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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.

Las Cruces City Council To Discuss 2021 Minimum Wage Tuesday

Sep 16, 2020

  The Las Cruces City Council will meet at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, September 22, via video conference, for a Special Work Session regarding the City’s proposed minimum wage for 2021. 

Mayor Ken Miyagishima will allow the first 20 employees who sign up to speak on the topic. Those who wish to speak must contact Annette Granado either by phone at 575/541-2076, or by email at agranado@las-cruces.org

A link will be sent to only the first 20 respondents. 

The Special work session will be televised live at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, September 22 on CLC-TV, Comcast Cable channel 20, and will be available online at clctv.com and at YouTube.com/clctv20

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Sep 16, 2020


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Sep 16, 2020


Silver City Report

Sep 16, 2020


Lake Mead At The Hoover Dam / AZPM

  CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Models released by the U.S. government suggest a future with less water may arrive sooner than previously projected for the seven states that rely on the Colorado River. After a relatively dry summer, government scientists project Lake Powell and Lake Mead are 12% more likely to fall to critically low levels by 2025 than they projected in the spring. Climate change and prolonged drought have compelled some cities and farms to conserve water to secure the river long term, but it remains overtapped. The projections could complicate already-fraught negotiations between Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Mexico over the river's future.

Representative Rebecca Dow - (R)

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Democratic candidate for New Mexico House says her Republican opponent broke the law by failing to disclose conflicts of interest in contracts between an educational nonprofit she founded and child welfare agencies. Karen Whitlock has filed a complaint with the State Ethics Commission against Rep. Rebecca Dow. Dow says she has been transparent about working at a nonprofit that contracts with the two state agencies and that she doesn't have an ownership stake in the company. The allegations come less than two months before the November election, and ethics commission won’t rule on the complaint until voting is over.

  LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Researchers at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces have invited residents to share photos or written descriptions via their cellphones on a recent mass die-off of migratory birds in the state. The Las Cruces Sun-News reported that Professor Martha Desmond said Monday that reports from around the state indicate migratory species are dying at unprecedented numbers. Residents have reported birds dying in groups and living birds exhibiting lethargic and unusual behavior such as not eating, flying low or gathering on the ground. A mobile app through the Southwest Avian Mortality Project allows the public to contribute to the research. 

www.freedigitalphotos.net. Image: Arvind Balaraman

The Las Cruces Public School Board voted unanimously for students to remain online through the first semester. Select groups, such as special education, At-Promise youth and early childhood students will be allowed regulated or limited in-person access throughout the semester.  

In an emotional plea, School Board Member Maria Flores spoke about the dangers of putting students at risk.

“I know that sending students back to the classroom is what our students need, but I also know that we are not in control of the virus. The only way to stay safe is to practice safety, and there are no guarantees,” Flores said. “Last week, it was announced that 70,000 children had COVID-19 across the country due to schools reopening, and there were deaths. This is our reality, and one that we cannot pretend does not exist.”  

New Mexico COVID-19 update: 82 new cases, totaling 26,923

Sep 15, 2020

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Tuesday announced 82 additional COVID-19 cases and 7 deaths.

As of today, there are 59 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.

  EL PASO, Texas – The University of Texas at El Paso’s Minority AIDS Research Center (MARC) is the subrecipient of a $1 million implementation grant to target substance use disorders and opioid use disorders in five rural counties along the Texas-Mexico border.

UTEP’s MARC is one of four regional consortium partners led by Aliviane Inc., the principle recipient of the three-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP). Other partners include the Texas State Department of Health Services Office of Border Public Health, and Presidio County Health Services.

$330 million Student Debt Relief Settlement for Former ITT Students

Sep 15, 2020

  Santa Fe, NM — Attorney General Balderas announced today that the State of New Mexico, along with 47 states and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has secured an agreement to obtain $330 million in debt relief for former ITT Tech students for 35,000 borrowers who have outstanding principal balances. The settlement is with PEAKS Trust, a private loan program run by the for-profit college and affiliated with Deutsche Bank entities. ITT filed bankruptcy in 2016 amid investigations by state attorneys general and following action by the U.S. Department of Education to restrict ITT’s access to federal student aid. The settlement will bring approximately $4 million in debt relief to New Mexicans.

Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The fate of monuments linked to Spanish colonialism and violence against Native Americans in Santa Fe remains unclear months after the city's mayor called for their removal. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports a proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission has yet to form and two monuments still stand but are surrounded by plywood. Mayor Alan Webber said in a statement the City Attorney’s Office is reviewing unspecified “legal issues” involved with the statues and monuments. Earlier this year, a statue of Spanish conquistador Don Diego de Vargas was taken down on the eve of a planned protest over fears it would spark violence.

Mark Ronchetti / Courtesy photo

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Political clashes about the role of climate change in catastrophic West Coast infernos are spilling into a U.S. Senate race in New Mexico, where a Republican meteorologist is campaigning for an open seat. U.S. Congressman and Democratic Senate nominee Ben Ray Luján accused rival Mark Ronchetti on Monday of engaging in dangerous climate denialism. Ronchetti responded Monday with an acknowledgement that climate change needs to be addressed and that both “human activity” and drought are responsible for the vicious wildfires. In a visit to California, Trump ignored the scientific consensus that climate change is playing a central role in historic West Coast wildfires.

  RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A growing number of states are facing pressure to ban race-based discrimination against hair texture and styles. Activists recently presented a proposal to New Mexico state lawmakers that would outlaw employers and schools from discriminating against Black and Native American women's hairstyles. Earlier this year, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a measure that made Washington the sixth state to pass a version of the CROWN Act. The act stands for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.” According to the Crown Act campaign, California, Colorado, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia have already passed similar laws.

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is prepared to spend millions of dollars in federal recovery funds to install drop boxes for absentee ballots as election regulators encourage voters to participate in the general election in ways that minimize human contact and reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission. The secretary of state’s office spokesman Alex Curtas on Monday said the agency is encouraging the state’s 33 counties to install ballot drop boxes while offering reimbursements from a $6 million reserve of federal funds that also pay for personal protective equipment and publicity about voting. Many counties — though not all — have shown interest in drop boxes.

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Sep 15, 2020


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Sep 15, 2020


Las Cruces startup launches child safety app

Sep 15, 2020

Securing the best interests of your children is much harder when their interests take them online. For parents who want to keep an eye on their child, it may be hard to continuously monitor what happens virtually. With mentoring from Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University, New Mexico-based startup Parental Values is aiming to give parents better tools to manage online dangers their children may face.

As a parent of two, Jason Boxum, president and founder of Parental Values, saw the dangers first-hand when his son went into an unmoderated chatroom. He’s sought to align Parental Values – and its app with the same name – with the Federal Trade Commission and its Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

Alamogordo NOW

Sep 15, 2020


Monday’s Las Cruces City Council meeting grew heated following a presentation concerning the minimum wage.

“You guys have no idea what it takes to run a business. You don't. To my knowledge, very few of you have been in business for yourselves. It's hard, hard to make that payroll,” Mayor Ken Miyagishima said.

Controversy at the recent city council meeting centered around whether or not to decrease the hourly wages of tipped employees. Currently these Las Cruces workers make $4.10 an hour before tips, well above the state’s mandated rate of a little over two dollars.  

The Black New Mexico Movement held a rally on Saturday, Sept. 12, in Rio Rancho, the more conservative, smaller city that neighbors Albuquerque. Fifty or 60 people gathered to speak out against racism, marking the 24th anniversary of Tupac Shakur’s death and continuing the hip-hop artist’s activism against police brutality and racial injustice. A larger crowd of opposing demonstrators showed up and antagonized the group. 

New Mexico COVID-19 update: 81 new cases, totaling 26,842

Sep 14, 2020

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Monday announced 81 additional COVID-19 cases.

As of today, there are 60 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.

Gila River

  On Wednesday, September 16 at 12:30 p.m. MT, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will participate in a Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining hearing on bills he introduced to designate portions of the Gila River as Wild and Scenic and establish Cerro de la Olla Wilderness within the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

Senator Heinrich and U.S. Senator Tom Udall introduced the M.H. Dutch Salmon Greater Gila Wild and Scenic River Act to designate portions of the Gila River, its watershed and other rivers in the Gila National Forest as Wild and Scenic Rivers. The legislation will be a boon to New Mexico’s outdoor economy, while protecting an irreplaceable natural resource for future generations of New Mexicans.

NMSU’s national top tier university ranking improves

Sep 14, 2020

For the eighth time in the last nine years, New Mexico State University has been recognized as a top tier university on the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges for 2021 National Universities rankings.

NMSU improved in many ranking categories this year and is tied for 241 with West Virginia University, Utah State University and others. Additionally, NMSU ranks tied for 117 in top public schools, tied for 119 for top performers on social mobility, tied for 145 in undergraduate engineering programs, tied for 171 in undergraduate computer science programs, a new category, and tied for 201 in undergraduate business programs.

The University Museum at New Mexico State University recently received a Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Consultation/Documentation Grant from National Park Service to assist in consultation with Native American tribal groups pertaining to NAGPRA-related human remains and funerary objects.

“Since 1990, Federal law has provided for the repatriation and disposition of Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony with culturally affiliated Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. This is called Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act,” said Fumi Arakawa, associate professor of anthropology, University Museum director and principal investigator of the grant.

  FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines is holding off on its decision to cut flights to Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Roswell, New Mexico. But the airline is warning that slumping demand and profitability in some markets are forcing the company to consider “difficult decisions to right-size our airline." American announced last month it was planning to drop flights to 15 smaller U.S. cities when a federal requirement to serve those communities ends. But the company said in a statement Monday they are deferring its decision on Roswell and Stillwater while conversations are ongoing with local officials.

  AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Chick-fil-A says it no longer plans to open a restaurant in the San Antonio International Airport, even though the Texas city relented and agreed to let it do so after more than a year of legal wrangling. The San Antonio City Council blocked the chain from opening a restaurant at the San Antonio International Airport early last year, because Chick-fil-A’s owners donate to anti-LGBTQ causes. Some Texas leaders broadly supported the company. Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill in 2019 in defense of Chick-fil-A and religious freedom. 

New Mexico Congressman Ben Ray Luján

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján says work on a potential COVID-19 relief bill may keep him away from an early October U.S. Senate debate against Republican challenger Mark Ronchetti.

Luján's campaign told The Associated Press on Sunday that his work in Congress to pass a coronavirus relief package and rescue the U.S. postal service may prevent him from joining a scheduled October 5th debate on KOB-TV.

LORDSBURG, N.M. (AP) — Firefighters in a southwestern New Mexico city have resigned en masse following a pay dispute with the officials.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the entire volunteer department of Lordsburg resigned last week amid a fight over how the city was paying the department. The city said Wednesday that the firefighters were required to fill out W-4 forms to report stipends paid to them by the city. That's a change from previous practice in which the chief would pay them and seek reimbursement from the city.

Chicana historian and writer, Dr. Yolanda Chávez Leyva provides insight on the debate surrounding statues of Don Juan de Oñate in the border region. Dr. Chávez Leyva is an associate professor of history at the University of Texas at El Paso.

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