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.

Local Newscast 1

Apr 8, 2021

Nash Jones / KUNM

SANTA FE - The New Mexico Department of Health on Thursday announced that registrants who are 60 years and older can now schedule their own COVID-19 vaccine appointments. To do so, users simply log in to using their confirmation code and date of birth, choose their location, and then select from available appointments in their area. Event codes for New Mexicans 60+ are no longer required, though they are required for younger populations.

“We are pleased to offer increased scheduling flexibility for our seniors,” said DOH Cabinet Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins. “And in the coming weeks, we intend to offer self-scheduling for all New Mexicans 16 years and older.” 

Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The State of New Mexico and the City of Albuquerque have pledged economic assistance, contingent upon approval by the Albuquerque City Council, so that Affordable Solar can double the size of its Albuquerque fabrication facility and corporate headquarters.

Affordable Solar, established in New Mexico in 1998, offers large-scale solar and energy storage integration throughout the Western United States. The company has seen rapid growth with its technologies and plans to scale up business as state and national policies boost renewable energy and combat climate change. The project requires approval of the Albuquerque City Council.

Desert Exposure - April Preview

Apr 8, 2021

Las Cruces Animal Control Restarts Live Trap Program

Apr 8, 2021

  Las Cruces Animal Control is restarting its Live Trap program that was temporarily paused in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Live Trap program allows Las Cruces residents to request use of a trap, free of charge, for the purpose of capturing nuisance stray dogs and cats. An Animal Control officer will deliver and set up the trap upon request, and then remove nuisance animals that are captured.
Animal Control has a limited number of live traps and currently, because the program just restarted, has a standing waiting list for usage of the traps.

Doña Ana County Manager Fernando R. Macias announced that the criteria to qualify for help from the Emergency Rent and Utilities Assistance Program is now expanded to include mobile home lot rent and rent-to-own payments.

“This expansion includes help with rental payments for people who pay rent for the lot their mobile home is on or rent-to-own their homes,” Macias said.  “We understand residents throughout Doña Ana County may need help and we are proud to offer this assistance.  We want both landlords and people who rent and need help to call or visit our website and let us help.”

Update: State Police Make Arrests in Chamita Homicide

Apr 8, 2021

  Chamita, NM – On March 11, 2021, at approximately 12:10 a.m., the New Mexico State Police Uniform Bureau in Espanola was dispatched to County Road 56 in Chamita, New Mexico, in reference to a shot’s fired call.

When officers arrived on County Road 56, they observed three victims with gunshot wounds, and a tan Chevrolet Tahoe parked approximately forty yards from County Road 56 House 89.

During the investigation, officers learned that the occupants in the Tahoe were traveling on County Road 56 when the driver of the Tahoe pulled into the property of County Road 56 House 89 in Chamita.

Las Cruces Opportunity Fair Readies Students for the Workforce

Apr 8, 2021

  Career specialists with Las Cruces Public Schools’ Career Readiness and Student Success division are creating opportunities for students who are ready to go to work – even before they graduate from high school.  Here is a statement from LCPS:

The Youth Opportunity Fair will happen virtually on Saturday, April 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Zoom. Jeff Waugh, an LCPS career specialist, says the fair will introduce students to potential employers through virtual interviews.  

  More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, while the United States is seeing record numbers of vaccinations and easing lockdown restrictions, other countries that were on par with the U.S. at the beginning of the pandemic, like Brazil, now are seeing a surge in coronavirus cases, leaving hospitals at or near capacity. According to John Hopkins University, Brazil has recorded more than 300,000 deaths, second only to the U.S. at more than half a million.

Santa Teresa Port of Entry

  LAS CRUCES, N.M. (April 7, 2021) - On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, met with Santa Teresa Port of Entry officials to discuss how expanding hours, infrastructure and operations at the port can create more trade and economic opportunities for southern New Mexico.  Here is a statement from the Senator's office:

“I've been proud to work with business and community leaders to build public-private partnerships and secure millions of dollars in federal funds to facilitate international trade at New Mexico’s ports of entry,” said Heinrich. “When we expand hours, infrastructure, and operations at the Santa Teresa port of entry, we create more trade opportunities and keep New Mexico’s vibrant border and business communities thriving. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will fight to ensure New Mexico’s ports of entry, such as Santa Teresa, receive critical infrastructure funding and are operating at full capacity.”

Newsmakers 1311 - COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts in NM

Apr 8, 2021

This week, Newsmakers looks at efforts in vaccine distribution in New Mexico and other issues related to the pandemic.

Bears Ears National Monument / Bob Wick/BLM

  SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland will visit Utah this week before submitting a review on national monuments in the state. Residents there have both staunchly supported establishing and increasing the size of national monuments, and fiercely rallied against them. Haaland is the latest Interior secretary tasked with making recommendations on where the boundaries lie. Her input comes after President Donald Trump's administration decided to downsize two national monuments in southern Utah. She's expected to submit a report to President Joe Biden after she meets with tribes and elected leaders at Bears Ears National Monument on Thursday.


  AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — State health officials reported above-average new COVID-19 case and death totals. The Texas Department of State Health Services reported almost 4,100 new cases Wednesday. That's well above the state's seven-day rolling average of 3,120 as computed by Johns Hopkins University researchers. The 99 deaths reported Wednesday top the Johns Hopkins average for Texas of 82. Johns Hopkins data show the new cases, along with 446 previously unreported cases added Wednesday, push the pandemic total above 3 million. The state's pandemic death toll rose to more than 48,800.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Wednesday announced 222 additional COVID-19 cases and 3 deaths. As of today, there are 78 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.

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health on Wednesday announced the updated statewide COVID-19 map for the two-week period beginning April 7, with 20 New Mexico counties at the Turquoise Level and three at the Green Level, at which there are fewer restrictions on commercial and day-to-day activities amid decreased virus risk. The majority of the state’s counties are now at or approaching the least restrictive levels.

Ten counties are at the Yellow Level as of March 24. None are at the Red Level, signifying the highest risk.

Nash Jones / KUNM

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials are reporting more progress in getting residents vaccinated as the state continues to lead the U.S. in the vaccine rollout. State Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins says 50% of residents 16 and older have received their first shot and 31% are fully vaccinated. New Mexico on Monday expanded vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 and older. New Mexico National Guard soldiers are operating a vaccine distribution center in Albuquerque to help with the effort. In all, the National Guard has completed more than 1,230 missions during the pandemic and has logged more than 1.6 million miles along with the Civil Air Patrol.

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A man has been charged in a fatal shooting at the South Capitol rail station in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Police say 22-year-old Matthew Arellano was arrested near his home Tuesday evening. He is scheduled for an arraignment Wednesday on charges of murder and battery with a firearm.  Police Capt. Anthony Tapia identified the man killed as 24-year-old David Hernandez. The name of a 38-year-old man hospitalized after the shooting has not been released. Tapia says a witness heard an argument at the station over drug prices before shots were fired. The suspect and victims are from Sante Fe.  Court officials say Arellano did not have a lawyer listed for him ahead of the arraignment.

New Mexico State Police Arrest Wanted Colorado Fugitives

Apr 7, 2021

Santa Fe, NM – On March 22, 2021, at around 5:00 p.m. a New Mexico State Police officer on patrol on Interstate 25 around milepost 286 in Santa Fe County saw a green GMC pickup truck going south on Interstate 25 at over 90 miles an hour.

The New Mexico State Police officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle but it failed to stop for the officer and a pursuit ensued.  A second quick-thinking State Police officer positioned himself on Interstate 25 at the Cerillos Road on-ramp and successfully deployed a tire deflation device on the fleeing GMC.

A massive, $1 billion project to provide a safe and reliable source of drinking water throughout northwestern New Mexico and tribal nations is better positioned for coordinated implementation after tribal, state and federal partners recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The project, more than a decade in the making, will serve a quarter of a million people.  

The Navajo Nation, New Mexico Environment Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently signed the MOU to support the success of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project (NGWSP), which will ultimately provide drinking water to an estimated 250,000 people based on population projections by 2040.  

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Tuesday reported three more confirmed COVID-19 cases and one additional death.

The latest figures bring the pandemic totals on the tribe’s reservation, which includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, increased to 30,182 cases and 1,259 known deaths.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Native American leaders in New Mexico say they see U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland as a “formidable guardian” and steward of their interests. The Laguna Pueblo woman is the first-ever Native American cabinet secretary.

On Tuesday, she made her first official trip to her home state, where she met with tribal officials, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation. The round-table discussion highlighted federal coronavirus relief while underscoring the significance of Haaland’s confirmation.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Santa Fe police say a 22-year-old man has been arrested in a double-shooting that left one man dead at a commuter rail station.

Police said Wednesday that Matthew Arellano was arrested Tuesday evening on charges of murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Police previously identified the man who died after being shot and also stabbed as 24-year-old David Hernandez.

New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham ratifies Civil Rights Act

Apr 7, 2021
Office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday signed into law the New Mexico Civil Rights Act, strengthening the protection of New Mexicans’ rights, privileges and immunities as provided for in the bill of rights of the state constitution.  Here is a statement from the Governor's office:

The measure allows a person to litigate any deprivation of those rights, privileges or immunities and prohibits the use of qualified immunity as a defense for depriving a person of those constitutional civil rights.

Per a Senate amendment, claims from incidents prior to July 1, 2021 – the effective date of the new law – may not be brought. A public body’s liability for damages under the state Civil Rights Act is capped at $2 million.

Announcing Winners of the 2021 Aldo Leopold Writing Contest

Apr 7, 2021

The Leopold Writing Program is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Aldo Leopold Writing Contest. Students from around New Mexico in Grades 6-12 entered this year’s contest. The First Place essayists in three grade categories each receive a $500 cash prize, and the Overall Best Essay Winner receives an additional $250 award.

New state law helps New Mexico senior citizens summoned to jury duty

Apr 7, 2021

  SANTA FE – A new state law will make it easier for senior citizens to permanently excuse themselves from jury service.


The new law applies to state residents 75-years-old or older who have been summoned to jury duty. They no longer will be required to submit an affidavit – a sworn, notarized statement – if they want to be excused from jury service. Starting June 18 when the new law takes effect, those qualifying New Mexicans can request an excusal online through the state court system’s jury website. Another option is to call the local court for more information.

Local Newscast 2

Apr 7, 2021

Vaccinations Ease Fears After COVID Scare In Hillsboro

Apr 7, 2021
Hillsboro, NM /

With only a few cases of COVID-19, the tiny town of Hillsboro, New Mexico felt safe.

But in February, an out-of-state construction crew moved into town.

And with it, came an unwelcome scare.

Reporter Mónica Ortiz Uribe with the El Paso Times brings us the story.

Local Newscast 1

Apr 7, 2021

Road Closures On Highway 70 This Morning

Apr 7, 2021

Highway 70 is scheduled to be closed this morning at 7:50 a.m. for approximately one hour. This is the third closure scheduled for this morning.

The Road blocks for this closure are scheduled to be located at the top of San Augustin Pass at mile marker 164 and at White Sands National Park at mile marker 200. 

The Las Cruces Gate, Owen Road and Nike Avenue will also be affected. Roadblocks are subject to change without notice. 

Silver City Report

Apr 7, 2021