Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Webcast 10/19/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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ABQ celebrates "Bless Me, Ultima" movie release
Shiprock gets first hotel
Historical Czech Torah on display in NM
ABO Health and Lovelace finding new doctors 

Tom Cooper will be missed

Tom Cooper
New Mexico lost one of its great citizens early Wednesday, when Las Cruces accountant and agricultural businessman Thomas S. Cooper passed away.
Tom was raised on a ranch northeast of Roswell, N.M. He graduated from New Mexico State University, before he began his life-long career in public accounting. In 1976, Cooper purchased the first of several ranches that would become part of Cooper Cattle Company. Tom loved the cattle business – the cattle, the horses, and being outdoors in God's country. In addition to being a fine family man, Tom served as a great leader for the agricultural community. On issues he held dear to his heart, especially the support of private property rights, public lands issues, constitutional policymaking and private enterprise Cooper worked hard for the cause of common sense policies. Cooper served as chair of People for Preserving our Western Heritage, and also served on the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Agricultural Committee.
Tom Cooper was 72 years old. He will be missed deeply.


Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Webcast 10/19/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Historical Czech Torah on display in NM
Lawmaker Ray Begaye investigation
Federal indictment in Deming drug ring 
Gov. in Alamogordo to announce jobs

City government turmoil continues in Raton

Audio story here:

Charles Starkovich
 The mayor of a northern New Mexico town has resigned over what he calls is the city's "discriminatory" form of government against Hispanic residents. 

Raton Mayor Charles Starkovich said in a letter last week that he was resigning as mayor and city commissioner in protest to Raton's at-large voting system. Starkovich says the system violates the federal Voting Rights Act and that he plans to file a formal complaint with the U.S. Justice Department.

 In his prepared statement he says, quote- “Minority voters have been denied an equal opportunity to participate meaningfully in the political process in Raton, minority voting strength is reduced by the discriminatory at-large voting practice to the extent that members of the sixty percent Hispanic population in Raton have been denied election to public office in their geographic district.” -end quote. 

 Raton operates in a commission-manager form of government in which each of the five commissioners are assigned to represent a district, but they are not required to live in the district they represent and each commissioner is elected by voters citywide, which is referred to as at-large voting. A commission candidate can choose to run in whichever district he or she chooses to. Starkovich says this system is leaves minorities underrepresented on the commission. 

Jim Scarantino of says the town is in turmoil and has been for a few years. He says two years ago all city commissioners were recalled and history was close to repeating itself. 

Scarantino-“In small towns there is always a major difference of opinion and politics is the number one sport. A recall petition was circulated and there were enough signatures on the petition to recall all the city councilors again. Facing a recall the city council renegotiated a contract with the city manager and put in it a $450,000 golden parachute so that if they were recalled and new city councilors came in on a pledge of removing the city manager they would have to bankrupt the city? Raton doesn’t have that kind of money.” 

 Starkovich says he will file a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and will follow that filing with a formal lawsuit at the appropriate time if necessary. 

 City Manager Pete Kampfer says it will be up to the remaining four commissioners whether to fill the District 2 seat immediately by appointment or leave it open until the current recall effort plays out. Mayor Pro Tem Chris Candelario will likely assume the mayor’s duties temporarily.

 For Newsbreak New Mexico, I’m Vanessa Dabovich.


Historical Czech Torah on display in NM

A historical Czech Torah salvaged from a synagogue following the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia is on display at the Holocaust & Intolerance Museum of New Mexico. 
The Torah exhibit is part of an educational program promoting peace and is from London's Czech Memorial Scroll Trust & Museum. Officials say the Torah is one of more than 1,500 Scrolls, and other Jewish artifacts, saved from historic Czech synagogues during World War II.
 The scrolls were salvaged after members of Prague's Jewish community persuaded the Nazis to allow them to bring the items from deserted provinces to a museum in Prague.


Federal indictment in Deming-based drug ring

A federal indictment accuses nine individuals of participating in a Deming-based ring that allegedly distributed large amounts of methamphetamine in several southern New Mexico communities. 
Federal authorities say the ring allegedly distributed methamphetamine in Deming, Las Cruces and Sunland Park
The eight-count indictment announced Thursday is the result of a multi-agency investigation during which undercover agents infiltrated the ring. 
Participating agencies included the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI and the Las Cruces Metro Narcotics Agency.


Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Webcast 10/19/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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APS officials get raises
Arnold-Jones and Lujan Grisham KOB4 debate
Governor visits Alamogordo to announce jobs 

Gov. visits Alamogordo to announce hundreds of new jobs

Gov. Susana Martinez is in Alamogordo today to announce hundreds of new jobs.
Martinez and Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela are set to join Western Baking Corp. officials for a ribbon cutting and announcement of 300 to 500 jobs over the next three to five years at the company's new Alamogordo facility.
 According to a press release, wages at Western Baking Corporation will average $14.50 per hour. 
Western Baking is a cookie and cracker manufacturing company that provides private label baked goods to retailers across the country. It has invested $15 million in the Alamogordo plant where two other bakeries have failed.


Fool’s Gold for Taxpayers Conference

Update - The green energy bankruptcy parade is hard to keep up with. I listed fifteen bankruptcies in this column below. I wrote this piece earlier this month. Another bankruptcy was announced as this column went to press for the Las Cruces Bulletin. After press time another green energy bankruptcy was announced. The latest is a company called Satcon Technolgy Corp. It is another darling of the Obama administration that received a DOE grant earlier this year. You can read about this one here.

Commentary by Jim Spence - Ostensibly, the goal of the 2nd Annual Renewable Energy and Clean Technology Conference held in Las Cruces earlier this month was to: “Bring New Mexico’s clean energy leaders together for a series of focused discussions on assessing the status of their industry sector, evaluating obstacles, and identifying key policy ideas that can move the sector forward.”

Here’s a reality check. Viable taxpaying businesses with real customers, profits, and tax obligations to take care of, simply don’t have time for these sorts of charade-like events.
Jim Spence
Who does have time for these types of conferences? The answer is simple; pretend businesses that couldn’t survive without taxpayer grants and direct subsidies. Others willing to risk their time are faux entrepreneurs hopeful of convincing gullible politicians to make it easier for them to tap into the public trough by encouraging the establishment of even more foolish grant and subsidy programs.

Want examples? Below is a list of fifteen separate entities that loved the idea of renewable energy conferences. These entities milked the system and raked in billions of taxpayer dollars in exchange for a promise to provide “clean and renewable” energy.

1) Abound Solar was awarded a $400 million loan from the Obama administration in December of 2010. Taxpayer dollars were gone by June of 2012 when Abound filed for bankruptcy. 2) Ener1 received a $118.5 million Department of Energy (DOE) grant. Joe Biden actually toured the Ener1 factory and made this ridiculous statement: “Here at Ener1, we’re going to harness electricity and bring it to the world, like Edison did more than a century ago.” Ener1 filed for bankruptcy on January 26, 2011. 3) Beacon Power received more than $25 million in DOE grants and a federal loan for $43 million before filing for bankruptcy in October of 2011. 4) AES Eastern Energy/Energy Storage received a $17.1 million DOE commitment on August 2, 2010 and filed for bankruptcy on December 31, 2011. 5) Amonix received $6 million in federal tax credits and a $15.6 million grant from the DOE for research and development and then filed for bankruptcy on July 18, 2012.

See rest of list here: News New Mexico