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8:41am

Wed March 19, 2014
Local and State News

ABQ Biopark Zoo Welcomes Tiny New Dove To The Nest

(Information in the following story is from: KRQE-TV, http://www.krqe.com)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Feathers are getting ruffled by a new member of the Albuquerque zoo's family.

KRQE-TV reports that the ABQ Biopark Zoo is caring for a new tiny bird known as the Socorro Dove.

Zoo officials say the breed is extinct in the wild and only a hundred exist in captivity.

The zoo currently houses 25 Socorro Doves as part of its special breeding program to increase the bird's population.

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3:39pm

Tue March 18, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Special Session for Tesla Eyed

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says a legislative special session to help the state win a Tesla Motors facility is a possibility.

New Mexico is one of four states that Tesla's Fremont, Calif., assembly plant has identified as finalists for a battery factory. Others are Arizona, Nevada and Texas.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Martinez says her office is evaluating whether a special session is necessary to complete a package of economic incentives being crafted to help make New Mexico more appealing to Tesla.

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3:38pm

Tue March 18, 2014
Local and State News

More Bats Found in Cave at N.M. National Monument

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — Researchers report finding twice as many bats hibernating in a cave at a national monument in in northwestern New Mexico and they say that may be the result of fewer human visitors.

The Gallup Independent reports that researchers found 180 bats hibernating in Junction Cave at El Malpais National Monument near Grants during a winter count.

That's up from between 80 and 90 in the past.

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3:37pm

Tue March 18, 2014
Local and State News

Albuquerque School Bus Driver Arrested

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A school bus driver in Albuquerque is accused of unsafe driving.

Bernalillo County sheriff's Sgt. Aaron Williamson says callers reported that the bus had cut off a motorist and applied its brakes without regard for the safety of kids on the bus or of other motorists.

Williamson says there weren't any kids on the bus when it was pulled over in southwest Albuquerque Monday afternoon. He says they'd already been dropped off.

He says 51-year-old Linda Barreto was arrested on suspicion of child abuse and possession of dangerous drugs.

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3:36pm

Tue March 18, 2014
Local and State News

Advocates To Hold Protests Targeting Pearce

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Immigrant advocates are preparing for another string of demonstrations targeting the lone Republican of New Mexico's congressional delegation.

The group Somos Un Pueblo Unido announced this week that activists will hold at least three protests in the district of Congressman Steve Pearce. He represents the state's border region and its most Hispanic congressional district.

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3:35pm

Tue March 18, 2014
Local and State News

Fire Burns Thousands of Acres in Eastern N.M.

CROSSROADS, N.M. (AP) — A wildfire that burned thousands of acres of prairie in eastern New Mexico is now fully contained.

Crews are mopping up hot spots remaining from the Highway 508 fire, which started in Lea County before moving into Roosevelt County.

Its size is estimated at 8,000 to 10,000 acres.

State Forestry Division spokesman Dan Ware says lighter winds and cooler temperatures helped firefighting efforts late Monday.

Cause of the fire is under investigation.

1:51pm

Wed March 12, 2014
Local and State News

UNM Fares Well in Graduate School Rankings

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico's School of Medicine and College of Nursing are being recognized among "America's Best Graduate Schools."

UNM says that its School of Medicine's rural medicine program is ranked second in the nation in the upcoming issue of U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Graduate Schools" for 2015. The College of Nursing's midwife program is fifth.

The magazine also ranks the School of Medicine's Family Medicine curriculum 9th and Primary Care curriculum 40th.

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1:49pm

Wed March 12, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Investments Notch 16.3 Percent Return

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's permanent investment funds recorded a healthy return of nearly 16.3 percent during 2013.

The State Investment Council says the returns are more than twice its target of 7.5 percent.

According to the council, the returns benefited from rising stock markets and a strategy of selling high.

The council says it's been reducing the overall portfolio's volatility through improved diversification and an increased focus on income-producing assets such as energy, timber and real estate.

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1:48pm

Wed March 12, 2014
Local and State News

Las Cruces Orders Ethics Training for City Workers

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Las Cruces is making the city's more than 1,300 employees take a refresher class on ethics.

City Manager Robert Garza says that's because of several cases of alleged wrongdoing by employees.

Those cases include pending forgery and embezzlement allegations against at least one automobile fleet management worker and streets workers being accused of diverting city materials.

New city employees already receive ethics training during orientation shorty after being hired.

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8:46am

Mon March 10, 2014
Local and State News

Air Testing at Nuclear Dump Shows No Contamination

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy says new air testing in the nation's only underground nuclear repository shows no detectable radioactive contamination from a leak last month.

Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad said Sunday that instruments used to measure air quality and radioactivity were sent underground Friday and Saturday in the first step to resuming operations at the plant.

They say initial results indicate no contamination in the air or on the measuring equipment.

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8:44am

Mon March 10, 2014
Local and State News

New Law will Allow Schools to Stock Emergency Medications

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico schools will now be able to stock emergency medication to treat students who suffer asthma attacks or allergic reactions.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed Senate Bill 75 into law Sunday at the American Lung Association's Albuquerque office.

Martinez says the law can and will save the lives of children.

The legislation will allow school nurses to administer the medication even to students who don't have a prescription.

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8:42am

Mon March 10, 2014
Local and State News

FBI Searching for Suspect in Albuquerque Bank Robbery

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The FBI and Albuquerque police are looking for a man suspected of robbing a US Bank.

Authorities say the suspect robbed the bank on Central Avenue on Friday while wearing a surgical mask, sunglasses and a dark hoodie jacket.

According to witnesses, the man entered the bank around 10:40 a.m. and walked up to a teller, demanding money.

The suspect received an undisclosed amount of cash and then left on foot.

He is described as black, in his 50s, about 5'10" tall with a medium build.

8:39am

Mon March 10, 2014
Local and State News

Gov. Martinez Signs Community Health Workers Act

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Legislation that would create a state certification program for all community health workers in New Mexico will become law.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed off on the legislation Sunday afternoon after participating in a discussion with several health workers in Albuquerque.

The bill creates voluntary community health worker training that would be the standard statewide.

Martinez says community health workers are an important piece of the health care workforce, particularly in rural and underserved areas of New Mexico.

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8:37am

Mon March 10, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Gay Married Couples Ready for Tax Time

(Information in the following story is from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Some same-sex couples in New Mexico will get to experience for the first time what married couples go through every spring — sorting through joint tax returns.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that this year married gay couples will be able to file jointly.

Santa Fe County Commissioner Liz Stefanics and Linda Siegle, a lobbyist for Equality New Mexico, say they are happy about filing jointly because it will mean a bigger tax refund.

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9:34am

Fri March 7, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Girl Sentenced for Killing Foster Mom

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — A 17-year-old girl who pleaded guilty in the killing of her foster mother in her southern New Mexico home now faces roughly 10 years in prison.

District Court Judge James Counts on Wednesday sentenced Alexis Shields to 30 years in prison but suspended 17 years of the sentence.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports the remaining 13 years of the sentence will be reduced by the 999 days that Shields has spent in custody since Evelyn Miranda was killed in June 2011.

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9:33am

Fri March 7, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Lifts Tax from Aircraft Maintenance

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico will no longer tax parts and labor for maintaining aircraft under a new law taking effect in July.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed the tax break into law on Thursday along with a measure to establish a one-stop online portal in state government that will allow businesses to pay fees and file forms, such as licensing applications to operate in New Mexico.

The website portal is to be operating by July 2017. Currently, a business might have to deal with several agencies, potentially going to their physical offices or their individual websites.

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9:33am

Fri March 7, 2014
Local and State News

Sexual Assault Suit Woman Suing Former New Mexico Parole Officer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico has filed a lawsuit against the state Corrections Department and a former probation officer accused of sexually assaulting a woman.

Gordon Chavez was sentenced this week to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty in September to a civil rights violation.

The ACLU's suit filed on behalf of a parolee who alleges that Chavez violated her constitutional rights.

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9:32am

Fri March 7, 2014
Local and State News

Few Attend Town Hall on Mishap at Nuke Dump

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Few people attended a town hall meeting Thursday as the U.S. Department of Energy released more information on its efforts to recover from a radiation leak last month at the nation's only underground nuclear waste dump.

Several dozen residents, workers, elected officials and others turned out for the evening meeting, but the large auditorium at the edge of town was nearly empty.

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9:31am

Fri March 7, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Water Official Tapped for Federal Job

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico water official has been selected by President Barack Obama to run the Bureau of Reclamation, which manages dams, reservoirs and hydroelectric power plants across the West.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell issued a statement Thursday praising the president's plan to nominate Interstate Stream Commission Director Estevan Lopez as commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Lopez will administer an agency with a $1 billion budget and more than 5,000 employees.

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10:15am

Thu March 6, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Governor: Tone Down Political Rhetoric

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is calling on political opponents to tone down harsh rhetoric and asking that critics of President Barack Obama respect his office despite political differences.

The Republican rising star and nation's only Latina governor made the remarks Wednesday during a conference call with reporters on GOP efforts to recruit more women and minority candidates.

Her comments come after the president of a prominent Latino advocacy group called Obama the "deporter in chief."

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