News

Report: Albuquerque Police Failed In Use-Of-Force Reviews

7 minutes ago

A federal court monitor's report says the Albuquerque Police Department has struggled to adequately review use-of-force cases, while the SWAT units are doing a better job of de-escalating standoffs and other high-stress situations.

Court-appointed monitor James Ginger delivered the assessment in his latest report for a federal judge. Ginger is tasked with tracking reforms mandated in a settlement agreement between the U.S. Justice Department and the Albuquerque Police Department, which came under scrutiny for a high rate of shootings by police between 2010 and 2014.

PNM loses support for rate increase request after hearings

1 hour ago
pnm.com

   Bernalillo County and other groups have withdrawn their support for Public Service Company of New Mexico's request for a rate increase in light of new information provided at hearings.

PNM is looking to increase its collections from customers by about $123.5 million per year, raising rates by an average of 14.39 percent. Company officials say the revenue will help cover the January purchase of an Arizona nuclear power unit.

State redraws Medicaid cuts to hospital, dentists

1 hour ago

New Mexico will cut Medicaid payments by less than originally planned for the University of New Mexico Hospital in response to concerns raised by Native American tribal leaders and others.

The Human Service Department that oversees Medicaid health care for the poor and disabled also is slightly reducing cuts to dentists. Most new rates went into effect Friday.

Udall, Heinrich Call On Administration To Hold Colleges And Universities Accountable For Safety

6 hours ago

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), along with 29 other senators sent a letter to the Departments of Education and Justice urging the agencies to ensure colleges and universities receiving federal funds adhere to new requirements intended to help prevent sexual violence on campus and increase accountability for students' safety.

Mixed Decision Comes In Thornburg Mortgage Fraud Cause

7 hours ago

A federal jury has cleared two former executives of Thornburg Mortgage of five counts and could not reach a decision on five others.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit in 2012, alleging that Thornburg leaders Larry Goldstone, Clarence Simmons III and Jane Starrett hid the company's deteriorating financial condition at the start of the housing market collapse by issuing misleading statements.

They also were accused of hiding a $428 million loss in a 2007 annual report.

Las Cruces Peace Camp Teaches Youth Life Skills

7 hours ago

  On June 29, more than 30 area youth visited Munson Center on their field-trip day as a part of their week-long Peace Camp programming. Peace Camp is a program that started more than 10 years ago by what is now known as Peace Village of Las Cruces. Its purpose is to welcome kids of all ages and backgrounds to come together and learn about non-violent conflict resolution and healthy communication through team-building, multicultural, and arts activities.

 

  In the small Route 66 town of Tucumcari, N.M, scientist and inventor Bob Hockaday recently made a move to help revitalize business in an innovative way. 

Beyond the retro hotel and gas station neon signage that characterizes the town, Hockaday purchased a defunct ethanol plant with strategic plans to outfit it as a biorefinery, a business that would create not just jobs, but an ecosystem within the community that is a hub for rural ranchers.

Gessing: New Mexico’s Supreme Court ignores law on worker’s compensation

7 hours ago
Paul Gessing, President-Rio Grande Foundation

  Commentary:  New Mexico’s Legislature had previously enacted a law that allowed employers with more than three employees to opt out of coverage for farm and ranch laborers but not other agricultural workers.

  White Sands Missile Range Golf Course Superintended Bill Ticho starts his work day looking out into the Organ Mountains from the 70-acre golf course every morning, where he works maintaining the acres of land, keeping the greens leveled and removing the occasional rattlesnake from the course.

He has done this for 24 years, before that he was stationed as an enlisted Soldier here at WSMR starting in 1984.  Ticho retired from the Army and decided to stay at WSMR to raise a family.

Heinrich Leads Effort To Attach Airport Security Measure To FAA Reauthorization

10 hours ago

Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is leading a group of senators in urging House and Senate members negotiating the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill to include a provision to enhance U.S. airport and mass transit security. The senators sent a letter to the leaders of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee who are currently negotiating the FAA Reauthorization bill.

Pearce Leads Meeting Between Ranchers and Forest Service to Resolve Water Dispute

11 hours ago

  Commentary:  Congressman Pearce along with State Representative Jim Townsend, representatives from the United States Forest Service, and local ranchers visited the Penasco Pens electrified fencing area Thursday in the Sacramento Ranger District to discuss potential solutions to ranchers’ concerns over grazing allotments and water access points:   

Increased Las Cruces Patrols to Target Illegal Fireworks

11 hours ago

  The Las Cruces fire and police departments, along with Codes Enforcement officers, will increase patrols during the Fourth of July weekend to combat the possession and use of illegal fireworks within city limits.

  A Santa Teresa company owner who was paid more than $27,000 for two sets of playground equipment to be installed in Mesilla never delivered on the contract, and is now facing second-degree felony fraud charges.

Ernesto Alex Cordova, 40, was reportedly paid by the Town of Mesilla for two playground systems that his company was contracted to install. According to court documents, the check, written in the amount of $27,800, was issued on Nov. 3, 2015, and was cashed on Nov. 6.

AMC Network Renews 'Preacher' For Second Season

11 hours ago

The AMC network has announced that it has renewed the series "Preacher" and will expand the second season to 13 episodes.

The show, which is filmed in Albuquerque and just completed its first season, follows a West Texas preacher named Jesse Custer, who is inhabited by a mysterious entity that causes him to develop an unusual power.

It is based on the popular cult comic book franchise of the same name

Produced by AMC Studios and Sony Pictures Television, the series was developed for television by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin.

WNMU Forms 'Partnerships' With Two Universities In Mexico

11 hours ago

Western New Mexico University has entered agreements with two universities in Mexico to share research and allow students to study on both sides of the border.

The Silver City school signed last month an agreement with Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon that outlines collaboration and the possibilities of faculty and student exchanges.

In addition, WNMU signed another agreement with the Universidad Autonoma de Chihuaha, a public university based in the city of Chihuahua, Mexico with more than 25,000 students.

Pueblo Becomes Latest Tribe To Buy Swath Of Ancestral Land

11 hours ago

A sprawling ranch near the edge of the Albuquerque metro area is being purchased by a Native American pueblo that has become the latest tribe to buy back a swath of its ancestral land.

The Santa Ana Pueblo governor plans Friday to discuss the purchase of the 100-square-mile Alamo Ranch, which the family of former Gov. Bruce King listed in February for $33 million.

Neither party has disclosed the final sale amount.

Your Weekend Pulse!

14 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. It’s Fourth of July weekend and there is lots to do throughout the region! 

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

NMSU alumni help renovate, revitalize Questa, New Mexico church

14 hours ago
NMSU photo by Adriana M. Chavez

  In the late 1960’s, three sisters left Questa, New Mexico, to attend New Mexico State University and made their homes either in Las Cruces or elsewhere, but after hearing about the possible demolition of a historic Catholic church in their home town, they quickly sprung to action.

New Mexico high court: Doctors can't help patients end lives

23 hours ago

  The New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled that terminally ill patients cannot end their lives with help from doctors.

In a 5-0 opinion issued Thursday, the high court overturned a previous district court decision that doctors could not be prosecuted under the state's assisted suicide law, which classifies helping with suicide as a fourth-degree felony.

The legal challenge began in 2012. It involves a Santa Fe woman with advanced uterine cancer who wanted courts to clarify New Mexico's laws preventing her from ending her life and putting doctors in legal trouble.

  Santa Fe, NM – Today, the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department announced a half-million dollar settlement agreement with Enterprise Products Operating LLC for improperly disposing wastewater in Santa Fe and Lea counties on two occasions in 2013 and 2014. 

 

Courtesy: USDA

  

  Commentary:  Today, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that the New Mexico Constitution prohibits the exclusion of farm and ranch laborers from the protections of the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Act (Act). In holding for the workers who challenged the Act, the Court said that the exclusion of farm and ranch laborers “is nothing more than arbitrary discrimination and, as such, it is forbidden by our Constitution.” 

New Mexico Spending $3 Million For 900 Jobs In Rio Rancho

Jun 30, 2016

  Rio Rancho, NM – Today, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez joined state and local leaders to announce that Safelite AutoGlass®, the world’s largest vehicle glass repair and replacement company, will create 900 new insurance claims processing and support jobs in Rio Rancho over the next four years. 

New Mexico will invest $3 million in Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) funding to invest in infrastructure improvements to accommodate Safelite’s expansion. 

Border Agency Clears Employees In 4 Shooting Incidents

Jun 30, 2016

U.S. Customs and Border Protection found that employees acted properly when they fired guns in four incidents dating back to 2012 — including two that left two people dead.

The findings were released Thursday by the agency's National Use of Force Review Board, which was established in December 2014 amid widespread criticism that the nation's largest law enforcement agency was slow to investigate such incidents and lacked transparency.

Fourth Hantavirus Death Reported In New Mexico

Jun 30, 2016

State health officials say a 20-year-old woman from Torrance County in central New Mexico has died of hantavirus.

The Health Department said Thursday it marks the state's sixth case of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome this year. Four of the cases have been fatal.

The patient's name wasn't released.

Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. People can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus.

Health officials say the deer mouse is the main carrier for the strain found in New Mexico.

Documents Released In New Mexico Basketball Coach Firing

Jun 30, 2016

State education officials have released documents related to the firing of a northern New Mexico high school basketball coach that generated upheaval.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports documents released by the Public Education Department offer details into the allegations of verbal abuse by former Espanola Valley High School head basketball coach Richard Martinez.

For better and worse, politics is showmanship

Jun 30, 2016

  Commentary:  Theatre has been derided as a deceptive art going back as far as Plato, so it is hardly surprising to see our rascals in Washington, DC denigrate theatre even as they avidly practice it.

 

$15 Credit For Rides In Las Cruces For New Uber Users

Jun 30, 2016

  LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Today, District Attorney Mark D’Antonio and Uber are urging Las Cruces residents to plan ahead before celebrating the Fourth of July.

Uber will offer new users a $15 credit which is enough to cover the majority of rides requested in the Las Cruces area. New users can access the free ride credit by downloading the Uber app and entering the promo code STAYSAFELC. 

“I encourage everyone who plans on celebrating with alcohol to designate a sober driver or request an Uber,” said D’Antonio. “If you are caught drinking and driving, you will be prosecuted.”

Community Connection - Mesilla Valley Search & Rescue

Jun 30, 2016

In this Community Connection, we meet with the President of the Mesilla Valley Search and Rescue, Victor Villalobos. Victor tells us about the mission and the different specialty teams that make up this organization. We also meet two team leaders: Nancy Chanover and Bryndan Gardner.

Young Man Dead Following Las Cruces Crash

Jun 30, 2016

  Las Cruces Police are continuing to investigate Wednesday evening’s two-vehicle collision that resulted in the death of young man.

Adrian “A.G.” Guerrero, 23, of Las Cruces, was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at Mountainview Regional Medical Center. Guerrero was the rear-seat passenger of a GMC Jimmy that was struck by another vehicle and rolled over near the intersection of Spruce Avenue and Triviz Drive.

Living Here - Space Murals Museum

Jun 30, 2016

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