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.

Roswell Groundwater Plume Considered For Superfund Status

Sep 29, 2015

An area of contaminated water in downtown Roswell is being considered for addition on the Superfund National Priorities List.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says several dry cleaning businesses had operated there from 1956 and 1963. It's now a mix of residential and commercial use.

The agency says the contaminant of concern is a colorless, nonflammable liquid used by the dry cleaning industry. It's been detected in the alluvial aquifers underlying a portion of downtown Roswell.

Hatch Police Officer Pleads Not Guilty To False Imprisonment

Sep 28, 2015

A Hatch police officer has pleaded not guilty to charges of false imprisonment and battery.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Mariano Fraere had been scheduled for an arraignment Monday in the Third Judicial District but waived a formal reading of the charges.

A grand jury indicted Fraere earlier this month on the charges. They stem from a June 10 incident involving two men who became verbally abusive toward Hatch officers.

Judge Sanctions Border Patrol Over Destruction Of Evidence

Sep 28, 2015

A federal judge is sanctioning the U.S. Border Patrol over its destruction of evidence in a civil suit filed in Arizona.

U.S. District Judge David C. Bury issued the sanctions Monday after the Border Patrol destroyed video surveillance at its eight stations in the Tucson Sector. The sanctions require the Border Patrol to produce other recordings within 15 days.

The lawsuit was filed in June by a coalition of advocacy groups on behalf of three immigrants. It claims agents routinely hold immigrants in dirty and extremely cold cells for extended periods.

NMSU TRiO Student Support Services Program Receives $1.1 Million

Sep 28, 2015

  The U.S. Department of Education has recently awarded a five-year grant for $1.1 million to the New Mexico State University TRiO Student Support Services Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and STEM Health Services Program to serve 120 students each year. 

Wendy Alberson

Sep 28, 2015

Courtesy: USDA

  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced $8.4 million to support the work of 54 partner organizations in 35 states to provide training, outreach and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged, tribal and veteran farmers and ranchers. An additional $400,000 will help establish the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Miss.

The announcement includes a grant of almost $200,000 for New Mexico State University.

Las Cruces Officer Injured During Struggle with Suspected Panhandler

Sep 28, 2015

  A man believed to be trespassing on private property is suspected of trying to run away from a Las Cruces Police officer and then biting the officer during a violent struggle Sunday morning.

Timothy Ray Allison, 46, who is believed to be homeless, is charged with two counts of aggravated battery upon a peace officer, two counts of battery upon a peace officer, resisting or obstructing an officer, assault upon a peace officer and criminal trespass.

NMSU Upward Bound Alumna Wins National Award

Sep 28, 2015

  Sarah Silvafierro Nolan, an alumna of the Upward Bound program at New Mexico State University and executive director of New Mexico Communities in Action and Faith, was recently named one of the winners of the 2015 National TRIO Achievers Award, which honors individuals of distinction who, as students, made the most of their TRIO participation.

Heinrich Stands With Local Chile Farmers In Protecting Authenticity Of N.M. Brand

Sep 28, 2015

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) raised concerns over reports of an out-of-state company manufacturing and marketing its products under the guise of authentic chile from Hatch, New Mexico. He issued the following statement today calling for better labeling protections for locally-produced products:

Information on Missing Las Cruces Woman Sought

Sep 28, 2015

  Police are asking for the public’s help in locating Las Cruces resident Janet Castrejon who went missingJune 19 while on a camping trip with family in the Chiricahua Mountains in southern Arizona.

Castrejon, 44, suffered a traumatic brain injury in a 1988 car accident which caused partial blindness and memory loss.

Castrejon was last seen Friday, June 19, in a developed campground in Rustler Park. Castrejon was waiting for her mother outside a campground restroom. When her mother emerged from the restroom, Castrejon was gone.

  After years of rodeo competition, racing horses and teaching junior high and high school students, New Mexico State University alumnus Joshua Boyd has taken on his next challenge in life: serving as the agricultural agent and director of the Sierra County Cooperative Extension Service.

Part of the NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, the extension office provides many outreach services to residents of Truth or Consequences and surrounding areas. 

“We’re a livestock producing county, and we also have production agriculture,” Boyd said.

Variety Of Events Planned In Downtown Las Cruces

Sep 28, 2015
  •   Main St:

o   Empty Bowls Silent Auction, Oct. 2. Tickets also will be sold for the Empty Bowls event to be held Oct. 16.

o   Southern NM Pride Fall Fest, Oct. 3, 6 to 11 p.m.    

o   Downtown Art Ramble, October 4, 5-7 p.m.

  • Farmers and Crafts Market:

o   Sept. 30 and Oct. 3, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Museums and Cultural Center:

o   BRANIGAN CULTURAL CENTER UNDER RENOVATION (will be closed thru October 1, 2015)

Legislative Committee To Meet On The Navajo Nation

Sep 28, 2015

The state Legislature's Indian Affairs Committee will conduct meetings this week on the Navajo Nation to discuss several topics, including plans for a senior citizen center and road conditions affecting school bus safety.

The Daily Times reports that committee members on Wednesday will discuss the Upper Fruitland senior center, which had a groundbreaking ceremony last year. Progress has stalled on the building, and Upper Fruitland officials are expected to address ways to secure additional funding for construction.

Shelter Struggles To Keep Pickup Site For Homeless

Sep 28, 2015

Trash issues are making it a challenge for an Albuquerque shelter to keep pickup sites for homeless individuals and officials are looking to the city for help.

KOAT-TV reports Joy Junction has had to stop using two sites due to the trash and mess left behind by some of the homeless individuals.

Group founder Jeremy Reynalds says this public issue can't continue to be kicked down the road. Shelter officials planned to discuss options with city officials on Monday.

The Civic Plaza and downtown library have been suggested as possible alternatives.

Legislative Analysts: New Mexico's Economy Still Recovering

Sep 28, 2015

Legislative analysts say New Mexico's economy shows some signs of recovery but continues to struggle compared with those of neighboring states and the country as a whole.

The Legislative Council Service also said Monday that "a lot has to go right" for a recent forecast projecting modest revenue growth for the next five years to hold.

That forecast called for $293 million of additional revenue in the next fiscal year, but the service said factors determining whether the forecast stands up over time include oil prices and China's economy.

Jury Selection Begins In Civil Case Over New Mexico Wildfire

Sep 28, 2015

It will be up to jurors to decide whether two utility companies should be held liable for a 2011 wildfire that destroyed dozens of homes as it raced across more than 240 square miles on its way to becoming one of New Mexico's largest blazes.

Jury selection began Monday in Bernalillo before state District Judge Louis McDonald. The trial is expected to last six weeks.

The Las Conchas fire started when an aspen tree fell onto power lines that stretched through national forest land in the Jemez Mountains.


  The University of Texas at El Paso has received a $2.1 million grant to develop a next-generation 3-D printer. The system will be an all-in-one printer that’s capable of printing industry-quality parts, including electronics formed out of plastics, and assembling metals and electronics during the fabrication process.   

New Mexico Tribe Before Appeals Court In Casino Dispute

Sep 28, 2015
<p><a href="">Image: digitalart /</a></p>

Attorneys for a northern New Mexico tribe are appearing in federal appeals court in Denver for oral arguments in a long-running dispute over gambling operations.

The hearing in the case of Pojoaque Pueblo is scheduled for Monday before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Pojoaque's gambling agreement with New Mexico expired in June. The pueblo tried to negotiate a new compact with the federal government after talks with the state broke down in 2013.

Former President George W. Bush is set to host his annual golf tournament in Texas for wounded members of the U.S. military.

The Warrior Open, a 36-hole competitive golf tournament for military members wounded since Sept. 11, 2001, begins Tuesday in the Dallas suburb of Irving.

The first day of the two-day tournament will be open only to the 25 active and retired military members selected for the tournament. On Wednesday, a pro-am will feature PGA Tour professionals and the military members.

New Mexico Lawmakers To Meet On Secretary Of State Case

Sep 28, 2015
NM Sec. of State Dianna Duran / Official photo

A panel of New Mexico lawmakers investigating fraud, embezzlement and money laundering charges against Secretary of State Dianna Duran is slated to meet for the first time.

The House Special Investigatory Committee will gather Monday at the State Capitol in Santa Fe as part of impeachment proceedings. The bipartisan panel will discuss the hiring of special legal counsel, rules for the investigation and a hearing schedule.

The Legislative Council recently cleared the way for the committee to begin its work by providing $250,000 to finance the effort.

Monday Business Watch

Sep 28, 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 a new redesign for the print and online editions of the Las Cruces Sun-News. 

White Sands Missile Range frequently conducts military tests and experiments, and yesterday they conducted the largest training exercise ever held at the range.

The 82nd airborne division flew to New Mexico from North Carolina dropping around 600 paratroops in the second phase of a two-week long Network Integration Evaluation, a training exercise to test new equipment and how well different military divisions can work together.

Abbott Looks To Lure Top Researchers To Texas

Sep 27, 2015

Gov. Greg Abbott is emphasizing the importance of research in luring academic stars to Texas and elevating the state's universities as well as its economy.

The Governor's University Research Initiative is intended to attract elite researchers to Texas academic and health campuses by offering grants that are matched by schools for establishing labs and other costs.

The top priority goes to recruiting Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Albuquerque Reforms Shelter Policy For Dogs Deemed Dangerous

Sep 27, 2015
Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry

Albuquerque is changing policies surrounding its animal shelters following a report that found dangerous dogs were being adopted.

Mayor Richard Berry announced late last week that Animal Welfare Department executive director Barbara Bruin would no longer have the authority to choose which dogs get euthanized.

Berry also signed legislation Friday that will add four additional behavioral and adoption specialists to the department.

Referendum Would Allow Top Texas Officials To Live Outside Austin

Sep 27, 2015

Top Texas Republicans have long groused about having to live in liberal-leaning Austin. After Election Day, they may not have to.

A ballot initiative before voters Nov. 3 would modify the Texas Constitution to exclude statewide officeholders from requirements they live in the capitol.

Political observers say that while state capital residency requirements are common for statewide politicians across America, Texas' referendum to scrap such a mandate is unique.

Boy Scouts, Pilot Survive Small Plane Crash In New Mexico

Sep 27, 2015

Three boy scouts and their pilot are alive after a small plane crash in New Mexico.  The four-seat 1952 Beechcraft crashed in Belen on Saturday morning, about 2 miles from its final destination.

Scouts Levi Jensen, Talon Bennett and Jacob Brooks were flying with a pilot they knew from church as part of the work required for them to earn an aviation badge.

The plane left the Belen airport around 10:30 a.m., flew to Albuquerque and was on its way back when the scouts realized something was wrong.

"Breaking Bad" Actor Helps Co-Star In New Mexico Election

Sep 27, 2015
Steven Michael Quezada

Two "Breaking Bad" stars who tried to nab drug lords in the fictional AMC-TV series are trying to shake up the New Mexico political scene in real life.

KOB-TV reports Dean Norris, who played DEA agent Hank Schrader on the show, is campaigning for Steven Michael Quezada, who is running for the Bernalillo County Commission. Quezada played DEA agent, "Gomey," in the series.

Norris was back in Albuquerque last week urging residents to register to vote. He then attended events with Quezada.

A southern New Mexico ranch for troubled youth is suing a state police officer in federal court over his investigation of abuse allegations.

Scott and Colette Chandler, who operate the Tierra Blanca Ranch Youth Program, filed a complaint last week against New Mexico State Police officer Felipe Gonzales.

They allege authorities and state child welfare workers used a ranch employee's accidental death as a way to launch an investigation on behalf of a disgruntled parent.

A Texas judge has formally halted steep Medicaid cuts after ruling that thousands of poor and disabled children would likely lose critical access to therapists.

State District Judge Tim Sulak on Friday issued a temporary injunction that blocks the state from cutting $350 million in Medicaid funding starting next week. State health officials are expected to appeal.

End of 2015 Irrigation Season for Rio Grande Project

Sep 26, 2015

  ELEPHANT BUTTE, N.M.—The Rio Grande Project’s irrigation season is scheduled to end next week when the release of water from Caballo Reservoir will stop.