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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.

White Sands National Monument

  Alamogordo, NM – White Sands National Monument will continue the year-long celebration of the National Park Service Centennial with a full moon night concert featuring Native American flutist Randy Granger onSeptember 15 at 7 pm. In addition to the concert, the new White Sands Girl Scout patch will be unveiled in partnership with the Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest Council.  

Las Cruces Area Sets Record For Good Exports In 2015

Sep 9, 2016

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today released a report highlighting goods exports from U.S. metropolitan areas for 2015. The International Trade Administration’s 2015 Metropolitan Area Export Overview indicates that goods exports from the Las Cruces, NM metro area reached a record $1.6 billion. Las Cruces’s goods exports increased by $247 million, or 18.4 percent, from 2014 to 2015, and is one of the 63 metro areas to achieve record export levels last year.

  The University of New Mexico Health System is teaming up with Genesis HealthCare, one of the nation’s largest post-acute care providers, to improve local access to skilled nursing facilities, improve clinical outcomes and reduce hospital readmissions.

Candidate finance reports still offer plenty of discrepencies

Sep 9, 2016

  There’s plenty of imperfection and discrepancy when it comes to trying to figure out campaign finance data in New Mexico.

A year ago, New Mexico In Depth reported how lobbyist contributions helped Republicans win the state House for the first time in 60 years.

Black Patch Wars Setting For New Novel

Sep 9, 2016

Silver City, NM – The drama and unrest that came with the Black Patch Tobacco War of the early 20th century provides the setting for a new novel published by Western New Mexico University history professor Bruce Wilson.

A signing will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 21 at Tres Rosat restaurant on 304 N. Bullard Street where the title will be available for purchase.

NMSU food experts offer tips for pairing chile with wine, beer

Sep 9, 2016

In the late summer and early fall, the air in New Mexico is scented with roasted green chile enticing residents and visitors to give into their cravings of chile rellenos, enchiladas and other chile-based dishes.

But what should you pair with entrees brimming with chile goodness? Two food experts at New Mexico State University have offered their takes on what beers and wines pair best with chile.

Las Cruces Toss No Mas Citywide Cleanup Set for Oct. 15

Sep 9, 2016

  Keep Las Cruces Beautiful and New Mexico Clean and Beautiful will host the 22nd annual Toss No Mas campaign on Saturday, Oct. 15.

 

Hundreds of volunteers will collect litter at parks, schools, on streets and at business properties from 8 a.m. to noon, during the campaign. Volunteers will then be treated to a free lunch afterwards.

 

Last year, 1,100 volunteers from 65 local groups and organizations collected more than 15 tons of litter during the annual event.

 

Jury Selection Set For Albuquerque Police In Shooting Death

Sep 9, 2016

Jury selection is expected to begin next week in the murder trial for two former police officers charged in the on-duty shooting death of a homeless man who authorities say struggled with mental illness.

The March 2014 shooting followed a standoff between 38-year-old James Boyd and police.

Video from the helmet camera of Officer Dominique Perez, one of the officers charged in the case, shows Boyd on a hillside with knives in hand. A flash of bean bag rounds goes off before Boyd, who appeared to be turning away from police, is shot and falls to the ground.

Udall, Heinrich, Luján Applaud ‘Superfund' Designation For Gold King Mine District

Sep 9, 2016

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to add the Bonita Peak Mining District in Colorado's San Juan County - home to the Gold King Mine - to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites. The lawmakers have pressed the EPA to support designating the Gold King Mine as a Superfund site since a blowout last August released toxic wastewater into the Animas and San Juan rivers in New Mexico and Colorado.

Deceased "John Doe" At Las Cruces Hopsital Identified As Missing Man

Sep 9, 2016

  A man who had been reported missing by family members in August was identified deceased this week at a Las Cruces-area hospital.

   Rudolfo Cadena, who went by Rudolph Cadena or Rudy Cadena, had been reported missing in early August. On Aug. 25, the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department distributed a press release asking the public for help, and a few leads trickled in.

   After Cadena’s vehicle was found abandoned, the case was assigned to a sheriff’s detective to investigate what appeared to be suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr. Cadena’s disappearance.

Santa Fe Airport's Removal Of Prairie Dogs Draw Fire

Sep 9, 2016
http://www.santafenm.gov/airport

Santa Fe Municipal Airport officials' removal of prairie dogs is drawing scrutiny from some wildlife advocates.

That's because the filling of prairie dog holes also is hurting the burrowing owl population.

Airport manager Cameron Humphres says prairie dogs attract birds of prey like burrowing owls, and both cause problems at the airport.

Humphres says planes have had four bird strikes at the airport in recent years, but the prairie dogs can also mess with the runway lighting.

Border Task Force: Driver Shot At US-Mexico Border Remains Alive

Sep 9, 2016

A federal government spokesman says truck driver remains alive after being shot and wounded by officers and a 

Border Patrol agent at an Arizona port of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Customers and Border Protection says the truck driver was shot Thursday at the Mariposa crossing in Nogales after he allegedly tried to evade and then hit agents.

Spokesman Lou Maheda of an interagency border task force says authorities aren't releasing the man's identity or additional information about the incident because it remains under investigation.

Ex-Texas Driver's License Worker Took Bribes, Gets 18 Months

Sep 9, 2016

A former Texas Department of Public Safety worker must serve 18 months in prison for accepting bribes to help people in the U.S. illegally get a driver's license.

Jose A. Ytuarte was sentenced Thursday by a federal judge in San Antonio. Ytuarte in March pleaded guilty to use of an interstate facility in aid of unlawful activity — bribery.

Prosecutors say Ytuarte, who worked at the DPS office in Hondo, accepted cash for putting false information into the computer system about ineligible drivers. The time frame was May 2013 to mid-2015.

Southeastern New Mexico DA's Office Faces Budget Crisis

Sep 9, 2016

A district attorney's office in southeastern New Mexico is facing a budget crisis and will cut cutting personnel.

The Roswell Daily Record reports Fifth Judicial District Court District Attorney Diana Luce said last week her office has asked the Legislature for a 1.5 percent budget increase.

The Fifth Judicial District Court covers Chaves, Eddy and Lea counties and includes Roswell.

Luce says cases have continued to increase with the office prosecuting 6,595 cases during the last fiscal year. She says that's an increase of 249 cases.

Your Weekend Pulse!

Sep 9, 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, enjoy pops under the stars, Las Cruces Comic Con, and a stroll at sunset at White Sands National Monument. 

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Saturday NMSU Las Cruces Event: WE Mean Business

Sep 9, 2016

  

  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.

Team Zane To Announce Local Charity To Benefit From Annual Event

Sep 8, 2016

Commentary: In staying true to his word, Jeffrey Silva, along with members of the Team Zane Celebrity Waiter committee and waiters, will be announcing which local charity will benefit from the annual event.  Three charities—CARE of Southern New Mexico, La Casa and Hearts for Autism—are finalists for the event, and the community will find out which one benefits on Wednesday night at the Farmer’s Market on the Downtown Mall.  The unveiling is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. at the plaza just adjacent to the Main Street Bistro.

Navajo Lawmaker Ordered To Pay Back $10K In Slush Fund Case

Sep 8, 2016

A former Navajo Nation lawmaker has been ordered to pay $10,000 for her involvement in misusing the tribe's discretionary fund.

The Gallup Independent reports that Navajo Nation Window Rock District Court judge has already sentenced the majority of the lawmakers involved in the case. Prosecutors say all 10 delegates abused a financial assistance program designed to help tribal members facing hard times.

Judge Carol Perry on Tuesday ordered former Council Delegate Lena Manheimer to pay $10,000 in restitution to the tribe under a two-year payment plan.

New Mexico Delegation

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce, Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham announced more than $6.5 million for maintenance and construction projects at 17 New Mexico airports. The funding was awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration, and will fund runway rehabilitations, fencing construction and other safety improvements at airports across the state.

Health Department Reports First Human West Nile Virus Death In NM In 2016

Sep 8, 2016
New Mexico Department of Health

Commentary: The New Mexico Department of Health announced today a 63-year-old Valencia County man has died from West Nile virus. The man developed neuroinvasive disease and was hospitalized before his death. This is the second human case of West Nile virus infection identified in New Mexico this year and the state’s first West Nile virus fatality in 2016.

 

Population Growth Of US Latinos Slows, Study Says

Sep 8, 2016
http://www.pewresearch.org/

A new report says the population growth of U.S. Latinos slowed down considerably over the last seven years because of lower immigration and declining birthrates.

A Pew Research Center report released Thursday found that the U.S. Hispanic population grew by an average of 2.8 percent each year between 2007 and 2014.

That's down from the 4.4 percent annual growth from 2000 to 2007 before the Great Recession.

The study says the expansion of the Hispanic population, once the fastest growing in the nation, has slipped behind Asian-Americans.

New Mexico Governor, Lawmakers No Closer To Special Session

Sep 8, 2016
Office of the Governor

Democratic New Mexico lawmakers are complaining that Gov. Susana Martinez hasn't offered a plan to fill the state's budget hole.

The Republican governor says she's already asked the agencies under her control to cut back and has promised to call a special legislative session once lawmakers have concrete proposals for shoring up the state's finances.

But there's no indication either side is closer to an agreement as New Mexico faces a $458 million shortfall that's tied to weak tax revenues and New Mexico's dependence on oil and natural gas development.

The Latest: Trial Begins For Man Charged In Officer's Death

Sep 8, 2016

The Latest on the trial for a New Mexico man charged in the death of a Rio Rancho police officer (all times local):

___

3:20 p.m.

Prosecutors have shown jurors video of the frantic moments that followed the shooting of a suburban Albuquerque police officer and emergency workers' efforts to render life-saving aid to him.

Law enforcement officers and the widow of Officer Gregg "Nigel" Benner watched through tears Thursday as the video played on a courtroom screen. Authorities say Benner was gunned down after a routine traffic stop on May 25, 2015.

NMSU’s own Latin Grammy Award-winning La Catrina Quartet

  This semester’s Salon Discovery fall gala at New Mexico State University will feature civil engineering and music from the award-winning La Catrina Quartet. “NMSU Civil Engineering: En Route to Better Infrastructure” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, in Atkinson Recital Hall.

Tickets are now available and also can be purchased at the door. Any NMSU student with a valid student ID can pick up a free ticket at the door. 

NMSU National Parks series’ second talk looks at infrastructure

Sep 8, 2016

  The 10-year, multi-million-dollar capital campaign to repair the infrastructure of America’s national parks was called Mission 66. Jeff Pappas, New Mexico’s State Historic Preservation Officer, will talk about the results of the single largest investment in U.S. national parks when the “NMSU Celebrates the National Parks” lecture series continues. 

Las Cruces Home-Invasion Robbery Suspects Sought

Sep 8, 2016

  Las Cruces Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the two men suspected of a home-invasion robbery that occurred early this morning.

Shortly after midnight on Thursday, Sept. 8, police were dispatched to the report of a possible robbery with shots fired on the 1600 block of Gladys Drive. Officers learned that two masked and armed men entered an apartment through a window, and overpowered one of the four occupants of the residence.

Four NMSU Las Cruces Students Receive Federal Fellowships

Sep 8, 2016
Darren Phillips, NMSU

  Four graduate students in New Mexico State University’s Civil Engineering Department recently were awarded sizable fellowships through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration.

Mark Manning received $10,000, Jose Pasillas Rodriguez and Daniel Diaz each received $7,500, and Abram Lane received $5,000 through the Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

 

  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded $576,443 to the New Mexico Environmental Department to support the state’s air pollution reduction program. The grant will support attainment and maintenance of National Ambient Air Quality Standards, reduction of toxics emissions and implementation of air enforcement initiatives. 

Nobody Hurt In Underground Electrical Fire In El Paso

Sep 8, 2016

Officials say nobody has been hurt in an underground electrical fire in downtown El Paso that led to some evacuations.

The El Paso Fire Department says the blaze was under control by about 3 p.m. MDT Wednesday. A couple of blocks were evacuated for several hours amid the fire that sent flames and black smoke pouring through a manhole.

Authorities say the fire was reported before dawn Wednesday.

Investigators are working with El Paso Electric officials to try to determine what sparked the blaze.

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