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.

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

3 hours ago

  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

4 hours ago

  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

4 hours ago

  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

5 hours ago
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

6 hours ago

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

6 hours ago

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

8 hours ago

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

10 hours ago

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

10 hours ago
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

11 hours ago
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

12 hours ago

  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

12 hours ago
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.

AFT National President To Unveil New Mexico Preschool Plan

12 hours ago

American Federation of Teachers national president Randi Weingarten is scheduled to unveil a plan aimed at expanding early childhood education in New Mexico amid a stalemate over funding.

Weingarten is slated Thursday to join Democratic Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez at a Los Ranchos De Albuquerque preschool to discuss efforts to put pressure on state lawmakers and Gov. Susana Martinez to expand the program.

Veteran Actor To Headline Inaugural Las Cruces Film Festival

12 hours ago

Veteran actor Danny Trejo will be the headline at the inaugural Las Cruces International Film Festival next spring.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the festival will run from March 2-6.

Trejo has appeared in dozens of movies and is best known for his title role in the "Machete" trilogy.

His recent television work includes a regular role on the series "Saint George," recurring roles on "Sons of Anarchy" and "King of the Hill" and appearances on "Modern Family" and "Breaking Bad."

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USDA Invests In New Mexico Rural Development

15 hours ago
NM USDA Rural Development Director Terry Brunner

 

   New Mexico depends heavily on infrastructure investments from the federal government.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has spent nearly $67 million dollars on rural development projects in Dona Ana County since 2009.

Over $25 million was spent on housing…including home loans.

And more than $41 million went to business and infrastructure.  Water and wastewater is a big part of that.  For example, more than $8 million dollars was spent on wastewater systems in 2014 alone.  And $1.2 million was spent on an arsenic treatment system in La Union in 2012.

House Committee Will Investigate New Mexico Secretary Of State

23 hours ago
NM Sec. of State Dianna Duran / Official photo

  The speaker of New Mexico's House of Representatives says he's created a special committee to investigate charges against Secretary of State Dianna Duran.

Don Tripp says he believes it's the "appropriate and responsible next step" for the House to begin the process of determining whether the charges have merit and rise to the level of impeachment.

The state Attorney General has leveled allegations of fraud, embezzlement and money laundering against Duran, who is New Mexico's top elections official.

Texas Football Player Shot By Police Had Drugs In His System

Sep 2, 2015
Christian Taylor

An autopsy report has found that a black college football player killed by a police officer had used a synthetic psychedelic drug and marijuana prior to the deadly confrontation at a Texas car dealership.

Christian Taylor was unarmed when Arlington police officer Brad Miller shot him on Aug. 7. Miller has been fired, but his attorney said Wednesday that he hopes the chief will reconsider that decision.

The report released Wednesday shows there was THC, one of the active components of marijuana, and a synthetic drug that causes hallucinations in Taylor's system.

Texas Union Chief: "There Is An Open War Against The Police"

Sep 2, 2015
Todd Harrison, CLEAT

The leader of the largest Texas law enforcement union is accusing President Barack Obama and other politicians of all stripes of doing nothing to protect law enforcement officers and their families.

Austin police Sgt. Todd Harrison is president of the 20,000-member Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, or CLEAT. In a statement Wednesday, he said, "There is an open war against the police on the streets of America." He further said, "President Obama and all the politicians in Texas and the U.S. have something in common: they've done absolutely nothing."

Clinics File Supreme Court Appeal Of Texas Abortion Law

Sep 2, 2015
supremecourt.gov

Texas abortion clinics are asking the Supreme Court to take up a major case about abortion rights.

The clinics say they filed an appeal Wednesday aimed at permanently blocking parts of a state law that already have forced nearly two dozen clinics to close and would leave the second most populous state with 10 abortion providers. If the law passed in 2013 takes full effect, there would be no clinic west of San Antonio and only one would operate on a limited basis in the Rio Grande Valley.

Critics: New Mexico PRC Too "Chummy" With PNM

Sep 2, 2015
pnm.com

An environmental group says members of a powerful New Mexico regulatory body are too "chummy" with utility executives and should not be making any decisions about the fate of a coal-fired power plant that serves customers around the Southwest.

Santa Fe-based New Energy Economy filed a motion late Wednesday with the Public Regulation Commission, seeking the recusal of four of the panel's five members.

The motion hinges on numerous emails and phone calls that make reference to private meetings, dinners, coffee dates and invitations to conferences and sporting events.

Las Cruces Library Calls for Time Capsule Submissions

Sep 2, 2015

  Thomas Branigan Memorial Library will be celebrating its 80th anniversary this November by creating a time capsule. Plans are to display the contents of the time capsule in the library for the month of November. The time capsule will then be put into a secure, marked place at the Library, and registered with the International Time Capsule Society. In 50 years, the capsule can be opened so all can see the changes that have spanned the decades.

Man Suspected of Having Stolen Guns

Sep 2, 2015

  Las Cruces Police arrested a man suspected of knowingly having two stolen firearms in his possession.

John Alexander Moreno, 19, of 435 Ithaca Ct., is charged with two counts of receiving stolen property, firearms. The two counts are fourth-degree felonies.

Casting Call for Major Feature Film Shooting in Southern New Mexico

Sep 2, 2015
Actor Gary Oldman

  An open casting call for the major feature film “Out of This World” will take place Sunday, September 6,from 1 – 6 p.m., and Monday, September 7, from 9 a.m. – to 2 p.m. at the Mesilla Valley Mall (700 S. Telshor Blvd.). The casting event will be located in the Mall’s western wing near Allen Theatres and Gordon’s Jewelers.

 

The production is looking for men, women and children of all races to join a scene filming in mid-September with actor Gary Oldman and other cast members as they present space exploration plans for a trip to Mars at Spaceport America.

 

Suspect in May 2014 Las Cruces Armed Robbery Arrested

Sep 2, 2015

  Las Cruces Police arrested the man believed to be responsible for the May 2014 armed robbery of a Subway restaurant.

Gilbert Dominguez, 38, of Dona Ana, N.M., was arrested today and charged with one count of armed robbery.

Shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday, May 4, 2014, Las Cruces Police responded to the report of an armed robbery that just occurred at the Subway restaurant at 2523 N. Main St. Detectives learned that the suspect displayed a black handgun and demanded cash from the register. No injuries were reported and the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Auditor: New Mexico Had $100M Special Education Shortfall

Sep 2, 2015

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

Sep 2, 2015
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.

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