Regional

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.

Local Leaders Question El Paso Electric Rate Hike

2 hours ago

El Paso Electric’s recent request for an increase on base electric rates has many Las Cruces residents wondering if a rate increase is truly unavoidable.

A recent proposal filed by El Paso Electric (EPE) could result in an electric rate increase of approximately $8.6 million dollars if it is approved by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC). According to El Paso Electric’s website, it’s a 9 percent increase, on average, to total residential bills.

NMSU Regents To Meet About Upgrades To The Baseball Field

16 hours ago

  The Board of Regents of New Mexico State University will hold a special meeting at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, at the University of New Mexico Student Union Building Ballroom on the main campus of UNM, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Erin Brockovich To Tour Navajo Nation Areas Damaged By Spill

17 hours ago
Erin Brockovich via brockovich.com

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich will be touring the Navajo Nation next week to get a firsthand look at the damage caused by the spill of wastewater from a Colorado mine.

President Russell Begaye said Friday that Brockovich will join him in surveying areas devastated by the Gold King Mine spill.

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

The tribe has been critical of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's response.

Girl Says Albuquerque Driver's Ed Teacher Offered Her Pot

17 hours ago
Eric Robertson

A driving education instructor in Albuquerque is facing felony charges after allegedly offering a 15-year-old student marijuana during a driving session.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Eric Robertson, the owner of Drive Tech Driver's Education, has been charged with child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

A retired doctor who had an office in North Conway, New Hampshire, has been indicted on sex assault charges involving female patients under the age of 13.

Seventy-five-year-old Thomas Packard of Las Cruces, New Mexico, was indicted by a Carroll County grand jury on a dozen counts of felony sex assault. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 16.

The indictments identify two girls by their initials and contain claims of numerous kinds of sexual contact between Jan. 1, 1984 and Dec. 31, 1985. The indictments are dated Aug. 21.

  Organizers of the 2015 Domenici Public Policy Conference, hosted by New Mexico State University and set for Sept. 16 and 17 at the Las Cruces Convention Center, have announced a change to speaker lineup on the conference’s second day.

Francisco J. Monaldi will speak about energy in the Americas at 11:15 a.m.Thursday, Sept. 17. Monaldi, a leading scholar on the politics and economics of the oil industry and oil wealth management in Latin America and developing countries, will replace Amy Myers Jaffe, who will be unable to attend as scheduled.

New Mexico Woman Arrested After Fleeing State With Young Son

17 hours ago

Authorities say a New Mexico woman and her young son who were wanted in an Amber Alert have been found safe in Washington state.

New Mexico State Police say the U.S. Marshals Service arrested 36-year-old Katrina Bryant around noon Friday at a home in Kennewick, Washington.

She's been booked into the Benton County Jail.

They say 4-year-old Kingston Rodriguez will be released to the Child Protective Services after he's medically evaluated.

Bryant and her son had been missing since Aug. 31 when they were last seen in Taos, New Mexico.

New Mexico State Police To Step Up Labor Day Patrols

18 hours ago

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says state police will step up patrols for the Labor Day weekend to catch would-be drunk drivers.

Martinez said Friday that state troopers will be extra vigilant over the holidays and urged New Mexico motorists to call cabs or "crash on a friend's sofa" rather than get behind the wheel.

The extra patrols come as New Mexico State Parks have scheduled numerous events in hopes of attracting visitors over the Labor Day weekend.

Martinez: Trump's Criticism Of Bush's Spanish A Distraction

18 hours ago
donaldjtrump.com

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's criticism of rival Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish is a distraction.

A Republican and the nation's only Latina governor, Martinez said Friday following a news conference the spat was taking the focus away from real issues facing the country.

Bush said he had been responding to a reporter's question in Spanish this week when he replied in Spanish to criticize Trump.

Trump told Breitbart News that Bush should "set the example" by speaking English while in the U.S.

Patriot Day Ceremony September 11 In Las Cruces

20 hours ago

 

   The City of Las Cruces Patriot Day Ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11 at Albert Johnson Park, near N. Main Street and Picacho Avenue.

The ceremony will commemorate the 14th year of remembrance of the terrorist attacks against the United States.

It will include an honor guard, bag pipes, flag folding ceremony, bell ceremony, and this year, a reading of student essays. The City has asked elementary school students to participate so they may find a deeper understanding of what happened in America, just years before their time.

Texas AG Makes First Post-Indictment Campaign Appearance

Sep 4, 2015
Texas AG Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has made his first campaign appearance since being indicted on securities fraud charges, addressing about 700 cheering supporters at a tea party rally.

The Republican was joined at the Thursday evening event in Houston by presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, though they gave separate addresses and didn't share a stage.

Paxton last week pleaded not guilty to two counts of securities fraud over allegations he deceived investors in a tech startup that compensated him for recruiting new shareholders.

TSA To Give Firearm Travel Workshop At Sunport

Sep 4, 2015

The Transportation Security Administration is scheduled to give a workshop on how passengers can travel with firearms on flights out of Albuquerque.

TSA is slated Friday to give examples how passengers can legally travel with guns.

The agency says TSA has found 7 guns at checkpoints this year at Albuquerque International Sunport.

TSA says officials have found more than 1,600 guns nationwide in 2015 so far.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

New Mexico Park Officials Expect Busy Holiday Weekend

Sep 4, 2015
https://www.facebook.com/NewMexicoStateParksDivision

\From star parties and fishing derbies to an underwater poker contest, New Mexico State Parks has scheduled numerous events in hopes of attracting visitors over the Labor Day weekend.

State Parks Director Christy Tafoya says numbers have been excellent so far this summer thanks in part to lower gas prices and high water levels at the state's reservoirs.

In a typical year, some 3.8 million people visit the state's 35 parks. Tafoya says she's hoping to surpass that this year.

2nd El Paso-Area Person Dies Of West Nile Virus

Sep 4, 2015

An El Paso-area woman has become the second person in the West Texas city's area this year to die of West Nile virus.

City health officials say the woman was the fourth person in the area to have contracted the mosquito-borne virus in 2015.

Fifteen cases, but no deaths, were reported last year. The most severe West Nile outbreak around El Paso was in 2012, when 32 people contracted the virus and six died.

Inmates Hope To Be Freed By Court From Solitary Confinement

Sep 4, 2015

The cases of two Penitentiary of New Mexico inmates who have filed petitions to be removed from solitary confinement will be heard in court.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports hearings for 36-year-old Jacob Steven Chavez and 32-year-old Timothy Martinez are scheduled for Friday.

Chavez has been held in solitary for 10 years, confined alone in his cell for at least 23 hours a day. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. Chavez filed his petition May 2014.

Man Faces Up To Life In Prison For Several New Mexico Murders

Sep 3, 2015

  A federal jury sitting in Albuquerque, N.M., today returned a guilty verdict against Francisco Melgar-Cabrera, 31, on Hobbs Act robbery and felony murder charges stemming from the armed robberies of two Albuquerque-area restaurants and the murder of Stephanie Anderson in June 2009. 

Repeat Offender Receives Maximum Sentence

Sep 3, 2015

  Jeffery Varela pled guilty Wednesday to Possession of Methamphetamine and was sentenced to 5½ years in prison.

  Nearly 60 students transferring into the engineering programs at New Mexico State University and Howard University this fall semester received an extra boost to help them with the transition and become successful engineering students. They were participants in a National Science Foundation-funded Breaking New Ground program led by engineering faculty at the respective universities.

F&A Dairy Adding 20-25 New Employees In Las Cruces

Sep 3, 2015

  F & A Dairy, a prominent WMIP fixture for the last 20 years, is currently looking for 20 to 25 new employees as a result of strengthening demand for its cheese products.

In a meeting with City and State Economic Development staff, F & A Dairy CFO Casey Habersang discussed the improving business prospects for F& A Dairy, and the need to add additional production workers, supervisors and lab techs at their Las Cruces plant.

2nd Human Plague Case Is Confirmed In Bernalillo County

Sep 3, 2015
http://nmhealth.org/

A second human plague case has been confirmed in New Mexico's Bernalillo County.

The New Mexico Department of Health says a 59-year-old woman from Bernalillo County is recovering.

Her name isn't being released.

It's the third human case of plague in New Mexico this year and the second in Bernalillo County.

The other cases in the state occurred in a 52-year-old woman from Santa Fe County who died from the illness and a 65-year-old man from Bernalillo County who recovered.

Another Dead Body Found In New Mexico's Sandia Mountains

Sep 3, 2015

Authorities say another dead body has been found in New Mexico's Sandia Mountains.

New Mexico State Police say the body was found late Wednesday night and the Office of the Medical Investigator is working to identify the person.

Authorities say the body could be that of 70-year-old James Whitehead, who didn't return from a hike Tuesday on Ellis Trail.

KOB-TV reports that search crews began looking for Whitehead on Wednesday morning after his family reported him missing.

Nurse Details NM Boy's Injuries In Deadly Abuse Case Trial

Sep 3, 2015

An investigator says drug paraphernalia used to shoot up heroin was found in the bedroom of an Albuquerque house where police found a 9-year-old the day he was beaten to death.

Detective Chad Stuart's testimony came during the trial Thursday for Stephen Causus, who is charged in connection with death of his stepson, Omaree Varela.

An emergency room pediatric nurse also testified, saying the boy had more pattern markings indicative of abuse than any patient she has treated in her career.

  Gov. Susana Martinez announced that childhood vaccination coverage in New Mexico reached an all time high in 2014.  New Mexico now ranks 10th best in the country among the 50 states for childhood vaccination coverage for 19 to 35 month olds.

Supreme Court To Decide If Judge Must Release Data

Sep 3, 2015

The New Mexico Supreme Court will decide whether judges are subject to public record requests in a case associated with a proposed horse slaughterhouse.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the court heard arguments Wednesday in the case of Valley Meat Co., which requested communications and campaign page Facebook messages from State District Judge Matthew Wilson of Santa Fe.

The company is facing a lawsuit from state Attorney General Gary King, who wants horse slaughter permanently blocked.

Jetport To Host Runners From 20 Area High Schools

Sep 3, 2015

There will be more than just aircraft traffic this Saturday, Sept. 5, at the Doña Ana County International Jetport at Santa Teresa.

   The site will be teeming with teenagers and their families and friends for the Cathedral/Loretto Invitational Cross Country Meet. More than 600 runners are expected to compete, representing 20 schools from Doña Ana County and El Paso County.

Abbott To Visit Mexico Amid Tension

Sep 3, 2015
http://gov.texas.gov/

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is heading to Mexico for the first time since taking office and amid some tension between Texas and the state's largest trading partner.

Abbott will meet with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto during a three-day trip starting Sunday. It marks the first international visit for Abbott as governor.

Abbott said Thursday he wants to improve bilateral relations and create more economic prosperity.

A judge has approved more than $1.5 million in damages against the county in the case of a former Dona Ana County internal affairs investigator who says she was wrongfully terminated.

The judge signed off on the award Wednesday. Kim Stewart was awarded in July after a jury determined county officials violated her rights under New Mexico's Human Rights Act and Whistleblower Protection Act.

Community Invited To NMSU Salon Disovery September 18

Sep 3, 2015
NMSU student Min Tran

  The community will have a chance to discover the rich history and continued accomplishments of the Department of Astronomy at Salon Discovery’s fall gala event, “NMSU Astromony: Clyde Tombaugh and Beyond” at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 18 in Atkinson Recital Hall.

Border Organization To Honor Las Cruces-Area County Commissioner

Sep 3, 2015

  After extended consultation with hundreds of families that comprise its membership in the US/Mexico Border region, the Border Network for Human Rights has selected District 4 Doña Ana County Commissioner Wayne D. Hancock to receive its 2015 Safe Communities Award.

Commissioner Hancock will receive the award at a Nov. 14 dinner and ceremony at St. Pius Catholic Church’s Parish Hall in El Paso.

The letter notifying Hancock of the award praised him for his work as a county commissioner and community activist.

Teens Take On Preservation Work At National Monuments

Sep 3, 2015
Bandelier National Monument--photo by Sandy King

A crew of Native American youth has spent the summer helping on a preservation project at Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico.

The project is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's HOPE initiative, or Hands-On Preservation Experience.

The trust teamed up with the National Park Service and the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. The goal was to train more young people in preservation skills while helping historical sites on public land. From New Mexico and Arizona to Virginia and Vermont, crews worked on some 30 projects this summer.

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