Local and State News

12:10pm

Tue January 21, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Legislature To Convene 30-Day Session

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez will outline her legislative priorities to lawmakers on the opening day of the Legislature's 30-day session.

Lawmakers convene at noon Tuesday, and the governor will deliver her State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate.

Martinez already has unveiled parts of her legislative agenda, including merit pay for teachers and budget increases for programs to help train more health care professionals.

Read more

12:08pm

Tue January 21, 2014
Local and State News

NM Prosecutor To Leave Office, Keep Roswell Case

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — The top state prosecutor for two eastern New Mexico counties plans to step down soon but he says it won't affect his work on a school shooting in Roswell.

Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler says he'll leave office March 1 to start a private law practice focusing on civil litigation.

The 9th Judicial District includes Curry and Roosevelt counties.

Chandler last week was named to handle the case in which a Roswell middle school student faces juvenile charges in the wounding of two other students.

Read more

12:07pm

Tue January 21, 2014
Local and State News

Dad of NM Shooting Victim: Shooter 'Not A Bad Boy'

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — The family of a New Mexico middle school girl shot by a fellow student on campus says the suspected shooter "is not a bad boy."

The Roswell Daily Record reports that Bert Sanders, the father of 13-year-old victim Kendal, told reporters Monday he believes the boy's family are "good people." He also says his daughter and the suspected shooter are friends.

Kendal and 12-year-old Nathaniel Tavarez were wounded when the young gunman entered the crowded Berrendo Middle School gym Jan. 14 and fired three times from a 20-gauge shotgun.

Read more

10:04am

Fri January 17, 2014
Local and State News

Governor Says NM School Shooting Victim Improving

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez says the boy who was shot in the face and neck at a New Mexico middle school is on a breathing machine and is heavily sedated, but his doctors are optimistic.

Martinez says the 12-year-old remains in critical condition at a Texas hospital and that doctors have repaired slight damage to his heart. She also says his face has pockmarks from the shotgun pellets, and both of his eyes are injured.

But Martinez says the boy has improved, and his doctors "feel good about him."

Read more

10:02am

Fri January 17, 2014
Local and State News

Two NM Police Officers Hurt After Responding To Call

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque police officer is hospitalized in serious condition after being injured while trying to arrest a man accused of domestic violence.

Police say the female officer was struck in the head multiple times in yesterday afternoon's attack.

They say a male officer was struck in the face by the suspect and was being treated at a hospital.

Police say 40-year-old Anthony Abeyta allegedly attacked both officers. He's in custody and facing multiple charges.

Read more

10:00am

Fri January 17, 2014
Local and State News

Legislative Panel Plans Review of Fairgrounds Deal

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Senate committee leader plans a hearing during the upcoming legislative session on the awarding by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration of a state fairgrounds lease for a horse racing track and casino.

Rules Committee chairwoman Sen. Linda Lopez, an Albuquerque Democrat who is running for governor against Martinez, said yesterday the panel wants to question current and former State Fair commissioners about the 2011 lease awarded to the Downs at Albuquerque allowing the construction of a larger casino at the fairgrounds.

Read more

9:58am

Fri January 17, 2014
Local and State News

Congress Cuts Funding for Horse Slaughter

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Congress has again cut funding for inspections at horse slaughterhouses, the latest blow to efforts to resume horse slaughter in the U.S.

Congress yesterday passed a $1.1 trillion budget bill that prohibits the Department of Agriculture from spending money for inspectors at equine facilities.

The last domestic horse slaughterhouses closed in 2007, a year after Congress first cut funding for the inspections in an attempt to shutter the industry.

Read more

9:57am

Fri January 17, 2014
Local and State News

Legislature Meeting Against Election-Year Backdrop

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A plateful of problems, including a weak economy and struggling schools, await New Mexico's lawmakers when they to return to work for an election-year legislative session.

The Legislature's 30-day session convenes Tuesday against a potentially divisive political backdrop.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is seeking re-election, and two of her Democratic challengers serve in the state Senate. All 70 members of the state House are up for election.

Read more

9:43am

Thu January 16, 2014
Local and State News

Suspect's Family 'Heartbroken' Over NM Shooting

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — The family of a 12-year-old New Mexico boy who police say opened fire inside his middle school gym is heartbroken over the tragedy.

The boy's parents and grandparents issued a statement through their lawyer yesterday, saying their thoughts and prayers are with the two children who were shot Tuesday at Berrendo Middle School.

The family says its remorse cannot be expressed in words. They added that they love the boy and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as they piece together "how this awful tragedy occurred."

Read more

9:42am

Thu January 16, 2014
Local and State News

Geothermal Plant Now Operating in Hidalgo County

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A new geothermal plant located in southwestern New Mexico is providing electricity to PNM Resources, the state's largest utility.

The Lightning Dock plant constructed in Hidalgo County by Cyrq (serk) Energy Inc. pumps naturally hot water from deep under the ground to heat a fluid that spins turbines to produce electricity.

The slightly cooled water is then re-injected back into the aquifer.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the plant began production in late December and is generating about 4 megawatts of electricity.

Read more

9:41am

Thu January 16, 2014
Local and State News

State Sued Over Developmentally Disabled Services

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Family members and legal guardians of developmentally disabled New Mexicans have sued Gov. Susana Martinez's administration over cuts in services.

A lawsuit was filed in federal court yesterday to restore the services lost by individuals and stop the administration from continuing with changes to control costs in a Medicaid-funded program serving about 4,000 people.

Read more

9:40am

Thu January 16, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Mother Indicted in Son's Beating Death

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque mother has been indicted on several charges after police say she repeatedly kicked her 9-year-old son, resulting in his death.

Prosecutors announced the indictment of 38-year-old Synthia Varela-Casaus yesterday. A formal arraignment has yet to be scheduled.

A grand jury handed up the charges Tuesday. They include one count of child abuse resulting in death, five counts of child abuse and one count of tampering with evidence.

Read more

9:39am

Thu January 16, 2014
Local and State News

Santa Fe Grand Jury Finds NMSP Shooting Justified

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Santa Fe grand jury has found New Mexico State Police were justified in last year's fatal shooting of a woman after a car chase.

Jeanette Anaya was shot in the head and back after police say she aggressively backed her car toward an officer in November.

Medical examiners determined the 39-year-old Santa Fe woman had cocaine in her system at the time.

Read more

8:58am

Wed January 15, 2014
Local and State News

Governor: Boy Shot at School Undergoes 2nd Surgery

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says a boy shot by a classmate at their middle school underwent a second surgery and a girl who was wounded is now in stable condition.

Martinez said at a press conference late yesterday that the girl has been identified as 13-year-old Kendal Sanders. The wounded boy is in critical condition.

Authorities say the two were shot when a 12-year-old boy opened fire at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell yesterday morning.

Read more

8:57am

Wed January 15, 2014
Local and State News

Man Gets Prison in Rape Of Ex-Girlfriend in Clovis

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — A man convicted of sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend at gunpoint before pointing a weapon at Clovis police has been sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Prosecutors say 25-year-old Paul Villanueva was sentenced yesterday and will serve at least 85 percent of his term.

Villanueva will be required to register as a lifetime sex offender and must serve up to 20 years of intensely supervised probation and lifetime parole.

He had faced up to a 70-year sentence after being convicted in the case.

Read more

8:56am

Wed January 15, 2014
Local and State News

Suspect Arrested After Ramming Police Car

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A man who rammed a vehicle into an Albuquerque police car and then barricaded himself in a home now is in custody.

Albuquerque police say 23-year-old Jonathan Zottnieck climbed out of a window and was arrested behind the home yesterday afternoon.

They say he's facing multiple charges including suspicion of aggravated assault on a peace officer and residential burglary.

Police originally responded to a call about a suspicious situation near Richmond and Indian School about 11:20 a.m.

Read more

8:54am

Wed January 15, 2014
Local and State News

Mobile Home in Domestic Violence Standoff Burns

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say they don't know where a domestic violence suspect is following a fire that burned an Albuquerque mobile home.

Albuquerque police say they've issued an arrest warrant for 27-year-old Joel Castillo-Angel.

They say he's facing multiple charges in connection with yesterday morning's incident.

Police say two victims have been identified and say Castillo-Angel allegedly attacked them with a knife.

He was believed to be inside a mobile home that went up in flames for unknown reasons.

Read more

8:53am

Wed January 15, 2014
Local and State News

NM Health Care Plan Signups Mostly Older

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New government figures show that older New Mexicans account for the largest share of those who've enrolled in health coverage plans through a federally operated insurance exchange.

President Barack Obama's administration reported Monday that 7,688 New Mexicans had selected an insurance plan using the government-run marketplace through last month.

New Mexicans ages 35 to 64 represented about 74 percent of enrollment. However, that age group accounts for not quite 40 percent of the state's population.

Read more

9:37am

Tue January 14, 2014
Local and State News

10 Teens Swarm Albuquerque Store During Robbery

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police say 10 young women swarmed into a clothing store to steal goods and then ran outside and threw rocks at windows of the store after one was caught.

The thieves were shoving clothes and shoes into their purses while two of them tried to distract store personnel.

Police say a store employee suspected something was wrong and called police while the theft was in progress.

The young women started to run out but one was detained by store personnel and later arrested by police.

Read more

9:36am

Tue January 14, 2014
Local and State News

EPA Modeling Details Threat of NM Jet Fuel Spill

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — It could be 30 years before a huge plume of contamination at Kirtland Air Force Base reaches the nearest drinking water wells in New Mexico's largest city.

That finding is part of a draft report released yesterday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in response to a public records request filed by the watchdog group Citizen Action.

The report's author, Scott Ellinger, modeled several scenarios in an effort to determine movement of the plume, which consists of jet fuel and a chemical called EDB.

Read more

Pages