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Local News
7:39 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Lawmakers, Governor At Odds Over Revenue Outlook

The Democratic-controlled Legislature and Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration are at odds over the state's revenue outlook.

The Department of Finance and Administration reported Monday there's no reason to change the most recent revenue forecast calling for the state to have about $283 million available for budget increases and to offset any tax cuts in the next fiscal year.

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Poverty and Public Health
5:52 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Compromise Gun Background Check Bill Could Reach House Floor This Week

The momentum is picking up for legislation that would tighten background checks on gun sales, and it could be brought to the floor of the House this week.  The compromise bill has some Republican lawmakers' and the governor's support.

 

Albuquerque Representative Miguel P. Garcia is the sponsor of the bill which mandates background checks at gun shows and removes the provision to have the Department of Public Safety handle the checks.  Instead the onus would be placed on the gun seller to get approval of the sale.

 

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Poverty and Public Health
2:40 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Lujan Grisham Says Sequestration Threatens NM’s Economy

Michelle Lujan-Grisham speaking at today's press conference.

District 1 Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, says the impending sequestration crisis will hurt New Mexico’s economy. The Democrat was in Albuquerque today to meet with defense contractors and local business leaders.

On March 1st, the automatic cuts, known as sequestration, will take effect. Congress postponed them to March 1 as part of the “fiscal cliff” deal at the beginning of January.

Lujan Grisham says the spending cuts are across the board with no regard to what’s working and what’s not.

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Local News
6:33 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Santa Fe Purchases 225 Guns At 2nd Buyback Event

The city of Santa Fe bought about 225 guns at its second no-questions-asked gun buyback event.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that would-be gun sellers formed a line at a police building before Saturday's event began.

Within four hours of the sale beginning, police ran out of gift cards to pay sellers with and had to issue rain checks.

Authorities purchased 194 guns at the city of Santa Fe's first gun buyback event in January.

Local News
6:31 am
Mon February 11, 2013

NM Lawmakers Hear Complaints About Voting Issues

New Mexico lawmakers heard complaints about a litany of voting issues at a hearing that focused on election issues that arose in November's general election.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that lawmakers taking part in Saturday's meeting had heard complaints about excessively long waits, a limited number of voting machines and a lack of Spanish-speaking translators.

Some speakers at the meeting gave accounts of waiting at least three hours in lines and finding little guidance from signage or Spanish-language documents.

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Local News
6:24 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Tribe On Way Toward Managing Medicaid Program

Navajo Nation officials say they are on their way toward managing their own federally funded Medicaid program.

The Farmington Daily Times reports that the nation began looking into creating its own Medicaid program about five years ago because of issues some members had with other health care programs available in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

Navajo officials are optimistic that the tribe can sustain its own Medicaid program, even though a feasibility study wasn't as optimistic.

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Poverty and Public Health
5:05 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

State Takes Another Step Toward Centennial Care

Credit Parker Dennison

The New Mexico Human Services Department has announced the selection of four, new Centennial Care Managed Care Organizations responsible for providing healthcare to nearly 600,000 New Mexicans.

Medicaid is the public health insurance program for low-income people which currently serves about 560,000 New Mexicans, and will expand to include about 170,000 more come 2014. Centennial Care is the new name for New Mexico’s Medicaid program.

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Local News
4:30 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Bill Would Allow Voters To Update Their Registration Information On-line

Andy Lyman, NM News Network
Santa Fe, Feb 08, 2013

With the New Mexico Legislative Session if full swing, lawmakers are doing whatever they can to get bills passed through both the House and the Senate.

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Local News
2:14 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Bill Proposes To Protect 240,000 Acres In NM

Photo of Ute Mountain courtesy of Stuart Wilde

Members of New Mexico's congressional delegation are renewing a push to protect more than 240,000 acres of federal land in northern New Mexico.


Legislation has once again been introduced that would set up the Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area. Efforts to protect the area have been ongoing since 2009.

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Local News
7:24 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Lesser Marijuana Possession Penalties Proposed

An Albuquerque lawmaker proposes lessening penalties for possession of marijuana in New Mexico.

Democratic Rep. Emily Kane, who is a firefighter, introduced a measure Thursday to impose civil penalty fines on adults convicted a first time of possessing up to four ounces of marijuana. Possible jail time would be eliminated for having up to eight ounces.

It's a petty misdemeanor currently to have up to an ounce of marijuana. That's punishable by six months in jail. It's a misdemeanor — with up to a year in jail — to possess more than an ounce and up to a half pound.

Local News
6:59 am
Fri February 8, 2013

UNM: Football Racial Complaint Letter 'Untrue'

The University of New Mexico says anonymous allegations that football coach Bob Davie discriminates against players based on their race are "unfounded and untrue."

Lobos athletic director Paul Krebs said Wednesday that university officials concluded that the allegations cited in an anonymous letter were false after reviewing the letter and speaking with Davie.

Local News
6:56 am
Fri February 8, 2013

West Mesa Murders Case Changes Behavior Of Police, Prostitutes

It's been 4 years since the remains of 11 women were found buried on Albuquerque's West Mesa.  Most were known prostitutes and no killer has been found.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque police chief Ray Schultz says the West Mesa murders investigation is still active and he is optimistic that one day the case will be solved. Schultz says the department approaches working with sex workers differently now.  

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Local News
6:47 am
Fri February 8, 2013

HSI, Albuquerque Police Form Abduction Task Force

Homeland Security Investigations and Albuquerque police have created a new task force aimed at finding missing and abduction children.

Kevin Abar, assistant special agent in charge of HSI in New Mexico, announced Thursday that the Sexual Predator and Exploitation Enforcement Detail, or SPEED, will work as a child abduction response team in parts of New Mexico.

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Local News
6:45 am
Fri February 8, 2013

House OKs Bill To Crack Down On Drunken Boaters

New Mexico lawmakers have approved a proposal to make it a felony for a drunken boater to kill or seriously injure someone.

The proposal by Republican Rep. Dennis Roch of Texico unanimously passed the House on Thursday with no debate.

The legislation will create crimes for intoxicated boaters similar to vehicular homicide by drunken drivers.

It's already against the law to operate a motorboat under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The legislation would make it a third-degree felony for a drunken boater to kill someone or cause "great bodily harm."

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Poverty and Public Health
6:13 am
Fri February 8, 2013

GOP Senator Introduces Bill To Help Homeless

New Mexico's homeless programs that help people get a fresh start could get a funding boost if a legislative bill wins approval in Santa Fe. 

Senate Bill 50 is sponsored by Albuquerque Republican Sander Rue.  He says as a member of the Mortgage Finance Authority interim committee, he wanted to do something to help homeless people and families hit hard by the recession.

 

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Local News
9:33 am
Thu February 7, 2013

2nd Amendment And Gun Control

President Obama has made gun control one of his administrations top priorities in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.  Here in New Mexico, a flurry of gun control laws have been introduced by lawmakers who say they want to reduce gun violence.  Their legislative methods are quite different, though.   

Stephen Halbrook says the climate around discussions of the Second Amendment has changed drastically since the early 1980s when UNM Press first published his book, That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right. 

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Local News
4:44 am
Thu February 7, 2013

New Mexico Medical Board Exonerates Doctor in Late-term Abortion Case

Protesters at the Southwestern Women's Options Clinic

An Albuquerque physician accused of gross negligence in handling a third-term abortion has been exonerated by the New Mexico Medical Board. The complaint against Dr. Shelly Sella wasn't filed by the patient, but by local and national abortion opponents.

According to court documents, In May of 2011 the unnamed patient was referred to Dr. Shelly Sella at Southwestern Women's Options Clinic by her doctors in New York, when she learned her nearly nine-month old fetus had severe brain and skull defects.

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Local News
3:51 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Local Walmart Targeted Again By Protesters

Protesters gathered at Wal-Mart's Carlisle location in Albuquerque.

  A dozen activists showed up at the Wal-Mart store on Carlisle today with a giant inflatable pig, protesting the store’s involvement with suppliers who they say mistreat pigs. The protest is just one of many targeting the nation’s largest employer, and comes just days after the National Labor Relations Board or NLRB settled a complaint lodged by the retail giant against a group of protesters.

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Local News
9:37 am
Wed February 6, 2013

New Mexico Chile Acreage Stabilizing

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's chile crop acreage has increased in the past two years since it hit a nearly 40-year low in 2010.


Experts speaking at the state's annual chile conference held Tuesday in Las Cruces reported that 9,600 acres were harvested in 2012. That's a slight increase from 2011.


According to the Las Cruces Sun-News (http://bit.ly/UWtIEk ,), New Mexico's acreage dropped from over 12,000 in 2009 to under 9,000 in 2010.


Acreage was over 20,000 as recently as 1998.

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Local News
9:32 am
Wed February 6, 2013

'Breaking Bad' Actor Wins School Board Seat In NM

Steven Michael Quezada

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An actor from the TV show "Breaking Bad" has won a seat on Albuquerque's school board.


Steven Michael Quezada plays federal drug agent Steven Gomez on the Albuquerque-based show.


He was running unopposed Tuesday for a seat on the city's west side District 5.


There's no incumbent in that district, and Quezada was the only candidate to file for the position.

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Entertainment
9:14 am
Wed February 6, 2013

The Albuquerque Civic Chorus

Wed. 2/6 10a:  For its spring season, the Albuquerque Civic Chorus will bring together 85 volunteer singers from the community for a pair of concerts in May and tour to England in June.  The Chorus is now welcoming new members to its Tuesday night rehearsals at Albuquerque's First Christian Church.  Spencer Beckwith speaks with the Music Director of the Chorus, Dr. Gary Wayne Pyland.

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Commentary
7:00 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Op Ed: 70% Of NM Children Born Into Welfare

It was reported recently that 7 out of 10 live births in New Mexico are on Medicaid.

Astonishing, troubling…arguably, the most painful statistic of all for New Mexicans wondering whether their state truly is in a “death spiral” as some national media have reported.

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Local News
5:09 am
Wed February 6, 2013

State Counting On Federal Mercy To Restore Special Ed Funds

New Mexico's congressional delegation has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Education hoping to avoid a punitive reduction in Special Education funds to the state.  Officials say that the Feds could penalize the state close to 43 million dollars unless New Mexico is granted a waiver by the USDE.

The State needs the waivers because it slashed its portion of special education spending below the amount required to receive federal supplemental funding in 2010 and '11. 

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Local News
5:52 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Road Work Ahead, If New Proposal Passes

A bill that would provide money for incomplete road construction projects is moving through committees at the Roundhouse.  The measure is concurrent with a study showing New Mexico's roads and bridges are in poor condition.

 

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Local News
2:06 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Bernalillo County To Hold First Gun Buyback Event This Saturday

Guns on display at County press conference announcing buyback dates

In the wake of recent mass shootings, several cities and counties have started gun-by back programs, hoping to reduce the number of dangerous weapons on the streets. Last month Santa Fe held a successful buy-back weekend. Tuesday Bernalillo County Commissioners announced a no-questions asked Safe Surrender and Buyback program for February 9 and 23rd.

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Local News
6:34 am
Tue February 5, 2013

House Rejects Study Of Horse Slaughter Plant

New Mexico lawmakers have rejected a proposal to study the feasibility of allowing plants to slaughter horses for food.

The measure sparked a lengthy debate Monday in the House, which voted 36-28 against the measure to have a study by the state Department of Agriculture.

A Roswell meat company has proposed resuming horse slaughtering and sued the federal government last year over inaction on its application.

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Local News
6:33 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Mexican Wolf Back In Captivity After Weeks In Wild

After just three weeks in the wild, federal wildlife managers say a male Mexican gray wolf was captured in New Mexico and removed from the wild after he failed to catch the attention of a breeding female.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the male wolf — dubbed No. 1133 — was intended as a new mate for the Bluestem pack's alpha female. His release in early January was timed to coincide with early-season breeding activities.

The Arizona pack wanted nothing to do with the male wolf, and it ended up wandering into New Mexico.

Local News
6:32 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Martinez Pushes For Exemptions For Military Pensions

Gov. Susana Martinez is urging New Mexico lawmakers to pass legislation that will provide a 25 percent exemption on military pensions beginning in 2014, phasing into a 100 percent exemption by 2017.

A similar proposal last year didn't make it out of the state Legislature.

Martinez made the latest request Monday while visiting the Albuquerque Veterans' Memorial.

Military retirees currently living in New Mexico are fully taxed on their pension income.

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Local News
6:31 am
Tue February 5, 2013

NM Teen Indicted In Deaths Of Family Members

A grand jury has indicted a New Mexico teenager in the shooting deaths of his parents and three younger siblings.

The indictment against 15-year-old Nehemiah Griego was returned by the grand jury Monday. The charges include five counts of first-degree murder and three counts of child abuse resulting in death.

Griego is being held without bond at the Juvenile Detention Center in Albuquerque.

The teen was arrested Jan. 20 after Bernalillo County Sheriff's detectives say he shot his parents and siblings in their home in a rural area south of Albuquerque.

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Local News
6:27 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Democrats propose pay equity measure in New Mexico

Credit (401)k 2013 via Flickr

  Democratic lawmakers are proposing legislation they say will expand protections against wage discrimination based on gender.

Rep. Brian Egolf, a Santa Fe Democrat, said Monday the proposal is modeled after a 2009 federal pay equity law.

The state legislation would allow New Mexicans to file lawsuits for wage discrimination in a state court rather than having to go to federal court.

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