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.

Santa Fe Man Charged In Brother's Death

Aug 10, 2015

Police have arrested a man accused of killing his brother during a dispute over a malfunctioning vehicle in Santa Fe.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports 26-year-old Eric Melero is facing a voluntary manslaughter charge in the death of his 22-year-old brother, Robert Estrada on Saturday.

According to a police report, Estrada was with a man and a woman whose white Ford Taurus had stopped on a nearby road. The couple went to get help from Melero and another man, who got the car started and drove it to the brothers' residence for additional repair.

Google To Repay New Mexico $1M For Subsidiarity Closure

Aug 10, 2015

Officials say Google Inc., will repay New Mexico nearly $1 million in economic assistance funds after announcing it was pulling a subsidiarity out of the state.

The Albuquerque Journal reports New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela said Monday that Google has agreed to repay that amount under clawback provisions.

The Mountain View, California-based Google announced last week that Titan Aerospace was leaving its facilities at the Moriarty airport, where it has been developing a solar-powered drone.

Charity Preps For Immigrant Surge In Rio Grande Valley

Aug 10, 2015

A Catholic charity that operates an immigrant relief center in McAllen says they've had city workers put up a tent because number of people using the center for overnight stays has risen so sharply in the last month.

Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, tells The Monitor of McAllen 762 migrants at the center in July topped last year's peak by 29 percent.

First Trial Wrapped Up For Green Chile Harvesting Machine

Aug 10, 2015

Inventors and investors recently came to southern New Mexico to try to do what many farmers believe can't be done: Mechanically harvest the green chile crop.

Green chile harvesting and de-stemming is now done entirely by hand.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the people behind a chile harvesting machine have wrapped up their first trial of the device.

Monday Business Watch

Aug 10, 2015

Every Monday at 7:51am on Morning Edition, Edmundo Resendez covers the week's top local business stories with Las Cruces Sun News Business Editor Jason Gibbs. 

While law enforcement continues the investigation into the explosions at two Las Cruces Churches last week, Sunday’s services were held as usual.

As people returned to service at Calvary Baptist Church and Holy Cross Catholic Church they recalled their experiences the week before.

Thousands Of Mines With Toxic Water In The West

Aug 9, 2015
JONATHAN THOMPSON HIGH COUNTRY NEWS

Beneath the western United States lie thousands of old mining tunnels filled with the same toxic stew that spilled into a Colorado river last week, turning it into a nauseating yellow concoction and stoking alarm about contamination of drinking water.

Though the spill into the Animas River in southern Colorado spill is unusual for its size, it's only the latest instance of the region grappling with the toxic legacy of a mining boom.

The chief financial officer for Albuquerque Public Schools has been placed on paid administrative leave for reasons that aren't being publicly revealed.

Chief Financial Officer Don Moya was placed on paid administrative leave Friday.

APS spokeswoman Johanna King says she couldn't provide information about the reasons for the leave or how long it might last because Moya's status is considered a personnel matter.

Moya became chief financial officer in July 2010.

Feds: Wage Theft Is Not Uncommon

Aug 9, 2015

A campaign to raise the minimum wage as high as $15 has rolled to victory in such places as Seattle, Los Angeles and New York, but it has bumped up against a harsh reality:

Plenty of scofflaw businesses don't pay the legal minimum now and probably won't pay the new, higher wages either.

Some experts tell The Associated Press that without stronger enforcement, the number of workers getting cheated out of a legal wage is bound to increase.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says roughly 1.7 million U.S. workers are paid less than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour.

In Depth: 5 Children Among 8 Found Dead In Houston

Aug 9, 2015

The latest on eight people — including five children and three adults — found dead inside a Houston-area home:

Authorities identified the eight people fatally shot at a Houston home as two adults and six children ranging in age from six to 50 years.

At a Sunday afternoon news conference, prosecutors and police said that a 40-year-old female victim had a prior relationship with David Conley, who is charged with capital murder in the family's death.

George P. Bush Stumps For Dad Jeb

Aug 8, 2015
George P. Bush - Photo from texasgop.org

  George P. Bush has been helping relatives get elected since age 3, when he clutched a balloon as his grandfather, George H.W. Bush, launched his 1979 presidential bid from Houston.

He also campaigned extensively in 2000 and 2004 for his uncle, George W. Bush. But never has George P.'s role as a political surrogate been as important as it is in the 2016 primary campaign.

New Mexico Issues Precautions For Gold King Mine Spill

Aug 7, 2015
JONATHAN THOMPSON HIGH COUNTRY NEWS

 

92 Percent Of Texas Schools Meet Standards

Aug 7, 2015

The Texas Education Agency says about 94 percent of districts and 86 percent of schools statewide meet the state's minimum education standards.

Conversely, in its annual announcement of accountability ratings on Friday, the TEA says improvement will be required in the performance of 57 school districts and 610 individual public schools. The remaining 11 districts and 564 campuses weren't rated.

Sheriff: French Couple Who Died At White Sands Likely Saved Son

Aug 7, 2015
White Sands National Monument

A sheriff says a French couple who perished during an afternoon hike across the searing New Mexico desert likely saved their 9-year-old son by giving him two sips for each one they took from their water bottles before the supply was exhausted.

Otero County Sheriff Benny House said Friday that the boy was in remarkably good shape when he was found alongside his dead father on a trail in the White Sands National Monument. They were located about an hour after park rangers found the mother dead Tuesday.

Issues And Answers: Our Water Future

Aug 7, 2015

This documentary and panel discussion details water scarcity in southern New Mexico.  

Newsmakers 721, 7/23/15

Aug 7, 2015

 

This episode of Newsmakers includes a discussion of public policy in New Mexico with guests state Rep. Bill McCamley (D-NM 33) and Paul Gessing, President, Rio Grande Foundation.

 

Newsmakers 720, 7/16/15

Aug 7, 2015

This episode of Newsmakers includes:  A report on the proposed diversion of the Gila River; an interview with Craig Fenske of Common Cause New Mexico about a proposal for public campaign financing in Las Cruces; and a mini-documentary on NMSU researcher Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto.

Newsmakers 719, 7/9/15

Aug 7, 2015

On this edition of Newsmakers:  Questions are raised about New Mexico's public art program; a controversy over the new Spaceport Visitor's Center will be resolved with a public vote in September; and a local restaurant makes the National Register of Historic Places.

Officer Who Killed Suspect Identified

Aug 7, 2015

  The detective who shot and killed an armed man who was being sought on a warrant last week has been identified by Doña Ana County Sheriff’s officials as Detective Chase Thouvenell. 

Detective Thouvenell was part of the sheriff’s Special Response Team (SRT) that went to the Day’s End Motel in the 700 block of North Valley Drive on July 29 to serve an arrest warrant on Michael Malone, 34.

  New developments Friday in the bombings near two Las Cruces churches…Calvary Baptist and Holy Cross Catholic Church.  The FBI is now offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to a suspect or suspects in the Sunday attacks.  That’s on top of a $5,000 reward from Las Cruces Crime Stoppers.   Anyone with information should call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

Authorities To Release Info On New Mexico Church Blasts

Aug 7, 2015
https://www.facebook.com/TheLasCrucesPoliceDepartment

Authorities in New Mexico plan a news conference late Friday afternoon in Las Cruces to release information in an effort to help identify a person of interest in connection with two explosions that startled Sunday churchgoers.

Las Cruces police spokesman Dan Trujillo declined to specify the information to be released during the news conference but said there has not been an arrest in the case.

He said those participating in the news conference will include FBI and police officials and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

New NMSU Freedom Of Expression Policy Takes Effect In September

Aug 7, 2015

  After months of work by a committee known as the Free Speech Task Force, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents recently approved a revised Freedom of Expression policy that will go into effect on Sept. 4.

Waste From Colorado Mine Creeps Toward New Mexico

Aug 7, 2015
JONATHAN THOMPSON HIGH COUNTRY NEWS

A plume of orange muck that spilled from a Colorado mine has drifted about 55 miles downriver and is closing in on New Mexico.

New Mexico Environment Department spokeswoman Susan Majure (MAY'-jur) said Friday that the contaminated water is 4 to 6 miles from the state line.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says people should stay out of the Animas River and domestic animals shouldn't drink from it. Water utilities have closed intake valves to protect their systems, and Colorado is testing the impact on fish.

  Las Cruces Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that helps identify the man suspected of leaving a suspicious package at the Mesilla Valley Mall Thursday afternoon.

The suspicious package was determined to be of no threat to the public.

The suspect is believed to be a white male who was described as tall with a medium build. He was wearing a blue shirt, blue pants, and what appeared to be a fake gray or white beard. Witnesses also described him as wearing eyeglasses.

Texas Officials Amend Death Certificate To Reflect Same-Sex Union

Aug 7, 2015
https://www.facebook.com/TexasDSHS

State officials say they've complied with a court order and amended the death certificate of a man to include the name of his same-sex spouse.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said in a statement Thursday that John Stone-Hoskins of Conroe has been added to the death certificate for James Stone-Hoskins, who died in January, months after the couple married in New Mexico.

John Stone-Hoskins said in a federal court filing this week that the certificate initially listed him as a "significant other."

Navajo Lawmakers Name Longtime Judge To Top Judicial Post

Aug 7, 2015

The Navajo Nation's longest-serving judge has been designated to oversee the tribe's Judicial Branch.

A Navajo Nation Council committee named Allen Sloan as acting chief justice this week using broad authority under the tribal code.

The code doesn't address a vacancy in the chief justice's position. The Law and Order Committee says the designation will ensure justice is administered on the Navajo Nation.

Tribal Council spokesman Jared Touchin says the resolution doesn't require action by the full council.

US Officials Ask Judge Not To End Immigrant Family Dentention

Aug 7, 2015

Justice Department lawyers are asking a federal judge to reconsider her July ruling ordering the release of children and mothers detained after they entered the U.S. illegally across the Mexican border.

The lawyers filed the request late Thursday asking U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in California to not implement her decision in light of recent changes aimed at turning the centers into short-term processing facilities.

Two centers in Texas and one in Pennsylvania currently hold some 1,400 people, mostly Central Americans seeking asylum after fleeing violence at home.

Authorities Urge Vigilance as Weekend Approaches

Aug 6, 2015
https://www.facebook.com/TheLasCrucesPoliceDepartment

Federal, state and local partners investigating Sunday’s detonation of explosive devices outside two Las Cruces churches are urging vigilance and awareness as the faithful return to their places of worship this weekend.

 

saonm.org

In a story Aug. 5 about the state auditor's use of a Gmail account, The Associated Press reported erroneously when auditor Tim Keller moved to a state email account. It was when he took office, not after the New Mexico Republican Party complained.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Auditor, state GOP disagree on transparency of Gmail account

Auditor's Gmail account draws criticism from state GOP over transparency issues

https://www.facebook.com/TheLasCrucesPoliceDepartment

The suspicious package reported Thursday afternoon at the Mesilla Valley Mall was located and determined to be of no threat to the public.

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