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.

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Oct 3, 2019

New Mexico State University and the New Mexico Environment Department were joined Oct. 1 by state officials from around the country, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency representatives, industry leaders, environmental groups, legislators and others for an event celebrating the creation of the New Mexico Produced Water Research Consortium.

New Mexico reports season’s first confirmed flu cases

Oct 2, 2019

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Health officials have confirmed the first flu cases of the season in New Mexico.

The state health department reports all five cases involve adults: three cases in Sandoval County, one in Santa Fe County and one in Bernalillo County in which a 90-year-old patient died.

State Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel says flu can be fatal if left untreated or if a person has a weakened immune system. She’s encouraging people to get vaccinated.

Four Corners Power Plant. Photo courtesy of EcoFlight and San Juan Citizens Alliance

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has denied a petition by a clean energy group to declare new legislation unconstitutional.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the petition by New Energy Economy and other groups was denied by the high court Tuesday.

Methane study to deploy planes, towers in Texas, New Mexico

Oct 2, 2019
Laura Paskus, New Mexico In Depth

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new effort is under way to measure emissions of a potent greenhouse gas across an area of surging oil and natural gas production in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico.

The Environmental Defense Fund announced Wednesday that it will work with university researchers to collect measurements of methane emissions across the Permian Basin.

The effort will collect data from sensors mounted on towers, ground vehicles and airplanes across a booming region for oil production that spans some 85,000 square miles (220,000 square miles).

Albuquerque mayor: Crime figures show need for state help

Oct 2, 2019

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — FBI figures show New Mexico’s 2018 violent crime rate was more than double the national rate.

Figures released this week show Albuquerque accounted for 60 percent of total violent crimes in the data for New Mexico.

Albuquerque is home to about 560,000 people, more than a quarter of the state’s population.

New Mexico had a rate of 857 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2018. The national rate was about 369 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.

Reporting by law enforcement agencies for the annual report is voluntary.

Virgin Galactic says it will fly Italian researchers

Oct 2, 2019
VSS Unity / Virgin Galactic

  LOS ANGELES (AP) — Virgin Galactic said Wednesday it has been contracted by the Italian air force for a suborbital research flight aboard its winged rocket ship.

The mission will be flown as early as next year, carrying three Italian payload specialists who will tend to the experiments while the craft is in space, the company said.

Officials mum after months without Hispanic center leader

Oct 2, 2019

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Months after incoming New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham asked the widely popular leader of the National Hispanic Cultural Center to resign, the search for her replacement continues.

And officials are remaining mum on the process.

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Oct 2, 2019

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Oct 2, 2019

Lizard protections sought in Southwest amid US oil boom

Oct 1, 2019
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A small lizard found among the dunes straddling New Mexico and West Texas in one of the nation's richest oil basins is at the center of a legal complaint filed Tuesday.

Environmentalists want the U.S. government to add the lizard to the endangered species list as part of a fight that stretches back to the Bush and Obama administrations and could affect part of the multibillion-dollar energy industry in the Permian Basin.

The New Mexico State University Jack & MaryLou Davis STEM TECH Lab has expanded with more equipment to enhance the ability of children and youth to apply hands-on learning in 3D environments.

Man Arrested For Stabbing Driver Stopped At Red Light In Las Cruces

Oct 1, 2019
Morgan Buchanan Guy Pearson

A motorist stopped at a red light was injured when a knife-wielding pedestrian reached into the open passenger-side window and attacked him.

The suspect was later apprehended by police and charged for the crime.

Morgan Buchanan Guy Pearson, 25, of the 700 block of east University Avenue, is charged with one count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. The charge is a third-degree felony.

Personal firewood permits excluded from tree-cutting ban

Oct 1, 2019

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — People who rely on firewood from national forests in New Mexico and one in Arizona now can cut and gather it.

A federal judge on Tuesday excluded personal firewood cutting and gathering from a larger ban on timber management activities in all five New Mexico national forests and the Tonto National Forest outside metropolitan Phoenix.

Environmentalists who sued the federal government over the threatened Mexican spotted owl had asked U.S. District Judge Raner Collins to amend the ban. It's been in place since mid-September.

New Mexico streamlines requirements for state ID cards

Oct 1, 2019

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New application rules for driver's licenses are going into effect in New Mexico that relax identification requirements in some instances.

Requirements were streamlined on Tuesday to receive a standard driver's license that will not be valid for boarding commercial airline flights starting in October 2020. The changes are an outgrowth of new legislation and a lawsuit alleging that previous requirements unfairly denied basic identification cards to immigrants, homeless people and others.

Lizard in Oil Country at Center of Lawsuit

Oct 1, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A small lizard found among the dunes straddling New Mexico and West Texas in one of the nation's richest oil basins is at the center of a new lawsuit.

Environmentalists want the federal government to add the lizard to the endangered species list. The fight stretches back to the Bush and Obama administrations and could affect part of the multibillion-dollar energy industry in the Permian Basin.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife filed their lawsuit Tuesday. It followed a listing petition that was filed in May 2018.

Office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

   Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday issued the following statement after the U.S. Forest Service Southwest Region announced it would resume firewood permit sales in regional national forests, including those in New Mexico:

“I am extremely grateful for the court’s quick action in modifying what would have been a devastating situation for so many New Mexicans who rely on these permits throughout the winter months. I know this is a relief to families across our state. I want to thank our Congressional delegation, federal partners and our state Forestry Division for using their platforms to advocate for a fix and for immediately doing the work of identifying potential contingency plans. When we pull together in the same direction, when New Mexican families’ best interests come first, we can always find solutions and steer clear of harmful unintended consequences.”

The firewood permit sales were halted temporarily to protect an endangered owl.

Texas Tech Finalizes Agreement To Purchase El Paso PBS Station

Oct 1, 2019

 Today, KCOS PBS in El Paso and Texas Tech Public Media (KTTZ) in Lubbock announced the closing of their long-planned partnership after receiving approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on September 23, 2019.  Here is a statement provided by Texas Tech:

Under the new ownership structure, KCOS will remain based in El Paso and will continue to produce local programming and work with local partners to educate and entertain the community. 

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Oct 1, 2019

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Oct 1, 2019

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Dr. Pat Hynes, Curator of the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight talks with Anthony Moreno about what this year's symposium will feature. 

Additional information:

Republicans Running For Congress Dismiss Impeachment

Sep 30, 2019
Yvette Herrell (left) and Rep. Xochitl Torres-Small (right)

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Republican candidates competing for a key U.S. House seat in southern New Mexico are dismissing impeachment talk around President Donald Trump.

The three hopefuls vying to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small say they all strongly support Trump. They say an impeachment inquiry over the president's conversation with a Ukrainian leader seeking dirt on Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden's son is a waste of time.

Before the fall 2019 semester at New Mexico State University began, Abdessattar Abdelkefi, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, traveled almost 10,000 miles to discuss solutions to global challenges with students and researchers at the U.S.-Africa Forum on Nanotechnology Convergence for Sustainable Energy, Water and Environment.

Youths seek emergency climate declaration in New Mexico

Sep 30, 2019
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Youth activists want the state of New Mexico to declare a climate emergency and do more to end dependence on fossil fuels that contribute to global warming.

Organizers of mid-September student demonstrations about climate change planned to present a list of demands Monday to the state's Democratic governor at the New Mexico Statehouse.

State government and school districts in New Mexico rely heavily on income from oil and natural gas production.

Juarez mayor to testify on migrants at New Mexico hearing

Sep 30, 2019
Ciudad Juarez Mayor Armando Cabada /

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A key group of New Mexico lawmakers will tour both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border this week and hear from the mayor of the largest Mexican city in the region about the migrant influx.

Ciudad Juarez Mayor Armando Cabada will be among those who will meet with members of New Mexico's Legislative Finance Committee during a packed agenda .

The mayor has said his city has spent $300,000 on shelter for some 12,000 migrants who are waiting to seek asylum in the U.S.

NMSU’s LGBT+ Programs to host OUTober 2019 events in Las Cruces

Sep 30, 2019

OUTober at New Mexico State University continues to showcase and celebrate the gender and sexual diversity of more than 2,000 students who have signed up to utilize the university’s resources, according to Zooey Sophia Pook, director for NMSU’s LGBT+ Programs.

OUTober begins with an event from 5–10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 in downtown Las Cruces at the Plaza de Las Cruces during the city’s FallFest.

Responding To 48 Hours Of Water Line Breaks In Las Cruces

Sep 30, 2019

“It was a busy two days and nights for Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) Water line of business supervisors and their crews,” explained Water Deputy Director, Adrienne L. Widmer, P.E., to the LCU Board of Commissioners on September 12th.

After midnight on Thursday, September 5th, the first call rang in to the 24-hour Emergency Dispatch number (575) 526-0500, reporting water gushing out onto University Avenue. Then Widmer was called.

According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, average annual temperature across the Southwest United States increased 1.6 degrees between 1901 and 2016, and further increases are forecast for the future.

The second event this semester in the New Mexico State University Climate Change Education Seminar Series (NMSUCCESS) is a panel discussion: “New Mexico at the Crossroads: How the State, its Biggest City, and NMSU are Addressing Climate Change.” The discussion will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum.

In 1979, New Mexico State University formally established the College of Health and Social Services, the university’s centralized home for the only accredited programs in southern New Mexico for nursing, social work and public health students.

Since its founding, the college, also known as CHSS, has dedicated itself to fulfilling its mission to serve the needs of New Mexico’s diverse population through education, research and service in the areas of health and social well-being.