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 Police Say 100 Applicants Seeking Spots With Force

Jun 29, 2016

Hobbs Police Chief Chris McCall says his department has seen around 100 applicants for openings thanks to a hiring push.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that Hobbs police are trying to fill around nine open spots for a department that was battling shortages for months.

Two months ago, Hobbs police officials launched a recruitment effort that focused on applicants from Hobbs and the Lea County area.

University Of New Mexico Starts Chicano Studies Online Plan

Jun 29, 2016

The University of New Mexico is launching an online degree program in Chicana and Chicano Studies beginning this fall.

Under the program, the newly minted department will allow students to take online classes in Chicano studies toward a degree. Officials say the online classes with allow nontraditional students with busy schedules to get a Bachelor's degree in Chicano studies.

The program is aimed at students who already have 24 hours of college credit.

The move comes a year after Chicana and Chicano Studies became an official department at the school.

Celebrate Independence Day Safely

Jun 29, 2016

  The Fourth of July holiday weekend is traditionally the time for parties, barbecues and fireworks, but for emergency rooms in New Mexico, it can be more than that. It’s a day where the hospital staff knows to expect to see patients suffering burns, bruises, cuts and more.

Fireworks are synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day, yet the day can also bring pain, even death.

In 2014, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) conducted a nationwide study of fireworks injuries from June 20th through July 20th. Here’s what they learned:

New Mexico State Auditor Timothy Keller (D)

Throughout New Mexico there are about 5,400 untested rape kits, but State Auditor Tim Keller says those numbers are improving in Dona Ana County.

“Down here the numbers have actually gone down,” Keller said. “There was roughly about 100 in the county and the city. And actually since we started tracking the backlog and shining the light on the issue that number is significantly down, and that’s a good thing. But we want to make sure systems are set up, so the backlogs don’t happen again in the future.”

New Mexico's Medical Marijuana Program Gets New Location

Jun 28, 2016

New Mexico's medical marijuana program will be operating out of a new location beginning next week.

State health department officials said Tuesday that the new office in Santa Fe will be larger and will have room for more employees and infrastructure to keep up with the growing number of patients who are enrolling in the program.

Participation has increased by about 12,000 in the last year, bringing the number of active patients to about 25,000.

Bear Attack Victim Wants Change In New Mexico Wildlife Law

Jun 28, 2016

A New Mexico marathon runner who was attacked by a black bear is advocating to change the state law that forced wild officials to kill the animal.

Karen Williams tells the Santa Fe New Mexican that the female bear was acting on its protective instincts to defend its cubs when it charged and mauled her June 18 in the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

Williams, who was competing in a race when she was mauled, was treated at an Albuquerque hospital for bites, scratches and a fractured eye socket.

New Mexico Cites Progress In Capturing DWI Fugitives

Jun 28, 2016

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says the state has tracked down 100 fugitives linked to drunken driving infractions since a roundup effort began late last year.

The Republican governor announced the milestone on Monday. Launched in December, the initiative directs State Police and a special absconder unit of the Department of Corrections to track down fugitives linked to DWI violations who have skipped out on parole or probation requirements.

Of the 100 fugitives detained, 55 had multiple DWI arrests or were linked to a killing while driving drunk.

New Mexico Man Sentenced In Fatal Stabbing On Navajo Nation

Jun 28, 2016

Federal authorities say a New Mexico man accused in a fatal stabbing on the Navajo Nation has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison on a voluntary manslaughter conviction.

The U.S. Attorneys Office says 53-year-old Bufred Denetclaw, of Sheep Springs, was sentenced in federal court in Santa Fe on Tuesday.

Authorities say Denetclaw attacked the victim in June 2014, stabbing him three times in the back.

Court documents say an alcohol-fueled argument led to the attack.

Denetclaw pleaded guilty early this year to a voluntary manslaughter charge.

Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, placed a hold on the 2017 Intelligence Authorization Act over a provision in the bill that seeks a massive expansion of government surveillance into Americans' email, web browser history, and communication through social media platforms without judicial approval.

Ruidoso To Get $2.4 Million For Repairs From 2008 Storms

Jun 28, 2016

The village of Ruidoso will receive more than $2.4 million from the federal government to help with the cost of repairing sewer pipes damaged by storms and flooding nearly eight years ago.

Members of New Mexico's congressional delegation announced the funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Monday, saying the damage was caused by the remnants of Hurricane Dolly after it made landfall in Texas in July 2008.

The federal funds will cover 75 percent of the repairs.

Expert: Recent Rains Have Little Effect On Ogallala Aquifer

Jun 28, 2016

Southeastern New Mexico has had some rain, but it's likely not doing much to recharge the Ogallala Aquifer.

Mike Johnson with the Office of the State Engineer says whether rain recharges the aquifer is a complicated question since the agency doesn't measure recharge directly.

State water managers cooperate with the U.S. Geological Survey to measure well levels to get an idea of how much water is in the aquifer and if levels are changing.

NEA New Mexico President Betty Patterson

Jun 28, 2016
Betty Patterson-President, NEA New Mexico

  Eight thousand educators from every state will be attending the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly in Washington, D-C. this week.  

NEA President Betty Patterson will be at the assembly.  One major topic:  implementation of the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act.  The Department of Education is calling on states to get input from educators and a wide variety of stakeholders.  Patterson says, right now, educators don’t have much of a dialogue with New Mexico’s education department. 

Feds Fund Non-Profits To Boost Native American Health Care

Jun 28, 2016

Health programs serving Native Americans in Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque and Reno, Nevada, are among dozens of non-profits that have been awarded federal Indian Health Service grants.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agency says the grants are meant to make healthcare more accessible to Native Americans living in urban areas — and especially boost services in the areas of mental health, substance abuse treatment, immunizations, and disease prevention.

Texas May Not Restore Lost Abortion Clinics Despite SCOTUS Ruling

Jun 28, 2016

Long wait times for abortions and lengthy drives to abortion clinics are likely to continue in Texas for months and maybe years despite the U.S. Supreme Court striking down restrictions that drastically reduced the number of providers statewide.

Texas lost more than half of its 41 abortion clinics in the three years since former Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed a sweeping anti-abortion law that justices largely dismantled in a 5-3 ruling Monday.

The decision amounted to the Supreme Court's strongest defense of abortion rights in a generation.

State Police Investigating Laguna Shooting

Jun 27, 2016

New Mexico State Police officers are investigating a fatal police shooting that took place at the Laguna Reservation west of Albuquerque.

Officers responded to a call on Monday after an armed person fled from tribal police.

There are no details of how the shooting unfolded but a spokesman said the suspect was fatally shot by a State Police officer and pronounced dead on scene.

The agency isn't releasing the name of the suspect or officer involved in the shooting.

NMSU To Offer Discounted Tuition For Mexican Students

Jun 27, 2016

Mexican students will now be able to attend New Mexico State University at a discounted rate.

The NMSU Board of Regents passed a resolution that allows students from Mexico to pay a lower tuition rate than out-of-state students.

Las Cruces is near the border with Mexico and already attracts many students from the country. The university is also recruiting students from the northern Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora.

Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine at NMSU announces Partnership

Jun 27, 2016

  ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI), New Mexico’s premier non-profit research institute has signed a partnership agreement with the new Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) at New Mexico State University and the Burrell Institute for Health Policy & Research (BIHPR), to provide innovative and timely research aimed at improving health practices and facilitating health policy changes in the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico.

With looming Budget Shortfalls, New Mexico State University’s Board of Regents has approved Employee Benefit Cuts.

NMSU’s Employee Benefits are being cut in an effort to balance the budget.

Chair of NMSU’s Board of Regent’s Debra Hicks says these cuts are part of the ongoing effort to offset cuts in funding.

Las Cruces Woman Suspected of Using Stolen Credit Cards at Walmart

Jun 27, 2016

  Las Cruces Police arrested a woman suspected of stealing a pair of credit cards and attempting to purchase several hundred dollars of merchandise with the stolen cards.

Jennifer Robinette, 30, of the 1000 block of south Main Street, is charged with two counts of theft of a credit card, two counts of conspiracy and one count each of fraudulent use of a credit card and identity theft. All six counts are fourth-degree felonies.

  ALBUQUERQUE – Erik Bilal Khan, 36, of Las Cruces, N.M., was sentenced this afternoon in federal court to 20 years of imprisonment to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release for his conviction on federal child pornography charges.  The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Waldemar Rodriguez of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso, Texas, and Chief Jaime Montoya of the Las Cruces Police Department.

SBA administrator visits NMSU’s Arrowhead Center

Jun 27, 2016

  U.S. Small Business Administration Regional Administrator Yolanda Garcia Olivarez visited Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University last week to learn about Arrowhead programming and discuss areas for increased collaboration between the SBA and Arrowhead. 

As a 2009 appointee of President Barack Obama, Olivarez oversees SBA activity in the South Central Region, which is comprised of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. 

Darren Phillips, NMSU

  Students from Mexico can now study at New Mexico State University at a discounted tuition rate thanks to a new program dubbed Descubre, or discover.

The NMSU Board of Regents passed a resolution this spring discounting tuition for students from Mexico. The new tuition rate is about half that paid by out-of-state students. The estimated tuition rate per semester is $4,691 for full-time (15 credits) undergraduate students, and $3,975 for full-time (12 credits) graduate students.

Prosecutors, Lawmakers Spar Over New Mexico Subpoena Powers

Jun 27, 2016

A state district court judge is considering whether New Mexico lawmakers can be called upon to testify in the case of a former state senator accused of fraud.

Judge Brett Loveless has scheduled a hearing Monday to consider the extent to which prosecutors can compel lawmakers and their aides to testify in response to objections by the Legislature's administrative office.

King Brothers' Alamo Ranch In New Mexico Sells

Jun 27, 2016

A real estate group that markets properties across the West says a sprawling New Mexico ranch owned by the family of former Gov. Bruce King has been sold.

Purchased by the late King and his brothers in 1961, Alamo Ranch is considered one of the state's legacy ranches. It stretches across more than 100 square miles of high desert hills, prairies of native grass and arroyos in Sandoval County.

The ranch went on the market in February for $33 million.

Hall and Hall Real Estate did not immediately release any details about the recent sale.

Farmington Losing Red Cross Office To Aztec

Jun 27, 2016

Farmington will no longer have an American Red Cross office after the organization moves about 15 miles over to Aztec.

The move was prompted by cheaper space in Aztec. The Red Cross will move on June 31.

The organization says it will still have volunteers in Farmington but that the Aztec office will be a meeting and training space as well as have storage for emergency supplies and its disaster vehicle.

The Red Cross will open its new office in Aztec on July 1.

The Latest: Crews Begin Rehab In Wake Of New Mexico Blaze

Jun 27, 2016

The Latest on wildfires burning in the West (all times local):

11:20 a.m.

Rehabilitation work is underway on a 28-square-mile wildfire that destroyed 12 homes and dozens of other structures in central New Mexico.

Fire officials say the blaze that burned through part of the Manzano Mountains southeast of Albuquerque is 90 percent contained and crews were focusing Monday on mopping up and rehabilitating dozer and hand lines that were built to corral the flames.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez Unveils New Anti-DWI Ads

Jun 27, 2016
Office of the Governor

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has unveiled a new set of commercials targeting drunken driving and texting while driving.

The advertisements released Monday feature New Mexico State Police and dramatized scenes from fatal traffic crashes.

The ads are part of a push by the governor's office to combat drunken driving and come before the start of the July 4th holiday weekend.

The ads will run in radio and television spots.

Dona Ana County church suffers string of vandalism

Jun 27, 2016

Parishioners of the San Pedro Mission in the Dona Ana County community of Vado are shaken after three incidents of vandalism have left their church desecrated.

Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantu was called to rededicate the church after the Eucharist, the body of Christ in the catholic faith, was thrown around the temple and stepped on.

The Eucharist is the most recent event in three incidents of vandalism the church has suffered in the last month. Doors were kicked down, windows were shattered and other damage was done to the sanctuary.

Events On Tap For Downtown Las Cruces

Jun 27, 2016

  Main St:

·         Farmers and Crafts Market

o   June 29 & July 2, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

·         Electrical Parade

o   July 3, 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.

U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

  WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Steve Pearce announced that the Village of Ruidoso is receiving $2,461,922 to repair sewer pipes damaged by storms and flooding from Hurricane Dolly in July and August 2008. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding will cover 75 percent of the cost to repair the pipes.