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.

Team Zane Continues Legacy: Call For Charities

Jul 11, 2016

Commentary: Calling all charities that serve children in Las Cruces—it is your turn to jump into the fun of the Team Zane Celebrity Waiter annual fundraising event.  Jeffrey Silva, the father of the pint sized local hero for whom the event is named, is inviting local non-profits that serve children to be the host of the event for 2017.

Photographer Reaches $50K Settlement Over State Police Stop

Jul 11, 2016

An Albuquerque photojournalist has reached a $50,000 settlement with the state years after a state police officer pulled him over while searching for a motorist suspected of wielding a firearm along a New Mexico freeway.

Albuquerque Journal photographer Adolphe Pierre-Louis had been handcuffed at gunpoint during the August 2011 stop.

The Journal reports that details of the settlement reached months ago were recently unsealed by a judge who ruled state police also must accommodate for Pierre-Louis to speak to cadets.

Early Morning Fire Kills 5 Horses And Dog In Los Lunas

Jul 11, 2016

Five horses are dead following a fire in a Los Lunas family's barn.

Marleen Beltran says the deadly fire early Sunday morning has devastated the families owning the horses, one of which won a weekend race at Albuquerque Downs.

A dog also died inside the barn.

Firefighters told KOAT-TV that the fire's cause is under investigation.

Information from: KOAT-TV.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

New Mexico State University researchers plan to place mosquito traps across roughly two-thirds of the state to map the range of two species known to transmit Zika virus.

Biologist Kathryn Hanley says researchers asked to do this project four years ago but funding agencies had little interest.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that changed when Zika was linked to severe birth defects in Brazil and other nations in the Americas.

Monday Business Watch

Jul 11, 2016

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. This week, Hastings is in limbo as corporate goes through chapter 11.

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StoryCorps: Blu K. Warren

Jul 11, 2016

Time now for KRWG’s StoryCorps which visited our area in January. Deborah Moore (53) interviews her friend, Blu K. Warren (53) about her work and creating a safe space for the Lesbian community in Las Cruces by throwing parties in Vado in the 90s.

Deborah Moore with her friend, Blu K. Warren on KRWG’s StoryCorps which airs Mondays at 8:45 am and 6:45 pm. KRWG is proud to have hosted 3 StoryCorps so that our stories too can be included in the Library of Congress. You can hear this....and other interviews on the StoryCorps page in the radio krwg-dot-org.

Could New Mexico land proposed Facebook data center?

Jul 9, 2016

  New Mexico's largest electric provider has filed documents with state regulators that reveal plans by social media giant Facebook to build a new data center.

According to Public Service Co. of New Mexico's filing with the Public Regulation Commission, both New Mexico and Utah are in the running for hosting the proposed data center.

Facebook wants to get its energy needs for the center from renewable resources, so PNM is seeking an expedited approval process for recovering from Facebook the costs associated with providing the electricity.

Deaths Of Three Mexican Gray Wolves Under Investigation

Jul 9, 2016

Three Mexican gray wolves have been found dead in Arizona and New Mexico and wildlife managers say they're investigating.

The latest monthly report on the status of the endangered predators shows a male wolf belonging to the Marble Pack was found dead in New Mexico. In Arizona, a female from the Hoodoo Pack and a single male were also found dead in June.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department didn't release any further details about the deaths in the report released Friday. The agency partners with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the wolf reintroduction program.

Testimony In Senator's Corruption Case Focuses On Fraud

Jul 8, 2016

A determination is drawing closer on whether former New Mexico state Sen. Phil Griego should stand trial on corruption charges.

State prosecutors and a defense attorney for Griego honed in Friday on evidence related to fraud and bribery charges during a fourth day of evidentiary hearings, as they called state officials, lawmakers and a real estate attorney to testify.

The Latest: Albuquerque Police To Use Buddy System

Jul 8, 2016

The Latest on reaction in New Mexico to the shootings in Dallas (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says she's heartbroken over the violence in downtown Dallas.

In a statement issued Friday in response to the shooting deaths of five officers following a protest in Dallas, the governor says she called Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to offer her condolences. She told him that New Mexicans are praying for officers in Dallas, their families and law enforcement officials around the country.

New Mexico Air Force Base Identifies Dead Airman

Jul 8, 2016

Authorities have identified an airman who was found dead in housing at Cannon Air Force Base in eastern New Mexico.

Base officials announced Friday that Senior Airman William "Joey" Boyd of Jackson, Mississippi, was found dead in his home July 6 by one of his roommates.

The cause of his death remains under investigation.

Members of Boyd's unit are planning a memorial service at the base chapel July 12.

Udall Votes Against Weak GMO Labeling Bill

Jul 8, 2016
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary: Yesterday, U.S. Senator Tom Udall voted against weak compromise legislation designed to set food labeling standards for genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Udall supports clear, concise labeling that allows consumers to easily understand what's in their food and how it was grown. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 63-30, and must next be considered in the U.S. House of Representatives.

New Mexico VA 'Adopting' Hospital Access Changes Amid Report

Jul 8, 2016

Veterans Affairs' health care system officials in New Mexico say they are adopting various charges to improve access amid a critical Office of Inspector General report.

New Mexico VA Health Care System director Andrew Welch said Friday the system has revamped its troubled scheduling process, improved training and is working to provide better transportation.

A report released last month said there was "a long-standing practice of misreporting desired appointment dates" throughout the New Mexico VA system.

Work Crews Returning To Site Of Massive Colorado Mine Spill

Jul 8, 2016

Crews are returning to the scene of a massive mine waste spill in southwestern Colorado to stabilize the mine opening with steel bracing and concrete.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday work at the Gold King Mine will begin this weekend and last through October.

An EPA-led contractor inadvertently triggered a spill of 3 million gallons of wastewater from the Gold King last August while doing preliminary cleanup work.

Udall Statement On Shootings In Dallas, Minnesota And Louisiana

Jul 8, 2016

Commentary: U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement about the tragic shootings this week:

Hundreds to gather at NMSU for annual 4-H State Conference

Jul 8, 2016

  Hundreds of 4-H members will be making their way to New Mexico State University for the 93rd annual 4-H State Conference, July 11-14 at Corbett Center.

“This year’s theme is, ‘What imprint will you leave?’” Amy Zemler said, 4-H youth activities specialist. She said that it is based on footprints left in sand and relating to imprints left by actions.

The conference will include dances, workshops, competitions, officer elections and more.

Las Cruces Suspect Used Fake IDs in Purchases Totaling Nearly $90,000

Jul 8, 2016

  Las Cruces Police are hoping to identify a man suspected of using false identifications to commit a week-long crime spree in which he fraudulently purchased three vehicles and merchandise totaling nearly $90,000.

The man is suspected of using a fabricated driver’s licenses and bogus financial information that identified himself as “Derek Duane Mullner” and “Jason Meek” to commit several crimes:

New Mexico State University is remembering the accomplishments of former Dean E. Rene Casillas, who passed away July 4.

Casillas was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1992-2002. He retired in 2002.

“Rene was a fine academic and a special Aggie,” said NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers. 

Albuquerque Police Receive Directive After Dallas Shootings

Jul 8, 2016

Albuquerque police are responding to the Dallas shootings of police officers.

The Albuquerque Police Department issued a directive to officers Thursday night in response to the killings of five Dallas officers and the wounding of seven others during a protest over fatal police shootings of black men in other states.

Officer Tanner Tixier says the directive was issued in an attempt to keep officers as safe as possible.

Navajo Nation, States Get Funding To Promote Mine Safety

Jul 8, 2016

Arizona, New Mexico and the Navajo Nation will share in millions of dollars being doled out by the federal government as part of an effort to curb mine-related accidents and illnesses.

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration. It will be used for federally mandated training for those working at surface and underground coal and other mines as well as sand and gravel operations.

DOE Partners With New Mexico Agency On Waste Transportation

Jul 8, 2016

The U.S. Energy Department's Carlsbad Field Office is partnering with the state of New Mexico to coordinate activities that will ensure the safe transport of radioactive waste to the federal government's underground nuclear waste repository.

The five-year cooperative agreement awarded to the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department is worth $6.8 million.

Officials say the focus will include monitoring activities, emergency response training and planning and public awareness.

Your Weekend Pulse!

Jul 8, 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 you can enjoy a kids night out and music in the park. 

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Bernalillo County Clerk's Office Designated As New Passport Option

Jul 8, 2016

Residents in central New Mexico will soon have another option for getting a passport.

The Bernalillo County Clerk's Office announced this week that it will begin accepting new passport applications from the public on Monday, July 11.

The U.S. State Department has designated the clerk's office as a passport acceptance facility to help meet heavy demand for passport services in New Mexico's most populated metro area.

New Mexico Grant Aimed At STEM Afterschool Programs

Jul 8, 2016

Three public school districts in southern New Mexico will benefit from a nearly $12 million grant that will fund afterschool science, technology, engineering and math programs.

The grant was awarded by the state Public Education Department's 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program. The beneficiaries will include the Gadsden, Hatch Valley and Las Cruces school districts.

Darren Phillips, NMSU

New Mexico State University’s Board of Regents approved a new requirement for all first-time, full-time undergraduate students to live on campus beginning in the fall of 2017.

NMSU Board of regents approved the residency requirement after a study found students who live on campus their first semester have higher retention rates, higher GPA’s, and are more likely to participate in campus activities.

Mike Cheney, Vice- Chair of NMSU’s Board of Regents says the requirement is a step in the right direction.

Bosque Del Apache Tour Loops Back Open After Wildfire

Jul 7, 2016

The tour loops at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge are back open as firefighters get the upper hand on a blaze that has burned more than a square mile along the Rio Grande.

The blaze was 75 percent contained Thursday, and crews planned to work the fire through the weekend given the forecast for more hot, dry weather.

Chris Leeser with the refuge says temperatures have been in the triple digits and humidity has been low.

Due to the firefighters' progress, Leeser says both the north and south tour loops are open to visitors. The visitor center is also open.

APNewsBreak: $700K Spent On Prison Vans After Inmate Escape

Jul 7, 2016

Corrections officials say New Mexico has spent $700,000 on new vehicles and equipment since the March escape of two violent inmates prompted a review of the state's prisoner transport vans.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request show officials removed door handles and power locks from the rear area of roughly a dozen Corrections Department vans in the weeks after state police say inmates Joseph Cruz and Lionel Clah fled the van. Their escape came around the time guards stopped for gas in Artesia.

Vote El Paso Vote 2016 at community events this weekend

Jul 7, 2016

  El Paso – Participants of Vote El Paso Vote campaign will be a part of two community events this weekend to encourage voter turnout.

The Elections Department will be hosting a community/ church Voter Education training which will cover the voting process, registration and eligibility with an opportunity for citizens to become familiar with the use of voting machines. 

NMSU STEM Outreach Center receives nearly $12 million grant

Jul 7, 2016

  New Mexico State University’s STEM Outreach Center, housed in the College of Education, recently received a nearly $12 million grant to fund after school STEM programs in the Las Cruces, Hatch and Gadsden school districts.

Native American Meeting Gets Medical-Pot Provider As Sponsor

Jul 7, 2016

A medical marijuana company operating in New Mexico and Arizona has signed on as a sponsor of one of North America's largest powwows.

Gathering of Nations organizers announced their partnership with Ultra Health this week, saying it's similar to health and dental clinics at previous powwows.

Founder Derek Mathews tells Albuquerque television station KOAT that marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes throughout the United States, particularly in Indian Country. He says it adds to the health and treatment options for the Native American community.