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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.

$9 Minimum Wage Heads To Governor's Desk

Mar 16, 2017

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposal to increase New Mexico's minimum wage for the first time since 2009 is on its way to the governor's desk.

The Senate on Thursday approved of increasing minimum wage by $1.50 to $9 an hour. An $8 hourly training wage would apply to the first two months of employment.

The bill includes no future adjustments for inflation.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has expressed support for a minimum wage hike as long as it is in line with neighboring states, where base wages range from $10 to $7.25.

Former Las Cruces Bus Driver Sentenced for Sexual Contact with Student

Mar 16, 2017

LAS CRUCES – District Attorney Mark D’Antonio announced Thursday that Darien Pete, 28, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for criminal sexual contact with a minor.

At the time of the offense, in October 2015, Pete was an employee of STS-NM — the private school bus company contracted to provide transportation services for Las Cruces Public Schools. The victim was a 15-year-old student on his bus route.

Rep. Rebecca Dow

Mar 16, 2017

Spaceport CEO Dan Hicks

This week, we spoke with NMpolitics.net publisher Heath Haussamen about Spaceport America.

Today….a follow-up with Spaceport CEO Dan Hicks.

Hicks supports a Senate bill that would reduce the information available about Spaceport clients. 

But first….he told Fred Martino he’s confident in the future of the Spaceport.

The Latest: Community Honors Fallen Navajo Nation Officer

Mar 16, 2017
James Largo
AP

REHOBOTH, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on the Navajo police officer killed in the line of duty (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

A Navajo Nation police officer shot while responding to a domestic violence call in remote New Mexico is being remembered at his funeral as someone who wanted to help others and dreamed of becoming an officer.

Family, friends, fellow law enforcement officers and community members packed a school gymnasium in the town of Rehoboth to honor Houston James Largo, the 27-year-old decorated officer who died Sunday.

A Quick Look At New Mexico St-Baylor In The NCAA Tournament

Mar 16, 2017

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — No. 3 seed Baylor (25-7) vs. No. 14 seed New Mexico State (28-5)

First round, East Region; Tulsa, Okla.; 12:40 p.m. EDT.

BOTTOM LINE: Baylor was ranked No. 1 in the nation earlier in the season, but the Bears have lost six of 11 heading into the tournament. Baylor is motivated to have a stronger showing after their upset loss to Yale in the first round last year. New Mexico State lost 58-56 to No. 2 seed St. Mary's in the NCAA first round last year.

New Mexico Ethics Commission Proposal Clears Senate

Mar 16, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico voters could be asked next year to create an independent political ethics commission in the wake of a recent string of corruption scandals.

The state Senate voted 30-9 Thursday in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment that calls for creating a seven-member body to investigate and sanction ethics violations. The House must sign off on Senate revisions before the amendment goes to a statewide ballot initiative in November 2018.

Trump Budget Calls For Border Wall, Border Prosecutions

Mar 16, 2017
facebook.com (donald trump)

WASHINGTON (AP) — For core supporters counting on President Donald Trump to crack down on illegal immigration, his proposed budget reads like a wish list: billions of dollars for some of his most controversial campaign promises, including a $2.6 billion down payment on a border wall that he had insisted Mexico would pay for.

Office of US Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, lead Democrat on the Senate Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement on President Trump's budget blueprint:

Senate Approves Bill To Make Public How Governor Spends Public Funds

Mar 16, 2017
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Members/

Commentary: (Santa Fe)- A bill that makes public what a governor spends taxpayer money on for expenses directly connected to the obligations of the governor’s office passed the senate 27-2 today after passing Senate Public Affairs and Finance unanimously. Currently, what the reportedly $70,000 Governor’s Contingency fund is spent on is not public.

Among other things, Senator Sander Rue’s (R-Albuquerque Westside) Senate Bill 27 requires:

·       a governor to provide monthly reports to the legislature on what the money is spend on

Muslim Group Calls For Investigation Of Quran Desecration

Mar 16, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Muslim civil rights group is asking federal and New Mexico authorities to investigate a couple suspected of urinating on copies of the Quran at a library.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations says it wants authorities to look into the matter for "possible bias" motives.

Santa Fe Public Library workers told police they believed a man and a woman may have urinated on copies of Islam's sacred text and damaged a copy of the 2004 autobiography by former President Bill Clinton last week.

Crowd Expected For Navajo Police Officer's Funeral

Mar 16, 2017

REHOBOTH, N.M. (AP) — A Navajo Nation police officer gunned down while responding to a domestic violence call in a remote part of western New Mexico is being remembered for his sense of humor and as someone who always wanted to help others.

Funeral services for Houston Largo are expected to draw a crowd of family and fellow law enforcement officers from around the region.

A procession from Gallup to the nearby community of Rehoboth will begin Thursday morning. Following the funeral, Largo will be buried at the Sunset Memorial Park in Gallup.

New Mexico Legislature Approves Clean-Up Fund For State Lands

Mar 16, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico would gradually set aside up to $5 million to help repair damaged or polluted state trust lands under a bill awaiting the governor's signature or veto.

The Senate voted Wednesday to create the State Trust Lands Restoration and Remediation Fund.

The fund could be tapped to clean up illegal dumping, restore watersheds from wildfire damage or deal with invasive plant species.

Sweeping New Mexico Tax Plan Draws Protests; Review Of Impact Unclear

Mar 15, 2017

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico lawmakers listened to an outcry from dozens of nonprofit organizations and industry groups as a Senate panel reviewed a proposal Wednesday to eliminate a wide array of tax exemptions, deductions and credits in an effort to stabilize state revenue streams and lower overall tax rates.

The Bulletin On The Radio

Mar 15, 2017

 

  Every week, KRWG News provides a preview of the stories in The Las Cruces Bulletin. 

The region's home page is only possible with your support.  Become a member, renew, or make an additional gift now.  Thank you.

Two Teens Suspected in Las Cruces Burglary Spree

Mar 15, 2017

Police have arrested two teenagers suspected of breaking into and burglarizing several Telshor area businesses in February.

The 14 and 15 year old boys are each charged with six counts of non-residential burglary, two counts of criminal damage to property over $1,000, three counts of criminal damage to property under $1,000 and three counts of larceny.

Bill Banning Coyote Killing Contests Clears House Committee

Mar 15, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A measure that would outlaw coyote killing contests for prizes or entertainment has cleared its latest legislative hurdle.

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted 7-4 in favor of the bill, which would make it illegal in New Mexico to organize, sponsor or participate in a coyote killing contest. No restrictions would be placed on hunting or trapping the animals.

The initiative won Senate approval in early March. It now moves to the full House for consideration.

Navajo Officer's Death Reflects Dangers For Tribal Officers

Mar 15, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The first time Houston Largo faced deadly gunfire as a Navajo police officer, he and other tribal police had swarmed a patch of desert near the Chuska Mountains to pursue an armed domestic violence suspect.

The 40-mile chase that began near Shiprock, New Mexico, had crossed into Arizona, where the suspect armed with an assault rifle crashed his vehicle that March 2015 night and opened fire. One officer was killed and two were wounded, while Largo escaped injury and received a commendation for helping a fellow officer to safety.

New Mexico Won't Tap Permanent Fund For Early Education

Mar 15, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Senate panel in New Mexico has voted down a constitutional amendment to boost spending on early childhood education with money from a state sovereign wealth fund.

The Senate Rules Committee tabled the initiative Wednesday on a 6-5 vote, ending chances for approval this year.

The Democrat-sponsored amendment would have increase annual withdrawals from the state's $15 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund by 1 percentage point to fund education programs for children ages 0-5.

Governor, AG Predict New Mexico State Will Make Sweet 16

Mar 15, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez and state Attorney General Hector Balderas are members of opposite political parties, but they agree that New Mexico State's men's basketball team will reach the NCAA's Sweet Sixteen.

The Republican governor and Democratic lawman released their brackets Wednesday that showed both believe 14th-seeded New Mexico State would defeat Baylor and SMU. They also predict the Aggies would go down against Duke.

Spaceport Bill Would Reduce Transparency

Mar 15, 2017
Spaceport America

This is "Sunshine Week," when we recognize the importance of transparency in government.

But during the New Mexico legislative session, a number of bills would reduce transparency.

Senate Bill 429 would restrict public access to information about Spaceport America.

Fred Martino talked about this with NMPolitics.net publisher Heath Haussamen.  

Selecting A Right Tree For The Desert

Mar 15, 2017

John White knows trees. He’s the Curator of the UTEP Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, and before that he was the Extension Horticulture Agent for Doña Ana and El Paso Counties. So, if you are trying to figure out what new tree to add to your yard in Las Cruces, he’s the man to ask.

White will be the presenter at the free Lush and Lean Workshop sponsored by Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) on Thursday, March 16th. You’re invited to bring all your tree questions straight to this expert.

Excavation safety training at Las Cruces Utilities

Mar 15, 2017

“Every year there are more than 50 excavation fatalities in the U.S.,” says Dino Franco, safety and training director of the Associated Contractors of New Mexico (ACNM). Franco is also an OSHA-authorized instructor in excavation. He’s in town to train a group of Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) employees from the Gas, Water, and Wastewater Sections who are involved in projects that encompass excavating. Anytime a utility goes in underground, trenching and excavating are required.

The 2017 Bataan Memorial Death March has reached record registration at record speed this year. In 28 years, this is the first year registration had to close early due to the event reaching capacity of 7,000 participants. In 2016 there were over 6,500 participants, the record at the time. Hotel reservations and RV reservations are also booked with a long waiting list. The March 19 event has already broken record of participation, meaning not only an increase of participants but also an increase of spectators.

Registration Open For Rocketeer Academy’s Summer Camp

Mar 15, 2017

Calling all kids! Save the Earth from asteroids! Rescue a sick astronaut on Mars!  Or spend the night in a museum full of dinosaurs!

Summer adventure is on the menu for this year’s Rocketeer Academy Summer Camp at the New Mexico Museum of Space History and registration is now open to cadets entering kindergarten through 9th grade. With a host of new programs on the agenda, this year’s camp promises to be a memory making out of this world experience.

Public Input Sought On Capital Project Priorities

Mar 15, 2017

 

A series of five community meetings – one in each of Doña Ana County’s five commission districts – has been scheduled to solicit public input on priority needs for capital-outlay funding throughout the county. Once a priority list is compiled, the rankings will be entered into a statewide database and used to lobby the 2018 New Mexico Legislature.

Meeting dates and locations are as follows:

Tuesday, April 11 – Radium Springs Community Center, 12060 Lindbeck Rd., hosted by District 5 Doña Ana County Commissioner John L. Vasquez.

http://www.nmlegis.gov

  Commentary: Santa Fe, NM – Today, Governor Martinez vetoed Senate Bill 24 a bipartisan bill sponsored by Senator Michael Padilla and Representative Jim Smith that would have streamlined current statutes to facilitate local government investment in broadband infrastructure. Once again, the Governor’s veto message contained no explanation as to why she chose to stand in the way of the state’s progress.

Senate Democratic Caucus: "Bathroom Bill" Creates a Hazard in Texas

Mar 15, 2017

Commentary: Today, Senate Bill 6 was voted out of the Senate, a week after hundreds of Texans testified against the bill in committee. The bill would require transgender people to use restrooms and changing facilities in public buildings that do not match their gender identity. The Senate Democratic Caucus (SDC) opposes S.B. 6 because it is unconstitutionally discriminatory, bad for business, and creates a public safety hazard.

Bill to Make Public How Governor Spends Public Funds Passes Senate

Mar 15, 2017
Office of the Governor

Commentary: Santa Fe- A bill that makes public what a governor spends taxpayer money on for expenses directly connected to the obligations of the governor’s office passed the senate 27-2 today after passing Senate Public Affairs and Finance unanimously. Currently, what the reportedly $70,000 Governor’s Contingency fund is spent on is not public.

Among other things, Senator Sander Rue’s (R-Albuquerque Westside) Senate Bill 27 requires:

·       a governor to provide monthly reports to the legislature on what the money is spend on

Darren Phillips, NMSU

New Mexico State University’s College of Education graduate programs led the way for the university’s programs on the newly released U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools 2018 list. 

The College of Education graduate programs, which are tied for 101 this year, improved 45 spots from a year ago. Education graduate degrees are available in four specialties – Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, Department of Educational Leadership and Administration, Department of Special Education/Communication Disorders and Department of Curriculum and Instruction. 

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