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.

26-Year-Old Man Pleads Guilty to Rape at Las Cruces Senior Center

43 minutes ago

  LAS CRUCES, N.M. – This morning, a man charged with raping a 50-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis pleaded guilty to the 2015 sexual assault at the Good Samaritan Society, a senior living center in Las Cruces.

Before his second day at trial, Peter Lucero, 26, took responsibility for his actions and ended the trial, which was scheduled for three days, by pleading guilty to criminal sexual penetration, a second-degree felony and false imprisonment, a fourth-degree felony. 

  Silver City, NM – Beginning in August 2016, Glendale Community College (GCC) in Arizona will offer a new, highly innovative pathway for students to earn Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees in Cell and Molecular Biology due to a partnership with Western New Mexico University.

Tips Still Wanted in 26-year-old Las Cruces Mass-Shooting

1 hour ago

  Las Cruces Crime Stoppers continues to offer a $25,000 reward for information that helps identify the men responsible for the 1990 mass-shooting that claimed four lives and left three others critically injured.

The Las Cruces Bowl mass-shooting on Feb. 10, 1990, is considered one of the most hideous crimes in the city’s history as gunmen pulled the trigger on four children – two of them younger than 7 – and three adults.

Poll: Business Leaders Support New Mexico Campaign Finance Reform

1 hour ago

  A new survey of New Mexico business leaders shows most think there is a real problem with the influence of money in politics. And some business groups are getting serious about plans to clean up state government.

Las Cruces Municipal Court Closure on February 17

1 hour ago

 

  The City of Las Cruces Municipal Court will be closed Wednesday, February 17.

The closure is due to state-required utility testing on a new gas meter and exterior gas line. The testing requires that the gas service be disconnected for the day. During the testing, closure of the court ensures safety for the public and staff. In addition, heat and hot water will not be available in the building.

Court will reopen on Thursday, February 18.

Vince Alten

4 hours ago

Vince Alten features Vince Alten on Lead Vocals and Piano, Paul Walter Kimball on Guitar and Vocals, Mike Baker on Lead Guitar, Clif Waren on Bass and Vocals and KRWG's own Dave Ferris on Drums and Vocals.

West Texas District Adopts 4-Day School Week

4 hours ago

The weekend will start early for children in a West Texas school district that's adopted a four-day school week.

The new schedule in Olfen, northeast of San Angelo, is believed to be the first such change since lawmakers last year gave schools greater leeway in setting their calendars.

Superintendent Gabriel Zamora says the move was prompted by the need to provide more tutoring and individualized attention for struggling students. Underperforming students will still have to show on Fridays.

Route 66 in Albuquerque sees fight over rapid transit

4 hours ago

An Albuquerque proposal to build a system of express buses and canopy-covered stations along its historic Route 66 is drawing opposition from shop owners.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://goo.gl/eVTrRO ) some business owners fear the $119 million project could cost them customers and, eventually, their livelihoods.

Nob Hill Music owner Steve Schroeder says the plan risks destroying the historic pathway's charm.

Police seize Santa Fe archdiocese files in molestation case

4 hours ago

Authorities have seized records from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe as part of an investigation into claims that a Catholic school teacher inappropriately touched female students.

The New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/1mpCoUk ) that Santo Nino Regional Catholic School art teacher Aaron Chavez has been charged with five counts of sexually touching young girls during classes.

The archdiocese says the 47-year-old Chavez was placed on administrative leave.

New Mexico Immigrant Licenses At Lowest Levels Since Program Began

4 hours ago

The number newly issued driver's licenses to immigrants in New Mexico again has plunged to its lowest level since the state began granting driving privileges to foreign nationals living in the country illegally.

State records obtained by The Associated Press showed only 4,026 licenses were issued to foreign nationals in 2015. That's a 73 percent drop from 2010 before Gov. Susana Martinez became governor and when New Mexico issued more than 15,000 such licenses.

Records also show the number of licenses issued has been steadily declining since 2010.

New Mexico Prisons Cut Visiting Hours Due To Staff Shortage

5 hours ago
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State officials say they are cutting visiting hours at New Mexico prisons as the Corrections Department continues to grapple with low staffing levels.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the department has instituted a weeklong ban on visitors to prisons to cut back on officers' workloads. A spokeswoman says the department will likely impose the ban once a month until more guards are hired.

Amber Alert Issued For Young Girl Abducted In Albuquerque

5 hours ago

An Amber Alert has been issued for a 2½-year-old girl abducted in Albuquerque.

Authorities say Denise Tirado was abducted Monday evening by a man driving a white 2004 Cadillac Escalade with New Mexico license plate 44736US.

The girl is described as 2-foot-9, 33 pounds with short brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing grey leggings and a jacket with purple and stripes.

Holm Too Busy Training For Next Fight To Make Legislative Honor

5 hours ago
hollyholm.com

UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm just can't find time to visit the New Mexico Legislature for a possible memorial in her honor.

Rep. Monica Youngblood told state lawmakers on Monday the Albuquerque-born Holm is too focused on training for her first title defense next month and can't squeeze in a quick hello.

Holm (10-0) is scheduled to fight Miesha Tate at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on March 5.

The 34-year-old Holm shocked the mixed-martial arts world when she soundly defeated previous champion Ronda Rousey in November to claim the belt.

The Diocese of Las Cruces bishop says the diocese will be getting tickets to a Papal Mass in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico after all.

KVIA-TV in El Paso, Texas reports Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantu said the tickets will be distributed through southern New Mexico parishes and Catholic schools.

The diocese originally believed the Diocese of Ciudad Juarez would not provide them with tickets because of limited availability.

nmlegis.gov

Governor Susana Martinez has made violent crimes a priority this legislative session, but not all legislators are happy with the push.

Representative Bill McCamley wants to see bills for more reforms in New Mexico, not just crime reforms. He says economic development bills could also help with violent crime.

  Albuquerque, NM – BeWellNM, New Mexico’s Health Insurance Exchange, is pleased to announce that 54,865 New Mexicans selected a plan or were automatically re-enrolled through beWellnm as of Jan. 31, 2016.

“While we are excited to see that many more New Mexicans will have health insurance for themselves and their families, we realize that our team still has a lot of work to do,” said Amy Dowd, NMHIX CEO. “We want to make sure New Mexicans who missed the Open Enrollment deadline know they may still be able to get coverage through a qualifying life event.”

  David Anaya Garcia, 32, of Las Cruces, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court to a federal child pornography charge.  At the time he committed the crime, Garcia was employed as a janitor in a Las Cruces elementary school.

  University of New Mexico Hospital is among the top hospitals in the nation when it comes to high quality clinical care, according to a new report by the Denver-based company Healthgrades.

UNM Hospital was one of 260 hospitals nationwide and one of just two in New Mexico to receive the group’s 2016 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence.

  Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University was awarded a three-year, $300,000 grant last week for the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Sites program. I-Corps is a National Science Foundation (NSF) initiative to leverage university research to create new innovative businesses and increase the economic impact of inventions created at research institutions around the country. 

Free Dental Clinic Coming To Las Cruces

20 hours ago

  Las Cruces -- There will be free dental care for underserved children in the community. Services will be provided by the DACC Dental Program faculty and students, as well as the NMSU Pre-dental Society, local dentists and hygienists.

Free dental exams, radiographs, dental cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments, and oral health education will be provided in the dental clinic on the Central Campus adjacent to NMSU at 3400 South Espina, Building DAMA, room 80. The clinic will take place next Saturday February 13th, from 9 am - 3 pm.

Poets Mark Wunderlich and Naima Woods to Read at NMSU

20 hours ago

Mark Wunderlich is an award-winning poet, and Naima Woods is an up-and-coming poet who attends NMSU. Together, these captivating authors will read from their work at 7:30 p.m. on Friday Feb. 5th on the NMSU campus, in the Health and Social Services Building auditorium, Rm. 101.

 

  Srikanta Mishra, an assistant professor in the New Mexico State University College of Education’s Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, recently received a prestigious research grant to study hearing mechanisms in children.

The R03 grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health is the college’s first NIH grant, which is known to be highly competitive and supports outstanding research. It provides a total amount of $438,000 for three years.

NMSU talk explores ‘Punk Prayer’ protest, Russian politics and art

21 hours ago

  Moscow is the next stop for New Mexico State University’s “Global Connections” series.

Brian Rourke, English associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, will present “The ‘Punk Prayer’ performance in retrospect: Radical protest and authoritarian politics in Putin’s Russia,” from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, at the College of Health and Social Services Annex Auditorium, Room 101A.

Las Cruces Seeks Public Input On Downtown Master Plan

21 hours ago

  The public is invited to participate in the City of Las Cruces’ Community Development department’s Downtown Master Plan Charrette February 16-19.

The purpose of the charrette is to gather public and stakeholder input in order to update the downtown master plan. The current plan has been used since 2004 to guide all of the downtown activities and projects to date. The new plan will set a “road map” for the next ten years. More information available at the project website, lascrucesdowntownplan.org.

Official Details Storm's Lasting Effects On Dairy Industry

22 hours ago
nmda.nmsu.edu

The head of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture is warning lawmakers that it could take months to tally the true costs of a winter storm that killed an untold number of livestock and derailed the dairy industry.

Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte testified Monday before the House agriculture committee.

He said producers have been working with the Farm Service Agency to tally losses as the state builds its case for a federal disaster declaration.

Nation's Only Unsalaried Legislature Is Well Compensated

23 hours ago

New Mexico legislators received more than $20,000 in compensation on average in 2015 even though they are not paid a salary.

More than $2.3 million was paid out to state lawmakers to offset personal expenses and travel, according to information from the Department of Finance and Administration obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request.

House and Senate members collect a daily expense payment that covers work during legislative sessions and committee meetings year-round.

Bill Ending Social Promotion Stalls In New Mexico Senate

23 hours ago

A bill that calls for New Mexico third graders who don't show proficiency in reading to be held back has stalled in a Democratic-controlled Senate committee.

The Senate Education Committee voted Monday to table a proposal that would have had students not reading at grade level repeat the third grade and be given intensive remediation. The move likely kills the bill this session.

AG: No Pattern Of Fraud Found With 10 Nonprofit Providers

23 hours ago
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

The New Mexico Attorney General's Office says there doesn't appear to be any pattern of fraud by 10 nonprofits that provided behavioral health services to needy New Mexicans.

Attorney Hector Balderas announced the findings in a letter delivered Monday to state lawmakers.

Balderas said some regulatory violations were uncovered. Those are being forwarded to the Human Services Department for possible administrative action.

Balderas' office is continuing to review two remaining providers. His office previously found no fraud but overpayment issues with three others.

Department Of Health Taking Steps To Educate About Zika Virus

23 hours ago
New Mexico Department of Health

Commentary: Zika virus disease has been in the news for several weeks now and has many individuals concerned. Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito, though there also have been reports of transmission through sexual contact. The disease can cause fever, rash, muscle aches, joint pain and red eyes. Zika virus disease has also been linked to birth defects, including microcephaly and other poor birth outcomes in some women infected during their pregnancy. There have been no known cases in New Mexico to date.

Report: Expand Mental Health Capacity In Southern New Mexico

Feb 8, 2016

A new report recommends adding 30 new hospital beds in southern New Mexico for adults with severe mental illness.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the study recommends partnering with a provider to take such patients while a new $15.5 million public facility is built Dona Ana County.

Currently, when district judges order involuntary psychiatric hospitalizations, patients are sent to a state-run hospital four hours away. The report says that puts a burden on local agencies responsible for transporting the patients and isn't ideal for patients or their families.

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