Regional

Regional
6:31 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Las Cruces Council To Consider Climate Change Measure

The Las Cruces City Council will consider a proposed resolution that would urge Congress to pass legislation promoting reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the council is scheduled to take up the proposal Monday.

The measure states Las Cruces has a track record of acknowledging climate change and taking steps to counter it, such as the city's sustainability action plan.

It also states urgent action is needed since further delay only increases the risks to water supplies and boosts the frequency of severe weather.

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Regional
5:00 pm
Sun July 6, 2014

New Mexico Leads The Nation In Alcohol-Related Deaths

New Mexico leads the nation when it comes to deaths related to excessive alcohol use.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in a recent study that New Mexico experienced more deaths per capita that were attributable to alcohol. The rate of 51 deaths per 100,000 people was more than any other state.

Nationally, the study found excessive drinking led to about 88,000 deaths per year from 2006 to 2010 and shortened the lives of those who died by about 30 years.

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Regional
10:11 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Fierce Opposition To Care Plan For 2,000 Migrant Children

  The Dallas County judge expects strong opposition against a county plan to house and care for 2,000 children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border alone.

Clay Jenkins says there has been fierce debate over the proposal, with activists on both sides expected to attend meetings of the commissioners court, as well as community forums.

The judge, a Democrat, is also concerned that demonstrators would come out in force when the immigrant children began arriving in Dallas County at the end of the month.

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Regional
10:08 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Backlash Against Worker Visas

Amid calls for expanding the nation's temporary skilled worker program, some Americans are pushing back. They argue the so-called H-1B program has been hijacked by staffing companies that import cheaper, lower-level workers to replace more expensive U.S. employees.

Lawsuits have cropped up around the country. And some tech worker groups are calling for a boycott of firms that they say are ignoring qualified U.S. workers.

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Regional
10:07 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Veterans Turn To American Legion For Medical Help

  EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The American Legion is hosting crisis centers to help veterans get doctor's appointments and benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

More than 1,800 people in Arizona, North Carolina and Texas have been helped so far. The Legion will set up the temporary centers in seven more cities that also saw the longest waiting times.

The centers come in the wake of the VA scandal that brought to light long wait times and false record-keeping.

The American Legion also holds a town-hall meeting, where veterans can air their grievances.

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Regional
10:05 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Sibling Fight Ends In Stabbing

  A 24-year-old Berino woman was arrested early Saturday morning by Doña Ana County Sheriff’s investigators after the woman allegedly stabbed her younger sister during an argument.

            According to court documents, Laura Del Hierro was arguing with her 20-year-old sister just after 2 a.m.at a home in the 300 block of San Benito Street in Berino when the confrontation escalated to a physical fight. A third sister told investigators Del Hierro grabbed the victim by her hair and dragged her outside where she was reportedly seen “beating up” on the victim.

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Regional
1:45 pm
Sat July 5, 2014

NM Lottery Chief Wants To Cut 30 Percent Revenue Minimum For Scholarship

The head of New Mexico's lottery system wants the state Legislature to cut the 30 percent minimum it is required to provide in revenues to the college scholarship program, noting such a move could increase lottery sales and create a larger revenue stream for the program.

However, a Santa-Fe based think tank, whose 2006 study led state lawmakers to set the minimum, says the move would only put more money in the pockets of lottery administrators.

The Legislative Lottery Scholarship program provides tuition money for students at state-funded institutions.

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Regional
1:40 pm
Sat July 5, 2014

Former Union Pacific Contractor Could Face Fines

A former contractor on a $400 million Union Pacific railroad hub in Santa Teresa along the state's southern border with Mexico is accused of bidding for the job without a legal New Mexico license.  Potential fines levied against the company could reach into the millions of dollars.

The state Construction Industries Division began an investigation into the company about two years ago. The newspaper reports that formal complaints were filed in March.

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Regional
1:34 pm
Sat July 5, 2014

Bandelier Chief Ranger Wins Highest National Park Service Ranger Award

From left: National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis; Bandelier Chief Ranger Tom Betts with Yount Award; Tom's son Drew, wife Beth, daughter Dana, and mother Kathy.
Credit NPS photo

  BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT, NM – Tom Betts, Bandelier National Monument’s chief ranger and a 32-year veteran of the National Park Service (NPS), has been named the 2013 recipient of the Harry Yount National Park Ranger Award. The honor, bestowed at a ceremony June 25 in Washington, DC, is the NPS’s highest accolade for excellence in the art and science of rangering.

Betts, who grew up in national parks as a park ranger’s son, became chief ranger at Bandelier in 2009 after serving at some of the Park Service’s “crown jewel” parks from Alaska to Wyoming to Arizona.

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Regional
10:33 am
Sat July 5, 2014

Six Shot At Houston Music Festival

  Authorities say six people have been injured in a shooting at Houston music festival.

Houston police spokeswoman Jodi Silva says witnesses say a man opened fire at 1:55 a.m. Saturday on a crowd of several thousand people inside an arena at the Houston Caribbean Festival, hitting four men.

Silva says people panicked and began to flee, and two females were hurt.

Silva says the shooting victims were taken to hospitals, and one man is in critical condition.

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Regional
10:31 am
Sat July 5, 2014

Five Arrested At Immigration Protest

Authorities say five people were arrested amid dueling anti- and pro-immigration rallies after a confrontation with police near a U.S. Border Patrol station in Southern California.

Murrieta police Lt. Jon Flavin says police came to investigate a fight between two women in the crowd of protesters Friday. Flavin says officers identified one of the women, who resisted them as they tried to interview her, and two more women and two men then interfered with the officers.

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Regional
10:30 am
Sat July 5, 2014

Democrat Top Fundraiser In Attorney General Race

Credit Hector Balderas

  New campaign finance reports show Democrat Hector Balderas holding a big cash advantage in the race for attorney general.

Balderas, a two-term state auditor, had cash-on-hand of $787,000 last week. Republican Susan Riedel reported a balance of about $94,000. Balderas collected about $131,000 in contributions in the past month compared with $59,000 by Riedel.

Candidates and political committees filed reports Thursday showing fundraising from May 28 through June 28.

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Regional
4:02 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

King Seeks To Intervene In Veteran's Appeal

  Attorney General Gary King is asking the New Mexico Supreme Court for permission to intervene in a lawsuit on behalf of a disabled veteran who was fired by the state after serving two tours in Iraq.

King, a Democrat running against Gov. Susana Martinez, says the state should have already settled the case. Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell says the man was fired twice previously by the Richardson administration for insubordination and not showing up to work.

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Regional
4:00 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Immigrants Screened At El Paso Hospitals

  The Border Patrol in West Texas will use local hospitals to perform health screenings of immigrants apprehended crossing the border.

Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero says that they've met with local hospitals to find "the most ideal process of handling any undocumented immigrants flown into El Paso from South Texas."

As the number of immigrants —mostly unaccompanied minors and family groups— spiked in South Texas, the Department of Homeland Security is scrambling to find places to house the family groups.

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Regional
3:58 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

New Mexico Wildfire 50 Percent Contained

  Officials say a wildfire burning in northern New Mexico's Jemez Mountains has been 50 percent contained.

The lightning-sparked Diego Fire has burned approximately 5.6 square miles of mixed conifer forest about 8 miles south of Coyote.

Crews say they have taken advantage of favorable weather conditions that included higher humidity and that growth of the fire was minimal. But they were concerned Friday that afternoon thunderstorms could hamper efforts to increase containment.

No injuries have been reported.

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Regional
3:57 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Disgraced Former El Paso Schools Chief In Halfway House

  The former El Paso School District superintendent sentenced to 42 months in prison for his role as mastermind of a test cheating scandal has moved to a halfway house as the end of his prison term approaches.

Lorenzo Garcia received a sentence reduction for completing a Bureau of Prisons drug rehabilitation program while incarcerated and is set to be released in November. The end of his term was originally October 2015.

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Regional
3:54 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Roofing Torch Sparks Las Cruces Fire

  The Las Cruces Fire Department extinguished an attic fire in a central Las Cruces residence today.

Firefighters responded to the 200-block of West Chestnut Avenue around 11:30 a.m. after the resident discovered his attic was on fire. Crews encountered heavy smoke conditions on arrival. The fire was brought under control within 20 minutes.

The homeowner told investigators that he was using a torch for a roofing project and accidently ignited the insulation in the attic. The residents were able to evacuate the home without incident.

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Regional
10:01 am
Fri July 4, 2014

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
8:30 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Feral Pigs Challenge Ranching Community In Southeast New Mexico

A feral pig looking for food in the New Mexican wilderness
Credit Courtesy of the USDA

Feral pigs cost the U.S. $1.5 billion dollars every year. But wild pigs aren’t just endangering wildlife and native plants. The animals are threatening the livelihood of a longtime ranching community in Otero County.

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Regional
8:16 am
Fri July 4, 2014

FBI Searching For Pickup Truck In Shiprock Death

Federal authorities are searching for pickup truck possibly involved in the death of a 21-year-old man near Shiprock last month.

The FBI says the body of 21-year-old Ryan Hill was found June 22 on Mesa Farm Road about six miles west of Shiprock on the Navajo Nation.

They say a witness reported seeing a man run after a bright red pickup truck shortly before the body was discovered.

FBI officials say the witness described the truck as stopping and starting while the man chased it.

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Regional
8:14 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Gov. Martinez Raises Nearly $875,000 For Re-Election

Credit Office of the Governor

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez raised nearly $875,000 for her re-election campaign in the past month, which was more than twice as much as Democrat challenger Gary King.

The King campaign reported Thursday raising about $320,700 since late May, with $200,000 coming from personal loans from the candidate.

King spent about $280,000, with $200,000 of that to air advertising.

The governor had cash-on-hand of $4.3 million in her re-election account as of last week, after spending almost $860,000.

King had a cash balance of $116,000.

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Regional
8:10 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Sen. Udall: Little Impact From Artesia Immigrant Center

Credit Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Sen. Tom Udall says he thinks people in Artesia, New Mexico, are getting more comfortable with the idea of having Central American immigrants brought to a detention center in their community.

Udall was in southeastern New Mexico Thursday to tour the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Barracks at the border patrol training facility are being used to house the overflow of immigrants caught trying to enter the country illegally.

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Regional
4:03 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Martinez Appoints Hobbs Woman To Fifth Judicial District Court

Credit Office of the Governor

  Today Governor Susana Martinez announced the appointment of Laura Castillo of Hobbs to the Fifth Judicial District Court in Lea County. Governor Martinez recently signed into law House Bill 141, which created additional judgeships throughout the state. Castillo’s appointment to the Fifth Judicial District Court fills one of these vacancies.

“Laura Castillo’s diverse legal experience will be very valuable in setting the right tone for this newly established judgeship, and I am confident she will ably serve the people of Lea County,” said Governor Martinez.

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Regional
3:11 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Albuquerque Veteran Dies After Waiting 30 Minutes For An Ambulance

A veteran who collapsed in an Albuquerque Veteran Affairs hospital cafeteria, 500 yards from the emergency room, died after waiting 30 minutes for an ambulance.

Officials at the hospital Thursday confirmed it took a half an hour for the ambulance to be dispatched and take the man from one building to the other, which is about a five minute walk.

VA spokeswoman Sonja Brown says Kirtland Air Force Medical Group personnel performed CPR until the ambulance arrived.

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Regional
3:10 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Perry Calls For Quick Deportation Of Immigrant Children

Credit Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

  Gov. Rick Perry has testified at a U.S. House Homeland Security Committee hearing in South Texas that in addition to the humanitarian crisis created by a flood of unaccompanied child immigrants, there is a crisis involving border security.

More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been apprehended since October after entering the United States illegally. Three-fourths of them are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador and say they're fleeing pervasive gang violence and crushing poverty.

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Regional
3:08 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Los Alamos Admits Violating Nuclear Waste Permit

Los Alamos National Laboratory says it made mistakes in packaging the waste that has been linked to a radiation leak at the government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico.

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Regional
3:07 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Texas Schools Allowed To Exceed Class Size Limits

More than 1,200 schools across Texas have been granted a state exemption that allows them to exceed limits on class sizes.

The Texas Education Agency allowed 1,272 elementary schools to exceed the 22-pupil limit in kindergarten through fourth grade. Most of the schools cited "financial hardship" or "unanticipated growth" in requesting a waiver.

Most school districts in Texas boosted class sizes across all grade levels over the last three years, but they're not required to receive the state's permission to put more students in grades five through 12.

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Regional
2:36 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Hired Hand Convicted Of Stealing Coins

  An El Paso man was found guilty of theft Wednesday after Doña Ana County Sheriff’s investigators say he pilfered thousands of dollars worth of collectible coins from his boss.

   Richard Ledbetter, 58, was reportedly hired six years ago by an Anthony man to do yard work and maintenance around the man’s home. Over the course of about eight months, Ledbetter gained access to the man’s extensive coin collection, which had been amassed during a 40-year period.

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Regional
11:14 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Official: FBI To Probe Texas VA Facility

  A Texas congressman says the FBI will investigate criminal allegations involving the scheduling of patients at the Veterans Affairs facility in Temple.

U.S. Rep. John Carter said Wednesday that he's spoken to FBI Director James Comey and secured an agency investigation into the Central Texas facility. It is one of many across the country facing allegations that patients had appointments delayed or canceled.

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Regional
11:12 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Four Injured In Las Vegas, New Mexico Plane Crash

  A single-engine plane crashed while landing at a northern New Mexico airport, injuring all four people aboard, including one critically.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the pilot was hospitalized in critical condition while the three passengers on the plane suffered less serious injuries in the crash at the Las Vegas airport late Wednesday.

Identities were not released but FAA records indicate the plane is registered to a man with an address in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

Lunsford says the plane was flying to Las Vegas from Ames, Iowa.

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