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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.

US Energy Secretary Lauds Opening Of Nuke Repository

Jan 9, 2017
http://energy.gov/

The head of the U.S. Energy Department says it was the determination of workers and pure ingenuity that allowed the nation's only underground repository for nuclear waste to recover from a radiation release.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz tells The Associated Press that resuming work at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico means the nation's multibillion-dollar cleanup of waste from decades of bomb-making and nuclear research can get back on track.

Moniz and others are gathering Monday to mark the reopening.

Education Secretary Skandera Says Reading Problems Go Undisclosed

Jan 9, 2017
ped.state.nm.us

  

New Mexico Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera says new statistics show most parents are not being informed properly when early reading difficulties.

The Public Education Department found that fewer than 5 percent of parents received necessary written notices when third graders failed to meet reading proficiency standards at public school throughout the state.

The agency says that parents of those students should be required by schools to sign a waiver before their children advance to the next grade.

Police: Speeding Motorcyclist Killed In Albuquerque Crash

Jan 9, 2017

Police say a man has died after driving his motorcycle at a high rate of speed and striking another vehicle in Albuquerque.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the victim of the Sunday crash has not yet been identified.

Officer Simon Drobik says the motorcyclist had been speeding when a car pulled out in front of him and the two vehicles collided.

The crash remains under investigation.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal.

NWEA Podcast: New Mexico 2016 Teacher Of The Year David Morales

Jan 9, 2017
nwea

Welcome. Whether you're a teacher, an educator, or just plain curious, you've found a special podcast series where 2016 State Teachers of the Year are capturing a moment of epiphany and teaching it forward in the letter you're about to hear. In this episode, David Morales, a social studies teacher at Mayfield High School in Las Cruces, New Mexico, tells us about his father's gift. Here's David Morales.

I once asked my dad, "Why did you come to the United States?"

Monday Business Watch

Jan 9, 2017

What’s happening in the world of business in the Mesilla Valley? Time now for the Monday Business Watch with Edmundo Resendez and Jason Gibbs, Business Editor for the Las Cruces Sun-News. This week, Sitel is closing, the tax man cometh and a profile of Butler Baking Co.  

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

4 hikers are rescued from the East Mountains in Albuquerque

Jan 8, 2017

Authorities say four hikers have been rescued from the East Mountains in Albuquerque.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office says two groups of hikers were reported lost Saturday.

KOB-TV reports that three of the four people were located by air and had supplies dropped to them.

Search and rescue crews had to go in by foot to bring them down from the mountains.

Authorities say the fourth hiker managed to make it to the tram and ride it down to get help.

The names of the hikers weren't immediately released by sheriff's officials on Sunday.

Albuquerque police: Officers fatally shoot a robbery suspect

Jan 8, 2017

Police say officers have fatally shot a man suspected of armed robbery in northeast Albuquerque.

They say officers were called to an armed robbery at a business before midnight Saturday.

Undercover officers who were in the area caught up to the two suspects, a man and a woman.

Police say the two suspects were in a vehicle and appeared to be armed.

They say the male suspect was shot and taken to a hospital, where he later died.

The female suspect wasn't injured.

Police haven't released the names of the two suspects yet.

Texas lawmakers look to help troubled child welfare system

Jan 8, 2017

Texas lawmakers agree on the need to improve the state's beleaguered child welfare system, but how to do it and to pay for it during a tight budget year are still very much up in the air.

Troubles have been mounting at the state agency that investigates reports of child abuse and, if needed, places abused children in foster care. And lawmakers have already been filing bills that they think will help fix the system ahead of the legislative session that starts Tuesday.

Ted Cruz, Texas governor meet with Taiwan president

Jan 8, 2017
Senator Ted Cruz (R) Texas

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Greg Abbott say they met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen while she was passing through Houston on her way to Central America.

The Republican senator said in a news release that during Sunday's meeting, they discussed how they might improve bilateral relations and that they touched on several areas, including arms sales, diplomatic exchanges and economic relations.

Abbott says in a separate statement that they discussed energy, trade relations and commercial ties between Taiwan and Texas.

As 2016 came to a close, a statewide tour that began in August, covered thousands of miles and included dozens of meetings, also came to a close. New Mexico State University’s Rolando Flores, the new dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, completed visits to all of the college’s Cooperative Extension Service and Agricultural Experiment Station research and science center sites across the state.

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. - The 54th Fighter Group at Holloman will be
conducting routine F-16 night flying operations from January 9 through
February 10.

Residents in the local and surrounding areas can expect aircraft noise in
the evening and early morning hours with aircraft landing as late as 12:30
a.m. The biggest impact to the local community will be noise generated when
the aircraft take off. Residents in the operating areas north and east of
Holloman could experience some sonic booms as part of the training.

I-10 Closures This Week

Jan 8, 2017

I-10 East

Daytime

Monday, Jan. 9 through Friday, Jan. 12

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day

·      I-10 Eastbound will be reduced to one lane for approximately a half mile between the North Mesa Overpass and the Resler Overpass.

Crews will be conducting structural bridge work. [Map 2]

I-10 at Mesa

Overnight

Sunday, Jan. 8 through Thursday, Jan. 12

9 p.m. each night to 6 a.m. each morning

Martinez administration eyes centralization of HR functions

Jan 7, 2017
Office of the Governor

 Separate human resource departments in larger state agencies would be eliminated and those functions consolidated under a plan under development by Gov. Susana Martinez's administration.

The centralization plan is under development as state officials struggle to find savings amid a continuing budget crisis, but it's not yet known how much jobs could be cut.

The State Personnel Office already handles human resources for smaller state agencies, but larger departments have their own human resources staffs.

  WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) announced she is co-sponsoring the Protecting Our Democracy Act to establish an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate foreign interference in the 2016 election.

Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement regarding the declassified int

This spring semester, hundreds of middle school students in Southern New Mexico will have a chance to experience college life for a day along with their parents on the campus of New Mexico State University.

The Young Achievers' Forum is an event that provides this opportunity for students and parents to learn about college life and what it takes to get on the path to a degree and a career they may be interested in.

Silver City, NM – The ongoing President’s Chamber Music Series event continues to bring acclaimed musicians to Light Hall Theater and will feature pianist Awadagin Pratt on Tuesday, January 17 at 7:00 p.m. on the Western New Mexico University campus.

The event is $15 per person and will include a piano quintet playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto #4 Op. 58 in G Major and Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F minor Op. 34.

The performance will be the inaugural event for the university’s new Steinway Model B piano housed in Light Hall.

Planned Water Outage for Nemesh Drive In Las Cruces

Jan 6, 2017
imagebase.net

Residents and businesses on Nemesh Drive from Akers Street to Holly Drive will experience a water outage from approximately 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 9, while the Las Cruces Utilities Water Section replaces a main line distribution valve.

City crews are posting door hanger notices for the five residents/businesses affected by this outage.

Once service is restored, area residents may notice discolored water due to iron and manganese. Although the water is safe to drink, City officials recommend waiting to wash laundry until after the water becomes clear.

More Events This Month In Las Cruces

Jan 6, 2017

Main St. Downtown:

·         Farmers and Crafts Market

o   Wednesday, January 11, 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

o   Saturday, January 14, 8:30 am – 1 p.m.

o   Wednesday, January 18, 8:30 am – 1 p.m.

o   Saturday, January 21, 8:30 am.-1 p.m.

·         Plaza De Las Cruces

o   Friday, January 6, 5 p.m. – Art Ramble

Las Cruces Museum System: Branigan Cultural Center, the Las Cruces Museum of Art, the Las Cruces Museum of Nature & Science and the Las Cruces Railroad Museum Free Admission!

El Paso Official Pleads Guilty In Alleged Cheating Scheme

Jan 6, 2017

Authorities say a former West Texas school official has pleaded guilty for his role in an alleged scheme to rig his school district's high-stakes test scores.

Federal prosecutors announced that during a court hearing Friday, former El Paso School District Associate Superintendent Damon Murphy pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

New Mexico Supreme Court Approves Policy For Online Access to Court Case Records

Jan 6, 2017

SANTA FE - The New Mexico Supreme Court has approved a policy to provide secure online case access to court records for attorneys and their staff, justice partners such as law enforcement agencies, and the press.

The court will issue an order later establishing an effective date for the policy, which could go into effect as early as March.

When you think of water flowing into your home or business, you may not immediately recognize the important role power has in getting the water to you. There is an electrical panel - a motor control center - associated with every system that runs a pump.

In a constant effort to care for customers, Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) is always on the lookout for improvements to preventative maintenance procedures. Most recently two thermal imaging cameras were added to the tool box carried by Water Control Technicians, to catch any potential electrical malfunctions before they happen.

Las Cruces Bridal & Special Events Showcase

Jan 6, 2017

Las Cruces, NM — Planning a large event like a wedding or a quinceañera can be a lot of work, but the planning is simplified by attending the Las Cruces Bridal & Special Events Showcase at the Las Cruces Convention Center, from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. Sunday, January 29. This annual event brings together a wide range of products and services for weddings, special events, and more. Attendees can enjoy tasty samples from area caterers, get planning ideas, meet DJs, and take in a fashion show for the latest in prom, quinceañera and wedding couture and hair styling!

Events On Tap For Downtown Las Cruces

Jan 6, 2017

January 6, 5 – 7 p.m.

Exhibit opening with artist Emmitt Booher

Living Here - New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum

Jan 6, 2017

Las Cruces – The DACC Construction Industries Student Club is helping build shelters to shield the homeless from extreme weather at the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope.

The single person shelters are constructed at the Doña Ana Community College (DACC) Workforce Center and then transported and installed at Camp Hope, a tent city located at the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope. The Student Club and several DACC classes provide the labor to construct the structures. In total, more than 20 students per semester are involved in the effort.

  February 4, 11, and 18 at 5pm on KRWG-FM Objects hold history. They evoke stories stamped in time. The Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture has opened up a world of stories that visitors are flocking to discover.  To mark the September opening of the museum, The Washington Post invited people across the country to submit photographs of family objects that connect them personally to black history.

The Las Cruces Sun News reports that Sitel will close its Las Cruces Call Center, with an estimated 371 jobs, by the end of March. The newspaper reports the company said its business model does not allow it to stay in the market after 10 successful years. Sitel news releases say its Albuquerque location has been adding employees, and while that may be unrelated, it's common to see consolidation with similar employers.

New Mexico State University Regents Professor Jim Peach was selected to fill the Chevron Endowed Professorship in the College of Business. 

Peach, a professor in the Department of Economics, Applied Statistics and International Business, will serve as the inaugural Chevron Endowed Professor for three years beginning fall 2017, and plans to further his energy research in a way that could have an international impact. 

The Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office, after reviewing findings from a multi-agency investigation, has determined that the Dec. 2shooting of 36-year-old Joshua “Josh” Clay Dunne was justified and that the two Las Cruces Police officers will not face any charges in the incident.

Dunne was shot as he emerged from a hotel room and pointed a 9mm handgun at officers. He was transported to Memorial Medical Center where he died.

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