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 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.


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.

Private Prisons Failing In Texas

Aug 23, 2015

A South Texas prison shut this month is the latest of more than a dozen formerly profitable private prisons in Texas to have failed.

And records from a bond research firm examined by the San Antonio Express-News  show at least seven of lockups are in arrears in payments on nearly $200 million in bonds.

Maverick County west of San Antonio jumped into the private prison business nearly a decade ago amid promises of low risk and long-term economic benefits.

Dr. Luis Valentino, Albuquerque Schools Superintendent

The Albuquerque Public Schools superintendent's claim that he was unaware a former deputy superintendent had not completed a background check is being disputed by a district official.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Sunday that an attorney for Karen Rudys, the district's head of human resources, said in a letter to APS Superintendent Dr. Luis Valentino that she raised the issue six times.

Jason Martinez resigned Thursday as deputy superintendent, citing personal commitments. But he is awaiting trial in Colorado on child sexual assault charges.

‘Between Here and There’ Coming To NMSU University Art Gallery

Aug 23, 2015

  The University Art Gallery at New Mexico State University opens its doors for its fall exhibition opening, “Between Here and There,” at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3. 

In this two-person exhibition, nationally renowned artists Paul Turounet and Terri Warpinski confront the complexities surrounding borders as junctions that designate the present and future for many migrants in transition, as well as the effects of these built boundaries on existing communities in border regions.

Sorg To Hold Public Meetings This Week In Las Cruces

Aug 23, 2015

  Las Cruces City Councillor Gill Sorg, District 5, will host three constituent meetings.

The first will be from 10 – 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25, at Sage Café, 6121 Reynolds Dr.

The second meeting begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26, at IHOP restaurant, 2900 N. Telshor Blvd.

The third meeting begins at 7:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 28, at IHOP restaurant, 2900 N. Telshor Blvd.

“Everyone is welcome to come and chat, ask questions, or give me your concerns,” Sorg said.

Information from city of Las Cruces

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has banned two volunteer attorneys from a South Texas family detention center for violating visitation standards.

The federal agency says the attorneys entered restricted areas without an escort and became belligerent with officials.

But a coalition of immigration attorneys says the bans are unprecedented and is fighting to rescind them as part of its ongoing effort to improve access to the immigrant mothers and their children at the family detention center in Dilley, which is the largest in the country.

New Mexico State Police Officer Fired After Missing Hearing

Aug 23, 2015

A New Mexico State Police officer who missed a hearing related to a DWI arrest he made has been fired by the department.

State Police confirmed Marvin Goke was dismissed late last week for violations of rules and regulations.

Goke's termination Thursday came after he was placed on administrative leave last month.

According to court documents, Goke arrested 34-year-old Angela Torres for aggravated DWI in May 2014. However, charges against Torres were dropped after Goke failed to show up at a motion hearing last October.

Las Cruces Launches New Tool to Assist “Export Ready” Businesses

Aug 22, 2015



Judge Orders Immigrant Families Released From Detention

Aug 22, 2015

A federal judge has ordered the U.S. government to release from detention centers immigrant children and their mothers caught entering the U.S. illegally from Mexico.

In a filing late Friday, California U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee rejected the government's request that she reconsider her ruling and ordered it to implement remedies by Oct. 23, 2015, saying that the children and their mothers must be released without unnecessary delay.

Alamogordo Officer Fired After Threat Allegations

Aug 22, 2015

A 43-year-old Alamogordo police officer has been fired more than a month after he was arrested for threatening rental store employees with a handgun.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports that Officer Warren Whittington was dismissed by the department earlier this week.

Whittington was initially put on administrative leave while New Mexico State Police conducted an investigation.

He was accused of pointing a gun at rental center employees attempting to retrieve a leased laptop from his home in May.

Sweeps Of Las Cruces Churches Continue

Aug 22, 2015

Police and federal agents will continue their weekend explosive sweeps of more than 100 churches in Las Cruces.

Officers will provide extra security this weekend as they have each week since the Aug. 2 explosions at churches. Agents and officers from the FBI, Homeland Security, State Police, local police, New Mexico State University Police and Dona County Sheriff's Office are present in Las Cruces.

No arrests have yet been made in those blasts or for the undetonated explosive device found at a Presbyterian church two weeks later.

Three People Found Shot To Death In Roswell Home

Aug 22, 2015

Roswell police say three people were found shot to death inside a home Saturday and a fourth victim has been hospitalized.

Police spokesman Todd Wildermuth says officers were called to a home in the southern part of the city around 8 a.m. about one fatality.

But responding officers discovered the bodies of two men and one woman.

Another woman was taken to a hospital but then flown to another facility for treatment.

Wildermuth says investigators believe the shooting took place right before police were called.

This Week In The Las Cruces Bulletin

Aug 22, 2015

  Every Saturday at 5:30pm on Images, Fred Martino speaks with Las Cruces Bulletin Managing Editor Brook Stockberger about the week's top stories and much more in the Bulletin.

Resigned APS Deputy Superintendent Facing Trial In Colorado

Aug 21, 2015

An Albuquerque Public Schools deputy superintendent who resigned two months into his job reportedly is awaiting trial in Colorado on child sexual assault charges.

KOB-TV in Albuquerque reported Friday that Jason Martinez was arrested in July 2013 and is facing a jury trial in Denver on Oct. 9.

Martinez submitted a letter of resignation Thursday, citing personal and family commitments as reasons for quitting.

But the Albuquerque Journal reports that Martinez resigned after school officials became aware that he hadn't completed a background check.

Attorneys Argue Powers During Hearing On Federal Water Rule

Aug 21, 2015

Attorneys argued over state and federal powers for more than four hours Friday on an effort by 13 states to block a new rule that gives federal authorities jurisdiction over some state waters.

The states, led by North Dakota, argue that the rules from the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers illegally expand those agencies' powers under the federal Clean Water Act.

The law goes into effect next week. The states want the judge to order an injunction to suspend the new rules, which they say are causing confusion and anxiety.

Lawyers are asking a federal judge to intervene on the behalf of immigrant families who were denied birth certificates for their U.S.-born children because Texas health officials refused to recognize as valid certain forms of identification.

The lawyers asked a federal judge in Austin on Friday for an emergency injunction. The say harm is being done to children and their families who need birth certificates to enroll in school and ensure parental rights.

  Doña Ana County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating three drive-by shooting incidents that all happened within a 24-hour period of time.

The first incident was reported just before midnight Thursday near the intersection of Moongate and Corona. Two male witnesses, 19- and 20-years-old, told detectives they were chased by an unknown vehicle as the two were driving home and heard gunshots.

Deputies were again dispatched to a similar call in the same area a few hours later, and again at around 3 p.m. Friday.

Man Shoots Albuquerque Principal Over Alleged Affair

Aug 21, 2015

Police say a man shot an Albuquerque school principal he believed was having an affair with his wife before taking his own life.

Police spokesman Tanner Tixier says the Thursday night shootings left 42-year-old James Chacho, assistant principal at Manzano High School, in critical condition and 46-year-old Craig Cuthbert dead.

According to Tixier, Cuthbert had accused Chacho earlier in the day of carrying on a relationship with his wife.

Tixier says Cuthbert later asked Chacho to meet so he could apologize to him.