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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.

Hobbs Officials Respond To Auditor's Findings

Feb 1, 2017

The city of Hobbs says it has cooperated with the state auditor's office and is working to implement policy changes to ensure the confidence of citizens and the state agency.

The city said in a statement issued Wednesday that it self-reported the majority of the issues outlined by the auditor's office following an investigation into allegations about possible violations of the city's ethics code.

The city also says it has submitted a corrective action plan to the state to improve transparency and accountability for government spending.

NMSU’s Chile Pepper Institute to host 25th Anniversary Dinner

Feb 1, 2017

The Chile Pepper Institute will be holding a 25th Anniversary Dinner, Monday, Feb. 6, to celebrate 25 years at New Mexico State University. The proceeds from the event will go to the Endowed Chair for Chile Pepper Research in an effort to continue and enrich further chile pepper research. The Chile Pepper Institute started the endowed chair in 2009 and is nearing their goal.

The dinner will be a first for the New Mexico Chile Conference, which has happened annually since 1981. 

The Latest: Base Identifies Injured Service Member's Squadron

Feb 1, 2017

The Latest on an Air Force training accident (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

The Air Force says that the person injured in a training accident on a southern New Mexico military range was assigned to the 7th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Bliss, Texas.

That person has not been identified.

Officials at Holloman Air Force Base say a person who was killed during the Tuesday night incident was a civilian contractor while the person who was injured was an Air Force service member.

Heinrich Slams Republican House Proposal To Sell Off Public Lands

Feb 1, 2017

Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, issued the following statement on H.R. 621, a bill reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would sell off 3.3 million acres of public land, including 800,000 acres in New Mexico: 

Udall To Vote Against Betsy DeVos For Secretary of Education

Feb 1, 2017
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he will vote against confirming Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. Udall issued the following statement:

Las Vegas Kidnapping Victim Knew Suspects

Feb 1, 2017

Police in Las Vegas, Nevada, say federal authorities are now investigating the kidnapping of a woman that ended when New Mexico State Police found her bound in the back of van hundreds of miles from where she was taken.

Authorities also say the motive for the crime is still under investigation but that two men arrested in the kidnapping of a 28-year-old woman had a prior relationship with the victim.

Police say the woman was found bound by chains in the back of a van in northern New Mexico on Monday.

The woman had visible injuries but was released from a hospital.

New Mexico Gov.: Nation Needs Thorough Vetting Process

Feb 1, 2017
Office of the Governor

The nation's only Latina governor says President Donald Trump's temporary entry ban on seven Muslim-majority countries could have been rolled out more smoothly but that the nation needs to assess its vetting process.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez made the comments Wednesday during a stop in Albuquerque. She said there was confusion because Trump's executive order affected those who already had visas.

Still, the Republican governor said she understands the president is trying to ensure the safety of Americans and others living the country.

New Mexico Governor, Utility Unveil Facebook Solar Plans

Feb 1, 2017
Facebook

An Albuquerque-based solar company has been awarded a $37 million contract to install tens of thousands of solar panels in the New Mexico desert to power a data center being built by social media giant Facebook.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, officials with the state's largest electric utility and economic development leaders gathered Wednesday at Affordable Solar to make the announcement.

New Mexico-based Array Technologies will provide the tracking systems for the panels.

Heinrich Opposes Tillerson Confirmation, Condemns Trump Muslim Ban

Feb 1, 2017

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee On Intelligence, voted against the confirmation of Rex Tillerson to serve as U.S. Secretary of State. During a speech on Senate floor before the vote, Heinrich questioned Tillerson's lack of diplomatic experience, his potential conflicts of interest, and his ability to stand up to President Trump's isolationist and dangerous foreign policy actions.

Below are Heinrich's remarks as prepared for delivery:

Udall Votes Against Tillerson Nomination For Secretary of State

Feb 1, 2017
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall voted against the nomination of former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State. Udall said that Tillerson lacks the qualifications or experience to serve as the nation’s top diplomat, has close business ties to the Russian government that may color his diplomatic efforts, is entangled in a web of potential conflicts of interests stemming from his decades-long career at ExxonMobil, and has made an insufficient commitment to maintaining the United States’ leadership role in combatting climate change.

University Of New Mexico Students To Join 'World Hijab Day'

Feb 1, 2017

3:30 p.m.

Activists say they are mixed on the purpose of "World Hijab Day" amid Islamophobia and President Donald Trump's travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries.

Mouna Mana, director of Arabic Language & Culture at Qatar Foundation International in Washington, D.C., said Wednesday she finds the event is "sweet, but uninspired." She says there are many ways activists can show solidarity with Muslim women who face many issues. Mana also says not all of Muslim women wear hijabs.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: Today, during a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee, U.S. Senator Tom Udall defended the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Methane and Natural Gas Waste Prevention Rule, which is crucial to protect air quality and to prevent the waste of taxpayer-owned natural gas on federal and Indian lands. He questioned hearing witness Jack Gerard, President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API), the top oil and gas lobbyist, about unsubstantiated and baseless claims that rules to reduce natural gas and methane emissions cause job loss.

State Auditor Investigation Finds Public Officials Violated Ethics Code in Hobbs

Feb 1, 2017

SANTA FE, NM – The Office of the State Auditor (OSA) notified the City of Hobbs of the results of an investigation into allegations about violations of the Code of Ethics. The investigation found that public officials were not filing required financial disclosures or recusing themselves from official business when personal interests were involved.

Dr. Donald Pope Davis

Feb 1, 2017

In this special interview from New Mexico State University's AggieVision, KRWG General Manager Glen Cerny speaks with Dr. Donald Pope Davis, Dean of the College of Education at New Mexico State University.

NMSU Provost Dr. Daniel Howard

Feb 1, 2017

SCAM ALERT: Russian Email Addresses Cloning New Mexico Officials Asking for W2s

Feb 1, 2017

Albuquerque, NM - This afternoon, Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a Scam Alert concerning a dangerous phishing scam targeting schools and employers in New Mexico in an attempt to illegally obtain W2s. The scammers email from addresses that end in “.ru” but show up as the name of someone working in the school district or business in an attempt to trick staff into sending confidential tax information belonging to employees. This scam has already hit four different school districts in New Mexico today. Thankfully, none of the districts were fooled by the scam.

New Mexico Solar Farms Planned To Support Facebook Data Center

Feb 1, 2017
Facebook

  Albuquerque, N.M. — Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced 300 new jobs – the result of Facebook coming to New Mexico. Affordable Solar, an Albuquerque company, will invest $45 million to build three cutting-edge solar farms that will help support Facebook’s massive high-tech data center, which is expected to create thousands of long-term construction jobs in the first phase alone.

Temporary Restraining Order Issued Over Wage Theft Enforcement In New Mexico

Feb 1, 2017

Commentary: SANTA FE – Late Tuesday, New Mexicans whose legal rights were violated by the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions won a major victory in their lawsuit filed on January 17, 2017 to remedy the agency’s failure to enforce our state’s wage payment laws.

Fronteras 704: ENLACE Program

Feb 1, 2017

Las Cruces Museum of Art to host African American Read-In

Feb 1, 2017

The first Las Cruces African American Read-In will be at 1 p.m.Wednesday, Feb. 8, in the classroom at the Museum of Nature and Science, 411 North Main St.

File photo

Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, 201 E. Picacho Ave., will hold free computer literacy classes throughout February. The classes will be in the library’s computer training lab located on the second floor. Registration is not required, however, only the first 8 attendees will be guaranteed a computer. Attendees are welcome to bring their own laptops if space permits.

Introduction to Computers: The Basics

Tuesday, Feb. 14, from 2 – 4 p.m.

Las Cruces Police Continue Investigation into Fatal Shooting

Feb 1, 2017

The Las Cruces man who was killed in Tuesday evening’s shooting on Wyoming Avenue has been identified as 29-year-old Christopher “Chris” Mendoza.

Investigators learned that Mendoza received at least one gunshot wound and was unresponsive when police arrived at 1404 Wyoming Ave. Mendoza was transported to Mountainview Regional Medical Center where, shortly after arrival, he was pronounced dead.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he will be holding a conference for New Mexico businesses of all sizes on Feb. 21, at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, to help business leaders and entrepreneurs learn about ways they can take advantage of international trade opportunities.

Heinrich Statement On President Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

Feb 1, 2017

Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement on President Trump nominating Neil Gorsuch, a federal appeals judge, to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court:

“After ignoring Judge Garland’s nomination for purely partisan reasons, Senate Republicans are already talking about changing the Senate rules to confirm Trump's nominee if Democrats don’t simply defer.

Santa Fe Mayor Gets More Security After Sanctuary Debate

Feb 1, 2017
Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales

Four police officers stood guard outside the Santa Fe mayor's office during a recent meet-and-greet, a measure officials say was taken largely in response to one unhappy individual.

The New Mexican reports that city spokesman Matt Ross says Mayor Javier Gonzales had more security during Tuesday's event in part because of the "tone and tenor" of one person's interactions with Gonzales in person and by email and phone. Ross says the person is unhappy with Santa Fe's decision to be a sanctuary city.

Opinions From Navajo Nation's AG To Be Posted Online

Feb 1, 2017

All formal opinions from the Navajo Nation attorney general's office are being made available online .

The tribe's justice department made the announcement Tuesday, saying the move will allow the public greater access, provide more clarity on Navajo law and increase transparency.

Attorney General Ethel Branch says she's following through on the encouragement of members of the tribal council to provide greater access.

Gov. Martinez Calls For Methane Rule To Be Repealed

Feb 1, 2017
Office of the Governor

As one of the nation's top energy-producing states, Gov. Susana Martinez says New Mexico won't be able to afford a rule finalized in the waning days of the Obama administration that seeks to reduce methane emissions on public and tribal lands.

The Republican governor outlined her opposition in a letter sent to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan. The governor's office released the letter Tuesday, just ahead of a House committee hearing on the matter.

The New Mexico Legislature will consider increasing by more than four-fold the amount of renewable energy from sources such as wind and solar that utilities need to provide customers by the year 2040.

Two Democratic lawmakers plan to introduce bills Wednesday that would gradually increase the share of renewable energy to 80 percent of power supplies by 2040 under the state's investor-owned utilities.

New Mexico's current renewable energy portfolio peaks at 20 percent in 2020. Electrical cooperatives would ramp up to 70 percent renewables by 2040, under the proposal.

Listen to your heart this Heart Month

Feb 1, 2017

February is American Heart Month, and with good reason – not so much because of Valentine’s Day – but because of what makes us all tick: the human heart.

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDoH) reports about 4000 New Mexicans die every year from heart disease and stroke.  Heart disease for years has consistently been the first or second leading cause of death among both women and men in New Mexico annually. Stroke has been the 5th leading cause.

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