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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.

Bill to Expand Broadband & Help Attract Jobs on Governor’s Desk

Mar 14, 2017
http://www.nmlegis.gov

  Commentary: Santa Fe, NM – Today the House of Representatives unanimously passed Senate Bill 308 by Senator Michael Padilla which would reform the Universal Service Fund to help facilitate the development of broadband infrastructure and the expansion of high-speed internet across underserved New Mexican communities.

  The 6th Annual Volunteer Network Center Volunteer Fair will bring together more than 50 non-profit organizations to a single location for potential volunteers to find a cause that fits them. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 8, at the new Las Cruces Civic Plaza in conjunction with the Las Cruces Farmers and Crafts Market. The event is free to the public and is free to participating non-profit organizations.

 

Campaign Disclosure & Public Financing Fixes Go To Governor

Mar 14, 2017
senatorpeterwirth.com

Commentary: The NM Senate today concurred with the House of Representatives on two bills sponsored by Sen. Peter Wirth to update the NM election code. One will require greater transparency from large independent donors and the other will require accountability from candidates using the state’s public financing system.

SB 97 and SB 96 are now headed to the Governor for her signature.

Bipartisan Senate Passes Legislation for New Teacher Evaluation System

Mar 14, 2017

  Commentary: (Santa Fe, NM) – On a strongly bipartisan basis, the New Mexico Senate today passed legislation to develop a new system for evaluating teachers and principals that relies less heavily on students’ scores on controversial standardized tests.  By a vote of 30 – 7, with both Democratic and Republican support, SB 34 was passed by the Senate.  The bill, sponsored by Senator Howie Morales of Silver City, also was amended to include language offered by Republican Senator Craig Brandt from the historic Senate override earlier in the day of the Governor’s veto of teacher sick days legi

Albuquerque Quaker church gives sanctuary to immigrant woman

Mar 14, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Quaker church in Albuquerque will join churches across the country giving sanctuary shelter to immigrants facing possible deportation, members announced Tuesday.

Speaking with a coalition of faith leaders, the Friends Meeting House said volunteers will help give Emma Membreno Sorto, a Honduran immigrant, around-the-clock protection from federal immigration authorities while she lives in the church's facilities.

New Mexico Senate backs veto override on teacher sick leave

Mar 14, 2017
Office of the Governor

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico state Senate voted to override a veto by Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez of a bill that would have allowed teachers to take more than three days of annual sick leave without being penalized on performance evaluations.

If the House also votes to override, it would be the first time in 15 years a New Mexico governor's veto has been reversed.

Pearce Announces Town Hall Saturday In Las Cruces

Mar 14, 2017
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary: Congressman Steve Pearce today announced he will host a town hall this Saturday, March 18, 2017 at noon. The community discussion will be held at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum at 4100 Dripping Springs Rd, Las Cruces, NM.

 

Las Cruces Crime Stoppers Seeks Info in Deadly Apartment Fire

Mar 14, 2017

The Feb. 26 fire that claimed the life of a Las Cruces man who resided in an apartment on Idaho Avenue appears to have been set intentionally and is being investigated as a homicide.

The structure fire claimed the life of 67-year-old Allie James Hardeman who lived alone in the second-floor apartment at 808 E. Idaho Ave. Investigators have attempted to contact Hardeman’s next of kin but to no avail.

KRWG Report Featured On PBS NewsHour

Mar 14, 2017

KRWG-TV reporter and producer Simon Thompson is originally from Australia. With his own international background, he has taken a particular interest in immigration issues in the United States, and now that interest has led to a report by Thompson with a nationwide audience.

His TV segment, “This New Mexico school welcomes families who live across the border,” aired nationally on PBS NewsHour Feb. 28. The story is about children from Palomas, Mexico, who commute to Deming, New Mexico, to attend public school.

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) launched “Keep Me Covered,” a social media campaign calling for New Mexicans and people across the country to share a video or photo using the hashtag #KeepMeCovered to highlight what they stand to lose under President Trump and congressional Republicans’ health care plan. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported yesterday that the bill will cancel health care for 14 million people in just one year, with 24 million losing care by 2026. 

Convicted Sex Offender Sentenced In Las Cruces

Mar 14, 2017

 

LAS CRUCES – Prosecutors from the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday appeared in District Court for the sentencing of a Hatch man convicted in December on two counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor. A jury found Jose De Jesus Cabral, 70, guilty of sexually molesting a family member in 2006.

The jury convicted Cabral of second-degree criminal sexual contact of a minor and third-degree criminal sexual contact of a minor.

SCRTD.org

During the month of February, bus ridership rose 36 percent from January 2017 and reached new highs for several bus routes.  Contributing to this increase was a significant increase in both the Turquoise and Purple routes operating via Chaparral and Sunland Park to El Paso’s Northeast and Westside Transit Centers.  Further, the Orange route from Alamogordo to Las Cruces was up 14 percent as well.

Las Cruces Vehicle Owner Caught Suspected Thief in Stolen Car

Mar 14, 2017

An Otero County man suspected of breaking into and stealing a vehicle early Saturday morning was caught by the owner after a brief foot pursuit.

Tyler W. Quirk, 20, of 23 KHJ Road near Alamogordo, is charged with one count each of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and burglary of a vehicle.

Shortly before 4 a.m. on Saturday, March 11, Las Cruces Police were dispatched to the report of a recovered stolen vehicle and the apprehension of a suspect on the 4400 block of Purple Sage Drive.

Roswell Firefighters Vote To Unionize

Mar 14, 2017

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Roswell firefighters have voted overwhelmingly to unionize.

The Roswell Daily Record reports that the firefighters voted 57-2 in favor of forming the Roswell Professional Fire Fighters Association on Monday. The election results still need to be officially certified by the city's Labor Management Relations Board.

In order for the union vote to have been successful, at least 40 percent of the 70 potentially affected employees must have cast ballots. The 59 eligible firefighters that voted Monday more than doubled the 40 percent requisite turnout.

New Mexico Court Issues Ruling In Texas Medical Case

Mar 14, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Texas doctors who treat New Mexico patients can breathe easier now that the New Mexico Supreme Court has overturned a ruling in a medical malpractice case that sought to avoid more restrictive laws in the Lone Star State.

The question was whether a woman who claims her gastric bypass surgery was botched could pursue her claim against a Texas doctor in New Mexico, where the laws that address such cases are more favorable for patients.

Lower Drug Prices Would Help New Mexico Taxpayers

Mar 14, 2017
Rep. Jeff Steinborn

  Commentary: As New Mexico struggles to cope with declining tax revenues and cuts to classrooms and health care, it is imperative for legislators to find new ways improve the state’s bottom line. That is why it is time to enact innovative policies to rein in the soaring cost of prescription drugs. It places a growing burden on our state budget each passing year.

Raise the Cigarette Tax to Help Classrooms and Health

Mar 14, 2017
Senator Howie Morales

  Commentary: First, we can substantially strengthen our children’s classrooms, which have been hit with cuts worth tens of millions of dollars since 2008. Second, we can make sure that more than 11,000 additional kids never even become smokers, and more than 10,000 current adult smokers will quit, significantly lowering overall health costs.

We cannot afford not to do it.

New Mexico Society for Technology in Education Plans March 29 Meeting

Mar 14, 2017

  The New Mexico Society for Technology in Education is holding their Spring 2017 Southern NM Chapter Meeting on March 29th, from 4-6:30pm.

 

We are extending a warm invitation to all educators in the Southern NM area and beyond, regardless of whether you're a member or not. 

 

New Mexico Teens Work For Tobacco-Free Schools

Mar 14, 2017
New Mexico Department of Health

Commentary: Students across New Mexico will be hosting events at nine high schools on Wednesday, March 15th as part of the national Kick Butts DayThis is the 22nd year of the event that encourages all public schools in the state to work toward tobacco-free status – 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

 

Office of the Governor

The nation's only Latina governor made a quick visit to Texas to help lawmakers there celebrate Women's History Month.

Gov. Susana Martinez's office says the trip to Austin stemmed from an invitation from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. He asked the two-term New Mexico governor to speak during an event Monday.

Martinez, a Republican, met with female Texas legislators and other state officials to discuss the importance of women in government.

New Mexico Legislature Curbs Physical Restraint Of Students

Mar 14, 2017

The New Mexico Legislature has approved a bill that sets new limits and guidelines for physically restraining school students or placing them in seclusion.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Independent political groups that spend unlimited amounts of money to influence New Mexico elections would have to report the sources of donations under a bill approved by both chambers of the state Legislature.

The state House on Monday voted to approve new disclosure rules for contributions to political committees that do not coordinate directly with candidates.

The bill responds to the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United case that opened the door for corporations and unions to make unlimited independent expenditures in elections.

Alamogordo NOW

Mar 14, 2017

Time now for Alamogordo NOW with Edmundo Resendez and Jacquie Devine, editor for the Hollogram. This week, two important meetings are taking place in Alamogordo today, the first one is concerning a controversial borehole project and the other involves the Otero County Detention Center.    

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

New Mexico Files Brief in Support of Challenge to President’s New, Illegal Travel Ban

Mar 13, 2017
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

Commentary: Albuquerque, NM - Attorney General Hector Balderas filed a brief today in support of Hawaii’s challenge to President Trump’s revised executive order restricting travel and refugee resettlement. The amicus brief, filed by 13 states and the District of Columbia, requests that the federal court hearing Hawaii’s lawsuit enter a nationwide injunction preventing the implementation and enforcement of the executive order that will go into effect on Thursday.

New Mexico Now Has The Highest Jobless Rate In The U.S.

Mar 13, 2017

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has the worst unemployment rate in the nation, according to figures released Monday by state and federal labor officials.

January's jobless rate of 6.7 percent remained unchanged from the previous month, but that's still higher than the 6.5 percent recorded a year ago.

Nationally, the rate increased slightly to 4.8 percent despite an uptick in hiring in January as employers added 238,000 jobs.

Office of US Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that the bill by President Trump and congressional Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) would cancel health care for 14 million people in just one year, with 24 million losing care by 2026.

The Latest: Flags To Be Lowered For Fallen Tribal Officer

Mar 13, 2017

PREWITT, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on the fatal shooting of a Navajo Nation police officer in New Mexico (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is ordering flags to fly at half-staff in honor of a Navajo Nation police officer who died after being shot by someone he encountered in a vehicle along a county road.

Authorities say Officer Houston James Largo was responding to a domestic violence call early Sunday when he came across in the vehicle, which had two people inside, in rural western New Mexico. He was critically wounded and later died at a hospital.

New Mexico Legislature Races Clock To Fix Budget Shortfall

Mar 13, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico lawmakers have until Saturday to resolve efforts to raise new money to sustain public school budgets and state agency services in response to a sustained slump in the state's oil and natural gas sectors and a lackluster state economy.

Powell Announces Candidacy For New Mexico Land Commissioner

Mar 13, 2017
Ray Powell
Facebook

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Democrat Ray Powell is running again for New Mexico state land commissioner, an office he's held twice before.

A statement released Monday morning by Powell says he planned to announce his candidacy at an environmental justice rally at the State Capitol in Santa Fe.

Powell served as commissioner from 1993-2002 and again from 2011-2014, when he narrowly lost the 2014 general election to Republican Aubrey Dunn.

The land commissioner oversees management of 13 million mineral acres and 9 million surface acres.

Officials: Navajo Officer Was Fatally Shot In Rural Area

Mar 13, 2017

PREWITT, N.M. (AP) —Officials say the fatal shooting of a Navajo Nation police officer occurred in a rural area of northwestern New Mexico.

The FBI said Officer Houston James Largo was shot and critically wounded Sunday morning while responding to a domestic violence call and died later in the day and that a suspect is in custody.

The suspect's identity and circumstances of the shooting and the arrest haven't been released.

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