KRQE News in brief September 17, 2014.
FBI investigates Albuquerque bank robbery
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Police and the FBI are searching for a pair of bank robbers. Investigators say two armed men in their 20’s held up the BBVA Compass Bank near 98th and Sage Wednesday morning.
The FBI says both suspects are black. One had a faded green tattoo about the size of a quarter on his left cheek.
Call the Albuquerque office of the FBI or 242-COPS if you have any information about the robbery.
Pedestrian in critical condition after crash
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – One person was sent to the hospital Wednesday after they were struck by a vehicle at Irving and Rio Los Pinos. The Albuquerque Police Department is on scene and officers say the pedestrian was transported to a local hospital in serious condition.
APD has closed eastbound Irving because of the crash. Drivers should avoid the area and seek an alternative route.
Further information about the crash and the victim has not been released.
‘Fireball’ seen in NM sky was Russian spy satellite
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – There is new information on a fireball seen from New Mexico and other states a few weeks ago. News 13 has learned it was a Russian spy satellite re-entering the atmosphere.
Space analysts say the satellite is designed to capture reconnaissance photos to send back to Russia in a capsule. The American Meteorological Society received reports of sightings in New Mexico all the way north to Montana.
U.S. officials confirm Cosmos 24-95 re-entered earth’s atmosphere the same day as the sightings. The U.S. launched its own communication satellite into space Tuesday but wouldn’t say what agency is using it, or what it’s for.
ABQ restaurants receives largest order of NM shrimp
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque restaurant that features New Mexico shrimp just got in its largest shipment ever. Raging Shrimp in Nob Hill serves up shrimp from the land of enchantment. New Mexico State University and the New Mexico Shrimp Company raise them on cottonseed in tanks.
They are said to be so clean they don’t even smell. The shrimp have been so popular and tasty the restaurant ordered its biggest batch of nearly 30 pounds. The shrimp are also jumbo shrimp which is a first. Usually the restaurant gets 10 to 15 pounds every few months, and they are sold out in a day or two.
NM woman to spend life in prison for ex-girlfriend’s murder
ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – A woman convicted of killing her ex-girlfriend because of a break-up was sentenced to life in prison. Alexias Torres was sentenced Tuesday to life plus 26 years for the 2011 death of Shavon Twitty in Alamogordo.
Torres along with Jonathan Montoya and Melissa Mathis shot the 33-year-old after she split up with Mathis. Montoya is already serving a life sentence. Mathis is serving a 16-year sentence for her involvement.
Man sentenced for molesting young girl
SHIPROCK, N.M. (KRQE) – A Shiprock man will spend 8 years in prison for child molestation. Gilbert Yazzie, 45, was sentenced in federal court Tuesday morning for aggravated sexual abuse of a child under 12. He was arrested in June of last year after admitting to molesting a young Navajo girl.
Crossing guards decide to shut off school zone lights
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – For weeks a school zone sign at a busy Albuquerque intersection was turned off and it caused a lot of concern for student safety. The flashing lights at Fourth Street and Alameda warn drivers to slow down for students walking to and from Alameda Elementary School.
But a viewer called KRQE News 13 saying the lights were not being used. It turns out the crossing guards decided it slowed down traffic too much creating a massive backup when there are a limited number of students who walk in that area.
Bernalillo County officials say the flashing lights will be turned on and they were when school let out Wednesday afternoon.
Officials say the traffic in the area will be monitored to determine how long the flashing lights should be on depending on how many kids are using the intersection.
ABQ cab companies file lawsuit against ride-sharing services
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Some locally owned taxi and limo companies are suing to stop ride-sharing services from operating in New Mexico. The Public Regulation Commission has already ruled that both Uber and Lyft are operating illegally but both companies have continued to do business.
Taxi companies including Albuquerque Cab Company, Yellow Checker, and Carey Limosuine have now filed a lawsuit in Bernalillo County. They claim Uber and Lyft are putting New Mexicans at risk because they don’t have proper insurance.
Adobe Acres upgrades school facilities
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque elementary school has some new additions for its students this school year. Adobe Acres has added seven new kindergarten classrooms, a new playground with artificial turf and a renovated cafeteria and kitchen.
The $5 million project was completed this summer and was recently dedicated. Adobe Acres also has a new art and music room and a separate play area for kindergartners.
Health Department reports new NM Hantavirus case
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – There’s another case of Hantavirus in New Mexico. The New Mexico Department of Health says a San Juan County man is the fourth documented case this year.
The 50-year-old is in the hospital. Investigators will go to the man’s home to try to figure out how he contracted it and limit exposure to others.
Hantavirus can be a deadly disease. It’s transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. Two people have died in New Mexico from Hantavirus already this year.
Roswell to demolish site of December homicide
ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Roswell is going to demolish a problem property that was just recently the site of a murder investigation. It’s scheduled to be torn down Monday.
The house on 12th Street was where a homicide victim was found buried in a shallow grave last December. No one was arrested in the case, but the investigation is still active.
The demolition is part of a bigger cleanup effort targeting areas of the city where there’s criminal activity. The city is in the process of demolishing 14 other dilapidated structures.
Aztec boy run over by tractor
AZTEC, N.M. (KRQE) – A little boy is in critical condition tonight after being run over by a tractor Tuesday. It happened just outside of Aztec near Highway 550.
According to San Juan County officials the 7-year-old boy and his brother were playing in a field while their father was working on his tractor, a short time later he heard the boys yelling.
When he stopped the tractor he learned his 7-year-old had fallen and had been run over by the rear wheels. The boy was airlifted to UNM Hospital in critical condition.
BioPark to host aquarium sleep-over
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – How would you like to fall asleep next to sharks, or rest under the illuminating glow of jelly fish? Now you can with the BioPark’s Aquarium overnight sleep-over.
The park is hosting its popular sleep-over event Friday night. It gives people the opportunity to explore and learn more about the animals in a way they never have before.
Tickets are $30 per person. You can still register for the event online.
EB Menaul reopens at I-25 after crash
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Officers have reopened eastbound Menaul at I-25 after a crash with injuries. Police say one person was transferred to the hospital in serious condition but they are expected to survive.
The cause of the crash and the number of people involved is unknown at this time.
KRQE will provide updates as they become available.
City builds median to ease traffic woes
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – More controversy surrounding a very busy Albuquerque gas station because of what the city is doing. Neighbors have long complained about the Smith’s gas station at Carlisle and Constitution saying it’s a traffic nightmare.
They’ve gone as far as suing to get the gas station out. Now the city is building a median, in order to better handle all of the traffic. It will provide a separate lane for people turning left into the gas station so it doesn’t create a back up.
But some area residents aren’t happy with this plan either. They tell KRQE News 13 they think this will actually make the traffic worse because it narrows the lanes so much. Construction on the new median should last until October 3, 2014.
Part of Central closed as APD, PNM respond to wreck
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Police and PNM crews are responding to a wreck at Central and Wyoming Wednesday. Officials say the wreck has knocked down power lines in the area.
The Albuquerque Police Department has shut down both east and westbound lanes on Central from Utah to Wyoming. Drivers are asked to avoid the area if possible.
Crews are working to clear the area. Information about those involved in the crash has not been released .
Questions remain in case involving missionary found in AZ
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – New details have emerged about a teen from South Korea who went missing in Albuquerque and ended up in an Arizona hospital.
Heyonsoo Jeong was doing missionary work when he disappeared Sept. 7 from his apartment. He left everything behind including his passport.
APD was notified Tuesday night that Jeong was at a hospital in Plain View, Ariz.
They have determined Jeong hitchhiked and walked all the way to Arizona, but they’re still trying to figure out why he left and how he ended up at the hospital.
Police say since this is not a criminal investigation, the hospital is not releasing any information about his Jeong’s health or what he’s being treated for.
NMSU fall enrollment down 5.5 percent
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico State University says fall enrollment is down more than 5 percent from the previous year.
The university released the numbers Tuesday. They show nearly 26,700 students enrolled throughout the NMSU system as of Sept. 5. At the Las Cruces campus, more than 15,800 students were enrolled for the fall. That represents a 5.6 percent decrease from 2013.
The vice president for student affairs and enrollment, Bernadette Montoya, says the university had several large classes early during the economic downturn and those students are now leaving with degrees. Since 2009, she says the number of New Mexico high school graduates has declined and the incoming classes have been smaller.
The university says the incoming class of graduate students has increased 7 percent.
SFCC names new president
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Santa Fe Community College’s governing board has named Randy Grissom as the school’s president.
Grissom has been interim president since earlier this year. The board announced Tuesday Grissom had accepted a three-year contract.
He’s the school’s eighth president and succeeds Ana “Cha” Guzman, who was fired last December. The board agreed earlier this year to pay Guzman $500,000 to settle claims that she was fired without good cause.
Grissom started with the college in 1983, teaching in the business and occupations division. He left in 1994 to work in private industry and returned to the school in 2003 for a year as chief financial officer and vice president for administrative services. After working as a college consultant and for a business in Hawaii, Grissom returned to the college in 2008.
Hobbs lab now capable of firearms forensic testing
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The New Mexico Department of Public Safety says its laboratory in Hobbs is now capable of doing forensic analysis on firearms.
The lab can also test cartridge cases, make bullet comparisons, restore serial numbers and do other examinations related to firearms.
Agency officials say the lab’s new capabilities will mirror those offered in Santa Fe and will help expedite cases around the state that involve firearms.
In addition to the labs in Santa Fe and Hobbs, the department operates a lab in Las Cruces that focuses on analyzing controlled substances, latent prints and other kinds of trace evidence such as fire debris.
Police suspect 92-year-old was raped at rehab center
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Deputies are investigating what could be the rape of a 92-year-old woman in a southwest Albuquerque rehabilitation center. According to the Albuquerque Journal, the woman was taken to the hospital Sept. 4, 2014. At some point, workers there noticed injuries consistent with rape and physical abuse.
The woman is unable to talk, but when deputies asked if someone hurt her, she started to cry and nodded.
A search warrant has been issued seeking DNA from a staff member at the rehabilitation center Rios at Las Estancias. So far, no charges have been filed.