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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.

New Law Preserves El Paso's Castner Range

Dec 12, 2017
photo by mark klune / http://castnerrangenationalmonument.org/

  Commentary: WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Beto O’Rourke’s provision to permanently protect Castner Range in the Franklin Mountains of west Texas became law as President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This massive environmental victory comes after more than 30 years of work by local, state and national groups to conserve the crown jewel of West Texas.

 

Federal Officials Probe National Lab After Worker Incident

Dec 12, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Federal officials are investigating the Los Alamos National Laboratory after an employee was involved in an incident described as a "near-miss to a fatality."

A worker entered a lab room that had insufficient oxygen despite an alarm sounding. The September incident was characterized as potentially deadly and a violation of building requirements and emergency response protocol, according to a letter sent last week to the outgoing lab director by the Department of Energy's Office of Enforcement.

Navajo Nation Sues Wells Fargo For Alleged Predatory Tactics

Dec 12, 2017

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation is suing Wells Fargo for allegedly engaging in predatory and unlawful banking practices that targeted and harmed tribal members.

In a statement Tuesday, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye says the tribe's lawyer has been directed to seek restitution, damages and civil penalties based on Wells Fargo's alleged violations of federal, state and tribal law.

Officer Honored For Adopting Baby From Opioid Addicted Mom

Dec 12, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A routine call about an Albuquerque convenience store theft turned into a life-transforming moment for an officer who came across upon a pregnant woman he found using heroin.

That officer later volunteered to adopt the unborn baby.

Officer Ryan Holets and his wife, Rebecca, were honored Monday for adopting the baby girl they named Hope after the addicted mom agreed to let the couple raise her child. The baby is now 6-weeks-old and is recovering after being born with an opioid addiction.

"We're blessed," Holets said.

Classes To Resume After Shooting Rocks New Mexico School

Dec 12, 2017

AZTEC, N.M. (AP) — Classes will resume next week as a New Mexico community works to recover in the wake of a school shooting that left two classmates and the gunman dead.

District Superintendent Kirk Carpenter announced the schedule for Aztec High School on Tuesday.

Students and families can visit the school and reconnect with teachers on Thursday and Friday. On Monday, they'll start the day with an assembly before heading to class.

Art Garcia Named As USDA Rural Development Director for New Mexico

Dec 12, 2017
USDA

ALBUQUERQUE, NM, December 11, 2017 --The Trump Administration recently appointed Arthur A. Garcia as the new State Director for USDA Rural Development in New Mexico. Garcia began his new role on Monday November 27, 2017.

Gary Sandler
Courtesy Photo

After steadily declining over the past decade, the percentage of home-sales closed at a price of $350,000, and above, have finally begun to rise.

According to a December 3 report from the Las Cruces Association of Realtors, 123, or 7.9 percent, of the 1,589 new and existing free-standing, single-family homes sold through November 30 of this year sold at or above the benchmark price. During the same period last year just 70, or 4.9 percent, of the 1,442 sales qualified for the high-end category. The difference represents a whopping increase of 75.7% percent.

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Dec 12, 2017

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Dec 12, 2017

New Mexico Gets Tax Forecasting Tool To Address Loopholes

Dec 12, 2017

 

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico lawmakers are getting a new financial planning tool designed to help them forecast future tax revenues as they contemplate changes to the state tax code.

Republican Sen. Bill Sharer said Monday that he hopes the forecasting tool will help lawmakers move forward with efforts to lower tax rates by closing loopholes in the state's complex gross receipts tax laws.

The Legislature is spending $400,000 on the fiscal calculator to anticipate the consequences of tax reform on state government income, family finances and business interests.

Lobbyist Reports Harrassment To Attorneys For State Legislature

Dec 12, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A registered lobbyist in New Mexico has submitted a detailed account of being sexually harassed by a former state lawmaker in writing to the Legislature's legal oversight agency.

Lobbyist Vanessa Alarid on Monday submitted a letter to the Legislative Council Service that accuses former Rep. Thomas Garcia of offering to vote for a bill in 2009 if Alarid would have sex with him. Garcia has vigorously denied the allegations.

Alamogordo NOW

Dec 12, 2017

Time now for Alamogordo NOW with Edmundo Resendez and Duane Barbati, Managing Editor of the Alamogordo Daily News. This week, the Christmas parade took place on Saturday.        

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

Worker In Roswell Reports Finding Human Skull At Public Park

Dec 11, 2017

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Police in Roswell say a city worker has found what is believed to be a human skull.

They say the skull is being sent to the state medical investigator in Albuquerque for confirmation of its authenticity.

Police say the skull was found last Friday afternoon next to a water pump station at Cahoon Park near Union Avenue and Riverside Drive.

They say the skull appears to be fairly old and not related to any recent incidents or reports made to Roswell police.

New Mexico AG, Others Support Proposed Wind Farms

Dec 11, 2017
Hector Balderas

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, consumer advocates and others have reached a settlement with Xcel Energy over the utility's plans to add more wind power for customers in New Mexico and parts of Texas.

The proposed agreement was filed Monday with New Mexico utility regulators for approval. The Public Utility Commission of Texas also would have to sign off.

Human Remains Discovered In Undeveloped Area Of Las Cruces

Dec 11, 2017

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Police in Las Cruces are investigating the discovery of human remains in an undeveloped area of the city.

They say the remains were found by a hiker walking his dog about 10 a.m. Sunday.

The remains haven't been identified yet and will be sent to the New Mexico medical investigator's office for an autopsy.

Investigators have yet to determine the gender or approximate age of the individual.

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Dec 11, 2017

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Dec 11, 2017

Monday Business Watch

Dec 11, 2017

What’s happening in the world of business in the Mesilla Valley? Time now for the Monday Business Watch with Edmundo Resendez and Jason Gibbs, Business Editor for the Las Cruces Sun-News. This week, My Rich Sister’s Closet re-opens in Mesilla under new ownership, the Las Cruces Hispanic Chamber says good bye to its board chair, and the Downtown Las Cruces Partnership has a new executive director.     

Removal process of feral hogs in New Mexico continues

Dec 10, 2017

  CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is nearing the end of an eradication program targeting feral hogs that have been rooting up New Mexico and other parts of the country.

The program is set to end in September 2018 and more funding will be needed to continue fighting the pests, USDA District Supervisor for Wildlife Services Brian Archuleta said.

Officials say about 1,620 invasive feral hogs were removed from New Mexico in the five years since eradication began.

Red Kettle Stolen From Salvation Army In Las Cruces

Dec 10, 2017

The Salvation Army Southwest Division reports that a red kettle used for donations was stolen in Las Cruces.  The nonprofit released this statement:

Police are investigating a Friday night theft of one of The Salvation Army’s signature Red Kettles, containing an unknown amount of cash, in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Lawmakers push for licensing system for dental therapists

Dec 10, 2017

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A bipartisan group of New Mexico lawmakers is seeking to expand dental care in rural areas by creating a new system of licensed dental workers.

The legislators are seeking to establish licensing for dental therapists — a mid-level professional between a dentist and a hygienist.

A proposal that aimed to establish a licensing system was approved in the House during the last legislative session, but it failed to reach the Senate floor. It would have allowed dental therapists to practice in the state.

Lofton scores 22 as New Mexico State beats New Mexico 65-62

Dec 9, 2017

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Zach Lofton scored 22 points for New Mexico State and two potential tying shots hit rim and bounced away in the closing five seconds for New Mexico as the Aggies came away with a 65-62 win Saturday night.

A.J. Harris added 12 points for New Mexico State (7-2).

Antino Jackson had 14 points and Troy Simons 13 for the Lobos (3-7). But Simons' putback with five seconds rolled off the rim. And after Lofton made one of two free throws, Anthony Mathis had a good luck at a 3-pointer, but it drew iron as the buzzer sounded.

The Las Cruces Museum of Art is excited to announce that the Studio Art Classes for Spring 2018 will open registration on Tuesday, December 19. Classes will be offered in two seven-week sessions; Session One begins Wednesday, January 24, and runs through Saturday, March 10. Session Two begins Wednesday, March 28, 2018 and runs through Saturday, May 12.

Health Care Options Expanded For Some New Mexico Vets

Dec 8, 2017

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — Specialized care for some veterans in southern New Mexico will be more accessible thanks to a recent decision by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Members of New Mexico's congressional delegation say the agency is giving veterans in Alamogordo the new option to seek advanced care at the VA medical center in El Paso, Texas.

Until now, veterans in Alamogordo needing specialized care have been referred to the Albuquerque VA hospital, which is more than three hours away.

New Mexico elementary teacher accused of voyeurism

Dec 8, 2017

  SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a teacher from southwestern New Mexico is facing a felony charge of voyeurism over allegations he used his cellphone to take inappropriate photos of students.

New Mexico State Police say 38-year-old Frank Ramos Arias of Bayard was arrested Friday and booked into the Grant County jail.

Arias, who teaches at Stout Elementary School in Silver City, denied the allegations in an interview with police. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.

Police: Gunman disguised himself, randomly killed at school

Dec 8, 2017

UPDATE: AZTEC, N.M. (AP) — A 21-year-old gunman who disguised himself as a student to get into a New Mexico high school where he killed two students had caught the attention of U.S. investigators more than a year ago, authorities said Friday.

William Atchison, a former student at small-town Aztec High School, had legally purchased a handgun at a local store a month ago and planned the attack, authorities said. He left a message on a thumb drive found on his body that detailed his plan to wait until the students got off buses and made their way to class.

New Mexico Man Convicted Of Burglary In 2013 Pharmacy Case

Dec 8, 2017

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — A man has been convicted of burglary and other charges in a case stemming from a 2013 break-in at a pharmacy in southern New Mexico.

Prosecutors announced Friday that 39-year-old Tareeq Munir was convicted following a two-day trial.

Authorities say Munir set off a motion detector during the break-in. Police responded to find the electricity, internet and phone lines cut and the back door pried open.

  Las Cruces – With Jerusalem in the headlines recently, people may wonder, what events led to the state of the Middle East today?

The critically-acclaimed film, “In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem,” about the Six-Day War which profoundly shaped the current state of the Middle East, will be screened at Temple Beth-El in Las Cruces. 

Open House At Chaparral Collection and Recycling Center

Dec 8, 2017

Up and running a little over a year, the Chaparral Collection and Recycling Center celebrated American Recycles Day on Saturday, November 18th with an Open House and free trash disposal for residents. Not only did Chaparral residents have a chance to grab a donut and peek inside garbage trucks, but also to dispose of their waste absolutely free.

Arrowhead Center, the entrepreneurship and innovation hub at New Mexico State University, is offering a new online tool to help entrepreneurs navigate the winding path of building a successful company.

Developed by Arrowhead Innovator-in-Residence Scott Maloney, the Arrowhead Business Suite is a streamlined package of entrepreneurial training modules offering an intuitive extension of Maloney’s experience as an innovator and entrepreneur. 

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