Local and State News

11:30am

Fri January 24, 2014
Local and State News

Interior Secretary Jewell Visits New Mexico

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is in southern New Mexico for a hike through a rugged stretch of desert.

She's also here to discuss federal legislation that aims to protect the Organ Mountains along with other scenic areas near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Jewell, officials with the Bureau of Land Management and New Mexico's two U.S. senators are hosting a public hearing on the proposal Friday afternoon in Las Cruces. Several hundred people are expected to attend.

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11:24am

Fri January 24, 2014
Local and State News

DNA Evidence Points To Suspect In 1992 Rape Case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — DNA evidence reportedly has enabled Santa Fe police to identify a suspect in a cold case involving a 1992 rape in the northern New Mexico city.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that DNA collected in 1992 when a 16-year-old girl was raped was stored and recently tested matches that of a 51-year-old Santa Fe man.

The man was required to give a new DNA sample on Dec. 30. He hasn't been charged so far in the rape case.

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11:23am

Fri January 24, 2014
Local and State News

Navajo Panel Votes Against Bill To Remove Speaker

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A Navajo Nation Council committee has voted against legislation to remove council Speaker Johnny Naize because of pending bribery and conspiracy charges.

The Daily Times reports that the committee voted twice Thursday to table the legislation sponsored by Delegate Alton Joe Shepherd.

However, the legislation still advances to the council's winter session, which starts Monday in Window Rock.

Delegate Shepherd says his legislation is intended to preserve the integrity and image of the council's speaker.

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11:21am

Fri January 24, 2014
Local and State News

NM House, Senate Schedule Weekend Break

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Lawmakers have an opportunity for a long weekend before the pace of work quickens in the 30-day legislative session.

The House and Senate aren't holding floor sessions until Monday, although some committees will meet.

The House Appropriations and Finance Committee plans to continue budget hearings on Friday, and the House Education Committee is scheduled to meet Saturday to listen to testimony from teachers and other educational workers.

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11:20am

Fri January 24, 2014
Local and State News

NM Lawmakers Flooded with Water Funding Requests

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico lawmakers are being inundated with requests for state funding to help pay for water infrastructure improvements.

From contaminated wells to a lack of storage for drinking water in Las Vegas, members of the Senate Finance Committee heard Thursday from state and local water officials and fellow lawmakers about the growing needs around the state.

The problem now is prioritizing which projects should be tackled first.

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3:03pm

Thu January 23, 2014
Local and State News

Planned Southern NM Coyote Hunt Draws Fire

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A planned hunt featuring the calling and shooting of coyotes in southern New Mexico is drawing fire.

The Southwest Environmental Center asked this week for the Dona Ana County Commission and Las Cruces City Council to speak out against the planned event scheduled for Feb. 6-8.

The hunt will coincide with a convention sponsored by the Utah-based group Predator Masters at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces.

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3:01pm

Thu January 23, 2014
Local and State News

NM Lawmakers Plan Jobs Creation Measure

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — House and Senate Democratic leaders are proposing an economic development package to help create jobs in the state.

House Speaker W. Ken Martinez said Wednesday the legislation is a product of a bipartisan Jobs Council that was formed last year.

Among the provisions is $10 million for a "closing fund" to attract companies to the state by providing them with needed infrastructure. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has made a similar proposal in her budget recommendations to the Legislature.

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3:00pm

Thu January 23, 2014
Local and State News

Sheriff: Albuquerque Man Dies from Gunshot Wound

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department says an Albuquerque man has died from injuries in a shooting.

The Sheriff's Department identifies the victim of Wednesday's shooting as 49-year-old Edward Hernandez.

His car was found in the area where he was found.

2:59pm

Thu January 23, 2014
Local and State News

Airmen Killed in Alamogordo Car Crash Identified

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — The identities of three Holloman Air Force Base airmen killed in a single-vehicle rollover accident are now being released.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports that police say killed in the early Tuesday morning accident were 26-year-old Ryan Nicholas Loehr, 21-year-old Deshon Maurice Wartley and 19-year-old Lamont Keith Cullars.

Police Capt. Israel Trujillo says the preliminary investigation shows the vehicle went off the road and into the desert when it failed to negotiate a curve while traveling at high speed.

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2:58pm

Thu January 23, 2014
Local and State News

State Officials: 3 More Die From The Flu in NM

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State officials have confirmed three more flu deaths.

The New Mexico Department of Health said Thursday a 79-year-old man and a 73-year -old man, both from Bernalillo County, recently died from the illness. In addition, the department says a 45-year-old man from Rio Arriba County also died from influenza.

The names of the victims were not immediately released.

A 76 year-old Santa Fe woman who died earlier this month was the first reported flu death this season.

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10:14am

Wed January 22, 2014
Local and State News

Official: Corrales Police Officer Injured in Crash

CORRALES, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a Corrales police office has been injured in a crash involving a suspected stolen vehicle.

Corrales Detective Sgt. Frank Tomlinson said yesterday that Corrales officer Jeremy Romero was scheduled to go into surgery and is listed in stable but serious condition at the University of New Mexico Hospital.

Officials say Romero was injured early yesterday during a car chase with a suspect. Authorities say the suspect crashed into a wall while the officer's car flipped over.

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10:13am

Wed January 22, 2014
Local and State News

Panel Oks Bill To Pay for NM Legislative Session

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Lawmakers are moving ahead quickly with a bill to pay for expenses of the Legislature's 30-day session.

A few hours after lawmakers convened yesterday, the House Appropriations and Finance Committee approved the measure to provide nearly $5.4 million for session costs, which include salaries for staff as well as the printing of bills.

Legislators aren't paid a yearly salary, but they receive $159 a day to reimburse them for expenses.

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10:12am

Wed January 22, 2014
Local and State News

Governor Proposes Pay Raise for Starting Teachers

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is recommending that lawmakers increase the starting salary for new teachers by about 10 percent next year.

The governor proposes to raise a beginning teacher's salary to $33,000 from $30,000. It's an initiative Martinez could find support for in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

A legislative budget panel has recommended boosting the starting salary to $32,500.

The salary measure was among the educational proposals Martinez outlined during her State of the State speech to the Legislature.

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10:11am

Wed January 22, 2014
Local and State News

Governor Urges NM Lawmakers To Focus on Economy

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez wants lawmakers to focus on economic development, including expanding programs that train health care professionals.

In her State of the State speech to the Legislature yesterday, Martinez recommended increased spending on a program that repays student loans of nurses, dentists and physicians who agree to practice in medically underserved areas.

The governor said the measure will help create jobs and reduce the state's shortage of health care professionals.

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10:10am

Wed January 22, 2014
Local and State News

Martinez Introduces 'Hero' Teacher in NM Shooting

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A teacher credited with disarming a 12-year-old gunman in a Roswell middle school shooting says he acted solely on instinct.

John Masterson, an eighth-grade social studies teacher at Berrendo Middle School, was introduced to legislators yesterday during Gov. Susana Martinez's State of the State speech.

Authorities say Masterson talked the shooter into dropping his weapon after the boy wounded two students.

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12:52pm

Tue January 21, 2014
Local and State News

Airline Pares Back Operations in Clovis

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — Great Lakes Airlines is cutting back on its flights to the eastern New Mexico community of Clovis.

Airport manager Gene Bieker tells the Clovis News Journal the airline is operating only one midday flight Monday through Friday.

Bieker also says he was told by the airline that it may not be able to serve Clovis after this month.

Great Lakes representatives did not immediately return messages seeking comment, but the airline's website does not list any available flights in February.

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12:51pm

Tue January 21, 2014
Local and State News

NM Abuse Reporting Requirement To Be Reviewed

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has agreed to review a recent court decision narrowing who must report suspected cases of abuse and neglect.

State law requires "every person" to contact authorities about suspected abuse and neglect.

However, the state Court of Appeals ruled last November in an Albuquerque case that the law's wording means the requirement only applies to 10 categories of people, including physicians, teachers and nurses,

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12:47pm

Tue January 21, 2014
Local and State News

Ruling Says Search for Pot Violated Privacy Rights

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A court ruling says a police search that found 14 marijuana plants on a man's property in a remote area of northern New Mexico violated his privacy rights.

The state Court of Appeals' ruling says that's because authorities didn't have a warrant to conduct an aerial flyover that prompted the search.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the ruling cites prior New Mexico court decisions and says privacy protections apply to targeted, warrantless police aerial surveillance.

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12:13pm

Tue January 21, 2014
Local and State News

Advocates: NM Ranks Last in Child Well-Being

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — As the New Mexico Legislature gets underway, advocates are going to be pushing to improve the well-being of the state's children through education initiatives and other efforts aimed at pulling families out of poverty.

New Mexico Voices for Children is releasing its annual Kids Count in New Mexico report at the State Capitol on Tuesday. The group wants to get the attention of lawmakers.

The report places New Mexico dead last among states when it comes to child well-being.

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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.

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