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Local News
6:43 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Feds say cuts in Chama water likely for users

Elephant Butte Resevoir.
Credit Laura Paskus

Water allotments for Rio Grande water users may be cut next year. 

The Albuquerque Journal reports users are being notified by the Bureau of Reclamation that allotments from the San Juan-Chama diversion project may be 20 percent less than this year due to drought.

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Local News
3:24 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

USDA Accepts Discrimination Claims for Hispanic and Women Farmers

Agricultural officials were in Bernalillo County Tuesday to encourage Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers to apply to a fund to address past discrimination.  Affected farmers denied federal loans can apply for up to $250,000 in compensation.

Representatives from the US Department of Agriculture held a public meeting to explain the application process for filing claims.

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KUNM Call In Show
1:42 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

What does New Mexico's "fiscal cliff" look like?

Credit cobalt123 via Flickr

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 12/6 8a: What is the 'fiscal cliff' and what would automatic budget cuts and tax increases mean for New Mexico?  Do you think lawmakers should hold out for the plans they want, or are you concerned about them playing brinksmanship with the state's economic recovery?  

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Local News
8:46 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Trainees to cleanup uranium contamination on Navajo land

About 20 students are poised to graduate from a program that trains people to clean up Navajo Nation land poisoned by the mining and milling of uranium ore.

The Farmington Daily Times reports that more than 100 applicants tried to get into the class, but only about 20 were picked for the three-week training.

Radioactive material began contaminating the Navajo Nation's land and water during the 1940s when uranium was in high demand by the federal government.

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Local News
8:38 am
Tue December 4, 2012

APD stun gun probe, two officers won't face charges

A still image from the officer lapel camera video released by APD.
Credit The Albuquerque Police Department

Prosecutors say two of three Albuquerque police officers who were investigated for their conduct during a May arrest at a park will not be criminally charged in the incident.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Officers Ronald Surran and Shad Solis will not be charged in the May 31 incident, but misdemeanor battery and aggravated battery charges are pending in state District Court against officer Connor Rice.

The officers were responding to reports about suspected drug activity.

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Local News
8:36 am
Tue December 4, 2012

State Securities Division: NMFA "Culture of Complacency"

New Mexico's securities regulator says in a new report the New Mexico Finance Authority's former controller was able to forge a financial audit because of management and oversight failures at the agency.

The Securities Division said Monday those problems were aggravated by a "culture of complacency" at the authority that played down the importance of the audit to investors and placed too much of an emphasis on obtaining high credit ratings for agency bonds.

Former authority CEO Rick May disputed the report's conclusions.

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Local News
5:44 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Nearly $500M available for capital projects in New Mexico

State economists estimate nearly $500 million is available to finance capital improvement projects across New Mexico.

The Legislative Finance Committee was told Monday the state can issue bonds backed by severance taxes to provide about $222 million for new capital projects, which will be determined by the Legislature and Gov. Susana Martinez next year when lawmakers meet in a 60-day legislative session.

State law earmarks about $175 million in bond financing for public school improvements and $33 million must go for water projects.

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Espejos de Aztlan
1:59 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Hidden Histories of Sunland Park

Mon. 12/3 7p: The small New Mexico border town of Sunland Park was in the spotlight this year. But what did the media leave out about this struggling community? Find out on the HIDDEN HISTORIES OF SUNLAND PARK, a documentary by Kent Patterson.

Credit AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

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Local News
10:10 am
Mon December 3, 2012

NM Inmates Clearing Forests to Prevent Wildfires

Credit JerryFriedman

A group of New Mexico inmates are helping clear up a patch of Bosque in Pena Blanca, an area devastated by the Los Conchas fire last year.

KQRE-TV reports (http://bit.ly/RwAhhp) that winter inmate crews are working to clear out that fuel as fast as possible and helping the state save money.

Inmate crews cost $300 a day, a fraction of what a private company would charge.

A dry winter and severe drought conditions are making forests vulnerable for future wildfires.

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Local News
10:09 am
Mon December 3, 2012

New Mexico Expects $283M in Revenue for Next Year

The Legislature and Gov. Susana Martinez will have slightly more than $280 million to cover budget increases and tax cuts next year under a new revenue forecast outlined to lawmakers.

The revenue estimates released Monday will serve as the financial backdrop for lawmakers when they convene next month for a 60-day legislative session.

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Local News
10:08 am
Mon December 3, 2012

'Diversity' Class May Be Required for UNM Students

Students at the University of New Mexico may soon be required to take at least one class on diversity.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/TEM9tO) that a draft proposal by the Provost's Diversity Council calls for a three-credit-hour diversity requirement that could go into effect in fall 2014. The class will be required for all students before graduation.

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Local News
10:06 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Lab: LANL Firings Probe Near Complete

Credit Los Alamos National Laboratory

The Los Alamos National Laboratory is expected to conclude its probe into former employees who allowed visitors to operate weapons at the lab's shooting range.

The Los Alamos Monitor reports (http://bit.ly/SpVbMh) that the law says four unauthorized visitors were given access the range and were allowed to "operate a variety of firearms." The lab says participants also took photos of their time on the range and posted them on Facebook. Those photos have since been taken down.

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Local News
8:27 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Feds: NM's Graduation Rate One of Nation's Lowest

The U.S. Department of Education says New Mexico has one of the worst four-year high school graduation rates in the nation.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports (http://bit.ly/SpzOdY) that new federal numbers from2010-2011 preliminary data showed that New Mexico also falls at the bottom of the pack when analyzing rates across nearly every demographic.

Nevada had the lowest graduation rate, with 62 percent graduation, just ahead of New Mexico's 63 percent rate.

Iowa had the nation's highest with about 88 percent of students graduating.

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Local News
5:06 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Nun uses arts to foster peace in El Salvador

Sister Peggy O'Neill of the Sisters of Charity

In 1986, Sister Peggy O’Neill left behind her life in the U.S. to work in El Salvador. The Central American country was in the grip of a brutal civil war. Even nuns and priests had been murdered by government death squads.  But she stayed, working with the poor in the town of Suchitoto. O’Neill, a nun with the Sisters of Charity, will be in Albuquerque this evening to talk about the center she created for young people. Centro Arte Para la Paz promotes peace through the arts, creativity, imagination and cultural exchange.  

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Local News
3:19 pm
Sun December 2, 2012

Albuquerque Police Officer Posts "Exit Letter" on Facebook

An excerpt of APD Officer Chad Wilder's resignation letter, posted on Facebook

A resignation letter from a disgruntled Albuquerque police officer was posted to a Facebook site called “Fans of the Albuquerque Police Department” on Saturday.

The post comes five days after the US Department of Justice announced a full investigation into the APD’s use of deadly force.

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Raices
11:18 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Love and passion from Buenos Aires

Credit Buenos Aires Street Art

Sat. Dec. 1st  2-5p: New voices and music from the heart of Buenos Aires. We invite you to listen the latido of the austral city of the Americas.

Local News
8:21 am
Fri November 30, 2012

New Mexico Governor Meets with Chihuahua Officials

Governor Susana Martinez is in Mexico to attend a meeting with officials from New Mexico and the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

The two day meeting of the New Mexico-Chihuahua Commission concludes on Friday.

The governor's office said Chihuahua Governor Cesar Duarte attended meetings that started Thursday.

The commission is to talk about border crossings, trade, tourism, water as well as education and public safety.

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Local News
8:19 am
Fri November 30, 2012

NMSU to Host Ecuadorean Teachers Learning English

New Mexico State University is set to host more than 50 Ecuadorean teachers who are seeking to learn English.

NMSU announced Thursday that the Ecuadorean teachers are scheduled to take part is a two-semester English language program funded by the Ecuadorean government. The "Go Teacher" program is aimed at improving English education in that country's schools.

School officials say the first group of teachers will study at NMSU between Jan. 15 and Aug. 15, and will likely to be followed by additional groups in later semesters.

Local News
8:13 am
Fri November 30, 2012

NM Gets Nearly $1 Million for Highway Safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding New Mexico nearly $1 million to reduce deaths and injuries on the state's highways.

The annual grant funding was made available through the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall says states can use the money for initiatives to increase seatbelt use, for anti-drunken driving campaigns and other programs aimed at making the roads safer.

Local News
8:12 am
Fri November 30, 2012

WNMU Nursing Program Earns Accreditation

Credit Western New Mexico University

Officials at Western New Mexico University say the school's nursing program has earned accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education for 10 years.

The commission found that the program met all accreditation standards. The commission's review included a visit to the Silver City campus and interviews with university officials, program faculty, students and others.

The nursing program began in the fall of 2005. It was developed so that licensed nurses could earn a bachelor of science degree in nursing.

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Local News
8:08 am
Fri November 30, 2012

NM Starts Whooping Cough Awareness Campaign

Credit CDC

New Mexico is launching a public awareness campaign to curb the growing number of whooping cough cases in the state.

The Health Department says more than 700 cases have been reported so far this year. That's up from 277 the year before.

Two children — a 2-month-old girl from San Miguel County and a 4-year-old boy from Bernalillo County — have died this year as a result of whooping cough.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial illness that attacks the respiratory system.

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Local News
8:04 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Ex-Controller of NMFA Pleads Guilty to Fake Audit

A former top official of the New Mexico Finance Authority has pleaded guilty to forgery and securities fraud charges for falsifying an agency financial audit that was distributed to bond investors earlier this year.

Under an agreement with prosecutors, ex-controller Greg Campbell had faced up to six years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to two counts of forgery and one count of securities fraud.

State District Judge Stephen Pfeffer placed Campbell on probation for five years.

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Local News
8:03 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Mystery Bird Spotted At NM National Refuge

Wildlife managers at one of the nation's premiere bird-watching spots have a mystery on their hands.

A strange looking bird with dark plumage showed up at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico earlier this month. No one seems to know exactly what it is.

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Local News
8:02 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Fast and Furious Link to NM Border Town Smugglers

Records show a gun smuggling operation run by former town officials in Columbus, N.M., had a direct link to targets of the bungled "Fast and Furious" operation run by federal officials in Arizona.

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Local News
7:57 am
Thu November 29, 2012

NM Lieutenant Governor Traveling to Iowa

Credit Steve Terrell

Lt. Gov. John Sanchez travels to Iowa next week to attend a meeting of the executive committee of the National Lieutenant Governors Association.

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Local News
7:54 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Rail Line Opens After Southern NM Train Derailment

Authorities say a southern New Mexico rail line is back open following a train derailment.

Television station KOB-TV reports (http://bit.ly/Tu6164) the derailment happened Tuesday night north of Las Cruces. It involved a freight train headed from Belen to El Paso, Texas.

No injuries were reported, and authorities say there were no spills of hazardous material.

A heavy equipment company was able to put the cars back on the track and the line was opened.

The cause of the derailment has not been determined.

Local News
7:53 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Workers Laid Off At New Mexico Peanut Butter Plant

A peanut butter plant along the New Mexico-Texas border has laid off a third of its 150 workers after federal authorities shuttered the plant.

A salmonella outbreak traced to the peanut butter has sickened 41 people in 20 states.

Millions of pounds of the regions prized sweet Valencia peanuts sit in barns at the Sunland peanut butter plant.

Farmers are worried about getting paid. And residents wonder what toll the shutdown will have on the region's economy.

Local News
8:42 am
Wed November 28, 2012

NM, Navajo Nation Complete Land Exchange

New Mexico Land Commissioner Ray Powell and Navajo President Ben Shelly have signed off on a land exchange that officials say will benefit both governments.

The signing ceremony was Tuesday in Santa Fe.

The exchange involves a block of state trust land adjacent to the reservation near the Arizona-New Mexico border and a few acres in Silver City that have commercial development potential.

The Land Office says prior to the exchange, the Navajo Nation had leased more than 85 acres of state trust land for a new Navajo Department of Transportation Center.

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Local News
8:41 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Bernalillo County to End Inmate Methadone Program

New Mexico's largest county jail has announced that it will no longer provide methadone treatment to inmates.

Metropolitan Detention Center officials said Tuesday that all inmates who are currently incarcerated and receiving methadone will undergo a "discontinuation process" during the next several weeks.

Official say the move was made out of health concern for inmates.

The methadone program was initiated at the MDC by the New Mexico Department of Health in 2006.

Officials say pregnant women will continue to receive methadone through their pregnancies.

Local News
8:37 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Metro Court Vacancies Attract 25 Applicants

Credit Bernalillo Metro Court Website

A judicial nominating commission meets next week to consider more than two dozen applicants for vacancies on the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.

The bipartisan commission will recommend candidates to Republican Gov. Susana Martinez for possible appointment to the court. The panel meets Dec. 6 and the next day in Albuquerque.

Three vacancies will occur because Metro Court judges were elected to the district court in Bernalillo County — Judges Christina Argyres, Benjamin Chavez and Briana Zamora.

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