Court Orders Bill Richardson To Attend Driving School

19 minutes ago

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is pleading no contest to charges of driving away from a traffic accident without notice.

Richardson dialed in remotely to a municipal court hearing on Friday in Santa Fe and agreed to pay $56 in court costs and complete a defense driving class under the judgment. A sentence of 90 days unsupervised probation is on hold while Richardson completes the requirements.

City, County Compete to Benefit Las Cruces Dogs and Cats

7 hours ago

  The City of Las Cruces and Dona Ana County are participating in a friendly competition to collect supplies for cats and dogs at the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley (ASCMV) from the public and staff. The competition runs from June 1 to June 30, 2016.

Only laundered or new blankets and towels will be accepted. Comforters and sleeping bags cannot be accepted, due to the lining. Donations of food and toys for the animals also are welcomed.

Coyote Fire Closes Most Of Guadalupe Mountains National Park

7 hours ago

To ensure firefighter and public safety, officials from the Guadalupe Mountains National Park (GMNP) and the Southwest Incident Management Team 5 (SWIMT5) would like to remind the public that closure orders remain in effect over the Memorial Day Holiday.  Although the GMNP Visitors Center and the Salt Basin Dunes Trail are open, officials are discouraging visitation due to the increase in fire related traffic in and around the park. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your cooperation.

NMSU dance company to host first performance, ‘HOME’

7 hours ago

  The Traveling Airs Performance Company, a graduate dance company at New Mexico State University, will host a premiere production featuring both graduate students and College of Education faculty, along with local visual artists, singers and dancers.

Performances of the production, titled “HOME,” will be at 7:30 p.m. June 3 and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. June 4 at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts, 1000 E. University Ave. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students.

KRWG wins awards for broadcast excellence

7 hours ago
Fred Martino

  New Mexico State University’s KRWG Public Media has won two 2016 Excellence in Broadcasting Awards from the New Mexico Broadcasters Association.

KRWG won the award for best website in the large market radio category. It marks the third time in eight years KRWG has won an award for its website: two from the NMBA and one from the Associated Press.

KRWG Director of Content Fred Martino said there has been a 400 percent increase in website traffic over the past six years.

New Mexico Democratic Chair Deb Haaland

  Commentary:  The Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) commented on new developments in Governor Martinez’s administration’s conduct in food assistance application process. According to the Center on Law and Poverty, in the past three years the Human Services Department made falsifying food assistance applications part of the institution's common practice, and used intimidation to ensure employees followed directives from superiors.

Lincoln National Forest’s Fire Danger Returns to HIGH

7 hours ago

  With the increase in hotter temperatures and drying winds over the past few days, drier fuel moistures have escalated the potential for new fire starts. Based on current weather and fuel conditions and the increase in public and recreational activities within the Forest during the upcoming holiday, the fire danger rating now sits at HIGH.  This HIGH fire danger rating extends across the entire forest, which includes Smokey Bear, Sacramento and Guadalupe Ranger Districts.

Pearce Fights Federal Endangered Species Act Protections That Limit Water Rights

7 hours ago
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Commentary:  Congressman Steve Pearce, State Representatives Yvette Herrell (R-Otero), James Townsend (R-Chaves, Eddy & Otero), and, Dona Irwin (D-Grant, Hidalgo, and Luna), along with Caren Cowan, Executive Director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, released a joint statement following a press conference the Congressman held discussing the recent actions taken by federal agencies to limit access to water rights:

  The University of New Mexico is one of five universities selected to establish centers for excellence that will focus on environmental health disparities research.

Hancock Responds To Allegations Regarding Budget Passage

7 hours ago
Doña Ana County Commissioner Wayne Hancock


 Commentary: My colleague, District 3 Doña Ana County Commissioner Benjamin L. Rawson, has recently taken to Facebook alleging that Doña Ana County Manager Julia T. Brown and I somehow secretly conspired to pass a preliminary budget without public input or institutional transparency. It’s a lie, and he knows it.

New Mexico Gets $3.3 Million For Foreclosure Legal Assistance

13 hours ago

State officials say New Mexico has received $3.3 million to help provide legal assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure.

The money is from a 2014 settlement with Bank of America and its subsidiaries over mortgage practices.

Terms of the settlement restrict use of the money to foreclosure prevention legal assistance and community redevelopment.

In New Mexico, the money will be awarded to legal aid groups based on grant applications.

There are about 5,000 open mortgage foreclosure cases in the state.

Immigrant Licenses In New Mexico Jump Before Law Change

13 hours ago

The number of immigrants seeking driver's licenses in New Mexico surged during the first three months of the year.

Data obtained by The Associated Press through a records request showed 3,568 licenses were issued to foreign nationals from January to March.

That's just shy of the 4,026 licenses granted to foreign nationals for all of 2015.

State officials believe the spike came because immigrants in the country illegally wanted to get New Mexico driver's licenses before state lawmakers voted to revise the law.

Driven By History and Preservation

15 hours ago

Las Cruces, NM - On this edition of PUENTES, bridges to the community, host Emily Guerra meets with New Mexico State University Professor of History and Preservationist, Dr. Jon Hunner. He is helping to plan NMSU’s National Park Service centennial celebration, and will be on the road to research parks nationwide.

Dona Ana County passed a preliminary budget for Fiscal Year 2017 by a vote of 3-0, Commissioners Ben Rawson and Leticia Duarte-Benavidez were not present at the special meeting.

The preliminary budget for Dona Ana County totals about $153 million dollars. Anticipated revenues for fiscal year 2017 are expected to be around $137 million dollars. The budget difference is made up with restricted reserve funds or savings accounts for a specific use. The rest comes from the county’s general reserve funds, which Commissioner Billy Garrett says will be used for one-time costs.

Your Weekend Pulse!

15 hours ago

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. Today, it’s Memorial Day weekend and there is lots to do including a new festival taking place in Las Cruces!

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

Recently naturalized resident Barbara Aguilera fills out a voter registration form.
Simon Thompson / KRWG

Donald Trump’s candidacy has been controversial it’s even prompting some to apply for citizenship. And those new citizens are anxious to vote in November.

About 9 million U.S. residents are eligible to become U.S. citizens.  According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, more of them have been going through with the naturalization process.
Barbara Aguilera was one of more than 100 at a recent naturalization ceremony at the Las Cruces convention center.

“I am just very excited.” Aguilera said

State Police: Traffic stop on I-25 leads to a fatal shooting

May 26, 2016

Authorities say a person fatally shot by law enforcement officers during a traffic stop along Interstate 25 appears to be the suspect in an armed carjacking in Albuquerque hours earlier.

New Mexico State Police say the shooting occurred shortly after noon Thursday.

The name of the person killed is being withheld until relatives are notified.

Socorro County sheriff's deputies attempted to stop a vehicle near the San Antonio exit.

State Police say shots were fired during the traffic stop and officers returned fire, striking a person in the vehicle.

NMSU selects Lakshmi Reddi as dean of College of Engineering

May 26, 2016

  Florida International University Graduate School Dean Lakshmi N. Reddi has been selected to lead the New Mexico State University College of Engineering.

“Dean Reddi is a distinguished scholar and has a track record of increasing enrollment and growing research funding and activity,” said NMSU Provost Dan Howard. “We are looking forward to Dean Reddi’s leadership and energy as he guides a strong College of Engineering to new levels of accomplishment in education, research, and service.” 

Leading the college for the past year has been Interim Dean Steven Stochaj.

Albuquerque Police Searching For Some Anti-Trump Protesters

May 26, 2016 (donald trump)

Authorities say anti-Donald Trump protesters in Albuquerque threw rocks, urine-filled bottles, molotov cocktail-type devices at officers, and some later fired gunshots.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said Thursday around 30 people out of 1,000 protesters were responsible for the violence from Tuesday's riot that caused around $10,000 in city damage.

Police Chief Gorden Eden says six officers suffered injuries from rocks and other objects, and one police horse suffered a leg injury.

The Latest: New Mexico Tribe Makes Plea To French People

May 26, 2016

The Latest on a planned auction of sacred Native American items in France (all times local):

2:50 p.m.

The leader of a Native American community in New Mexico is pleading with the French people to stand with his tribe in its fight to keep Paris auction houses from putting up for bid sacred objects.

Acoma Pueblo released the letter from tribal Gov. Kurt Riley on Thursday.

The letter comes as Paris' EVE auction house prepares to put up for bid hundreds of religious items and art pieces, including a ceremonial shield from the pueblo.

Officials Ban Using, Growing Marijuana In Santa Fe Forest

May 26, 2016

Officials have issued an order banning the use, possession or storage of marijuana in the Santa Fe National Forest, though such practices were already illegal.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Forest Supervisor Maria Garcia issued the closure order banning both medical and recreational marijuana from the 1.5 million acres of the northern New Mexico forest. Possession and use of marijuana are already illegal under federal law.

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Suspect In Navajo Girl's Slaying

May 26, 2016

A federal grand jury has returned a six-count indictment against a man accused of killing an 11-year-old Navajo girl who was abducted as she and her younger brother played on the way home from school.

Federal prosecutors announced Thursday that the indictment charges Tom Begaye Jr. with murder, aggravated sexual abuse, kidnapping resulting in death and kidnapping of a minor.

The 27-year-old Navajo man has been in federal custody since his arrest May 4. An arraignment is scheduled June 7.

New Mexico Land Boss Weighs Easement Request From Feds

May 26, 2016
New Mexico Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is seeking rights of way for the next 35 years to repair nearly 30 miles of roads in two counties to help with operations in New Mexico's border region.

Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has scheduled a June 2 public meeting in Lordsburg to discuss the request.

Easement fees charged by the State Land Office could total $400,000. But federal officials want the fees to be waived since it plans to repair the roads, many of which are dirt and gravel.

Sheriff To Launch Town Hall Meetings

May 26, 2016

  The Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department will launch a series of town hall meetings next week, beginning in Hatch on May 31.

   The meeting will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Hatch Community Center, 837 W. Hall Street.

According to Sheriff Enrique “Kiki” Vigil, the meetings are designed to provide a platform for people in the rural communities of Doña Ana County to express concerns over public safety and address issues in each of the county’s seven districts.

Deming Woman Sentenced To 10 Years For Meth Trafficking

May 26, 2016

  ALBUQUERQUE – Norma Patricia Rivera, 40, of Deming, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 120 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for her methamphetamine trafficking conviction.

CBP Seeking 35-year Right-of-Way Easement Across Certain State Trust Lands in Southern New Mexico

May 26, 2016

  New Mexico State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn will hold a public meeting in Lordsburg on June 2 to solicit feedback on U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s application for a 35-year right-of-way easement for the maintenance of certain existing roads on State Trust Lands in Luna and Hidalgo Counties, as part of the agency’s Tactical Infrastructure Maintenance and Repair (TIMR) program.

  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are funding research to the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, N.M., to better understand ways to improve environmental conditions for vulnerable populations. 

The university will use $1.5 million to establish a Center for Native American Health Equity Research. The center will examine how contact with metal mixtures from abandoned mines affects rural Native American populations.

Heinrich: Halt French Auction of Sacred Native American Artifacts

May 26, 2016
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Commentary:  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is urging the U.S. State Department to take all possible action to help repatriate stolen cultural items to Native American tribes. In the United States, it is illegal to sell ceremonial Native American items. However, in France, where an auction of the items is planned for May 30, 2016, it is not. 

Man Indicted In Murder Of 11-Year-Old Navajo Girl

May 26, 2016

  ALBUQUERQUE – A federal grand jury has returned a six-count indictment that charges Tom Begaye, Jr., 27, with murder, kidnapping and aggravated sexual abuse offenses arising out of the alleged abduction and murder of an 11-year-old Navajo child on May 2, 2016.  U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, and Director Jesse Delmar of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety announced the filing of the indictment.

Heinrich Raises Concerns Over Expanding Warrantless Government Surveillance

May 26, 2016


   Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, raised concerns over a provision in the 2017 Intelligence Authorization Act that seeks a massive expansion of government surveillance into Americans' email, and possibly their browser history and social media communications through the use of a National Security Letter. Senator Heinrich issued the following statement: