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.

Hundreds to gather at NMSU for annual 4-H State Conference

Jul 8, 2016

  Hundreds of 4-H members will be making their way to New Mexico State University for the 93rd annual 4-H State Conference, July 11-14 at Corbett Center.

“This year’s theme is, ‘What imprint will you leave?’” Amy Zemler said, 4-H youth activities specialist. She said that it is based on footprints left in sand and relating to imprints left by actions.

The conference will include dances, workshops, competitions, officer elections and more.

Las Cruces Suspect Used Fake IDs in Purchases Totaling Nearly $90,000

Jul 8, 2016

  Las Cruces Police are hoping to identify a man suspected of using false identifications to commit a week-long crime spree in which he fraudulently purchased three vehicles and merchandise totaling nearly $90,000.

The man is suspected of using a fabricated driver’s licenses and bogus financial information that identified himself as “Derek Duane Mullner” and “Jason Meek” to commit several crimes:

New Mexico State University is remembering the accomplishments of former Dean E. Rene Casillas, who passed away July 4.

Casillas was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1992-2002. He retired in 2002.

“Rene was a fine academic and a special Aggie,” said NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers. 

Albuquerque Police Receive Directive After Dallas Shootings

Jul 8, 2016

Albuquerque police are responding to the Dallas shootings of police officers.

The Albuquerque Police Department issued a directive to officers Thursday night in response to the killings of five Dallas officers and the wounding of seven others during a protest over fatal police shootings of black men in other states.

Officer Tanner Tixier says the directive was issued in an attempt to keep officers as safe as possible.

Navajo Nation, States Get Funding To Promote Mine Safety

Jul 8, 2016

Arizona, New Mexico and the Navajo Nation will share in millions of dollars being doled out by the federal government as part of an effort to curb mine-related accidents and illnesses.

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration. It will be used for federally mandated training for those working at surface and underground coal and other mines as well as sand and gravel operations.

DOE Partners With New Mexico Agency On Waste Transportation

Jul 8, 2016

The U.S. Energy Department's Carlsbad Field Office is partnering with the state of New Mexico to coordinate activities that will ensure the safe transport of radioactive waste to the federal government's underground nuclear waste repository.

The five-year cooperative agreement awarded to the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department is worth $6.8 million.

Officials say the focus will include monitoring activities, emergency response training and planning and public awareness.

Your Weekend Pulse!

Jul 8, 2016

Time now for Your Weekend Pulse! your guide to what is happening in our area this weekend with Lorena Sanchez, Pulse Editor for the Las Cruces Sun-News and Edmundo Resendez. This weekend you can enjoy a kids night out and music in the park. 

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

Bernalillo County Clerk's Office Designated As New Passport Option

Jul 8, 2016

Residents in central New Mexico will soon have another option for getting a passport.

The Bernalillo County Clerk's Office announced this week that it will begin accepting new passport applications from the public on Monday, July 11.

The U.S. State Department has designated the clerk's office as a passport acceptance facility to help meet heavy demand for passport services in New Mexico's most populated metro area.

New Mexico Grant Aimed At STEM Afterschool Programs

Jul 8, 2016

Three public school districts in southern New Mexico will benefit from a nearly $12 million grant that will fund afterschool science, technology, engineering and math programs.

The grant was awarded by the state Public Education Department's 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program. The beneficiaries will include the Gadsden, Hatch Valley and Las Cruces school districts.

Darren Phillips, NMSU

New Mexico State University’s Board of Regents approved a new requirement for all first-time, full-time undergraduate students to live on campus beginning in the fall of 2017.

NMSU Board of regents approved the residency requirement after a study found students who live on campus their first semester have higher retention rates, higher GPA’s, and are more likely to participate in campus activities.

Mike Cheney, Vice- Chair of NMSU’s Board of Regents says the requirement is a step in the right direction.

Bosque Del Apache Tour Loops Back Open After Wildfire

Jul 7, 2016

The tour loops at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge are back open as firefighters get the upper hand on a blaze that has burned more than a square mile along the Rio Grande.

The blaze was 75 percent contained Thursday, and crews planned to work the fire through the weekend given the forecast for more hot, dry weather.

Chris Leeser with the refuge says temperatures have been in the triple digits and humidity has been low.

Due to the firefighters' progress, Leeser says both the north and south tour loops are open to visitors. The visitor center is also open.

APNewsBreak: $700K Spent On Prison Vans After Inmate Escape

Jul 7, 2016

Corrections officials say New Mexico has spent $700,000 on new vehicles and equipment since the March escape of two violent inmates prompted a review of the state's prisoner transport vans.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request show officials removed door handles and power locks from the rear area of roughly a dozen Corrections Department vans in the weeks after state police say inmates Joseph Cruz and Lionel Clah fled the van. Their escape came around the time guards stopped for gas in Artesia.

Vote El Paso Vote 2016 at community events this weekend

Jul 7, 2016

  El Paso – Participants of Vote El Paso Vote campaign will be a part of two community events this weekend to encourage voter turnout.

The Elections Department will be hosting a community/ church Voter Education training which will cover the voting process, registration and eligibility with an opportunity for citizens to become familiar with the use of voting machines. 

NMSU STEM Outreach Center receives nearly $12 million grant

Jul 7, 2016

  New Mexico State University’s STEM Outreach Center, housed in the College of Education, recently received a nearly $12 million grant to fund after school STEM programs in the Las Cruces, Hatch and Gadsden school districts.

Native American Meeting Gets Medical-Pot Provider As Sponsor

Jul 7, 2016

A medical marijuana company operating in New Mexico and Arizona has signed on as a sponsor of one of North America's largest powwows.

Gathering of Nations organizers announced their partnership with Ultra Health this week, saying it's similar to health and dental clinics at previous powwows.

Founder Derek Mathews tells Albuquerque television station KOAT that marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes throughout the United States, particularly in Indian Country. He says it adds to the health and treatment options for the Native American community.

Juror Questions OK'd In Albuquerque Police Shooting Trial

Jul 7, 2016

The questionnaire has been revised for potential jurors in the case of two former Albuquerque police officers charged with fatally shooting a homeless man.

Prosecutors had raised concerns that the jury pool could be tainted because of a mailer that went out containing a letter from one of the officer's wives pleading for donations to help her husband.

The mailer was issued by a nonprofit that supports police officers' legal defense.

Mother Sentenced To Federal Prison For Baby's Drowning Death

Jul 7, 2016

Prosecutors say a woman has been sentenced to two years in federal prison and three years of supervised release for a charge stemming from the death of her infant son.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in New Mexico says 27-year-old Clara Beth Joe was sentenced Thursday in Santa Fe. She pleaded guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter for a crime that happened on the Navajo Nation.

Judge Says Ethics Violations Relevant To Criminal Charges

Jul 7, 2016

A New Mexico district court judge says some prior admissions to violations of Senate ethics rules and the state constitution by a disgraced former senator can be used to determine whether the lawmaker should stand trial on criminal charges.

State District Judge Brett Loveless on Thursday denied a request to exclude a March 2015 agreement between a Senate ethics subcommittee and former Sen. Phil Griego, signed as he resigned from office. In the document Griego acknowledges violating a constitutional prohibition on benefiting from a state contract.

Albuquerque Launches Plan To Tackle Rape Kit Backlog

Jul 7, 2016

Albuquerque police have launched a new effort to address the city's backlog of untested evidence kits from sexual assaults and rapes.

New Mexico's largest city has more than 3,000 untested kits, making up the bulk of the more than 5,400 at law enforcement agencies and evidence vaults around the state.

Additional funding will be used for the program, which involves hiring three investigators to evaluate the kits and testing those that could most likely help build criminal cases.

Voice Of The Public: U.S. Senator Tom Udall

Jul 7, 2016

Welcome to a special Voice of the Public I’m your host, Edmundo Resendez. Today, our special guest is U.S. Senator Tom Udall, Democrat from New Mexico. Senator Udall will take your calls and social media questions to address the issues that are important to you. Join us for the next hour for a town hall conversation on Voice of the Public with U.S. Senator Tom Udall. How is the U.S. Senate working on issues that affect you from gun control, terrorism, immigration reform, and the election what’s on your mind for Senator Tom Udall? We’ll take your calls at 575-646-2212.

Albuquerque Police Say Crime Rates At 10-Year High

Jul 7, 2016

Police have released statistics showing that crime continued to rise in Albuquerque in 2015.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the police department report showed both violent crime and property crime at a 10-year high. Both categories increased by about 10 percent from 2014.

Violent crime includes homicide, rape and aggravated assault and robbery. Property crime includes charges such as burglary, auto theft larceny and arson.

REPORT: Policies in All 50 States Shortchange Early Educators

Jul 7, 2016 Image: Arvind Balaraman


Report: Increases in Spending on Corrections Far Outpace Education

Jul 7, 2016

  State and local spending on prisons and jails has increased at triple the rate of funding for public education for preschool through grade P-12 education in the last three decades, a new analysis by the U.S. Department of Education found.

  Rosemary Leyva and Dawn Santiago will present “The Heart of Las Cruces: The History of St. Genevieve’s Church” at this month’s History Notes lecture at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 14 at Branigan Cultural Center, 501 North Main St.

  Four out of seven high school student-rockets successfully launched from White Sands Missile Range during a three-day SystemsGo launch June 28 through June 30.

The high school students who came from five different Texas schools traveled to the range to complete the final phase of the SystemsGo curriculum, launching a 35-pound payload 10,000 feet in the air.

NMSU hosted an Onion Field Day to show the public the importance of the onion crop to New Mexico’s Economy.

Most people know New Mexico for it’s Green Chile, but Chris Cramer Professor of Horticulture at NMSU says many people don’t realize the importance of the onion crop.

University Of Texas Professors Sue To Block Campus Carry Law

Jul 6, 2016

Three University of Texas professors have filed suit in federal court, seeking to block the state's "campus carry" law before it takes effect next month.

Wednesday's court filing came from sociology professor Jennifer Lynn Glass, and English professors Lisa Moore and Mia Carter, all of the UT system's flagship Austin campus.

They said the law potentially violates the First Amendment and other constitutional rights.

Crews Make Progress Against Fire At Bosque Del Apache Refuge

Jul 6, 2016

Firefighters are making progress against a blaze that has charred more than a square mile at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico.

Officials say the fire was 50 percent contained Wednesday thanks to work done on the west side of the Rio Grande. There are still active flames on the east side of the river that are keeping crews busy.

Chris Leeser with the refuge says officials have reopened the northern end of the tour loop to visitors and the visitor center will resume normal hours Thursday.

New Mexico Shuffles Management Of Food Benefits

Jul 6, 2016

The director of an office overseeing supplementary food and financial assistance within the New Mexico Human Services Department has been reassigned amid state and federal inquiries into that office's handling of benefit applications.

The secretary of the Human Services Department announced in an email to agency employees that Marilyn Martinez is no longer director of the income support division and will instead oversee the agency's financial services bureau. Martinez could not immediately be reached.