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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.

A Valentine's Day To Remember: 20 Couples Marry In Las Cruces

Feb 14, 2018

Love was in the air – and in the rotunda of the Doña Ana County Government Center – on Valentine’s Day, Wednesday, Feb. 14.

   Third Judicial District Judge Mary Rosner presided over 20 marriages during a six-hour period from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

   Several couples took advantage of the option of being photographed handcuffed together by Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department Deputy Jamar Cotton after their ceremony.

Democrats Say Interior Boss Withheld Key Facts

Feb 14, 2018
Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke

DENVER (AP) — Two Democratic congressmen accused Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Wednesday of withholding key information from lawmakers while launching a massive overhaul of his department.

Reps. Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Donald McEachin of Virginia sent Zinke a letter demanding he freeze the reorganization until he provides more information to Congress, which has the final say over the plan.

Group Sues DOH, Claims Neglect Of Boarding House Oversight

Feb 14, 2018
New Mexico Department of Health

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A nonprofit group is suing the New Mexico Department of Health for failure to enforce rules and regulations pertaining to the oversight of boarding homes.

Romero Steps Down As University Of New Mexico Regent

Feb 14, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — University of New Mexico Regent Alex Romero has stepped down after publicly voicing concerns about communication problems on the board.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez had appointed Romero to the board of regents at New Mexico's flagship university last spring. It was announced on the Senate floor Wednesday that her office was removing his name from the list of appointees awaiting confirmation hearings.

New Mexico Lawmakers Debate Crime Bills As Session Nears End

Feb 14, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's rising crime rate put public safety at the center of daily legislative debates this year in Santa Fe — from battles over funding levels for prosecutors and law enforcement to disagreements over how to stem child abuse, auto theft, domestic violence and other violent crimes.

In the end, however, it's been mostly a handful of bi-partisan public safety measures that have gained the most traction, out of more than 75 total criminal and juvenile justice bills proposed at the start of the session.

Lawmaker Criticizes Regents At New Mexico State University

Feb 14, 2018
Senator Mary Kay Papen (D)

A legislative leader on Wednesday asked New Mexico State University's regents to resign following a vote to limit the administrative powers of the school's outgoing chancellor.

Democratic Senate President Mary Kay Papen drafted a letter calling out the regents and asked her colleagues to sign it.

The regents voted Monday to require that all top-level personnel changes from now until a new chancellor is hired must be cleared by the board itself.

Local Newscast 2

Feb 14, 2018

Court Settles Questions Over School Funding Deductions

Feb 14, 2018

 

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court says annual certification from the federal government is required before state education officials can withhold funds for public school districts based on how much federal aid they receive.

The ruling came this week in a 2010 case involving the Zuni school district.

New Mexico Reviews Status Of Threatened White Sands Pupfish

Feb 14, 2018

 

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — State wildlife managers are reviewing the status of a threatened fish found only in southern New Mexico's Tularosa River Basin.

The Game and Fish Department has initiated an investigation into the White Sands pupfish, a 2-inch long fish that can be found in two springs and two streams on White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base.

Because of its extremely limited distribution, the pupfish has been classified by the state as a threatened species since 1975.

National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation Director Resigns

Feb 14, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The head of the fundraising arm of the National Hispanic Cultural Center is resigning after nearly three years of boosting the nonprofit organization's profile.

Anna Sanchez's last day as the director of the cultural center's foundation will be Feb. 23. The organization said a search is underway for a new director.

Sanchez began working for the foundation in June 2015. Within a year, the organization's membership program doubled participation to 240 members.

New Mexico Calls On Congress To Rein In Dark Money

Feb 14, 2018

 

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Legislature is urging the U.S. Congress to restore greater federal and local regulation of political spending that influence elections and governance — and hopes other statehouses will do the same.

The state Senate voted 24-16 on Tuesday for an initiative aimed at regulating and possibly limiting the role of money in politics through an amendment to the federal Constitution. Both chambers of the Democrat-led Legislature have now approved the measure.

Local Newscast 1

Feb 14, 2018

Silver City Report

Feb 14, 2018

Time now for the Silver City Report with Edmundo Resendez and Silver City Press and Independent reporters, Christine Steele and Ben Fischer. This week, former district attorney Francesca Estevez has been hired by WNMU, Gila Regional Medical Center has hired a CFO, the $1.98 Show takes place this weekend, and Territorial Charter Day takes place on Saturday.  

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Anthony, New Mexico Candidate Forum Thursday

Feb 13, 2018

  Anthony, NM –  A Candidates Forum will be held on Thursday, February 22,
2018 at 6 pm at the Women's Intercultural Center located at 303 Lincoln Street in Anthony, NM.  Anthony residents will have the opportunity to meet and ask questions of the candidates for two elected positions for the City of Anthony, NM.

Interpretation will be available.

This is a non-partisan event sponsored by the SouthWest Organization Project in collaboration with the Women's Intercultural Center.

Michael Hernandez

Getting young people to vote is easier said than done, but university students from Texas and New Mexico are trying.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows about 46 percent of voters aged 18 to 29 cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election. That’s compared to 59 percent of people 30 to 44 years old, 67 percent of those aged 45 to 64, and 71 percent of voters 65 and older.

Olympic Dreams & Disappointments

Feb 13, 2018

Commentary: The Olympic Games are many things to many people. For some, the Winter Olympics are an enjoyable special event to experience over a course of days during the boredom of the cold season. For others, they represent a childhood dream begging to be fulfilled one day.

Some will return home with those prized Olympic medals and the acclaim and commercial opportunities they bring with them.

Six NMSU civil engineering students awarded Eisenhower Fellowship

Feb 13, 2018

Finding an avenue that allows graduate students more time to dedicate to their research is very important. The Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship, which was awarded to six New Mexico State University civil engineering graduate students, is one way to achieve that feat. 

Doctoral students Mark Manning and Alain Cuaron along with master’s students Adam Sanchez, William Toledo, Jason Alcantar and Arno Cheng are the 2018 recipients of the fellowship. 

The Full List: New Mexico Major Party Candidates

Feb 13, 2018
New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver

SANTA FE – New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver Monday qualified major party candidates for pre-primary convention designation for the offices of U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, and all elected statewide offices. Secretary Toulouse Oliver’s office sent a letter to the leadership of New Mexico’s three major political parties – Democratic, Libertarian, and Republican – certifying the names of the candidates who have met the requirements outlined in state law.

In offering a musical goodbye to Middle-earth, an epic journey spanning six films and well over a dozen years, “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” filmmakers turned to Billy Boyd.

Best known to international audiences as Peregrin “Pippin” in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Boyd portrayed the cheerful and perpetually hungry cousin of Frodo Baggins who accompanies him on a quest to destroy the One Ring.

City of Las Cruces

The City of Las Cruces needs resident input on community facilities and facility upgrades for an upcoming bond election scheduled later this year.  Here is the information provided by the city:

General Obligation (GO) bonds are a funding source for basic infrastructure our growing community requires to thrive such as parks, trails, swimming pools, fire stations, libraries and much more.

“We can’t meet every need across the 76.5 square miles of the city with a single GO bond election, so the community needs to help identify what type of projects to prioritize for improving Las Cruces as a place to live, work and play,” explained Jason Smith, Deputy Fire Chief and coordinator for the City’s GO Bond program. “This is why resident input is so essential and important.”

Jessica Houston, a New Mexico State University Chemical and Materials Engineering associate professor, has received a 2018-2019 Fulbright Faculty Fellowship award. The U.S. Department of State-sponsored award will fund a trip to Japan. The award is for about $43,000. 

Las Cruces "Big Read" Event Includes Host Of Activities At NMSU

Feb 13, 2018

The Big Read Project is launching this month in Las Cruces. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Las Cruces, the Associated Students of New Mexico State University and the NMSU Office of the Provost, The Big Read Project seeks to promote community-wide activities surrounding a chosen book. 

SANTA FE —The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) will be partnering with the New Mexico State University’s Corbett Center Student Union and Aggie Health and Wellness Center for National Condom Day on Valentine’s Day Wednesday, February 14th. Here is the information provided by NMDOH:

At least 15,000 condoms are expected to be distributed.

Just in time for National Entrepreneurship Week, which takes place Feb. 17 to 24, 2018, a new resource is available to elementary school teachers throughout New Mexico who want a fun and free way to introduce concepts of entrepreneurship and teamwork into their classrooms. 

APNewsBreak: New Mexico Dem Party Hit By Misconduct Claims

Feb 13, 2018
John Vasquez
donaanacounty.org

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Democratic Party of New Mexico vice chair says she was a target of unwanted sexual advances by a party official who also is a Dona Ana County commissioner.

Neomi Martinez-Parra said in a letter Monday that she's been a victim of inappropriate sexual misconduct by Dona Ana County Commissioner and Dona Ana County Central Committee member John Vasquez.

Survivor Recounts New Mexico Helicopter Crash In NTSB Report

Feb 13, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The lone survivor of a New Mexico helicopter crash last month that killed five people, including key Zimbabwean opposition leader Roy Bennett, recalls that the aircraft hit the ground with a loud bang before rolling forward and coming to a stop upside down.

Andra Cobb, of Texas, also says the wreck ignited a fire that set off explosions in the moments after the crash on a grassy plain east of Raton. Her account was detailed in a National Transportation Safety Board report released Tuesday.

Udall, Heinrich Raise Concerns Over Trump’s Proposal To Separate Immigrant Children From Parents

Feb 13, 2018
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) and Senator Tom Udall (D)

Commentary: WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined a group of senators in condemning the Trump administration’s proposal to separate immigrant children from their parents upon arrival in the United States. The senators asked Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to unequivocally reject this measure.

The Latest: New Mexico Senate Approves Spending Increase

Feb 13, 2018

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on New Mexico Legislature's budget proposal for the coming fiscal year (all times local):

2:00 p.m.

A proposal to boost New Mexico state spending on public schools, the criminal justice system, business incentives and Medicaid has been approved by the state Senate.

The Senate voted 40-2 on Tuesday to approve a $6.3 billion general fund budget plan for the coming school year that would boost spending by $259 million for the coming fiscal year.

Facebook Joins Effort To Fight Opioid Crisis In New Mexico

Feb 13, 2018
Facebook

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Facebook is launching an effort to help fight the opioid crisis in New Mexico — a state that has battled heroin addiction for decades, the social media giant announced Tuesday.

The tech company said it will work with New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas to show Facebook users how they can use its digital tools to combat addiction.

Ana Martinez, head of Facebook's community engagement for the U.S. Southwest, said the social media company's online groups offer families support and information to fight addiction.

Udall Statement On Trump’s Unworkable Infrastructure Proposal

Feb 13, 2018
Office of US Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall commented on President Trump’s misguided proposal for infrastructure, which relies on state and local governments and privatization to pay for trillions of dollars’ worth of investments:

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