Local and State News

10:03am

Mon February 24, 2014
Local and State News

Albuquerque Stabbing Suspect Appears in Court

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A man accused of stabbing two adults and a 10-year-old girl at a home in the Albuquerque area has nearly 30 warrants for failing to show up in court in other cases.

Prosecutors disclosed the criminal background of 43-year-old Leroy Lindsey during his court appearance Saturday morning.

Bernalillo County Sheriff's deputies say Lindsey stabbed a man, a woman and the woman's daughter Friday night.

Deputies say they believe Lindsey may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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11:02am

Sun February 23, 2014
Local and State News

Man Accused in Beating Surrenders To Authorities

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A Mesilla Park man sought by authorities in the beating of his girlfriend has surrendered to the Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office.

Dona Ana County Sheriff's investigators say 30-year-old Ernesto Vasquez turned himself in Friday in Las Cruces.

Vasquez is suspected of hitting his 28-year-old girlfriend in the face during an argument Feb. 1.

Authorities say the victim's eye was swollen shut and will require plastic surgery.

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11:00am

Sun February 23, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Soldier Injured in Training Accident at Fort Bragg

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — A New Mexico soldier remains in the hospital after a training exercise accident at Fort Bragg, N.C.

One 82nd Airborne soldier was killed, and several others were injured in Friday's blast during artillery live-fire training involving the 18th Fires Brigade.

Authorities say 25-year-old Sgt. Jason Muzzy of Pecos, N.M., and 30-year-old Spc. Scott Yeates of Sanford, Fla., remain in the hospital. Five other injured soldiers were treated and released.

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11:00am

Sun February 23, 2014
Local and State News

Number of Young Farmers Rising in New Mexico

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A new government survey shows New Mexico has more farms and ranches than it did five years ago.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture survey also shows the state has seen significant increases in the number of young and minority farmers in recent years.

State Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte says he's glad to see a wider diversity of people getting into farming and ranching across the state. He says that diversity will help create more opportunity.

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8:14am

Fri February 21, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Legislature Adjourns 30-Day Session

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Lawmakers have adjourned a 30-day legislative session after agreeing on a plan to try to head off cutbacks in a lottery-funded college scholarship program.

In the final hours before the Legislature adjourned on Thursday, the House and Senate agreed to a proposal that shore up the scholarship program temporarily with liquor tax money.

Cutbacks in scholarships have been looming because the program is running short of cash. Lottery proceeds aren't keeping pace with college tuition increases.

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8:12am

Fri February 21, 2014
Local and State News

2 New Mexico Counties Stop Officiating Weddings

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Judges in two southeastern New Mexico counties say they will no longer officiate weddings after the state's high court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that judges in Eddy and Chaves Counties recently announced they won't officiate civil marriage ceremonies for straight or same-sex couples.

In December, the New Mexico Supreme Court decided it was unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Officials in both counties say the decision was made a few months ago.

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8:10am

Fri February 21, 2014
Local and State News

Las Cruces Police: 2 Municipal Employees Arrested

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Two Las Cruces municipal employees are accused of falsifying public documents, diverting resources to work on a private project and misappropriating materials paid for by the city.

Las Cruces police say 43-year-old Robert "Bob" Medina Jr. and 31-year-old Jesus "Chuy" Vasquez work for the city's transportation department.

Police say both were arrested Thursday on suspicion of two counts of forgery and two counts of conspiracy.

They say Medina also is facing two counts of embezzlement and Vasquez one count.

Bond is set at $25,000 each.

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8:09am

Fri February 21, 2014
Local and State News

Nuke Dump Officials Confirm Leak Of Waste

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Department of Energy officials say radiation levels detected in and around the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository are consistent with a leak at the southeastern New Mexico facility.

Carlsbad field office manager Jose Franco said Thursday that readings from sensors above and below ground indicate the radiation is coming from waste stored at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. But officials won't know what caused the leak until they can get underground to investigate. That could be weeks.

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8:07am

Fri February 21, 2014
Local and State News

Boy Killed in Argument Over Teen's Baby

LOS LUNAS, N.M. (AP) — Court documents say a 15-year-old New Mexico boy accused of killing his 12-year-old friend struck him following an argument over the teen's infant daughter.

The arrest warrant affidavit, first obtained by KRQE-TV, says the 15-year-old suspect hit Alex Madrid, of Albuquerque, on the left side of his head, then placed him under a mattress in a field outside Los Lunas.

Valencia County Sheriff's Capt. Gary Hall says the suspect's daughter is around 4 months old.

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9:38am

Thu February 20, 2014
Local and State News

Legislature approves budget as adjournment nears

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Legislature has wrapped up work on a must-do state budget proposal for financing public schools, colleges and government services next year.

A $6 billion budget measure passed the House on Wednesday on a 58-8 vote. The spending plan goes to Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

A spokesman for the governor called the budget a good compromise.

Lawmakers also are sending the governor a measure financing $169 million in capital improvements for colleges, senior citizen centers and libraries.

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9:37am

Thu February 20, 2014
Local and State News

Measure calls for study of marijuana legalization

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The House has approved a measure that calls for studying the effects of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington.

The nonbinding memorial passed the House 31-28 late Wednesday.

Under the measure, the Legislative Finance Committee would conduct the study and report its findings later this year. The committee will be looking specifically at state revenue and agricultural production levels as well as addiction rates and the availability of law enforcement resources.

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9:37am

Thu February 20, 2014
Local and State News

NM minimum wage question fails in House

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposal that would let New Mexico voters decide whether to boost the state's minimum wage next year has failed to pass the House.

The proposed constitutional amendment needed the support of 36 House members to make it onto the ballot next November. The vote came up short Wednesday night at 33-29.

The measure had been a top priority for Democrats. They said a wage hike would help tens of thousands of workers.

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9:36am

Thu February 20, 2014
Local and State News

Senate rejects Navajo gambling compact

Senate rejects Navajo gambling compact

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Senate has rejected a gambling compact that would have allowed the Navajo Nation to open three additional casinos.

The compact required approval of the Legislature and the Interior Department to take effect.

The Senate voted 31-10 against the agreement on Wednesday, which the House approved the day before.

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9:28am

Thu February 20, 2014
Local and State News

Air Force sergeant pleads guilty in child's death

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — An Air Force sergeant in New Mexico has pleaded guilty to negligent child abuse in the death of his infant daughter.

Prosecutors say 29-year-old Peter John Zayas entered his plea Wednesday in a federal court in Las Cruces.

He's been in federal custody since his April 2012 arrest.

Zayas' sentencing hearing hasn't been set yet, but prosecutors say he could be facing up to 18 years in prison.

Zayas and his wife were arrested by the FBI for allegedly causing the death of their 2-month-old child in October 2007.

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8:59am

Wed February 19, 2014
Local and State News

Proposed Minimum Wage Increase Heads To House

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposal to boost the minimum wage to an estimated $8.30 an hour next year is heading to the House for consideration.

The House Voters and Elections Committee approved the measure Tuesday on a party-line 6-4 vote.

The measure, which already has passed the Senate, is a top priority for many Democrats in the 30-day session that ends on Thursday.

New Mexico's minimum wage has been $7.50 an hour since 2009.

The proposed constitutional amendment would adjust the minimum wage for inflation since 2009 — setting it at about $8.30 next year.

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8:58am

Wed February 19, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico House Oks Navajo Gambling Compact

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The House has approved a tribal-state gambling compact allowing the Navajo Nation to open three additional casinos.

The proposal cleared the House Tuesday on a 36-30 vote. It goes to the Senate with the legislative session nearing an end. Lawmakers will adjourn Thursday.

The Navajos operate two Las Vegas-style casinos in New Mexico under a compact expiring next year and a third casino offers low-stakes gambling not subject to state regulation.

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8:57am

Wed February 19, 2014
Local and State News

NM House Passes 'Omaree's Law'

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The House has passed legislation that would allow New Mexico's child welfare agency to immediately take custody of children when there are certain signs of physical abuse.

The measure passed late Tuesday on a 52-11 vote and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

It's dubbed "Omaree's Law" for the 9-year-old Albuquerque boy allegedly kicked to death by his mother in December.

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8:56am

Wed February 19, 2014
Local and State News

NM Lawmakers OK Ban on Texting While Driving

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposal to ban texting while driving in New Mexico has won final approval in the Legislature.

The bill heads to Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who supports a statewide ban against texting by drivers.

The measure cleared its final hurdle in the Legislature on Tuesday when it passed the House 62-1. It was previously approved by the Senate.

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8:54am

Wed February 19, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Senate Approves $6B Budget

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Senate has unanimously approved a proposed $6.2 billion budget that would provide 3 percent pay raises next year for government workers and educators.

The budget is the main assignment for lawmakers in the 30-day session, which ends on Thursday.

The bill cleared the Senate on Tuesday and heads to the House.

The measure provides for a $293 million or 5 percent increase in spending on education and government programs next year.

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10:39am

Wed February 12, 2014
Local and State News

Las Cruces Man Gets Prison Sentence in Drug Case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Las Cruces man has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison in a methamphetamine trafficking case.

Federal prosecutors say 28-year-old Agustin Abascal also was sentenced yesterday to five years of supervised release.

Abascal and another man were arrested last April for allegedly conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in Dona Ana County.

According to a criminal complaint, Abascal and a co-defendant sold quantities of meth over a five-month period to a New Mexico State Police officer and an undercover federal informant.

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