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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.

Fighting Pecan Theft In the Las Cruces Area

Dec 5, 2019

In an effort to combat the rising – and costly – rash of pecan thefts in Doña Ana County during harvest season, the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office will be assisting inspectors with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) during regular licensing checks at area pecan buyers.

   More than three dozen cases of pecan theft were reported to the sheriff’s office in 2018, a number that is hard to calculate when pecan prices fluctuate. Amid growing concerns from the local Pecan Growers Association, Sheriff Kim Stewart collaborated with the NMDA to come up with a plan: provide inspectors with law enforcement personnel to investigate pecan buyers who are operating without a license.

   “Unlicensed buyers are part of the problem when it comes to pecan theft,” said Stewart. “If we take away the point-of-sale, thieves can’t easily liquidate their stolen property – in this case, stolen nuts.”

San Juan College Faculty Vote To Unionize

Dec 5, 2019

  Farmington, NM – San Juan College faculty have voted to unionize.  Here is a statement from NEA-New Mexico:  On the heels of recent and decisive votes by full and part-time faculty at UNM, over two thirds (68%) of San Juan College (SJC) full-time faculty voted YES to win collective bargaining rights for faculty in a decisive victory in support of students and faculty. Votes were cast on December 3rd and December 4th, 2019, resulting in 87 out of 128 faculty voting in favor of collective bargaining. 

 

New Mexico Senior Olympics Coming To Las Cruces

Dec 5, 2019

New Mexico State University and the city of Las Cruces expect to host more than 1,200 seniors for the 41st annual New Mexico Senior Olympics Summer Games June 10-13. Sport venues will be located around the NMSU campus and throughout the city of Las Cruces. The event will be the first in a three-year agreement.

Senior athletes will have the opportunity to compete in 21 individual sports from archery, cycling, badminton, tennis, track to power walking, racewalking and many more.

The University of Texas at El Paso has surpassed the $100 million threshold in annual research expenditures for the first time in its history.

 

UTEP President Heather Wilson announced Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, that the University is reporting $108 million in research expenditures for fiscal year 2019 to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for its Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges.

 

“UTEP is one of the top research institutions in the nation,” President Wilson said. “We produce meaningful research of public value and make a positive impact on the community we serve.”

 

NM Officials: State Settles With Behavioral Health Providers

Dec 5, 2019
hsd.state.nm.us

SANTA FE, N.M.(AP)- A New Mexico state agency has entered settlement agreements with five behavioral health care providers after the groups had Medicaid funding frozen amid fraud and overbilling allegations. 

The state Human Services Department has agreed Wednesday to pay $10 million to each of the providers. Officials say former state Gov. Susana Martinez publicly accused 15 health agencies of overbilling Medicaid by up to $36 million resulting in frozen funds in 2013.

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Dec 5, 2019


Las Cruces police are investigating the accidental discharge of a firearm by a school resource officer at a local middle school.

About 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, a school resource officer accidentally discharged his duty-issued handgun in his office at Picacho Middle School, striking a wall. No one was struck by the accidental discharge.

The circumstances surrounding the accidental discharge are being investigated by LCPD’s Internal Affairs office.

Amanda López Askin to run for Doña Ana County Clerk

Dec 4, 2019

  LAS CRUCES -- Current Doña Ana County Clerk Amanda López Askin announced Wednesday that she is running to keep serving in her current position. Here is a statement from her campaign:

The Doña Ana County Board of County Commissioners appointed Askin to lead the Clerk’s Office out of a pool of fourteen candidates in September of 2018. Once in the position, she successfully administered three elections and made transformative changes to the office’s day-to-day operations.

“When I took on the Clerk’s role, it was clear that one of the main challenges facing the office was capacity. The amount of overtime required by staff to achieve successful elections and professional service was, frankly, appalling and completely unacceptable,” Clerk Askin said. “Fighting to be fully-staffed was not easy, but as more people vote and businesses grow, our clerk’s office needs the additional resources to address that positive momentum.”

 

  Radium Springs, NM:  New Mexico State Parks hosts Turning Back the Sun -Winter Solstice on Saturday, December 7th from noon – 8 p.m. at Leasburg Dam State Park.  Come and enjoy a live demonstration of traditional Pueblo adobe oven bread baking. See and learn about New Mexico Raptors, with live hawks, owl, falcon and Turkey Vulture.  Right before sunset, gather around several warm campfires in an outdoor Amphitheatre and enjoy traditional Coyote/Winter stories from Diné, Apache, Pueblo and Blackfeet Peoples.

NMSU’s Arrowhead Innovation Fund sees New Mexico investment success

Dec 4, 2019

They say it takes a village, and the village of investors in New Mexico would agree. New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Innovation Fund has seeded investments across the state, and now one of its business investments, Osazda Energy LLC, has grown its own wings to receive more than $1.5 million in grants this year alone to develop their research in solar cells for photovoltaic systems.

“The Arrowhead Innovation Fund is an early stage seed capital fund for promising New Mexico startup companies,” said Carlos Murguia, AIF’s associate fund manager. “We look for ways to give a boost to companies or entities that can aid in the growth of entrepreneurship throughout the state.”

New Mexico Pledges $400,000 To Las Cruces Hemp Firm

Dec 4, 2019

  Santa Fe, N.M. – The New Mexico Economic Development Department has pledged to invest $400,000 in a hemp production and processing business in Las Cruces that will help farmers grow the plant and then manufacture from its ingredients.  Here is a statement from the department:

The commitment to 420 Valley LLC represents a continuing effort by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes to target sustainable agriculture and other economic sectors that are suitable for growth and can help diversify the economy. The company plans to hire 55 employees over three years.

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Dec 4, 2019


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Dec 4, 2019


Report: New Mexico State Income Higher Than Forecasted

Dec 4, 2019

 

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State government income for New Mexico is exceeding expectations set out by agency economists.

A revenue tracking report from the Legislature on Tuesday showed state general fund income of $8 billion for the fiscal year that ended June 30. That is $85 million higher than a recent forecast from state economists.

Income for July and August rose $21 million over the same period in 2018, also exceeding forecasts.

New Mexico State to keep football head coach Doug Martin

Dec 4, 2019
Doug Martin

  LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State athletics director Mario Moccia says Aggies head coach Doug Martin will return for his eighth season.

Moccia told the Las Cruces Sun-News on Monday he believes Martin will get the Aggies back in a bowl game despite the team’s 2-10 record this season.

Bobbitt scores 14 to carry New Mexico St. over UTEP 59-56

Dec 4, 2019

  LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — C.J. Bobbitt posted 14 points, including two free throws with 12.5 seconds left, and New Mexico State knocked UTEP out of the ranks of the unbeaten 59-56 on Tuesday night.

The Miners, who called a timeout with 8.8 seconds to play, got up two 3-point attempts before time ran out.

The Aggies (5-4) did not make a basket in the last 6:03 and UTEP (5-1) didn’t score from the field in the last 5:12 as the teams combined to miss their last 15 shots to go with seven turnovers.

New Mexico governor endorses increased PERA pension contributions

Dec 4, 2019
Office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham threw her political weight behind a public pension reform proposal Tuesday that would increase retirement contributions by taxpayers and most state and local government workers.

Desert Exposure

Dec 4, 2019


NMSU supporters raise $3.6 million on fifth annual Giving Tuesday

Dec 3, 2019

  Supporters of New Mexico State University came together to raise more than $3.6 million for scholarships and programs across the state during the university’s fifth annual Giving Tuesday event, led by the NMSU Foundation.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, a total of 1,231 donors contributed gifts to NMSU totaling more than $3.6 million. The figure will be finalized in the coming weeks as accounting staff from the NMSU Foundation works to ensure all Giving Tuesday gifts are properly documented and matched.

Fugitive NM man, missing young sons found in Cabo San Lucas

Dec 3, 2019

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (AP) — Mexican authorities said Tuesday they found two young brothers allegedly taken from a Las Cruces, New Mexico, daycare by their father, and arrested the man.

Police in Cabo San Lucas said in a statement that 52-year-old Clarence Michael Ransom was located at a hotel room in the Baja California Sur resort city before dawn along with 3-year-old son Maverick and 4-year-old Orion. A woman had reported disturbances at the room.

Grant To Bring "Green" Bus Service From El Paso To Sunland Park

Dec 3, 2019

The South Central Regional Transit (SCRTD) District has received $1,370,000 in funding from the El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization for Fiscal Year 2020.    Here is a statement from SCRTD:  The funds will be used to purchase two Hybrid-Electric buses to support SCRTD’s assumption of the operation of transit service between Sunland Park, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas (currently operated as Sun Metro Route 83 but renamed the “Yellow Route”).    This project will also support expanded service in Southern Doña Ana County, including service to Santa Teresa.  

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Dec 3, 2019


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Dec 3, 2019


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Dec 3, 2019


Anthony Man Accused Of Embezzling Over $640,000 From Employer

Dec 3, 2019

An Anthony man has been arrested and charged with 69 counts of forgery after his employer accused him of embezzling over $640,000.

Hatch Will Get A New Dam

Dec 3, 2019

The Doña Ana County Flood Commission and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will sign an agreement to design and construct a dam in the lower Spring Canyon to protect the Village of Hatch. Here is a statement from the county:

The signing ceremony is open to the public at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at the Hatch Community Center, 837 Highway 187 in Hatch. 

The ceremony marks the completion of the feasibility phase, which looked into flooding concerns affecting the Village of Hatch, sources of water overflow and viable solutions. It also celebrates reaching a milestone in the project that enables the beginning of the design and construction phase of the new dam.

An upcoming test scheduled for the morning of Dec. 9 will require the closure of three state highways.

Highway 380 from San Antonio to Carrizozo will be closed from 7:50 am to 9:50 am.

Highway 70 between San Augustine Pass and Alamogordo, and Highway 54 between the McGregor Range exit and Orogrande, will be blocked from 8 am to 9 am.

The roads will be blocked by White Sands Missile Range security personnel,
and the closure will include the railways along Highway 54.

New Mexico hires team to study universal health insurance

Dec 3, 2019

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Legislature has hired team of consultants as it looks for ways to provide universal health care access under new financial models.

The Legislative Finance Committee confirmed Monday that it has awarded a roughly $390,000 contract for studying the issue to Maryland-based KNG Health Consulting, IHS Markit of London and Albuquerque-based researcher Lee Reynis.

The fiscal study was spurred by repeatedly stalled proposals from state legislators to provide near-universal health care coverage.

More public meetings set for Air Force base’s training plan

Dec 3, 2019
Holloman Air Force Base

  TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Air Force is hosting another round of public meetings around southern New Mexico this week as it calls for expanding areas for training exercises.

Holloman Air Force Base released a draft environmental review of its proposal earlier this fall and extended the public comment period to Jan. 31.

Tuesday’s meeting is in Truth or Consequences. Other meetings are planned for Silver City and Las Cruces.

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