Regional

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.

Newsmakers 813- 6/16/16

Jun 17, 2016

This episode of Newsmakers includes a report on former President Bill Clinton's visit to Las Cruces and what area residents are saying about Hillary Clinton's run for the Presidency; we'll meet a new citizen who's excited to be voting for the first time in November; and "Living Here" takes us to the City of Rocks State Park.

FACT SHEET: Economic Benefits of America's National Parks

Jun 17, 2016

  As America celebrates the 100th anniversary of the creation of our national park system this year, the President and the First Family are traveling to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico and Yosemite National Park in California.

 

Attorney General Issues Scam Alert for Grand Jury and Magistrate Judge Scam Calls

Jun 17, 2016
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

  Albuquerque, NM – This morning, Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a scam alert regarding phone recordings threatening New Mexicans with federal enforcement action by the U. S. Treasury and appearances before a grand jury or federal magistrate judge. The scam recording tells New Mexicans they must call various phone numbers with out of state area codes.

Las Cruces Metro Verde Splash Park Closure - Update

Jun 17, 2016

  As repairs to the Metro Verde Splash Park are finalized, the City of Las Cruces (City) is looking into the possibility of installing a splash pad at Unidad Park, 1500 E. Hadley Ave., northwest of Meerscheidt Recreation Center.

“Due to the overwhelming popularity of the splash pad at Metro Verde Splash Park, the City is in the initial stage of determining the feasibility of opening a splash pad at a second location,” said Interim City Manager Daniel Avila.

Las Cruces Codes Enforcement Receives New Bicycles

Jun 17, 2016

  The Las Cruces Police Department’s Codes Enforcement section now has 16 new bicycles and 50 new helmets that will be used at the many bike rodeos sponsored by the department.

The new bicycles, ranging in size from tricycle to adult, were purchased through a grant from the Healthy Communities Initiative. The Planning and Revitalization section of Las Cruces’ Community Development department was responsible for obtaining the necessary funding.

  Albuquerque, NM- To ensure both public and fire fighter safety, a Closure Order has been issued for the following areas within the Sandia Ranger District:

New Mexico Superdelegates All Back Clinton

Jun 17, 2016

The final undecided Democratic superdelegate from New Mexico says he will back Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention.

The Friday announcement by state Democratic Party Vice Chairman Juan Sanchez means all nine superdelegates from the state plan to support Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders for the presidential nomination. Superdelegates are party leaders who can vote for the candidate of their choice.

Clinton won the popular vote among Democrats in the New Mexico's June 7 primary and will receive 18 pledged delegates to Sanders' 16.

Department Of Health Reports Plague Case In Rio Arriba County Teenager

Jun 17, 2016
New Mexico Department of Health

The New Mexico Department of Health has confirmed a case of plague in a 16-year-old boy from Rio Arriba County who is currently hospitalized.  Confirmatory testing was conducted at the Scientific Laboratory Division. This is the first human case of plague in New Mexico and in the United States this year.

 

New Mexico Unemployment Rate Remains At 6.2 Percent In May

Jun 17, 2016
New Mexico Department for Workforce Solutions

New Mexico's unemployment rate is holding steady.

The Department of Workforce Solutions reports that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in May, unchanged from April and March.

By comparison, New Mexico's unemployment rate a year ago at this time was 6.6 percent.

The state's economy added 2,900 jobs between May 2015 and last month.

Industries with the largest job gains included business and professional services, leisure and hospitality and construction.

San Miguel County pays out $38,000 to email scam

Jun 17, 2016

San Miguel County is out $38,000 after a sophisticated email scam persuaded the county finance supervisor to transfer the funds to an outside account.

New Mexico State Police is working to figure out who is behind the email, which made it appear that Les Montoya instructed finance supervisor Melinda Gonzales to transfer the money to pay a consultant.

The false email appeared to have been sent from Montoya's iPhone.

Montoya says that if policies and procedures had been followed, the money would not have been transferred.

At Least 150 New Mexico Coal Workers Laid Off

Jun 17, 2016

At least 150 coal workers were laid off this week as two of the state's largest producers cut back due to the declining market.  Peabody Energy officials confirmed Thursday that the company was laying off 65 workers from mines in Cibola and McKinley counties and San Juan Coal Mine in Farmington laid off 85 salaried and hourly workers.

Peabody spokeswoman Beth Sutton says the cuts come as the coal market continues to struggle. The two affected mines produced 6.4 million tons of coal in 2015, 2 million tons less than in 2013.

New Mexico Department of Health

As temperatures are rising statewide, reaching over 100 degrees in some areas, the New Mexico Department of Health reminds residents to protect themselves from the risk of heat stress and heat-related illness by taking precautions such as staying hydrated and staying out of the sun during days with extremely high temperatures.

 

24 Homes Destroyed In New Mexico Wildfire

Jun 17, 2016
facebook.com (dog head fire)

The Latest on wildfires in the Western U.S. (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

Authorities say firefighters contending with 100-foot flames have made progress in keeping a New Mexico blaze that destroyed two-dozen homes from moving farther north toward rural, mountain communities.

However, fire information officer Denise Ottaviano said Friday the 26-square-mile fire remains extremely active as hot, dry weather stifles attempts to contain it.

Los Alamos Lab Cited For Health, Safety Violations

Jun 17, 2016

The federal government has cited the Los Alamos National Laboratory for several electrical safety violations, including a 2015 incident that left one person with serious injuries.

Dog Head Fire Continues To Grow

Jun 17, 2016
facebook.com/dog head fire

  Estimated Acres: 16,751                Start Date: June 14, 2016                                                                                      

Cause: Under investigation         Location: 6 miles NW of Tajique, NM

Containment: zero                          Fuels: heavy dead/down timber, ponderosa pine stands

Total personnel: 628

COMMUNITY MEETINGS TONIGHT:

New Mexico Still Struggles To Hire State Police

Jun 17, 2016
dps.nm.org

 

The New Mexico Department of Public Safety says it continues to encounter difficulties in recruiting new officers after raising starting salaries by 12 percent.

Agency Sec. Scott Weaver briefed state lawmakers Thursday on efforts to better recruit and retain officers at a meeting of the Legislative Finance Committee in Roswell.

The department plans to implement a more modest $1.2 million increase to its officer pay plan with the new fiscal year starting July 1, after a $3.2 million increase the previous year.

New Mexico Gov. Martinez Eyes Fireworks Ban Amid Dry Weather

Jun 17, 2016

 

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is urging local leaders to consider the viability of banning fireworks amid dangerous wildfire conditions.

The Portales News-Tribune reports Martinez sent a letter to municipalities earlier this month and said leaders should take note of the state's high winds, dry conditions and warm temperatures as July 4th approaches.

She asked leaders to hold emergency meetings to discuss whether or not a local ban on the use of fireworks is needed in their area.

Your Weekend Pulse!

Jun 17, 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, it’s Father’s Day and there is lots to see and do!

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DACC Kids Kollege / Samantha Sonner

Dona Ana Community College’s Community Education Program is offering a number of camps for students during summer break through their “Kids Kollege” program.

Elementary School students from 1st to 5th grade were designing motorcycles and cars that could push objects out of the way as part of the creative engineering camp.

Vickie Galindo, Director of Dona Ana Community College’s Community Education and Customized training program says it’s just one of many opportunities they are offering this summer ranging from computer camp, to art, to etiquette.

Arizona Wildfire Smoke Leads To Health Alert In Albuquerque

Jun 16, 2016

The Environmental Health Department's Air Quality Program has issued a health alert due to smoke from an eastern Arizona wildfire causing elevated levels of particulate matter in Albuquerque.

Health officials say the alert is in effect through noon Friday.

Satellite imagery Thursday showed a large plume of smoke from Cedar Fire near Show Low, Arizona moving toward central New Mexico.

That smoke was expected to settle into the Rio Grande Valley on Thursday night, reducing visibility across the Albuquerque metro area.

Las Cruces Crash Proves Fatal

Jun 16, 2016

  Las Cruces Police are continuing to investigate Sunday’s two-vehicle crash involving a marked patrol unit that ultimately resulted in the death of an 83-year-old woman.

Marylou Amesquita of Las Cruces died Tuesday at University Medical Center of El Paso. Amesquita was riding as a front seat passenger in a 2002 Honda sedan that was driven by an 89-year-old woman. The driver remains hospitalized at Mountainview Regional Medical Center where both women were transported following the crash.

Heinrich Speaks At White House Renewable Energy Summit

Jun 16, 2016
Courtesy Photo

Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, today spoke at the White House summit on Scaling Renewable Energy and Storage with Smart Markets, where he underscored the importance of energy storage, modernizing our electric grid, and growing our nation's clean energy economy. The event brought U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dr.

Las Cruces Youth Scholarship Fund Accepting Applications

Jun 16, 2016

  The City of Las Cruces Parks & Recreation Department will accept applications for the Youth Scholarship Fund for youth programs and activities presented through June 2017. Interested applicants must submit their application betweenJune 20 and Sept. 30, at the Parks & Recreation Department Offices, 1501 E. Hadley Ave.

 

July Events In Downtown Las Cruces

Jun 16, 2016

  Starting in July, Every Other Tuesday, the free program sponsored by the Doña Ana Arts Council, will be changed to Every 2nd Wednesday to coincide with other Downtown Las Cruces activities like the Night Farmers’ and Crafts Market and Project Main Street.  Every 2nd Wednesday will be at the same time, from 6:30 – 7:30 pm, and will continue to feature local performing artists.  The event also will continue to be free and open to the public and will be produced 12 months of the year.  The first Every 2nd Wednesday will be held Wednesday, July 13,

  This morning, USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner presented an American Flag to Ms. Jessica Sheldon for achieving her dream of owning a home.  The celebration is one of the events being held across the state and the country during National Homeownership Month.

Federal Funds Will Help Fight Dog Head Fire

Jun 16, 2016

Santa Fe, NM — Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced that the state has secured federal funding to help fight the Dog Head Fire. The Fire Management Assistance Grant has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help cover costs associated with fighting the fire.

The Latest: No Containment Yet Of New Mexico Wildfire

Jun 16, 2016

The Latest on a wildfire burning in central New Mexico's Manzano Mountains (all times local):

4:00 p.m. Power will be shut off in all mandatory evacuation areas.

1:30 p.m.

An army of firefighters is working to build line and protect structures ahead of a fast-moving fire that has charred more than 19 square miles of the Manzano Mountains in central New Mexico, but there's still zero containment.

Udall Fights To Protect Important Conservation And Environment Funding

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

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, lead Democrat on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, stood up against poison pill provisions (riders) that would permanently weaken core environmental laws that protect our air, water, health and endangered species. During a markup of the appropriations bill that funds critical Interior and environment programs -- including many New Mexico priorities -- Udall also successfully secured a bipartisan agreement to boost wildland firefighting for fiscal year 2017 by over $600 million.

  DILI, Timor Leste:  Constructionman 2nd Class Falcon Allaire, a native of Las Cruces, New Mexico, lets a Timorese boy help him paint Aimutin School during Pacific Partnership 2016. U.S. Navy Seabees and U.S. Marines are working alongside Timorese and Australian engineers on various construction projects at Aimutin and Maneluana School.

Dog Head Fire Expands; Mandatory Evacuations

Jun 16, 2016
facebook.com/dog head fire

  

  Estimated Acres: 12,303                Start Date: June 14, 2016                                                                                      

Cause: Under investigation         Location: 5 miles NW of Tajique, NM

Containment: zero                          Fuels: heavy dead/down timber, ponderosa pine stands

Total personnel: 682

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