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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.

Las Cruces – The DACC Construction Industries Student Club is helping build shelters to shield the homeless from extreme weather at the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope.

The single person shelters are constructed at the Doña Ana Community College (DACC) Workforce Center and then transported and installed at Camp Hope, a tent city located at the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope. The Student Club and several DACC classes provide the labor to construct the structures. In total, more than 20 students per semester are involved in the effort.

  February 4, 11, and 18 at 5pm on KRWG-FM Objects hold history. They evoke stories stamped in time. The Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture has opened up a world of stories that visitors are flocking to discover.  To mark the September opening of the museum, The Washington Post invited people across the country to submit photographs of family objects that connect them personally to black history.

The Las Cruces Sun News reports that Sitel will close its Las Cruces Call Center, with an estimated 371 jobs, by the end of March. The newspaper reports the company said its business model does not allow it to stay in the market after 10 successful years. Sitel news releases say its Albuquerque location has been adding employees, and while that may be unrelated, it's common to see consolidation with similar employers.

New Mexico State University Regents Professor Jim Peach was selected to fill the Chevron Endowed Professorship in the College of Business. 

Peach, a professor in the Department of Economics, Applied Statistics and International Business, will serve as the inaugural Chevron Endowed Professor for three years beginning fall 2017, and plans to further his energy research in a way that could have an international impact. 

The Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office, after reviewing findings from a multi-agency investigation, has determined that the Dec. 2shooting of 36-year-old Joshua “Josh” Clay Dunne was justified and that the two Las Cruces Police officers will not face any charges in the incident.

Dunne was shot as he emerged from a hotel room and pointed a 9mm handgun at officers. He was transported to Memorial Medical Center where he died.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he has cosponsored a bill authored by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that will require President-elect Trump to release his recent tax returns in order to provide the public with more transparency on matters related to the President-elect's actions, values and foreign business dealings.

Schools and government offices in some New Mexico communities are closed or delaying their openings because of a winter storm dropping snow and creating hazardous driving conditions.

Schools are closed Friday in Santa Fe and Albuquerque's eastern mountains, and other Albuquerque schools delayed their openings by two hours. Gallup-area schools also delayed their openings, as did state government offices in Santa Fe and Las Vegas.

Feds Issue Decision On Operating Plan For Rio Grande

Jan 6, 2017
nm.audubon.org

Federal officials have signed off on a plan that spells out how the Rio Grande will be allocated and delivered to users in southern New Mexico and Texas over the next three decades.

The Bureau of Reclamation announced that the record of decision regarding the river's operating agreement was signed Thursday and that accounting and operation of the system will continue as it has for the past several years.

A decision is still pending on renewal of a contract to store water from the San Juan-Chama project in Elephant Butte Reservoir in southern New Mexico.

New Mexico PBS Dropping Spanish-Language TV Channel

Jan 6, 2017

New Mexico PBS, a public television station in the nation's most Hispanic state, is dropping Spanish-language TV channel Vme from its lineup due to low ratings.

The move comes as Vme TV — the first and only Spanish broadcast television network associated with public television stations — recently announced it was transitioning to commercial cable over the next year.

Four Agents Killed In Northern Mexico; Four More Die In Crash

Jan 6, 2017

Four agents with the Tamaulipas state prosecutors' office have been killed in northern Mexico, while four federal agents died in a road accident in the same border state.

Tamaulipas Gov. Francisco Garcia Cabeza de Vaca wrote in his Twitter account late Wednesday that the four agents were killed in the border city of Nuevo Laredo. He said "nothing will stop my administration's actions to return peace to the residents of Tamaulipas."

Your Weekend Pulse!

Jan 6, 2017

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 a new year and there are a lot of things to do including Wrestlemania, a behind the scenes tour of the Clyde W. Tombaugh Education Center, and the Harlem Globetrotters.

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

NMSU student helps feed local senior citizens

Jan 6, 2017

From her experience as a young girl living with her grandmother, Shelby Stuckel knows how tight the budget can be at the end of the month. As a graduate student in public health at New Mexico State University, she is working with a local food bank to make sure seniors have enough to eat every month. 

Senator John Arthur Smith

Jan 5, 2017

The Latest: New Mexico Activates Emergency Operations Center

Jan 5, 2017

The Latest on the winter storm approaching New Mexico (all times local):

3 p.m.

Gov. Susana Martinez has activated the state's emergency operations center in preparation for a winter storm that's expected to bring bitter cold temperatures and heavy snow to the northern half of New Mexico.

The National Weather Service already has issued winter storm warnings and alerts for the region and forecasters are warning of significant travel impacts.

Texas 'Bathroom Bill' Unveiled Ahead Of 2017 Session

Jan 5, 2017

Texas lawmakers will decide whether to embrace an issue that caused a national uproar in North Carolina — banning transgendered people from using the bathroom of their choice.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a top social conservative voice in the state, unveiled the proposed law Thursday at a news conference.

Patrick says the "Privacy Protection Act" is a top priority for the GOP-controlled Legislature, which convenes next week.

Eastern New Mexico Names Offensive Coordinator As Head Coach

Jan 5, 2017
Eastern
Eastern New Mexico University

Eastern New Mexico has promoted its offensive coordinator to be its next head football coach.

Athletic Director Greg Waggoner told KENW-FM on Thursday the school has signed a one-year contract with Kelley Lee.

President Steven Gamble told the station Lee will earn a $94,000 for one year.

Lee replaces Josh Lynn who was hired this week as the new head football coach at Nebraska-Kearney.

Eastern New Mexico had four straight winning seasons under Lynn. This past season the Greyhounds were 7-5 and led the Lone Star Conference in total offense.

Udall Meets With Secretary Of State Nominee Rex Tillerson

Jan 5, 2017
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement after meeting with former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, President-elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of State:

Las Cruces City Council Won't Seek Higher Fees For Public Records

Jan 5, 2017

Las Cruces city councilors have decided against pursuing a change in state law that would have resulted in higher fees for public access to government records.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the 5-2 vote came Tuesday during the council's meeting.

City staffers were seeking permission to push the state Legislature for a change that would allow Las Cruces to charge — up to $100 per request — for time spent for fulfilling record requests under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act.

Gun Regulation Proposals Converge On New Mexico Legislature

Jan 5, 2017

Currents in the national debate over gun regulations are converging on New Mexico as the state Legislature prepares to meet.

A Republican state lawmaker pre-filed legislation this week to allow people to carry a concealed handgun without a concealed carry license if they can meet essential requirements. Missouri, West Virginia and Idaho enacted similar measures last year that allow concealed weapons without a permit.

GOP Sen. Steven Neville of Aztec says his proposal will be a tough sell in New Mexico's Legislature, where Democrats hold a majority.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has announced a new initiative aimed at attacking opioid abuse in the state.

The attorney general's "Project OPEN: Opioid Prevention & Education Network" will kick off January 11th in Albuquerque and will hopes to education the public on New Mexico's opioid crisis.

Opioids are the main driver of drug overdose deaths nationwide and in New Mexico. In 2015, only seven other states had higher overdose rates than New Mexico. West Virginia witnessed nearly 42 overdose deaths per 100,000 people, while New Mexico had more than 25.

Parts Of Northern, Central New Mexico Under Winter Storm Warning

Jan 5, 2017

Much of northern and central New Mexico is under a winter storm warning as forecasters say snowfall may make travel hazardous along Interstates 25 and 40 in mostly rural areas north and east of Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

The National Weather Service says snow will increase in the northern mountains through Thursday before spreading into more of northern and central New Mexico Thursday night and Friday morning.

The snow is expected to taper off early Friday afternoon.

Albuquerque Faces $24 Million Budget Shortfall In 2017

Jan 5, 2017
cabq.gov

Albuquerque is facing a potential budget shortfall of $24 million in the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the financial forecast was outlined in documents submitted to the City Council on Wednesday, and predicts the largest budget gap the city has faced in six years.

The city anticipates $526 million in revenue in the new fiscal year, and increase of about 2.8 percent, but expects to spend about 2.9 percent more than in fiscal year 2016.

Nuke dump disposes of first drums of waste in 3 years

Jan 4, 2017
wikipedia commons

Employees at the federal government's only underground nuclear waste repository have resumed disposal work after a nearly three-year hiatus that was prompted by a radiation release.

Two pallets of low-level radioactive waste were emplaced Wednesday in one of the underground disposal rooms at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico.

Rick Fuentes, a local union president and a waste handler at the site, says the transfer of the drums from an above-ground storage building went well.

Fuentes says employees are excited to be back at work.

facebook.com (donald trump)

A New Mexico state lawmaker wants presidential candidates who decline to release their tax returns to be kept off the state's election ballot.

Democratic state Sen. Jacob Candelaria of Albuquerque announced Wednesday that he will file a bill during the upcoming legislative session that requires presidential candidates to submit tax returns for the most recent five years to the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office. Candidates that decline would be ineligible for the ballot and off limits to New Mexico electors.

Macy's And Kmart Closing Stores In El Paso

Jan 4, 2017

On Wednesday, Macy's announced a round of store closings, including an El Paso store in the Sunland Park Mall.  The company website says that location will close by the end of the year and has 71 employees.

Kmart also announced two closures in El Paso, with liquidation sales beginning later this week:  1120 McRae Boulevard and 9484 Dyer Street.

Figures on El Paso Kmart job losses were not announced.

Full list of Kmart and Sears stores that are closing.

The Bulletin On The Radio

Jan 4, 2017

Every week, KRWG News provides a preview of the stories in The Las Cruces Bulletin.  The region's home page is only possible with your support.  Become a member, renew, or make an additional gift now.  Thank you.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: U.S. Senator Tom Udall delivered the following statement after voting "no" on a motion to start debate on S. Con. Res. 3, the measure that would repeal critical parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Today's 51-48 vote was the first of several procedural steps the Senate will take as part of the Republicans' disastrous effort to repeal the ACA.

NMSU Police Officer Cleared In Nov. 16 Shooting On Campus

Jan 4, 2017

Dona Ana County authorities say they've determined that a shooting last year by a New Mexico State University police officer on campus was justified.

According to investigators, Officer Jarrod Colliver was responding to 911 calls about a 28-year-old man carrying gun at an apartment complex and making threats on Nov. 14.

Despite the officer's commands, the defendant refused to put down the weapon.

Police say Colliver fired multiple shots and struck the man once in the leg.

Authorities Call Chaves County Shooting Murder-Suicide

Jan 4, 2017

Authorities say a shooting that killed two brothers in Chaves County on New Year's Day was a murder-suicide.

The Roswell Daily Record reports that 39-year-old Bud Littleton, of Roswell, and 48-year-old Anthony Croci, of Hope, were found dead just outside of Roswell's city limits on Sunday after witnesses called to report the shooting.

When Chaves County Sheriff's Deputies arrived at the scene the found one of the brothers lying in a vehicle and another lying near nearby vehicles. Both men suffered gunshot wounds.

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