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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.

Suspect Arrested In Crash Involving New Mexico State Police Officer

Jan 19, 2020

Rio Rancho, NM – On October 22, 2019 at about 4:00 p.m., the New Mexico State Police responded to a fatal head-on-crash involving a wrong-way driver on Unser near Mariposa in Rio Rancho.

The initial investigation indicated that New Mexico State Police Sergeant Nathan Searle was traveling north on Unser near Mariposa in his department issued Ford Explorer police vehicle when a south bound green 1999 Ford SUV occupied by driver Dwight David Weir (55) of Bosque Farms  and passenger Mark A. Marquez (52) of Farmington crossed the center line and drove head-on into the Sergeant Searle’s patrol vehicle.

On January 19, 2020 at 9:20 a.m., State Police officers located Wier in an RV on Broadway Boulevard, north of Interstate 25 near Isleta, NM.  Weir was arrested without incident and booked into the Sandoval County Detention Center. 

Fire Destroys Building In Hatch

Jan 19, 2020

Crews with Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services responded to a fire late Saturday that destroyed a residential and commercial building. 

The incident was reported at approximately 7:10 p.m. in the 200 block of West Hall Street in Hatch. According to Doña Ana County Fire Chief Nick Hempel, the fire was contained to the structure where it first began. There were no injuries reported, but the building is reportedly a total loss. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

Las Cruces Survey: Over 70 Percent Against Extended School Year

Jan 19, 2020

A survey conducted by Las Cruces Public Schools found over 70 percent were against a proposal to extend the school year, with 65 percent of staff against the idea as well.  Here is a statement from the district:

On January 7, teachers and staff were asked to watch a video, review a proposed calendar and participate in a survey in order to determine whether or not the proposal should be considered by the calendar committee. 1058 staff members answered the initial survey. The district received an additional 359 responses from staff on the community survey. After evaluating the initial responses, approximately 65 percent of staff who responded to the survey were not in favor of adopting the proposed extended learning calendar for the 2020-2021 academic school year.   

Illegal crossings plunge as US extends policy across border

Jan 19, 2020
KRWG News

  Illegal border crossings have plummeted after the Trump administration made more asylum-seekers wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court. The drop has been most striking on Arizona's western border, a pancake-flat desert. Border arrests there fell 94% from May to October. A Border Patrol official says traffic plunged after asylum-seekers learned they couldn't stay in the U.S. while their cases wound through court. More than 55,000 asylum-seekers were returned to Mexico to wait for hearings through November, 10 months after the policy was introduced in San Diego.

New Mexico St. beats Seattle 75-67, stays undefeated in WAC

Jan 19, 2020

  Ivan Aurrecoechea and Jabari Rice each collected double-doubles to help New Mexico State remain undefeated in the Western Athletic Conference with a 75-67 victory over Seattle. The game was tied 59-59 with less than five minutes to play before Aurrecoechea sparked a 5-0 surge as the Aggies pulled away. Aurrecoechea finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Rice scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Terrell Brown scored 25 points to lead Seattle. 

Careers With Las Cruces Utilities

Jan 19, 2020

Allen Navarro, Solid Waste heavy equipment operator, has spent 20 years managing trash for our community with Las Cruces Utilities (LCU). He drives a big trash truck picking up commercial trash containers at 130 business locations every day.

nmpolitics.net

The state of New Mexico has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a weekly newspaper in Santa Fe that accused the former governor of discrimination and violating the state's public records law. The Albuquerque Journal reported Friday that last year's $360,000 settlement to The Santa Fe Reporter became public last week after a six-month confidentiality period imposed by state law expired. Officials say the agreement comes after the newspaper won a court ruling in 2017 that said Gov. Susana Martinez violated the state Inspection of Public Records Act. Martinez appealed. Officials say the state agreed to drop the appeal after reaching an agreement.

A construction project to improve the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramp at the main Northwest entrance at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library (200 E. Picacho Avenue), will begin on January 20. The construction may take until March 21 to complete.

For the public’s convenience, the Library will remain open and will be accessible for the duration of the construction. Building accessibility with ADA accommodations will be provided at the main northwest entrance.

  Silver City, NM – About 400 middle school and high school students from two dozen schools in southwest New Mexico will compete during the Southwest Regional Science Olympiad Competition at Western New Mexico University on Saturday, January 25, 2020.

The defending champions from Socorro High and Socorro’s Cottonwood Valley Charter [Middle] School will be returning to defend their titles.

The Southwest Regional Science Olympiad Competition runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in the Fine Arts Center Theatre at 4 p.m.

Las Cruces Event: Redesigning Desert Agriculture for Climate Change

Jan 18, 2020

Gary Nabhan has spent much of his adult life studying and celebrating the deep relationships between regional cultures and the fruits of the land, between biodiversity and cultural diversity, particularly in the arid Southwest region.

  Walnut Street, from east Hadley Avenue to Palomas Avenue, will be closed to traffic starting Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. It is estimated this phase of the project could take three weeks to complete. Smith & Aguirre Construction, under contract with the City of Las Cruces, will be making roadway improvements as part of the Walnut Street Improvements Phase 1 project.

 

RoadRUNNER Transit’s Stop 18, on Route 6, will be closed during this time. Detours will be in effect around the project area. Motorists who want to avoid possible delays should seek an alternative route. Access to residences and businesses will be maintained during construction.

Las Cruces, NM–Congresswoman Torres Small, invites all residents of New Mexico’s Second Congressional District to attend Town Hall meetings in Grant and Doña Ana counties.

Town hall meetings are meant to serve as platforms for the Congresswoman to provide community updates on her latest work in D.C. and offer constituents an opportunity to ask questions and to express concerns about the issues that matter to them.

Union bucks proposed 3% pay boost for state workers

Jan 18, 2020

  Leaders of the second-largest labor union for New Mexico state employees are bristling at a proposed 3% pay increase from the governor and are promising to push for more compensation at the Legislature in an election year. Dan Secrist, executive vice president to the Communications Workers of America, said he will present to lawmakers Saturday a budget amendment that would raise base pay to at least $15 an hour. The union also is calling for tiered pay increases ranging from 9% for workers earning under $30,000 annually to 5% for most workers earning over $60,000. The Legislature convenes Tuesday for a 30-day session.

Las Cruces native Rick Montoya announces run for U.S. Senate

Jan 17, 2020

  A Las Cruces businessman has entered the contest for U.S. Senate in New Mexico, adding to a list of Republicans looking for a nomination. Las Cruces Sun News reported Thursday that 72-year-old Rick Montoya announced his candidacy at Roberto's Mexican Restaurant in Las Cruces. Montoya is the sixth Republican who announced their run for the at-large seat ahead of the June primary election. Officials say the seat was held by Democratic Sen. Tom Udall who announced in March that he would not seek a third term.

New Mexico commission approves wildlife trapping changes

Jan 17, 2020

Under a measure adopted Friday by the state Game Commission, trappers now have to complete an education course and new restrictions will be imposed on setting wildlife traps and snares around designated trailheads and on select public lands in New Mexico. Trapping and snaring triggered emotionally charged debates during last year's legislative session. A bill dubbed "Roxy's Law" after a dog that was strangled by a poacher's illegal snare on a lakeside trail would have banned traps, snares and animal poison on public land with few exceptions. It never came to a floor vote. State wildlife managers suggested they tried to strike a balance, but trappers argued the changes are burdensome.

Fight over river access simmers before New Mexico commission

Jan 17, 2020

  A panel charged with overseeing hunting and fishing regulations and managing wildlife across New Mexico is meeting for the first time following a shakeup. There is an ongoing dispute that involves public access to rivers and streams that flow through private property. Former Game Commission chairwoman Joanna Prukop ran afoul of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham last fall when she and other commissioners voted to reconsider the contested rule that limits access. Questions have been raised about its constitutionality. The commission had the support of sportsmen groups, conservationists and members of Congress, but the governor's office opted to replace her.

Michael Hernandez

141 immigrants representing 19 countries became naturalized citizens on Nov. 8, 2019 at the Las Cruces Convention Center.

In the third installment of a documentary series by Michael Hernandez, Rosie Miyagishima, the wife of Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima becomes a citizen, immigrants from Mexico, Ukraine, and the Philippines share stories of their citizenship, and Doña Ana County voter registration agent Virginia Beckworth talks about the importance of signing up new voters at ceremonies like this one.

  WASHINGTON – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration today released Prevention with Purpose: A Strategic Planning Guide for Preventing Drug Misuse Among College Students. This new publication provides a road map for college and university-based prevention professionals to address campus-wide drug misuse issues.

“With vaping, marijuana use, and the abuse of prescription drugs on the rise, it is critical we continue to do everything we can to reach at-risk populations such as college students,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “DEA’s new publication provides valuable information unique to prevention experts working in higher education to help ensure the health and wellbeing of our nation’s college students.”

  SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday announced her support for a measure to legalize recreational cannabis in New Mexico for adults aged 21 and older, calling it an economic development driver that would create thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in revenue for needed public services all across the state.  Here is a statement from the Governor's office:

Mother Charged after 3-year-old Daughter Tests Positive for Meth

Jan 17, 2020

Police arrested a Las Cruces woman after her 3-year-old daughter tested positive for methamphetamine.

Magaly Margarit Luna, 29, of the 2200 block of Holiday Avenue, is charged with one count of negligent child abuse. The charge is a third-degree felony.

In December 2019 a case worker from the Children, Youth and Families Department asked police to conduct a welfare check on a toddler. When officers met with Luna, the woman acknowledged using methamphetamines at her home.

Stolen New Mexico Game And Fish Truck Recovered Near Las Cruces

Jan 17, 2020
facebook.com/nmdgf

 Two Doña Ana County Sheriff’s detectives recovered a truck belonging to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Friday morning, just hours after the truck was reportedly stolen.

   The unit, described as a gray 2018 Ford F-250 with Game and Fish insignia on the doors and tailgate, was reportedly stolen from the 2400 block of Enriquez Lane just after 7 a.m. Friday. Information given to the sheriff’s office suggested a firearm was also inside the truck, along with part of the officer’s uniform.

Much Of Northern New Mexico Impacted By Winter Weather

Jan 17, 2020

Winter weather caused school closures and delayed openings Friday due to slick roads from snow and freezing rain across much of northern New Mexico as authorities warned that strong winds could create hazardous driving conditions.

Public schools in Santa Fe were closed while Albuquerque's public schools and the University of New Mexico delayed their openings by two hours.

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Jan 17, 2020


Local Newscast 1

Jan 17, 2020


Weekend Pulse

Jan 17, 2020


Use of genealogy website leads to New Mexico rape arrest

Jan 16, 2020
Angel Gurule

  Authorities say DNA evidence checked against a genealogy website led to a man's arrest in a 2015 Albuquerque-area rape. The Albuquerque Journal reports that Bernalillo County officials said Thursday they had DNA evidence from the attack but no match in a law enforcement database. Officials said they then took note of California authorities' 2018 announcement of an arrest resulting from investigators' groundbreaking use of a publicly available commercial genealogy site. The New Mexico victim was attacked Dec. 24, 2015 while jogging along a drainage ditch next to the Rio Grande. Jail records indicate 23-year-old Angel Gurule was booked Wednesday on suspicion of criminal penetration. Online court records don't list a lawyer for Gurule who could comment on the allegation.

New Mexico adopts rule as oil industry touts fiscal impact

Jan 16, 2020
Marjorie Childress-NM In Depth

  New Mexico regulators have adopted a rule aimed at oil and natural gas companies as the industry touted the more than $3 billion that was pumped into the state's coffers through taxes and revenues during the last fiscal year. With the change, the Oil Conservation Division will be able to assess civil penalties for violating state laws. State officials and environmentalists say that will allow for better regulation of the booming industry. The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association had supported legislation that cleared the way for the change, saying some rules can ensure a level playing field among operators.

Purchase Of El Paso Electric Approved By Texas Regulators

Jan 16, 2020

EL PASO, Texas – El Paso Electric Company (EPE) and the Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF) today announced that the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) approved IIF’s proposed acquisition of EPE as being in the public interest. A Final Order from the PUCT is expected to be issued within the next few weeks.

EPE and IIF issued the following statement:

We are pleased with the PUCT’s decision and appreciate the support we received from the parties involved. The PUCT’s approval is an important step towards completing IIF’s acquisition of EPE and realizing the benefits of this partnership for all of EPE’s stakeholders, including customers, employees and communities. We look forward to continuing to work with the other regulators to complete this transaction in the first half of 2020.

Pedestrian killed on I-10

Jan 16, 2020

DONA ANA, NM - New Mexico State Police have released the name of a pedestrian hit this morning on I-10 West near Mesquite. Andrew Gutierrez, 18, of El Paso was pronounced dead on the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator.

Gutierrez was hit at about 5:15 a.m. after State Police say he ran across I-10 for an unknown reason. He was hit by a 2009 Jeep Cherokee traveling west on I-10 in the middle lane.

New Mexico PRC Website Hit By Ransomware Attack

Jan 16, 2020

A New Mexico state agency's website is down as a result of what officials say is a ransomware hack.

The Public Regulation Commission says its website hasn't been operational since Jan. 9 and likely won't be back in service again for a week or so. 

In the meantime, the commission says filings with the commission either must submitted on paper and sent by postal mail or by hand-delivery to the agency's office in Santa Fe. The commission regulates utilities, insurance companies, pipeline operators and other entities.

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