The Big Story

Will Democrats 'Follow The Mueller Report To Where It Leads'?

Imagine, if you can, a scenario in which Attorney General William Barr declined to put out a four-page letter to Congress describing the Mueller report three weeks ago. Imagine, too, that he didn't hold a press conference Thursday before the redacted report's release. The narrative that set in after Barr stepped into the limelight might be very different. Barr declared in his letter that President Trump and his associates did not conspire with Russia to sway the 2016 presidential election and...

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Sheriff's Office: 3 arrested in 3 killings in New Mexico

2 hours ago

  LOS LUNAS, N.M. (AP) — The Valencia County Sheriff's Office says three suspects are in custody in the shooting deaths of three men at a home near Los Lunas early Saturday.

Sheriff's Sgt. Joseph Rowland says 18-year-old Brandon Dowdy, 19-year-old Robert Wilson and a male 17-year-old were arrested on three counts of murder. The Associated Press does not generally identify defendants who are juveniles.

Court records don't list defense attorneys who could comment on the allegations.

Armed civilian border group member arrested in New Mexico

4 hours ago

  LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man belonging to an armed group that has detained Central American families near the U.S.-Mexico border was arrested Saturday in a border community on a criminal complaint accusing him of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, authorities said.

The FBI said in a statement it arrested 69-year-old Larry Mitchell Hopkins in Sunland Park with the assistance of local police. New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a separate statement that Hopkins was a member of the group that had stopped migrants.

US wants to build more tents at border to detain migrants

Apr 19, 2019

  HOUSTON (AP) — The Trump administration wants to open two new tent facilities to temporarily detain up to 1,000 parents and children near the southern border, as advocates sharply criticize the conditions inside the tents already used to hold migrants.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a notice to potential contractors that it wants to house 500 people in each camp in El Paso, Texas, and in the South Texas city of Donna, which has a border crossing with Mexico.

New Mexico election regulator seeks US Senate seat in 2020

Apr 19, 2019
New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's top election regulator has filed paperwork to run for U.S. Senate in 2020.

Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver on Friday registered a campaign account with the Federal Election Commission. Political adviser Heather Brewer confirmed that Toulouse Oliver had filed new paperwork to pursue the seat that Sen. Tom Udall plans to vacate at the end of 2020.

The Democratic nomination also is being sought by sixth-term U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján.

Frank O’Brien Papen Community Center Closure

Apr 19, 2019

The Frank O’Brien Papen Community Center (304 W. Bell Avenue) has been designated as a potential Asylum Seeker Shelter site and will close to the public on Monday.

All programs and facility use will be closed until further notice, with an exception of the Senior Meal Program which is expected to run as planned on Monday.

Frank O’Brien Papen Center is closed during the weekend, therefore no weekend programs are affected.

Volunteers Needed at Las Cruces High School

Apr 19, 2019

Approximately 130 asylum seekers that were housed at three Las Cruces shelters were transferred Friday, April 19, 2019 to Las Cruces High School (LCHS) for the weekend. This weekend, new-arriving asylum seekers will be taken there. The asylum seekers will be sheltered in the school’s gymnasium.

LCHS will serve as temporary housing through Monday to consolidate efforts to care for the asylum seekers, thereby giving volunteer shelter workers, many of whom have been working non-stop since last Friday, a much-needed break.

It will also provide an opportunity to reconstitute the three shelters; Las Cruces Gospel Rescue Mission, the Community of Hope and the Doña Ana County Triage Center.

Driver Charged In Fatal Las Cruces Crash

Apr 19, 2019

The driver suspected of causing the Feb. 2 crash on Spruce Avenue that killed a 26-year-old woman has been indicted on a felony count of vehicular homicide.

Michael Nathan Trujillo, 27, of the 1800 block of Anita Drive, is charged with one count of homicide by vehicle and one count of causing great bodily injury by vehicle. Both counts are third-degree felonies. He’s also charged with reckless driving, speeding, running a red light and not properly using a seat belt.

US authorities issue warning after group stops migrants

Apr 19, 2019

  SUNLAND PARK, N.M. (AP) — U.S. authorities are warning citizens not to take the law into their own hands after a group patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border stopped hundreds of migrants when they crossed into southern New Mexico this week.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued the warning through social media Friday, saying interference in law enforcement matters could have public safety and legal consequences.

County declares state of emergency regarding immigration

Apr 19, 2019

  ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — A southern New Mexico county is demanding that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham use the National Guard to re-open Customs and Border Patrol checkpoints that were closed last month.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports that Otero County on Wednesday declared a state of emergency, noting the need for open checkpoints to stop drugs and illegal activity at the border.

  WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Donald Trump insisted last year that America's southern border was in crisis, his warnings landed with a thud.

Making unverified claims about "unknown Middle Easterners" and prayer rugs found by ranchers, Trump drew eye rolls from Democrats and many others, who derided his tactics as little more than an election-year stunt .

Now, six months later, Trump's new cries of alarm are again being met with skepticism, though the situation at the border has indeed deteriorated. Lawmakers of both parties agree there is a genuine humanitarian emergency, with federal authorities and nonprofits unable to cope with the tens of thousands of Central American families seeking refuge in the U.S.


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 Commentary: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico sent a letter to New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Attorney General Hector Balderas asking them to investigate an armed vigilante group currently engaged in the unlawful detention of hundreds of migrants near New Mexico’s southern border.

Excerpted from the letter:

“Two nights ago, on April 16, 2019, an armed fascist militia organization describing itself as the United Constitutional Patriots arrested nearly three hundred people seeking safety in the United States, including young children, near Sunland Park, New Mexico. Other videos appear to show arrests in the past few hours.[1] The vigilante members of the organization, including Jim Benvie, who posted videos and photographs[2] of the unlawful arrests to social media, are not police or law enforcement and they have no authority under New Mexico or federal law to detain or arrest migrants in the United States. Their actions undermine the legitimate efforts of our state’s law enforcement officials to keep New Mexico families safe and they erode community trust. The Trump administration’s vile racism has emboldened white nationalists and fascists to flagrantly violate the law. This has no place in our state: we cannot allow racist and armed vigilantes to kidnap and detain people seeking asylum. We urge you to immediately investigate this atrocious and unlawful conduct.” 

More audits would benefit honest taxpayers

Apr 19, 2019
Dr. Chris Erickson

Commentary: Honest tax payers should want more IRS audits. Not of themselves, of course, but in general. The reason is to incentivize those who are less honest to pay their taxes.

In fact, a lot of taxes go uncollected. An IRS study for tax years 2008-2010 found he tax gap, which is the amount of money owed the IRS but not paid, averaged $406 billion per year. This translates into 16% of taxes going unpaid; about 2.8% of GDP.

"Electability" Is Once Again A Question For Democrats

Apr 18, 2019

Commentary: Behold! See, mortals, the unseeable: This week brought us a glimpse of a black hole, briefly flooding social media timelines and popular science digests with a blurry image of a fiery orange ring that newspaper writers have likened to everything from the eye of Sauron to a donut.

Commentary: Late Monday night, the Albuquerque City Council voted 5-3 to pass a weakened Clean and Green ordinance that will end single-use plastic bags in retail but allows restaurants to distribute single-use plastic bags, plastic straws and Styrofoam takeout containers.


Sierra Club’s Global Warming Emergency (formerly Global Warming Express) kids, who have been advocating for such an ordinance since the beginning of the year, waited for four hours to speak on the importance of ending the proliferation of single-use plastic bags, plastic straws and Styrofoam takeout containers that create microplastic and nanoplastic pollution that could endanger our health, in addition to damaging our oceans and killing wildlife.

Asylum seekers arrive at Community of Hope / City of Las Cruces

  Commentary: I’ve always been proud of the way our community treats those who are in need of help.

The most obvious example of that is the Community of Hope complex, where the homeless can get food, shelter, clothing, showers, counseling, computer access, job assistance and treatment for both their physical and mental health.

More recently, when federal authorities began dropping off families of Central America refugees in Las Cruces, El Calvario Methodist Church launched a massive volunteer effort to welcome those families and help them get to their sponsors around the country.


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