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.

Patrick Wants Texas Lawmakers To Focus On School Vouchers

7 hours ago
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick - R

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wants the Legislature to study implementing school voucher programs that have so far stalled in Texas, despite support from top conservatives.

Patrick oversees the Texas Senate and promotes "school choice." On Monday, he unveiled a third set of issues he'd like emphasized before lawmakers reconvene in January 2017.

Patrick backs giving parents state funding to remove their kids from struggling public schools and send them to private and religious alternatives.

  New Mexico State University's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences took sixth place in a recent ranking by College Values Online as one of the nation’s best values among agriculture colleges.

UTEP Receives $1.4 Million to Increase Focus on Nuclear Engineering

9 hours ago

  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has awarded The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) a $1.4 million grant to establish new courses in nuclear engineering and to conduct research on next-generation materials for nuclear reactors.

Police: Man Accused Of Threatening Guest At Las Cruces Hotel

9 hours ago

An Albuquerque man is in custody for allegedly pulling a knife on a guest at a Las Cruces hotel.

Las Cruces police say 35-year-old Ahmaud Leyba is being held on suspicion of one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Officers were dispatched to the Days Inn Hotel about 11 a.m. Sunday.

Detectives learned that a hotel guest saw Leyba walking down a stairwell and decided to allow him to pass before proceeding up the stairs.

As Leyba approached the guest, Leyba is accused of pulling out a knife and threatening the man.

Indigenous Day Proclamation Leads To City Council Infighting

10 hours ago

An Albuquerque councilman says he wants the City Council president censured over how a proclamation recognizing indigenous people on Columbus Day was handled.

The City Council issued a proclamation Wednesday declaring Monday as Indigenous Peoples Day. Six councilors signed the proclamation and three did not.

Councilor Dan Lewis filed the censure motion Friday criticizing Rey Garduno for putting through a proclamation that said Albuquerque occupied Native people's land, which Lewis suggested denigrated the founding fathers and the first Europeans to arrive in the Americas.

New Mexico County Will Appeal Ruling On Forest Jurisdiction

10 hours ago

New Mexico county will appeal a court ruling that requires local officials to have federal permission before removing trees in national forests.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports that Otero County commissioners decided Thursday to appeal the U.S. District Court decision.

Judge Christina Armijo struck down a state law that gave New Mexico counties the authority to remove trees and clear overgrown areas on national forest land without having to get approval from the U.S. Forest Service. She said it violated the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution.

NMSU-Based Food Safety Blog Becoming Popular Resource

12 hours ago

  Three years after its launch, the New Mexico State University Food Safety and Protection blog site at is averaging more than 1,000 hits a month. The blog features the latest notifications from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service that pertain to New Mexico, Texas and the Four Corners region.

  The strange and eerie awaits you at the 5th Annual Doña Ana Community College (DACC) Creative Media Technology (CMT) Haunted House. 

Many Events Coming To Downtown Las Cruces

12 hours ago
  •   Main St:

o   Vintage Hollywood Night - Friday, Oct. 16, 5 – 10 p.m.

o   SWEC Annual Gala – Saturday, Oct. 17, 6 - 10 p.m.

o   Music on Main St – Saturday, Oct. 17, 6:30 – 11 p.m.

o   Food Day -  Saturday, Oct. 17, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

o   British Car Show – City Hall Parking Lot, Sunday, Oct. 18, 9 am to 1 p.m.        

  • Farmers and Crafts Market:

o   Oct. 14 and Oct. 17, 8:30 to 1 p.m.


   Austin - State Sen. José Rodríguez, has been elected by his colleagues to be the next Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus (SDC). Sen. Rodríguez made the following statement:

I appreciate and thank the outgoing Chair, Senator Kirk Watson of Austin, for his leadership and efforts over the past two legislative sessions. I am honored to lead the SDC as we approach the 2016 election and the 2017 legislative session.

Tourism In Farmington On The Rise

16 hours ago

A new report has found that San Juan County received a bump in tourism spending last year.

The Daily Times in Farmington reported Sunday that an analysis from by Tourism Economics indicates visitor spending rose by 4.8 percent in 2014 for the county.

The report from the Pennsylvania-based group also shows that 11 percent of all new jobs in the state between 2011 and 2014 were spawned by tourism.

In San Juan County, more than 2,800 direct tourism jobs were created.

New Mexico Ranch Open To Hosting More Movie Productions

16 hours ago

The manager of a private New Mexico ranch says he will continue to let movie productions film at the site despite a recent flap over American Indian artifacts.

Diamond Tail Ranch manager Roch Hart told The Associated Press he's happy a 20th Century Fox investigation found that the cast from "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" didn't take any ancient items from the ranch.

The film's star, Dylan O'Brien, had suggested during an interview that artifacts were taken.

Hart says actors did not leave designated areas and the ranch isn't missing any artifacts.

Albuquerque Officials Look To Boost Low Voter Turnout

16 hours ago
Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry

A recent Albuquerque election saw the lowest voter turnout for a city election since 1974.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that only 8.2 percent of registered voters participated in last week's election. City records say that's the lowest percentage since the city's modern form of government started.

Officials say they are now looking for a way to boost participation in New Mexico's local elections.

Monday Business Watch

19 hours ago

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 how Halloween spending in 2015 will top $6.9 billion. 

UNM To Cut Up To 100 Positions Through Attrition

Oct 11, 2015

University of New Mexico officials are planning to eliminate up to 100 jobs in response to a decline in enrollment and revenue.

The Albuquerque Journal reports () that the university informed regents of the decision Friday to cut down the campus workforce.

UNM President Bob Frank says positions will be dropped as they become vacant.

According to Frank, no layoffs or reductions in staffing for the UNM Health Sciences Center or branch campuses will be necessary.

Roughly 27,300 students are enrolled at UNM this semester.

Flight Delays For Southwest

Oct 11, 2015

Southwest Airlines says technology issues have delayed some flights as airline employees have to process travelers manually as they arrive at airports.

At Los Angeles International Airport, several dozen people crowded the Southwest terminal, waiting to be issued hand-written tickets. The company said that as of 10 a.m. Sunday, fewer than 100 of the 3,600 flights set to operate on Sunday had been affected by short delays.

NMSU Receives PACE Silver Certification

Oct 11, 2015

  New Mexico State University has recently been certified as a Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE) Silver Certified Program, which asserts that NMSU has met specific criteria for academic programs that align with automotive industry needs.

‘Global Connections’ Takes NMSU Community to Singapore Wednesday

Oct 11, 2015

  A taste of durian mooncakes and cultural insights will highlight the evening when a New Mexico State University computer science professor shares his experiences in Singapore during the next installment of the College of Arts and Sciences “Global Connections” series.

William Yeoh will present “Singapore: Perspectives on this Little Red Dot,” from 5 to 6:30 p.m.Wednesday, October 14 at the College of Health and Social Services Annex Auditorium. 

New Covered Arena Benefits Therapeutic Riding Program At NMSU

Oct 11, 2015

  In an emotional ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, New Mexico State University President Garrey Carruthers helped the university’s therapeutic riding program celebrate its new covered arena at 750 Stewart St. on the Las Cruces campus. 

The open-sided roof structure may have been simple metal and concrete, but it meant much more to the volunteers who provide equine therapy activities there and the clients who benefit from the program.

An Army officer is recommending that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl face a lower-level court martial and be spared the possibility of jail time for leaving his post in Afghanistan.

Defense attorneys say Lt. Col. Mark Visger has decided Bergdahl's case should go to a military system similar to civilian courts that handle misdemeanor charges. It limits punishment to reduction of rank, a bad conduct discharge and a short jail term, though that isn't being sought.

Two Albuquerque Public Schools staff members are on leave following accusations they tied a kindergartener up with rope to get him to sit down.

A special education teacher and an educational assistant who work at Navajo Elementary School are on paid administrative leave while APS investigates the alleged incident.

Nicole Johnson says the education assistant used a rope Monday when her son, Terrance, would not sit for a timeout.

Terrance is a special needs student.

Johnson says another education assistant took a picture of the incident and reported it.

Texas Football Player In Coma After Head Injuries

Oct 10, 2015

A Texas high school football player is in a medically induced coma after he suffered a blow to the head during a game in the Panhandle.

Perryton High School junior Chris Leanos was being treated Saturday at an Amarillo hospital after collapsing on the field Thursday night at Bushland High, west of Amarillo.

Leanos walked off the field on his own power but collapsed again on the sideline.

He underwent surgery Friday for a head injury.

Both schools are working to collect donations for the Leanos family to offset medical expenses.


Stealing From Jesus? Stolen 'Jesus Balloon' Items Returned

Oct 9, 2015

Albuquerque police say someone stole from Jesus — but the items have been recovered.

Authorities said Friday that officers returned propane tanks and two stolen hot air balloon burners belonging to the "Jesus Balloon."

Authorities made the connection after posting pictures of the stolen goods on social media hoping to find the owner. Officers found the items last month in a stolen trailer.

Senator: EPA Overstepping Authority In Efforts To Protect Groundwater

Oct 9, 2015

Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is overstepping its authority by proposing extensive standards to protect groundwater from uranium mining.

The EPA seeks to update federal regulations to account for how nearly all uranium produced in the U.S. now comes from in-situ mining rather than conventional mining.

In-situ mining involves pumping a solution underground to dissolve minerals, then pumping out of the ground a solution containing uranium. In-situ mining in Wyoming accounts for over half of U.S. uranium production.

Udall Statement On Decision To End Train And Equip Program In Syria

Oct 9, 2015
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, welcomed news that the Obama administration has ended the Pentagon's $500 million program to train and equip Syrian rebels. Last week, Udall, along with U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), called on U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Ash Carter, U.S. Department of State Secretary John Kerry and Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan to end the Syria Train and Equip Program.

Unusual Ringtail Behavior Prompted Closure At Caverns

Oct 9, 2015

An unusually friendly ringtail caused park officials to shut down the natural entrance to Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that the normally shy, nocturnal animal was approaching visitors near the cave entrance around 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Carlsbad Caverns Public Affairs Specialist Valerie Gohlke says officials felt it would be best to close the natural entrance until the ringtail moved on.

She says the animal was captured Wednesday afternoon and will be examined by a veterinarian.

City Community Gardeners Win at Southern New Mexico State Fair!

Oct 9, 2015
Ryan Schrader

  Ryan Schrader, 7, won a best in show, first place ribbon, a medal and a cash award for a pumpkin he grew at the Gomez Community Garden.

Nathan Schrader, age 5, Ryan‘s brother, won a first place ribbon, second place best in show, a medal and a cash award for a watermelon he grew at the Gomez Community Garden.

Martinez Announces 11 New Jobs in Silver City

Oct 9, 2015

 Silver City, NM - Today, Governor Susana Martinez and Economic Development Secretary announced the expansion of Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery in Silver City. The expansion will result in 11 production jobs.

"New Mexico continues to improve its business environment, which helps local manufacturers like Little Toad Creek expand and create new jobs," Secretary Barela said. "Governor Martinez and I congratulate Little Toad Creek as they partner with the state to diversify and grow the economy." 

New Mexico Grants Approval For Xcel Solar Purchase

Oct 9, 2015

New Mexico utility regulators have cleared the way for Xcel Energy to buy solar power from two generating stations that will be built near Roswell.

Xcel announced Thursday that the state Public Regulation Commission approved the purchase of 140 megawatts of solar capacity from NextEra Energy Resources, which is developing the two solar farms.

Officials say the solar farms will be the largest in New Mexico to date.

Another Councilor In Sunland Park Arrested

Oct 9, 2015

Another councilor in a troubled New Mexico border city is facing legal troubles.

Authorities say Sunland Park City Councilor Daniel De Los Santos was arrested Saturday for allegedly providing beer to two 19-year-olds, including his girlfriend. A criminal complaint says the 22-year-old De Los Santos is facing two counts of selling or giving alcoholic beverages to a minor, a fourth-degree felony.

It was not known if De Los Santos had an attorney.