Las Cruces Water Talk: The Safe Drinking Water Act was a Game Changer

5 hours ago

Water in Las Cruces comes to our taps without too much thought for the average resident. Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) provides safe, clean water through not just pipes and filters but also through regulations enacted to keep our water safe throughout the United States.

In 1912, the U.S. Public Health Service Act was enacted to keep communicable diseases, such as typhoid, out of the water through chlorination.

“Before it was more of an honor system, but people cut corners, and people got sick,” said LCU Interim Deputy Director Water Ronald Borunda. “But, the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 (SDWA) was the game-changer for water safety.”

Chaparral man sentenced to 19 years in prison for kidnapping

5 hours ago

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Roberto Carlos Cervantes, 27, of Chaparral, New Mexico, was sentenced in federal court to 19 years and seven months in prison for kidnapping. Upon his release from prison, Cervantes will be subject to three years of supervised release.

According to the plea agreement and other public court documents, he and four co-defendants abducted the victim from a travel center in Mescalero, New Mexico, on April 4, 2019.  Cervantes and Joshua Bowen, 28, of Alto, New Mexico, each had a firearm at the time.  Cervantes hit the victim in the face several times.  They also tied and bound the victim in an attempted robbery. 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Joel Aguilar Villanueva, 45, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, was sentenced in federal court to 11 years and three months in prison for transportation of a visual image of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.  Villanueva pleaded guilty on Nov. 8, 2019.

According to the plea agreement and other court records, on Oct. 23, 2018, Villanueva, who was the principal of a middle school in Las Cruces, uploaded a video from an electronic device to Twitter. The video depicted a child engaged in a sexual act with an adult, and was posted with the comment “aprenden rapido,” which translates to English as, “they learn fast.” 

Upon his release from prison, Villanueva will be subject to five years of supervised release and must register as a sex offender.

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Former Albuquerque television meteorologist Mark Ronchetti on Wednesday announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for governor of New Mexico. Ronchetti said in a statement posted on a campaign website that as governor he would focus on small businesses, education, crime and the border. He also said he'd “listen and find solutions that actually work." In joining a crowded Republican primary field targeting Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Ronchetti is making his second run for statewide office. He ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2020. Ronchetti  resigned from KRQE-TV last week. He also stepped away from the station to run in 2020.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Investigators say there was “some complacency” in how weapons were handled on a movie set where Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed a cinematographer and wounded another person. Speaking Wednesday at a news conference, they also said it’s too soon to determine whether charges will be filed. Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza noted that 500 rounds of ammunition were found while searching the set of the Western “Rust.” They included a mix of blanks, dummy rounds and live rounds.

Silver City Report

10 hours ago

Los Alamos /

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Another group of workers is suing Los Alamos National Laboratory over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Tuesday announced 687 additional COVID-19 cases and eleven more COVID-19 deaths. Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

·     147 new cases in Bernalillo County

·     2 new cases in Catron County

·     17 new cases in Chaves County

·     12 new cases in Cibola County

·     5 new cases in Colfax County

·     19 new cases in Curry County

·     1 new case in De Baca County

·     68 new cases in Doña Ana County

·     15 new cases in Eddy County

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — It's been years in the making and now officials say the first leg of a major renewable energy transmission line in New Mexico has been energized.

The New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority made the announcement Tuesday. The Western Spirit project is expected to be in operation by the end of the year. The transmission line will carry wind-generated power to the grid in New Mexico and other western markets. The project involved a novel public-private partnership between the state transmission authority and Pattern Energy.

Alec Baldwin / Instagram

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Experts predict a tremendous legal fallout after Alec Baldwin pulled the trigger on a prop gun while filming “Rust” in New Mexico and unwittingly killed a cinematographer and injured a director.

In addition to Baldwin, a call sheet for the day of the shooting obtained by The Associated Press lists five producers, four executive producers, a line producer and a co-producer. They, assistant director Dave Halls and an armorer could all face some sort of liability even if they weren't on the set.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Organizers of a national memorial dedicated to victims of gun violence will be stopping in New Mexico's largest city to collect items from families who have lost loved ones.

The collection event scheduled for early November comes as Albuquerque marks another year of record homicides and persistent crime. The mayor signed an executive order last week creating a task force to focus on gun violence.

Bernalillo County: Metropolitan Detention Center

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a 25-year-old inmate in the main jail for metro Albuquerque is accused of killing another inmate who was his cellmate.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office said Telea Lui was rebooked at the Metropolitan Detention Center on an open count of murder in the beating death Monday of 41-year-old Leon Casiquito. The Sheriff's Office said Lui was originally jailed on charges of aggravated battery of a household member with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Monday reported 37 more COVID-19 cases, but no coronavirus-related deaths for the 18th time in the past 26 days.

The latest numbers pushed the tribe’s totals to 36,161 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the virus since the pandemic began more than a year ago. The known death toll is at 1,474. Tribal health officials had reported 24 new cases and two deaths on  Sunday.

Based on cases from Oct. 8-21, the Navajo Department of Health issued an advisory notice for 48 communities due to uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. T

Las Cruces 10X25 Creativity Conference

Oct 26, 2021

The inaugural 10X25 Creativity Conference took place at the Las Cruces Convention Center earlier this month. The conference brought together local entrepreneurs, artists, educators and politicians for a chance to share their stories and inspire more people to follow their passions.

With such a diverse and unique group of people at the 10X25 Creativity Conference, keynote speaker Beto Pallares hopes some of the ideas shared will become a reality. 

Profile: Las Cruces Artist Saba

Oct 26, 2021

It’s perhaps one of the most misunderstood artforms…spray paint art…seen across almost any major city. Artists express themselves freely.  And some are now able to do so not only with permission…but encouragement.  It should be noted that’s what this story is about, not art that is produced without permission. 

Las Cruces artist Saba uses his surroundings to help inspire his artwork.

“So , from being from the Southwest being from here I love to incorporate the landscape.Just a lot of artifacts and different things that represent the Southwest. It’s what I call ‘Southwest Wild Style’ and it really just comes from growing up here.”

The Science Digest - New Parts

Oct 26, 2021
Vince Gutschick

Vince may be 76, but none of his parts are!

Alamogordo NOW

Oct 26, 2021

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed redrawn voting maps that pave a safer path for the GOP’s slipping majority.

Abbott signed the maps Monday near the end of a highly charged year in Texas over voting rights. Democrats say the maps disenfranchise Hispanic and Black voters who have driven the state’s exponential growth over the last decade. Civil rights are also asking courts to block the maps before they can be used in the 2022 midterm elections.

New Mexico Reaches 5,000 COVID-19-Related Deaths

Oct 25, 2021

SANTA FE- New Mexico state health officials announced on Monday that 5,002 New Mexicans had died due to COVID-19.

“These aren’t just numbers – they are our family members, friends, and neighbors, and we grieve for them and their families,” said New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) Acting Secretary David R. Scrase, M.D.

New Mexico COVID-19 update: 2,335 new cases, totaling 271,212

Oct 25, 2021

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Monday announced 2,335 additional COVID-19 cases and fifteen additional COVID-19 deaths from Saturday, October 23 through Monday, October 25. Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

·     592 new cases in Bernalillo County

·     6 new cases in Catron County

·     54 new cases in Chaves County

·     20 new cases in Cibola County

·     26 new cases in Colfax County

·     36 new cases in Curry County

·     1 new case in De Baca County

Major Action Movie Filming in Downtown Las Cruces

Oct 25, 2021
City of Las Cruces

LAS CRUCES - Several downtown streets and parking lots will be closed at various times from Oct. 23, 2021 to Oct. 30, 2021 for film production of a major action movie in Las Cruces.

Motorists and Las Cruces residents should be aware of the closures and make appropriate alternate plans to accommodate production of the film. Mock police and ambulance vehicles will be used throughout the entire production schedule.

Alec Baldwin / Instagram

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The assistant director of the movie that Alec Baldwin was making when he fatally shot a cinematographer was fired from a job in 2019 after a gun went off on a set and slightly wounded a member of the film crew.

That's according to a producer who spoke Monday to The Associated Press. In an email statement to the AP, the producer for the movie “Freedom’s Path” confirmed that Dave Halls was fired from the production. The producer wrote that Halls was removed from the set immediately. His firing from “Freedom’s Path” was first reported by CNN.

Library of Congress

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A lawsuit to bar drive-thru voting in Houston has been rejected by a federal appeals court.

The lawsuit was filed ahead of last November's presidential election. Monday's 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling said the issue is moot regarding that election. And it noted that the Texas Legislature has banned drive-thru voting in future elections.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation officials have reported 24 additional COVID-19 cases and two deaths from the virus as of Sunday night.

Tribal officials still are urging people to get vaccinated, wear masks while in public and minimize their travel. Since the pandemic began, 36,109 COVID-19 cases and 1,473 deaths have been reported on the tribe’s reservation, which is the country’s largest at 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers). 

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Albuquerque say they have recovered a high school’s stolen truck that was filled with about $200,000  worth of band equipment. On the day of a major competition just a few hours before they were supposed to perform, the Las Cruces High School marching band discovered that all their equipment and instruments were gone. School officials say some of the stolen equipment was new and some of it wasn’t insured. Other schools reached out to help by lending the band some band equipment so Las Cruces High Bulldogs could compete in the Zia Marching Band Fiesta, a major competition at the University of New Mexico.  Police say the van was later found Saturday in Albuquerque.

Alec Baldwin / Instagram

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A crew member says she has raised safety concerns in the past about the assistant director who authorities say unwittingly handed actor Alec Baldwin the prop gun that killed a cinematographer on a film set. Crew member Maggie Goll said in a statement that she filed an internal complaint with the executive producers of Hulu’s “Into the Dark” series in 2019 over concerns about assistant director Dave Halls’ behavior on set. Goll said in a phone interview Sunday that Halls disregarded safety protocols for weapons and pyrotechnics and tried to continue filming after the supervising pyrotechnician lost consciousness on set. Halls has not returned phone calls and email messages seeking comment. Baldwin fired a prop gun on a movie set Thursday, killing Halyna Hutchins.

NEW YORK (AP) — The tragedy that unfolded on a New Mexico movie set when Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun, killing a cinematographer, has led to calls for fundamental change in Hollywood. Some are saying real guns should be banned on sets. From a petition to a network TV drama that has banished real weapons from the set, supporters of the move say there is no justification for taking any risks when computers can create gunshots in post-production. Halyna Hutchins was killed when Baldwin fired a weapon that a crew member told him was safe.

New Mexico Department for Workforce Solutions

Voice of the Public

Oct 22, 2021

Breast Cancer Awareness - Estela Casas and Dr. Stephanie Nemir of Texas Tech Physicians