Regional

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.

Angel Linares, 20, of Las Cruces N.M., was sentenced today in Las Cruces federal court to five years in federal prison followed by four years of supervised release for heroin trafficking charges in connection with five cases filed in 2013, as the result of a multi-agency investigation into drug trafficking in Doña Ana County, N.M.

Victoria Gier

Aug 25, 2015

Dr. Ricardo Jacquez

Aug 25, 2015

'Fastest Nun In The West' Faces First Test For Sainthood

Aug 25, 2015
archdiocesesantafe.org

An Italian-born nun who challenged Billy the Kid, calmed angry mobs and helped open New Mexico territory hospitals and schools is facing her first test for Sainthood.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is hosting Tuesday a "first inquiry" in Albuquerque to present evidence on why Sister Blandina Segale should become a Saint.

Last year, the archdiocese received permission from the Vatican to open her "Sainthood Cause."

Police Shooting In Santa Fe Leads To Road Closures

Aug 25, 2015

State police say they've closed to several roads near Interstate 25 and the Cerrillos Road exits from the highway in Santa Fe after a shooting.

Details of the early morning shooting that apparently involved officers have not been released.

State police Chief Pete Kassetas plans to hold a news conference Tuesday morning to provide details of the incident.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Las Cruces City Council is scheduled to vote on a plan to bond Hold Harmless GRT tax funds next month. If the bond passes, $12.6 million dollars will be available for economic development projects around the city.

Council is looking to fund a variety of projects with bond money in an effort to diversify their investments. Some of the Projects being looked at include expanding the convention center, building a soundstage, making improvements at the airport, and developing a business incubator.

Albuquerque Mayor Urges Forest Service To Withdraw Proposal

Aug 25, 2015
http://www.cabq.gov/mayor

The mayor of New Mexico's largest city is urging the U.S. Forest Service to withdraw consideration of a potential wilderness designation that he says would limit the public's access to a popular recreation area bordering Albuquerque.

Mayor Richard Berry sent a letter to the supervisor of the Cibola National Forest on Monday. He says the way the plan stands now would completely dismantle existing trails for outdoor enthusiasts.

Abbott: Indicted AG Paxton Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Aug 25, 2015
http://gov.texas.gov/

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he hasn't spoken with indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton since the state's top lawyer was booked earlier this month on securities fraud charges.

Abbott said Monday he believes in innocence until proven guilty and urged the legal process to play out. Paxton is accused of defrauding investors in a tech startup before being elected attorney general in November.

The Republican turned himself into his hometown jail this month and says he will plead not guilty. A judge on Monday ordered Paxton to appear for his Thursday arraignment.

Simon Thompson

According to the National Council on Teacher Quality New Mexico teachers are among the most poorly paid in the nation.  Starting pay in the Las Cruces district is already ten thousand dollars less than the El Paso Independent Schools.  But it appears pay in Las Cruces will be cut even further due to a budget crisis.

The budget shortfall this year in Las Cruces Public Schools was 7.6 million dollars.  To deal with the crisis the district instituted a hiring freeze, cut the number of assistant principals and even reduced the number of bus stops.  

A teenager and her soldier boyfriend are seeking separate trials on charges that they conspired to kill the girl's mother last spring.

Lehigh County court records show that 14-year-old Jamie Silvonek and 21-year-old Army Spc. Caleb Barnes have each filed motions for separate trials.

They are charged in the March stabbing death of 54-year-old Cheryl Silvonek in the driveway of her home near Allentown.

Both defendants are asking for the trial to be moved or a jury brought in from another county, citing intense media coverage.

City Of Austin Sues Texas Over Property Appraisal System

Aug 24, 2015

The City of Austin has sued the Texas comptroller's office, arguing the state's property appraisal system is unconstitutional because it provides no "equal and uniform" property value taxation.

Mayor Steve Adler announced the suit, which was filed Monday in state district court in Austin.

It follows a city petition in June that alleged commercial and vacant property in Travis County, which includes Austin, was valued at more than $30 billion below market value.

Las Cruces Mayor Plans Televised Meeting To Address Security Concerns

Aug 24, 2015

Mayor Ken Miyagishima will host a community meeting to address security concerns resulting from recent events in Las Cruces.

The meeting will be from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26, in council chambers at City Hall, 700 N. Main St. The meeting will be streamed on CLCTV.COM and broadcast on Comcast cable channel 20 in Las Cruces.

Suspect Sought In Las Cruces Bank Robbery

Aug 24, 2015

Las Cruces Police and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of committing a robbery Monday afternoon at the US Bank on University Avenue.

The suspect was captured on surveillance cameras at the US Bank at 901 E. University Ave. in Las Cruces. The man was said to be white, around 5-feet-6-inches tall with a stocky build. He was said to have blond hair and green eyes. Witnesses described him as wearing blue jeans, and a green or gray shirt.

New Mexico Official Plans School District Probe

Aug 24, 2015
Hector Balderas

New Mexico's attorney general is launching an investigation into how the school system in the state's largest city hired a high-level administrator who faces child sex abuse charges.

Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Monday his office will look into why Albuquerque Public Schools' safety protocols were breached and Jason Martinez was hired in June before a background check was completed.

Martinez resigned abruptly last week. It later surfaced that he faces six felony counts of sexual assault on a child in Colorado.

New Mexico Governor Meeting With Executives In California

Aug 24, 2015
Office of the Governor

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and a group of economic development officials are visiting northern California for a round of business meetings.

The governor's office said Martinez and the others are meeting with executives from a number of companies as part of an effort to attract business to New Mexico.

The governor is traveling with representatives from the private, nonprofit group Albuquerque Economic Development and the city of Rio Rancho.

New Proposal To End Dispute Over White Peak Hunting Ground

Aug 24, 2015

The state's land commissioner is proposing a resolution to the long-running battle between sportsmen and ranchers over access to a popular hunting ground near Las Vegas.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Aubrey Dunn sent a letter last week to the state Department of Game and Fish, asking them to consider purchasing 10,000 acres around White Peak owned by rancher David Stanley and deed the property to the state. In exchange, hunters and anglers would have unrestricted access to all state trust lands for 20 years.

Utility Managers Continue Push For Water Conservation

Aug 24, 2015

Severe drought has disappeared from New Mexico, but water managers in the state's largest cities aren't giving up on their push for residents to conserve.

Watering restrictions remain in place in Albuquerque, and the conservation officer for the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority says the message about watering wisely will not go away anytime soon.

Water use in Albuquerque by mid-August was 1.1 billion gallons lower than it was last year.

Deming Man Sentenced To Five Years For Meth Conviction

Aug 24, 2015

Anthony Perez, 41, of Deming, N.M., was sentenced this morning in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 60 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction.

Voice Of The Public

Aug 24, 2015

Voice of the Public is a program that brings you what Las Cruces voters expect from city government on issues affecting their community. Fred Martino is joined by the Las Cruces Sun News’ Walt Rubel and Diana Alba Soular.

 Julianna Rosynelle Venego, 29, a member of the Mescalero Apache Nation who resides in Mescalero, N.M., was sentenced this morning in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., for her assault conviction.  Venego was sentenced to 21 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

Human Remains Found Near El Paso Road

Aug 24, 2015

El Paso police expect an investigation into human remains found near a road to be lengthy.

The remains were found Saturday morning off of Trans Mountain Road.

Police spokesman Detective Mike Baranyay told the El Paso Times on Sunday that the medical examiner's office is reviewing the remains to try to determine an identity, cause of death and how long they had been there.

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Information from: El Paso Times. 

Carlsbad, Artesia To Oppose Proposed County Tax

Aug 24, 2015

Carlsbad and Artesia officials are planning to object to a tax hike supported by Eddy County.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that both cities' council members will meet Tuesday to discuss resolutions asking the Eddy County Commission to reject a two-eighths of 1 percent tax increase.

Both cities' mayors strongly oppose the tax.

Counties were given the right to impose the tax to make up for lost revenue after the state Legislature dropped food taxes and some medical taxes in 2004.

Police Bust Kidnapping Ring In Northern Mexico, Free 11 Victims

Aug 24, 2015

Mexican officials say federal police have arrested a cell of the Gulf Cartel in the border state of Tamaulipas and freed 11 kidnap victims showing signs of severe malnutrition and torture.

A statement from Tamaulipas security officials says the victims were kidnapped while traveling on roads in the state that borders Texas and the Gulf state of Veracruz, and were being held for ransom. Ten people were detained, including the cell leader.

Laura Gutierrez-Spencer

Recently, a historical marker was unveiled on the campus of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces to honor an innovator in bilingual education.

The marker, which is located on Espina Street between University Avenue and Stewart Street honors Maria Gutierrez Spencer, who was an advocate for bilingual education decades before it was as valued at the level it is today in the United States.

Monday Business Watch

Aug 24, 2015

Every Monday at 7:51am on Morning Edition, Edmundo Resendez covers the week's top local business stories with Las Cruces Sun News Business Editor Jason Gibbs.  This week, Jason discusses new job creation with the call centers in our area. 

It’s hard to travel around Las Cruces without noticing the many murals that are meant to make a statement, beautify an area, or teach a lesson. One project is looking to develop a walking tour to showcase the different murals around the city.

New Mexico Officials Issue Air Quality Alert

Aug 23, 2015

New Mexico environmental officials are issuing a health alert due to smoke from wildfire and high winds.

The state Environmental Department's Air Quality Program has issued an alert that will remain in effect until 10 a.m. Monday.

The agency says wildfire smoke from the Pacific Northwest combined with wind gusts will likely contribute to more particulate pollution in the air than normal.

People with asthma, chronic bronchitis or other respiratory illnesses are advised to limit their outdoor activity.

Local Officials Blame Feds For Delay In WIPP Reopening

Aug 23, 2015
Department of Energy

Critics are disputing the federal government's claims that an underground nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico can't reopen because of safety concerns and equipment setbacks.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the U.S. Department of Energy says the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant's opening has been postponed so officials can make sure all is secure following last year's fire and radiation leak.

Local watchdog groups say errors made by the site contractor and inadequate Department of Energy oversight are behind the delays.

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