PED's Hanna Skandera on News New Mexico

New Mexico Secretary designee for Education, Hanna Skandera will be in studio Thursday, January 31, 2013. The interview will last an hour and listeners are invited to send questions to ask Skandera. There is much to talk about including the success of the graduation programs which have changed the dropout rate which went from 63% to 70 percent.
If you would like to ask a question written: Join Hanna Skandera Thursday and be sure to capture the questions using email. Here is the link  to ask a question:
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Police stop kidnapping attempt in Roswell

From KOAT-TV.comROSWELL, N.M. —Roswell police said they foiled an attempted kidnapping on Monday afternoon. Police said Lorenzo Castillo, 35, pointed a gun at the victim and tried to get that person into his car. The victim was able to escape.
Officers said they found Castillo sitting on the hood of his car holding a gun. They asked him multiple times to put the gun down and shot him with a beanbag round when he didn’t, according to police. After he was detained, police discovered that the gun was a pellet gun.
Castillo was arrested and charged with aggravated assault against a household member, attempting to commit a violent felony by kidnapping and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer. Read more
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Newsbreak New Mexico 5 p.m. Webcast 1/29/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 5 p.m. Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Fastbucks ordered to pay NM
Leg. expands Amber Alert
ABQ council wants changes to APD
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Gov. announces job creation plan

Governor Susana Martinez outlined her plan to help New Mexico small businesses hire and train new workers Monday in a speech to local builders and business owners. 

Governor Martinez detailed her plans for a new, $1000 tax credit to businesses for each job created, as well as a $4.75 million increase to the state’s existing Job Training Incentive Program, which covers part of an employee’s salary while they are receiving training from their employer. 
The tax credit would be available to businesses that employ fewer than 100 workers and hire a new employee between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014. The job must be maintained for at least two years in order for the business to qualify for the credit.


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Lawmakers pass Amber Alert expansion

New Mexico lawmakers have approved a proposal backed by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to broaden a state warning system for finding abducted children.

 The House approved a measure on Monday to expand the Amber Alert system to include children abducted by a parent or other family member. 
The system provides for emergency distribution of notices of a child's abduction. 
The bill passed the House on a 61-2 vote and goes to the Senate for consideration.
Martinez said in a statement that with House approval of the legislation "we are now a step closer to protecting the well-being of New Mexico children who are taken by those who are supposed to care for them the most."


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Virgin Galactic to start paying rent on Spaceport

Virgin Galactic says it will start paying New Mexico rent on the nearly quarter-billion dollar Spaceport the state built for Richard Branson's space tourism business, but the company is doing so under protest and without waiving its right to walk away from the project. 
According to letters obtained by The Associated Press, Virgin Galactic says the state has not finished the work necessary to trigger activation of its $1 million-a-year rent. And it says if the work is not complete by March 31, it may stop paying or give notice to terminate its lease. 
New Mexico Spaceport Authority Executive Director Christine Anderson says the state's obligations have been met. She has requested a meeting with the company. 
The dispute comes after Virgin expressed concerns about the state's inability to attract more business to the project.


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Newsbreak New Mexico 12 p.m. Webcast 1/29/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 12 pm.m Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Virgin Galactic to pay rent
Gun bill stalls in the Legislature
Dems introduce film cap bill 
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Dems, Gov. clash over film cap

From KOB-TV.com - By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4 -Democrats in the state legislature are on a collision course with Gov. Susana Martinez over the way taxpayers support the state's film industry.
Democrats want to get rid of the cap the Governor succeeded in putting on the state's film subsidy - it's $50 million a year - and while the Democrats say it's got to go the Republican Governor says it's got to stay.
Here's how it works: For just about every dollar you spend making a movie in New Mexico the state will give you back 25 cents. That's a sweet deal compared to film subsidies in most other states, but in 2011 the Governor convinced lawmakers to cap the total giveaway at $50 million a year. Democrats say it's time to pop that cap and grow the film industry.
"We want to convince her that removing the cap is going to be the best for the industry," said Sen. Phil Griego, who represents a far-flung district in Northern New Mexico. "It's going to send a message to the industry that New Mexico is open to the making of films."
But Gov. Martinez is sticking to her guns, saying there needs to be a limit on what the taxpayers are shelling out to the movie makers."What makes the film incentive cap so important is that it makes budgeting more predictable," Martinez said. "I'm not going to take money out of a classroom and tell kids the money is going to the film industry instead of the kids."
New Mexicans in the film industry hope to convince Martinez that lifting the cap will create more jobs in a hurry. "You put in jobs immediately," said Jon Hendry of the IATSE film technicians union. "If you want good high-paying union jobs - I emphasize union jobs - jobs with benefits - the type of jobs that you want here in New Mexico - we can have them in 90 days."
Gov. Martinez does favor allowing any unused film incentive money under the $50 million cap to be carried over into the next year's amount. Right now that does not appear to be popular with the movie people. Read more
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Gov. introduces human trafficking proposal


Human trafficking is a serious problem in New Mexico
The state became one of the last states to put strong criminal prohibitions against human trafficking in 2008 making it a third degree felony. But Gov. Susanna Martinez, ABQ Mayor Richard Berry and two state representatives held a press conference about hammering down on human traffickers during the 2013 legislative session. 
The proposals include putting human traffickers on the sex offender registry if they sexually exploit a victim, like forcing the victim into prostitution; changing felonies to second degree if the victim is 16 years old or older and to a first degree felony if the victim is 15 years old or younger; and tightening the loophole for those accused of intending to traffick humans. 
Now, someone is charged if they officially have custody of a person.


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Education coalition asks for 4% pay raises


A coalition of education group is lobbying the Legislature to provide 4 percent pay raises for teachers and other public school employees next year, a proposal that puts them at odds with Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. 
Martinez has recommended no salary increases for educators or state workers in the coming fiscal year. 
The Legislative Finance Committee has proposed 1 percent raises, costing about $18 million to fund in the state's public schools.
  The education coalition includes organizations representing school boards, administrators, parents and teachers. The groups outlined their legislative proposals to House and Senate Education committees on Friday.



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Newsbreak New Mexico 12 p.m. Webcast 1/28/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 12 p.m. Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Gov. DWI proposal struck down
Mesilla considering online payment system
Talk to freeze min. wage in Santa Fe


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Legislative panel rejects Gov's DWI proposal

A legislative committee has rejected legislation backed by Gov. Susana Martinez to toughen New Mexico's penalties on repeat drunken drivers. 
One of the bills supported by the Republican governor but rejected by the Democratic-led House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee would have increased prison time for fourth and subsequent DWI convictions.
 The second bill would have effectively required DWI convictions to figure in the determination on whether a defendant is an habitual offender. 
During Thursday's hearing  opponents said that toughening penalties would add costs for the court system and prisons.

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Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce asks for min. wage feeze

Business leaders in Santa Fe are calling on the northern New Mexico city to freeze its minimum wage, now set to rise by 2 percent on March 1 under a cost-of-living adjustment. 

The Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce says higher costs imposed on businesses mean they'd have to raise prices. The chamber says that would raise the cost of living and increase unemployment while making it unlikely young people could find entry-level jobs.  
The city's minimum hourly wage will rise March 1 to $10.51 from $10.29. 
Mayor David Coss says he opposes capping the minimum wage. Coss says city residents have expressed support for it and that Santa Fe's economy is in better shape than those of other New Mexico cities.


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Newsbreak New Mexico 8 a.m. Webcast 1/28/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 8a.m. Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Medicaid births in New Mexico
Illinois to issue licenses to undocumented immigrants
State improves mental health records for gun checks


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7 in 10 births in NM paid by Medicaid

Seven in 10 births in New Mexico are paid for by Medicaid.  

Recent analysis by the state Legislative Finance Committee that shows 71 percent of the nearly 27,800 babies born in New Mexico during 2010 were paid for by the state and federally funded health insurance program for the poor.
 Experts say the large number of Medicaid births reflects a slew of problems in New Mexico, such as high rates of unemployment, drug use, school dropout and teen pregnancy. 
About one in four New Mexicans is enrolled in the program.

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Gun debate leads to legal firearms question

From KOAT-TV.com - With the current gun debate sparking controversy across the country, gun experts want people to know which types of guns are legal or illegal.
Gun experts said every type of gun is legal if it is purchased through legitimate avenues and is properly registered.
It includes both automatic and semi-automatic weapons, but the background check to buy an automatic weapon is far more extensive. Automatic weapons, which fire multiple bullets with one pull of the trigger, are also extremely expensive.
"A machine gun is not necessarily illegal as long as you go through the proper channels and do the proper paperwork," said Calibers training director Jordan Nighbert.
Gun control advocates are pushing to ban assault weapons, high capacity clips, and improve background checks. Read more
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Newsbreak New Mexico 5p.m. Webcast 1/25/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 5p.m. Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Zozobra burning to stay on Thursday
Rabies count high in Eddy County
Logan battles for Ute Water Project


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Lawmaker introduces legislation for concealed weapons in schools

Schools in New Mexico could allow an employee to carry a concealed handgun on school property under a proposal by a Republican legislator. 

State law prohibits guns on school premises except in limited instances, such as by police and school security guards. 
The legislation by Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort of Sandia Park comes a month after a Connecticut school shooting that claimed the lives of 26 children and school workers. 
Under Beffort's proposal, a school could designate one of its workers to bring a loaded, concealed handgun on campus if the individual was licensed to carry the weapon. 
The National Rifle Association has advocated placing armed guards in all schools. 
President Barack Obama has proposed gun law changes, including a ban on assault-style weapons.


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Abortion proposal sparks controversy

Cathrynn Brown
A Republican lawmaker is under fire for a proposal critics say could lead to felony charges against rape victims seeking an abortion, but the legislator maintains the measure is being misrepresented.  

Rep. Cathrynn Brown of Carlsbad said Thursday she'll revise the bill and had intended to make it a crime for a rapist in cases of incest to force a pregnant victim to have an abortion or to arrange for the abortion. 
The bill says the crime of evidence tampering "shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime." 
New Mexico's Democratic Party chairman calls it an "atrocious piece of legislation."



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Newsbreak New Mexico 12p.m. Webcast 1/25/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 12p.m. Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Protection for Zuni Bluehead Sucker fish
Proposal for concealed weapons in school
Las Cruces to fine for false alarms


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Zozobra burning to remain a Thursday night event

The burning of the Zozobra, a giant puppet stuffed with scraps of paper, will remain a Thursday night event in Santa Fe

The Kiwanis Club says the annual pre-Fiesta event will take place the evening of Sept. 5 at Fort Mercy Park
There had been talk of moving the burning to Friday night, but organizer Ray Sandoval says the club decided to end uncertainty and set a date. Admission will cost $10, down from $20 last year. 
Sandoval had said a Friday night burning would boost attendance and help avoid a ticket price increase. 
The Sante Fe New Mexican reports that Police Chief Ray Rael said it would be difficult for police to monitor both the burning at the park and gathering of people at the plaza afterward.


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NMSU football coach take NFL coaching position

DeWayne Walker
New Mexico State head football coach DeWayne Walker has stepped down. 

NMSU Athletics Director McKinley Boston announced Thursday that Walker is leaving the Aggies to take a job as an assistant coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Officials say he will be a defensive backs coach for the NFL team. 
Walker posted a 10-40 overall record for NMSU in four years. Walker was hired in December 2008 at the same time the University of New Mexico hired former head football coach Mike Locksley. 
The school has not announced plans on its search for a new coach.

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Gov. announces new graduation rate

Gov. Susana Martinez has announced that New Mexico's high school graduation rate has jumped to 70 percent, still far below the national average of about 78 percent.  

The governor said Thursday at a Rio Rancho High School press conference that the 2012 four-year high school graduation rate rose 7 points from last year. 
Martinez said graduate rates also increased for Latino and American Indian students. Federal 2010-2011 data showed New Mexico having a 63 percent four-year high school graduation rate, one of the worst rates in the nation that year.


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Newsbreak New Mexico 8a.m. Webcast 1/25/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 8a.m. Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Gov. announces new graduation rate
Abortion proposal sparks debate
NMSU football coach resigns


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Marijuana legalization measure sparks debate

From KOB-TV.com - by Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - One of the most talked-about bills of the legislative session hasn't even been introduced yet, but the plan to legalize marijuana will get plenty of debate. Some kind of legislation is likely to come up on the marijuana issue. There is too much interest in the issue for it to stay off the table. The debate has already been settled in a Colorado and that’s given steam to the pro-marijuana faction which says legalize it, regulate it, tax it, fewer people in jail, and more money for the state.
Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D- Albuquerque) is mulling over what action to take in the legislative session.
"I think there was a surprise in Colorado that it won so handily and I think what you're seeing is a reflection of a change in the demographics - the people that are voting now don't have some of the same attitudes that people 10, 15, 20 years ago would have had,” he said Ortiz y Pino says it could go three ways: A constitutional amendment that voters would vote on, a bill to reduce penalties or a memorial to study the consequences of legal weed. But there are plenty of lawmakers who don't have any appetite for any of those options.
"I'm not sure it's a good idea anyway but let's say it is introduced and comes out - I think there would be some difficulty in getting votes - I don't think the [governor’s office] would necessarily support the concept - I don't see that it's necessarily a good plan to try to introduce during the session,” Sen. Steve Neville (R-Farmington) said.
Lawmakers said they think Gov. Susana Martinez – a former district attorney from Las Cruces - would be highly unlikely to sign any bill reducing penalties for pot. Her signature, however, is not needed for a constitutional amendment or a memorial studying the idea. Read more
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Swickard: Start with data not emotions

© 2012 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.   Data does not lie. It is exactly what it is regardless of political implications people would like the data to support. Data is numbers and words and graphs from which we can argue conclusions. Data is just data in and of itself. People can use data to make decisions. That is the textbook way we in our society are supposed to make decisions. 
We should look at the data and then proceed as the data suggests. While data does not take a side in a debate, people have wants and cares and desires which they argue for and sometimes try to use data to convince others as to the validity of their viewpoint. Data may be neutral, but people lie and misuse data. People use data for purposes not supported by the data. Worse, Americans have great debates without ever looking at the data. 
In our society there is a great debate, no, that is not right. No one is debating, everyone is just emoting their feelings about guns without regard for data. Even though there may be data, most often it is ignored if it does not help make their desired political point. Our news media does not present balanced reports; it generally looks for stories that support their political agenda. They ignore data that does not support their views. You do not believe such a thing? 
Here is proof: in all of the stories about gun violence, have you seen any stories about when having and using a gun is good? People use guns to make things better every day and the mainstream media does not cover the good use of guns. But they are quick to shout when guns are used for bad purposes. Read full column

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Branco - Self-Inflicted Wounds



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Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Webcast 1/24/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich
              
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Steven Seagal made Dona Ana County Deputy Sheriff
State delays hospital Medicaid payments
Teacher abuses autistic child 
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Lawmakers introduce bill to make NM more taxi friendly


Lawmakers are proposing to revamp state regulation of taxis and moving companies to potential lower costs for consumers. 
Reps. Tom Taylor, a Farmington Republican, and Carl Trujillo, a Santa Fe Democrat, are sponsoring the measure to make it easier for taxis, shuttles and limousines to expand their services into more parts of the state. 
The proposal also will eliminate rate regulation of intrastate moving companies, treating them like interstate moving companies that are regulated for safety and insurance liability. 
An independent think tank, called Think New Mexico, has recommended modernizing the regulation of motor carriers by the Public Regulation Commission.


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Steven Seagal made Dona Ana County Deputy Sheriff

Steven Seagal
Dona Ana County is adding some star power to its sheriff's department. 
Undersheriff Eddie Lerma this week arranged to have action film star Steven Seagal sworn in as a deputy. Sheriff Todd Garrison read Seagal his oath during an informal ceremony Tuesday. 
Lerma says Seagal is more than a movie star. He says he has spent decades in law enforcement training, and has a special interest in border issues. Seagal has been involved in law enforcement in Louisiana and Arizona.
 In Arizona he is part of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's civilian posse of volunteers who assist deputies in duties such as providing free police protection at malls during the holidays, directing traffic at wreck scenes and transporting to jail the people who are arrested in immigration patrols.


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Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Webcast 1/24/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Legislation for taxis and movers in NM
License renewal online
ACLU announces Walgreens changes



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New Mexicans can renew drivers licenses online

New Mexicans can now renew their drivers licenses or ID cards online

Gov. Susana Martinez and members of her staff made the announcement Wednesday.
 It took three months for the state to get the online system. The state's information technology employees created the system. Taxation and revenue secretary Demesia Padilla said the state saved $2 million by doing that. 
The system aims to help people get out of MVD lines, and online. And there will be computers to access the website at MVD's across the state if people do not have access to the internet at home. People have to renew their license at an MVD every other time they renew. 
The federal government requires a new picture every 16 years, the state said. People who are getting a license for the first time cannot use the online system.


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Parents concerned over school election site

Several parents are threatening to pull their kids out of a local elementary school after learning that voting in an upcoming special election will take place on school grounds while class is in session. 

Several of the parents at Rudolfo Anaya Elementary School said they are afraid to have strangers roaming the halls of the school in light of recent school shootings.

 A letter from the County Clerk's Office addressed to the principal of the school said a school staff member must be present to open all gates to parking areas for voter access on election day. The letter does not mention police presence or additional security on school grounds. 

Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse said if APS asks for anything different, the county would be happy to provide it. 




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ACLU announces changes for Walgreens

New Mexico advocacy groups say Walgreens won't allow individual pharmacists' personal religious beliefs to prevent customers from filling birth control prescriptions. 

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico announced Tuesday that Walgreens told the ACLU and the Southwest Women's Law Center that the company will take steps nationwide to make sure customers received prescriptions regardless of employees' beliefs.
 The announcement comes after an Albuquerque Walgreens pharmacist last year refused to fill the birth control prescriptions for two women due to his religious beliefs. 


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Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Webcast 1/4/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Gov. still pushing for license reform
Eric Griego speaks 
ACLU-NM Walgreens debate
Parents to pull kids from school over election 
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Martinez still wants to repeal driver's license law

From KOB-TV.com - By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - Word of a possible compromise on driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants may be a little bit premature. Governor Susana Martinez said Wednesday she still wants the legislature to repeal the state law that allows the licenses, after talking about a possible compromise on Tuesday.
At a news conference on Tuesday Martinez said she might consider signing a bill creating a driving permit for illegal immigrants as long as it couldn't be used for I.D. or to get another license in another state.
"If we have something that proposes that and takes care of public safety, I'm certainly willing to take a look at it," Martinez said. Fast forward to Wednesday: Another news conference, same issue.
"Everywhere I travel throughout this state, I'll tell you the number one issue has been are you going to fight for the repeal of this law - and yes - I'm going to continue to fight for the repeal of this law," Martinez said.
The problem is the growing black market trade of racketeers peddling New Mexico licenses to illegal immigrants for thousands of dollars - and many of the buyers don't even live in the state. Martinez has said repeatedly that getting rid of the law is the way to stop it. But in her latest comments Wednesday she didn't slam the door all the way shut.
"That doesn't mean that we won't get various versions of this law from various different legislators that will actually pass both sides of the House and the Senate," Martinez said. "So I can get various versions and then choose from those versions."
Mixed message? Maybe. But legislative leaders are pretty good at understanding where the Governor is coming from at this point, and what they are hearing is probably not as important as what they're not hearing.
What they're not hearing is "My way or no way." Read more
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Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Webcast 1/23/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Senator introduces non citizen voting bill

Bill Payne

 A Republican lawmaker wants New Mexico elections officials to check to ensure that noncitizens aren't registered to vote. 
Senate GOP Whip William Payne of Albuquerque, the No. 2 GOP Senate leader, has introduced legislation requiring the secretary of state to periodically check the state's voter registration rolls for noncitizens, who aren't allowed to vote. 
Secretary of State Dianna Duran, a Republican, has said she planned to ask the federal Department of Homeland Security for access to a database that has information on immigrants who are legally living in the country. 
In 2011, Duran's office said it found at least 100 people who appeared to be noncitizens. Her office compared voter registration files with driver's license data for foreign nationals and Social Security information.


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Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Webcast 1/23/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Gov. announces new teaching initiative
Worforce Solutions still dealing with claimants 
Supreme court asks for more judges

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Gov. announces $2 million teacher initiative

Gov. Martinez
Gov. Susana Martinez has announced a $2 million initiative to hire math and sciences teachers in low income and rural schools in New Mexico
Martinez outlined her plan at a news conference Tuesday in Albuquerque
She says the effort will include multiple components to increase the hiring of math and science teachers in hard-to-staff areas throughout the state. That will include a loan forgiveness program and pay incentives for teachers who move to certain schools. T
he governor also proposes up to a $5,000 pay bonus for the best 125 highly effective math and science teachers who move to underserved schools. Eligible teachers would be those who are determined to be the most effective in helping students under the state's new teacher evaluation program.


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NM Supreme Court asks Legislature for more judges

The chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court says the state's court system needs more judges to deal with a backlog of cases. 

 In a speech Tuesday to a joint session of the Legislature, Chief Justice Petra Jimenez Maes said a lack of judges and a budget squeeze has caused delays in resolving civil and domestic cases. 
A study of the court system's workload indicates a need for 23 judges statewide, she said, but the judiciary is asking the Legislature to approve nine in next year's budget. The cost is $3.5 million, which includes judges and support staff.

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NM graduation rates far below national average

The federal government reports that New Mexico's graduation rate for the 2009-2010 was 67.3 percent. 

That's below the national average of 78.2 percent. 
The so-called "average freshman graduation rates" indicate the percentage of 9th graders who go on to graduate within four years. 
The rates are being reported by the National Center for Education Statistics, which is part of the U.S. Department of Education. 
States' rates ranged from 57.8 percent in Nevada at the low end to 91.4 percent in Vermont at the high end.


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Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Webcast 1/23/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Spaceport legislation deal reached
Griego held without bond
NM graduation rate far below national average 
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Spaceport compromise reportedly reached in NM Legislature

From Capitol Report New Mexico -Concerns that Spaceport America will end up being a $209 million white elephant for New Mexico taxpayers may have been greatly put to rest on Tuesday (Jan. 22) when legislators announced that an agreement had been reportedly reached between Virgin Galactic and the state’s trial lawyers.
Virgin Galactic, the anchor tenant at the Spaceport, has made veiled threats of pulling up stakes if the New Mexico Legislature does not pass liability safeguards for the company as well as manufacturers in the suborbital launches scheduled to take place at the facility located outside Truth or Consequences.
But on Tuesday afternoon, assembled Democrats from both chambers of the Legislature announced that compromise had been reached that the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association – which spearheaded efforts against previous attempts at liability exemptions — could live with.
“It was difficult,” Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez (D-Belen), a trial lawyer himself, said. “There was nothing easy about” the negotiations that had been going on between the two sides since last summer “but it worked out for the best interests of New Mexico.”
Democrats said Senate Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen (D-Las Cruces) would introduce the compromise bill in the Senate and Republican state Rep. Jim White of Albuquerque would introduce the House version of the bill that was described on Tuesday as a measure that would align New Mexico with liability agreements in place in Florida and Colorado.
The bill’s particulars are expected to come out Wednesday morning but are reported to contain $1 million in liability limits should an accident take place and extend the act through 2021.
“I think this should go through the Legislature pretty smoothly,” Sen. Sanchez said.
Gov. Susana Martinez has been calling for lawmakers to pass a limited liability bill as a way to protect the $209 million tab that taxpayers have already sunk into the project that has been billed asa boost to the state’s economy in general and southern New Mexico in particular. Read more
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Oh No! Store owner chops down tree

From KOB-TV.com - By: Adam Camp, KOB Eyewitness News 4 -A new shop in Nob Hill chopped down a city-owned tree over the weekend. Savvy Boutique on Central and Wellesley is opening soon and owner Dave Sanchez wanted his store signs to be more visible. So he had an eight-year-old tree cut down on Sunday. Some people in Nob Hill have quickly spoken out against what the store did.
"The owner is going to have a hard time doing business in this community because the word is getting out," Doug Lopez said. Lopez has lived in Nob Hill for years and sat in the community meetings about new trees coming into Nob Hill to restore its appearance several years ago, which the chopped down tree came from. The city called the tree being chopped down "vandalism" and is pursuing restitution from Dave Sanchez.
"I think it makes it look more like a concrete jungle. The trees add that humane, a human scale aspect to the area," Paul Steinberg said, who works at Birdland, just a few shops away from Savvy Boutique.
The city said Savvy will pay to dig out the stump of the old tree and pay for a new tree in its place. Dave Sanchez posted a statement on the shop's Facebook page apologizing for cutting down the tree and explaining it was so his store could be seen easier from potential customers.Read more
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