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Thursday News Roundup
4:44 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Headlines: Lawsuit Over Drilling Near Chaco, Carlsbad On WIPP Fines...

Credit US National Park Service

Groups Sue Feds Over Drilling In Northwest New Mexico - The Associated Press

A coalition of environmental groups is suing the federal government over the approval of oil and gas drilling permits in northwestern New Mexico.

The groups filed their lawsuit Wednesday as they prepared to rally at the State Capitol. They contend that more development and hydraulic fracturing could harm the environment and sites such as the Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

The suit names the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Interior Department.

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Wednesday News Roundup
4:46 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Headlines: Senate Panel Rejects Right-To-Work, Abortion Bills Assigned Committees...

Credit Stephanie Fitzgerald

NM Senate Panel Votes No On Right-To-Work Bill - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

A Senate panel has stopped the advance of a right-to-work bill that has drawn scores of people to the State Capitol for hours of hearings.

The Public Affairs Committee voted 5-3 yesterday to block a bill that prohibits requiring workers to join a union or to pay dues as a condition of employment and includes a 50-cent-per-hour minimum wage increase.

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Tuesday News Roundup
4:58 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Headlines: PARCC Testing Contract In Court, Court Says All Must Report Child Abuse...

Credit Photo via www.engagingpeace.com

Arguments Heard In New Mexico PARCC Testing Contract FightThe Associated Press

Lawyers have submitted arguments in a legal challenge to New Mexico's contract with a testing company that may halt a much-debated assessment exam in the state.

Santa Fe District Judge Sarah Singleton heard arguments Tuesday in a case that could overturn a contract awarded to London-based Pearson and potentially tangle up other states using the same test.

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Monday News Roundup
4:48 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Headlines: Arson Suspected At Rio Grande Sun, Auditor Finds $4.5 Billion In Unused Funds...

Credit Rio Grande Sun

Fire Inside Espanola Newspaper Office Suspected As Arson - The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

Authorities believe a fire that broke out in the office of a northern New Mexico newspaper is the work of an arsonist.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that firefighters were called to a fire at the Rio Grande Sun in Espanola around 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

Crews contained the blaze to an office before it could spread.

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Local News
8:25 am
Sat March 7, 2015

Headlines: Trade With Cuba, House Votes To Restrict Abortions...

If the New Mexico House Business and Employment Committee is successful, Cubans could soon be buying goods and services from New Mexico.
Credit Gareth Williams via Flickr

New Mexico House Panel Eyes State Cuban Trade Office The Associated Press

A New Mexico House panel is set to discuss a proposal that would create a state Cuban Trade Office.

The House Business and Employment Committee is scheduled Saturday to debate the bill sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia.

Under the proposal, the office would identify potential buyers in Cuba for New Mexico goods and services. The office also would assist New Mexico businesses with marketing in Cuba.

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Friday News Roundup
4:43 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Headlines: Child Vaccination Exemptions In NM, Update From The Roundhouse...

Credit lu_lu via flickr

New Mexico Releases Details Of Child Vaccine Exemptions - The Associated Press

New Mexico health officials have released the number of vaccine exemptions per school district for 2014, and Quemado tops the list.

The sparsely-populated district in western New Mexico has the highest rate of exemptions per 1,000 students at 40.3. The Santa Fe district has a rate of nearly 21, while the state's largest district in Albuquerque stands at 7.2.

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Thursday News Roundup
4:55 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Headlines: Nuclear Scientists Gather At UNM, Update From The Roundhouse...

Credit Whitepaw / Wikimedia Commons

Scientists Outline Research Wish List For Nuclear EnergyThe Associated Press

Engineers and researchers from national laboratories and universities around the country are trying to narrow the list of critical research problems the nation needs to address when it comes to nuclear energy.

The group gathered at the University of New Mexico is expected to detail its findings Thursday.

The group includes representatives from UNM, Colorado State University, Texas A&M and Sandia and Los Alamos national labs.

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Wednesday News Roundup
4:53 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Headlines: DA Forced To Dismiss Cases, Latest From Legislative Session...

Credit NM County Courthouses / Flickr

69 Dismissals So Far From Speedup Of Bernalillo County Cases - The Associated Press and KOAT-TV

The Albuquerque area's top prosecutor says dozens of criminal cases have been dismissed at least temporarily since new state-mandated deadlines kicked in about a month ago.

According to KOAT-TV, the 69 dismissed cases cited by Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg include ones against people charged with sex crimes involving children.

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Tuesday News Roundup
4:44 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Headlines: Solitary Confinement Back On Agenda, APD Hearing Postponed...

Credit my_southborough via Creative Commons

New Mexico Solitary Confinement Bill To Go Before Committee - The Associated Press

A New Mexico House panel is expected to revisit a solitary confinement reform proposal a week after a heated exchange sparked by a Democratic member ended a meeting.

The House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee is set Tuesday to discuss a measure that would ban the use of solitary confinement on juveniles and inmates suffering from mental illness.

New Mexico Senate Approves Bill To Eradicate BullyingThe Associated Press

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Monday News Roundup
4:51 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Headlines: Regulating Tattoo Artists, Student Testing Walkouts...

Credit Allencrack dövmeci / Wikimedia Commons

Senate Passes Bill To Create State Board For Tattoo Artists - The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

Legislation that would create a state board to regulate New Mexico tattoo and piercing artists has received overwhelming approval from the Senate.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the Senate voted Friday 39-1 in favor of the bill that proposes a five-member Board of Body Art Practitioners.

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Local News
8:25 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Headlines: Winter Weather Hits Hard, Late-Term Abortion Ban Advances...

Credit killbox via flickr

Ice, Snow Cover Some New Mexico Roads After StormsThe Associated Press 

Officials were warning motorists about difficult driving conditions Saturday morning along some New Mexico roadways as a result of stormy winter weather.

Late Friday, Albuquerque police cautioned people about doing any driving because of treacherous conditions that caused numerous traffic accidents.

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Friday News Roundup
4:50 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Headlines: Latest Snow Forecast, Legislative Update...

Snow Forecast For New MexicoNational Weather Service

A parade of disturbances will continue to impact New Mexico with areas of accumulating snow through the first half of the coming week.  

Snow will diminish by the middle of today across southern and eastern areas but it should continue and actually re-intensify across central and northwest area this afternoon and tonight.

Additional heavy and wet snow accumulation through Sunday will be measured in feet across the northern mountains where damage to some structures will be possible.

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Thursday News Roundup
4:41 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Headlines: NM House Passes Right-To-Work, Eyes Uber And Lyft...

Credit Arianna Sena

NM House Passes Revamped Right-To-Work BillThe Associated Press

The GOP-controlled New Mexico House of Representatives has approved a contentious right-to-work bill that tacks on an increase in the minimum wage from $7.50 to $8 an hour.

The Republican-sponsored bill prohibits requiring workers to join a union or to pay dues as a condition of employment and applies to both public and private sectors.

The House voted 37-30 Wednesday to move the bill along to the Senate, where it faces resistance.

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Wednesday News Roundup
4:43 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Headlines: Spike In Marijuana Seizures, Crimes Against Children Measure...

Credit Rusty Blazenhoff via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Four Corners Sees Spike In Marijuana SeizuresThe Associated Press and Daily Times

New statistics show that a Four Corners regional narcotics taskforce has seized around six times as much marijuana in 2014 than the previous year.

The Daily Times reports that the Region II Narcotics Taskforce seized 245 pounds of marijuana, which has an approximate street value nearly $200,000.

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Tuesday News Roundup
4:51 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Headlines: NM Lawmakers Consider Drones, NM Gambling Compact

Credit Craig Wilkinson via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico Joins Other States In Grappling With Drones - The Associated Press

Lawmakers in New Mexico are trying to grapple with new drone technology and how much freedom law enforcement agencies should have in using them.

And even New Mexico sheriffs' offices don't know how to respond.

A New Mexico legislative panel is expected soon to debate a measure that would limit the use of drones by law enforcement agencies without a warrant.

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Monday News Roundup
4:53 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Headlines: Water Pipeline Maintenance, Mary Han Legal Fees

Credit Photo by Darkpatator courtesy of Creative Commons

Water Pipeline To Be Shut Down Temporarily In SE Albuquerque - The Associated Press

Albuquerque's major water provider is temporarily shutting down a transmission pipeline in a southeastern area of the city.

The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority will take the pipeline out of service starting at 6 p.m. Sunday in order to replace a large-diameter valve.

Officials say the project is expected to last until 6 a.m. Thursday.

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Weekend News Roundup
7:33 am
Sat February 21, 2015

Headlines: Bill Restricting Abortion Advances, New Stream Commission Director...

Credit Jan Marlyn Reesman via Flickr

New Mexico House Committee Votes In Favor Of Abortion Bills – The Associated Press

A New Mexico legislative committee has voted along party lines on a second abortion-related bill, this one requiring minors to notify parents within 48 hours before ending a pregnancy.

The House Regulatory and Public Affairs Committee voted 4-3 Friday, with Republicans in the majority. More than an hour earlier in an identical vote after a five-hour hearing, the panel approved a bill banning late-term abortions.

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Friday News Roundup
4:44 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Headlines: Pay Hike For New Teachers And Police, Prison Riot Bill...

Credit credit: Nic McPhee

NM Budget Bill To Include Pay Hike For New Teachers, PoliceThe Associated Press

New teachers and state police officers can expect pay raises in the next fiscal year as New Mexico lawmakers get closer to hammering out a spending plan in the face of declining revenues.

Most department budgets remain largely flat under the House Appropriations and Finance Committee scenarios that will become part of a budget bill members are scheduled to vote on Friday.

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Thursday News Roundup
4:47 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Headlines: Creating Jobs, Speed Limits On County Roads...

Credit www.nmlegis.gov

NM Senate Democrats Say Their Bills Will Create 73,000 Jobs - The Associated Press

Senate Democrats have pitched a lofty jobs bills package that promises 73,000 new positions in New Mexico in the next four to five years.

They say the more than 40 bills they have introduced this session address the need for increased employment and economic activity in the state.

Senate Majority Whip Michael Padilla says Democratic leadership is also united in stopping right-to-work legislation supported by the Republican-controlled House.

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Wednesday News Roundup
4:43 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Headlines: Rewarding Whistleblowers, DA Wants To Stay On Boyd Case...

Credit gvgoebel via Flickr

Bill Would Reward School, Local Government WhistleblowersThe Associated Press

Whistleblowers who report public school and local government fraud would be rewarded under a measure approved by a New Mexico Senate committee.

The bill calls for expanding the Fraud Against Taxpayer Act to include schools and local governments. State agencies, departments, boards and commissions are already covered.

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Tuesday News Roundup
4:39 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Headlines: APD Sued Over Encrypted CDs, Astorga Conviction Upheld...

Albuquerque Police Sued Over Encrypted CDs In ShootingThe Associated Press

An Albuquerque law firm is suing the Albuquerque Police Department over what it say is encrypted records from a police shooting probe.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Kennedy Kennedy & Ives Law Practice recently filed the lawsuit in connection with records related to the shooting death of Armand Martin. Authorities say the 50-year-old Air Force veteran was shot by police during a standoff in May.

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Monday News Roundup
4:43 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Headlines: Skandera Confirmed, Campaign Finance Law Not Enforced...

Hanna Skandera in an interview on New Mexico PBS show New Mexico in Focus, August 8, 2011.
Credit New Mexico PBS

UPDATE 6p - New Mexico Senate Approves Skandera As Education Secretary - The Associated Press

The New Mexico Senate has voted to confirm Hanna Skandera as education secretary four years after she took the job.

The Senate approved her nomination 22-19 Monday.

Gov. Susana Martinez's nomination of Skandera in 2011 drew criticism because of her having never been a teacher or administrator.

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Local News
8:32 am
Sat February 14, 2015

Headlines: Senate Sides With Coyotes, APD Training Boss Resigns...

Credit wplynn via flickr.com

New Mexico Senate OKs Bill To Ban Coyote-Killing Contests – The Associated Press

The New Mexico Senate has approved a measure that would ban coyote-killing contests.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Mark Moores of Albuquerque and Democrat Rep. Jeff Steinborn was approved on a 27-13 vote Friday. It now heads to the House for consideration.

Moores says the bill would end coyote-killing contests without restricting the ability of farmers and ranchers to protect their livestock.

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Friday News Roundup
8:31 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Headlines: House Repeals Immigrant Driver's Licenses, Medical Marijuana Rules...

Credit New Mexico Dept of Taxation and Revenue

New Mexico House Votes To Repeal Immigrant Driver's LicensesThe Associated Press

The New Mexico House of Representatives has passed a bill that ends the state's practice of issuing driver's licenses to people suspected of being in the country illegally.

The bill passed after three hours of debate by a vote of 39-29, with two Democrats siding with the Republicans in the majority.

The bill now moves to the Democrat-controlled Senate for a vote.  Democrats have vowed to fight the legislation.

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Thursday News Roundup
8:40 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Headlines: Barelas Steps Up For Homeless, Forgotten Latino Scholar May Get School...

Credit Asaavedra32 / Wikimedia Commons

Homeless Allowed To Stay On Vacant Lot Near Former Tent SiteThe Associated Press

Homeless people evicted from an encampment on city-owned property in downtown Albuquerque are being allowed to move to a nearby vacant lot owned by a neighborhood association.

Police and city officials earlier this week issued eviction notices giving people staying in the so-called "Tent City" to leave by Thursday.

The Barelas Neighborhood Association has given the campers permission to stay on piece of property that the association owns a few blocks away.

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Wednesday News Roundup
8:36 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Headlines: Petroglyph Vandalism, Enhancing Sunshine Portal...

Credit National Park Service

Vandalism Found In Petroglyph National MonumentThe Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

Graffiti and other vandalism have been found in a section of the Petroglyph National Monument in west Albuquerque.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that monument Superintendent Dennis Vásquez was exploring a section of the monument last week when he found debris, evidence of campfires, motorcycle tracks and graffiti.

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Tuesday News Roundup
8:59 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Headlines: Protecting Pregnant Workers, Tent City Eviction...

Credit pixnpics via Flickr

Bill Would Protect Pregnant Workers In New MexicoThe Associated Press

A New Mexico lawmaker has introduced legislation that would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for working pregnant women.

Representative Terry McMillan of Las Cruces says the state can do a better job protecting pregnant women in the workplace. He says his bill would bring the state in line with federal standards.

Reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers would include more flexibility of schedules as well as shorter hours or leave time.

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Monday News Roundup
8:43 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Headlines: Transparency In Santa Fe, Vote On Drivers Licenses...

Credit Tall Chris via Flickr

New Mexico Website Drops Easy Scanning Feature On LobbyistsThe Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

New Mexico's online system for tracking lobbyists' spending on legislators is not as transparent as it used to be.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that a recent change in the website operated by the Secretary of State's Office no longer makes it easy to scan reports in which lobbyists must report expenditures larger than $500 within 48 hours.

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Local News
8:23 am
Sat February 7, 2015

Headlines: South Valley Art Project, PNM Energy Plan...

Public art projects such as this downtown Albuquerque mural are popular ways to connect with our heritage. Bernalillo County and local artists hope to welcome visitors to the South Valley with a Latino themed installation.
Credit teofilo via flickr.com

Art Project At Albuquerque's South Valley Bridge Eyed The Associated Press

Artists and Bernalillo County officials are preparing to hold a series of community meetings aimed at creating a Latino-themed art project for a bridge at the entrance of Albuquerque's South Valley.

The first meeting is scheduled Feb. 17 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center Education Center.

Officials say the session will focus on gathering stories, history, and photos of the South Valley.

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Friday News Roundup
8:41 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Headlines: Santa Fe Vaccination Mandate, Heated Rhetoric At Legislature...

Credit lu_lu via flickr

Santa Fe Schools To Enforce Vaccination Mandate For MeaslesThe Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

Santa Fe public school students without up-to-date measles vaccinations or valid waivers for medical or religious reasons won't be able to attend classes starting Feb. 17.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the district's stricter enforcement of state requirements for student vaccinations comes at a time when measles has been reported recently in other states.

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