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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.

I-25 In Las Cruces Closes Following Accident

Dec 31, 2020

  The Las Cruces Fire Department (LCFD) responded to simultaneous fires and a Hazardous Materials Mutual Aid request on Thursday.

Shortly before 2 p.m., LCFD received a mutual aid request to assist Doña Ana Fire and Emergency Services Department. On Interstate 25, a semi-truck carrying unleaded fuels was involved in an accident.

The accident involving the semi-truck closed I-25 between mile markers 18 to 32. I-25 southbound at mile post 36 the driving right  lane is now open. Northbound traffic remained closed at 6:30 p.m.

LCFD's Hazardous Materials Response Team (HMRT) was asked to assist in mitigating the leaking tanker.


 

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Thursday announced 1,684 additional COVID-19 cases and 41 deaths.

As of today, there are 803 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.

  If you’re ready to clean up from 2020, the Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) Foothills Landfill Composting Facility at 555 Sonoma Ranch Blvd. is ready for the free disposal of your Christmas tree.

During business hours, Monday through Friday 8 A.M. to 4 P.M. and Saturday 9 A.M. to 3 P.M., residents can bring their trees directly to the green waste area. After hours and on Sunday when the landfill is closed, a roll-off container will be placed outside the gate at the landfill starting Saturday, December 26th through Saturday, January 30th. 

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Immigrant taxpayers and their families are celebrating a federal relief package that includes spouses and children who are U.S. citizens. Checks sent out in the spring didn't go to families if one spouse was an immigrant in the country illegally, even if the other was a U.S. citizen or legal resident. About 5 million Americans were left out that way. But even in the new bill, some 2.2 million U.S. citizen children won't receive a check because they live in immigrant households. In Democratic-controlled areas, officials have targeted rent relief and direct payments to those families. New Mexico lawmakers are unique in sending federal money directly to immigrants.

  AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas health officials are acknowledging some vaccine shipments have been delayed or have had to be replaced. And some Texas hospitals are reporting  they don’t yet have enough to start giving shots to the next round of eligible patients. Some shipments expected last week didn’t arrive until Monday or Tuesday. The Texas Hospital Association said Wednesday that several shipments of the Moderna version of the vaccine had to be set aside and replaced because of concerns that cold storage requirements had been compromised. A spokesperson for the Secretary of Defense, which is overseeing seeing the Trump Administration’s vaccine rollout, confirmed the temperature storage problems.

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials at New Mexico’s largest airport say that 72% fewer people passed through Albuquerque International Sunport this Christmas week than they did last year. Airport spokesman Jonathan Small said Wednesday that officials saw around 30,000 passengers pass through from Dec. 20 to 26 on their way to holiday destinations. The TSA has reported that air travel nationwide is down as well amid the coronavirus pandemic. More than 900,000 people around the country flew Dec. 22 to holiday destinations compared with more than 1.9 million on the same date last year.

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Dec 31, 2020


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Dec 31, 2020


  Santa Fe – Today the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s (EMNRD) State Parks Division announces that day-use will remain open at 32 State Parks for New Mexico residents only pursuant to the December 30, 2020 Public Health Order. El Vado Lake, Morphy Lake, and Manzano State Parks remain closed due to seasonal closures. All camping reservations will be cancelled and refunded through January 29, 2021.

It is important for visitors to continue to check for details on specific park hours of operation and additional information before visiting. Check the State Parks website and know before you go.

Desert Exposure

Dec 31, 2020

Editor Elva Osterreich offers a preview of the January issue of Desert Exposure with stories on art, travel and business.

Fatal Head-On Crash on NM Highway 11 in Luna County

Dec 30, 2020

  Luna County, NM – On December 28, 2020 at approximately 7:04 p.m., the New Mexico State Police investigated a fatal head-on crash on NM Highway 11, near milepost 16 south of Deming, NM. 

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham / Office of the New Mexico Governor

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A group of businesses has sued in federal court to try to end New Mexico's COVID-19 public health order. They claim that Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state health officials have imposed arbitrary and unnecessary rules in response to the pandemic. A spokesman for the state Health Department called it the worst pandemic in a century and said the lawsuit “appears to be out of step with these realities.” Confirmed COVID-19 infections in New Mexico have topped 141,000, while more than 2,430 people have died. Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins said Wednesday that planning continues for the rollout of vaccinations.

New legislative caucus to focus on rural issues

Dec 30, 2020
KUNM

 

  LAS CRUCES - Along with its formal committees, the New Mexico Legislature also has more informal caucuses, made up of legislators, ideally from both parties, who share common interests.

One of the newest such collaborations is the Rural Caucus, which will attempt to ensure people in the more sparsely populated areas of the state have their voices heard in Santa Fe, said its chairman, Ray Lara, D-Chamberino.

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Tuesday announced 1,316 additional COVID-19 cases and 33 deaths.

As of today, there are 792 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 on Wednesday announced the updated statewide COVID-19 map for the two-week period beginning Dec. 30, with 32 counties at the Red Level. Twenty-eight counties improved in at least one of the two health gating criteria metrics, and 21 counties improved in both health metrics. More counties are in close range of advancing to a less-restrictive level than at any point since the advent of the state’s color-coding system.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico judge has ruled that the state’s system for funding the construction of buildings in public school districts is unconstitutional and ordered officials to devise a fair system. 

The ruling by 11th Judicial District Court Judge Louis E. DePauli Jr. on Tuesday said the funding system was not properly equitable.

Local Newscast 2

Dec 30, 2020


Local Newscast 1

Dec 30, 2020


Silver City Report

Dec 30, 2020


Legacy Church / social media image

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two Albuquerque churches have been fined for violating New Mexico's COVID-19 public health order. Both venues held Christmas gatherings. The state Health Department fined Legacy Church and Calvary Church $5,000 each on Monday after photos and video showed violations of mandates that call for capacity limits, mask wearing and social distancing. Legacy Church officials accused the state of trampling on their constitutional rights. Calvary Church’s pastor said they urged people to follow guidelines and blocked every other row to practice social distancing. New Mexico health officials on Tuesday reported an additional 1,221 confirmed infections, bringing the statewide total to nearly 140,000.

Petroglyph National Monument / nps.gov

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The National Park Service says it's investigating an incident in which a visitor was tased by a ranger at Petroglyph National Monument in New Mexico. Darrell House was stopped by the ranger for walking off trail in a closed area. Video taken by House shows the ranger asking for his identification and House declining. He insisted he hadn't done anything wrong. In his post, House says the use of force was uncalled for. House identified himself as Navajo and Oneida and said he goes to the monument to pray. Regional park officials say the case has been referred to the agency's internal affairs unit for review.

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — With the start of the new year, New Mexico authorities will be increasing oversight of tobacco and e-cigarette businesses to prevent child access. The state is taking a more assertive approach to the regulation of tobacco products by requiring licenses for the sale, distribution or manufacture of all tobacco products. The changes come as a new statewide minimum wage also takes effect Friday. New Mexico’s minimum wage is increasing to $10.50 a hour, up from $9. And a new consumer protection law takes aim at the student debt crisis with financial disclosure requirements for private colleges and universities.

  AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has hit a new record of COVID-19 hospitalizations, smashing the previous high mark set in July. The state reported Monday that 11,351 people were hospitalized with the disease caused by the coronavirus. The previous record was set in July with 10,893 hospitalizations. The current mark is a climb of nearly 2,500 more patients since the end of November. State health officials also noted 49 newly reported deaths Monday. researchers from Johns Hopkins University say Texas is nearing 27,000 virus-related deaths to date. That is the second highest death count in the United States. 

  The City of Las Cruces Minimum Wage Ordinance will increase on Jan. 1, 2021 to $10.50 an hour. The hourly wage for tipped employees will be $4.20 an hour, plus any reported tipped wages. 

The City’s minimum wage will follow the state of New Mexico’s minimum wage, which will change to  $10.50 an hour. The City’s new minimum wage will increase from $10.25 an hour. The new minimum wage for tipped employees will be an increase of 10 cents an hour from what they earned in 2020.

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Tuesday announced 1,221 additional COVID-19 cases and 23 deaths.

As of today, there are 806 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.

Women to outnumber men for first time in New Mexico House

Dec 29, 2020
Crystal Diamond

 

 

  LAS CRUCES - The results of this year’s election will flip the New Mexico House of Representatives from blue to pink for the first time in our state’s history.

Female candidates defeated or replaced male officeholders in four districts, giving women a 37-33 numerical advantage. It will be a first for a body that has long been dominated by men. To this day, the House has never had a female speaker.

  The Office of the New Mexico State Auditor (OSA) has released a report involving a fraud examination and investigation initiated by the City of Las Cruces. The report identified serious conflicts of interest and revealed over $1.8 million in mishandled or misused City funds related to the Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau, income and spending by the Friends of Visit Las Cruces, various city-sponsored events including the Las Cruces Country Music Festival, and several vendors holding contracts or doing business with the City from 2016 through 2019.

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Human Services Department received $5.3 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security Act (CARES Act). A one-time $300 payment will be provided to utility vendors for households that received a Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) payment and are at least one month behind in their utility payments. LIHEAP is a program that assists approximately 70,000 New Mexico households with their home heating and cooling costs. 

cyfd.org

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico is launching a round-the-clock program to let youths reach state officials by text message to report abuse or neglect, find references or ask questions.

Reach NM uses the text number 505-591-9444 to let Children, Youth & Families workers offer answers and connect texters with appropriate community resources.

Alamogordo NOW

Dec 29, 2020


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