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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.

Solid Waste Authority: Recycling Is Strong In Las Cruces

Feb 19, 2017

In 2016 Las Cruces recycled 7,000 tons of metal (aluminum, tin and steel cans), office paper, newspaper, chipboard and cardboard, and plastics (0-7). That’s an increase from 6,800 tons recycled in 2015, and is attributed to population growth, an increase in the number of businesses that recycle, and Las Cruces Public Schools participating in recycling.

Actor Shia LaBeouf brings anti-Trump piece to New Mexico

Feb 19, 2017
facebook.com (donald trump)

Actor Shia LaBeouf has brought a performance-art piece against President Donald Trump to New Mexico's largest city.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2lWMbGd) that LaBeouf, along with two other artists, brought on Saturday a 24-hour live-streaming camera mounted to a wall with the message in block letters: "He will not divide us," referring to Trump. The artists want people to go up to the camera and repeat the phrase

Some Texas grad students meet at bars to avoid guns

Feb 18, 2017

A 2016 Texas law that allows concealed handguns on college campuses has prompted some graduate students to move their student conferences to bars.

Several University of Texas at Austin graduate students made the move amid safety concerns.

Mark Sheridan, who's also an English doctoral student, says he moved his office hours to a bar in the university student center. Texas law bans firearms in venues that primarily serve alcohol.

Texas has allowed concealed carry since 1995, but kept college campuses gun-free until last August.

Justice Department cites hiring freeze concerns for disabled

Feb 18, 2017
http://gov.texas.gov/

The U.S. Department of Justice has questioned how Gov. Greg Abbott's hiring freeze could affect Texas institutions for people with intellectual disabilities.

The Justice Department officials say potential staffing shortages could cause Texas to violate its federal agreement to improve the facilities.

Abbott on Jan. 31, amid budget concerns, ordered a state agency hiring freeze through August. The directive only applies to agencies under Abbott's office and allows exemptions.

NBA warns Texas over proposed 'bathroom bill'

Feb 18, 2017

The NBA has warned that Texas could be overlooked for future events because of a proposed "bathroom bill" targeting transgender people.

The Texas legislation is similar to a North Carolina law that prompted the league to move the All-Star Game out of that state. It would require people to use bathrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass says an environment where people are treated "fairly and equally" weighs heavily in deciding host locations. The NBA first made the statement last week, and the NFL has issued similar warnings.

New Mexico judge rules against underfunded public defenders

Feb 18, 2017

A state district court judge in southeastern New Mexico has rejected arguments by public defense attorneys that they are too overloaded with work to provide adequate representation to poor defendants facing jail time.

District Judge William Shoobridge of Lea County said in an order released Friday that attorneys with the Law Offices of the Public Defender have been providing reasonably competent representation to indigent defendants in the area despite financial pressures.

Hundreds of Mexicans protest with 'human wall' on US border

Feb 18, 2017

Hundreds of people in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez gathered on the edge of the Rio Grande river Friday to form a "human wall" to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's plans for a wall between the countries.

The demonstrators held aloft on Friday colorful swatches of cloth and waved to the residents of the neighboring city of El Paso, Texas.

Organizers said a friendly, human wall meant to join the two cities was better than a wall of steel or concrete to divide them.

A 2015 Pew Research report estimated there were around 3.3 million Muslims living in the United States. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/01/06/a-new-estimate-of-the-u-s-muslim-population/

In a taped episode of “In Focus” Radwan Jallad, President of The Islamic Center of Las Cruces shared some history about the center and the faith. Jallad says the center was formed in the early 1980s.

Newsmakers 907

Feb 17, 2017

Big Wins For Las Cruces Students

Feb 17, 2017

LAS CRUCES---Although the year just started, 2017 is off to a great start for Mayfield High School (MHS) freshman Mireya Sanchez-Maes. In addition to winning the 2017 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Essay or Poetry Contest, she recently won four individual and team awards at the 2017 Cave Classic Speech and Debate Tournament at La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, NM.

Mexican Wolf Numbers Up More Than 10 Percent From Last Year

Feb 17, 2017

  Commentary: SILVER CITY, N.M.— In encouraging news for the highly endangered Mexican gray wolf, the U.S.

Living Here - Geronimo Springs Museum

Feb 17, 2017

Events On Tap For Downtown Las Cruces

Feb 17, 2017

Main St. Downtown:

·         Farmers and Crafts Market

o   Wednesday, Feb. 22, 8:30 am - 1 pm.

o   Saturday, Feb. 25, 8:30 am - 1 pm

o   Wednesday, March 1, 8:30 am - 1 pm.

o   Saturday, March 4, 8:30 am-1 pm

·         Plaza De Las Cruces

o   Food Truck Fiesta! – Wednesday, Feb. 15, 3-10 pm

Las Cruces Museum System: Branigan Cultural Center, the Las Cruces Museum of Art, the Las Cruces Museum of Nature & Science and the Las Cruces Railroad Museum Free Admission!

New Mexico House Republicans Kill Bill to Protect Public Health

Feb 17, 2017

  Commentary: Santa Fe, NM – A bill to make it a crime to lie to inspectors from the Environment Department was killed by House Republicans in the House Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Committee. HB 371, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Fajarado (R-Valencia County), imposed criminal penalties for owners and operators of public water systems who lie to inspectors from the Department of the Environment. Currently, there are no penalties for lying to inspectors nor for tampering with devices or records.

 

Diverse coalition praises effort to preserve Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

Feb 17, 2017

Commentary: Las Cruces, New Mexico – Sportsmen, Native Americans, business leaders, veterans, civic groups, current and former local elected officials, archaeologists, historians, and conservation organizations applauded Senators Udall and Heinrich for the re-introduction of the “Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Act” today.  A broad coalition of local stakeholders successfully worked to create the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, and has been advocating for wilderness protection of the most sensitive areas within it for nearly a decade. 

Fronteras 706: Chili Pepper Institute - Paul Bosland

Feb 17, 2017

Santa Fe—Students from Alamogordo and their robot stole the show at the New Mexico State Senate.

Senator Bill Burt (R-Alamogordo) introduced students from Alamogordo High School and Imago Day Academy who are team members of the 1513 Thunderdogs Robotics community team. The 6th graders to high school seniors participate in a six week design and build-a-robot challenge. When  they complete the program,  they will compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition in Lubbock,  Texas and Denver,  Colorado in March 2017.

Rep. Angelica Rubio

Feb 17, 2017

Spaceport America

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Las Cruces District announced today that it signed the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Decision Record for the proposed Southern Road Improvement Project (Project), a 23.6-mile section of county roads in Doña Ana and Sierra Counties. 

Senator Jeff Steinborn

Commentary: (Santa Fe, NM) – A key Senate committee today approved Senator Jeff Steinborn’s (D – 36 – Dona Ana) bill to allow qualified New Mexico residents to register to vote up until 3 days prior to an election at certain locations.  Current law allows voter registration to occur only until 28 days preceding an election.   If enacted, SB 224 would enable the largest expansion of voter registration rights in many years in the state.

The Latest: New Mexico Guard Immigration Ban Bill Eyed

Feb 17, 2017
nmlegis.gov

The Latest on New Mexico's reaction to Trump's immigration National Guard proposal (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

A state lawmaker is pushing a measure that would prevent the New Mexico National Guard from performing federal immigration operations.

Bill McCamley, a Mesilla Park Democrat, introduced his bill Friday after The Associated Press reported the Trump administration drafted a proposal to mobilize National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.

The Latest: Feds: More Wolves Surviving In The Southwest

Feb 17, 2017

The Latest on the endangered Mexican gray wolf (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

There are now more Mexican gray wolves roaming the American Southwest than at any time since the federal government began trying to reintroduce the predators nearly two decades ago.

The annual survey released Friday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows at least 113 wolves are spread between southwestern New Mexico and southeast Arizona. This is an improvement over the 97 wolves that were documented the previous year.

Udall Demands Investigation Into Trump's Use Of DHS Funds

Feb 17, 2017
Office of US Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.)Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) called on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General John Roth to conduct an investigation into whether President Trump has violated the Domestic Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution by using DHS funds for security when he and his family's travel also potentially enriches his private business holdings.

DA’s Office Clears Officer in Las Cruces Shooting

Feb 17, 2017

The investigation into the Jan. 24 shooting of a knife-wielding man at the Solano Square shopping center is complete and the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office has concluded that the Las Cruces Police officer’s actions were justified.

Udall, Heinrich Introduce Bills To Establish Wilderness Areas Within Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks

Feb 17, 2017

Commentary: U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich reintroduced legislation to protect wilderness within the Río Grande del Norte National Monument northwest of Taos, New Mexico and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in Doña Ana County, New Mexico.

Heinrich Opposes Pruitt For EPA Administrator

Feb 17, 2017

Commentary: Before the Senate’s vote on Scott Pruitt’s nomination for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) spoke on the Senate floor in opposition of his confirmation.

New Mexico Reconsiders Subsidies To High-Risk Insurance Pool

Feb 17, 2017
Office of the Governor

The administration of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is seeking to shift the state's financial obligations for a group of 2,700 people with serious and expensive medical conditions onto the private health insurance market.

Legislation drafted by the administration in response to a state budget crisis would reduce tax credits and other subsidies that help underwrite New Mexico's high-risk medical insurance pool for the chronically ill.

Feds Propose Wolf Releases In SW New Mexico

Feb 17, 2017

Federal officials want to release two packs of Mexican gray wolves in wilderness areas near the Arizona-New Mexico border this year in an effort to bolster a struggling population threatened by inbreeding.

It will ultimately be up to New Mexico and a federal court whether that happens since the state and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are locked in a legal battle over the endangered predator.

Texas Governor Slams NFL Over 'Bathroom Bill' Criticism

Feb 17, 2017
http://gov.texas.gov/

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is slamming the NFL for criticizing a bill in his state's Legislature that would prohibit transgender people from using the public restroom of their choice.

In an appearance Thursday on Fox News, the Republican said that if the league punishes Texas over the "bathroom bill," ''I might just pass a bill" requiring all players to stand and place their hands over their hearts during the National Anthem.

A spokesman later suggested Abbott was joking.

Texas Officials Say ICE Agents Detained Immigrant In Courthouse

Feb 17, 2017

Local Texas officials say federal immigration agents detained a transgender woman seeking a protective order for alleged domestic violence while she was inside a courthouse.

Several El Paso County officials told the El Paso Times that agents detained Irvin Gonzalez as she was leaving a courtroom on Feb. 9. Immigration officials say Gonzalez has been convicted of several crimes since 2010 including assault and larceny, and has been deported six times.

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