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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.

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Classrooms in some New Mexico schools were scheduled on Monday to allow in-person education for the first time this semester. Albuquerque Journal reported in-person classes were temporarily suspended by the state for two weeks to prevent a feared increase in COVID-19 cases. Small groups of students with disabilities were allowed to attend classes, but schools offering other in-person classes had to shut their doors and teach remotely. Schools are now able to restart schedules that were planned before the pause. New Mexico Public Education Department was unable to immediately provide a count of schools planning to reopen in-person classes Monday.

cdc

  DALLAS (AP) — Texas reports more than 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 and 46 more deaths from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The number of Texans hospitalized with COVID-19 rose to 13,858 Monday. Coronavirus hospitalizations remain near their record high in Texas. The Texas Department of State Health Services says intensive-care units in several regions are at or near capacity. The department reported 10,110 more confirmed cases of the virus Monday, as well as 695 probable case. Johns Hopkins University researchers say more than 17% of coronavirus tests have come back positive in Texas over the last week.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Monday announced 628 additional COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths. As of today, there are 611 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

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  As part of New Mexico’s efforts to protect communities from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) is beginning work to address the contamination caused by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) at Cannon and Holloman Air Force bases. In a separate effort, the Environment Department is testing public drinking water sources across the state to determine if PFAS is impacting other communities and fresh water resources. These efforts will assist the Environment Department in determining next steps in identifying and managing PFAS contamination in New Mexico.


  SANTA FE - The New Mexico Department of Health on Tuesday announced the state’s second COVID-19 case with the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant. This case is a close household contact of the first case, announced on Wednesday, January 13. The female in her 30’s has experienced mild symptoms and has not required hospitalization. No additional close contacts outside of the household have been identified to date. 

StoryCorps Military Voices - Michael Evans

Jan 18, 2021
Michael Evans and Nick Paz

Hear the StoryCorps Military Voices Initiative interview with deported Marine Corps Veteran Michael Evans and his friend, Army Veteran Nick Paz. 

KRWG News at 7:45 a.m.

Jan 18, 2021


KRWG News at 6:45 a.m.

Jan 18, 2021

The Paycheck Protection Program has helped fund loans for over 5.2 million small businesses across the United States in the last year. That number is set to rise as another round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program has been approved by Congress.

$284 billion has been allocated to fund small business loans. Shelley Brown, a lender relations specialist for the Small Business Administration, says the priority is to focus on businesses most impacted by the pandemic—especially those that have not received previous help from the Paycheck Protection Program.

Facebook / White House

  WASHINGTON (AP) — An Associated Press review of records finds that veterans of President Donald Trump’s failed campaign were key players in the Washington rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol. The findings undercut claims that the Jan. 6 event was the brainchild of the president’s grassroots supporters. A pro-Trump nonprofit group called Women for America First hosted the “Save America Rally.” Paperwork filed to get an event permit from the National Park Service lists more than half a dozen people who just weeks earlier had been paid thousands of dollars by Trump’s campaign. Since the siege, several of them have scrambled to distance themselves from the rally.

Facebook / Cowboys for Trump

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico county official who runs a group called Cowboys for Trump and who had vowed to return to Washington after last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol to place a flag on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk has been arrested by the FBI. Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin was arrested Sunday on charges of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol. Griffin did not immediately respond to phone or text messages seeking comment. On Thursday, Griffin, said he planned to travel with firearms to Washington, D.C., for Biden’s inauguration.

  Ruidoso Downs, NM - On Friday, January 15, 2021, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was requested by the Ruidoso Downs Police Department to investigate an officer-involved shooting that occurred at 222 Mockingbird Lane in Ruidoso Downs.  The suspect had not been struck by gunfire and all officers were uninjured. 

 

State Police Investigations Bureau agents learned that on January 15, 2021, at around 4:50 a.m., the Twelfth Judicial District Attorney’s Major Crimes Unit responded to a crime scene in Ruidoso. The suspect in that incident Trevor D. Hoyle, 26, of Ruidoso, fled the scene in a white Ford pickup truck.

Rubio bill would phase out private prisons

Jan 17, 2021
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  LAS CRUCES - New Mexico, which now leads the nation in the use of private prisons, would be required to wind down that practice under a bill prefiled ahead of this year’s legislative session by Rep. Angelica Rubio, D-Las Cruces.

House Bill 40, called the Private Detention Facility Moratorium Act, would prohibit the state from entering into any new contracts or agreements for the operation of private detention facilities.

It would also allow for the termination of existing contracts if the inspection report by the Department of Corrections finds that the facility is out of compliance.

Attorney General Hector Balderas Demands Couy Griffin Resign from Otero County Commission

Jan 17, 2021
Couy Griffin

  Santa Fe, NM---Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that he has demanded that Couy Griffin resign from the Otero County Commission. In a letter sent to Griffin Saturday, the Attorney General demanded his resignation on multiple grounds, including accusations that he has misused public office for personal gain, has neglected his duties as a county commissioner, and because of his participation in the January 6th insurrectionist attack on the United States Capitol. The letter states that absent his resignation, the Office of the Attorney General will take all appropriate legal action to seek Griffin’s removal. This demand also comes as Griffin has reportedly been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“An elected office is a public trust, and no official should use it to encourage violence and attack Americans,” said Attorney General Balderas. “My office will enforce the rule of law to ensure the public’s confidence.”

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Sunday announced 751 additional COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths. As of today, there are 612 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

  AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Austin’s top health authority is offering coronavirus vaccines to Texas lawmakers and their key staffers, regardless of whether they are currently eligible under state guidelines. Dr. Mark Escott, interim medical director for Austin Public Health, told The Dallas Morning News that he organized the vaccination effort with a local hospital health system. He says he knows at least five to 10 legislators of both parties who were vaccinated through this process. Escott says he’s concerned that the flood of lawmakers coming to Austin for the legislative session could make it a superspreader event and that he wants to ensure the continuity of government.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Saturday announced 1,092 additional COVID-19 cases and 36 deaths. As of today, there are 632 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

State Senator Bill Soules

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two New Mexico Democrats are seeking to strengthen protections for the state’s environment and natural resources through a joint resolution that calls for amending the state constitution. If approved during the upcoming legislative session, the proposed amendment would go before voters to decide. Introduced by Sens. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and William Soules, the resolution reads that the state shall conserve, protect and maintain these resources for the benefit of all people and future generations. Environmentalists are calling it New Mexico’s “Green Amendment.” It will be among numerous environmental proposals up for consideration during the 60-day session that begins Tuesday.

Nash Jones / KUNM

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials say they're disappointed that it appears the state will not be getting as many vaccine doses from the federal government as anticipated. New Mexico is not alone as uncertainty over the pace of federal COVID-19 vaccine allotments has triggering anger and confusion in some states. A New Mexico Health Department spokesman said Friday that residents deserve clarity and transparency from the federal government about the rollout. The state has one of the best vaccination rates in the U.S., with more than 108,000 shots administered so far. Nearly 430,000 residents have registered to get vaccinated.

After nearly 12 years at work, some wells that monitor the Griggs-Walnut Groundwater Plume Remediation Project at 163 N. Cottonwood St. will be rehabilitated or replaced. This may lead to some nearby neighborhoods hearing more activity in the area intermittently for approximately two to four weeks from the middle of January into February.

The water treatment facility, managed by Las Cruces Utilities (LCU), at the Griggs-Walnut Superfund Site clears the groundwater of the chemical perchloroethylene — commonly referred to as PCE — to make the water drinkable. The four monitoring wells are used for sampling, analyses, and current mapping locations of the PCE plume on an annual basis.

New Mexico House Dems Announce 2021 Legislative Priorities

Jan 16, 2021
KUNM

  Santa Fe, N.M. – Today, New Mexico House Democrats announced their legislative priorities for the upcoming legislative session with economic recovery, school re-openings, healthcare, civil rights, and rural infrastructure as top priorities.  

 

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the state with widespread vaccination on the horizon, Tuesday’s largely virtual Opening Day of the first session of the 55th Legislature promises to be a historic event in state history. House Democrats seeing the challenges and opportunities facing families and hardworking New Mexicans have begun pre-filing legislation and outlining priorities that delivers on economic relief, rural infrastructure, civil rights, climate change, healthcare.  

South Central Regional Transit District is proud to announce that the Yellow route, servicing Sunland Park, via McNutt, will be replacing their mid-sized buses with two 35-foot Hybrid-Electric Gillig buses.  David Armijo, Executive Director, reported “that the buses were purchased using grant funding received from the El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization and the New Mexico Department of Transportation.” These buses will be providing service six days a week.  The buses have two doors, one entering the front, and one entering the middle. SCRTD is dedicated to implementing safe and accessible travel during the Covid-19 pandemic. Riders will board from the middle entrance to allow for social distancing. The bus drivers’ have a shield barrier to further the safety of the passengers. Bus rides will have no fares during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Las Cruces Councilor Appointed To National League of Cities’ Committee

Jan 16, 2021
Gill Sorg

Gill Sorg, City Councilor, Las Cruces, NM, has been appointed to the National League of Cities (NLC) 2021 Energy, Environment and Natural Resources (EENR) Federal Advocacy Committee. Councilor Sorg was elected to a one-year term and will provide strategic direction and guidance for NLC’s federal advocacy agenda and policy priorities. The appointment was announced by NLC President Kathy Maness, councilmember, Lexington, South Carolina.

“It has been my honor to represent the City of Las Cruces on the Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee of the National League of Cities.  I have been on the Committee for 4 years and have worked to bring our cities of our nation into a carbon free economy.  The Committee has advocated to our federal government for water conservation and climate change legislation.”

Debt Collection Advisory Warning New Mexicans About Predatory Collection Practices

Jan 16, 2021
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

  Santa Fe, NM---Attorney General Hector Balderas today issued an advisory to New Mexicans warning them about predatory debt collection practices from companies that attempt a variety of tactics to prey on New Mexican consumers. These practices include attempts to collect debts that do not exist, falsely reporting consumers to consumer credit agencies, and generally using threats or intimidation in an attempt to extract money from consumers. The Attorney General issued this advisory after recently suing national debt collectors for these practices and after these companies received millions of dollars in federal Paycheck Protection Program funds.

Off-duty Officers Help El Paso Driver After Truck Fire

Jan 16, 2021

Three off-duty Las Cruces police officers are credited with going above and beyond the call of duty Wednesday when they stopped to help an El Paso motorist whose pickup burst into flames on Interstate 10.

About 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, an El Paso motorist was driving east on I-10 when a tire on his pickup experienced a blowout. The driver safely pulled over to the median before his pickup caught fire.

Bill would bring craps tables, sportsbooks to racetracks

Jan 16, 2021

LAS CRUCES - New Mexico’s college scholarship program has been funded by gambling revenue ever since the Lottery Scholarship Fund was started in 1996.

With that fund no longer able to cover full tuition costs for students, Rep. Ray Lara, D-Chamberino, is sponsoring a bill that would boost revenue by converting the “racinos” at the state’s horse racing tracks to full-service casinos, with live poker, blackjack, craps and a sportsbook.

LAS CRUCES – The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) District One has received notice of Railroad crossing repairs.

BNSF (Owner) will be making repairs to the railroad crossing on US 70 “Picaho Ave.” starting Friday January 22nd  at 7:00 a.m. These repairs will require the closure of Picacho Avenue at the railroad tracks. A detour will be in place on surrounding roadways, please follow signage. This closure is expected to be completed by 5:30 p.m.


  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Friday announced 1,266 additional COVID-19 cases and 38 deaths. As of today, there are 670 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

Dr. Christa Slaton, NMSU Government Professor, discusses the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the second impeachment of President Trump and the upcoming inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President.


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