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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.

Low Garnet Prices Delay Mine Project Near Alamogordo

2 hours ago

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A gemstone mine that was once billed as a big potential job creator in a rural area of New Mexico has yet to get off the ground despite projections that it was supposed to be open by 2016.

The proposed Orogrande garnet mine was expected bring $160 million in economic development to Otero County and Alamogordo.

Next month, The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument will celebrate its third anniversary, and now some in Las Cruces are worried that their recently designated national monument may be sized down thanks to a new executive order by President Trump.

Friday a crowd of people filled a ballroom at the Ramada Las Cruces Hotel and Conference Center to speak out against President Donald Trump’s executive order that called for a review of national monuments that were designated back to the start of 1996 and covered at least 100,000 acres.

The New Mexico State University system launched the public phase of its $125 million comprehensive campaign, “Ignite Aggie Discovery,” by announcing a transformative gift from the Hunt Family Foundation to benefit Arrowhead Center, NMSU’s entrepreneurship and innovation hub.

Clerk's Office Prepares For Tuesday Las Cruces-Area Election

23 hours ago
Scott Krahling- Doña Ana County Clerk

The Doña Ana Soil and Water Conservation District (DASWCD) election will be held Tuesday, May 2, for board members in zone positions 3 and 4.  

   The candidates are Joe Delk and Kevin Bixby for position 3, and D. Craig Fenske and Kent Thurston for position 4.  

Commentary: Las Cruces, NM – May 1st,  NM Comunidades en Accion y de Fe (CAFé) leaders will launch their Week of Prophetic Resistance standing in solidarity with the national strike known as “Day Without an Immigrant”. Across the country, people will join in a general strike, they will not go to work, to school, or spend money, to show that immigrant communities m

NMSU works to build a culture of student philanthropy

23 hours ago
Darren Phillips, NMSU

When Alexandra Tovar, a New Mexico State University senior studying Spanish, walked into NMSU’s Corbett Center Student Union on Nov. 29 and made her first Giving Tuesday donation, she was already part of a growing number of NMSU students who are learning that they can make a difference in the lives of future Aggies before they have crossed the graduation stage themselves.

Las Cruces Movies in the Park

23 hours ago

The City of Las Cruces Parks & Recreation Department presents the 2017 Movies in the Park Program. Movies in the Park will begin at dusk on Saturday, May 13, with Disney’s “Moana”. Movies will be shown twice a month, May through September, on Saturdays at Young Park, 1905 E. Nevada Ave., with the exception of Disney’s “The Jungle Book 2016,” which will be shown at the Plaza de Las Cruces on May 27. All movies are free.  

Federal Charges Lodged Against 28 Alleged Members Of Mexican Drug Ring

23 hours ago

ALBUQUERQUE – Twenty-eight individuals are facing drug trafficking and money laundering charges as the result of a federal investigation targeting a Mexican drug trafficking organization (DTO) responsible for importing large quantities of heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine from Mexico, and distributing the drugs in New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, Kentucky and Illinois. 

Commentary: SANTA FE - Today, New Mexico's First Judicial Court ruled that a lawsuit charging that Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS) must enforce state laws protecting working people against wage theft from their employers can go forward. Today's ruling denies DWS's request to dismiss the lawsuit. The individuals and groups who filed the case will request a final ruling from the court this summer.

Stephanie Ly-AFT NM President / aft photo

Commentary:  Mora – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President, Stephanie Ly and Mora Federation of School Employees Union President, Faith Rivera, released the following statement:

“Today’s ruling is a victory for all Mora Independent School District employees, and also a reaffirmation of the rights of educational employees who work under collective bargaining in New Mexico. All school districts – whether large or small – must respect their respective contracts, without exception.

Las Cruces to Trump Administration: “Leave our National Monuments Alone”

23 hours ago

Commentary: Las Cruces, New Mexico – Elected officials including three local mayors, sportsmen, veterans, business and faith leaders gathered today for a large rally in support of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and other national monuments across the country. The rally is a direct response to this week’s Executive Order from President Trump directing Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct a review of prior monument designations, and to make recommendations to the President.

Victims Identified In New Mexico Wal-Mart Double Shooting

Apr 28, 2017

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — The victims of a double shooting at a Wal-Mart in New Mexico have been identified as a couple from Arizona.

The Gallup Independent reported Thursday that the victims are 70-year-old Virginia Leichliter and 70-year-old Gary Crakow. The couple's dog was also shot.

Police say the victims were not married.

What transpired before the shooting is currently under investigation. Police say the car both victims were found in had been hitched to a tow truck when they arrived.

Study Finds Health Care Overhaul Would Burden New Mexico

Apr 28, 2017

 

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An analysis commissioned by a liberal-oriented advocacy group tallies the local financial effects of Republican plans to overhaul Medicaid health care.

The study released Thursday by the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty concludes New Mexico state government would be compelled to pay an additional $3 billion from 2020 to 2026 to maintain current levels of Medicaid coverage and services.

New Mexico is among states that expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico court's decision in a criminal case stemming from a drug seizure and arrest says a driver's brief touching of her lane's left yellow line while she passed other vehicles on the right wasn't enough to justify a 2013 traffic stop.

A state Court of Appeals decision Tuesday says Karen Siqueiros-Valenzuela's momentary failure to stay entirely in her lane didn't provide reasonable suspicion for an officer to pull her over on Interstate 40 near Grants.

More Universities In New Mexico Seek Tuition Increase

Apr 28, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Student tuitions are on the rise at one of the nation's most affordable state university systems in response to New Mexico's state budget crisis.

Regents at New Mexico Highlands University were considering Friday a 7.5 percent tuition hike in anticipation of new state funding cuts. Fall tuition increases have been approved at a trio of state universities and a community college in Santa Fe as administrators grapple with major financial uncertainties.

Income Dips From New Mexico State Trust Lands

Apr 28, 2017
nmstatelands.org

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico state trust lands generated $399 million in income during the first nine-months of the fiscal year ending in March — a slight decrease from the previous year.

The New Mexico State Land office said Thursday that income predominantly from oil and natural gas royalties and leases fell from $410 million.

US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

This week, President Donald Trump issued an Antiquities Act executive order that calls for a review of national monuments designated back to the beginning of 1996 with 100, 000 acres or more. The move also opens the monuments up for review for possible modifications. U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich has spoken out against the executive order and he says he will work to protect New Mexico’s newly designated national monuments.

Dr. Gregory Ewing

In February, Las Cruces Public Schools had over 2,300 students miss class after a reported immigration raid in the community.

Dr. Gregory Ewing, Superintendent of Las Cruces Public Schools says that the most important thing is that students come to school. He says that parents who may be concerned about any possible immigration enforcement actions have options in the district when it comes to getting their children to school if they notify the district.

“We will ensure that a bus comes to your residence to pick up your child and bring them to school,” says Ewing.

Your Weekend Pulse!

Apr 28, 2017

Time now for Your Weekend Pulse! your guide to what is happening in our area this weekend with Lorena Sanchez, Pulse Editor for the Las Cruces Sun-News and Edmundo Resendez. This weekend, Las Cruces Country Music Festival, a craft beer fest, and a musical satire of bureaucracy. 

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New NMSU scholarship helps veterans transition to civilian life

Apr 27, 2017

A basic military tenet is to leave no one behind. Now, a group of Raytheon employees has come together and established a new scholarship at New Mexico State University to make sure that the final educational mission for student veterans comes to fruition.

The RAYVETS Degree Completion Current Use Scholarship at NMSU helps student veterans who have exhausted their GI Bill benefits if their bachelor’s or graduate degree is at risk due to their inability to fund their remaining classes. 

Las Cruces Prescription Drug Take-back Event is Saturday

Apr 27, 2017

The Las Cruces Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies are hosting a prescription drug take-back eventSaturday at eight locations in Las Cruces and one in Mesilla.

The prescription drug take-back will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Saturday, April 29, at these locations:

Las Cruces Meeting To Discuss Career And Technical Education

Apr 27, 2017

LAS CRUCES, NM – The single greatest barrier to the long-term well-being of our community and state is consistently identified as the need for a skilled and ready workforce. While some progress has been made, there is an incredible opportunity to make even greater, faster progress when we connect what students learn with what they can earn through Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathways.

U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

Commentary: WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom UdallCongressman Ben Ray Luján and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham this week joined more than 130 members of Congress in sending a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos urging her to reverse a recent decision to rescind Obama-era efforts on student loan servicing reforms. The reforms include new consumer protections for borrowers and improvements to the quality of federal loan servicing.

MALDEF Blasts Texas "Sanctuary Cities" Bill

Apr 27, 2017

  Marisa Bono, Southwest regional counsel, MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) issued this statement regarding the Texas "sanctuary cities" bill:

Heinrich Introduces Legislation To Promote Energy Workforce Development

Apr 27, 2017
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, introduced legislation that will better position New Mexico and the nation’s workforce for good-paying clean energy jobs.

New Mexico City Seeks Sugary Drink Tax

Apr 27, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — It's being pitched as an educational lifeline for impoverished preschool-aged children and condemned as the latest example of local government overreach sweeping progressive cities from coast to coast.

Voters in New Mexico's capital city have until Tuesday to decide whether to levy a new tax on sugary drinks that would raise the cost of a can of soda by nearly 25 cents.

New Mexico Asks WisePies To Give Up Naming Rights To Arena

Apr 27, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico has asked WisePies Pizza & Salad to give up the naming right to the arena of the school's men's and women's basketball teams.

The school said Thursday it recently asked the pizza chain to abandon its naming rights of The Pit pending a new agreement with another company.

School officials say a new agreement will allow for multiple facilities to be named under one umbrella.

Martinez Says She Will Add Tax Reform To A Special Session

Apr 27, 2017
Office of the Governor

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says she will add comprehensive tax reform to a yet-to-be-announced special session aimed at solving the state's budget crisis.

The Republican governor made the announcement Thursday at the 14th Annual New Mexico Tax Research Institute Policy Conference.

Martinez is demanding lawmakers support a more ambitious tax-code overhaul designed to improve the state's business climate by eliminating hundreds of tax breaks, including long-standing exemptions for nonprofit organizations.

Voice of the Public: Borderplex Tourism

Apr 27, 2017

What will it take to get you to visit Juarez again? A Juarez group seeking to spark tourism in the area want you to know there’s plenty to do in the Borderplex. Borderplex tourism is the topic on today’s Voice of the Public on 90.7 FM and krwg.org. Laura Ibarra, Andrea Durán are with Love JRZ and Chris Faivre is with Visit Las Cruces they are our guests today as they discuss tourism in the borderplex. Is it possible to create tri-city tourism economy between Las Cruces, El Paso and Juarez? In 2011, the city of Juarez recorded 1,500 homicides. That number dropped to 269 in 2015.

Las Cruces Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that helps identify the occupants of a Volkswagen that was known to be in the area where two crimes and a high-speed pursuit were committed in the past few days.

On Saturday, April 22, the vehicle was seen near the area of the Townhouse Motel late Friday evening or early Saturday morning before 21-year-old Benjamin Montoya was shot and killed. Police made an arrest in Montoya’s shooting but believe the occupants of the Jetta may have further information on the homicide.

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