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Local News
11:47 am
Fri January 11, 2013

"Investigative Grand Juries" To Be Restarted in Police Shootings Cases

Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg says she expects to resume the controversial practice of presenting police shooting cases to "investigative grand juries."

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/WxAjBM) that Brandenburg sent a letter this week to Second Judicial District Court judges saying she will begin scheduling the first of 12 pending police shooting cases for grand jury presentations.

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Local News
10:59 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Legislative Preview: Education

Education takes up 44% of NM state budget

    Legislation dealing with education will be a hot topic for state lawmakers when they convene their 60-day session next week. Teacher pay, holding failing kids back, and charter schools are among measures to be debated.

 

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Entertainment
9:04 am
Fri January 11, 2013

The New Mexico Ballet: Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet"

Fri. 1/11 10a:  The New Mexico Ballet Company and the New Mexico Philharmonic team up to present a fully-staged version of Shakespeare's tragic romance at Albuquerque's National Hispanic Cultural Center on January 12 and 13.  Spencer Beckwith talks about Prokofiev's score for "Romeo and Juliet" with the conductor for the performances, Grant Cooper.

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Local News
8:52 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Valencia County May Get New Town

BELEN, N.M. (AP) — Voters in a small community in Valencia County will find out if they are one step closer to creating a new town.


KRQE-TV reports  that the votes will be canvassed Friday to determine if Rio Communities can incorporate.


In a special election Tuesday, residents in Rio Communities, just east of Belen, voted to incorporate into a new municipality with its own mayor and town council.


Residents in this 4600 square acre area say they want a new town so they could have their own police department.

Local News
7:38 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Evolution and Comics: Moving Beyond the Super Hero

Credit C. Jung

The Albuquerque Comic Con will be in full swing this weekend, giving comic book and sci fi fans a chance to meet and greet their favorite authors, on screen characters, and artists. With the festivities only a day away, KUNM's Carrie Jung caught up with comic book writer and producer, Christian Beranek, to learn more about the industry, and how things have changed since Christian bought her first Batman comic as a child.

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Local News
6:45 am
Fri January 11, 2013

'Hiroshima' LANL Protesters Avoid Jail

Six protesters arrested at the gates of Los Alamos National Laboratory on the anniversary of the atomic bomb drop on Japan will avoid jail time.

The Los Alamos Monitor reports that Los Alamos Municipal Court judge Alan Kirk threw out Wednesday the trespassing charges against the group and declined to give the protesters jail time.

However, Kirk fined each protester $100 and $40 in court costs and a $60 probation fee. Each also received a year's probation.

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Local News
6:42 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Governor Proposes 4 Percent Budget Increase, No Raises

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is proposing a 4 percent spending increase next year for state programs and public education.

Martinez outlined a nearly $5.9 billion budget proposal on Thursday that is similar to the broad spending recommendations made a day earlier by the Legislative Finance Committee.

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Entertainment
9:33 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Polyphony presents Donald McCullough's "Holocaust Cantata"

Thurs. 1/10 10a:  On January 20 at the Cathedral of St. John in Albuquerque, Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico is joined by cellist David Schepps and Rabbi Barbara Finn for "Holocaust Cantata: Songs from the Camps."  Donald McCullough's 1998 work uses music and texts the composer found in the archives of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.  Spencer Beckwith talks with the Artistic Director of Polyphony, Dr. Maxine Thevenot.

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Local News
6:46 am
Thu January 10, 2013

19 Counties Named Disaster Areas Due To Drought

Farmers and ranchers in 19 New Mexico counties will be eligible for emergency loans under a new federal disaster declaration stemming from the persistent drought.

The counties were declared as disaster areas Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They stretch from Union and San Juan counties in the north to Eddy County in the southeast.

In all, nearly 600 counties in 14 states were designated as primary natural disaster areas due to drought and heat.

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Local News
12:00 am
Thu January 10, 2013

"Quality Counts" Survey Shows Challenges, Bright Spots in NM Schools

New Mexico’s K through 12 grade schools earned a middling C in the latest Quality Counts survey from EDUCATION WEEK.

But that average obscures bright spots as well as areas of deep distress within the state’s school system. 

This year’s survey suggests that New Mexico’s public schools benefit from average to above average financial and administrative support.  For example, the state ranks 30th in the nation in school financing and 15th in the nation – with a grade of A minus - in how well education standards are administered and assessed.

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Local News
1:29 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Gov. Martinez Says Yes To Medicaid Expansion

New Mexico's Republican Governor Susana Martinez has approved the expansion of the state's Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. Native American health advocates say the expansion will have a huge effect on one of the largest Native American populations in the nation.

Over 200,000 registered tribal members live in New Mexico - and with nearly 40% of that population lacking healthcare - it's estimated that over 25-thousand Native people in New Mexico will potentially be eligible for the program in 2014. 

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Public Health New Mexico
11:33 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Gov. Martinez Says Yes To Medicaid Expansion

New Mexico's Republican Governor Susana Martinez has approved the expansion of the state's Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. Native American health advocates say the expansion will have a huge effect on one of the largest Native American populations in the nation.

Over 200,000 registered tribal members live in New Mexico - and with nearly 40% of that population lacking healthcare - it's estimated that over 25-thousand Native people in New Mexico will potentially be eligible for the program in 2014. 

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Entertainment
10:30 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Patrick Ball, Celtic Harp and Spoken Word

Wed. 1/9 10a:  Master of the ancient wire-strung harp, storyteller Patrick Ball, brings two of his solo shows to New Mexico.  On January 12, Patrick performs "Turlough O'Carolan's Farewell to Music" at the Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales, and on January 13, Patrick presents "Celtic Harp and Story" at the Harwood Museum in Taos.  Patrick Ball speaks about both shows with Spencer Beckwith.

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Local News
7:28 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Low Runoff From Snow Accumulation Projected

A new forecast projects lower than average water runoff from snow accumulation in New Mexico in 2013.

Forecasters with the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service say flow on the Rio Grande at a measuring point between Santa Fe and Los Alamos is projected to be just under half the average from 1981 to 2010.

In eastern Arizona, the forecast calls for runoff of only 22 percent of the average at Santa Rosa Lake on the Pecos River.

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Local News
7:26 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Albuquerque Police Start Recruit Plan Amid Probe

The police department in New Mexico's largest city has launched a multimedia, officer recruiting campaign amid a federal probe and a large number of expected retirements.

Albuquerque police's recruiting campaign is using social media, television commercials and billboards to recruit new cadets just as officials say the department faces a shortage of around 80 officers. In addition, about 200 more officers are expected to retire due to proposed changes to state retirement funds.

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Local News
7:25 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Texas-New Mexico Water Feud Goes To Supreme Court

Texas has filed a complaint with the U.S. Supreme Court in its dispute with New Mexico over water from the Rio Grande.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality says the litigation was filed Tuesday after negotiations with New Mexico were unsuccessful. The agency says New Mexico is violating the 1938 Rio Grande Compact that governs how water is shared by Texas, New Mexico and Colorado.

Texas accuses New Mexico of allowing illegal diversions of surface and underground water. Officials say those diversions take away water from Texas farmers and residents in El Paso.

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Local News
7:24 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Groups Urge Pearce To Support VAWA

A coalition of women is petitioning the sole Republican member of New Mexico's congressional delegation to support expanding protections under the Violence Against Women Act.

Reauthorization of the act was stalled during the last session thanks to partisan wrangling and constitutionality concerns.

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce voted for the House bill but did not support the Senate version. He says the law needs to be reauthorized and he accused the Senate leadership of playing politics.

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Local News
7:16 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Governor Proposes $13 Million For Early Reading Services

Gov. Susana Martinez proposes to increase spending next year on programs to help New Mexico children learn to read.

Martinez said Tuesday she'll recommend the Legislature provide $13.5 million to improve reading skills of students in kindergarten through the 3rd grade. That's an increase of $5 million over current spending on early reading initiatives.

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Commentary
7:00 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Op-Ed: Tobacco Companies to Teens: "Don't Smoke!" (Wink, Wink)

Poster image from tobacco company

It had to be my imagination.

I thought cigarette smoking was a dying pastime—no pun intended.

But all around us—young smokers. Lots and lots of them. Teens and young adults, and college kids.

At sidewalk cafes near any university, including UNM. In hookah bars, puffing away. Environmentally conscious alterna-kids in Rage Against the Machine t-shirts— the last ones you’d expect to support Big Tobacco.

A whole new, wholly unexpected generation of addicts.

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Local News
2:04 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Minimum Wage Increase Sought For Bernalillo County

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — If a Bernalillo County commissioner gets his way, the minimum wage in unincorporated areas of the county would increase to match the minimum wage now in effect in Albuquerque.


Commissioner Art De La Cruz says he plans later this month to propose raising the minimum wage in unincorporated areas to $8.50 an hour later.


That's the rate now in effect in Albuquerque as a result of a voter-approved ordinance that raised the rate from $7.50 an hour.

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Local News
7:24 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Los Reyes de Albuquerque Patriarch Remembered

Credit Genevieve Russell

New Mexico lost one of its musical standard bearers last week.  Roberto Martinez Sr. died Thursday at the age of 83. 

Martinez co-founded the long-running ensemble known as Los Reyes de Albuquerque in 1962, and continued fronting the group until recent years.  He penned many songs, notably many well known corridos that told stories about the land and the history of New Mexico. 

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Local News
6:37 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Stretch Of Rio Grande Excluded From Bird's Habitat

Some stakeholders are applauding a recent decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to exclude a stretch of the Rio Grande as critical habitat for an endangered songbird.

The agency last week designated almost 1,300 miles of streams and rivers in New Mexico, Arizona and four other states as protected habitat for the Southwestern willow flycatcher.

Almost 75 miles of the lower Rio Grande were left out of the designation. The area is home to a project that regulates and controls the river's water for use by the U.S. and Mexico.

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Local News
6:36 am
Tue January 8, 2013

New Mexico Court Dismisses 'Outstanding Waters' Complaint

Credit Jan Marlyn Reesman via Flickr

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has dismissed a complaint filed by a statewide ranchers group that sought to stay a sweeping water protection measure.

The "outstanding waters" designation guarantees special protection for hundreds of miles of rivers and streams, dozens of lakes and acres of wetlands in federal wilderness areas across the state. The designation prohibits any activities that would degrade water quality.

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Local News
6:35 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Santa Fe Plans First Gun Buyback Event

The city of Santa Fe will kick off Operation Safe Streets with its first gun buyback program at police headquarters on Saturday.

City officials say the goal is to provide a safe way for residents to dispose of unwanted firearms.

Mayor David Coss has been pushing for a gun buyback program. He says he believes such a program will keep unwanted guns from falling into the wrong hands.

Local News
6:33 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Immigrants Arrested In Driver's License Scam

State officials say seven illegal immigrants from Brazil and Mexico have been arrested in connection with a driver's license scam.

Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla says the immigrants are accused of using fraudulent documents to try to obtain New Mexico driver's licenses.

She says the administration will be asking the state Legislature again this year to repeal a law that allows illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses. She says the practice is putting public and national safety at risk.

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Local News
9:07 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Former City Official Running For Albuquerque Mayor

Credit City of Albuquerque

Former Albuquerque City official Pete Dinelli has announced his candidacy for mayor, saying his priorities would include economic development and public safety.

Partisan affiliations don't appear on the ballot but Dinelli is a Democrat and incumbent Richard Berry is a Republican.

Berry hasn't said whether he'll seek re-election but the Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/UuVQew ) reports that many expect him to run.

Dinelli is a former city councilor, prosecutor, workers' compensation judge and deputy city attorney.

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Local News
9:03 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Proposal Bars Rapists From Seeking Parental Rights

New Mexico legislators are proposing to stop rapists from seeking custody or visitation rights for children conceived during a sexual assault.

Rep. Conrad James, an Albuquerque Republican, said he's unaware of any pending New Mexico case in which a rapist is seeking parental rights but wants to stop that from happening as it has in other states. He said most states don't have laws that terminate parental rights for rapists.

Local News
9:01 am
Mon January 7, 2013

County To Mull Support Of Research Project

The Dona Ana County Commission is scheduled Tuesday to consider a proposal supporting a private firm's plans to build a $1 billion scientific ghost town.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports (http://bit.ly/SdtUjS) that Pegasus Global Holdings picked a location south of Interstate 10 between Deming and Las Cruces in early December for the site of its project.

The project would be located mainly in Luna County, but a private access road could be in located in Dona Ana County.

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Local News
9:00 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Man Accused Of Making False Grenade Claim Arrested

Police say a man who claimed to have two grenades in his car at an Albuquerque mall was arrested on a weapons charge after officers determined the suspect had a toy grenade and a fireworks grenade.

No explosives were found.

No one was injured in Saturday's incident.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/Xak5AU) mall security arrested Heath Holden shortly after he entered the mall.

Police say Holden entered the mall wearing a vest similar to those used in weight training, though it appeared to one shopper that Holden was wearing body armor.

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Local News
8:57 am
Mon January 7, 2013

'Hiroshima' LANL Protesters Head To Court

Credit Los Alamos National Laboratory

Six protesters arrested at the gates of Los Alamos National Laboratory on the anniversary of the atomic bomb drop on Japan are headed to court.

The protesters are slated to make a court appearance Wednesday in Los Alamos Municipal Court before Judge Alan Kirk.

The six protesters were charged with trespass, refusing to obey an officer and obstructing movement. Each could spend 179 days in jail and be fined up to $1,500.

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