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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.

In Depth: Dismay And Delight On Presidents Day

3 minutes ago
facebook.com (donald trump)

The United States on Monday marked Presidents Day, a holiday that's taking on a new meaning for some Americans this year as Republican President Donald Trump — to the dismay of some and the delight of others — upends traditional notions of the office.

The holiday began as a celebration of George Washington's birthday, Feb. 22, and its official name remains Washington's Birthday.

Several Tornadoes Hit Central Texas

5 minutes ago

Authorities say severe storms have pushed several tornadoes through parts of Central Texas, ripping the roofs from homes in San Antonio and toppling freight train cars near Austin.

No major injuries have been reported from the storms that moved across the area late Sunday and early Monday.

Officials estimate the weather damaged roughly 150 structures, most of them homes and apartments in the San Antonio area. The National Weather Service has confirmed at least six tornadoes touched down, though not all in populated areas.

Texas child welfare agency adding 400-plus new staff members

6 minutes ago

The head of Texas' troubled foster care system says emergency state funding helped hire 441 new employees in December and January, a two-thirds increase over the same period the previous year.

Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Hank Whitman told a state House committee on Monday that an additional around 250 staff should be hired soon. The Legislature approved nearly $150 million for about 830 extra employees.

Las Cruces City Council To Vote On Opposition To Border Wall

7 minutes ago
Simon Thompson

The Las Cruces City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a resolution expressing opposition to President Donald Trump's plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The resolution by Mayor Pro Tem Greg Smith contends a border wall would harm the area's economy by hurting its relationship with Mexico.

It also would ask federal authorities to find a more effective way to address concerns over illegal immigration.

Trump's plan to build a border wall is a key feature in a larger effort by the president to toughen up immigration enforcement.

Lawmakers Unveil New Mexico Budget Plan

2 hours ago

Democratic New Mexico lawmakers are advancing a $6.1 budget plan that would increase classroom spending, shore up judicial funding and replenish incentives for job training and business expansions.

The House Appropriations and Finance Committee on Monday approved the spending bill for the fiscal year starting July 1 in a vote that divided Democrats and Republicans.

New Mexico Bill Would Ban Drones Near Power Plants, Airports

2 hours ago

A New Mexico lawmaker has proposed banning drones from flying within 500 feet of power plants, refineries and other such critical-infrastructure facilities.

Violations under the bill by Republican Sen. Greg Baca of Belen would be misdemeanors.

While noting there are federal regulations governing drone usage, Baca says it's important for the state to have regulations protecting critical facilities.

Other such critical facilities include airports, government buildings and law enforcement and military facilities.

Baca introduced the bill earlier this month.

New Mexico Senate Endorses Popular-Vote System For President

2 hours ago

New Mexico would join a movement to elect U.S. presidents by popular vote under a bill approved by the state Senate.

The Senate voted Monday in favor joining an inter-state compact that requires Electoral College voters to cast ballots for the national popular vote winner. Democrats backed the bill in a 26-16 vote along party lines. The bill now moves to the House.

Man From Anton Chico Dies In One-Vehicle Accident

2 hours ago

A 19-year-old man has died in a one-vehicle accident near Anton Chico.

New Mexico State Police say 19-year-old Mario Maestas of Anton Chico ran off the roadway Sunday morning on State Road 451, overturned his vehicle and collided with a tree.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Lee Acres Man Arrested, Accused Of Cutting His Wife's Throat

11 hours ago

Authorities say a Lee Acres man is accused of attempted murder after allegedly cutting his wife's throat.

San Juan County Sheriff's officials say 50-year-old Johnson Mud is being held on a $100,000 cash/surety bond.

Sheriff's deputies were called to a home around 10:30 p.m. after a man called 911 and said he cut his wife's throat.

They say the 911 operator tried to get Mud to control the bleeding, but he refused.

Deputies found Mud's wife lying on the bedroom floor of the home with a large laceration to her throat.

Monday Business Watch

12 hours ago

What’s happening in the world of business in the Mesilla Valley? Time now for the Monday Business Watch with Edmundo Resendez and Jason Gibbs, Business Editor for the Las Cruces Sun-News. This week, the 2016 Star Clients were announced and a profile of Home Instead Senior Care. 

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Americans on Presidents Day: Admiration, fear mark holiday

19 hours ago
donaldjtrump.com

The United States on Monday marks Presidents Day, a holiday that's taking on a new meaning for some Americans this year as President Donald Trump — to the dismay of some and delight of others — upends traditional notions of the office.

The holiday began as a celebration of George Washington's birthday, Feb. 22, and its official name remains Washington's Birthday.

"Black Gold" Available For Free In Las Cruces

Feb 19, 2017

It’s not spring yet, but it is time to start thinking about your lawn and garden and the “black gold” your plants will appreciate! Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) reminds you that safe, beneficial Class A+ compost is available free to area residents and farmers to boost the strength and vitality of lawns, gardens, and farm fields.

I-10 Closures This Week

Feb 19, 2017

I-10 & Mesa

Continuous

The following closures will open by 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24:

·         The right turn-only lane on eastbound North Mesa Street (SH 20) will close between Osborne Drive and South Desert Boulevard.

·         The right through lane on eastbound North Mesa Street (SH 20) will close between Osborne Drive and South Desert Blvd, but only when necessary and only during the day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Water-Efficient Landscape Design

Feb 19, 2017

Landscape architect David Cristiani describes himself as an Air Force brat who has lived all over the country; by age 13 he was a weather nerd and intensely interested in what grew where. Because of the frequent family moves, he says even as a kid he noticed the great contrast in flora that thrived in different regions of the United States.

Solid Waste Authority: Recycling Is Strong In Las Cruces

Feb 19, 2017

In 2016 Las Cruces recycled 7,000 tons of metal (aluminum, tin and steel cans), office paper, newspaper, chipboard and cardboard, and plastics (0-7). That’s an increase from 6,800 tons recycled in 2015, and is attributed to population growth, an increase in the number of businesses that recycle, and Las Cruces Public Schools participating in recycling.

Actor Shia LaBeouf brings anti-Trump piece to New Mexico

Feb 19, 2017
facebook.com (donald trump)

Actor Shia LaBeouf has brought a performance-art piece against President Donald Trump to New Mexico's largest city.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2lWMbGd) that LaBeouf, along with two other artists, brought on Saturday a 24-hour live-streaming camera mounted to a wall with the message in block letters: "He will not divide us," referring to Trump. The artists want people to go up to the camera and repeat the phrase

Some Texas grad students meet at bars to avoid guns

Feb 18, 2017

A 2016 Texas law that allows concealed handguns on college campuses has prompted some graduate students to move their student conferences to bars.

Several University of Texas at Austin graduate students made the move amid safety concerns.

Mark Sheridan, who's also an English doctoral student, says he moved his office hours to a bar in the university student center. Texas law bans firearms in venues that primarily serve alcohol.

Texas has allowed concealed carry since 1995, but kept college campuses gun-free until last August.

Justice Department cites hiring freeze concerns for disabled

Feb 18, 2017
http://gov.texas.gov/

The U.S. Department of Justice has questioned how Gov. Greg Abbott's hiring freeze could affect Texas institutions for people with intellectual disabilities.

The Justice Department officials say potential staffing shortages could cause Texas to violate its federal agreement to improve the facilities.

Abbott on Jan. 31, amid budget concerns, ordered a state agency hiring freeze through August. The directive only applies to agencies under Abbott's office and allows exemptions.

NBA warns Texas over proposed 'bathroom bill'

Feb 18, 2017

The NBA has warned that Texas could be overlooked for future events because of a proposed "bathroom bill" targeting transgender people.

The Texas legislation is similar to a North Carolina law that prompted the league to move the All-Star Game out of that state. It would require people to use bathrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass says an environment where people are treated "fairly and equally" weighs heavily in deciding host locations. The NBA first made the statement last week, and the NFL has issued similar warnings.

New Mexico judge rules against underfunded public defenders

Feb 18, 2017

A state district court judge in southeastern New Mexico has rejected arguments by public defense attorneys that they are too overloaded with work to provide adequate representation to poor defendants facing jail time.

District Judge William Shoobridge of Lea County said in an order released Friday that attorneys with the Law Offices of the Public Defender have been providing reasonably competent representation to indigent defendants in the area despite financial pressures.

Hundreds of Mexicans protest with 'human wall' on US border

Feb 18, 2017

Hundreds of people in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez gathered on the edge of the Rio Grande river Friday to form a "human wall" to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's plans for a wall between the countries.

The demonstrators held aloft on Friday colorful swatches of cloth and waved to the residents of the neighboring city of El Paso, Texas.

Organizers said a friendly, human wall meant to join the two cities was better than a wall of steel or concrete to divide them.

A 2015 Pew Research report estimated there were around 3.3 million Muslims living in the United States. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/01/06/a-new-estimate-of-the-u-s-muslim-population/

In a taped episode of “In Focus” Radwan Jallad, President of The Islamic Center of Las Cruces shared some history about the center and the faith. Jallad says the center was formed in the early 1980s.

Newsmakers 907

Feb 17, 2017

Big Wins For Las Cruces Students

Feb 17, 2017

LAS CRUCES---Although the year just started, 2017 is off to a great start for Mayfield High School (MHS) freshman Mireya Sanchez-Maes. In addition to winning the 2017 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Essay or Poetry Contest, she recently won four individual and team awards at the 2017 Cave Classic Speech and Debate Tournament at La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, NM.

Mexican Wolf Numbers Up More Than 10 Percent From Last Year

Feb 17, 2017

  Commentary: SILVER CITY, N.M.— In encouraging news for the highly endangered Mexican gray wolf, the U.S.

Living Here - Geronimo Springs Museum

Feb 17, 2017

Events On Tap For Downtown Las Cruces

Feb 17, 2017

Main St. Downtown:

·         Farmers and Crafts Market

o   Wednesday, Feb. 22, 8:30 am - 1 pm.

o   Saturday, Feb. 25, 8:30 am - 1 pm

o   Wednesday, March 1, 8:30 am - 1 pm.

o   Saturday, March 4, 8:30 am-1 pm

·         Plaza De Las Cruces

o   Food Truck Fiesta! – Wednesday, Feb. 15, 3-10 pm

Las Cruces Museum System: Branigan Cultural Center, the Las Cruces Museum of Art, the Las Cruces Museum of Nature & Science and the Las Cruces Railroad Museum Free Admission!

New Mexico House Republicans Kill Bill to Protect Public Health

Feb 17, 2017

  Commentary: Santa Fe, NM – A bill to make it a crime to lie to inspectors from the Environment Department was killed by House Republicans in the House Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Committee. HB 371, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Fajarado (R-Valencia County), imposed criminal penalties for owners and operators of public water systems who lie to inspectors from the Department of the Environment. Currently, there are no penalties for lying to inspectors nor for tampering with devices or records.

 

Diverse coalition praises effort to preserve Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

Feb 17, 2017

Commentary: Las Cruces, New Mexico – Sportsmen, Native Americans, business leaders, veterans, civic groups, current and former local elected officials, archaeologists, historians, and conservation organizations applauded Senators Udall and Heinrich for the re-introduction of the “Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Act” today.  A broad coalition of local stakeholders successfully worked to create the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, and has been advocating for wilderness protection of the most sensitive areas within it for nearly a decade. 

Fronteras 706: Chili Pepper Institute - Paul Bosland

Feb 17, 2017

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