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.

Las Cruces Sets Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

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The City of Las Cruces’ annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at Albert Johnson Park, corner of Picacho Avenue and north Main Street.

Mayor Ken Miyagishima will lead the public in the lighting ceremony at approximately 6 p.m. A performance by the Picacho Middle School Choir will begin the event and snacks, beverages and candy canes will be provided.

Planned Water Outage In Las Cruces

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Residents and business along Sixth Street from Wilson Avenue to the north dead end; West Ethel Avenue from north Fifth Street to Sixth Street; and Palmer Road from North Fifth Street to Sixth Street, will experience a water outage between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, while construction crews cap an existing water main. Adjacent areas also may be affected by the outage. 

  Conrad Vasquez Salazar 43, of Las Cruces, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to 20 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on conspiracy and firearms charges.  Salazar also was ordered to pay $111,018.05 in restitution to the victim of his criminal conduct.

Salazar’s sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, and Las Cruces Police Chief Jaime Montoya.

  FCA US LLC has announced the national rollout of its Degrees@Work program and the newly developed Degrees@Work Family offering with Strayer University designed to provide a no-cost, no-debt college degree to participating FCA US dealership employees and their immediate family members.

FCA US is not only the first and only company in the automotive industry to offer the programs; it’s also the first U.S. company of any type to provide a no-cost, no-debt college degree to both employees and their immediate families.

Former State Worker Pleads Guilty In Food Stamp Fraud Case

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A former New Mexico Human Services Department worker has pleaded guilty to defrauding the federal food stamp program.

Joseph Martin Padilla pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud Monday in federal court in Albuquerque under a plea agreement that prosecutors said requires him to pay just over $181,000 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says the 34-year-old Albuquerque resident also faces a prison term when he is sentenced.

Depositions: Superintendent Investigated After Complaints

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As Albuquerque news outlets fight for records pertaining to the resignation of Albuquerque Schools Superintendent Winston Brooks, depositions show he was investigated after a number of complaints.

Brooks resigned from the post in August after the board bought out the last two years of his contract.

House Democrats Outline Campaign Finance Reforms

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House Democratic leaders are rolling out their proposals for reforming New Mexico's scandal-plagued campaign finance reporting system.

They also want to create an independent ethics commission and revamp a pension forfeiture law aimed at corrupt elected officials.

Democrats outlined their plans during a news conference outside the secretary of state's office in Santa Fe on Tuesday.

The announcement comes just a month after Dianna Duran tendered her resignation as the state's top elections official and pleaded guilty to embezzlement and other charges.

SCAM ALERT: Attorney General Warns New Mexicans about “Making Home Affordable” Program

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  Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a scam alert to warn New Mexicans about a dangerous new scam preying on New Mexicans who are having trouble paying their mortgages.

“Do not pay Ocwen mortgage payments by Moneygram in response to 'Making Home Affordable' offer letters or calls,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “This is a scam and if you receive one of these letters or calls please contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General at505-222-9100.”

A former employee of the Income Support Division of the New Mexico Human Services Department has entered a guilty plea to defrauding the federal food stamp program.  Joseph Martin Padilla, 34, of Albuquerque, N.M., pled guilty in federal court yesterday under a plea agreement that requires him to pay $181,398.76 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  At sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled, Padilla faces a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison.


New Mexico Catholic Bishops say they are praying for state lawmakers to come to an agreement on a "fair" two-tier compromise regarding New Mexico driver's licenses.

The bishops said in a statement Monday they hoped a proposed compromise will continue to allow immigrants suspected of being in the illegally to obtain licenses and make the state compliant under the federal REAL ID act.

State lawmakers are expected in January to begin work on revising a state law that grants New Mexico driver's licenses to immigrants regardless of status.

New Mexico Catholic Bishops: Support Syrian Refugees

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  New Mexico Catholic bishops are urging state residents to write letters to President Barack Obama in support of expanding U.S. resettlement efforts of Syrian refugees.

The church leaders said in a statement Monday that they are joining the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in calling Catholics to pray for refugees.

Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester, Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantu and Gallup Bishop James Wall also asked parishioners to call members of Congress to support needed development aid for refugee host countries.

New Mexico To Temporarily Lock Down State Prisons

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New Mexico's 11 state-run prisons will be on lockdown for a few days while staff member search for banned items.

The New Mexican reports that New Mexico Corrections Department Secretary Gregg Marcantel ordered the lockdown, which began Monday morning. Visitors will not be allowed at the prisons until the lockdown is complete, but prison officials say it should be over before Thanksgiving.

Marcantel said in a statement that the unannounced lockdowns help the corrections department examine its security, operations and prison conditions.

When La Clinica De Familia took over mental health services from La Frontera just over three months ago, different community organizations promised to check in on the transition to make sure La Clinica de Familia was able to handle the takeover. A Behavioral Health Forum was held Monday to do just that.

On August 1st, La Clinica De Familia took over mental health services from La Frontera, the second transition of mental health services in Dona Ana County in less than three years. CEO of La Clinica de Familia Suzan Martinez de Gonzalez says the transition was smooth.

Planned Parenthood Sues Texas Over Attempts To Block Medicaid Funding

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Planned Parenthood is suing Texas over attempts to block Medicaid dollars, beginning another courtroom fight between the nation's largest abortion provider and a Republican-controlled state.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said Monday the lawsuit aims to protect health care access for 13,500 patients statewide.

Texas moved to strip Medicaid funding after accusing Planned Parenthood of scheduling abortions in a way that would best procure fetal tissue for medical research.

Albuquerque Man Arrested After Death Of Live-In Girlfriend

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Police in Albuquerque say a man is in custody in connection with the death of his live-in girlfriend.

They say 36-year-old Micah Criswell was re-arrested in the case Monday.

Police say 34-year-old Tannis Johnson was found unconscious at a home last Saturday and rushed to an Albuquerque hospital.

Violent crimes detectives say Criswell had an on-again, off-again relationship with Johnson and allegedly had a heated argument with her that night.

Muslim Texas Student Sues For $15 Million Over Clock Incident

23 hours ago

Attorneys for the 14-year-old Muslim boy arrested after taking a homemade clock to his Dallas-area school say he was publicly mistreated and deserves $15 million.

A law firm representing Ahmed Mohamed sent letters Monday demanding $10 million from the city of Irving and $5 million from the Irving Independent School District. The letters also threaten lawsuits and seek written apologies.

Ahmed took his clock to school in September, and an educator thought it could be a bomb. Ahmed was arrested but never charged. He was suspended from school.

Udall Statement On NM Unit Agreement

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Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement on the Secretary of the Interior's decision to further evaluate the impacts and costs of any potential New Mexico Unit Agreement to the Central Arizona Project:

NMSU researchers witness first accelerator-born neutrinos

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  One hundred billion ghostly subatomic particles pass unnoticed through the tip of your finger every second. Chances are you’ll never see a neutrino, unless you’re a physicist.

Last month, physicists from New Mexico State University were among scientists to see the first neutrinos in the MicroBooNE particle detector at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago. 

  Four graduate students from the New Mexico State University College of Education’s Curriculum and Instruction Department won a trip to Peru during last month’s CampusLink technology and innovation conference.

  Silver City, NM – More than 70 students representing different Mexican universities arrived to Western New Mexico University on Sunday, November 22 as part of a four-week intensive English program.

The students are members of the second class of Proyecta 100,000; a Mexican funded scholarship program supporting thousands of Mexican students and professors in American-based English language programs.

WNMU’s Language Institute is facilitating the courses for the participants who are learning English in several levels.

Bureau of Land Management

  Las Cruces, NM – Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Copper Flat Copper Mine Project (Project), opening a 45-day public comment period.

The BLM has prepared the Draft EIS in conjunction with its four Cooperating Agencies: the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, New Mexico Environment Department, New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, and New Mexico Office of the State Engineer.

Federal Approval Of Gila River Agreement Triggers Review

Nov 23, 2015

The U.S. Department of Interior is entering into an agreement with water managers in New Mexico that marks the next step in a long, contentious process as the state looks to develop its share of the Gila River.

The department's approval came Monday despite opposition from environmentalists and others who contend a diversion project along the Gila could end up costing $1 billion.

Critics submitted 54,000 petition signatures to the department last week.

$1 Million Expansion of New Mexico CYFD’s Family Support Worker Program

Nov 23, 2015
Office of the Governor

  Los Lunas, NM — Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced a $1 million expansion of the Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) Family Support Worker program, which she initiated as a pilot program in Bernalillo County in April of 2014. The program will now serve six New Mexico counties and provides specifically high-risk families with service and support aimed at preventing child maltreatment.  The Governor also urged legislators to enact stiffer penalties for those who assault child abuse caseworkers in New Mexico.

New Mexico Shrimp Farm Gets Federal Grant

Nov 23, 2015

   USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner will present a certificate of obligation to the owners of Southwestern Seas, LLC during ceremonies on Tuesday November 24, 2015 at 9:00 AM.

The ceremony will take place at the Shrimp Farm located at 190 Slaton Rd in Lemitar NM just north of Socorro.

Free Presentation in Las Cruces Discusses Alzheimer’s Disease

Nov 23, 2015

  “Conversations about Dementia” is the title of  a FREE presentation offered by The Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter on Friday, December 11th, 12pm-1pm, at the Alzheimer’s Association’s Southwestern NM Regional Office, 125 N. Main Street, Las Cruces, NM 88001.  To register or for more information, contact Maia Sideris-Dorame, (575) 647-3868,

MADD, Senator Udall, Sheriff Gonzales Remind New Mexicans To Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over

Nov 23, 2015

Commentary: Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving New Mexico (MADD) teamed up with U.S. Senator Tom Udall and Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales to kick off the 2015 holiday season anti-drunken driving campaign. The holidays are a particularly deadly time of year on the roads, with DWI-related crashes and deaths spiking from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. MADD, Udall and Gonzales are reminding New Mexicans to plan ahead this holiday season and designate a non-drinking driver to get them home safely from holiday festivities.

Eastern New Mexico Could See Icy Conditions By Week's End

Nov 23, 2015

Forecasters say eastern New Mexico may be in for icy weather conditions starting late Thanksgiving day.

National Weather Service meteorologist Kerry Jones says Arctic air will spread southward beneath a relatively warm and very moist air stream originating elsewhere.

He says that could spell trouble for travelers with icy conditions on Friday but that a less active and drier weather pattern is expected by Sunday.

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

Disparity In Allocation Of New Mexico Capital Outlay Projects

Nov 23, 2015

New Mexico lawmakers say it’s fair the way they divvy up tens of millions of dollars each year for everything from new and renovated buildings to dam repairs. But an analysis of nearly 2,400 newly funded projects for the five years from 2010 to 2014 by New Mexico In Depth reveals a disparity in how much the state’s counties receive in per-person funding. Take, for example, Los Alamos and Socorro counties, which are home to a similar number of people but not the same investment of state dollars for brick-and-mortar projects.

New Mexico Catholic Bishops say they are praying for state lawmakers to come to an agreement on a "fair" two-tier compromise regarding New Mexico driver's licenses.

The bishops said in a statement Monday they hoped a proposed compromise will continue to allow immigrants suspected of being in the illegally to obtain licenses and make the state compliant under the federal REAL ID act.

State lawmakers are expected in January to begin work on revising a state law that grants New Mexico driver's licenses to immigrants regardless of status.

Feds Face Deadline On Gila River Agreement

Nov 23, 2015

The U.S. Department of Interior faces a deadline Monday to act on an agreement that marks the next step in a long, contentious process as New Mexico looks to develop its share of water from the Gila River.

Those opposed to diverting water from the river submitted thousands of petition signatures to the department last week, hoping to put the brakes on what they say could amount to a $1 billion boondoggle.

Supporters have argued that the project is vital to supplying communities and irrigation associations in southwestern New Mexico with a new source of water.