Local and State News

9:15am

Wed June 4, 2014
Local and State News

Low Turnout Expected in New Mexico Primary

PLACITAS, N.M. (AP) — Voting traffic at the polls for the New Mexico primary is reportedly slow as officials predict a low turnout.

A precinct judge at the Placitas Volunteer Fire Station voting site in Placitas said only four voters cast ballots during the first hour and a half of voting Tuesday.

Andrew Winsor, a presiding judge at the La Cueva High School voting site in Albuquerque, said 45 people had voted in the first two hours. He was hoping for at least 400 people voting by the end of the day.

Polls will be open until 7 p.m.

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9:13am

Wed June 4, 2014
Local and State News

Suit Filed Over Independents Barred from Voting

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

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque lawyer has filed a suit on behalf of nearly 249,000 people barred by state law from voting in the primary election because they're registered as independent.

According to the suit filed in state District Court in Albuquerque by J. Edward Hollington, the law prohibiting independents violates the state constitution.

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12:13pm

Tue June 3, 2014
Local and State News

Group Stages Sit-In Over Albuquerque Police

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police are arresting about a dozen people staging a sit-in at Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry's office to protest police shootings.

About three dozen people gathered Monday afternoon at Berry's office and demanded to see the mayor. They're seeking more immediate reforms within the police department as well as the firing of Police Chief Gordon Eden.

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12:12pm

Tue June 3, 2014
Local and State News

Obama Pollution Cuts Could Force Changes in NM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico gets most of its electricity from coal-fired power plants, but state officials say that could change and lead to higher electricity bills thanks to new federal guidelines aimed at reducing pollution.

The Obama administration unveiled its long awaited proposal on Monday. It calls for curbing carbon dioxide emissions at power plants by nearly a third by 2030. Specific goals have been set for each state.

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12:10pm

Tue June 3, 2014
Local and State News

Police: 6 Killed in New Mexico Crash from Arizona

DEMING, N.M. (AP) — Authorities have released the identities of six Arizonans killed last month in fiery multi-vehicle crash along Interstate 10 in southwestern New Mexico.

They say the name of the seventh person who died still hasn't been confirmed.

New Mexico State Police say the eight-vehicle crash on May 22 involved at least three tractor-trailers and three passenger cars in Hidalgo County, several miles from the Arizona border.

A sudden dust storm likely triggered the chain-reaction collisions.

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12:10pm

Tue June 3, 2014
Local and State News

Chevron Mining To Close Questa Mine

QUESTA, N.M. (AP) — Chevron Mining Inc. has announced its closing its molybdenum mine in northern New Mexico due to low demand.

The San Ramon, Calif.-based company said Monday around 300 miners in Questa were given a 60-day notice of their layoffs as required by federal law.

Chevron spokeswoman Margaret Lejuste says decision was "made after an intensive review of the economic viability of the mine." She says the price of the steel hardening element isn't covering the operation of the mine.

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12:09pm

Tue June 3, 2014
Local and State News

Obama: Child Migrants 'Urgent Humanitarian' Issue

WASHINGTON (AP) — The flood of migrant children trying to cross the Mexican border without their parents is being called an "urgent humanitarian situation" — and it's likely to cost the government more than $1 billion more than the Obama administration had expected.

President Barack Obama described the situation at the border in stark terms in a presidential memorandum Monday outlining the government's response and putting Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate in charge of coordinating the effort.

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9:34am

Fri May 16, 2014
Local and State News

Kirtland Cleanup Work to Start With Pilot Project

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Air Force is going to start small but says it'll meet a July 1 deadline to begin cleaning up a long-ago fuel spill at Kirtland Air Force Base and avoid state-threatened fines of up to $10,000 per day.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that a pilot project will begin the effort to remove contaminants from the underground pipeline leak discovered in 1999.

According to state and Air Force documents, the pilot project's system would remove contaminants from an area of 50 feet across, a fraction of the area of contaminated groundwater.

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9:33am

Fri May 16, 2014
Local and State News

Deputies: Girl, 7, Found at New Mexico Drug House

CORDOVA, N.M. (AP) — A northern New Mexico man is facing charges after authorities say he was running a bootleg and drug operation with the help of his 7-year-old daughter.

Deputies say 28-year-old Danny Trujillo was arrested last week after undercover officers went to a home in Cordova pretending to buy cheap beer.

Investigators say the girl answered the door and took their orders.

Authorities say they found three more children inside, ages 3, 5, and 9 years old and that Trujillo was their father.

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9:32am

Fri May 16, 2014
Local and State News

Report: Albuquerque Mom Kicked Unconscious Son

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A new report says a mom repeatedly kicked her 9-year-old Albuquerque son while he was unconscious, placed him in a bath tub and waited 30 minutes before calling 911.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the final investigation report from the Children, Youth and Families Department released Thursday said Synthia Varela-Casaus admitted kicking Omaree Varela into a dresser and caused him to hit his head on the floor.

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9:29am

Fri May 16, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Legislator Apologizes to Candidates

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Hispanic state legislator is apologizing to two legislative candidates in Democratic primary races for referring to them in in ethnic terms and for deriding their character in an email to fellow Democrats.

Democratic Rep. Miguel Garcia of Albuquerque says he used inappropriate language regarding Jim Danner of Belen and Teresa Smith de Cherif of Los Lunas.

Garcia's email to other Democrats about primary races referred to Danner and Smith de Cherif as "Democratic Anglo newcomer opponents" with large egos and big mouths.

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9:29am

Fri May 16, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico State Replacing Stadium Grass with Turf

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State University has started removing the grass from Aggie Memorial Stadium as the Las Cruces school prepares to replace it with artificial turf this summer.

NMSU officials say artificial turf will allow campus and community groups to use the field year-round for concerts and other events because growing grass won't need to be protected during the football offseason.

The Las Cruces reports that the artificial turf will cost more than $1.3 million, most of which will come from a $1 million donation from Stan Fulton.

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9:27am

Fri May 16, 2014
Local and State News

Authorities Round Up Defendants on Navajo Nation

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities have rounded up nearly a dozen people charged with felony crimes on the Navajo Nation ranging from kidnapping to voluntary manslaughter.

City, state, tribal and federal authorities fanned out across the western portion of the reservation in search of the defendants over the past two weeks.

McDonald Rominger is the head of the FBI's office in Flagstaff. He says several people were picked up Wednesday. Two others were taken into custody last week, and federal authorities placed detainers on two men already in jail.

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10:46am

Thu May 15, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Lawmakers Sue Over Water Settlement

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Three legislators and a northwestern New Mexico farmer are asking the state's highest court to nullify an agreement between the state, the federal government and the Navajo Nation settling tribal rights to water from the San Juan River.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in the state Supreme Court contends the settlement must be approved by the Legislature to take effect because it's the equivalent of a tribal-state compact.

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10:45am

Thu May 15, 2014
Local and State News

State Police Officer in Choking Case Resigns

LOS LUNAS, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico State Police officer who authorities said choked a man attempting to repossess his vehicle has resigned.

Charles Vernier wrote in a letter sent Monday that he was stepping down from his position to focus on his mental health.

The letter was addressed to New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas and other high-ranking officers.

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10:44am

Thu May 15, 2014
Local and State News

NM To Hold Meetings on Dairy Rule

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Environmentalists are taking aim at efforts to revamp rules that govern how the New Mexico dairy industry deals with waste water.

The Environment Department is planning the first of two meetings this Friday to address changes proposed by the industry, but a coalition of environmental groups claims the meetings are exclusive and may be a violation of state law.

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10:43am

Thu May 15, 2014
Local and State News

Martinez To Allow Time Off for Teacher Conferences

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has signed an executive order that will allow state workers to take time off to attend parent-teacher conferences.

The governor signed the order Wednesday and urged other local government agencies and private employers to make similar accommodations for their workers.

Martinez says parents are the best partners teachers can have and she wants to encourage parents to be as engaged as possible in their children's education.

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10:42am

Thu May 15, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Wildfire Grows To 5,700 Acres

SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — A wildfire burning in the mountains of southwestern New Mexico is growing.

Officials said the Signal Fire in the Gila National Forest grew Wednesday to 5,700 acres or nine square-miles. The raging blaze remained 15 percent contained.

The fire is located about 10 miles north of Silver City.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, the wildfire remained steady Tuesday thanks to cooler weather, but forecast winds may spread the flames later in the week.

The inferno is believed to be human-caused.

9:25am

Mon May 5, 2014
Local and State News

Search Helicopter Crashes in Southwestern Colorado

TELLURIDE, Colo. (AP) — Federal authorities are investigating after a helicopter involved in the search for a missing skier crashed in southwestern Colorado.

San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters says the Bell 407 helicopter with three crew members and a sheriff's deputy on board crashed near Lizard Head Pass after it lost power at about noon Saturday. No one was injured in the crash.

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9:22am

Mon May 5, 2014
Local and State News

1 Dead in Shooting at Albuquerque Home

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities are searching for a man suspected of killing another man in Albuquerque.

Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department spokesman Edward Mims says 35-year-old Jesse Luna is wanted in connection with the death of 44-year-old Manuel Perea.

Mims says deputies responded to a report of shots fired at a residence on Gatewood Avenue near 5 Points Road and found Perea's body.

Mims says Luna is about 5-foot-11, 155 pounds and was last seen wearing a white shirt and blue jeans. He also has a shaved head, moustache and goatee.

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