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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 Fire Damages Office Building

Jan 13, 2021

Las Cruces firefighters extinguished a structure fire near the south Valley Drive Walmart store on Tuesday evening.

Shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, Las Cruces firefighters were dispatched to reports of a structure fire at 1400 S. Valley Dr., near the Walmart Supercenter. Firefighters determined an unoccupied building, previously used as the office for a mobile home sales business, was on fire.

Firefighters determined the building was unoccupied and structurally safe to approach before attacking the blaze. The fire was brought under control by about 7:40 p.m.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments as it weighs whether the state must compensate businesses for losses from temporary closures or other public health emergency restrictions.

Oral arguments were scheduled for Wednesday before the five-member court. A coalition of businesses says pandemic restrictions have effectively seized private property from businesses that might otherwise have taken their own precautions against the spread of COVID-19.

Silver City Report

Jan 13, 2021

Every week we get the latest news from Silver City and Grant County with reporters from The Silver City Daily Press on the Silver City Report.

This week, reporter Makayla Grijalva with the Silver City Daily Press shares news of an alleged kidnapping and car theft that took place in the area. Also, a local elementary school opens a new greenhouse. 

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Jan 13, 2021


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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Leading New Mexico legislators are proposing a 4% increase in state general fund spending that would devote new resources to health care and public education amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The detailed budget proposal was announced Tuesday by Democratic and Republican members of a lead budget-writing committee.

Legislators are also proposing cost-of-living pay increases for state workers and public school employees and a bailout of the state's indebted unemployment trust fund to avoid future payroll tax increases.

State of Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A heavy presence of Texas troopers is outside the state Capitol in Austin as lawmakers return to work amid FBI warnings of armed protests around the country.

Some of the more than 100 troopers outside the Capitol on Tuesday wore tactical vests and riot gear. The first day of Texas’ legislative session has drawn only a small number of demonstrators.

An internal FBI bulletin has warned of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C., in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State officials say a wastewater monitoring program has helped to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak at a juvenile justice facility in southern New Mexico.

The New Mexico Environment Department launched the monitoring program last month. In late December, officials say the virus was detected in wastewater samples taken from the state-run facility in Las Cruces.

Las Cruces COVID-19 vaccine distribution begins

Jan 12, 2021

  New Mexico State University hosted its first full-scale New Mexico Department of Health COVID-19 vaccination event on Jan. 8, providing space, volunteer personnel and logistical support for the distribution of more than 600 doses of the vaccine to eligible members of the community. Two additional events are scheduled for later this month.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Tuesday announced 893 additional COVID-19 cases and 30 deaths. As of today, there are 715 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) — President Donald Trump abruptly asked a court Monday to drop a lawsuit that challenged New Mexico’s use of drop boxes for absentee ballots in the 2020 general election as well as vote-counting equipment sold by Dominion Voting Systems.

The request filed Monday with a federal court in Albuquerque would dismiss the lawsuit from Trump but allow the concerns to be revisited. Similar allegations by the Trump campaign about Dominion vote-counting have been rejected as without evidence by the federal agency overseeing election security.

State election regulators want allegations in the case to be dismissed permanently. The Secretary of State, Maggie Toulouse Oliver, issued the following statement in response:

Alamogordo NOW

Jan 12, 2021


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Jan 12, 2021


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Jan 12, 2021


Las Cruces Area NAACP Hosts Virtual MLK Day Event

Jan 12, 2021
NAACP-Doña Ana County chapter / Courtesy photo

The Doña Ana County chapter of the NAACP will present a Martin Luther King, Jr. virtual event on Martin Luther King, Junior Day, Monday, January 18, at 10 a.m.

There is no charge to attend the virtual breakfast. To register, visit www.naacpdac.org or send an email to info@naacpdac.org.

The event will include a 45-minute speech King delivered in April 1961 that offers powerful insights into 2020-21, according to NAACP President Bobbie Green, Ph.D.

The Science Digest - the evolution of speech

Jan 12, 2021

Vince Gutschick looks into the evolution of speech in this week’s Science Digest.


The Las Cruces City Council reviewed the current UTV ordinance Monday, discussing the impact of increased UTV use in 2020.

The current ordinance, which allows for UTVs on municipal roads, was adopted in early 2020 and amended to include UTVs capable of reaching speeds over 45 miles per hour in September.

Mayor Ken Miyagishima says he’s been surprised by the amount of UTV use in Las Cruces.

“It was probably almost a year ago that we had passed the ordinance to allow UTVs. And I have to say, I for one had no idea the magnitude of how many UTVs there are in the city,” Miyagishima said. “I know some have taken videos, and the city does their best, the city police do, to regulate it. But it has just gotten very difficult.”

Dr. Tracie Collins

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's top health official says many residents are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations because they have one or more preexisting medical conditions. The state recently expanded vaccine eligibility to those who are 75 and older and anyone over 16 who's at risk because they have cancer, kidney disease, heart problems or other chronic illnesses. Dr. Tracie Collins, the state health secretary, on Monday urged people to be patient because vaccine supplies are limited. The vaccinations come as the state has seen an uptick in the weekly average of confirmed COVID-19 infections. The rate of spread also remains above the target set by the state.

DPNM Chair Marg Elliston

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The chair of the New Mexico Democratic Party of New Mexico says she will not run for another term when her current tenure ends in April. Marg Elliston made the announcement Monday. Elliston has served as chair for three years and led the party through two election cycles, including campaigning amid the coronavirus pandemic. In the recent election, Democrats solidified their majority in the state Legislature. They also held on to all but one congressional seat — losing the key southern district to Republican Yvette Herrell. Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham praised Elliston for her leadership over the recent years.

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Democrats say they're closer than ever to increasing withdrawals from one of the country's largest endowments to fund education initiatives. Increasing annual payouts from the $20 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund would require voters to approve a constitutional amendment. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says a 1% increase in distributions should be set aside to fund early childhood education. While the withdrawals will decrease future growth of the fund, Democratic legislators argue that the state needs to invest more in education. They say public sentiment is shifting in their favor, and a new crop of progressive legislators can get the needed resolution passed.

  AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic has created a nearly $1 billion deficit in the Texas state budget. The forecast by Texas Republican Comptroller Glenn Hegar on Monday reflects how the nation’s energy hub remains hampered by a slow economic recovery and a half-million fewer jobs than a year ago. The deficit could result in cuts to state services, although many economists say that once coronavirus vaccines are more widely distributed, a broader recovery should take hold in the second half of the year. The GOP-controlled Legislature is scheduled to return to work Tuesday for the first time in two years.

Las Cruces researcher examines COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

Jan 11, 2021

  As the United States rolls out an ambitious campaign to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, a new study co-authored by a New Mexico State University researcher examines American attitudes toward COVID-19 immunization.

The study, published Jan. 3 in the Journal of Community Health, represents a comprehensive national assessment of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among a sample population of more than 1,800 American adults, said Jagdish Khubchandani, public health sciences professor at NMSU.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Monday announced 933 additional COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths. As of today, there are 704 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.

New Mexico Budget Recommendation Unveiled

Jan 11, 2021
KUNM

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration on Monday released the FY22 Executive Budget Recommendation from the administration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, totaling $7.3B in recurring spending with a 3.3% increase. The executive recommendation will maintain reserves at 25%, while increasing key state investments in priority areas like pandemic response, public education, early childhood services, and youth, adolescent, and young adult wellbeing.

Las Cruces Utilities: Know Who to Call

Jan 11, 2021

Getting the routine monthly bill for services like trash pickup, natural gas, water, and sewage may be the most interaction a customer may have with Las Cruces Utilities (LCU). However, there may be other instances where customers may need to reach out. Some of those times may be a potential emergency – like when a water main breaks or you smell a gas leak – that would be the time to call the 24-hour Utilities Emergency Dispatch at (575) 526-0500. LCU associates are ready to assist 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


James Jimenez - New Mexico Voices For Children


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Jan 11, 2021


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Jan 11, 2021


  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Sunday announced 1,208 additional COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths. As of today, there are 682 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.

  OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s bid to attract the U.S. Space Command’s headquarters to Offutt Air Force Base includes $107 million of public and private money. Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce President David Brown, who is one of the backers of the proposal, said last week that the local money is meant to help offset the roughly $1 billion cost of building the new headquarters. Offutt is one of the six finalists to become the headquarters. Other finalists are Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, Redstone Army Airfield in Alabama and the former Kelly Air Force Base in Texas.

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