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.

LAS CRUCES—For the fourth year in a row, the Centennial High School (CHS) Symphony Orchestra earned top honors at 2017 New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) State Symphony Orchestra Competition, winning first place in the 5A/6A Symphony Orchestra Division, March 31 - April 1 at Volcano Vista High School in Albuquerque, NM.

Navajo Nation Looking For Housing Authority Replacements

May 10, 2017

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — The Navajo Nation president has signed an emergency bill that begins the immediate search for new housing authority board commissioners.

The Gallup Independent reports Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye signed the emergency resolution Saturday to immediately replace the board. Navajo Nation Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie says a committee will review legislation to confirm three new members Thursday. The eight current members' terms will expire as soon as new members are confirmed.

Environmentalists Triumph As Senate Upholds Drilling Rule

May 10, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Environmentalists notched a rare win in the Republican-led Senate on Wednesday as a GOP effort to reverse an Obama-era rule restricting harmful methane emissions unexpectedly failed.

The 51-49 vote against the repeal measure was a blow to the fossil-fuel industry and groups linked to the conservative Koch Brothers, which had waged a public campaign to overturn the Interior Department rule.

School District Considers Cutting Jobs, Changing Programs

May 10, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A superintendent is recommending cutting jobs and offices and merging three alternative high school programs at a New Mexico school district in light of budget constraints.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Santa Fe Public Schools Superintendent Veronica Garcia did not say which jobs would be cut or what changes will be made to special education programs at a Tuesday meeting.

Garcia says eliminating 12 jobs would save the district $600,000. She says officials will consider all positions for possible cuts.

While she was a student at New Mexico State University, Brandy Streit worked on satellite tracking at the Physical Science Laboratory. When she wasn’t sitting in front of a computer, she could be found at an Aggie basketball game, sometimes joined by her parents, Ed and Sandy Streit, who would come from Roswell to travel with her to away games. 

"50 Lawns In 50 States" Stops In Las Cruces Tuesday

May 10, 2017

He’s been featured on NBC News, Buzzfeed and the Huffington Report, among other major media outlets, and now Rodney Smith, Jr., is planning a stop in Las Cruces at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 16, as part of his initiative to cut lawns in each of the 50 states to raise awareness for the Raising Men Lawn Care Service charity program.

NMSU physics summer camp for Las Cruces 9-12th graders

May 10, 2017

New Mexico State University’s Society of Physics Students is organizing its annual summer camp to run from July 10-14. 

“Camps like NMSU's physics summer camp give students a chance to explore specific fields at the college level,” said Tegan Fuqua, NMSU physics graduate student who is organizing the camp. “This not only exposes students to a subject to let them decide if they want to pursue it, but also lets them experience what studying at the college level will be like.”

Pearce Considers Run For New Mexico Governor

May 10, 2017
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican Congressman Steve Pearce is meeting with community leaders outside his district as he considers whether to run for governor of New Mexico in 2018.

Pearce spokeswoman Keeley Christensen said the congressman was touring counties in northern New Mexico on Tuesday to listen to concerns about the state's direction.

She says Pearce is aware of his status as a potential candidate for governor next year and "will ultimately make a decision based on how he feels he can best serve New Mexico."

Events Celebrate Three-Year Anniversary of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

May 10, 2017

Throughout the month of May, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks are sponsoring a variety of free outdoor events to celebrate the anniversary of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument’s (Monument) designation on May 21, 2014.  All of the events are family friendly and will focus on introducing or reacquainting the public to the Monument’s scenic beauty and its outstanding recreation and cultural resources.

New Mexico State University commencement weekend kicks off with a hooding ceremony for doctoral candidates at the Pan American Center at 6 p.m. Friday, May 12.

Udall: Senate Rejects Repeal Of Commonsense Natural Gas Waste Prevention Rule

May 10, 2017
Office of US Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement after the Senate voted 49-51, defeating a measure to repeal the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) natural gas waste prevention rule through the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Udall helped lead the fight against the repeal.

Storm In New Mexico Spawns Small Tornado

May 10, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A severe storm packing heavy rain and golf ball-sized hail has swept through parts of central and eastern New Mexico with a small tornado briefly down in Torrance County and causing minor damage.

National Weather Service officials in Albuquerque say a funnel cloud touched down at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday near Clines Corners for about one minute and uprooted some trees.

They say small funnel clouds also were reported near the unincorporated Lincoln County towns of Nogal and Ancho but didn't touch down.

Weldon Lamb-Maya Calendar

Weldon Lamb, retired NMSU adjunct professor in the Department of Anthropology recently sat down with KRWG to discuss his book "The Maya Calendar." Lamb talks about his interest in the culture and what discoveries he made while conducting his research on the calendar. 

Silver City Report

May 10, 2017

Time now for the Silver City Report with Edmundo Resendez and Silver City Press and Independent reporter Ben Fischer. This week, the controversial Gila Diversion project has hit yet another snag, a new fire chief, and record fundraising for non-profits. 

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The Latest: GOP lawmakers back New Mexico governor on vetoes

May 9, 2017
new mexico in depth

  Many Republican state legislators are siding with GOP Gov. Susana Martinez in a constitutional challenge of her veto authority.

A legal brief backed by 31 Republican lawmakers on Tuesday urges to state Supreme Court to uphold Martinez's vetoes of all funding to the Legislature and state universities for the coming fiscal year.

The Democratic-led Legislature has petitioned the Supreme Court to rescind line-item budget vetoes that it says violate the state constitution by effectively abolishing the legislative branch of government. Not all lawmakers back that petition.

Udall: Comey Firing Is "Chilling"

May 9, 2017
U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

   U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement on President Trump's abrupt decision to fire FBI Director James Comey: "This decision is chilling. It defies logic to believe that President Trump fired Director Comey -- who is investigating both Russia's interference in our election and the president's campaign for its ties to that attack on our democracy -- for any other reason than to interfere with the investigation. The Department of Justice must appoint a special counsel to continue the investigation.

May Picks

May 9, 2017

Heinrich: Comey Firing Is A "Direct Attack" On The FBI

May 9, 2017
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

   U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, today released the following statement on the firing of FBI Director James Comey:

“President Trump’s dismissal of FBI Director Comey smacks of President Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre. If this is an effort to stop the investigations into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, it won’t succeed.

“This is a direct attack on the integrity and independence of the FBI. I’m renewing my call for an independent prosecutor to take over this investigation.”

Because of their inspirational examples of successful careers, their commitment to service and their generosity to New Mexico State University, Kevin Johnson, chief executive officer of Starbucks, and Laree Estes Perez, former NMSU Regent, will receive honorary degrees at NMSU commencement Saturday, May 13, at the Pan American Center. Johnson will be honored at the 9 a.m. ceremony, and Perez will be honored at the 2 p.m. ceremony.

Las Cruces Man Sentenced To Five Years For Meth Conviction

May 9, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE – Benjamin David Romero, 38, of Las Cruces, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to 60 months in prison for his conviction on methamphetamine trafficking charges.  Romero will be on supervised release for four years after completing his prison sentence.

A Las Cruces couple is suspected of child abuse after the woman’s 7-year-old son tested positive for methamphetamine.

Melanie A. Merlot, 32, and Skip H. Valenzuela, 37, both of 2775 Roadrunner Parkway, are charged with one count each of child abuse, possession of a controlled substance, and use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

Cancer Thriving and Surviving Workshop Coming To Las Cruces

May 9, 2017

 Rebecca Palacios, PhD and  Karoline Sondgeroth, MPH/MSW, from the NMSU/Fred Hutch Cancer Outreach Program are delivering the “Cancer Thriving and Surviving Workshop” for the first time in our border region .  This is a free workshop for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers. The workshop occurs once a week for 6 weeks on Mondays from 1-3:30 pm.  The sessions run from May 22, 2017 to June 26, 2017.  The location is at the SoAHEC offices on 4003 Geothermal Drive Las Cruces, NM 88011.

The future of regional bus service in Dona Ana County looks bleak.  On Tuesday, the county commission failed to provide funding for the service.

County commissioner Billy Garrett introduced legislation to provide $350,000 a year for five years.  But no other commissioner would second Garrett’s motion, so the measure died without debate.

An increase in the gross receipts tax passed in 2015 would have provided the money for the service.

Failure to pass the transit funding prompted boos and some in the audience shouted “shame” at the commission.

Scrapbooks, exhibits and banners all representing New Mexico State University won the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality club numerous awards at their national conference this semester.

NMSU Las Cruces Group Aims To Encourage Civil Discourse

May 9, 2017

From the SPACE Facebook Page:

Texas adoption bill OK's rejection of non-Christian parents

May 9, 2017

  AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Many state-funded Texas adoption agencies routinely deny non-Christian, gay, and unmarried applicants on religious grounds — and now they are backing legislation being considered Tuesday by the state House designed to protect them from potential lawsuits.

Another Drop In Arrests At The U.S.-Mexico Border

May 9, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arrests of people caught trying to enter the United States from Mexico without authorization declined again last month, a likely sign that fewer would-be immigrants are trying to cross the border illegally.

President Donald Trump has highlighted the falling numbers as a sign that his tough approach on immigration is working. Trump's anti-immigration rhetoric and more aggressive enforcement of immigration laws may be discouraging people from crossing illegally.

NMSU entrepreneur teams win seed funding through LAUNCH competition

May 9, 2017

Two technology entrepreneurs were awarded substantial seed funding and other long-term support from New Mexico State University’s entrepreneurship and innovation hub, Arrowhead Center, during its annual LAUNCH competition, which wrapped up with a reception last week.

Now in its sixth year, LAUNCH is a four-month proof-of-concept program in which the commercial potential of promising technologies or products is explored early in their development by individuals or teams, with support and guidance from Arrowhead Center.

New Mexico Delegation Urges EPA To Prioritize Gold King Mine Cleanup

May 9, 2017

  Commentary: WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce, Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham urged the EPA to fulfill the directive in the omnibus bill passed last week for Gold King Mine cleanup efforts. The bill provides the EPA $4 million to implement a long-term water monitoring plan for areas impacted by the Gold King Mine spill.

Las Cruces Museum Boasts Visitors From All 50 States

May 9, 2017

LAS CRUCES -- The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces truly has a national and international audience.

The Museum played host to visitors from all 50 states and from 11 foreign countries over a one-year period, from March 2016 through February 2017. The data was collected from the Museum’s lobby registry where visitors may sign if they want. The registry is just a small sampling of the overall number of visitors that come through the Museum.