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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.

Silver City, NM – A select group of experts in various professions including social work were selected to participate in the recent ICF Consensus Conference, in Stockholm, Sweden.

Western New Mexico University professor Patricia West-Okiri was one of the participants who shared her expertise on autism and the core features of the disorder.

Events On Tap For Downtown Las Cruces

Sep 20, 2016

   

  Farmers and Crafts Market

o   Wednesday, Sept. 21 & Saturday, Sept. 24, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

·         Plaza De Las Cruces

o   Sept. 23, 24 & 25, “The Big Event”, 5 p.m. Sept. 23 thru 6 p.m. Sept. 25.

Chinese scholar to speak at NMSU

Sep 20, 2016

Bill Porter, a scholar and author who has studied China and its poetry and religious texts, is scheduled to give a presentation next week as part of New Mexico State University’s Confucius Institute Speaker Series. 

Porter’s presentation will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 27 at the NMSU College of Health and Social Services Auditorium inside the CHSS annex. The presentation is free and open to the public.

If you see photos of the Jornada Basin from the early 1900s, the vegetation is quite different than it is now. But explaining the story of how and why the vegetation changed on the land northeast of Las Cruces is difficult with just words and pictures.

Debra Peters, Jornada Basin Long Term Ecological Research Principal Investigator and a research scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, reached out to the New Mexico State University Creative Media Institute to help bring the landscape history to life.

Alumna, forensic interviewer to speak at NMSU Las Cruces

Sep 20, 2016

Amy Heil, a New Mexico State University alumna and a forensic interviewer for Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, will visit campus next week as part of the homecoming festivities hosted by the NMSU College of Education.

Heil is the recipient of the 2016 NMSU Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award for the College of Education. She is scheduled to give a talk from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Sept. 29 in the NMSU College of Health and Social Services auditorium, inside the CHSS Annex. The talk is free and open to the public.

Albuquerque Leaders Promote Solar Power

Sep 20, 2016

Albuquerque leaders have approved a resolution calling for the city to rely more on solar energy.

KOB-TV reports that the resolution sets a goal of generating a quarter of the energy for city facilities through solar power by 2025.

It states that the city recognizes the environmental health, public health and economic benefits of solar energy.

New Mexico's August Unemployment Rate Rises To 6.6 Percent

Sep 20, 2016
New Mexico Department for Workforce Solutions

New Mexico's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.6 percent in August, up from 6.4 percent in July.

A year ago, the state's unemployment rate was 6.5 percent.

The state Department of Workforce Solutions reports that the state's economy added 1,800 jobs from August 2015.

Bernalillo County is New Mexico's most populous county. Its August unemployment rate was 6.2 percent, the same as the previous month.

The two counties with the highest unemployment rates in August were Luna County at 10 percent and McKinley County at 9.8 percent.

DAC Sheriff's Office: Homicide Investigation Underway

Sep 20, 2016

  

          Doña Ana County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the murder of a Las Cruces man that happened just before 1 a.m. Tuesday west of Las Cruces.

            Deputies were dispatched to the 5900 block of Derby Avenue after a 911 call to Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority alerted authorities to a 35-year-old male who had reportedly suffered a gunshot wound.

            The victim was transported to a Las Cruces-area hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Overdose Deaths Decline In Nearly Two-Thirds of New Mexico’s 33 Counties

Sep 20, 2016
New Mexico Department of Health

Commentary: Today, the New Mexico Department of Health announced that nearly two-thirds of New Mexico counties saw a decline in overdose deaths last year. The department released county-by-county data, which shows overdose deaths decreased in 20 of 33 counties. Earlier this year, the Department of Health reported a 9 percent decrease in statewide overdose deaths.

 

Otero County Endorses Plan To Take On Invasive Weeds

Sep 20, 2016

Otero county is doubling down on pesky weeds.

The Alamogordo News reports that Otero County Commissioners recently endorsed a plan to combat invasive and noxious weeds, like the African rue. That weed and others have taken over county property, roadways and forest land.

Officials say they also are worried about the Russian knapweed, salt cedar, and musk thistle.

The Otero Soil and Water Conservation District is developing a management plan and outlining how officials will fight the species.

Diocese Of Gallup Sells Chancery Amid Bankruptcy

Sep 20, 2016
dioceseofgallup.org

The Diocese of Gallup has announced it has sold an iconic western New Mexico building amid a bankruptcy case linked to clergy sexual abuse.

The Gallup Independent reports that Bishop James S. Wall said in a letter last week the sale of the chancery offices will allow the diocese to make a "substantial contribution" to its Chapter 11 payment plan.

Wall says a California couple bought the build and will be donating it to a convent for the nuns of Sisters of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph.

The U.S. Justice Department is meeting with American Indian tribal leaders from an area of the country devastated by heroin and opioid addiction.

Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohris is scheduled Tuesday to talk with representatives and police chiefs from the eight northern New Mexico Native American Pueblos as part of a push to combat heroin-related deaths.

For years, the northern New Mexico city of Espanola has had one of the nation's highest heroin-related death rates.

Mexican authorities believe that a stolen truck outfitted with a cannon and parked near the U.S.-Mexico border was used to launch items into Douglas, Arizona.

Federal police found the van parked in a street in Agua Prieta, Mexico, which borders with Douglas, last week. The van had been reported stolen out of Hermosillo over the summer.

Photos provided by Mexican authorities show a black van with a giant cannon coming out of it.

James Carville says the Clinton Campaign still has a long way to go before Election Day.

“They’re doing some things better than other things,” Carville said. “But we’ve got a lot to go here. Remember we’ve got 3 debates ahead of us, and so far everything has been sort of convoluted, it’s been a kind of back and forth. I think they are going to be very well prepared; they’ve raised a lot of money. But like anybody else, I see these polls and I get a little nervous.”

Both Clinton and Trump have high unfavorability ratings, Carville says part of that is the political climate.

KRWG/Simon Thompson

According to a 2016 Harvard Business school report approximately 24 percent of all business owners are immigrants. Yet they only make up 15% of the population. A regional effort is working to attract and grow foreign entrepreneurial talent and strengthen bi-national partnerships.

Las Cruces Council Selects NMSU Grad as New City Manager

Sep 19, 2016
stuart ed-las cruces city manager

The Las Cruces City Council today selected Stuart Ed of El Paso as the new city manager. The council’s decision resulted from a follow-up interview with him and one other out-of-town candidate via video conference this morning. The other out-of-town candidate was Daniel Biles, deputy county manager-infrastructure, Jefferson County, Alabama. A third candidate was David Dollahon, who currently serves as assistant Las Cruces city manager/chief administrative officer.

Spaceport, BLM Near Agreement On Road Off I-25

Sep 19, 2016

Officials say construction could begin in April on a road from Interstate 25 to New Mexico's Spaceport America.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the New Mexico Spaceport Authority Board of Directors voted Friday to allow the chair to sign an agreement with the Bureau of Land Management. The vote is the first step toward finalizing a plan to construct the road from the Upham exit off I-25.

Work can't begin until the BLM and the Spaceport Authority sign off on the Memorandum of Agreement. The construction is expected to last about a year.

Partners Launch Anti-Opioid Effort In New Mexico

Sep 19, 2016

Federal officials are partnering with the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center on a new project aimed at boosting access to a life-saving drug used to combat opioid overdoses.

Officials announced the Naxolone Project during a news conference Monday in Albuquerque.

The announcement comes as federal prosecutors across the country sponsor events to increase awareness and discuss possible solutions to the growing epidemic of heroin and opioid abuse.

Classes Canceled At Albuquerque School Because Of Threat

Sep 19, 2016

Classes are canceled for the day at an Albuquerque middle school that was evacuated because of what police say was an emailed threat.

Police announced Monday afternoon that Eisenhower Middle School has been cleared and nothing suspicious has been found.

Police say the emailed threat sent to law enforcement indicated there might be an explosive device or active shooter at the school.

The school district said earlier Monday the school was evacuated because of a bomb threat.

Number of Albuquerque Murder Cases Matches 2015 Total

Sep 19, 2016

The number of homicides in Albuquerque so far this year already matches the total number of murders in 2015.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that 2015 was the deadliest year in the city since 2009, but after only 9 and a half months of 2016, this year is on track to be worse. Albuquerque Police Department detectives have investigated 46 homicides thus far in Albuquerque, the total for all of last year.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office did not provide the number of homicides it has investigated so far this year.

State Police: Arizona Man Killed In Crash In Doña Ana County

Sep 19, 2016

Authorities in southern New Mexico say a 44-year-old Arizona man was killed in a single-vehicle crash in Dona Ana County. 

The New Mexico State Police said Gerado Ceniceros of Phoenix was fatally injured Saturday when a vehicle rolled after failing to negotiate a curve and striking a guardrail.

According to the police agency, the crash remains under investigation but that officers believe alcohol may have been a factor.

Las Cruces residents joined past-and-present city leaders downtown on Saturday to celebrate the opening of Plaza de Las Cruces next to the Bank of the West building.

Juanita Tellez-Barela has lived in Las Cruces for 22 years. In that time, she has seen downtown businesses come and go, but she has always enjoyed the farmer's market and other activities in the center of the city. She has been pleased with how quickly the city finished the plaza after announcing it last year.   

Judiciary asks for more money amid state budget crunch

Sep 19, 2016

The state's judicial branch is asking for more funding as New Mexico faces a budget shortfall.

New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles W. Daniels told a committee of legislators that even modest budget cuts could impair the court system's ability to deliver justice.

Daniels said drug and treatment courts may be impacted if more funding is not approved.

A 4.8 percent increase in the judicial budget has been requested.

A spokesman for Gov. Susana Martinez said the funding requests show the judiciary is not taking the state's budget situation seriously.

The Domenici Public Policy Conference brings policy leaders together to discuss different issues that are important to New Mexico and the Nation. This year’s conference had a focus on mental health reform.

Today, We hear from Liza Long, a mother who’s whose essay “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother” went viral following the Newtown Shooting, about what it’s like raising a child with severe mental illness.

Liza Long says when she heard people blaming Adam Lanza’s mother after the Newtown shooting she felt compelled to share her family’s story.

Mother of Baby Brianna to be released from prison this month

Sep 18, 2016

A Las Cruces mother convicted in one of New Mexico's most horrific child abuse cases will be released after serving less than half her sentence.  Corrections officials have confirmed Stephanie Rene Lopez is scheduled to leave prison Sept. 25.

Lopez was sentenced to 27 years in 2003 for negligent child abuse resulting in death and child abuse after her daughter, known as Baby Brianna, died.

Brianna's father and uncle were also convicted.

Authorities say Brianna, who died in July 2002, had been sexually assaulted and suffered multiple injuries.

   In a state with one of the highest drug overdose rates in the nation, there has been no shortage of campaign donations in New Mexico by the prescription drug industry and allied advocacy groups.

An investigation by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that drugmakers that produce opioid painkillers and their allies spent more than $880 million nationally on political contributions and lobbying over the past decade.

In New Mexico in 2012 alone, opioid makers spent $32,000 lobbying — more than double the year before.

  A lack of mental health providers in the community has allowed for the creation of a new partnership. The New Mexico State University School of Social Work and La Clinica de Familia are now working together to fill the gaps in local mental health services. 

New Mexico State University will house a Patent & Trademark Resource Center starting Sept. 21.

The office will open at Zuhl Library through the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s national program in order to give the general public the opportunity to receive patent help and information. 

The opening of the resource center is important for the state of New Mexico. Currently the closest resource center is in Phoenix, Arizona. Essentially, this new center at Zuhl Library will serve the whole state of New Mexico and El Paso.

I-10 Closures This Week

Sep 18, 2016

  I-10 West

Overnight

I-10 Westbound will be reduced to one lane between the Executive Center Overpass and the Paisano (US 85) Overpass Sunday, Sept. 18 through Thursday, Sept. 22 from 9 p.m. each night to 5 a.m. each morning. This closure is necessary so crews can continue paving of the new westbound lanes. [Map 1]

Mesa

Overnight

Construction On Spaceport Southern Road Could Begin In April

Sep 17, 2016
Spaceport America

Planned construction of a southern New Mexico road to Spaceport America is one step closer to taking place.

The New Mexico Spaceport Authority gave approval Friday to sign off on a required agreement with the Bureau of Land Management.

The land agency and Spaceport Authority board of directors must come to terms on a Memorandum of Agreement in order for right-of-way access for construction to be given.

According to a proposal shown to the Spaceport Authority, BLM officials may sign off in October.

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