To Update Doña Ana County Commission

Credit Spaceport America

Dona Ana County officials will get an update this week on the progress of Spaceport America.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that spaceport authority executive director Christine Anderson is scheduled to speak Tuesday morning at a county commissioners meeting.

Anderson will make a presentation to the five-member panel about the spaceport, which is about 60 miles north of Las Cruces.

Taxes imposed in Dona Ana and Sierra counties have helped pay for the spaceport, which has cost more than $200 million.

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Regional
8:55 am
Mon March 9, 2015

UPDATE: State Auditor Says New Mexico Is Sitting On $4.5 Billion In Unspent Funds

SANTA FE, NM – State Auditor Tim Keller announced that the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) has identified unspent funds in government accounts totaling about $4.5 billion dollars. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) at OSA released the first in a series of reports disclosing public dollars that were previously allocated but remained unspent. The report focuses on state agencies while subsequent volumes will identify funds in school districts, cities and counties.

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Regional
6:45 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Lt. Governor Sanchez Shares Thoughts On Current Legislative Session

Credit http://www.ltgov.state.nm.us/

    

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Regional
6:00 am
Mon March 9, 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
3:05 pm
Sun March 8, 2015

State Auditor: New Mexico Has $4.5 Billion In Unspent Funds

Credit New Mexico State Auditor Timothy Keller (D)

New Mexico has more than $4 billion in unspent funds tied up in hundreds of state agencies, according to a report released Saturday by the State Auditor's Office.

The 25-page report made public by state Auditor Tim Keller looks at whether some of the $4.5 billion in reserved funds could be spent on other projects.

It is the first time such a study has been done by Keller's newly established Government Accountability office.

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Regional
11:02 am
Sun March 8, 2015

Immigration Ruling Part Of The Venue Shopping Game

A federal judge's ruling last month to block President Barack Obama's immigration executive action lays bare a pervasive practice in federal district courts: venue shopping.

Immigration advocates say that lawyers for the state of Texas were seeking a court with sympathetic judges when they filed their case in Brownsville. They found one in U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who on Feb. 16 halted Obama's immigration action. The Texas lawyers played the 50-50 odds and won with Hanen, who is one of only two judges hearing civil cases in that district.

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Regional
11:02 am
Sun March 8, 2015

In Depth: Issues As Big As Texas

Credit Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R)

The Senate raced to pass the session's first bill, approving a road-funding plan that would funnel billions of dollars annually from taxes collected on vehicles sales to transportation projects.

Gov. Greg Abbott made the issue an "emergency item," freeing up the Legislature to pass it quickly. And the proposal's sponsor, Jacksonville Republican Sen. Robert Nichols, sped it through committee.

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Regional
11:01 am
Sun March 8, 2015

Tour Of The Gila Still Needs Funding

Organizers of the annual Tour of the Gila in southwestern New Mexico are holding out hope that enough financing will come through for this year's race.

The Silver City Sun-News reports that race director Jack Brennan says a decision will be made Thursday whether the cycling event will proceed.

Brennan says he is still looking for a title sponsor and $40,000 in funding to put on the April 29 race, which has financial backing from Silver City.

Tour of the Gila has been a signature event in Grant County for nearly 30 years.

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Regional
3:03 pm
Sat March 7, 2015

House Committee Approves Bill To Allow Unlicensed Cougar Hunting

Credit wildlife.state.nm.us

A bill that would allow the unlicensed hunting of cougars and other mountain cats in New Mexico has cleared a hurdle in the state Legislature.

The House Agriculture, Water and Wildlife Committee voted Friday 8-2 to move along legislation that would reverse a law that requires license to hunt cougars.

Under the proposal, people will be able to trap and shoot any number of mountain cats at any time.

Rep. Zach Cook, who is sponsoring the bill, says the measure is a way to better control cougar populations.

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Regional
2:55 pm
Sat March 7, 2015

Father Of Toddler Who Shot Parents Said Gun Had No Safety

The father of a 3-year-old boy who accidentally shot his parents in an Albuquerque motel room frantically called for help, telling 911 dispatchers that the gun had no safety.  Police released recordings of the emergency call from the Jan. 31 incident at the America's Best Value Inn.

Justin Reynolds told a dispatcher that his son had gotten the gun out of his girlfriend's purse.

He is heard saying "it doesn't have a safety and he pulled the trigger, we didn't have it high enough."

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Regional
2:54 pm
Sat March 7, 2015

Texas Coach Involved In Imposter Player Incident Reassigned

A West Texas school district has reassigned a coach whose team gained national attention when a former Haitian star athlete posed as a high school player before going to prison.

Danny Wright won't coach a ninth season as Permian High's boys' basketball coach.

Ector County school Superintendent Tom Crowe said the incident involving Jerry Joseph several years ago played into his decision, as did instances of players competing while academically ineligible.

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Regional
2:53 pm
Sat March 7, 2015

15 Police Officers In Mexico Arrested For Kidnapping, Extortion

A Mexican official says troops have detained 15 federal police officers for allegedly kidnapping the owner of a construction company in the northern border city of Matamoros and demanding a $2 million (31 million peso) ransom.

An official with the federal Attorney General's Office says the officers were arrested late Thursday as they prepared to receive the money they demanded for earlier releasing the businessman. The official agreed on Saturday to reveal details of the case only if not quoted by name, because he wasn't authorized to talk with journalists.

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Regional
10:21 am
Sat March 7, 2015

NYC Teacher Charged With Paying New Mexico Teens For Photos

Federal authorities say at least five New Mexico youths were victims of a New York City high school teacher accused of using a school computer and a photograph of a former student to entice teenage boys to send him photos.

Bernalillo County Sheriff's detectives received calls from parents, who said someone was using a smart phone app to pay their sons for photos.

Detectives began working with the FBI, who arrested 32-year-old Jon Cruz, a teacher in the Bronx, on child porn charges Friday.

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Regional
7:22 am
Sat March 7, 2015

Texas Politican: "All That God Created Is Good, Including Marijuana"

  Rep. David Simpson is a leading Libertarian voice, best known for attempting an unsuccessful tea party insurrection against the Republican House speaker, fiercely opposing airport security pat-downs and championing a law exempting the purchase of gold and silver coins from sales tax.

So it's not much of a surprise the Longview lawmaker would sponsor a blanket marijuana legalization proposal. But his rationale is a shocker: promoting pot on Christian grounds.

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Regional
10:34 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

New Mexico's Republican-Controlled House Passes Abortion Restrictions

The New Mexico House of Representatives has approved a ban on late-term abortions and is now debating a bill requiring parental notification within 48 hours when a minor is seeking to end a pregnancy.

The 42-26 vote came after nearly four hours of debate sending the legislation to the Senate.

Supporters say the late-term abortion ban is designed to bring New Mexico in line with 42 other states that prohibit some abortions after a certain point in pregnancy.

Abortion-rights advocates say women need safe access to abortions, not government interference.

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Regional
4:49 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Blood Drive Supports Troops Overseas

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- The Armed Services Blood Program and Holloman will hold a blood drive on Tuesday, March 10, at the Community Activity Center from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

"The goal for this drive is 50 donations," said Tech. Sgt. Chelsie Davia with the 49th Medical Group. "The past few drives we have reached 45, so we really would like to break 50."

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Regional
4:39 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Robin Reineke, Colibri Center for Human Rights

Saturday, March 14

Location: Good Samaritan Auditorium, 3025 Terrace Drive, Las Cruces, NM 88011

7:00 pm: Film: Who is Dayani Cristal? 

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Regional
4:22 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Deputy Launches Push-Ups For Scholarships Fundraiser

  A Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputy has started a campaign to raise scholarship money for local high school and college students with a physical promise: for every $10 raised, he will do 10 push-ups.

            The fundraiser – sponsored by Pi Nu Sigma Alumni Chapter, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department – officially started Thursday, raising almost $200 among Doña Ana County employees the first day.

            “My goal is to raise $2,000,” said Deputy Jamar Cotton. “And I’m giving myself until May 1 to get it done.”

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Regional
3:44 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Recall Petitions Insufficient For Lack Of Valid Signatures

The three petitioners seeking to initiate a recall election of three Las Cruces city councilors have failed to collect the required number of valid signatures.

City Clerk Esther Martinez-Carrillo Friday notified petitioners for districts 3 and 5 by phone. Under the City Charter, the petitioners must also be notified by certified mail. The city clerk has so far been unable to reach the petitioner for district 4.

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Regional
2:54 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Delegates From Mongolia To Visit NMSU To Learn About Democracy And Education

  Five delegates from Mongolia National University of Education will visit New Mexico State University for a continuing collaboration, discussing different scholarly activities from March 16-21. 

NMSU is the only U.S. university MNUE has connected with at this level for four years with an agreement signed by both universities. Candace Kaye, from NMSU’s College of Education, has been the ongoing liaison between the two universities. She was a Fulbright Teaching and Research Scholar from 2010-2011 in Mongolia. 

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Regional
2:52 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Las Cruces Students To Clean Pauper Cemetery

  The City of Las Cruces Parks & Recreation Department’s After School Programs held at Hermosa Elementary and Valley View Elementary will perform community service at the Doña Ana County Pauper Cemetery on Griggs Avenue at 3 p.m. Friday, March 13.  The pauper cemetery does not have a numerical address but is east of the Doña Ana County road yard at 2025 E. Griggs Ave.

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Regional
2:49 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

NMSU Foundation Investment Launches Aggie Innovation Fund

Credit NMSU President Dr. Garrey Carruthers

  In the past year, New Mexico State University has introduced new technologies and products in areas as wide-ranging as dyes that will help identify and treat cancer, organic pesticides, voice authentication security software, and shrimp that can be grown in the desert. 

The common thread between these innovative ideas is the need for funding to get them off the ground and into the market. To help address this gap, NMSU and Arrowhead Center have created the Aggie Innovation Fund, with an anchor investment of up to $500,000 committed by the NMSU Foundation. 

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Regional
9:10 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Las Cruces Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Drug Charges

ALBUQUERQUE – Anthony Calderon, 40, of Las Cruces, N.M., pleaded guilty in federal court to heroin and methamphetamine trafficking charges.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Calderon will be sentenced to a prison term in the range of 24 to 36 months.

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Regional
8:45 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Support For New Mexico Whistleblowers Could Be Reduced By Changes Proposed In The House

  New Mexico’s Whistleblower Protection Act went into effect in 2010 and since then the state says it has had to spend a lot more money dealing with lawsuits allowed by the law. A bill sponsored by Rep. Larry Larrañaga, R-Albuquerque, (HB 532) would address that by making it harder to make a whistleblower claim.

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