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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.

  BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — In the closing months of the Trump administration, energy companies stockpiled enough drilling permits for western public lands to keep pumping oil for years. That stands to undercut President-elect Joe Biden’s plans to block new drilling on public lands to address climate change. An Associated Press analysis of government data shows the permit stockpiling has centered on oil-rich federal lands in New Mexico and Wyoming and accelerated in September and October as Biden was cementing his lead over President Donald Trump. The industry was aided by speedier permitting approvals since Trump took office.

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police say a shooting at a southeast Albuquerque has left one man dead and two others wounded. They say officers responded to the scene Saturday evening and found a fatally shot man in a vehicle in the parking lot. Police say another man was walking in the parking lot and had multiple gunshot wounds.  A third man was located about two blocks away from the hotel with gunshot wounds in both hands. The two injured men were taken to a hospital for treatment. Police didn’t immediately release the names of the dead man and the wounded men and say the motive for the shooting is unclear.

  AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Officials in Austin and Travis County are working to open space in the Austin Convention Center to care for COVID-19 patients as hospitalizations in Texas set a record high for the 13th consecutive day. Texas health officials on Saturday reported 13,935 COVID patients statewide. The Alternate Care Site in Austin announced Saturday was initially established during a summer surge of the coronavirus, but has not yet taken patients. It will hold patients who do not need high-level or intensive care as those patients will remain in hospitals. As of Saturday, there have been more than 1.9 million virus cases and 29,691 deaths since the pandemic began.

Officials tour possible Space Command site in Albuquerque

Jan 9, 2021
kirtland.af.mil

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Air Force officials have toured the grounds of Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque to evaluate the site as a possible location for the U.S. Space Command. The Albuquerque Journal reported that strategic basing officials during the Thursday tour focused primarily on infrastructure at the base to house the Space Command, the latest of 11 unified commands under the U.S. Department of Defense. Kirtland is one of six locations being considered. If chosen, it is expected to bring more than 1,000 jobs to Albuquerque. Assistant Air Force Secretary John Henderson said the department expects to announce its “preferred” location later this month.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Saturday announced 1,507 additional COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths. As of today, there are 696 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 top-ranked state senator says Democrats will push for direct financial relief to low-income, front-line workers who have borne the brunt of the pandemic during the upcoming legislative session. The idea already is popular among minority Republican legislators. Democratic Senate majority leader Peter Wirth said Friday that pandemic relief efforts are likely to take center stage at the outset of the 60-day session that begins Jan. 19. Wirth also is outlining new details of a push to channel more money each year toward public education. A political shift among Senate Democrats also may lead to more progressive tax rates.

  PHOENIX (AP) — A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration’s most sweeping set of asylum restrictions less than two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. The new rules had been set to take effect Monday. The ruling Friday has limited immediate impact because the government has largely suspended asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border during the coronavirus pandemic, citing public health concerns. Still, letting the rules take effect would have been felt by some who can still claim asylum and make it significantly more difficult for all asylum-seekers once pandemic-related measures are lifted. The Trump administration argued that the measures were an appropriate response to a system rife with abuse. But the judge says the acting Homeland Security secretary lacks authority.

City of Las Cruces Via NASA

New Mexico is one of the fastest warming states in the nation, with the number of days classified as dangerous due to heat expected to double by 2050.

Las Cruces experienced five weeks of extreme heat during the summer of 2020. Historic temperatures included nine days over 105 degrees, something State Climatologist David DuBois says is evidence of a larger trend.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Friday announced 1,645 additional COVID-19 cases and 30 deaths. As of today, there are 703 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 today released its distribution plan for Phases 1B, 1C, and 2 for the COVID-19 vaccine. That plan is available here: https://cv.nmhealth.org/covid-vaccine/ The Department also announced that New Mexico has officially moved into Phase 1B of the vaccination effort. This means that vaccine will be available to New Mexicans in the following sequence:  

  • Individuals 75 years of age and older 
  • Individuals 16 or older with underlying medical conditions that place them at greater risk from COVID-19
  • Frontline essential workers who cannot work remotely 
  • Vulnerable populations (residents of congregate care settings)

Las Cruces Police Arrest Stabbing Suspect

Jan 8, 2021

The man suspected in a stabbing that critically injured a friend Thursday evening was arrested several hours later after allegedly breaking into a business.

Scott Andrew Lee Perez, 27, of the 1800 block of Webster Avenue, is charged with one count of attempted murder. The charge is a second-degree felony.

Voice of the Public - Dr. Edward Michelson

Jan 8, 2021

Dr. Edward Michelson, Chair of the Emergency Department at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and member of El Paso's COVID task force, discusses the city's Fall surge, treatments, vaccines and new strains of the virus.

Supreme Court overturns convictions in fatal child abuse case

Jan 8, 2021

  SANTA FE – The state Supreme Court today reversed an Albuquerque man’s convictions of child abuse and conspiracy to commit child abuse in the death of a 14-month-old boy in 2015.

 

A divided Court ruled there was insufficient evidence to support Christopher Garcia’s convictions of intentional child abuse resulting in death by endangerment through medical neglect. The Court unanimously overturned Garcia’s conspiracy conviction. Garcia was sentenced to life in prison plus an additional four years.

 

Amendment effort seeks to ensure clean air, water, land

Jan 8, 2021

LAS CRUCES - All New Mexicans, both those now residing here and those who are yet to come, would have a constitutional right to clean air, water and land under legislation being cosponsored by Sen. Bill Soules and Rep. Joanne Ferrary, both D-Las Cruces and Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque.

Or, to be precise, they would have a more well-defined constitutional right to those things. The New Mexico Constitution was previously amended in 1972 in an attempt to ensure the right to clean water, air, soils and environments. Sponsors of this year’s proposed “Green Amendment” say that effort failed because it left compliance in the hands of the Legislature.

Local Newscast 2

Jan 8, 2021


El Paso Matters

Jan 8, 2021
El Paso Matters CEO Robert Moore

A new report suggests practices at ICE detention facilities amount to torture, how the pandemic has affected rural schools and the El Paso ISD begins its search for a new Superintendent.

Local Newscast 1

Jan 8, 2021


New COVID-19 Variant In Texas

Jan 7, 2021
cdc

  AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has reported its first known case of a person infected with the new variant of the coronavirus. State and local health officials said the patient is a Houston-area man between the age of 30 and 40 who has no known travel history. Harris County officials said the man was in stable condition and isolated. Texas joins a handful of states to report the new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19. State health officials say there is no evidence it causes more severe disease. And they say current vaccines are expected to be effective.

Steve Pearce

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Republican Party Chairman Steve Pearce says democracy has been tarnished by unanswered questions about the 2020 vote count, which state officials called a false narrative. His statement Thursday stops just short of repeating President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud. Pearce says the state Republican Party recognizes Congress' certification of the the victory by President-elect Joe Biden. But he says he has unanswered questions about the vote count, voting machines and drop boxes for absentee ballots. A spokesman for the secretary of state’s office says New Mexico’s election was independently audited and that Pearce and the Republican Party “should be ashamed of themselves for continuing false narratives.”

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is urging the state Supreme Court to reject demands that businesses be compensated for losses linked to pandemic-related public health orders.

Final written arguments were published Thursday as the high court weighs whether financial compensation is due to businesses in response to the state’s public health orders that ban mass gatherings and prohibit business activities such as indoor dining.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Virgin Galactic says it has completed analysis of why its spacecraft’s rocket did not ignite during a test flight over New Mexico and work to fix the problem has begun.

The company says in a statement Thursday that once the work is verified a timeline for the next test flight will be announced.

KUNM

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's upcoming legislative session will feature many virtual committee hearings and floor debates due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Leading state lawmakers met Wednesday to discuss safety precautions as the Legislature prepares to convene for its first lengthy session since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Heinrich: We Must Restore Our Democracy

Jan 7, 2021
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement on the certification of the Electoral College results and restoring our democracy:

“What happened yesterday in the United States Capitol is such an embarrassment for a country that has been looked up to around the world for over 200 years. When you look at history, democracy is the exception. Our democracy is not automatic or self-sustaining. It requires work and commitment from every single one of us.

“Since President Trump lost his bid for reelection, he, and those enabling his behavior, have spread debunked conspiracy theories and bold-faced lies to sow distrust in the results of our democratic election. We saw the real life consequences of the president's reckless words when he incited the mob violence and insurrection that led to the loss of four lives and mass terror in the heart of our democracy.

Las Cruces Scam Telephone Call Suggests Ransom Payment

Jan 7, 2021

Las Cruces police are warning residents of potential scam telephone calls that try to entice call recipients to respond to the scene of a motor vehicle crash, provide personal or financial information, or pay ransom for the safe return of a relative.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Thursday announced 1,841 additional COVID-19 cases and 39 deaths. As of today, there are 722 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.

Facebook Post Helps in Recovery of Stolen Pickup, Arrest of Suspect

Jan 7, 2021

The man suspected of stealing a pickup in Truth or Consequences – a theft that gained widespread attention on local social media pages – was arrested late Sunday evening in Las Cruces after being spotted by someone who read about the theft on Facebook.

Michael Todd, 30, of Hobbs, N.M., has been charged with one count of receiving stolen property. The charge is a third-degree felony.
 

  New Mexico State University is positioning itself as a leader in agricultural sustainability as a team of researchers embark on new projects to study groundbreaking water-saving technology.

The two studies, which align with the university’s strategic goal to advance research activity to address global challenges, are the result of new partnerships with two agrotechnology companies based in Israel, Tal-Ya Agriculture Solution and N-Drip.

Luján Statement on Congress Completing Electoral College Count

Jan 7, 2021
U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.)


  

  Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) issued the following statement after Congress completed its count of the Electoral College votes: 

“America’s democracy has prevailed. Despite the efforts of insurrectionists who sought to destroy our democracy and attack our republic, Congress fulfilled its constitutional duty to count the Electoral College votes and defend the will of the American people. On January 20th, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will become the next President and Vice President of the United States. 

“Today, we witnessed the deadly consequences of President Trump's lies and the furthering of those lies by congressional Republicans who objected to the count. The erosion of American democracy must be stopped and never allowed to happen again.”

The Bulletin on the Radio

Jan 7, 2021

Learn about the Puppy Raising Club, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. events, Weed and Seed guitar gifts and more in this week's Las Cruces Bulletin. Listen to a preview with Editor Jess Williams.

Local Newscast 2

Jan 7, 2021


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