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.

Push For Open Primaries In New Mexico

2 hours ago

Host Intro: Open Primaries, a national leader on election reform, the group is working on a campaign to build support in the state House Judiciary Committee to approve HJR 12, the Open Primary Elections Constitutional Amendment. Edmundo Resendez spoke to former New Mexico State Representative and founder of New Mexico Open Primaries Bob Perls about the latest efforts in the legislature.

Cut: Interviews

Host Outro: That was Bob Perls with New Mexico Open Primaries speaking with Edmundo Resendez.

Audit Finds New Mexico Has Billions In Unspent Funds

2 hours ago
Tim Keller, New Mexico Auditor

  The Office of the State Auditor (OSA) released the second annual Fund Balance Report that tallies unspent funds in government accounts from the most recent financial audits. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) at OSA reviewed 398 business and enterprise, capital outlay, special revenue and other funds of 86 state agencies, and put forward best practices to get these dollars moving.

Auditor Report: New Mexico Has $4.4 Billion In Unused Funds

2 hours ago

New Mexico's state auditor has found $4.4 billion in unspent funds tucked away in hundreds of agency accounts.

The report released Friday by State Auditor Tim Keller looked at fund balances as of July 1, 2015, and seeks to identify money that is sitting unnecessarily idle when it might otherwise be used to stimulate the economy and employment.

The funds cited in the report do not include employee salaries, operating costs or retirement and permanent trust funds. A report from the previous year found $4.2 billion in unspent funds.

University of New Mexico basketball coach Craig Neal says his son, who also plays as a point guard on his father's team, has been harassed and threatened online.

At a news conference Thursday, Neal said his son Cullen Neal has had to change his phone number twice, shut down his Twitter account and deactivate Facebook as a result of threats.

Police Flight Turns Up No New Evidence Of Missing Treasure Hunter

3 hours ago
nmsp.dps.state.nm.us

Authorities have yet to uncover any new clues to the whereabouts of a Colorado man who went missing in northern New Mexico while looking for a $2 million cache of gold, jewels and artifacts.

A helicopter flight this week by New Mexico State Police and the state's search and rescue team turned up nothing, but Randy Bilyeu's relatives say they're not giving up.

A father and grandfather, Bilyeu has been missing for more than a month since he set out in January in search of author Forrest Fenn's treasure.

Las Cruces Bishop To Represent U.S. During Pope's Visit To Mexico

3 hours ago

Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantu will represent U.S. during the pope's historical visit to Mexico.

Cantu will be one of two bishops from the U.S. and will accompany Pope Francis in Mexico from Friday to Wednesday.

Cantu and Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas received the appointment from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop's President Archbishop Joseph Kurtz.

Cantu says he expects the pope to touch on immigration.

New Mexico Lawmakers Back Campaign Finance Database

15 hours ago

A proposal to overhaul New Mexico's online clearinghouse for campaign finance information has been approved by the state House of Representatives.

The House voted 65-0 on Thursday to send the bipartisan bill to the Senate. The plan would standardize electronic reporting so that filings by candidates, lobbyists and political committees can be searched, cross-referenced or downloaded for analysis.

It also would require all lobbyists to file regular reports, as candidates already do.

Tickets Available for Papal Mass in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico

16 hours ago

  ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Thursday, February 11, 2016 - IMMEDIATE RELEASE--BREAKING NEWS: Tickets Available for Papal Mass in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico The Archdiocese of Santa Fe unexpectedly received a batch of tickets for the Papal Mass that will be celebrated by Pope Francis in Juarez, Mexico on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 4:00 PM.

The celebration will take place at Antigua Feria Expo (Old Fairgrounds), a large field near Benito Juarez Stadium. They are expecting 220,000 people to attend.

  The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) is recruiting food and agricultural companies from across the state to join a trade mission to Vietnam, April 4-8.  Companies need not have any exporting experience to be considered for participation.

The Rotary Club of Silver City, NM, in conjunction with Western New Mexico University and Silver Screen Society, have launched a film competition for the documentation of the invasion of Columbus, NM by Pancho Villa.  The film documentation will take place during the Centennial in Columbus, NM, March 9-12, 2016.   Participants are invited to join WNMU students, faculty and others for the Centennial events in Columbus, NM.  A unique feature of the competition is the opportunity to create a film remotely without visiting the Village of Columbus.  A video “pool” will be created from the Centen

New Jersey Man Gets Prison Sentence In New Mexico Fraud Case

18 hours ago

A New Jersey man has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison in a New Mexico fraud case involving ATM skimming devices.

Federal prosecutors say 25-year-old Michael Silva, of West Orange, also was sentenced Thursday to three years of supervised release after his prison term.

Silva was arrested last September on a 15-count indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated identity theft, 11 counts of access devise fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

Las Cruces Community Garden Plots Open for the Season

18 hours ago

  The City of Las Cruces Parks & Recreation Department will make community gardenplots available to the public for summer planting starting March 1. If you have ever wanted to grow your own vegetables and flowers, here is your opportunity!

Las Cruces Doctor Pleads Guilty To Health Care Fraud

18 hours ago

A Las Cruces physician whose license has been revoked has pleaded guilty to health care fraud and unlawfully dispensing prescription painkillers.

Federal prosecutors say 63-year-old Pawankumar Jain entered his plea Thursday.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Jain will be sentenced to 42 to 108 months in prison.

Jain has been in federal custody since April 2014 and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

Mexican Nationals Arrested In New Mexico On Federal Meth Charges

18 hours ago

  Four Mexican nationals made their initial appearances this morning in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., on a criminal complaint charging them with methamphetamine trafficking offenses.  All four remain in federal custody pending preliminary hearings and detention hearings which have yet to be scheduled.

UPDATE: Las Cruces Police Arrest Man Suspected Of Fraud

19 hours ago

  Gary D. Sugamosto, 67, the man suspected of swindling several individuals out of cash he suggested would pay for ‘flipping’ used vehicles, was arrested by Las Cruces PoliceThursday morning.

Sugamosto is charged with five felony counts of fraud including two counts of fraud over $2,500, one count of fraud over $20,000, one count of fraud over $500 and one count of fraud by worthless check.

Sugamosto was arrested Thursday morning and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center with a cash-only bond set at $50,000.

Udall Reiterates Concerns About Lack Of An Ambassador To Mexico

19 hours ago
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a longtime advocate for Senate reform, pushed for a Senate vote on Roberta Jacobson's nomination to serve as ambassador to Mexico. Although Jacobson has been called one of the most qualified nominees for the position ever, her nomination has been on hold for almost six months in large part due to a few senators’ objections to her role in the Obama administration's Cuba policy.

The Latest: Prosecutor Says Teen Planned Family Killing

19 hours ago

The latest on the case of a teen charged with killing his parents and three siblings in New Mexico (all times local):

2:20 p.m.

Closing arguments are underway in a hearing that will determine whether a New Mexico teenager who pleaded guilty to killing his parents and three siblings should be sentenced as a juvenile or adult.

New Mexico Braces For Budget Crunch Linked To Oil Prices

19 hours ago
Senator John Arthur Smith (D-Dona Ana, Hidalgo, Sierra-35), Chair, Legislative Finance Committee

Leaders of the New Mexico Senate are urging state agencies to institute cost-saving measures and plan to rewrite a budget for next year approved by the Republican-controlled House in response to declining revenue forecasts.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman John Arthur Smith said Thursday that general fund reserves are likely to be drawn down during the current fiscal year and that revenues are no longer expected to increase next year.

Spring Enrollment Down Slightly At University Of New Mexico

19 hours ago

University of New Mexico officials say enrollment is down slightly this spring but in line with projections.

Initial enrollment numbers for the spring semester show a total of 25,299 students.

The enrollment figure for spring 2015 was 25,816.

UNM officials say a record number of freshmen — more than 3,000 — returned for their second semester this school year.

More than 91 percent of those students are continuing into the spring semester on their way to completing their first year of college.

  Attention parents of sixth grade girls from all over Doña Ana County!  It’s time to register your daughters for this year’s Girls Can! career exploration conference on Saturday morning, March 5, at Lynn Middle School, 950 S. Walnut Street in Las Cruces.

Detectives Arrest Las Cruces Man Suspected In String Of Burglaries

23 hours ago

  Doña Ana County Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Las Cruces man who they allege is responsible for a string of burglaries that were reported in the past several weeks to the sheriff’s office, the Mesilla Marshal’s office, and the Las Cruces Police Department.

   Christopher Reed, 21, was taken into custody Tuesday on eight counts of receiving or transferring stolen property and one count of criminal damage to property.

Mount Cristo Rey Dinosaur Tracks Park Bill Passes

23 hours ago
Rep. Jeff Steinborn

  The New Mexico House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation Wednesday night to launch discussions about the future of a Mount Cristo Rey Dinosaur Tracks park.  The discussions could lead to a 200 acre nature park owned by Insights El Paso Science Center at the base of Mount Cristo Rey be transferred to a New Mexico organization.  The discussions will be facilitated by the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resource Department’s State Parks Division and include key stakeholders including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico State University, New Mexico Museum of Natura

  The New Mexico State University College of Education and Black Programs will host several events this month recognizing Black History Month with cultural music performances.

The college’s Dance Program and Black Programs will sponsor a performance by Soriba Fofana, director of the MORIA West African Dance & Drum Ensemble in New Mexico. The performance will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Corbett Center Auditorium. Tickets are $10 and are available by calling 575-646-4067.

Deming Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Meth Charges

Feb 11, 2016

Flavio Loya Moncada, 53, of Deming, N.M., pleaded guilty yesterday afternoon in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to methamphetamine trafficking charges.

   Moncada was arrested on March 11, 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on March 6, 2015, in Doña Ana County, N.M., after Moncada attempted to sell approximately 235.1 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover law enforcement agent. 

  Las Cruces – Doña Ana Community College (DACC) will host the second annual “Run with your Doc,” to benefit St. Luke’s Healthcare Clinic on Saturday, February 27, 2016. Last year’s race included 625 runners who helped raise $30,000 for the clinic.

AAA Texas: Retail Gas Prices Fall A Nickel In State

Feb 11, 2016

Texas retail gasoline prices continue to slide by dropping a nickel this week.

AAA Texas on Thursday reported the average price at the pump statewide was $1.53 per gallon. Nationwide gasoline prices fell 7 cents this week to reach $1.70 per gallon.

Amarillo has the cheapest gasoline this week across Texas at an average $1.34 per gallon. Drivers in El Paso have the most expensive gasoline statewide at an average $1.56 per gallon.

Two West Texans Accused In Mexican Ammunition Smuggling Case

Feb 11, 2016

Two West Texas residents have been accused of trying to buy about 80,000 rounds of ammunition online to be smuggled into Mexico.

Edward Navarro of El Paso was being held on federal charges of conspiracy to smuggle and also smuggling goods from the U.S.

Prosecutors say the 29-year-old Navarro was arrested Jan. 13, at an El Paso border crossing, with nearly 4,600 rounds of ammunition in his car.

Investigators say 34-year-old Sofia Acosta de Caballero of El Paso remains at large after the indictment was unsealed Wednesday in El Paso.

NM House Approves Police 'Double-Dipping' Bill

Feb 11, 2016

New Mexico's House of Representatives has approved provisions for some retired law enforcement officers to return to work while also receiving pension benefits.

The Democratic-led Senate has not yet voted on the double-dipping rules. Republican Gov. Susan Martinez supports the plan.

The legislation was designed to help Albuquerque's police force and other local law enforcement agencies address shortfalls in staffing and difficulties with recruiting new officers.

Global Bank Accused Of Supporting Drug Cartels In Lawsuit

Feb 11, 2016
https://twitter.com/HSBC

Four families have sued global bank HSBC in federal court in Texas alleging that the bank permitted Mexican drug cartels to launder money and thereby provided material support to terrorists.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. district court in Brownsville on Tuesday said that laundering drug money made it possible for the cartels to operate. It says the bank is liable for the damage inflicted by the cartels under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Survey: Solar Workforce Growing In New Mexico

Feb 11, 2016

State energy officials say the solar industry's workforce is growing in New Mexico.

The state Energy Conservation and Management Division teamed up with the nonprofit Solar Foundation to develop the solar jobs census for 2015. They found 299 jobs were added to the solar workforce last year.

As of November, a total of 1,899 workers were employed by the industry and solar companies said they expected to hire another 234 workers this year.

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