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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.

Local Newscast 2

Jan 15, 2021


Local Newscast 1

Jan 15, 2021


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  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A regulatory agency in New Mexico has ordered the city of Santa Fe to repay its employees for some of their lost wages after hundreds of city workers were furloughed when the coronavirus pandemic began in March. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that the New Mexico Public Employees Labor Relations Board said in a ruling earlier this month that the city engaged in unfair labor practices by failing to properly notify workers of the furloughs and must now provide compensation. It is unclear how much the city is expected to pay. Assistant City Attorney Christopher Ryan declined to comment on the decision.

El Paso Matters

Jan 15, 2021
El Paso Matters CEO Robert Moore

El Paso Matters CEO Bob Moore has some of the Sun City's top stories including a post-holiday COVID surge, the fight for information from the Department of Homeland Security and a look at open school board seats and what the positions mean to the community.

Fair Districts For New Mexico

Every ten years, New Mexico redraws voting districts to better reflect the current population following the census.

Fair Districts For New Mexico is an organization advocating for the formation of a Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission that will allow for a more independent process.

Kathy Brook, the Co-President of the League of Women Voters of Southern New Mexico, outlined the role a commission would play in the state’s redistricting efforts.  

“Members of the legislature would appoint several people, and then the New Mexico Ethics Commission would appoint three people to oversee the process. And this would involve working with the technical people to develop a set of maps,” Brook said. “I think the requirement would be three to five maps, for each area that requires redistricting. So three to five maps that would cover congressional districts, three to five for the legislature, three to five for the Public Education Commission. And the idea is that the legislature would then select from those sets of maps rather than drawing their own maps.”

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Thursday announced 1,434 additional COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths. As of today, there are 691 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, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s governor declared a state of emergency in response to credible intelligence about threats of violence at statehouse buildings across the country and deployed members of the New Mexico National Guard to Washington for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week.

The declaration by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham came Thursday as fencing was installed in a wide radius around the Capitol building in Santa Fe and an adjacent annex. The Legislature is set to convene Tuesday, the day before Biden’s inauguration. Leading legislators say they are taking the prospect of violence seriously.

FACT SHEET: Biden Releases Fiscal Plan, Including $1400 Checks For Individuals

Jan 14, 2021

  The COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding economic crisis are devastating families across the country. More than 20 million Americans have contracted COVID-19, and at least 370,000 have died. From big cities to small towns, too many Americans are barely scraping by, or not scraping by at all. And the pandemic has shined a light on the persistence of racial injustice in our healthcare system and our economy. The need to act is clear in the lines at food banks, the small businesses that are closed or closing, and the growing number of Americans experiencing housing insecurity. After nearly a year of the public health crisis, our nation remains in this dark winter of the pandemic and facing a deep economic crisis. 

Newsmakers 1301 - Martin Heinrich: New Mexico U.S. Senator

Jan 14, 2021

This week, Newsmakers features New Mexico U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, who discusses the insurrection at the capitol and his work in Congress.  

 

  HOUSTON – Western Athletic Conference Commissioner Jeff Hurd today announced membership invitations issued by the conference's Board of Directors to five universities have been accepted effective July 1, 2022.

Hurd also announced the WAC's intention to reinstate football at the Football Championship Subdivision level beginning with the 2022 season.

Four of the institutions – Abilene Christian University, Lamar University, Sam Houston State University and Stephen F. Austin State University – are in Texas and currently are members of the Southland Conference.  The fifth, Southern Utah University, is a member of the Big Sky Conference. 

It's an extraordinaary hour this week, after an unprecedented period in U.S. History.  President Donald Trump became the first U.S. president to be impeached twice.  We'll hear from New Mexico U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, who was at the Capitol during the insurrection.  He talks about the danger that day and his thoughts on Trump's actions during the attack.

A diverse mix of New Mexico and Texas residents talk about the insurrection and the current polticial climate in the country.  And, we'll hear thoughts from commentator Peter Goodman.

It’s a common sight across Las Cruces; masks are strewn across the dashboard of a car or even hanging from a review mirror. The habit has developed to keep our neighbors safe, and now the City of Las Cruces (City) Mayor and City Council are focusing its efforts on a Red to Green campaign by sending masks directly to almost 40,000 residences.

“Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) is doing its part to further reduce the spread of COVID-19 by wearing Utility issued face masks or neck gaiters, or disposable face masks while working,” said Delilah Walsh, LCU director. LCU worked with local vendors to create Utility masks, which were distributed to each LCU associate.

  Silver City, NM – Western New Mexico University advanced painting and drawing students are exhibiting their work in a pop-up gallery in a storefront at the corner of Bullard Street and Broadway Avenue downtown.

The rotating installment of WNMU expressive arts student work is themed “We All Build Narratives” and is viewable from the outside of the building, as the art hangs in the windows and is displayed on easels just inside the building at 116 N. Bullard Street.

New Mexico redistricting task force calls for new process

Jan 14, 2021
KUNM

LAS CRUCES - The last two times the state of New Mexico went through the redistricting process, a stalemate between Republican governors (Gary Johnson and Susana Martinez) and the Democratic-controlled Legislature resulted in failure.

Unable to reach an agreement, the process ended up in the courts both times, with taxpayers picking up the tab for costly legal fees - more than $9 million in the two years combined.

New Mexico PBS

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Fencing is being erected outside the New Mexico Statehouse and other government buildings as officials prepare for any political unrest ahead of the legislative session and the presidential inauguration.

The fencing started going up Wednesday around the Capitol and work continued Thursday. State police that oversee the Capitol have taken the unusual step of coordinating security with local law enforcement agencies to provide a coordinated response should any gatherings become violent.

The Bulletin on the Radio

Jan 14, 2021
Las Cruces Bulletin - Elva Osterreich

Las Cruces Bulletin Editor Jess Williams offers a preview of this week's issue with stories on the Las Cruces Farmers' and Crafts Market, vaccine distribution, the next state legislative session and more.   

 

New Mexico opened up a new phase in its rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday and, on Tuesday, the Trump administration announced it will begin speeding up distribution of available doses. KUNM’s Nash Jones spoke with Matt Bieber, Communications Director for the Department of Health, about the state’s strategies for getting more shots into more arms, and how the process works.

On Monday, the FBI warned of armed and potentially violent protests planned in all 50 state capitols starting this week, running through at least Inauguration Day on January 20. The FBI advised police agencies to increase security at statehouses around the country.

Local Newscast 2

Jan 14, 2021


Local Newscast 1

Jan 14, 2021


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Navajo Nation’s Department of Justice has settled with two mining companies to resolve claims stemming from a 2015 spill that sent wastewater downstream from the inactive Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado. Under the settlement with the Navajo Nation, Sunnyside Gold Corp. will pay the tribe $10 million. The state of New Mexico also has reached limited agreements with some defendants regarding its claims. The spill released 3 million gallons of wastewater that fouled rivers in three western states with a bright-yellow plume of arsenic, lead and other heavy metals. A federal contracting crew triggered the spill while prepararing for a possible cleanup.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Wednesday announced 1,151 additional COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths. As of today, there are 702 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.

Lions Tennis Courts in Las Cruces Reopening

Jan 13, 2021

  The City of Las Cruces Parks & Recreation Lions Tennis Courts, 701 W. Picacho Ave., will reopen today, Jan. 13, 2021 with New Mexico State Public Health Order restrictions (https://cv.nmhealth.org/public-health-orders-and-executive-orders/) still in place. The restrictions include wearing face masks, practicing a minimum of 6 feet social distancing, and limiting gatherings to five or fewer.

Lions Tennis Courts were closed due to GO Bond repairs. All nets have been installed for use.

cdc

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health on Wednesday announced the updated statewide COVID-19 map for the two-week period beginning Jan. 13, with 30 counties at the Red Level. Twenty counties saw a higher average daily per-capita rate of new cases in the last two weeks, and 17 counties saw a higher test positivity rate; 16 counties worsened in both metrics. Only 12 counties improved in both of the two health gating criteria metrics.

 

Pet food recall issued for product shipped to New Mexico

Jan 13, 2021

LAS CRUCES – The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an alert regarding a pet food recall. On Dec. 30, Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. announced a recall of certain lots of Sportmix pet food products. On Jan. 11, Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. expanded the recall to include additional products (not just Sportmix) that contain corn and were made in the company’s Oklahoma manufacturing plant. The recalled products may contain potentially fatal levels of aflatoxins. The FDA is working with several state departments of agriculture to investigate these products.

While the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) is unaware of any reports of affected pets in New Mexico, recalled pet food has been identified in the state.

   U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Air Force’s announcement today to base the new U.S. Space Command headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama:

“To rush such a large and consequential basing decision, mere days before the end of the Trump administration, should rightly lead to serious questions of political impropriety. After postponing the original site visit to Albuquerque last December, the Air Force evaluation team collected data on Albuquerque’s candidacy less than a week ago. I don’t see how it is possible to properly evaluate one of the Air Force’s final candidates in less than a week and come to a decision on something so important.

Single Vehicle Fatal Rollover Crash on Interstate 25 near Las Cruces

Jan 13, 2021

  Dona Ana County, NM – On Tuesday at approximately 3:30 p.m., the New Mexico State Police investigated a single-vehicle fatal rollover crash on Interstate 25, near milepost 7 in Las Cruces, NM. 

The initial investigation indicates a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, driven by Alfred J. Perez (23) of Peoria, AZ, was traveling north on Interstate 25.  For unknown reasons, the Chevrolet left the roadway and rolled.  Perez was ejected from the vehicle and sustained fatal injuries.  He was pronounced deceased on scene by the Office of Medical Investigator.  

Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash and seatbelts were not properly utilized.  This crash is under investigation by the New Mexico State Police.

Gov. Lujan Grisham priorities: Sustaining key investments, regaining economic momentum

Jan 13, 2021
Office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday announced her agenda for the first session of the 55th New Mexico Legislature, a series of proposals that will advance meaningful investments and new policy in public education, early childhood well-being, environmental protection, racial justice and more.

In addition to the Executive Budget Recommendation for Fiscal Year 2022, which maintains vital state investments in key programs that benefit New Mexicans, the governor’s legislative priorities position New Mexico for a swift and robust recovery from the pandemic and will provide for sustainable progress and continued forward momentum in public education, economic development and public health and safety beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

  SANTA FE - The New Mexico Department of Health on Wednesday announced the state’s first case of the B117 coronavirus variant. A male in his 60’s has the variant; he is associated with travel to the UK in December. He is currently recovering from very mild illness; no hospitalization was required. To this point, DOH has identified no close contacts within the state. The B117 coronavirus variant first emerged in the UK in September, 2020. It has since spread to multiple countries and several U.S. states. There is no evidence that the variant has an impact on the severity of COVID-19 cases, nor on current vaccine effectiveness. For additional information, please visit the Center for Disease Control’s website on COVID-19 variants.

  SANTA FE, NM - The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is investigating one confirmed case – and one suspected case – of wound botulism. A 28-year-old male from Eddy County is hospitalized with wound botulism. The suspected source of infection is contaminated black tar heroin, and the nerve toxin that causes botulism was identified from a patient specimen. Another 29-year-old male from Eddy County with a history of injection drug use is hospitalized with suspected wound botulism.

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