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.

New Mexico Official Clears Way For Hearing On Water Proposal

Aug 17, 2016

Plans by a commercial venture to pipe billions of gallons of water from rural western New Mexico to more populated areas of the state are inching ahead again.

New Mexico's top water official has cleared the way for a public hearing to weigh the merits of the proposal being floated by Augustin Plains Ranch, LLC.

The company wants to drill more than three dozen wells capable of pumping more than 17 billion gallons of groundwater a year to supplement dwindling supplies in the Rio Grande Valley.

Silver City Report

Aug 17, 2016

Time now for the Silver City Report with Edmundo Resendez and Silver City Press and Independent reporter, Ben Fischer. This week, budget issues are affecting the local school district, the hospital and the mines. 

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A new USA TODAY/ Rock the Vote poll released this week shows 56% of young voters supporting Hillary Clinton, with only 20% saying they support Donald Trump.

Many young voters at NMSU still have not made up their mind about which candidate they plan on supporting come November, and those who have decided are leaning toward the Democrat.

“Do you know what candidate your leaning toward?” “Hillary,” Anne Elwess.

Nelson Facing Drug Charges; Carjacking Victim Released

Aug 16, 2016
James Nelson

       James Nelson, one of three men who have been the focus of a series of criminal acts that surrounded the shooting death of Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez, now faces additional drug charges filed by Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department detectives.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Marijuana At Border Checkpoints

Aug 16, 2016

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit asking the court to stop U.S. Border Patrol from seizing medical marijuana at highway checkpoints near the southern border.

The Deming Headlight reports that Raymundo Marrufo of Deming filed the lawsuit in fall 2015. Marrufo said says there are no dispensaries in Deming and he must go to Las Cruces to fill his prescription forcing him to pass through a checkpoint with a drug-sniffing dog on the way home.

The Latest: Utah Plan To Lure Facebook Data Center Hits Snag

Aug 16, 2016

The Latest on the Utah effort to lure a Facebook data center to the state (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

A plan to lure a Facebook data center to Utah with $240 million in tax breaks is hitting a snag with a Salt Lake County decision to vote against it at a crucial meeting next week.

The unanimous council vote Tuesday places the county in opposition to project supporters in West Jordan, the Salt Lake City suburb vying against a New Mexico town to attract the facility that could go into service next year.

First-Place Chihuahuas Announce 2017 Home Schedule

Aug 16, 2016

  EL PASO – The El Paso Chihuahuas announced their 2017 home schedule on Tuesday. First pitch is slated for April 6th versus the Las Vegas 51s (New York Mets) at Southwest University Park. The home season includes 71 home games of a 142-game schedule that will run through August 31st.

“Our staff has already begun the creative, promotion building to prepare for our fourth season,” said Chihuahuas General Manager Brad Taylor. “We have a favorable home slate and look forward to hosting 34 Friday through Sunday weekend games in 2017.”

Newsmakers 818, 8/4/16

Aug 16, 2016

Udall: Navajo Nation Deserves Justice For Damages From Gold King Mine Spill

Aug 16, 2016
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued a statement in support of the Navajo Nation's decision to pursue justice for ongoing damages due to last year's Gold King Mine accident, which sent 3 million gallons of toxic sludge coursing down the Animas and San Juan rivers and through the Navajo Nation.  

Suspect In New Mexico Officer's Death Faces Federal Charges

Aug 16, 2016
Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez at his graduation from the Law Enforcement Academy on Oct. 31, 2013.

The Ohio fugitive accused of fatally shooting a New Mexico police officer has been charged with federal carjacking and firearms crimes.

The charges Tuesday come after a complaint in state court charged 38-year-old Jesse James with first-degree murder in the death of Officer Jose Chavez.

Chavez was shot Friday in Hatch, north of Las Cruces. He died at an El Paso, Texas, hospital.

Authorities say Hanes, who was hospitalized for a self-inflicted gunshot wound, was arrested Tuesday on federal charges that include being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Jesse Hanes

  ALBUQUERQUE –Jesse Denver Hanes has been charged with federal firearms and carjacking offenses arising out of an Aug. 12, 2016 traffic stop in Hatch, N.M., during which Hanes allegedly shot and killed Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez and Hanes’ efforts to evade arrest following the shooting.  The federal charges against Hanes are contained in a criminal complaint  filed this morning in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.

Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement expressing his concerns with delays in compensation to the people of the Navajo Nation for costs and damages caused by the Gold King Mine spill:

September Events At The Rio Grande Theatre In Las Cruces

Aug 16, 2016
Selena Tribute with Karla Perry

  September 2, 5 – 7 p.m.

Exhibit opening: Sally Quillin

Painter and Las Cruces gallery owner Sally Quillin is the featured artist in the El Paso Electric Gallery at the Rio Grande Theatre for September. She has been a professional artist and art educator for over 40 years. The exhibit will open with an artist reception during the First Friday ArtRamble on September 2 from 5 to 7 p.m. Regular exhibit hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

September 2, 7:30 p.m.

Events On Tap For Downtown Las Cruces

Aug 16, 2016

   Farmers and Crafts Market

o   August 17 & August 20, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Museums and Cultural Center: The city of Las Cruces Museum System consists of the Branigan Cultural Center, the Las Cruces Museum of Art, the Las Cruces Museum of Nature & science and the Las Cruces Railroad Museum Free Admission
  • Branigan Cultural Center

o   Wednesday, Aug. 17 at 2 p.m., BCC Book Club – join us for a discussion of “The Indian Southwest, 1580 to 1830” by Gary Clayton Anderson.

GOP VP Candidate Pence To Hold Rally In Albuquerque, Roswell

Aug 16, 2016

Donald Trump's running mate Mike Pence is scheduled to make a campaign stop in New Mexico's largest city — where a Trump rally in May turned violent.

The Republican vice presidential candidate is slated to speak Tuesday at the Sandia Resort & Casino in Albuquerque before heading to Roswell, New Mexico, for another campaign event.

New Mexico Film 'The Lost Pueblo' To Screen In New York

Aug 16, 2016

"The Lost Pueblo," a New Mexico film about the legacy of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, is set to be screened at a Christian film festival in New York.

The movie is scheduled to be shown Saturday as part of the 2016 Great Lakes Christian Film Festival in Buffalo.

The film, set in modern times, recounts the story of one of the pueblos that revolted when the Spanish settlers came to New Mexico. It was inspired by book "Saints of the Pueblos" by Charlie Carillo.

Navajo Nation Sues Feds Over 2015 Mine Spill

Aug 16, 2016

One of the nation's largest American Indian tribes is the latest entity to pursue legal action against the federal government over a massive mine waste spill that tainted rivers in three Western states.

Navajo Nation officials say they have directed their attorneys to file a lawsuit over what they call an "unprecedented environmental disaster."

Navajo President Russell Begaye, Navajo Attorney General Ethel Branch and other tribal officials planned to discuss details of the legal action during a news conference Tuesday in Shiprock, New Mexico.

Elevator Service Restored At Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Aug 16, 2016

Officials at Carlsbad Caverns National Park say the elevators at the southern New Mexico tourist attraction are back in service.

An elevator car stalled in the hoist way at the park last week, resulting in the elevators being taken out of service for repairs.

Park mechanics worked over the telephone with service technicians from an elevator company to pinpoint the cause of the problem and were able to replace a defective component.

Park officials say the elevators were tested for more than a day before they were returned to service Monday.

State Seeks Details On Electric Utility's Proposed Rate Hike

Aug 16, 2016

State regulators have ordered an electric utility to outline potential consequences of a recommended rate increase that its company officials have called unreasonable.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission issued the order for Public Service Company of New Mexico last week. The utility has until Tuesday to file a response.

The order comes after commission hearing examiner Carolyn Glick recommended cutting PNM's rate hike request by two-thirds, from an annual increase of $123 million in annual revenue to about $41 million.

Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez at his graduation from the Law Enforcement Academy on Oct. 31, 2013.

Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez was killed in the line of duty Friday, and the small community of Hatch is mourning the loss of one of their eight police officers, and working on ways to honor him.

Hatch Residents put up signs, released balloons and doves, and traded stories about Officer Jose Chavez as they waited for the law enforcement procession escorting his body to pass through Hatch.

Residents say they were in shock when they first heard the news.

Looking into the eyes of Native American leaders

Aug 15, 2016

  LAS CRUCES, N.M. – A new art show at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces brings viewers close up to some of history’s most iconic Native American leaders.

Santa Fe artist Narrie Toole’s paintings pay tribute to Native American culture, spirituality and leadership. The show is on display beginning Aug. 12, and an artist’s reception is 4-7 p.m. on Aug. 25. The reception is free and will include refreshments.

The 16 oil paintings – some on canvas and some on linen – are large, several of them 36 inches by 60 inches. They are bold and intense.

Author of Coyote America to give talk in Las Cruces

Aug 15, 2016

  The Southwest Environmental Center is proud to bring author and environmental historian Dan Flores to Las Cruces. Mr. Flores will give a talk entitled Coyote: Biography of an American Original on Tuesday, September 13th, at 7 pm at the Rio Grande Theater in downtown Las Cruces.

Las Cruces Plans Salsa Fest 2016

Aug 15, 2016

  Downtown, Las Cruces September 30th, October 1st and 2nd:  The Downtown Las Cruces Partnership, in collaboration with our partners at Visit Las Cruces and Project MainStreet, asks you to save the date for the 8th Annual SalsaFest!

Each year, Downtown Las Cruces springs to life with a celebration of our cultural heritage benefitting the work of the DLCP. Several changes have been made to this year’s event to make it bigger and better than ever including:

·        Use of the new Downtown Plaza as a primary location

Rio Grande Theatre National Tour and New Mexico Heritage Series

Aug 15, 2016
Viva Espana

  Are you sometimes wondering what to choose for a fun evening out? By buying a series ticket subscription now, you can fill your calendar for exciting events through next spring. The Rio Grande Theatre in Downtown Las Cruces, New Mexico, has two exciting series of programs available for purchase: the National Tour Series, which leads off in September with the premiere Selena tribute by the talented Karla Perry, and the New Mexico Heritage Series, which kicks off in October with local musician, drummer Yolanda Martinez.

NMSU faculty members speak at water research conference in Russia

Aug 15, 2016

  Water availability affects everyone. Whether you’re in New Mexico or Siberia, everyone shares concerns about water resources. 

And water availability doesn’t just impact humans but aquatic ecosystems as well.

Due to their expertise in irrigation water conservation and aquatic organisms, the following New Mexico State University faculty members were invited to speak at a conference in Ulan-Ude, Siberia, Russia:

  Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University and WESST, a statewide small business development and training organization, have announced their first WE Mean Business women’s entrepreneurship conference to be held in Las Cruces. 

WE (Women Entrepreneurs) Mean Business brings together innovators and change-makers to share personal strategies, stories, and transformational wisdom. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 10 at the NMSU Center for the Arts. Tickets are $35.

  New Mexico’s Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) is deploying to Baton Rouge to assist victims of the flooding in central Louisiana, University of New Mexico emergency managers announced Monday.

Karen Becklin, a retired NMSU employee and higher education advocate, will receive New Mexico State University’s Presidential Medallion during the university’s convocation ceremony at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16. The Presidential Medallion recognizes outstanding service individuals give to the university beyond their time as employees.

The Latest: Hitchhiker With Fugitives Faces Drug Charges

Aug 15, 2016

The Latest on the cross-state motorcade procession for a fallen New Mexico police officer (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

A hitchhiker who authorities say jumped into a car with two Ohio fugitives before one of them fatally shot a New Mexico police officer has been arraigned on drug charges.

Tony Jones made his first appearance Monday in a Las Cruces court, where his bond was set at $75,000. Jones was taken into custody Friday after the shooting death of Officer Jose Chavez in Hatch.

Jones, who is 44, has not been implicated in the shooting.

NMSU Photo by Darren Phillips

  With the increasing popularity of unmanned aircraft systems or drones, New Mexico State University’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight Test Center will offer a three-day workshop to teach government, civil and business officials about the new technology and regulations.