A state district judge in El Paso is accused of shaking his middle finger at another judge in a fit of anger and now has a court date after being charged with disorderly conduct.

State District Judge Patrick Garcia is scheduled for trial in April after the El Paso County district attorney's office determined the misdemeanor case should be prosecuted.

A county court judge filed a complaint after he says Garcia gave him the finger in November outside the county courthouse.

 A review by New Mexico officials shows there were no indications of previous abuse involving an Albuquerque area girl who was strangled to death on her 10th birthday, her dismembered remains found in her home.

Children, Youth and Families Secretary Monique Jacobson released a summary of her department's investigation Friday.

It shows social workers interviewed Victoria Martens and her sibling more than once and the children never disclosed any physical or sexual abuse. Allegations of poor hygiene were also unsubstantiated.

Estimated 20,000 March Against Trump In Austin

6 hours ago
Austin Police

Thousands of demonstrators marched in Austin in opposition to newly sworn President Donald Trump as his inauguration prompted scattered protest rallies across Texas.

New Mexico lawmakers to confront budget gap

6 hours ago

The New Mexico House is poised to vote on a solvency plan intended to vault the state out of an $80 million budget hole and restore a modest financial cushion.

The House will meet Saturday to consider the package of four bills that would pump as much as $262 million into the general fund by slashing spending at school districts, postponing infrastructure projects and tapping tax payments by insurance companies ahead of time.

Supporters say the one-time fixes would ensure that New Mexico can pay its bills on time through the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Police Arrest Suspect In Crash That Killed 14-Year-Old Girl

21 hours ago

Albuquerque police on Friday arrested a 21-year-old woman on homicide and multiple other charges in a fatal crash that left a teenage girl dead.

Police say Elexus Groves was driving a stolen car on Wednesday when she crashed into a car carrying a mother and her two children. Fourteen-year-old Shaylee Boling was killed and her mother is in critical condition. Her 3-year-old brother was not seriously hurt.

Police say events began when officers spotted a stolen vehicle and tried to stop it, but discontinued their attempt because of "reckless actions" by the driver.

New Mexico State University’s College of Arts and Sciences will celebrate “A Starry Night, the Stars of Arts and Sciences” fundraiser on Friday, Feb. 3, at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts at 1000 University Ave. 

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Dean’s Fund for Excellence, which supports students with special projects, awards, research and teaching.

The event is hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Council and will celebrate four people who have helped to promote the university: Maryce Jacobs, Connie Hines, R. Nick Franklin and Patrick Lamb.

New Mexico Expects Increased Tax Processing Waits

22 hours ago

SANTA FE, N.M. – The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department has substantially increased efforts to combat identity theft and refund fraud in recent tax seasons and is cooperating with IRS security measures for the 2017 tax season. The enhanced review process will increase the time it takes to process tax refunds.

New Mexico targets Takata, auto makers over faulty air bags

23 hours ago
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

New Mexico has announced a lawsuit against Japanese manufacturer Takata and a long list of auto makers in connection with the sale of cars with dangerous air bag inflators.

Attorney General Hector Balderas' office argues that the manufacturers had a duty to ensure their products were safe and that concealment of air bag defects amounted to unfair, deceptive and unconscionable trade practices under New Mexico law.

Air Traffic Up Slightly In Albuquerque

23 hours ago

Traffic is up at New Mexico's largest airport.  126,000 more passengers visited Albuquerque International Sunport in 2016 than did the year before. It's the first time the airport has seen a year-to-year gain since 2007.

Traffic increased by less than one percent and stayed below the 2007 peak. But Sunport spokesman Daniel Jiron says any growth is "significant for sure" after eight years of decline. He attributed the growth to an improving economy.

Texas Jobless Rate Holds Steady At 4.6%

23 hours ago

The Texas unemployment rate held steady in December at 4.6 percent.

The Texas Workforce Commission on Friday reported the statewide jobless figure was also 4.6 percent in November. The nationwide unemployment rate for December was 4.7 percent.

A TWC statement says Texas has added an estimated 210,200 seasonally adjusted jobs since December 2015, with the addition of 800 nonfarm jobs last month.

Texas court hearing case to limit marriage equality

23 hours ago

 The Texas Supreme Court has reversed its previous ruling and will hear a Houston case that top conservatives hope will let the state limit the impact of 2015's federal legalization of marriage equality.

The state's highest civil court announced Friday it was setting arguments for March in a lawsuit seeking to halt same-sex spousal benefits that America's fourth-largest city offers municipal employees.

The all-Republican court ruled 8-1 in September not to hear the case after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruled the previous summer that gay marriage is constitutional.

New Mexico's unemployment is down, but still almost 2 percent higher than the national jobless rate of 4.7 percent.

The state Department of Workforce Solutions reports that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.6% in December, down from 6.7% in November and unchanged from a year earlier.

The department says the state's economy added 2,400 jobs in nonfarm employment between December 2015 and December 2016 and 100 jobs between December 2016 and last November.

Udall Statement On The Inauguration Of Donald Trump

Jan 20, 2017
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall attended the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump. He issued the following statement:

"The peaceful transition of power is a hallmark of our democracy. Since George Washington, each United States president has peacefully turned the office over to the next. I don't agree with much of what Donald Trump stands for, but our nation is bigger than any one person. I am a proud American, and I felt it was important to attend today's inaugural ceremony. (donald trump)

An estimated 200,000 women and supporters of women’s rights are set to take to the streets in Washington DC.  They will be protesting the Trump Presidency and voicing their fears over what the new administration will mean for women’s rights.

‘Sister’ marches will be taking place in cities throughout the nation- including Las Cruces, Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

Your Weekend Pulse!

Jan 20, 2017

Time now for Your Weekend Pulse! your guide to what is happening in our area this weekend with Lorena Sanchez, Pulse Editor for the Las Cruces Sun-News and Edmundo Resendez. This weekend, chilled beer perfect for chilled weather, laughs at the Fountain Theatre, and Randy Granger at the Rio Grande Theatre.    

The region's home page is only possible with your support.  Become a member, renew, or make an additional gift now.  Thank you.

"For the Love of Art Month" Shares All Forms of Art

Jan 19, 2017

Las Cruces, NM – During the entire month of February, for almost 20 years, the ArtForms Artists Association has been sponsoring and organizing “For the Love of Art Month.” On this edition of PUENTES, bridges to the community, host Emily Guerra meets with ArtForms President, Marty Galster, and Numerologist, Artist and Author, Ruth Drayer, to talk to us about the upcoming events.

Texas lawmaker polls mosque leaders on Sharia law support

Jan 19, 2017

A Texas lawmaker is asking state mosque leaders to pledge support for the "safety" of former Muslims in a mailed survey being condemned by Islamic civil rights groups.

A spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Thursday that he told mosque leaders to ignore Republican state Rep. Kyle Biedermann.

  LAS CRUCES, NM – On Monday, January 16 and Tuesday, January 17, 2017, El Paso Electric (EPE) experienced power outages that affected approximately 27,000 customers each day. El Paso Electric was performing maintenance on a transformer in the Las Cruces Substation as part of our regular maintenance plan before the summer. 

On Inauguration Day, UTEP will host “Convivencia: Community in Action,” a series of activities to encourage discussion and dialogue among UTEP and community members.

Participants will be encouraged to share their stories and talk about important issues facing the United States during the open mic session from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Centennial Plaza.

Starting January 23, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will be repairing and resurfacing the dirt road leading to Soledad Canyon Day Use Area and the parking lot to Bar Canyon Trail.  The work to be done will require the BLM to impose a partial closure of the dirt road and parking lot from January 23 to 27, with a full closure from January 30 to February 3.  The closures will not affect the residents located off the dirt road.

Study: Texas abortions declined as clinics got farther away

Jan 19, 2017

Researchers say the number of abortions performed throughout Texas dropped after a 2013 law forced the closure of clinics in all but the largest cities, and the decline was steeper the farther a woman lived from a remaining clinic.

A study published Thursday in the Journal of American Medical Association found that abortions fell 50 percent in 2014 among Texas women living near the U.S.-Mexico border and in dozens of rural counties. That's where the distance to the nearest abortion clinic increased by more than 100 miles after closer providers shuttered.

Judge Temporarily Blocks Texas Plan To Cut Planned Parenthood Funding

Jan 19, 2017

A federal judge has temporarily blocked Texas from ousting Planned Parenthood from the state's Medicaid program over secretly recorded videos taken by anti-abortion activists in 2015.

The decision Thursday by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks adds Texas to the list of Republican-controlled states that have been thwarted in efforts to cut off Medicaid dollars to the nation's largest abortion provider. Sparks postponed Planned Parenthood's ouster until Feb. 21. It is expected he will issue a ruling before then.

Events On Tap For Downtown Las Cruces

Jan 19, 2017

February 3, 5 – 7 p.m.: Artist reception for ArtForms Member Show

February is For the Love of Art Month, a celebration of the arts coordinated by ArtForms Artists Association of New Mexico. Their annual member show will be held at three locations this year, including the El Paso Electric Gallery at the Rio Grande Theatre, and kicks off with an artist reception during the Downtown Ramble. Artists showing their work at the El Paso Electric Gallery include Milette Lamphere and Ruth Drayer. The exhibit will be on display throughout the month.

No Elevator Service At Carlsbad Caverns For 10 days In Feb.

Jan 19, 2017

There will be no elevator service at Carlsbad Caverns National Park for 10 days next month because of scheduled safety maintenance.

Park officials say the secondary elevator system will be taken out of service to replace steel hoist cables.

Both secondary elevator cars have eight cables, used to raise and lower the elevator cars in and out of the cavern.

The cable replacement on each car will require at least five days of work.

Officials say there will be no elevator service on Feb. 6-10 and Feb. 13-17.

Problems persist with New Mexico capital outlay system

Jan 19, 2017

  Hundreds of millions of infrastructure dollars sit unspent across New Mexico as state lawmakers search for cash to cover a budget deficit.

And with only $60 million available, it’s unlikely the Legislature will fund the usual number of projects in their districts this legislative session.

Capital outlay bills are typically a top priority every year for the Legislature, funding everything from new and renovated state buildings to small local projects and, in some years, highway improvements.

Adults in New Mexico who have been diagnosed with diabetes can learn how to prepare healthy and delicious meals by participating in the Kitchen Creations cooking school, sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Health and offered by the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service.

The next Kitchen Creations session will be offered in Las Cruces from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22 at Mayfield High School. The cooking school is free thanks to funding from the New Mexico Department of Health Diabetes Prevention and Control Program.

Upcoming NM Farm & Ranch Museum Events In Las Cruces

Jan 19, 2017

Weaving for Children

Feb. 4, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Children and parents are invited to learn to weave using a paper loom. Yarn and a loom will be provided. Participants will learn how to weave a plain pattern to create a small woven creation they can take home. This activity is suited for children age 5 and up. Free with regular paid Museum admission, and no registration is required.

Culture Series:

The Flight of Some Weak Women:

ALBUQUERQUE -- Say goodbye to the Olympics in Rio, and hello to the National Veterans Golden Age Games in Albuquerque. 

Volunteers are needed to help put on the 32nd annual National Veterans Golden Age Games (NVGAG) that will happen Aug. 4-8, 2018 in Albuquerque.  The games are organized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and in 2018 will get local help from staff of the New Mexico VA Health Care System (NMVAHCS).

Las Cruces sailor continues 75 years of Seabee tradition

Jan 19, 2017

PORT HUENEME, Calif.- “We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees”, for the past 75 years.  Las Cruces, New Mexico native and Onate High School graduate, Petty Officer 2nd Class Miguel Holguin, builds and fights around the world as a member of a naval construction battalion center located in Port Hueneme, California.

 Holguin works as an engineering aide in the Navy.

“I do computer drafting, soil analysis and surveying for construction sites,” said Holguin.

Public Input Sought To Rename Scenic Route

Jan 19, 2017

Following two community meetings at which a variety of topics was discussed, District 5 Doña Ana County Commissioner John L. Vasquez is teaming up with some of Doña Ana County’s legislative delegation to ask Doña Ana County residents to assist with an initiative to rename the roadway connecting Garfield to the City of Sunland Park.

   The series of roads in question includes N.M. 187 between Garfield and Hatch, as well as N.M. 185 between Hatch and Las Cruces, and then N.M. 28 between Las Cruces/Mesilla and the City of Sunland Park.