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Local News
4:30 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Foster children portraits on display at UNM's Pit

The state and the University of New Mexico have unveiled a new attraction for Lobo basketball fans, a "Heart Gallery" featuring portraits of children up for adoption.

Gov. Susana Martinez was at the university Thursday to announce the gallery, which will display pictures of foster children from the Children, Youth, and Families Department.

CYFD says it has a temporary display ready for the Monday's basketball season home opener at The Pit. A permanent gallery will follow.

Local News
3:17 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

US, Mexico Close to Signing Water Sharing Pact

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Government leaders in the United States and Mexico are close to signing a pact to add areas south of the border to Colorado River water sharing agreements involving seven Western U.S. states.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials said Friday that final documents are circulating among the 15 water agencies and state officials in Nevada, Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the Southern Nevada Water Authority and Colorado River Commission of Nevada will consider it next week.

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Local News
1:33 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Nuke Security Fix to Cost an Additional $41million

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials at Los Alamos National Laboratory say the estimate for fixing the new but inoperable security system at the nation's bomb building lab has doubled.

Lab officials Friday confirmed a report in the Albuquerque Journal that it could cost an additional $41 million and take six months to fix the $213 million system, which has been under construction for seven years and was supposed to be complete this summer.

That is double what officials estimated a few weeks ago, when problems with the security system were first reported.

Local News
6:30 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Board rejects petition on PTSD medical pot removal

A petition aimed at removing post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifier for medical marijuana in New Mexico has been rejected.

The New Mexico Medical Cannabis Advisory Board unanimously ruled Wednesday to reject the petition by an Albuquerque psychiatrist who said there was a lack of scientific evidence proving medical marijuana helped those with PTSD.

The board voted 7-0 to recommend that interim Health Secretary Brad McGrath reject the petition despite the claims.

About 3,300 New Mexicans used a PTSD diagnosis to qualify for a license.

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Local News
6:28 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

NM appeals court justice Castillo retiring

Gov. Susana Martinez, whose appointee to the Court of Appeals lost his seat in Tuesday's election, will get another shot at putting a Republican on the bench.

Court of Appeals Judge Celia Foy Castillo is retiring in December.

A bipartisan commission will consider applications for the position and then forward a list of candidates to the governor.

Judges then run in a partisan election if they want to keep their job. If they win, they face periodic nonpartisan retention elections.

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Local News
6:17 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Voter turnout drops to 62% in New Mexico

Voter turnout dropped in New Mexico and unofficial returns indicate about 62 percent of registered voters cast ballots in this year's presidential race.

That's down from nearly 70 percent in 2008, and it's the lowest turnout rate since the 2000 presidential election when 61 percent of eligible voters participated.

About 772,000 votes were cast in the presidential race. That's 7 percent lower than in 2008, but is 2 percent higher than in 2004.

New Mexico was a battleground state in the 2008 and 2004 presidential contests, but not this year.

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Local News
6:16 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

National group touts success of Native vote push

Organizers of a massive get-out-the-vote campaign that targeted Native American communities across the country are considering their efforts a success.

The National Congress of American Indians led the push. The group pointed Thursday to U.S. Senate races in Montana and North Dakota, as well as a voter identification ballot initiative in Minnesota, where it says the Native American turnout made a difference. The Minnesota voter ID requirement failed.

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Local News
12:27 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Martinez Can Appoint Another Republican Judge, Despite Electoral Loss

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez, whose appointee to the Court of Appeals lost his seat in Tuesday's election, will get another shot at putting a Republican on the bench.

Court of Appeals Judge Celia Foy Castillo is retiring in December.

A bipartisan commission will consider applications for the position and then forward a list of candidates to the governor.

Judges then run in a partisan election if they want to keep their job. If they win, they face periodic nonpartisan retention elections.

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Local News
3:04 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Centralized Voting System, End of Straight Party Tickets Contributed to Long Lines, Glitches

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — New voting systems triggered long voting lines and a shortage of voting machines in some polling sites in New Mexico.

In Rio Rancho, some voters found themselves Tuesday in three-hour lines and continued waiting into early Wednesday morning. The long lines sparked a visit by Governor Susana Martinez who passed out water to those waiting.

Delays were blamed on high turnout and a switch from precinct polling sites to centralized voting centers.

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Local News
2:50 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Mixed Bag of Results for Martinez in State Legislative Races

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and her Republican allies appear to have lost ground in the state House of Representatives in the general election but gained seats in the Senate, including ousting a pair of Democratic leaders.

The GOP had hoped to knock off enough Democrats to take control of the House for the first time in nearly 60 years, but unofficial returns suggested the party went the other direction and lost seats.

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Local News
2:49 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Mixed Bag of Results for Martinez in State Legislative Races

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and her Republican allies appear to have lost ground in the state House of Representatives in the general election but gained seats in the Senate, including ousting a pair of Democratic leaders.

The GOP had hoped to knock off enough Democrats to take control of the House for the first time in nearly 60 years, but unofficial returns suggested the party went the other direction and lost seats.

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Local News
8:40 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Zamora beats Hanisee to take NM Appeals Court seat

District Judge Monica Zamora of Albuquerque has been elected to the New Mexico Court of Appeals.

Zamora, a Democrat, defeated sitting Court of Appeals Judge Miles Hanisee. She has 55 percent of the vote compared with Hanisee's 45 percent.

Zamora is a graduate of the University of New Mexico's law school. She worked as an attorney for 25 years before becoming a judge in the children's court division of the 2nd Judicial District in 2005.

Hanisee is a former federal prosecutor. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez appointed him to the court last year.

Local News
2:05 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Top State Senate Leader Defeated

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A top Democrat Senate leader lost his re-election bid Tuesday after being targeted by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez in one of the most costly legislative races in this year's general election.

Roswell farmer Cliff Pirtle defeated Senate President Tim Jennings, a Roswell Democrat, according to unofficial returns.

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Local News
1:59 am
Wed November 7, 2012

PRC Qualifications Amendment Okayed by Voters

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico voters have approved one of the proposed constitutional amendments aimed at revamping the Public Regulation Commission, one of the state's most powerful, highest paid and most scandal-plagued bodies.

The amendment allows the state Legislature to establish minimum qualifications for PRC candidates.

Currently, a candidate needs only to be 18, a New Mexico resident for at least one year and have no felony convictions.

Two other proposed amendments that target PRC duties have yet to be decided.

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Local News
1:55 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Exit Polls Showed Strong Support For Obama From Hispanics

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Highlights of results of exit polls conducted in New Mexico for The Associated Press:

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WHY OBAMA WON: President Barack Obama scored well among first-time voters and younger voters, and he nearly split votes with Republican challenger Mitt Romney among voters over 30.

The newly re-elected president had a commanding lead among Hispanic men and women, but white voters favored Romney.

Both candidates maintained votes within their political bases.

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Local News
9:03 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Obama looks to carry New Mexico a 2nd time

New Mexico voters are deciding the fate of the state's five electoral votes for the presidency along with an open Senate seat on Election Day.

New Mexico has gone back and forth for the past three presidential cycles, and had been considered a battleground early on. But polls this summer and fall consistently showed President Barack Obama with a solid lead over GOP nominee Mitt Romney. The Republican National Committee in September pulled key staffers and sent them to more competitive states.

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Local News
9:02 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Control of statehouse up for grabs

A costly fight for control of the New Mexico Legislature comes to an end Tuesday when voters decide whether Republicans will gain a majority in the House for the first time in nearly 60 years.

Republican and Democratic-leaning political action committees have dumped more than $3 million into the general election campaign, an unprecedented amount for legislative races in New Mexico.

All 112 seats in the House and Senate are up for election this year.

Local News
9:01 am
Tue November 6, 2012

NM voters to decide amendments, GO bonds

The fate of five constitutional amendments and more than $140 million dollars in general obligation bonds will be decided by New Mexico voters on Tuesday.

Three of the amendments deal with reforming the Public Regulation Commission, one of the most powerful, highest paid and most scandal-plagued commissions in the state.

One proposal would allow lawmakers to adopt minimum standards for PRC candidates. The others would streamline the panel's duties and move some responsibilities to the secretary of state.

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Local News
9:00 am
Tue November 6, 2012

NM voters pick new US senator

New Mexico is filling an open U.S. Senate seat in a race that has seen the candidates relentlessly punching away at each other over jobs, health care and taxes.

Voters decide Tuesday whether Democrat Martin Heinrich, Republican Heather Wilson or Independent American candidate Jon Barrie has offered the most appealing recipe for dealing with the nation's economic problems.

The winner will succeed Democrat Jeff Bingaman, who is retiring after 30 years in the Senate.

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Local News
8:59 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Albuquerque voters pick congresswoman

Albuquerque voters will send a new representative to Washington on Tuesday after a relatively quiet campaign between the two candidates.

Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham is running against Republican Janice Arnold-Jones in the 1st Congressional District, which represents most of the city. The winner will replace two-term Democratic Rep. Martin Heinrich, who is running for the Senate.

It is the most competitive of the three congressional districts in New Mexico. In the other two, Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Lujan and GOP Rep. Steve Pearce are favored to hold on to their seats.

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Local News
8:57 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta attendance declines

Officials say attendance at Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta fell from last year.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta organizers announced Monday that estimated attendance at this year's nine-day event last month was more than 714,000. Officials say the number is down slightly from 2011's estimated 737,466 visits.

Organizers blamed the declined on poor weather which forced the cancellation of some events that historically have been the most attended.

Officials say the event attracted balloons from 19 countries.

Local News
3:34 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Threatened Trout Get Lift from Mules

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Biologists are getting help from a team of mules as they return thousands of threatened Gila trout to their home streams in southwestern New Mexico.

The pack train traveled a few miles into the Gila National Forest wilderness this week to release the first batch of 1,000 fish. The remaining 3,000 will be packed in on Monday.

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Local News
4:15 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Navajo Council Senate Endorsement in Dispute

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's U.S. Senate candidates are sparring over who has the support of the Navajo Nation Council.

Republican Heather Wilson says the council endorsed her after Speaker Johnny Naize sent her a letter last month praising her energy policies.

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Local News
9:06 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Proposal would regulate alcohol sales in Santa Fe

Credit David Shankbone

A City Council member in Santa Fe is proposing rules for an area of his city that would regulate alcohol sales and create a healthier food zone by banning new restaurant drive-thrus.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/SngcJ0 ) that City Council member Carmichael Dominguez is trying to put strict rules in place governing certain types of businesses in the Airport Road area of southwest Santa Fe.

Dominguez says his proposal is an attempt to improve the area's quality of life.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on Dominguez's proposal in January.

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Local News
9:01 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Governor names Transportation Commission member

Credit John Phelan

Gov. Susana Martinez has named a businessman from southeastern New Mexico to a commission that oversees the state Department of Transportation.

Robert Wallach of Hobbs fills a vacancy on the six-member state Transportation Commission, which sets policies for the department.

The 56-year-old Wallach runs a family-owned concrete business and also owns a ranch. Wallach is a former member of the Hobbs City Commission.

His appointment is subject to confirmation by the state Senate.

The department is responsible for the state's network of highways and bridges.

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Local News
8:59 am
Mon October 29, 2012

WA campaigns bring attention to Utah license model

The races for governor and attorney general have brought renewed attention to a proposal that would create a two-tiered driver's license system in Washington to address the issue of driving by immigrants who can't provide proof of legal U.S. residency.

Washington and New Mexico remain the only two states in the country not to require proof of legal U.S. residency when applying for a driver's license.

Local News
8:58 am
Mon October 29, 2012

New Mexico traffic deaths way up this year

More people are dying on New Mexico highways this year, with state statistics showing a 25 percent jump in traffic deaths during the first nine months of 2012.

Deaths from alcohol-related crashes are also up by 20 percent this year. Alcohol played a role in about 40 percent of the state's 296 traffic deaths.

Figures compiled by the New Mexico Department of Transportation show pedestrian deaths and crashes that killed people above age 70 led the increase in fatalities.

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Local News
8:29 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Endangered gray wolf to be released into wild

Credit Cm0rris0n

  An endangered Mexican gray wolf will be released into the wild from Brookfield Zoo in suburban Chicago.

The Chicago Zoological Society runs Brookfield Zoo and says the female wolf will be moved Saturday to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge in New Mexico. They say the 4 1/2-year-old wolf, named Ernesta, will be paired with a mate for potential release. Wildlife biologists will put the pair through a "boot camp" to prepare them for the wild.

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Local News
8:27 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Winter moisture a must to help ease NM drought

Credit Tomas Castelazo

  Nearly all of New Mexico continues to grapple with some level of drought, and federal forecasting models show those conditions are likely to persist through January.

State and federal officials reported during a drought monitoring meeting Thursday that there has been only one day of rain so far this month in the eastern half of New Mexico.

Those totals ranged from a half-inch to just over an inch of rain, not enough to catch up after back-to-back dry years.

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Local News
8:25 am
Fri October 26, 2012

NM Sens. ask Obama for monument designations

Credit Daniel Schwen

  New Mexico Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall are asking President Obama to designate the Rio Grande Gorge near Taos and the Organ Mountains in southern New Mexico as national monuments.

The senators, who are sponsors of legislation that would elevate the sites to national conservation and wilderness areas, wrote a letter to Obama asking him to use his authority to establish the sites as National Monuments because a congressional logjam has made it difficult to pass their bill.

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