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State Briefs 05-27-14

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By Associated Press

Railroad facility to open in Southern N.M. Wednesday

LAS CRUCES — A massive new railroad facility in southern New Mexico is set to officially open this week.
Union Pacific Corp. has already begun operations at its newly constructed hub facility in Santa Teresa, but is holding its grand opening on Wednesday.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the facility will transfer cargo between trains and trucks.
The facility spans 2,200 acres and also includes fueling facilities and crew-change buildings.
Construction began in 2011.
The project is opening well ahead of its 2015 projected date.
Union Pacific says dignitaries scheduled to participate in the event include New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall.

Vet’s medal collection stolen

ALBUQUERQUE — Albuquerque police are asking the public to keep an eye out military medals stolen from an 89-year-old World War II veteran.
Police say the military decorations were stolen from Roy Hopper’s home during a break-in while he was hospitalized after breaking his hip.
Hopper participated in the Normandy Invasion before being captured by the Germans and spending nine months in a camp for prisoners of war.
Hopper’s name is inscribed on the back of the models. Police say they could turn up on Craigslist or at pawn shops or antique stores.

Teacher retirements increase in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE — The public school district is seeing a spike in teacher retirements and resignations.
School district data show a nearly 19 percent increase in retirement filings as of early May over last year and a 44 percent increase over the year before that. Meanwhile, non-retirement departures are up by 13 percent from last year and 32 percent from the year before that.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that some teachers cite the state’s new evaluation system and state-mandated exams as contributing to their decisions to retire or design.