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.

Five More Syrian Refugees Turn Themselves In At The Border In Laredo

Nov 22, 2015

  Federal officials say another group of Syrian refugees has turned themselves in to immigration authorities along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Department of Homeland Security confirmed Sunday that the group identified themselves to border agents in the South Texas town of Laredo on Friday. The group consisted of a family of three along with two other men.

They were held to check their identities against national security databases and then turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for temporary detention.

  KRWG-TV hosts the Chamber Economic Forum Monday at 1pm in its Milton Hall studios on the NMSU Las Cruces campus.  The forum comes at a particularly difficult time for New Mexico’s economy.  Nationally….there’s a rebound….with unemployment in October falling to five percent.  Meantime, New Mexico’s jobless rate of 6.8 percent was the second highest in the country…only West Virginia did worse at 6.9 percent.

White House Sends Assurances To Abbott Regarding Syrian Refugees

Nov 22, 2015

Obama administration officials have responded to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's concerns about accepting Syrian refugees, saying federal screening is "extraordinarily thorough and comprehensive."

The letter sent to Abbott says most refugees accepted by the United States are families, children and victims of torture. Federal officials say they don't plan to accept more than a handful of adult males without children or families.

North Texas Schools Preach Fighting Back Against Intruders

Nov 22, 2015

A handful of North Texas school districts are training teachers to respond to armed intruders, not immediately drop and hide.

In Fort Worth, more than 120 officers trained over the summer on how to assist school districts interested in a strategy sometimes known as "Avoid-Deny-Defend."

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the three steps call on teachers to help students flee to safety, then deny a possible intruder access to the classroom, then defend themselves if an intruder enters.

New Mexico Lawmaker Plans To Reintroduce Daylight Saving Time Bill

Nov 22, 2015

A New Mexico lawmaker says he plans to reintroduce legislation that would allow the state to maintain the same time all year.

Sen. Cliff Pirtle announced at a legislative luncheon last week that he will bring up the measure that would keep New Mexico on Mountain Daylight Saving Time throughout the year.

The Republican farmer from Roswell says that he may put the bill in the form of a joint resolution.

He says a joint resolution would allow the measure to bypass Gov. Susana Martinez and go to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

A New Mexico physician and private school operator is no longer facing charges of failing to report child abuse leading up to an infant's death.

Davis Ruark, the lead prosecutor in the case, filed for dismissal Nov. 13, saying there was a significant change in evidence.

Ann Mercer was charged in 2014 almost two weeks after 35-year-old Annette Smith was arrested in the death of her daughter, 7-month-old Shania Boddie Smith.

Smith's then-13- and 12-year-old daughters had told police they informed Mercer about abuse in the home before their infant sister died.

UNM Struggles With Budget Shortfall

Nov 21, 2015

  University of New Mexico officials are looking at ways to bridge a multimillion-dollar gap in the budget.

The university's associate vice president of planning, budget and analysis Andrew Cullen told members of the board of regents Friday that no new revenue is anticipated as fixed costs increase by an expected $3.5 million.

Budget issues are expected to be impacted by falling oil and gas tax revenue as well. The state draws on those funds for the university's budget.

Texas Taxpayer Tab For Suing Feds: $5 Million And Counting

Nov 21, 2015
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

Texas has now spent more than $5 million suing the federal government since President Barack Obama took office in 2008.

New challenges over spousal benefits for same-sex couples and the Affordable Care Act have has already racked up more than $250,000 in taxpayer costs since Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton took office in January.

Paxton is following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Gov. Greg Abbott, who sued the federal government more than 30 times as attorney general.

  Second grade students at Holy Cross Elementary packed 108 shoeboxes to be donated to needy children through the Operation Christmas Child program.

Operation Christmas Child is a program through the Samaritan’s Purse organization which donates shoeboxes filled with needed items to children around the world. The boxes are filled with things such as hygiene products, clothes, socks, school supplies, toys, candy and notes and pictures from those who donated them.

Judge Blocks Fast-Tracking Of Licenses For Family Detention

Nov 20, 2015

A state judge has ruled that Texas can't implement emergency rules to fast-track licensing of two immigrant family detention facilities as residential child care centers.

A judge in Austin ordered a temporary injunction Friday blocking the emergency rules. The judge said that the emergency rules removed the facilities' obligation to comply with minimum standards and didn't address a "true emergency."

State licenses are needed because a federal judge ruled in August that the detention facilities couldn't hold immigrant children without adequate licensing.

  Santa Fe - The New Mexico Environment Department is soliciting public comment on the draft 2016 Strategic Plan for Kirtland Air Force Base fuel plume cleanup. 

  USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner was in Bernalillo, New Mexico earlier today to present a certificate of obligation to the New Mexico Direct Caregivers Coalition. The funding will help the organization provide more education and training to those taking care of the elderly and those with disabilities.

Department Of Health Reports Increase In Gastrointestinal Illness

Nov 20, 2015
New Mexico Department of Health

The New Mexico Department of Health has seen an increase in clusters of gastrointestinal illness. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been increased activity seen in Bernalillo County, particularly in schools. Investigations so far suggest that the illnesses may be caused by norovirus. 


Longtime State Legislator Martinez Won't Seek Re-Election

Nov 20, 2015

Longtime state legislator Ken Martinez says he won't seek re-election and has instead taken a job as the new Bernalillo County attorney.

The Bernalillo County Commission appointed Martinez by a 5-0 vote Friday. He replaces Randy Autio, who is retiring.

Martinez will have to finalize the contract with the county and pass a background check before his final appointment.

He won't be able to run for re-election for his House seat as part of the county contract, but will take part in January's 30-day legislative session.

Navajo Nation Investigating Poaching Of 8 Raptors

Nov 20, 2015

Navajo Nation officials are investigating the deaths of eight predatory birds that were shot and dumped on the outskirts of Tohatchi.

The Gallup Independent reports that tribal Department of Fish and Wildlife conservation officer Eddie Benally says he was angry when he found the birds Oct. 10.

The hawks and prairie falcon all were missing tail feathers. Benally thinks whoever killed the birds likely is selling the feathers on the black market.

New Mexico Unemployment Rate Remains At 6.8 Percent

Nov 20, 2015
New Mexico Department for Workforce Solutions

New Mexico's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was at 6.8 percent in October, unchanged from September.

By comparison, the state's unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in October 2014.

The 2,800 nonfarm job increase for October was the state's 38th consecutive month of over-the-year employment growth.

State Department of Workforce Solutions officials said Friday that eight economic sectors lost jobs last month and five added jobs.

Professional and business services gained 2,900 jobs, representing the fastest over-the-year growth of all industries in October.

Holly Holm: Albuquerque 'Supportive' In Road To Championship

Nov 20, 2015

New UFC women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm says her hometown of Albuquerque played a key role in her road to winning the belt.

The New Mexico native told CBS sports talk show host Jim Rome on Friday that the city was supportive during her career as a former No. 1-ranked boxer, and later a kickboxer and mix-martial arts fighter. Holm says she was proud to bring the championship to Albuquerque and her local fans.

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima

  Las Cruces will be formally recognized as the first city in New Mexico, and 13th in the country, to functionally end veteran homelessness at a news conference scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23, at a veterans housing complex, 3350 Oak St., Las Cruces.

Speaking at the news conference will be Mayor Ken Miyagishima, Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator Tammye Treviño, and Nicole Martinez, executive director, Mesilla Valley Community of Hope/Abode, Inc. A former homeless veteran will also be available for interview. Representatives of El Paso VA will also attend.

  Casa de Peregrinos, a Las Cruces Food Pantry, accepted $32,000 from the Walmart Foundation to buy a new refrigerator unit for their flagship pantry location on Amador Avenue. The new 11x17 foot unit is expected to be installed and operational in early January.

“Our partnership with Walmart is vitally important to us,” said Lorenzo Alba, Executive Director of Casa de Peregrinos. “This grant from the Walmart Foundation and the help of local Walmart stores donating food helps us take the mission of Casa de Peregrinos to a whole new level.”

Las Cruces Catholic School Students Donate Food to Needy Families

Nov 20, 2015

  Students of Las Cruces Catholic School, which consists of Holy Cross Elementary and St. Mary’s School, donated Thanksgiving Day meals on Wednesday, November 18th to dozens of area needy families.

The baskets were donated to Casa de Peregrinos which consisted of various items for families for the Thanksgiving holiday. Students put together 39 baskets which consisted of turkeys, vegetables, stuffing, biscuits, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes and boxed desserts.

Walmart Announces New Market In Alamogordo

Nov 20, 2015

  Alamogordo N.M. – Thursday, Walmart broke ground on a new small format Neighborhood Market in Alamogordo, near Indian Wells Road and Crescent Drive. The store is expected to be open summer 2016.

New Mexico Game Commission Delays Decision On Wolf Permit

Nov 20, 2015


The State Game Commission has decided to delay a decision on an appeal that would allow endangered Mexican gray wolves to be kept at Ted Turner's ranch in southern New Mexico.

A bid by the Ladder Ranch to renew its permit for holding wolves in captivity was denied earlier this year, partly over concerns that federal officials have yet to update the recovery plan for the species.

US Postal Service To Host Passport Fairs Around New Mexico

Nov 20, 2015
Laura Paskus

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service will be hosting passport fairs around New Mexico as residents brace for identification requirements to take effect early next year.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently denied New Mexico an extension from tougher federal requirements on state driver's licenses under the REAL ID Act.

The decision means New Mexico driver's licenses and IDs won't be valid for federal purposes such as entering military bases and nuclear research labs starting Jan. 10. As a result, residents are seeking passports as an alternative.

Office of the Governor

 New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez becomes the first woman and the first Hispanic to lead the political organization dedicated to electing Republican governors across the country. GOP governors meeting in Las Vegas on Thursday voted Martinez into the new post. Her one-year term begins immediately.

The RGA has enjoyed tremendous success in recent years. There are currently 31 Republican governors, not including incoming Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin.

Martinez's new job served as a launching pad for ambitious Republicans in the past.

Ex-Border Agent Gets 30 Years For Killing Wife's Lover

Nov 19, 2015

  A former Border Patrol agent has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing her wife's lover in a shooting last year.

A state judge sentenced Adam S. Garibay to the maximum provided for in his plea agreement with prosecutors for the killing of Keith J. Martin. Garibay's attorney, Christian Henricksen, told the San Antonio Express-News that the 35-year-old former agent must serve at least 15 years of his sentence before becoming eligible for probation.

Woman Gets 30-Year Prison Term For 2013 Albuquerque Murder

Nov 19, 2015

A woman accused of killing an Albuquerque man and stuffing the body in the trunk of his car has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Prosecutors say 21-year-old Jennifer Renee McKee pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder and aggravated assault on a peace office.

McKee was 18 when police say she and another woman fatally stabbed 51-year-old Maurice Gonzales at his northeast Albuquerque home in May 2013.

LCPS Reaches Compromise On Furlough Days

Nov 19, 2015

Las Cruces Public Schools, the National Education Association, and the Classified School Employees Council have reached a compromise on 3-Furlough Days that were approved in the district’s budget in May.

Las Cruces Public Schools is now offering employees 3 days of what is being called furlough restoration leave. These days will work like annual leave, and can be used without compromising a teacher’s evaluation or saved for the future.

Police: Owner Of Farmington Bond Company Is Accused Of Fraud

Nov 19, 2015

Police in Farmington say the owner of a bond company has been arrested on suspicion of fraud.

They say 55-year-old Daniel Goldberg Sr. was taken into custody Thursday morning and is facing eight counts of fraud.

The arrest follows an ongoing investigation by Farmington police that began in April.

Police say alleged victims include clients of Goodfellas Bail Bonds, which is owned by Goldberg.

Details of the fraud case haven't been released by police.

8 Syrian Refugees Turn Themselves In At US-Mexico Border

Nov 19, 2015

Federal officials say eight Syrians have turned themselves over to immigration authorities along the Texas-Mexico border.

The Department of Homeland Security said Thursday that two families — two men, two women and four children — presented themselves Tuesday in Laredo and are being held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

It's not uncommon for Syrians and others from the Middle East to seek asylum in the U.S. through various routes.

Study Finds More Mexicans Leaving The US Than Coming

Nov 19, 2015

A new study finds more Mexicans leaving the United States than coming into the country.

That marks a reversal to one of the most significant immigration trends in U.S. history.

The Pew Research Center has found that slightly more than 1 million Mexicans and their families left the U.S. for Mexico from 2009 to 2014. During that same five years, 870,000 Mexicans came to the U.S., resulting in a net flow to Mexico of 140,000.