Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment

NEW MEXICO-LEGISLATURE UPDATE

Republicans pick up seats in New Mexico Senate

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and her Republican allies made gains in the state Senate, including ousting a top Democratic leader.

Unofficial returns show Democrats winning or leading enough House races to likely hang on to the party's majority but the outcome remained uncertain because several races were very close.

Martinez achieved a big victory when Senate President Tim Jennings of Roswell lost his re-election bid.

Roswell farmer Cliff Pirtle received 52 percent of the vote to 48 percent for Jennings. Jennings was the second-longest serving state senator.

In the Senate, Republicans gained at least three Democratic seats by defeating Jennings, Lisa Curtis of Albuquerque and Sen. Mary Jane Garcia, who was the No. 3 Democratic leader as majority whip. Democrats, however, were poised to remain in control of the Senate.

VOTING PROBLEMS

Long lines, shortage of machines plagued NM voting

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 for Gov. 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.

In Bernalillo County, the state's most populous, voting lines varied from just a few minutes to a couple of hours. The county's new system allowed voters to cast ballots at any of its 69 voting centers.

Critics also blamed delays on the state's move from straight party voting and a ballot with a number of questions.

MAN VOTES TWICE

NM man facing probe for voting twice

(Information in the following story is from: KOB-TV, http://www.kob.com)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque man is facing heat after admitting casting two different ballots by posing as his 18-year-old son.

KOB-TV reports that Bernalillo County sheriff's deputies are investigating Thomas Pino for possible voter fraud.

The probe comes after election workers raised suspicions of voter fraud when Pino, who has silver hair, told them he was born in 1994 while voting early.

A few days later, officials say Pino turned up at a different location to vote as himself.

Election officials say they believe Pino was likely posing as his son. Both men are registered to the same address. Both are listed as Republicans.

Pino told KOB-TV that he made a big mistake and said his son agreed to let him vote for him.

NMSU-RESIGNATION

NMSU VP/Provost to step down

(Information in the following story is from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com)

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State University executive vice president and provost Wendy Wilkins is stepping down.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that NMSU interim President Manuel Pacheco announced Tuesday that Wilkins will be replaced by Jay Jordan, a former NMSU administrator.

Officials say Wilkins, who started at the university in July 2010, will remain on annual leave at NMSU until Jan. 1, when she'll retire.

Wilkins was hired by former NMSU president Barbara Couture, who parted ways herself with the school in late September.

Wilkins carried out the president's administrative duties until Pacheco was named as the interim campus leader a couple of weeks later.

Jordan previously served as interim provost and executive vice president.

FATAL PARTY SHOOTING

Wife indicted for man's death at NM student party

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The wife of a man who was shot and killed at a foreign-exchange student party in Albuquerque has been indicted for murder.

A grand jury indicted this week 30-year-old Amy Herrera for the murder of her husband, 37-year-old Marc Herrera.

According to witnesses, Herrera was heavily intoxicated when he arrived at his northeast Albuquerque home during a party attended by University of New Mexico foreign students in July.

Herrera, an Air Force Major, reportedly told the students to move into another room at gunpoint. He was later found dead from apparent gunshot wound.

His death was initially believed to have been a suicide after he and his wife struggled over a gun.

It was unclear if Amy Herrera had an attorney.

VALLES CALDERA-CENTER

Valles Caldera center, shuttle system proposed

(Information in the following story is from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Valles Caldera Trust is proposing a 10,000-square-foot visitor center and a new shuttle system aimed at reducing traffic.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the trust on Monday issued a final environmental impact statement that reviewed six alternatives for visitor access and resource protection in the 89,000-acre preserve in the Jemez Mountains near Los Alamos.

Under the proposal, the visitor center would include a lobby, theater, exhibit halls, classrooms, gift shop and observation decks. The preferred alternative also includes shuttle service for visitors to reach hiking trails, fishing spots and picnic areas proposed in the preserve.

The Valles Caldera National Preserve, formerly a working cattle ranch, was purchased by Congress in 2000. A board of trustees oversees management of the preserve through the Valles Caldera Trust.

GENOCIDE PROJECT

Colo. high school students join genocide project

(Information in the following story is from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — High school students in Colorado Springs are taking part in a nationwide project condemning genocide

Doherty High School students are making more than 2,000 clay models of bones to symbolize people who have died in mass killings aimed at wiping out specific ethnic, religious or other groups around the world.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, the project grew out of a 50,000-bone art project in Albuquerque, N.M.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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Texas (change)

 
Republican Rick Perry is Governor of Texas. Two Republicans represent Texas in the U.S. Senate, and Texas has 32 representatives in the U.S. House: 20 Republicans and 12 Democrats.
 
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Governor: Rick Perry
Lieutenant Governor: David Dewhurst
Attorney General: Greg Abbott

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