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.

  The title may sound like a new kind of health drink, but “Cranbrook Ceramics +/- 25 Years” is a nationally recognized traveling art exhibit featuring ceramics designed to quench the soul. 

The show, which made its debut at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts in March, is making its second appearance from Thursday, July 28, through Thursday, Aug. 25, at the University Art Gallery at New Mexico State University, with a public closing reception and a welcome back mixer on Thursday, Aug. 25.

Supreme Court Sides With State In Financial Settlements

Jul 25, 2016
billrichardson.com

The New Mexico Supreme Court will not intervene in settlement agreements that pave the way for the state to recover $1.3 million in connection politically influenced investment deals dating back to the administration of former Gov. Bill Richardson.

New Mexico State Investment Council spokesman Charles Wollmann said Monday that a flurry of recent actions from the Supreme Court mark significant progress in the state's efforts to hold accountable people who profited improperly from state investments.

Las Cruces Shoplifting Suspect Briefly Escapes Custody

Jul 25, 2016
las-cruces.org

A Las Cruces man suspected of shoplifting briefly escaped police custody while being transported to the Dona Ana County Detention Center.

Las Cruces police say 24-year-old Ruben Rincon is being held on suspicion of shoplifting over $500, attempting to escape from a peace officer and concealing identity.

They say Rincon also had an outstanding bench warrant out of Magistrate Court.

Police were dispatched to the report of a shoplifter at a Walmart store Sunday.

Rincon allegedly left the store without paying for nearly $600 worth of merchandise.

Attorney General Balderas Seeks Restraining Order to Protect Homeowners

Jul 25, 2016
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

  Albuquerque, NM – Today, the Office of the Attorney General filed a lawsuit and sought a temporary restraining order against a New Mexico attorney, Johsua R. Simms, and a group of non-attorneys, who the Attorney General alleges take advantage of consumers in financial distress and who are trying to avoid a foreclosure on their homes. The non-attorneys often did business under the name "Praedium Preservation" and that business was headed by Mukthiar S. Khalsa. 

 

Minor Las Cruces Property Crime Reports can be Filed Online

Jul 25, 2016

  Anyone needing to file a relatively minor property crime report of an incident that occurred within city limits – an incident that has no known suspect or crime scene evidence – can do so online through the Las Cruces Police Department’s website.

The Las Cruces Police Department’s Citizens Online Police Reporting System can accept reports for lost property, auto burglary, theft or larceny, telephone harassment and vandalism. The reports must be of incidents that occurred within Las Cruces city limits.

  Some of the nation’s most talked-about headlines will fuel the discussion at the 2016 Domenici Public Policy Conference, including police-community relations and the public trust; the state of mental health care and the criminal justice system; national security; and the coming presidential election. 

Citizen's Academy Looks To Fill Spots For August Class

Jul 25, 2016

  Organizers with the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department are hopeful they can fill a few remaining vacant spots for the fall class of the Citizen’s Police Academy, which kicks off Aug. 6, 2016. The academy will span eight consecutive Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon at DASO’s Las Cruces headquarters, 845 N. Motel Blvd. 

To date, nearly 200 Doña Ana County residents have graduated from the program, which was re-launched in 2011 after a brief hiatus.

  Keeping structures safe during an earthquake is a goal for one New Mexico State University professor who is leading a team from the College of Engineering in developing a new device. 

The self-centering device is the brainchild of Tathagata Ray, civil engineering assistant professor. With assistance from the Manufacturing Technology & Engineering Center, Ray’s device was completely designed and built at NMSU. 

  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Socorro Field Office and the U.S.

Events On Tap For Downtown Las Cruces

Jul 25, 2016

  Farmers and Crafts Market

o   July 27 & July 30, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dine College To Add 3 New Degree Programs

Jul 25, 2016
dinecollege.edu

Dine College in adding three bachelor degree programs as part of an ongoing effort to expand the school's undergraduate offerings.

The Daily Times reports that the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools approved Dine College's proposal to add programs in biology, psychology and secondary education on July 1.

Dine College already offered Bachelor of Arts in business administration and Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and 19 associate degree programs and six certificate programs.

New Mexico Universities Join Team Competing For Sandia Role

Jul 25, 2016

Two more New Mexico universities are part of the competition for the next contract to run Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that New Mexico State and New Mexico Tech are joining a team that also includes Indiana's Purdue University and Lockheed Martin, the aerospace giant that is Sandia's current operator.

The University of New Mexico is part of a team that includes Boeing Co. and at least two Texas universities.

The lab has a $2.9 billion annual budget and 10,500 employees.

Sunland Park Officials Warned Of Water Sample Fraud

Jul 25, 2016

  Several City of Sunland Park residents have reported being asked for water samples by people claiming to represent the Camino Reál Regional Utility Authority. The authority director said no such door-to-door sampling initiative is underway, and residents should report anyone seeking a water sample to the local police.

“This action is illegal, and it needs to stop,” said CRRUA Executive Director Brent Westmoreland. “If our office finds out who is behind this effort, we will turn it over to the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.”

Texas Radioactive Waste Company Eyes New Mexico Site

Jul 25, 2016

A waste treatment storage that disposes radioactive waste company may be ahead of southeastern New Mexico in landing a long-term storage facility for spent nuclear fuel.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that the West-Texas based Waste Control Specialists singled this month it wants a spent fuel storage facility at the company's facility just five miles east of Eunice, New Mexico.

WCS Communications Director Chuck McDonald says the company is asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to begin the environmental review of the site now.

Man Fatally Shot By Gallup Police; Investigation Underway

Jul 25, 2016

State authorities are investigating after Gallup police shot and killed a man who they say had been armed with knives.

Officers had responded early Sunday to reports that a man with a knife had been threatening people. New Mexico State Police Sgt. Chad Pierce says officers located the suspect in an alley with two knives and opened fire, striking the man.

He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

The man's name has not been released pending notification of his family.

New Mexico Pecan Growers Battle To Use Restricted Pesticide

Jul 24, 2016
NMSU photo by Darren Phillips

   A plea from New Mexico's pecan growers to use a restricted pesticide against insect infestations is drawing opposition from advocates for the honey bee.  Environmentalists are protesting allowing an emergency exception to a ruling by a federal judge last year that found sulfoxaflor is highly toxic to bees and should be discontinued.

The pecan growers are asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the exception, saying the pesticide is the only way to combat insect infestations that are threatening their crops.

El Paso-Area Tribe To End Sweepstakes Games

Jul 24, 2016

An Indian tribe says it will stop offering sweepstakes games to comply with a federal judge's ruling, but instead offer traditional bingo-hall games.

The Tigua tribe had long been embroiled in a dispute with the Texas Attorney General's office over games of chance that aren't legal in the state. The tribe's position was that it had federal authority as a sovereign tribal nation that superseded the state.

But a federal judge ruled the tribe's sweepstakes games are illegal.

A new poll shows that Americans generally support some of the most often-proposed limits on gun ownership, including universal background checks and banning semi-automatic weapons such as the AR-15.

Yet behind that support are deep divisions based on political party, geography, race and gender. The support for tighter gun laws also has clear limits. Americans broadly oppose a mandatory gun buyback program, do not want to ban handguns and do not believe gun manufacturers should be held liable when their products are later used in a crime.

Cloudcroft homeowner shoots, kills bear attacking dogs

Jul 24, 2016

A rural homeowner in southern New Mexico shot and killed a mother bear after it attacked his two dogs.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish says the incident happened Thursday in Cloudcroft and the bear's two cubs are now in the care of a veterinarian.

The agency says the man's wife discovered the cubs on the patio and then the mother bear showed up.

The woman fled into the house but the dogs slipped out an open door.

Game and Fish Conservation Officer Marcelino Peralta says the woman tried to scare the animal off.

Dallas Schools Chief: "Testing People To Death" Will Stop

Jul 24, 2016

Students in the Dallas Independent School District will be taking fewer tests to avoid duplication of knowledge exams.

The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/2amvsqJ) reports the number of assessment tests that DISD students will take will drop by a third in the upcoming school year.

Superintendent Michael Hinojosa says the district was "just testing people to death." Hinojosa outlined changes to the testing schedule during a meeting Wednesday with the newspaper's editorial board.

Police say the four dead from a shooting at an apartment complex include one man, two women and a child.

Bastrop Police Det. Vicky Steffanic says that another child was taken to a hospital with injuries that are not life threatening.

She says the suspected shooter is among the dead and there is no further threat to the public.

The identities of the dead are not being released pending notification of family.

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8:30 p.m.

Survey: Fewer Teens Drinking Alcohol, Smoking In New Mexico

Jul 23, 2016

A recent state survey has found that New Mexico teenagers are consuming less alcohol as well as smoking fewer cigarettes.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the New Mexico Youth Risk & Resiliency Survey has determined binge-drinking has declined by half of what it once was. Cigarette use has also dropped, but the survey found that decline is offset but an uptick in the use of electronic cigarettes and hookahs.

Woman Sentenced To 18 Years In Toddler's Death In Albuquerque

Jul 23, 2016

A woman has been sentenced to 18 years in the death of an Albuquerque toddler and will likely be deported after serving time.

A judge issued the sentence Friday after Lizy Portillo pleaded no contest to child abuse resulting in death and conspiracy to commit child abuse.

According to the plea agreement, the Mexico native will be forced to serve nine years for the conspiracy charge if she is found back in the U.S.

Prosecutors say Portillo's husband, Christopher Garcia, threw 14-month-old Isaac Arevalos in March 2015 with such force that the child hit the ceiling.

$5K Reward For Info On Owl's Shooting Death Near Santa Fe

Jul 23, 2016

A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the fatal shooting of a burrowing owl near Santa Fe.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the case.

The owl was found dead on the Caja del Rio Plateau just days after being photographed on June 27 with its mate.

Authorities say the bird was missing a leg and X-rays showed shrapnel in the animal's wing and shoulder.

A species of mosquito that is capable of transmitting the Zika virus has been found in a fourth New Mexico county.

Health officials announced Thursday that one of the two types of mosquitoes capable of spreading the Zika virus was trapped in Roosevelt County, located on New Mexico's eastern border. Zika carriers have also been found in Dona Ana, Eddy and Chaves counties.

Researchers plan to place mosquito traps in 24 of New Mexico's 33 counties this summer in order to help health officials plan for the possibility of a local Zika outbreak.

Morales calls for DA involved in traffic stop to step down

Jul 22, 2016
Senator Howie Morales

A New Mexico lawmaker is calling for the resignation of a district attorney who was allowed to leave without taking a field sobriety test despite police believing she was intoxicated.

Grant County District Attorney Francesca Estevez was pulled over on June 11 in Silver City on suspicion of drunken driving after someone reported a vehicle driving erratically. Police officers pulled Estevez over and let her go after a two hour traffic stop. The officers did not conduct a field sobriety test.

New Mexico's Jobless Rate Unchanged At 6.2 Percent

Jul 22, 2016

  New Mexico's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained a 6.2 percent in June, unchanged from May and down from 6.6 percent a year earlier.

The state Department of Workforce Solutions reports that the state's economy lost 2,400 jobs since May but added 14,000 jobs compared with June 2015.

Bernalillo County is the state's most populous county. Its June unemployment rate was 6.1 percent.

The two counties with the highest employment rates in June were Luna County at 11.5 percent and McKinley County at 10.1 percent.

Las Cruces Man Pleads Guilty To Violating Federal Firearms Laws

Jul 22, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE – Richard Isaac Quezada, 33, of Las Cruces, N.M., pled guilty in federal court to violating the federal firearms laws.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Quezada will be sentenced to 60 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

  Teddy Barber, a scientist and community volunteer, will be the next Hall of Fame inductee at White Sands Missile Range. Barber’s nomination package singles out his outstanding work as a physicist with the Atmospheric Sciences Laboratory, his work to assist handicapped employees at White Sands, and his volunteer efforts with the Boy Scouts and his church in Las Cruces.  He was a well-rounded individual who made a lasting impact at work and in the community.

JONATHAN THOMPSON HIGH COUNTRY NEWS

  Santa Fe – New Mexico’s Gold King Mine Spill Citizens’ Advisory Committee, based out of San Juan County, New Mexico, will meet Monday, July 25 at 5:30 p.m. in the San Juan Community College Student Center-SUNS Room which is accessible through the Henderson Fine Arts Center.

 

 

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