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.

Stolen Tortoise Returned Home Safely In Albuquerque

25 minutes ago

A pet tortoise stolen during a home invasion got to ride shotgun when Albuquerque police returned the reptile to its owner.

Officers responding to the Sunday evening home invasion were able to get a description of the car in which three suspects drove off with the 10-year-old tortoise.

Police then were able to locate and stop the car. They found straw from the tortoise's pen on the car's front seat but not the tortoise itself.

However, questioning of the suspects enabled police to find the tortoise in the home of a friend of one of the suspects.

Senator Rodríguez seeks re-election for Texas Senate District 29

2 hours ago

  Austin - Today, Senator José Rodríguez filed for re-election to the Texas Senate. During his time in office, Rodríguez has championed the needs of everyday Texans, working across party platforms to develop, pass, and amend legislation. He has secured funding for local priorities; passed more than 150 bills that support education, health care, sustainable energy, equality, economic development, veterans, and criminal justice reform; and served as an effective leader who relentlessly advocates for the people of Senate District 29 and Texas.

Accused Drunk Driver In Deadly Crash Faced Previous DWI

6 hours ago

A man accused of driving drunk and killing three people in an Albuquerque crash was previously arrested on a DWI charge, but prosecutors failed to make court deadlines and the case was dismissed.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the October 2014 case against Jacob Jaramillo was dropped after several witnesses, including law enforcement officers, failed to show up for scheduled interviews. Prosecutors said Monday that they plan to refile those charges.

Feds Want New Mexico To Repay $16M In Bonus Payments

6 hours ago

Investigators are recommending that New Mexico repay the federal government nearly $16 million they say the state shouldn't have received under a health insurance program for low-income children.

The recommendation comes from the U.S. Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General following a review of enrollment over a five-year period beginning in fiscal year 2009.

Federal officials say New Mexico reported it had more children in the program than were actually shown in enrollment data maintained by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Century-Old Altar From France Gets Restoration In Hobbs

6 hours ago

A newly-restored, century old black walnut altar imported from France is helping reshape St. Helena's Catholic Church in Hobbs.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that Hobbs artist Lawrence Wilcox has been working to restore the altar for three months. It is the focal point of the remodeled chapel to the left of the church entry.

The altar is a stunning attraction with its Romanesque architecture, featuring columns, exquisite details and its hint of high-peaked Gothicism.

Another New Mexico Early Child Education Proposal Gets New Push

6 hours ago

Democrats and a coalition of 40 groups say they will push — again — for legislation that would tap into New Mexico's permanent land fund to expand childhood education.

The coalition is scheduled Tuesday to announce new efforts to get the proposal passed during the 30-day legislation session, which begins in January.

Under the proposal, voters would decide if New Mexico should use a portion of the state's $15 billion Land Grant Permanent School Fund to dramatically expand childhood education.

El Paso Man Arrested In Slaying Of Father Was On Probation

6 hours ago

Court documents show that an El Paso man arrested in the shooting death of his father over the weekend was on probation after attacking his parents last year.

The El Paso Times reports that court documents obtained Monday show that 37-year-old Steven Apilado was on community supervision after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault causing bodily injury in last year's attack.

According to an indictment, Steven Apilado allegedly hit his mother on the head with a firearm and beat his father last year.

Albuquerque To Hold Parade Sunday For UFC Champ Holly Holm

6 hours ago

New UFC women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm is being honored by her hometown of Albuquerque with a parade set for this Sunday.

Holm captured the belt from the previously undefeated Ronda Rousey on Nov. 14 in Australia.

She now has a 10-0 record after pulling off the stunning win over Rousey in UFC 193, knocking out the women's bantamweight champ in the second round with a powerful kick to the head.

Following the fight, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said the city would plan a celebration to honor the 34-year-old Holm.

NMSU students to host dog and cat behavior symposium tonight

7 hours ago

  Students in the New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will host a symposium to assist owners with dog and cat behavior issues from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, in the O’Donnell Hall main entrance foyer.

The students are hosting the event as part of their companion animal behavior and training class in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences. They will present posters with information regarding methods to positively modify certain behaviors in dogs and cats.

NMSU joins global GivingTuesday movement to build scholarships

7 hours ago

  GivingTuesday is a global day for giving when people and organizations all over the world come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to contribute to causes that matter to them. Locally, that day will have a direct impact on student success at New Mexico State University.

On Dec. 1, 2015, GivingTuesday will unify alumni, students, faculty, staff, businesses and community members as NMSU celebrates generosity by providing people everywhere with an opportunity to make a difference. 

New Mexico Has Some 5,000 Untested Rape Kits

18 hours ago

   New Mexico state officials say some 5,000 untested rape kits are in state warehouses and crime labs, and it could take roughly five years to work through the backlog.

New Mexico Public Safety Secretary Gregory Fouratt told lawmakers Monday that about 75 percent of the kits that haven't been tested stem from cases under the jurisdictions of the Bernalillo County sheriff and Albuquerque police.

Las Cruces Man Charged With Beating Girlfriend

21 hours ago

  The subject of Saturday’s hours-long SWAT callout on Rio Arriza Loop was taken into custody later that evening at a different location, and not before he resisted lawful commands from officers.

Joe Villalba, 46, is charged with one count of aggravated battery against a household member that caused great bodily harm and one count of resisting an officer. The aggravated battery charged, a third-degree felony, is for the domestic incident that preceded Saturday’s SWAT callout.

Newsmakers 729, 11/19/15

21 hours ago

  The Internal Revenue Service today reminded individuals and businesses making year-end gifts to charity that several important tax law provisions have taken effect in recent years.

Some of the changes taxpayers should keep in mind include:

Rules for Charitable Contributions of Clothing and Household Items

Las Cruces Regional Aquatic Center New Winter Hours Start In January

21 hours ago

  The City of Las Cruces Parks and Recreation Department will set new hours at the Regional Aquatic Center, 1401 E. Hadley Ave., beginning January 2, 2016.

The new hours of operation for Monday through Friday will be: Fitness session from 6 - 9:30 a.m., group session from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., open swim session from 2 - 6 p.m. and Parks & Recreation programs from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

New Saturday hours will be are: Fitness session from 8 -11 a.m. and open swim sessions from noon - 3:30 p.m. and 4 - 7:30 p.m. The center will be closed on Sunday.

Bond Set For Accused Drunk Driver In Deadly New Mexico Crash

22 hours ago

A $150,000 cash-only bond has been set for suspected drunk driver accused in an Albuquerque crash that killed three people.

Jacob Jaramillo's bond was set during a court appearance Monday. It's unclear if he has a lawyer yet.

Albuquerque police say the 23-year-old Jaramillo was driving on Interstate 25 early Sunday and his vehicle collided with a car at the Interstate 40 frontage road.

Police say the other car was carrying three people. Two died at the scene and a third died at a hospital.

  More than 7,100 luminarias will illuminate the campus of New Mexico State University from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, during the 31st annual “Noche de Luminarias.” 

One of the largest luminaria displays in New Mexico, the candle-lit paper bags will begin at the Educational Services Building, follow along the International Mall, surround Corbett Center Student Union, extend down to Barnes and Noble and continue to the University Museum. The event is free and open to the public.

In honor of International Human Rights Day, the New Mexico State University Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences will host a free screening of “The Trials of Spring” from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, in Domenici Hall Room 109. 

The film will conclude with a moderated discussion by Hend Nafea, the subject of the film; Gini Reticker, the film’s director; and Manal Hamzeh, associate professor of interdisciplinary studies in the Women’s Studies Program.

Las Cruces Brothers Charged With Sexually Assaulting Young Boy

Nov 30, 2015
Uriostigue, Francisco

  Las Cruces Police have arrested a pair of brothers suspected of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old boy.

Jorge “George” Uriostigue, 38, and Francisco “Frank” Uriostigue, 41, are both charged with one count of criminal sexual penetration of a child under 13, criminal sexual contact of a minor, aggravated indecent exposure of a minor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, assault on a peace officer, and resisting or obstructing an officer.

Farmington-Area Oil And Gas Tax Revenue Still Dropping

Nov 30, 2015

As tax revenue from the Farmington area's oil and gas sector continues its downward trend, the city is relying more heavily on retail and San Juan County is considering budget cuts.

The Farmington Daily Times reports that retail taxes are increasing thanks to Farmington's growing role as a shopping hub. But San Juan County CEO Kim Carpenter says the county has collected only about half of what it did last year in revenue from oil and gas production.

Halliburton, Baker Hughes, ConocoPhillips and other large companies operating in the county laid off local workers this year.

A New Law To Foster Innovation, Increase Competitiveness Of U.S. Space Industry

Nov 30, 2015

U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich praised passage of the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act to modernize commercial space regulations and encourage competitiveness in the industry. Udall and Heinrich are longtime champions of modernizing U.S. policies governing commercial spaceflight. The bill, which President Obama signed last week, provides an essential legal framework that will enable New Mexico’s commercial spaceflight industry to grow in the years ahead.

Bureau of Land Management

  Las Cruces, NM – The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Las Cruces District Resource Advisory Council (RAC) will meet in Las Cruces on Tuesday, December 8, 2015.  The half-day meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the BLM office located at 1800 Marquess Street, Las Cruces, New Mexico, 88005.

SANTA FE, NM--This Friday and Saturday, Somos Un Pueblo Unido will present the last of a series of events marking its 20 years of advancing civil and worker's rights in New Mexico. Newly appointed U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera will be the keynote speaker at Somos' 20th Anniversary Gala & Awards Ceremony on Friday, December 4th.  He will then participate in a reading and conversation moderated by former Santa Fe Poet Laureate Valerie Martínez on Saturday, December 5th at the Lensic Performing Arts Center.

UNM Announces Major Marketing Campaign Aimed At New Students

Nov 30, 2015

The University of New Mexico is launching a major marketing campaign in hopes of attracting more students.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the university hired marketing company 160over90 in September to launch a four-year, $1.98 million makeover. An original $500,000 was set aside for the project in May and university officials have voted to designate $1 million of the Regents Endowment Fund for the final three years of the plan.

High Court Rejects Fee Dispute In Texas Redistricting Case

Nov 30, 2015

The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from lawyers for former Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis and others seeking $360,000 in legal fees after challenging state redistricting plans.

The justices on Monday let stand a federal appeals court ruling that said the lawyers were not entitled to fees.

New Mexico Lawmakers To Discuss Campaign Finance Reform

Nov 30, 2015

New Mexico Sen. Peter Wirth is going to try again to close loopholes within the state's campaign finance system.

The Santa Fe Democrat on Monday will present draft legislation during a meeting of the Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee in Santa Fe. House Democrats also have floated suggestions.

It'll be up to Gov. Susana Martinez whether to include any resulting legislation on the agenda for the upcoming 30-day session.

I-10 Lane Closures This Week In El Paso

Nov 30, 2015

  The following closures are necessary while crews erect high mast poles.

Overnight from 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, to 5 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1

·       One eastbound, right outside lane will be closed on I-10 between the Buena Vista bridge and Executive Center Boulevard.  

·       Executive Center Boulevard eastbound exit ramp will also be closed.

Daytime from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1 

·       One eastbound, right outside lane will be closed on I-10 between the Buena Vista bridge and Executive Center Boulevard. 

Monday Business Watch

Nov 30, 2015

Every Monday at 7:51am on Morning Edition, Edmundo Resendez covers the week's top local business stories with Las Cruces Sun News Business Editor Jason Gibbs.  This week, Jason discusses an NMSU project which will use brine from desalinization to create thermal insulation products which has won local startup fair.

Felon Slips Out Of Handcuffs And Takes Off With Albuquerque Poilce Car

Nov 29, 2015

A woman who slipped out of her handcuffs and took off in an Albuquerque police vehicle, leaving a trail of damage, is in jail.

Albuquerque police say the incident began when Melissa Dominguez tried to cash fraudulent checks at a bank Saturday around 1:20 p.m. and a bank employee notified authorities.

According to a criminal complaint, an officer arrested Dominguez and recovered a stolen handgun in a purse.

Investigating officers then saw the police vehicle with Dominguez drive off.

Police pursuing her say Dominguez crashed it twice before fleeing on foot.

  In an ongoing effort to find new and innovative ways to package and distribute short films, Borderlands Media is in pre-production on a new series of anthology movies, to begin shooting in early 2016. Tentatively titled “Night Shades,” the series will follow a formula that has been around since the early days of cinema (and was turned into an art form by the late, great Rod Serling): The introduction of each film, by a recognizable host, as part of a greater themed whole.