Local and State News

10:43am

Sun February 9, 2014
Local and State News

Dick Estell: 'Radio Reader' Issues Will Be Corrected

This is Dick Estell.  I would like to apologize for the problems our daily book-reading program has recently suffered.  I have been assured that the problem has been identified and been corrected.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

9:41am

Fri February 7, 2014
Local and State News

NM Woman Settles Solitary Confinement Lawsuit

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A woman who says she was kept in a filthy, isolated New Mexico jail cell for months at a time has agreed to a $1.6 million settlement.

Fifty-one-year-old Jan Green filed a federal lawsuit last year against Valencia County, alleging she was held in deplorable conditions on and off for two years.

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9:40am

Fri February 7, 2014
Local and State News

Court Upholds Mount Taylor Cultural Status

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme has upheld a tribal cultural designation that protects hundreds of thousands of acres on Mount Taylor.

In a ruling yesterday, the justices said the New Mexico Cultural Properties Review Committee acted lawfully when it granted the special designation for some 400,000 acres of public land on the mountain in 2009. The court did, however, reverse the panel's inclusion of 19,000 acres of land grant property, saying it was not state land as defined in the Cultural Properties Act.

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9:39am

Fri February 7, 2014
Local and State News

Officers Who Went To Boy's Home Under Scrutiny

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — In a development related to a 9-year-old boy's death months later, Albuquerque police say two officers left the boy's home long before reporting that they'd finished responding to a 911 call from the home.

The officers went to the home last June in response to the 911 call in which a dispatcher overheard profane and abusive comments. Months later, the mother of Omaree Varela was arrested in the boy's death at the home.

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9:37am

Fri February 7, 2014
Local and State News

NM Budget Splits House Committee Along Party Lines

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Senate committee has shelved a proposal to raise New Mexico's minimum wage by 50 cents an hour.

The Public Affairs Committee turned down the proposal yesterday on 6-2 vote.

Most of the panel's Democrats said the proposed increase wasn't enough to adequately help workers. The minimum wage has been $7.50 an hour since 2009.

The proposal by Democratic Sen. Clemente Sanchez of Grants would have increased the rate to $8.

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9:36am

Fri February 7, 2014
Local and State News

NM Boy Injured in School Shooting Released

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — A 12-year-old New Mexico boy seriously injured in a school shooting last month has been released from a Texas hospital.

Officials with the University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, said Wednesday that Nathaniel Tavarez was recently released after recovering from injuries to his eyes, chest, face and heart.

Officials would not say where the Roswell boy would go next for treatment or if he was headed home.

A seventh-grader is accused of taking a shotgun to Berrendo Middle School in Roswell and opening fire on Tavarez and another girl Jan. 14.

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9:34am

Fri February 7, 2014
Local and State News

Work Resumes at Nuke Repository Following Fire

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Work has resumed at southeastern New Mexico's nuclear waste repository. But officials say they don't yet know what caused the truck fire that forced an evacuation of the underground site.

A spokesman says an investigation will be conducted at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, where low level waste from the nation's nuclear weapons plants is stored in salt beds.

The site was evacuated and six people were treated for smoke inhalation after a truck hauling salt caught fire Wednesday.

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9:30am

Thu February 6, 2014
Local and State News

NM Girl Hurt in DWI Crash To Get Firefighter Visit

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An 11-year-old New Mexico girl injured in a suspected drunken driven motorcycle crash that killed her father is getting a special visit from firefighters.

The Albuquerque Fire Department planned a visit yesterday to bring Magen Sanchez gifts while she recovers from injuries at the University of New Mexico Hospital.

Authorities say a truck driven by Jacob Williams veered over a center line last month near Belen, killing 51-year-old Daniel Sanchez and seriously injuring his daughter.

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9:29am

Thu February 6, 2014
Local and State News

Fire Prompts Evacuation of Nuclear Repository

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say six people have been released from the hospital after being treated for smoke inhalation after a truck caught fire in the federal government's underground nuclear waste repository in southeastern New Mexico.

Officials say a truck hauling salt caught fire in the north mine about 11 a.m. yesterday at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M.

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9:28am

Thu February 6, 2014
Local and State News

Panel To Consider Higher Permanent Fund Payout

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Senate panel has endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment that would provide more than $100 million for early childhood education.

The proposal by Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, a Belen Democrat, would increase yearly payouts from the Land Grant Permanent Fund to help finance early childhood programs.

The Rules Committee approved the measure on a 5-4 party-line vote yesterday, with Republicans in opposition.

A coalition of religious, education and social advocacy groups backs the proposal.

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9:27am

Thu February 6, 2014
Local and State News

House, Senate Panels Split on Capitol Gun Limits

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposal to restrict firearms in part of the New Mexico Capitol has cleared a House committee but a similar proposal failed in a Senate panel.

The House Judiciary Committee endorsed a measure yesterday to ban firearms, except by law enforcement officers or people with concealed handgun licenses, in the House chambers, galleries and comittee rooms.

The proposal would establish the ban as rule of the House rather than changing state law. The measure goes to another House panel.

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9:26am

Thu February 6, 2014
Local and State News

NM Panel Endorses Navajo Gambling Compact

NM panel endorses Navajo gambling compact

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A legislative panel is recommending the New Mexico Legislature approve a proposed gambling compact with the Navajo Nation that would allow the state's largest tribe to open more casinos.

The Committee on Compacts voted 12-4 yesterday to forward the gambling agreement to the House and Senate for a vote this session.

Navajo leaders said after the meeting that they are confident of winning legislative approval for the gambling agreement.

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9:03am

Wed February 5, 2014
Local and State News

Chaparral Man Arrested in Metal Theft Case

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A man accused of stealing scrap metal and vehicle parts in Chaparral now is in custody.

Dona Ana County Sheriff's deputies say 20-year-old Lorenzo Cano is being held on a $5,000 secured bond on suspicion of non-residential burglary.

On Dec. 20, a sheriff's deputy noticed a group of men standing near a pickup truck loaded with scrap metal.

After talking to the men, the deputy determined the scrap metal and various vehicle parts didn't belong to any of them.

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9:02am

Wed February 5, 2014
Local and State News

911 Call Released Linked To Home of Dead NM Boy

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police have released a 911 recording linked to an address where a 9-year-old Albuquerque boy was found dead six months later.

On the 911 call released yesterday and recorded June 2013, a male is heard verbally abusing and using expletives at someone named "Omaree." A woman's voice also is heard screaming as a child cries in the background.

Albuquerque police later traced the call to the same site where 9-year-old Omaree Varela would be found dead in December.

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9:01am

Wed February 5, 2014
Local and State News

5 Democrats in Race To Unseat Martinez

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Five Democrats have officially entered the race to unseat Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King, Santa Fe businessman Alan Weber, longtime government worker Lawrence Rael of Albuquerque and state Sens. Howie Morales of Silver City and Linda Lopez of Albuquerque yesterday turned in the petitions and paperwork required to qualify for the Democratic Party's June primary ballot.

No one has filed to run against Martinez in the GOP primary.

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9:00am

Wed February 5, 2014
Local and State News

Panel Oks Study of Cost-Sharing for Amtrak Route

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A legislative panel has approved a proposal to study whether New Mexico should pay part of the costs for keeping Amtrak's Southwest Chief route, but lawmakers are reluctant to immediately commit money for maintaining and improving the track.

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3:19pm

Tue February 4, 2014
Local and State News

NM Preserve Submits Latest Report to Congress

VALLES CALDERA NATIONAL PRESERVE, N.M. (AP) — Not as many people visited Valles Caldera National Preserve in 2013 as the previous year.

Officials say the 11 percent drop in visitation is a result of the northern New Mexico preserve being forced to close while firefighters battled the Thompson Ridge Fire.

The blaze burned across more than 36 square miles of the preserve during the height of the summer tourist season.

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3:18pm

Tue February 4, 2014
Local and State News

Panel Chairwoman Opposes Highlands Regent Nominee

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Senate committee leader is opposing Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's appointee to the governing board of New Mexico Highlands University.

Rules Committee chairwoman Linda Lopez, an Albuquerque Democrat, said Monday she'll recommend the panel reject Carl Foster's nomination to the university's board of regents.

Lopez said Foster has a conflict of interest because of a pending lawsuit against the school for breach of contract.

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3:16pm

Tue February 4, 2014
Local and State News

NM Agency Gives More Leeway on Physical Education

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The state Public Education Department is allowing some high school students to count activities such as marching band, athletics and Junior ROTC for their physical education requirement.

A recent from the department updates rules on waivers. It says current seniors and some juniors can be grandfathered in under old rules if districts apply for waivers.

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3:15pm

Tue February 4, 2014
Local and State News

NM House Panel Oks Bill for Tougher DWI Penalties

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A bill advancing in the New Mexico House would toughen penalties for repeat drunken-driving offenders.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the bill would increase prison sentences for fourth and subsequent DWI offenses to 30 months in prison, up from 18 months. Also, 18 months of the 30 months could not be suspended or deferred.

In addition, the bill would make an eighth or subsequent offense a felony punishable by a 12-year prison sentence, of which 10 years could not be suspended or deferred.

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