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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.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Sunday announced 167 additional COVID-19 cases and no deaths. As of today, there are 109 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.

Las Cruces Police Investigate Shooting Death on West Picacho Avenue

Mar 28, 2021

  Las Cruces police are investigating a shooting that claimed the life of a 37-year-old man early Sunday morning.
 
About 1 a.m. Sunday, March 28, Las Cruces police were dispatched to conduct a welfare check on a man at 1907 W. Picacho Ave. Officers arrived to find an unresponsive gunshot victim on the ground, outside an apartment. The man was declared deceased on scene.
 
Investigators learned that the victim got into a physical confrontation with a man who pulled out a handgun and fired at least one round. The victim stumbled out of the apartment and fell to the ground.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGIES AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES

  AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas state health department says there have now been more than 10 million coronavirus vaccinations administered in the state and more than 1 million more doses are expected to arrive next week. The federal Centers for Disease Control on Saturday said reported that than 3.5 million people in Texas are fully vaccinated. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows there have been 47,947 COVID-19 related deaths in Texas, the third most in the United States. The state health department has reported more than 2.7 million total virus cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Saturday announced 185 additional COVID-19 cases and 2 deaths. As of today, there are 118 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) — A federal judge has tossed a rancher’s claim that he should still have the right to use federal land in New Mexico after it was revoked for killing a wolf. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Friday that Craig Thiessen killed an endangered Mexican wolf in Gila National Forest six years ago and has since argued he should still be allowed to graze his cattle on the 48,000 acres of public land. That argument was rejected this week by a federal judge. Thiessen pleaded guilty in 2018 for killing the wolf. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service then revoked his company's permit to graze cattle on the public land.

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico lawmakers are embarking on an unusual legislative session Tuesday that focuses on the legalization of recreational marijuana. Efforts at legalizing the sale of cannabis to adults 21 and older faltered during the regular annual session that ended March 20, amid divergent views about government oversight among supporters of legalization. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has called back legislators to the Statehouse to hammer out an agreement on thorny issues of tax rates on pot sales, precautions against child access and court procedures for reversing past cannabis convictions. Negotiations are well underway in private.

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  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico plans to close a women’s prison located in a small rural town and transfer the inmates and workers elsewhere. Officials said Friday that timing and other details regarding the closure of the Springer Correctional Center in the Colfax County community of Springer remain to be determined. The head of the Department of Corrections said closing the prison “will allow for more fiscally responsible operation of the remaining state facilities, while maintaining safe housing for the inmate population." Numerous women have filed lawsuits alleging they were sexually harassed, assaulted or raped by guards and then ignored or retaliated against when they reported the abuse.

Senator Mark Moores

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A cadre of New Mexico state Republican Party leaders on Saturday chose state Sen. Mark Moores to run for the Albuquerque-based congressional seat held by Deb Haaland before she was confirmed as secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Moores was chosen with 40% of the 121 votes cast during a videoconference meeting by members of the Republican Party central committee who live in the 1st Congressional District. The seven-candidate field also included conservative radio talk show host Eddy Aragon, who placed second with 28% of the vote. Democrats have held the seat since 2009. But Republicans see an opening in a potentially low-turnout special election set for June 1.

NM Releases Updated COVID-19 Health and Safety Requirements for Child Care Providers

Mar 27, 2021

  SANTA FE, NM – Today the New Mew Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) released an updated set of COVID-19 health and safety requirements for child care facilities and early childhood professionals  throughout the state. The new requirements permit providers to safely return to normal group size and student-to-teacher ratios according to their licensing level, establish safety requirements for transporting children between locations, and update requirements regarding child, staff, and essential visitor health screenings. The updated requirements were developed in accordance with current guidance from the U.S. Center for Disease Control, New Mexico Department of Health, and in consultation with the New Mexico Public Education Department. 

Local New Mexico Legislative Voting Records Show More Unity Than Division

Mar 27, 2021
KUNM

LAS CRUCES - There was a lot more agreement during this year’s legislative session than you may have thought, given all the attention paid to contentious bills like those seeking to provide paid sick leave to workers or lower the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on small loans.

Of the 159 bills and joint resolutions passed this session, 60 cleared both the House and Senate on unanimous votes. A bill to extend informed consent liability protection for Spaceport America, which was a contentious issue when first passed in 2010, was one of those that sailed through without a dissenting vote this time.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has until April 9 to sign bills passed this session. Anything not signed by that date will be pocket vetoed. She has already signed 14 bills into law, including legislation to remove an old abortion law, reform the state’s alcohol laws and provide assistance to business impacted by public health closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Mexico State University is launching the Center for Border Economic Development, also known as C-BED. The project is led by longtime NMSU Professor and Economics Department Head Dr. Chris Erickson. Erickson describes the Center’s focus. 

It is an institution within NMSU that is being set up to help with economic development on the border. We are seeking to identify problems that are impeding on economic development, and then we are attempting to identify resources that can be brought to bear on those issues, Erickson said. 

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An analysis by The Associated Press shows that 5% of New Mexico students from kindergarten through grade 8 can walk through school doors full time. The national average for a similar age group was around to 45% in February. A recent national survey found that the majority of Black and Hispanic students must attend school remotely, while most white students can attend in person. New Mexico isn't tracking in-person learning by race. The state education department says it's working to get all students access to full-time in-person learning by April 5, and that the vast majority of educators have gotten at least one vaccine dose.

Gov. Lujan Grisham receives COVID-19 vaccine

Mar 26, 2021

  SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday afternoon received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine alongside community members at a Department of Health vaccination site at Desert Sage Academy in Santa Fe. Here is a statement from the Governor's office:

 

The New Mexico Department of Health last week announced it was expanding vaccine eligibility to phases 1B and 1C of the state’s prioritization criteria. As supply from the federal government increases, the state is able to expand eligibility and reach more New Mexicans who have registered and are awaiting a vaccine.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Friday announced 238 additional COVID-19 cases and 7 deaths. As of today, there are 124 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.

Salem County Jail - Sean Lannon

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A man accused in the beating death of a New Jersey resident he claimed sexually abused him as a child has been charged with killing his ex-wife and two others in New Mexico in what investigators call a complicated case spanning multiple states. The charges Friday come after investigators searched a house where Sean Lannon, his ex-wife and their children lived in the city of Grants along with storage units and other locations. The remains of Jennifer Lannon, two of her friends and an Albuquerque man were found earlier this month inside a vehicle at an Albuquerque airport parking garage. Charges related to the death of the Albuquerque man have yet to be filed.

NMSU Athletics Director Mario Moccia talks about playing through the pandemic, March Madness, and much more!

Las Cruces Police: Shooting Illegal In, Near City Limits

Mar 26, 2021

  Las Cruces police encourage gun enthusiasts to utilize the Butterfield Shooting Range and refrain from illegally firing weapons within city limits or near residential areas.
 
Police regularly receive reports of recreational and target practice shooting within city limits on undeveloped land east of Sonoma Ranch Boulevard and Pagosa Hills Avenue.
 
City ordinance prohibits the firing or discharge of any gun, pistol, rifle or other firearm – including air rifles and BB guns – within city limits. Many portions of the East Mesa, specifically undeveloped land directly east of Sonoma Ranch Boulevard and Pagosa Hills Avenue, are within city limits and therefore off limits to hunting or recreational shooting.

New Mexico Special Session On Cannabis Legalization Starts Tuesday

Mar 26, 2021
DEA

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday announced she will call the New Mexico Legislature into a special session on Tuesday, March 30, to take up a pair of economic and job creation items that were left unfinished in the 60-day session: legalizing adult-use cannabis and expanding the Local Economic Development Act, or LEDA.  Here is a statement from the Governor’s office:

“I am grateful to those legislative leaders and members who have expressed enthusiasm about returning to the people’s work so soon after a challenging 60-day session,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “The unique circumstances of the session, with public health safeguards in place, in my view prevented the measures on my call from crossing the finish line. While I applaud the Legislature and staff for their incredible perseverance and productivity during the 60-day in the face of these challenges, we must and we will forge ahead and finish the job on these initiatives together for the good of the people and future of our great state.”

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Sandia National Laboratories has been awarded a $25 million contract to build, test and operate a new solar power test facility on its campus in New Mexico.

Using a concentrated beam of sunlight to heat up sand-like particles, the system will be able to produce thermal energy for thousands of hours and will have the capacity to store six hours of energy.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Albuquerque say a man wanted for questioning in the disappearances of three people from Grants last month has been arrested on a warrant.

Albuquerque police say 45-year-old Daniel Lemos was taken into custody Thursday by the U.S. Marshals Service.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Thursday reported nine new COVID-19 cases and eight additional deaths.

The latest numbers pushed the tribe’s numbers to 30,031 cases and 1,243 known deaths since the pandemic began. The Navajo Nation had a soft reopening last week with 25% capacity for some businesses under certain restrictions.

Mask mandates and daily curfews remain on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

El Paso Matters

Mar 26, 2021

A student talks about her experience trying to cross the border, the lack of cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico on COVI-19 and the stress on the families of healthcare workers with El Paso Matters CEO Bob Moore.

KRWG News at 7:45 a.m.

Mar 26, 2021


KRWG News at 6:45 a.m.

Mar 26, 2021


Las Cruces Crash Closes Portion of Eastbound Highway 70

Mar 25, 2021

  Las Cruces police are investigating a two-vehicle crash on Highway 70 that injured four and closed a portion of the roadway on Thursday afternoon.
 
The crash was reported shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday, March 25, east of Mesa Grande Boulevard in the eastbound lanes of Highway 70 and Bataan Memorial East.
 

imagebase.net

  AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas officials have raised the death toll from February’s winter storm and blackouts to at least 111 people. That's nearly double the state’s initial tally following one of the worst power outages in U.S. history. The majority of the deaths are associated with hypothermia, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The number could continue to rise as officials link more deaths to the storm that knocked out power to more than 4 million customers in Texas. Many homes went without power or drinkable water for days after subfreezing temperatures, failing power plants and record demand for heat pushed Texas’ electric grid to the breaking point. Texas officials had put the initial tally of deaths at 57 but warned it would increase. 

Fort Bliss

  WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. will take steps to more quickly move hundreds of migrant children and teens out of cramped detention facilities along the Southwest border, President Joe Biden said Thursday as he pushed back against suggestions that his administration’s policies are responsible for the rising number of people seeking to cross into the country. Bidn was pressed repeatedly on the situation at the border at his first news conference since taking office. He cited a series of measures such as opening space at Fort Bliss for about 5,000 unaccompanied minors, to address the issue. But he also sought to portray the rise in migrants as little different from seasonal increases in the past. 

supremecourt.gov

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is siding with a New Mexico woman who was shot by police as she drove away from them.

The justices have ruled 5-to-3 for Roxanne Torres. The case will allow more excessive force lawsuits against police to go forward.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the question for the justices was “whether a seizure occurs when an officer shoots someone who temporarily eludes capture after the shooting." The majority said the answer was yes.

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

Associated Press (AP) — New Mexico oil and gas regulators have adopted new rules to limit venting and flaring in the oilfield as a way to reduce methane emissions.

The Oil Conservation Commission took the final vote Thursday, following a two-year process that involved testimony from environmental advocates and technical experts from the oil and gas industry.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is preparing to relax restrictions on visits to nursing homes and assisted living facilities as the spread of COVID-19 wanes and more people get vaccinated.

Aging and Long Term Services Secretary Katrina Hotrum-Lopez announced the new guidelines Wednesday. Starting on Friday, the outdoors is still preferred for visiting residents of long-term care facilities.

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