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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.

Auditor: New Mexico Had $100M Special Education Shortfall

2 hours ago

The New Mexico State Auditor's office says a new audit shows the state saw a shortfall of more than $100 million in special education funding.

The office said Wednesday an independent account firm found the shortfall in special education funding from July 2009 to June 2012. Officials say the numbers were based on New Mexico Public Education Department's calculations and placed federal funding at risk.

Auditor Tim Keller says the shortfall is another piece of system-wide challenges that plague the state's educational system.

  A jury Tuesday found Davalous Brown, 22, guilty on two counts of Battery on a Peace Officer, both felonies, and Resisting, Evading or Obstructing an Officer that could result in 6 years incarceration.

Texas Court Strips Lesser Prairie Chicken Of Protections

2 hours ago
State of Colorado

A federal court in Texas has vacated Endangered Species Act protections for the lesser prairie chicken.

The ruling is a victory for Texas oil and gas companies that argued the conservation efforts are working. The Permian Basin Petroleum Association said regulations would impede operations and cost hundreds of millions of dollars in oil and gas development in one of the country's most prolific basins.

The nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity said Wednesday that the lesser prairie chicken has lost 85 percent of its habitat.

Colorado Mine Spill Prompts Changes To Warning System

3 hours ago
JONATHAN THOMPSON HIGH COUNTRY NEWS

A wastewater spill from a Colorado mine has prompted state officials to expand the list of downstream users they warn after such accidents.

Colorado officials notified only agencies inside their state after 3 million gallons of water tainted with heavy metals gushed out of the Gold King mine Aug. 5, eventually reaching rivers in New Mexico and Utah.

NMSU Professor To Host Discussion Of Alaska

3 hours ago

  As the original mastermind behind the “Global Connections” talks hosted by NMSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, Jon Hunner, an NMSU history professor and historian, is kicking off this year’s events with a discussion of Alaska.

Hunner’s talk, titled “Alaska from Kenai to Denali,” will highlight his experiences while visiting the 49th state last July. The event will take place Wednesday, September 9, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the Gerald Thomas Hall Auditorium. 

“Alaska is a special place,” said Hunner, who traveled to the area while visiting his son. 

Delano Lewis

3 hours ago

Adetha Collins

3 hours ago

David Briseno

3 hours ago

Arrest Made Following Non-Injury Officer Involved Shooting In Mesilla

3 hours ago

  The man who was being detained Tuesday following an incident involving an officer with the Mesilla Marshal’s Office – who subsequently fired his duty weapon – has been arrested.

   The shooting is under investigation by the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department.

San Juan County Declares State Of Disaster Following Storm

5 hours ago

The San Juan County Commission has declared a state of disaster following a violent storm that swept through Aztec and caused what officials estimate is more than $1 million in damage.

The commission approved the resolution Tuesday, allowing the county to request state funds to repair public property that was damaged by the Aug. 26 storm.

Officials say the storm's quick rainfall overwhelmed culverts, cut streams into dirt roads, flooded buildings and closed SunRay Park & Casino's horse racing track for the season.

President Secures 34th Vote For Iran Nuclear Deal

7 hours ago

Senate Democrats have rallied the 34 votes they need to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive in Congress, handing President Barack Obama a major foreign policy victory.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland became the crucial 34th vote Wednesday morning, declaring the agreement is the best way to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Congress is to vote later this month on a resolution disapproving the deal, which is unanimously opposed by Republicans, who call it a dangerous giveaway to Iran.

Spaceport America Hosts Open House Day

7 hours ago

Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, will host an open house event free to the public on October 3, 2015.

$31.5 Million In State Funding Going To Alamo

8 hours ago

State officials say the Alamo is to benefit from $31.5 million for preservation and development of the downtown San Antonio shrine.

Land Commissioner George P. Bush has scheduled a Wednesday news conference at the Alamo with legislative members and top Bexar County and San Antonio officials to describe the state appropriation and the legislative support that made it possible.

Navajo President Requests Help From FEMA After Mine Spill

8 hours ago
JONATHAN THOMPSON HIGH COUNTRY NEWS

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help in the tribe's recovery from a mine spill.

The Aug. 5 spill from the Gold King mine near Silverton, Colorado, sent toxic sludge into waterways including the San Juan River that flows through the reservation.

Begaye issued an emergency declaration and restricted tribal members from using the water for drinking, agriculture and livestock.

Authorities say a dead body has been found in the Sandia Mountains where a hiker has been missing since last weekend.

New Mexico State Police Sgt. Elizabeth Armijo says searchers earlier Wednesday found the body Wednesday morning but that authorities cannot immediately confirm whether it is of 40-year-old Bryan Conkling of Rio Rancho.

Conkling went for an overnight hike on the La Luz Trail on Saturday, and he was reported missing when he didn't return home by Sunday night.

Silver City Report

10 hours ago

Time now for a new segment on KRWG and krwg.org, the Silver City Report with Edmundo Resendez and Silver City Press and Independent reporter, Ben Fisher discussing an issue that has many in the community divided: the Gila River Diversion Project.

Free New Mexico Family Pass Now Available at Las Cruces Library

23 hours ago

  Local residents can now visit Thomas Branigan Memorial Library to check out a pass, good for free admission to 15 state museums and historic sites. 

Charges Against Official Fuel NM's Reputation For Corruption

Sep 1, 2015
NM Sec. of State Dianna Duran / Official photo

Dianna Duran won two terms as secretary of state on the promise she would clean up the office after her predecessors were accused of wrongdoing.

Duran now faces a similar fate after she was accused of funneling campaign contributions to her personal bank accounts all while withdrawing hundreds of thousands of dollars at casinos around New Mexico.

Duran's attorney has vowed to fight the allegations in court, but the case has revived New Mexico's reputation as a place where elected officials and other authority figures are often swept up by claims of fraud and corruption.

Suspected Arms Dealer Fatally Shot By Authorities In Artesia

Sep 1, 2015

Authorities say a suspected arms dealer has been fatally shot after federal officers tried to serve an arrest warrant in Artesia.

A spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says the shooting occurred around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The ATF, Eddy County Sheriff's Office, Pecos Valley Drug Task Force, Carlsbad police and other agencies were executing an arrest warrant when someone inside the residence opened fire.

Albuquerque TV station KOB reports that law enforcement officers returned fire, killing 47-year-old Michael Todd Evan.

New Mexico Court Schedules Arguments On Assisted Suicide

Sep 1, 2015

New Mexico's highest court is poised to consider the legality of assisted suicide.

The state Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for Oct. 26 in a so-called "aid-in-dying" case recently decided by the state Court of Appeals.

The Court of Appeals on Aug. 11 struck down a Bernalillo County District Court judge's ruling that essentially allowed assisted suicide in the state.

In a split decision, the Court of Appeals concluded "that aid in dying is not a fundamental liberty interest under the New Mexico Constitution."

  New Mexico State University will begin checking bags for prohibited items at all NMSU football games, as well as at other major events on the Las Cruces campus.

The bag checks will look for illegal items, to include explosives, firearms and other weapons. Other prohibited items found during the bag checks, including alcohol, will also be subject to confiscation.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

  The Office of Attorney General Hector Balderas is actively searching for relatives of past Attorneys General to be included in the unveiling of a photo gallery honoring AGs serving from 1846 to present.

The gallery housed in the Santa Fe OAG building is open to the public for tours during normal business hours.

Anyone who is related to a past AG or who knows relatives of past AGs is encouraged to contact the OAG Constituent Affairs Unit to provide contact information atAGPhotoGallery@nmag.gov

  Las Cruces Police are trying to locate the driver of a white cargo van suspected of striking a pedestrian Monday afternoon and leaving the scene of the crash.

At around 3:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31, Las Cruces Police learned of the crash on the 1100 block of Edgewood Avenue. A 34-year-old woman was walking across the street when she was struck and run over by the van.

The woman was transported to University Medical Center of El Paso with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

The El Paso Passport Agency is hosting a special passport day on Saturday, September 26 as part of the Department of State’s “Apply Early” campaign for Passport Awareness Month in September.  The Department is expecting an increase in passport applications through 2018.  The “Apply Early” campaign encourages travelers to submit passport applications well ahead of their planned travel dates in order to avoid delays receiving their travel documents.  Typically, applicants can receive their passports more quickly when applying between the months of September to December.  The event on Saturday

  Spaceport America – the world’s first purpose-built, commercial spaceport announced today ARCA Space Corporation has selected Spaceport America as the site for its space launch vehicle and high altitude autonomous aircraft testing.

ARCA Space Corporation was founded in the United States in July in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  A Spaceport America press release stated:

Michael Vadon

Some political analysts say to win the 2016 Presidential election Republicans must do a better job reaching Latinos, millennials and women. Some New Mexico Republicans are worried about another challenge, they’re concerned Donald Trump’s candidacy is compromising the party’s appeal.

Let’s quantify the challenge the Republican party is facing in the upcoming election. According to 2015 Pew Research Center data.

51% of millennials lean Democratic just 35% support Republicans.

When it comes to women: 52% Democratic to 36% Republican.

Latest Texas School Finance Case Reaches State Supreme Court

Sep 1, 2015

Lawyers for 600-plus Texas school districts are set to tell the state Supreme Court that classroom funding is inadequate and unfairly distributed via a "hopelessly broken" system.

The state attorney general's office will counter that funding mechanisms aren't perfect but meet Texas constitutional standards.

Oral arguments before the nine Republican justices should last several hours Tuesday. But there's no timetable on when they'll rule, or remand the matter back to lower courts.

New Laws On Marijuana, Truancy, Drones Take Effect In Texas

Sep 1, 2015

Texas is taking its first step toward easing limits on medical marijuana — even as it imposes bans on synthetic forms of the drug.

A measure allowing some epilepsy patients to get low-THC cannabis oil, Texas' first concession on medical marijuana, is one of nearly 700 new laws taking effect Tuesday.

Also kicking in are laws strengthening restrictions on synthetic marijuana.

So are laws scrapping criminal penalties for skipping school and ending the "pick-a-pal" grand jury system, which critics said created conflicts of interest.

Albuquerque Starts New Superintendent Search Amid Turmoil

Sep 1, 2015
aps.edu

Albuquerque Public Schools must enter another superintendent search after its new school chief resigned following the hiring of an administrator facing child sex abuse charges.

And some worry it may be hard to attract strong candidates amid the turmoil.

The latest controversy is just another in a string of high-profile bad news for New Mexico's largest school district.

Video Appears To Show Texas Deputies Shooting Man With His Hands Up

Aug 31, 2015

Video obtained by a San Antonio TV station appears to show a man with his hands up fatally shot by deputies.

The Bexar County Sheriff's Office said Monday that 41-year-old Gilberto Flores died after the shooting Friday.

Sheriff Susan Pamerleau said what the video shows "is a cause for concern," though her office in a Facebook post criticized its release amid an investigation.

The department says deputies responded to a domestic disturbance and found a woman with a cut and a baby who appeared injured.

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