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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.

FBI: New Mexico Murders Up Nearly 16 Percent Last Year

Sep 26, 2016

The FBI says the number of murders reported by New Mexico law enforcement agencies jumped by nearly 16 percent in 2015 from the year before.

New crime statistics released on Monday show the estimated number of murders in New Mexico was 117, or a 15.8 percent jump from the 2014 estimate.

That spike was above the percentage increase nationally. The FBI says the estimated number of murders in the nation was 15,696, or a 10.8 percent increase.

Meanwhile, overall violent crime in New Mexico jumped nearly 10 percent in 2015.

New Mexico's Oil Production Decreases During First Part Of 2016

Sep 26, 2016
emnrd.state.nm.us

Statistics from the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division show a drop in the state's production during the first half of 2016.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that statewide oil production fell nearly 5 percent in the first seven months of the year. The latest statistics show that the production was down by about four million barrels from January to July, dropping to 82 million barrels from 2015's 86 million during the same time period.

  “If we can reconceive of our government so that the interactions and the interplay between private sector, nonprofits, and government are opened up, and we use technology, data, social media in order to join forces around problems, then there’s no problem that we face in this country that is not soluble.” – 

Monday Business Watch

Sep 26, 2016

Every Monday at 7:51am on Morning Edition, Edmundo Resendez covers the week's top local business stories with Las Cruces Sun News Content Director, Lucas Peerman. This week, Juárez's 'Mariscal' red-light district transformed.

The region's home page is only possible with your support.  Become a member, renew, or make an additional gift now.  Thank you.

La Academia Dolores Huerta charter school needs to be out of their current building at the end of this school year, School Director Octavio Casillas says they have land, funding to build a new school, and now they need a Special Use Permit to build the school in an area zoned for residential property.

Albuquerque Woman Accused Of Hitting Man With Car Over Parking Spot

Sep 25, 2016

Bernalillo County authorities say a woman is accused of hitting a man with her car in a fight for a parking spot.

County sheriff's Capt. Andi Taylor says 45-year-old Yvonne Aragon was booked on several felony charges.

Taylor says the incident began Friday when the victim tried to save a parking spot for his wife outside Route 66 Casino.

Aragon allegedly struck him with her vehicle.

The victim threw a cup of coffee at Aragon's car. Aragon then allegedly pulled out a pistol.

Las Cruces – VR First, an International Virtual Reality (VR) Initiative has announced plans to collaborate with twelve academic institutions around the world including the Creative Media Technology Program (CMT) at Doña Ana Community College (DACC) as the demand for dedicated VR learning facilities at colleges and universities continues to grow.

DACC is the only community college named in this group to partner with VR First.

NMSU assistant professor explores the history of hops and beer

Sep 25, 2016

From the first beer brewers in Mesopotamia to the craft beer revolution, a New Mexico State University history professor’s new book pulls together the science and history of beer’s most celebrated ingredient – hops.

“The contents of your pint glass has a much richer history than might be imagined,” says Peter Kopp, assistant professor of history in NMSU’s College of Arts and Sciences. 

The New Mexico State University College of Business will host events next week to celebrate its many scholarship recipients and alumni of distinction. It’s part of a series of events during the 2016 Homecoming celebration, taking place Sept. 26 to Oct. 1.

The college will recognize 164 students who’ve received scholarships this academic year during its annual scholarship luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 30, at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road.

NMSU Borderlands Writing Project to show New Mexico teachers’ value

Sep 25, 2016
Patti Wojahn

New Mexico State University’s Borderlands Writing Project will showcase teachers from the southwest region of New Mexico during the “Teachers Write” exhibit from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. onSaturday, Oct. 1 in the Roadrunner Room at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library in Las Cruces.

“Teachers Write” provided professional development during the 2015-2016 school year for teachers interested in sharing and gaining experience in writing and photography while reinforcing their love for teaching. 

I-10 Closures This Week

Sep 25, 2016

I-10 West

Overnight

Sunday, Sept. 25 through Thursday, Sept. 29

9 p.m. each night to 5 a.m. each morning.

·   I-10 Westbound will be reduced to one lane between the Executive Center Overpass and the Paisano (US 85) Overpass.

Crews will continue concrete paving of the new westbound lanes. [Map 1]

Mesa                                                                                        

Weeklong

NMSU Las Cruces Police Seek Help In Search For Attempted Robbery And Sexual Assault Suspects

Sep 24, 2016

This is an update and suspect description re-release regarding the two attempted robberies and the attempted criminal sexual contact case from last week.  As of this time, the suspects have not been identified, but there have not been any subsequent reports of similar crimes on campus since last Friday.  If you witnessed any of the incidents, please call NMSU Police at (575) 646-3311 and ask to speak with an investigator so we can document what you saw or heard.

New Mexico Man Convicted In Rio Rancho Officer's Murder

Sep 24, 2016

A New Mexico man has been convicted in the shooting death of a suburban Albuquerque police officer during a traffic stop.

Jurors handed down a guilty verdict Friday against Andrew Romero after a short deliberation. The 29-year-old was charged with first-degree murder in the May 2015 death of Rio Rancho Officer Gregg Benner.

The case was moved from Sandoval County to 40 miles south in Valencia County because of extensive media coverage of the case.

In their closing, prosecutors said Romero was not too high on drugs to know what he was doing.

Court clears way for Texas to make children therapy cuts

Sep 24, 2016

Texas can proceed with cutting $350 million from a Medicaid program that provides therapy for disabled children after a lawsuit stalled at the state's highest court.

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday didn't explain why it rejected the case after issuing a temporary injunction this summer. Opponents have said roughly 60,000 kids statewide stand to lose access to speech and occupational therapists.

It wasn't immediately clear how quickly Texas might implement the cuts.

Trump campaign taps New Mexico resident on Hispanic issues

Sep 24, 2016
facebook.com (donald trump)

Donald Trump presidential campaign has added a Republican activist from New Mexico to a council of advisers on issues affecting Hispanic communities.

The Republican Party of New Mexico announced Friday that Phil Archuletta of Mountainair has been appointed to Trump's National Hispanic Advisory Council.

Jury Deliberating In New Mexico Officer's Death Case

Sep 23, 2016

The fate of a New Mexico man charged in the shooting death of a suburban Albuquerque police officer is now in the hands of a jury.

Jurors began deliberations Friday in a case involving Andrew Romero. The 29-year-old is charged with first-degree murder in the May 2015 death of Rio Rancho Officer Gregg Benner.

The case was moved from Sandoval County to 40 miles south in Valencia County because of extensive media coverage of the case.

In their closing, prosecutors said Romero was not too high on drugs to know what he was doing.

 

          

ALBUQUERQUE – Gerry Billy Olivas, 39, of El Paso, Texas, pled guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to a cocaine trafficking charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

UNM President Robert Frank Says He Won't Seek Another Contract

Sep 23, 2016

University of New Mexico President Robert Frank has announced that he won't seek to renew his contract after it ends next year.

Frank said Friday that he decided it was best to let the Board of Regents know of his intentions.

He was hired by UNM in January 2012 and his contract ends on May 31, 2017.

The regents now have eight months to choose the school's 22nd president.

On Thursday, Frank announced the university will put a freeze on hiring, and all college officials will perform departmental audits of temporary and part-time staff positions.

Candidate Accused Of Illegally Applying For Absentee Ballots

Sep 23, 2016

A former state Senate candidate has been accused of illegally applying for absentee ballots in the names of three dead people in 2014.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Carlos Villanueva, a Democrat, says he didn't break the law and that he intends to plead not guilty.

A grand jury on Thursday charged Villanueva with three counts of unlawful absentee ballot application and three counts of unlawful absentee ballot possession. He also faces charges of perjury and conspiracy to committee forgery.

'Snowden’- is a theatrical film about the intelligence leaks that revealed the extent of U.S. government spying on its own citizens.   Three years after the actual leaks by Edward Snowden…the film is re-igniting a debate over the competing American values of national security and privacy.

The film is based on whistleblower Edward Snowden; a former intelligence contractor who leaked sensitive material revealing the extent of government spying on U.S. Citizens.
 

Facebook Eyes Forum For New Mexico Hispanic Small Business Success

Sep 23, 2016
Facebook

Facebook is holding a workshop for New Mexico Hispanic small businesses days after announcing it is building a new data center in the state.

The social media giant and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are hosting the Albuquerque seminar Friday to show businesses how to have a better presence on Facebook.

A Facebook small business expert will give a presentation on the latest practices and strategies for success.

The Menlo Park, California-based Facebook announced earlier this month it had selected New Mexico for a new data center over Utah.

Another Feature Film To Use Albuquerque As Backdrop

Sep 23, 2016
nmfilm.com

The latest feature film to use Albuquerque as a backdrop will star a few actors of "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" fame.

Steven Michael Quesada, Vincent McDaniel and Jermaine Washington are among the actors in "Furthest Witness," which is shooting through the beginning of October in Albuquerque.

The production will employ nearly four dozen New Mexico crew members, 30 principal actors from the state and 30 background talent.

Funding Aimed At New Mexico's Solar Telescope

Sep 23, 2016

More than $1 million from the National Science Foundation will help support efforts to transition the operation of New Mexico's solar telescope to a consortium led by New Mexico State University.

Members of New Mexico's congressional delegation announced the funding Thursday.

The Richard B. Dunn Solar Telescope specializes in high resolution imaging and spectroscopy used by astronomers for a better understanding of the sun and how space weather affects the planet.

PHOENIX - - The Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit partners today issued an alert to taxpayers and tax professionals to be on guard against fake emails purporting to contain an IRS tax bill related to the Affordable Care Act.

The IRS has received numerous reports around the country of scammers sending a fraudulent version of CP2000 notices for tax year 2015. Generally, the scam involves an email that includes the fake CP2000 as an attachment. The issue has been reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration for investigation.

Follow The Money - New Mexico Campaign Fundraising

Sep 22, 2016

Welcome to Voice of the Public on 90.7 fm and kwrg.org, I’m Edmundo Resendez your host. Join us as we Follow The Money - New Mexico Campaign Fundraising, taking a look at the influence of campaign donations in local state politics. According to an article in the Las Cruces Sun-News, in contested races in the November 8th general election, the average amount of campaign contributions raised be state senate candidates in Dona Ana County is $60,580. Join us as we follow the money in the upcoming New Mexico election. Where is the money coming from?

NMSU counseling program receives $1.2 million grant for scholarships

Sep 22, 2016

The Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology in the New Mexico State University College of Education recently received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to provide scholarships to doctoral students of color and disadvantaged doctoral students.

New CEO Picked To Lead Spaceport America

Sep 22, 2016
spaceportamerica.com

An engineer who has held senior management and planning posts at White Sands Missile Range is Spaceport America's new CEO.

The board of the authority that oversees the commercial spaceport in southern New Mexico announced Thursday the selection of Daniel Hicks to replace Christine Anderson.

Hicks' 34 years as an Army civilian employee at White Sands has included working on strategic planning and numerous programs involving missiles, sensors and space.

Ex-Public Education Secretary Now Permanent Santa Fe Chief

Sep 22, 2016

Former New Mexico Public Education Secretary Veronica Garcia is now the permanent superintendent for Santa Fe Public Schools.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the Santa Fe school board voted this week to extend Garcia's contract by another school year and change her title from "interim" to "permanent."

The unanimous vote keeps Garcia at the helm of the 13,000-student school district under a contract that runs through June 30, 2018. Her annual salary is $180,000.

Jal Hit By Strong Hailstorm, Caused About $4 Million In Damage

Sep 22, 2016

A small city in southeastern New Mexico is recovering after being hit with a strong hailstorm.

The Hobbs News-Sun report that Jal was struck this weekend with hailstones bigger than golf balls that caused an estimated $4 million in damage.

The storm began late Saturday, leaving broken windows and busted windshields in its path.

Jal City Manager Bob Gallagher said officials in the city of 2,500 residents are looking for a declaration of emergency from the state.

Public Regulation Commission To Rule On PNM Rates

Sep 22, 2016

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission plans to rule next week on a rate increase for more than 500,000 customers of the state's largest utility.

Public Service Company of New Mexico is requesting an increase of more than $123 million in annual revenue, under which customers on average would see their bills rise by 14.4 percent.

A PRC hearing examiner's recommendation last month slashed that by two-thirds to about $41 million, which would mean an average increase of 6.4 percent for customers.

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