Michael Hernandez

Educators arrived at Las Cruces Public Schools job fair with résumés in-hand ready to fill positions as substitutes and full-time teachers.

The 24,300-student district is in the midst of a substitute teacher shortage. Chief Human Resources Officer Dr. Miguel Serrano said it’s nothing new.

Grand Jury Indicts Former University Of New Mexico Staffer

Apr 20, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former University of New Mexico basketball staffer has been indicted on a charge of embezzling money by making unauthorized purchases on a university credit card.

KOB-TV reports Cody Hopkins is accused of embezzling more than $63,000 by altering or forging receipts in 2015 from multiple entities.

The Bernalillo County District Attorney's office says the indictment stems from a university audit conducted in 2015.

Krikorian, 'Giant' In National Security Science, Dies At 97

Apr 20, 2018

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — Nerses "Krik" Krikorian, who escaped the Armenian genocide as boy and later became a legend in the once-secret New Mexico city where the atomic bomb was developed, has died. He was 97.

Officials at Los Alamos National Laboratory have confirmed that Krikorian died Wednesday at his home in Los Alamos.

Born on a Turkish roadside in 1921, he and his family eventually found their way to the United States. After earning a chemistry degree, he began what would be an illustrious career that spanned decades.

Southwest Offers Apology, $5K, To Passengers On Damaged Jet

Apr 20, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Southwest is sending a letter of apology, a $5,000 check and a $1,000 travel voucher to passengers who were on a flight that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia following an engine explosion.

Chairman Gary Kelly says in the letter that the money is to help cover any "immediate financial needs."

An engine on a Southwest jet exploded Tuesday, and debris hit the plane. Forty-three-year-old banking executive Jennifer Riordan of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was fatally injured when she was sucked partway out of the jet through a shattered window.

Albuquerque Revives Native American Homeless Task Force

Apr 20, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's largest city has revived a task force to address Native American homelessness after a homeless man was shot and killed last month.

Mayor Tim Keller announced Friday that he was resurrecting the Albuquerque Native American Homeless Task Force and would ask city councilors to pass an ordinance to expand its reach.

The task force was initially formed during former Mayor Richard Berry's tenure in response to the 2014 beating deaths of two Navajo men while they slept in a vacant lot.

Two Southeastern NM School Districts Approve Raises

Apr 20, 2018

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — Two school districts in the heart of New Mexico oil and gas country are giving their employees raises beyond what the state is requiring.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports both Hobbs Municipal Schools and Lovington Municipal Schools recently announced employees will see a bigger bump in their paychecks next school year.

Hobbs Municipal Schools is planning a 4.39 percent average pay raise for all staff.

Lovington School Superintendent LeAnne Gandy says its workers will see an average of 5.8 percent increase.

SBA Loans Available For Businesses Impacted By Drought

Apr 20, 2018


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Small Business Administration says disaster loans are available to small nonfarm businesses in 13 counties in New Mexico and one in Arizona to offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by drought in two of the New Mexico counties.

The two so-called primary counties are Cibola and De Baca, while the other New Mexico counties where there's eligibility are Bernalillo, Catron, Chaves, Guadalupe, Lincoln, McKinley, Quay, Roosevelt, Sandoval, Socorro and Valencia. The eligible Arizona county is Apache.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials at the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division and New Mexico Donor Services are pushing for more residents to consider becoming organ donors.

The Motor Vehicle Division said Thursday that it signed up more than 46,000 new organ donors in 2017.

Throughout April, Motor Vehicle Division offices around the state have been displaying posters encouraging people to register as organ donors. Clerks also are talking to customers about the choice to become organ donors.

Congressman Pearce Says He Supports IRS Overhaul

Apr 20, 2018
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Congressman and New Mexico gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce says he's in favor of overhauling the Internal Revenue Service.

Pearce said Thursday the federal tax-collecting agency is operating under antiquated technologies and processes and that's why he was among those in the U.S. House to support legislation aimed at modernizing the agency.

The New Mexico Republican pointed to several bills passed this week, including measures to improve cybersecurity and protect taxpayer identities.

Las Cruces Utilities’ Water Rate Review Going on Now

Apr 20, 2018

The Utility Customer Advisory Group (UCAG) is hitting the road to help inform our community of the water rate review underway right now. After almost a year of studying rates, reviewing revenue requirements, and the cost of providing services, potential rate designs are now on the table. UCAG also works with an experienced independent consultant to clearly understand our local issues.


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Ancient Roman roads have lessons for New Mexico

Apr 19, 2018

Commentary: Economists long argued that infrastructure is critical to economic development. A new study of Roman road networks makes this point in a new way. It finds that proximity to ancient roads correspond to increased economic development today.

The Roman Empire, of course, was a political entity that encompassed much of southern Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East. The traces of Roman roads are found everywhere within this region. Indeed, it can be argued that to be part of the Roman empire was to be connected by road to the City of Rome.

Commentary: Our children need nature. To grow up healthy, kids need a clean, beautiful, and accessible outdoors where they can play and discover the amazing world around them. Spending time with family while connecting with nature brings tremendous health and educational benefits to children. Fortunately, New Mexico has numerous spectacular and historically and socially significant outdoor areas and we must do all that we can to protect them.

Biden And Booker In 2020?

Apr 19, 2018

Commentary:  I recently came across a survey on, a website that claims to be the "oldest community of progressive activists, with over 3 million supporters." After clicking on potential candidates for president that I would vote for in 2020, the survey's results popped up on the next screen. Here was the breakdown:

Joe Biden-14.8%

Bernie Sanders-11.44%

Elizabeth Warren-12.81%

Cory Booker-10.16%

Kamala Harris-9.48%

Kirsten Gillibrand-6.7%

Andrew Cuomo-4.57%

Eric Holder-5.6%

Julian Castro-4.31%

Commentary: EL PASO, TX -Record numbers of women are running for office in Texas this year. And Annie’s List, a political action group that helps elect progressive women in our state, wants to help them get there!

Pearce Issues Tax Day Statement Celebrating Republican Tax Law

Apr 17, 2018
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary: Congressman Steve Pearce today released the following statement on Tax Day 2018:

“Today is the deadline for all Americans to file their federal income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, lower- and middle-income families in New Mexico are already seeing and feeling the benefits of tax reform. It’s providing needed tax relief for the 120,000 small businesses in New Mexico. Across the nation, over 400 corporations are raising wages, providing bonuses, and increasing retirement contributions for their workers. That’s because businesses know our nation’s old and broken tax code is on its way out, and they want to pass on the relief they will receive to you, employees, and consumers. Come next year, families and businesses will feel this relief once again on Tax Day when they no longer have to file under the old, antiquated tax code. I will continue to promote pro-growth policies that provide relief for small businesses while improving New Mexico’s and the nation’s economy.”

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