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Local news and weather for Las Cruces, El Paso, Alamogordo, Silver City, Ruidoso, Anthony, Cloudcroft, Deming, Truth or Consequences, Elephant Butte, and all of Southern New Mexico and Far West Texas.

New Mexico COVID-19 Cases Rise 40% To 191

15 hours ago

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Friday announced 55 additional positive tests for COVID-19.  This increases the number of positive cases by 40 percent to 191.

The Department of Health on Thursday reported no additional deaths in the state related to COVID-19. The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 remains at one.

Office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham addressed New Mexicans via social media Friday evening, saying additional measures were necessary as the state looks to keep the virus from spreading.

She said the increase in cases is not unexpected but it means there's more social distancing that must be done.

A stay-at-home order is already in effect across New Mexico, and the governor has ordered all air travelers arriving in the state to self-isolate for 14 days.

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This week, a conversation with Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima, including a wide range of your questions.

Today, the city council unanimously approved a resoultion granting the Mayor and the Council the power to declare a state of emergency in the city.  

While this action has not yet been taken, it may be of use during the continuing pubilc health emergency.


New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham orders self-isolation for air travelers to N.M.

20 hours ago
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday issued an executive order requiring air travelers to New Mexico to self-isolate for at least 14 days to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

Air travelers who fail to voluntarily self-isolate will be subject to forced isolation or quarantine by the New Mexico Health Department, Lujan Grisham says in the order.

The majority of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico have resulted from interstate and international travel into the state.

 

   Following the State of New Mexico Public Education Department’s announcement Friday that schools will remain closed for the remainder of the year, Las Cruces Public School administrators are working to finalize plans to have teachers and students finish the spring semester remotely starting April 6. 

“We are navigating our LCPS family through an unprecedented time of innovation,” said Dr. Karen Trujillo, Superintendent for Las Cruces Public Schools. “But that opportunity doesn’t come without the disappointment of knowing teachers and students will not return to their physical classrooms this school year.” 

 

At a special meeting this morning, March 27, 2020,  the Las Cruces City Council unanimously approved an emergency declaration ordinance that allows the mayor and City Council to take immediate action in the event of a declared emergency. The action stated in the ordinance is for the protection of life and property, and for the preservation of public peace, safety, health, welfare, and for the continuity of efficient government operations.

The ordinance allows the council to exercise its emergency powers through a proclamation. The term of a proclamation is three days, but the council can extend the term for up to 14 days, at which time an extension or renewal would be required. The ordinance will expire at the end of the current mayor’s term.

Police Shooting Involving the Silver City Police Department

22 hours ago

The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was contacted to investigate a police shooting involving the Silver City Police Department (SCPD). 

On Wednesday, at approximately 9:38 p.m., a SCPD Officer attempted to locate a male subject involved in a shooting in Silver City, NM.  SCPD officers located the male subject identified as Alex Altamirano (53) driving a passenger vehicle.  The vehicle turned into the parking lot of the First Savings Bank located on North Hudson Street and Altamirano, who was armed with a firearm, opened fired at two SCPD officers.

Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Las Cruces Sun-News) — Authorities say a 16-year-old wrestling champion helped stop an kidnapping and assault near Las Cruces, New Mexico, by pinning a man to the ground until deputies arrived.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reported Thursday that Mayfield High School student Canaan Bower is being lauded as a hero after body-slamming and putting 22-year-old suspect Daniel Arroyo Beltran of Phoenix in a chokehold.

Deputies arrested Beltran Wednesday on suspicion of battery, assault and kidnapping.

Office of the Governor of New Mexico

SANTA FE – New Mexico public education will shift to a learn-at-home model as schools remain closed for the rest of the academic year, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state education and child care officials announced Friday.​ 

The decision is part of a two-pronged plan to protect New Mexicans from COVID-19 and ensure that children are protected, fed and educated and that families are supported through this crisis.

The governor previously ordered all public schools closed for three weeks, March 16-April 3, but warned at the time that an extension could be needed. It came Friday with a new executive order that extends the closing through the end of the school year.

GRANTS, N.M. (Gallup Independent) — Authorities say they have put down a prison riot in western New Mexico after a reported suicide of an inmate.

The Gallup Independent reports inmates at Northwestern New Mexico Correctional Center in Grants rioted March 20 after they were placed on lockdown following the early morning death of an unidentified inmate.

Investigators say around 300 inmates became unruly and damaged the facility. Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace says the inmates didn’t want to be all cooped up together because of the new coronavirus scare.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A powerful commission in charge of regulating utilities and other New Mexico businesses is being evicted from its state offices by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's administration.

  On Thursday, March 26, a third male employee of The University of Texas at El Paso tested positive for COVID-19. The employee traveled to the same out-of-town event as the first two employees who tested positive and returned to El Paso on Thursday, March 12.

 

He is in self-isolation and recovering at home.

 

The employee had limited access to the Foster Stevens Center on March 13. The facility has been isolated and cleaned regularly with disinfectant. It was also closed and disinfected again March 24.

 

Campus officials and support services are in contact by phone with the employee on a daily basis.

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — More than 17,000 New Mexico residents applied for unemployment benefits amid the widespread economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus.

The numbers released Thursday show the jump in New Mexico is more than 19 times the number of claims the previous week.

The U.S. Department of Labor says New Mexico saw 17,187 people apply for unemployment benefits last week compared to 869 the week before.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The largest municipal jail in New Mexico is releasing some inmates facing non-violent charges who are considered vulnerable to the new coronavirus.

Officials at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque say no one at the facility has tested positive, but they have set up a quarantine area if needed.

New Mexico reported its first death from the virus Wednesday, and cases climbed Thursday to at least 136.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday formally requested the federal government establish a 248-bed U.S. Army combat support hospital in Albuquerque to boost the state’s treatment capacity.

State education officials also say an announcement regarding an extension to the school closure period is expected Friday.

Gov. Lujan Grisham seeks deployment of Army hospital to New Mexico

Mar 26, 2020

  SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has formally requested that the U.S. Defense Department deploy a staffed 248-bed U.S. Army combat support hospital (CSH) to Albuquerque as a proactive measure intended to enhance the state’s treatment capacity.

“This CSH is urgently needed to support the State of New Mexico’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens to overwhelm our existing medical treatment facilities and resources,” Lujan Grisham wrote Wednesday in a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

The governor made the request under a federal law that authorizes the U.S. government to provide states with emergency medical assistance.

Three New COVID-19 Cases In Doña Ana County; Now 136 In New Mexico

Mar 26, 2020

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Thursday announced 24 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

The Department of Health on Thursday reported no additional deaths in the state related to COVID-19. The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 remains at one.

Access To Be Restricted At Las Cruces Solid Waste Facilities

Mar 26, 2020

  In an effort to ensure the continued functionality of the Solid Waste System, restrictions will be instituted at Solid Waste facilities in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County beginning 12:00 p.m. Noon on Friday, March 27, 2020.

 

Essential businesses should supply written documentation of their “essential” status. This may be required for access to local Solid Waste facilities.

 

All facilities remain open to regional commercial trash haulers to drop off solid waste during normal business hours.

 

Through Emergency Alerts, the State of New Mexico is urging residents to stay at home. The SCSWA and LCU appreciates public support at this time and will reopen to normal business as soon as possible.

New statewide fund to respond to COVID-19 launches with over $1.1 million

Mar 26, 2020
Office of the Governor of New Mexico

  SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday announced a new fund established by the New Mexico Coalition of Community Foundations to help New Mexico respond to and eventually recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The All Together NM Fund will be used to address immediate needs and offer long-term support for the recovery work that lies ahead.

 

Pledges of more than $1.1 million from Ian and Sonnet McKinnon; Intel; Pattern Energy; Blattner Energy; and Tri State Generation and Transmission Association will seed the fund, which will be administered by the Santa Fe Community Foundation.

 

SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — Forest Service officials say the threat of wildfires is rising in southwestern New Mexico.

Gila National Forest officials on Thursday cited strong winds, low humidity and the recent discovery of an abandoned campfire for a decision by fire managers to raise the forest's fire danger level to moderate, up from low.

Earthquake in West Texas felt in Southern New Mexico

Mar 26, 2020

The U.S. Geological Survey reports an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 shook the region this morning. 

Mentone, Texas, where the epicenter is reported, is 77 miles west of Odessa.

There have been several smaller quakes reported in the same region over the last two weeks. Aftershocks are expected.

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Mar 26, 2020


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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico utility regulators have approved a program that will allow local governments and large businesses to subscribe to a universal solar field to be built by the state's largest electric provider.

Public Service Co. of New Mexico says the cities and businesses can make a 15-year commitment to match their energy use to the solar field's output.

The utility says the arrangement will help cities and businesses meet their sustainability targets.

CARLSBAD, N.M. (Carlsbad Current-Argus) — Authorities say a Colorado man was shot and killed near Carlsbad Caverns National Park following a physical altercation with a National Parks ranger.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage said Wednesday that Charles Gage Lorentz was shot by the ranger after being stopped for erratic driving on Saturday.

Sheriff's spokesman Capt. Matt Hutchinson says Lorentz was shot during the altercation that ensued and pronounced deceased at the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigation.

cdc


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