Local and State News

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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10:13am

Thu March 6, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Police Chief: Curriculum To Be Released

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — State Police Chief Pete Kassetas says the Department of Public Safety soon will release new state police training material critics say gives officers more leeway to use deadly force.

Kassetas told The Associated Press on Wednesday drafts of the material will be released next week. But he said a small portion will be redacted since it deals with sensitive tactical training and could put officers in danger if it is made public.

The draft of the new curriculum still needs approval from the Law Enforcement Academy Board.

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10:12am

Thu March 6, 2014
Local and State News

California Fugitive Is Arrested in New Mexico

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Authorities in New Mexico have arrested a man who's accused of postal theft in California.

Dona Ana County Sheriff's officials say 44-year-old Jose Manuel Guerra was taken into custody Tuesday in Anthony.

Federal agents with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service say Guerra had felony warrants that stemmed from allegations that he burglarized several post offices in Los Angeles County.

Authorities say Guerra had several stolen checks, debit cards and credit cards in his possession when he was arrested.

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10:11am

Thu March 6, 2014
Local and State News

Feds To Update Public on Mishap at Nuke Dump

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy is planning a town hall to release more information on its efforts to recover from a radiation leak at the nation's only underground nuclear waste dump.

Residents from throughout the Carlsbad area are expected to attend Thursday's meeting.

Questions about what caused the leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the extent of the contamination and the future of the federal government's national nuclear cleanup efforts have been swirling for weeks.

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10:10am

Thu March 6, 2014
Local and State News

DOE: No Health Risks for Exposed Nuke Dump Workers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy says further testing shows employees who were exposed to radiation during a leak at the nation's only underground nuclear waste dump aren't likely to experience any health effects.

The agency and the contractor that operates the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad made the announcement Wednesday.

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9:57am

Mon March 3, 2014
Local and State News

Albuquerque Man Indicted on Tax Evasion Charges

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque man has been indicted on tax evasion charges for failing to pay his personal income taxes for four years.

A grand jury for the Second Judicial District in Albuquerque returned an indictment Thursday against Robert Giles on four counts of tax evasion charges.

He is accused of not paying personal incomes taxes between 2008 and 2001.

Prosecutors say the 62-year-old owes more than $4,500 in back taxes, interest and penalties.

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9:56am

Mon March 3, 2014
Local and State News

Police Search for Teen Last Seen At Youth Facility

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico authorities are searching for a teenage boy who went missing from a youth facility that provides counseling and other assistance.

New Mexico State Police say 17-year-old Mauricio Acosta was last seen Saturday morning after being dropped off with another client at the Boys Reintegration Center in Albuquerque.

Officers say Acosta disappeared before he was scheduled to be picked up.

Acosta was wearing a pink polo shirt, black jeans and gray Jordan shoes.

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9:55am

Mon March 3, 2014
Local and State News

Ban on Texting While Driving To Become NM Law

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A proposal to ban texting while driving in New Mexico has become a state law.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed the bill Sunday afternoon while at the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque.

The proposal will prohibit drivers from sending or reading text messages and emails, or making Internet searches from smartphones or other hand-held wireless devices. There would be a $25 fine for a first violation and $50 for subsequent violations.

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8:29am

Fri February 28, 2014
Local and State News

Probation for Ex-Head of Alb Metro Crime Stoppers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The former chairman of Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers has pleaded guilty to drunken driving.

Pat Davis was sentenced Thursday to six months of probation and ordered to have an interlock device put on his car.

KOB-TV says Davis also will have to complete DWI school and community service.

Davis was arrested on suspicion of DWI last July and stepped down from his position with Crime Stoppers.

His one-year term would have expired in September.

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8:25am

Fri February 28, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Flu Vaccination for Children Above US

ALBUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has a flu vaccination rate for children significantly above the national average.

Federal figures show that 67 percent of New Mexico children 17 and younger were vaccinated for flu during the 2013-2014 flu season, compared with 57 percent nationally.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points to a New Mexico program that immunized 51,000 school children.

Federal funding largely paid for dispensing about $860,000 worth of vaccine by school and state personnel this season.

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8:24am

Fri February 28, 2014
Local and State News

NM Senators Back Effort To Secure Water Resources

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's U.S. senators are backing legislation they say would help conserve water and promote sustainability.

Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich say the measure would expand grants and increase federal funding for conservation and drought-mitigation projects. It would also provide resources for collecting data and analyzing water supplies and use.

The bill was introduced by Democrat Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii. It's scheduled for a hearing Thursday.

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8:23am

Fri February 28, 2014
Local and State News

Nuclear Dump Leak Raises Questions About Cleanup

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — For years, plutonium-contaminated waste has been sent to what is supposed to be a safe resting place a half mile underground in New Mexican salt beds.

But accidents and an above-ground radiation release have shuttered the government's only deep underground nuclear waste dump indefinitely.

That is raising questions about a cornerstone of a $5 billion-a year-program for cleaning up waste from decades of nuclear bomb making.

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8:22am

Fri February 28, 2014
Local and State News

13 Were Exposed To Radiation at New Mexico Plant

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials say it is too soon to speculate about the health effects a radiation leak at the nation's underground nuclear waste dump might have on workers.

The U.S. Department of Energy and the contractor that runs the Waste Isolation Pilot Project Wednesday confirmed that 13 workers who were above ground the night of the leak have tested positive for radiation exposure. And they say more workers are being tested.

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10:18am

Tue February 25, 2014
Local and State News

Man Pleads Guilty To Embezzling a New Mexico Tribe

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former employee of the Jicarilla Apache Nation's Utility Authority in New Mexico has pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $215,000 from the tribe.

Prosecutors say 63-year-old Robert G. Wells, of Albuquerque, pleaded guilty Monday to embezzlement and theft from a tribal organization and must pay full restitution.

His sentencing hearing hasn't been scheduled yet.

Wells was arrested last November for allegedly embezzling $214,594 from the tribe in 2011 when he was the utility authority's comptroller.

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10:17am

Tue February 25, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Woman Pleads Guilty in Child's Death

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico woman has pleaded guilty to child abuse in the 2007 death of her infant daughter.

Prosecutors say 32-year-old Sophia Monique Zayas entered her plea Monday in a federal court in Las Cruces.

She's been in federal custody since her April 2012 arrest along her 29-year-old husband, a former Air Force sergeant. Peter John Zayas pleaded guilty in the case last week.

The couple was arrested by the FBI for allegedly causing the death of their 2-month-old child in October 2007.

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10:13am

Tue February 25, 2014
Local and State News

6 New Mexico Legislators Retiring

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Democratic Rep. Ernest Chavez of Albuquerque is the sixth legislator to announce plans to retire from the 70-member House.

The 77-year-old Chavez said Monday his age and health were among the reasons he will not seek re-election. He missed the 30-day legislative session because of medical problems, but will continue serving through December when his term expires.

Chavez has represented an Albuquerque area district since 2004.

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10:12am

Tue February 25, 2014
Local and State News

NM Nuclear Dump Officials Say Environment Is Safe

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Officials investigating a leak from federal government's only underground nuclear waste dump are telling skeptical southeastern New Mexico residents that their health is safe.

More than 250 people attended a mostly calm two-hour meeting Monday night to discuss recent events at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad.

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10:11am

Mon February 24, 2014
Local and State News

Historian Named Interim Director NM Museum

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State University history professor Jon Hunner has been tapped to serve as interim director of the New Mexico History Museum and the Palace of the Governors

Hunner will start in early May after the spring semester.

The museum's current director, Frances Levine, will be heading to St. Louis this spring to take over at the Missouri History Museum. Her last day is March 16, when the exhibition Cowboys Real and Imagined is set to close.

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