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.

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.

Pearce Votes To Approve Safe Act

Nov 19, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

Commentary: U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement following his vote to approve the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015 (H.R. 4038), which passed the House today by a vote of 289-137. 


New Mexico Exchange Targets Hispanics, Native Americans

Nov 19, 2015

Officials with the state's health insurance exchange say New Mexicans have until the end of January to sign up for coverage during an open enrollment period.

The exchange has boosted its Spanish-language ads and is reaching out to Native Americans as well as faith-based, school and civil groups.

Officials say the exchange has been cleared by federal officials to shift some of the grant money it receives for technology to focus on outreach since the exchange relies on the federal platform to register people.

Juan Hernandez, 46, of El Paso, Texas, was sentenced late yesterday afternoon in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., for his child exploitation conviction.  Hernandez was ordered to serve ten years in federal prison followed by fifteen years of supervised release.  Hernandez will be required to register as a sex offender when he completes his prison sentence. 

Police Need Help Identifying Four In Forgery Case

Nov 19, 2015
Las Cruces Crime Stoppers

Las Cruces Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that helps identify four people wanted for questioning in a forgery case.

The four people – two men and two woman – were captured on surveillance cameras at drive-thru automated teller machines in August and September 2015.

Anyone with information that can help identify the men and women is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or send a tip by text message to CRIMES (274637), keyword LCTIPS.

Lawsuit: Albuquerque Flouts Law Limiting Asset Forfeiture

Nov 19, 2015

A pair of state senators are suing to stop Albuquerque authorities from auctioning off vehicles seized during DWI stops without first obtaining a criminal conviction, saying the ongoing practice violates a new law that restricts civil asset forfeiture.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of state Sens. Lisa Torraco, a Republican, and Daniel Ivey-Soto, a Democrat, on Wednesday says Albuquerque and other New Mexico cities not named in the lawsuit are flouting legislation enacted this year that overhauled state civil asset forfeiture laws.

Roswell Mayor Files Petition To Create Grand Jury

Nov 19, 2015

The mayor of Roswell has filed paperwork to create a Chaves County grand jury, which he hopes will save time for police officers.

The Roswell Daily Record reports that Mayor Dennis Kintigh on Wednesday presented Chaves County Clerk Dave Kunko with a petition calling for the convening of a grand jury.

The state Constitution allows citizens to create a grand jury if at least 2 percent of a county's registered voters request it.

Kintigh says the next step is to take his petition, which has 47 pages of signatures, to district judges.

Navajo Official To Repay $34,000 For Illegal Contracts

Nov 19, 2015

An official with the Whitehorse Lake Chapter of the Navajo Nation has been ordered to repay another chapter for funds that were paid to a relative's construction company that she illegally contracted.

The Gallup Independent reports that Whitehorse Lake community service coordinator Relda Martinez has agreed to pay $200 a month to the Baca-Prewitt Chapter until she pays off $34,000 of the $68,000 in chapter funds that were paid to Bar W.J. Construction, of Crownpoint.

Heinrich Leads In Advancing Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act

Nov 19, 2015
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich's (D-N.M.) Sportsmen's Act of 2015 cleared the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources today with bipartisan support. Senator Heinrich introduced the bill in February with Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

New Mexico State Senator Says Money Taken From Her Accounts

Nov 19, 2015
Senator Mary Kay Papen (D)

New Mexico's highest-ranking state senator has confirmed that money is missing from her Senate and campaign accounts and says personal items have also been taken from her home.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that 83-year-old Sen. Mary Kay Papen, a Las Cruces Democrat, says she discovered missing money in early September during a separate investigation involving the fraudulent use of her son-in-law's credit card.

Papen says she's working with a certified personal accountant and an attorney to figure out how much money was stolen from the two accounts.