Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Webcast 12/10/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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NM 4th graders rank last in vocabulary
NM soldiers return from Egypt
NM Democrats select Pro-tem
MDC officer in drug test controversy





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NM 4th graders rank last for vocabulary skills


New Mexico’s fourth-graders scored dead last among the 50 states in vocabulary skills, according to a report released this week from the National Assessment of Educational Progress. 
Only the District of Columbia scored lower. Eighth-graders fared slightly better, outscoring students in California, Mississippi, Hawaii, Louisiana and the District of Columbia
This is the first-ever vocabulary report from NAEP, which is the only standardized test taken by a sample of students in every state. That makes the results more comparable than other state achievement tests, which vary significantly in difficulty. NAEP has released reports on reading achievement for years, but a specific vocabulary section has now been added to the test. T
he latest report, which includes results from 2011, is the first public look at how well students understand the meanings of words.


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Big NM cash reserves tempting lawmakers

KRQE - It's a bankroll just about anyone would be proud of. After last year's budget, New Mexico ended up with plenty left over. As of June, the state had cash balances of nearly 14 percent of its general fund budget, about $755 million. That's money that can cover revenue shortfalls in a pinch and helps the state look more attractive to bond rating agencies. Those reserves are far stronger than they were when Governor Susana Martinez took office, despite major state budget crunches. Some state lawmakers say this is a case of over-saving and that at least some of that money can be put to good use. Read More News New Mexico 

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Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Webcast 12/10/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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NM Democrats select Pro-tem
Changes to horse roundup
NM Reps elect chairman
Cold front hits northern NM







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NM Democrats select Campos as president pro tem

Pete Campos
At the New Mexico Senate Democratic Party caucus on Sunday ,Pete Campos was selected as president pro tem of the chamber to replace Sen. Tim Jennings who lost his re-election bid back in November. 

But while Campos — who’s served in the state Senate for 21 years from Las Vegas — received the nod, it’s not clear whether he has the requisite number of votes to automatically assume the pro tem title when the upcoming 60-day legislative session starts next month. 

The Senate composition will be 25 Democrats and 17 Republicans, which means it would take 22 Democrats voting as a bloc to keep Republicans from having any say in the matter. If Campos falls below 22 votes, it would take a coalition of Democrats and Republicans to select a pro tem.



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BLM changes plan to round up wild horses

Plans for rounding up wild horses in northern New Mexico have changed. 

The Bureau of Land Management says it's reprioritizing the horse gathers based on drought conditions and the condition of the animals.
 In New Mexico, trapping on Jarita Mesa has been cancelled because conditions there aren't as bad as they are in other areas. Fewer horses will be gathered from the Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory in New Mexico because of limited holding space. 
The BLM is nearing capacity at its holding corrals and pastures. That means officials have less ability to remove animals from overpopulated herds and drought-stricken rangeland.


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NM Republican party elects chairman

John Billingsley
The Republican Party of New Mexico has elected a new chairman.

 The party says John Billingsley of Lincoln County was elected during Saturday's central committee meeting in Albuquerque. He will replace Monty Newman, who has served as the party's top leader for the past two years. 
An Alto resident, Billingsley was previously the state party's first vice chairman. Billingsley identifies himself as a longtime conservative and Republican activist.
 In a recent editorial, he acknowledged that this past Election Day was tough for Republicans and that the party must return to recruiting candidates and sharing its message first at the grass-roots level.


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Cold front hits northern NM

A cold front has struck northern and central New Mexico, bringing in heavy snow and closing roads. 

The state Department of Transportation reported Sunday that heavy snow created difficult driving conditions in parts of the state and forced the closure of Interstate 40 near Clines Corners. 
Officials say snow along Interstate 25 from Glorieta Pass to the Colorado border forced some motorists off the road and Santa Fe officials reported multiple accidents on some parts of Interstate 25. 
The National Weather Service reports the winter storm was expected to move southeast through late Sunday and early Monday.


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NMSU may use search firm to find new president

New Mexico State University may use a search firm to hire the next school president.  

The board of regents chairman Mike Cheney says the board has put out a request and received proposals from firms interested in taking on the search but may not use them. 
The board aims to make a decision on whether to use a firm by Jan. 1. Cheney says the interview process would likely run through the first half of the semester, in hopes of announcing a president by spring graduation. 
Former NMSU President Barbara Couture abruptly stepped down last month following a mysteriously administrative leave. The school's executive vice president and provost Wendy Wilkins also stepped down.


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Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Webcast 12/10/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

                                     Listen here:


UNM hospital malpractice suit
NMSU may use search firm for president
Cold front hits northern NM






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UNM hospital faces major malpractice suit

A new study has found that New Mexico may have to pay as much as $120 million for an estimated 101 new medical malpractice claims that could be part of a potential class action lawsuit.  

The state General Services Department Secretary Ed Burckle says that's in addition to about $45 million in settlements the state has paid to 118 families since 1998. 
University of New Mexico hospital officials first disclosed in 1998 that children appeared not to have been given the newest drug therapies for acute lymphoblastic leukemia from 1989 to October 1996.


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