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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 Bulletin On The Radio

Dec 26, 2019


Local Newscast 2

Dec 26, 2019


Local Newscast 1

Dec 26, 2019


New Mexico's Land Commissioner Approves New Wind Farm Project

Dec 26, 2019
Stephanie Garcia Richard

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP)- An Illinois-based company that develops wind farms in the United States and Canada has won a bid for thousands of acres of state trust land in New Mexico where it plans to build its next project. 

The lease was approved and signed last week by Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard. The Gladstone Wind Farm will be located in Union and Colfax counties in an area has been designated as prime for wind energy generation.

Tonita Gurule-Giron / Courtesy photo

  New Mexico's attorney general has charged the mayor of a troubled city with six felony bribery and abuse of power charges after prosecutors said she steered contracts to a construction firm owned by a man she's accused of being romantically involved with. The Las Vegas Optic reported Tuesday that Las Vegas, New Mexico, Mayor Tonita Gurule-Giron was charged. Gurule-Giron's listed attorney, Ben Andrew Mondragon, did not return phone or email messages left by The Associated Press on Wednesday. She has previously denied having a relationship with the construction firm owner or having a role in the contracts.

 

New Mexico officials are urging residents to spend time outside on the first day of the year. The State Parks Division is hosting a series of hikes at nine state parks on New Year's Day as part of the annual First Day Hikes initiative. Visitors can also participate in Polar Bear Plunges at Storrie Lake State Park and Eagle Nest Lake State Park. Last year, the National Association of State Park Directors reported that nearly 55,000 people rang in the New Year on First Day Hikes, collectively hiking over 133,000 miles (214,043 kilometers) throughout the country on the guided hikes.

lanl.gov

  New Mexico officials are planning another public meeting focused on the state's oversight and scientific monitoring of environmental impacts at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The Environment Department has scheduled the next meeting for Jan. 9 at the University of New Mexico campus in Los Alamos. The gathering follows a recent decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that storm water runoff from the lab and Los Alamos County are contributing to violations of water quality standards and that those discharges must be controlled and regulated under an EPA-issued permit. Environmentalists say controlling the discharges will protect downstream users from heavy metals and other contaminants.

www.kipmalone.com / via www.visitalbuquerque.org

  New Mexico's largest city has been awarded a grant by a private foundation to increase the number of interpreters who can help non-English-speaking residents navigate local government. The city of Albuquerque recently awarded a $45,000 contract to a local nonprofit organization to boost access to language services for residents. The 18-month contract with Valley Community Interpreters is covered in full by the grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. City officials say the effort is aimed at increasing participation by all people in civil programs and economic life in Albuquerque.

Silver City Report

Dec 25, 2019


Las Cruces Saturation Patrol Planned

Dec 24, 2019

Las Cruces police will conduct at least one saturation patrol between the dates of Tuesday, Dec. 24, and Wednesday, Jan. 1. 

Saturation patrols held by the LCPD are intended to reduce and eliminate the number of motorists who drive while intoxicated.

Officers also will be on the lookout for other traffic safety violations such as drivers using cell phones, and those who fail to properly utilize seatbelts and child safety seats.

Office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

  Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has appointed five people to the board that oversees the state lottery, including an official with a nonpartisan think tank that has advocated for New Mexico's lottery-funded scholarship program. The appointment of Think New Mexico's field director to the New Mexico Lottery Authority was announced Monday. Think New Mexico successfully advocated for legislation that guarantees at least 30% of lottery revenues being funneled to scholarships.

https://www.nmlegis.gov/members/

 

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Democrats plan to try once again to ban privately run detention centers in the state from housing migrants.

Democratic Rep. Angelica Rubio of Las Cruces recently introduced a bill that would prevent cities and counties from signing contracts with the private companies to house or detain immigrants. It is one of the 90 or so prefiled bills drafted by state lawmakers.

Under the proposal, cities and counties with existing contracts can't renew their agreements after June 30, 2020.

Similar bills have previously failed.

Alamogordo NOW

Dec 24, 2019


Local Newscast 2

Dec 24, 2019


Local Newscast 1

Dec 24, 2019


  New Mexico Gas Co. is proposing a rate increase to recover the costs of capital investments. The state's largest natural gas distribution utility announced Monday that it has filed a request with state regulators for a rate hike that would generate more than $13 million. If approved by the Public Regulation Commission, new rates would go into effect in 2021. The company says average residential customers could see their monthly bill increase by about $1.70. Utility president Ryan Shell said in a statement that bills will still be the lowest in the region. The utility serves roughly 530,000 customers.

President Donald Trump has signed into law a measure that extends federal grant programs aimed at preserving indigenous languages. The measure also allows more American Indian tribes to participate in the programs. The legislation was named after Esther Martinez, a traditional storyteller and language advocate from a New Mexico pueblo. Her family, tribal leaders and members of the state's congressional delegation praised passage of the bill. Dozens of tribes and associations across the country are currently sharing more than $11 million in grants for language preservation and immersion through the programs.

As a special holiday gift, RoadRUNNER Transit will host a Fare Free Day on December 24, in observance of the holiday season.

“RoadRUNNER Transit is proud to give back to Las Cruces. We wish you and your family health, happiness, peace and prosperity this Christmas and in the coming New Year,” said Mike Bartholomew, Transit Administrator.

School District In Hobbs Continues To See Rise In Enrollment

Dec 23, 2019

HOBBS, N.M. (AP)-A school district in the heart of New Mexico's booming oil and gas area continues to grow and see record enrollment. 

The Hobbs News-Sun reports the Hobbs Municipal Schools recorded enrollment at 10,586 students on the 80th day. Officials say that's 361 more students than the 80th day of last school year. Superintendent T.J. Parks announced that because the district is now above 10,000 students, it moves into a higher honor statewide.

Monday Business Watch

Dec 23, 2019


Local Newscast 2

Dec 23, 2019


Local Newscast 1

Dec 23, 2019


Plans Move Forward For Hatch Flood Control Dam

Dec 23, 2019

It is just the type of project that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ staff enjoys working on, said Larry D. Caswell, Jr., Lt. Col., U.S. Army District Commander.  A dam to help prevent flooding in the Village of Hatch had been at the top residents’ priority list and just reached the design phase.

“We’re going to get it built,” said James “Slim” Whitlock, Trustee for the Village of Hatch and owner of Jim’s Supermarket.  “It has taken a lot of time and work to get to this point and we are excited to see it move forward.”

nps.gov

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico says people shouldn’t expect any major administrative changes with White Sands National Monument becoming the state’s first national park since 1930. But he cites a study that says the park could see an increase of 100,000 visitors annually with the change in status. Heinrich tells the Albuquerque Journal that such an increase would be a boom for the local economies with an additional $7.5 million in tourist spending in the area a year. He says national park status will open White Sands to more exposure from national travel and outdoors publications. Heinrich has also introduced legislation that would designate Bandelier National Monument in northern New Mexico a national park.

El Paso Shoppers Return To Walmart Where 22 Were Killed

Dec 22, 2019

The holiday shopping season is a somber one for many in El Paso. 

Shoppers are returning to the Walmart store where 22 people were killed by a gunman in August.

Some tell me their return was never in question…they won’t let what happened change their way of life.

Gloria, who just gave her first name, says this was and will continue to be a regular stop.

“I enjoy coming back to the store.  You know, I’m sorry about what happened.  May their souls rest in peace.  But, this is convenient for me.  You know, it’s near my house.  Everything I need, it’s here.  So, it’s a one-stop shopping for me,” she said.

As Gloria and other shoppers head inside, a reminder of those lost stands at the edge of the parking lot, a memorial resembling a large candle in the darkness. 

Gloria says it’s a great tribute. 

Above one store entrance, another reminder…a banner with a statement adopted across the city reads “El Paso Strong.” 

nasa

  Boeing has safely landed its first crew capsule at White Sands Missile Range after an aborted flight to the International Space Station. With a test dummy and no astronauts aboard, the Starliner safely descended into the Army facility before dawn Sunday. All three main parachutes popped open and air bags also inflated around the spacecraft to ease the impact. This first test flight was cut short and the space station docking canceled because of an improperly set clock on the capsule. It threatens to set back Boeing's effort to launch astronauts for NASA next year.

 

A Career with Las Cruces Utilities – What does that look like?

Dec 22, 2019

Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) produces 6.5 billion gallons of clean drinking quality water every year. It’s one of those things you never think about, but there’s an ebb and flow to the daily use of water in Las Cruces.

“During the week, you can tell the first group of customers gets ready to go around 4 a.m.; that’s when the water levels dip due to early morning showering, cooking, washing dishes, and maybe clothes washing,” explained Pascual Rodriguez, LCU Water Production supervisor. He says, “Then we hold steady until about 6 a.m. That’s when students, parents and workers get ready to go to work or school at 8. That lasts until about 9, and then water use is pretty steady until the evening.”

County Receives "AA" Bond Rating

Dec 21, 2019

  Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P) announced this week that Doña Ana County’s revenue bonds rating was significantly upgraded from ‘A+’ to ‘AA’, a designation just below the highest possible issuer credit rating assigned.  Here is a statement from Doña Ana County:

Criteria for the designation upgrade includes strength and stability of pledged revenue, as well as Doña Ana County’s general credit quality. The last rating assigned to the county was in 2014. Since then, the county has demonstrated extraordinary coverage of its debt from pledged revenue, solvent investments, and robust cash reserves. 

In the official S&P ratings report delivered to the county this week, the review noted “Doña Ana County’s general creditworthiness reflects the county’s adequate economy and high degree of budgetary flexibility provided by a very strong general fund balance, increasing assessed valuations and low overall debt burden.”

Ryan Agnew passed for 287 yards and three touchdowns, Jesse Matthews caught three passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns and San Diego State won a bowl game for the first time since 2016, beating Central Michigan 48-11 in the New Mexico Bowl. Jordan Byrd ran for a career-high 139 yards and a touchdown to help the Aztecs (10-3) cap their 10th straight bowl appearance with a victory.

    The Republican Party of New Mexico is facing criticism for urging supporters to change the “complexion” of the state's congressional delegation. The party in an email pleaded with supporters “to work hard to change the complexion of our Congressional delegation.” The email came after Democrat Ben Ray Luján voted to impeach President Donald Trump. Luján is Hispanic and is running for the U.S. Senate. He called the language “race-baiting.” GOP Senate hopeful Gavin Clarkson, who is Native American, also called the language a “careless word choice.” A GOP spokesman says the email was referring to changing the state from blue to red, not about skin color.

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