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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.

New Mexico Delegation

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce, Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham announced more than $6.5 million for maintenance and construction projects at 17 New Mexico airports. The funding was awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration, and will fund runway rehabilitations, fencing construction and other safety improvements at airports across the state.

Health Department Reports First Human West Nile Virus Death In NM In 2016

Sep 8, 2016
New Mexico Department of Health

Commentary: The New Mexico Department of Health announced today a 63-year-old Valencia County man has died from West Nile virus. The man developed neuroinvasive disease and was hospitalized before his death. This is the second human case of West Nile virus infection identified in New Mexico this year and the state’s first West Nile virus fatality in 2016.

 

Population Growth Of US Latinos Slows, Study Says

Sep 8, 2016
http://www.pewresearch.org/

A new report says the population growth of U.S. Latinos slowed down considerably over the last seven years because of lower immigration and declining birthrates.

A Pew Research Center report released Thursday found that the U.S. Hispanic population grew by an average of 2.8 percent each year between 2007 and 2014.

That's down from the 4.4 percent annual growth from 2000 to 2007 before the Great Recession.

The study says the expansion of the Hispanic population, once the fastest growing in the nation, has slipped behind Asian-Americans.

New Mexico Governor, Lawmakers No Closer To Special Session

Sep 8, 2016
Office of the Governor

Democratic New Mexico lawmakers are complaining that Gov. Susana Martinez hasn't offered a plan to fill the state's budget hole.

The Republican governor says she's already asked the agencies under her control to cut back and has promised to call a special legislative session once lawmakers have concrete proposals for shoring up the state's finances.

But there's no indication either side is closer to an agreement as New Mexico faces a $458 million shortfall that's tied to weak tax revenues and New Mexico's dependence on oil and natural gas development.

The Latest: Trial Begins For Man Charged In Officer's Death

Sep 8, 2016

The Latest on the trial for a New Mexico man charged in the death of a Rio Rancho police officer (all times local):

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3:20 p.m.

Prosecutors have shown jurors video of the frantic moments that followed the shooting of a suburban Albuquerque police officer and emergency workers' efforts to render life-saving aid to him.

Law enforcement officers and the widow of Officer Gregg "Nigel" Benner watched through tears Thursday as the video played on a courtroom screen. Authorities say Benner was gunned down after a routine traffic stop on May 25, 2015.

NMSU’s own Latin Grammy Award-winning La Catrina Quartet

  This semester’s Salon Discovery fall gala at New Mexico State University will feature civil engineering and music from the award-winning La Catrina Quartet. “NMSU Civil Engineering: En Route to Better Infrastructure” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, in Atkinson Recital Hall.

Tickets are now available and also can be purchased at the door. Any NMSU student with a valid student ID can pick up a free ticket at the door. 

NMSU National Parks series’ second talk looks at infrastructure

Sep 8, 2016

  The 10-year, multi-million-dollar capital campaign to repair the infrastructure of America’s national parks was called Mission 66. Jeff Pappas, New Mexico’s State Historic Preservation Officer, will talk about the results of the single largest investment in U.S. national parks when the “NMSU Celebrates the National Parks” lecture series continues. 

Las Cruces Home-Invasion Robbery Suspects Sought

Sep 8, 2016

  Las Cruces Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the two men suspected of a home-invasion robbery that occurred early this morning.

Shortly after midnight on Thursday, Sept. 8, police were dispatched to the report of a possible robbery with shots fired on the 1600 block of Gladys Drive. Officers learned that two masked and armed men entered an apartment through a window, and overpowered one of the four occupants of the residence.

Four NMSU Las Cruces Students Receive Federal Fellowships

Sep 8, 2016
Darren Phillips, NMSU

  Four graduate students in New Mexico State University’s Civil Engineering Department recently were awarded sizable fellowships through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration.

Mark Manning received $10,000, Jose Pasillas Rodriguez and Daniel Diaz each received $7,500, and Abram Lane received $5,000 through the Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

 

  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded $576,443 to the New Mexico Environmental Department to support the state’s air pollution reduction program. The grant will support attainment and maintenance of National Ambient Air Quality Standards, reduction of toxics emissions and implementation of air enforcement initiatives. 

Nobody Hurt In Underground Electrical Fire In El Paso

Sep 8, 2016

Officials say nobody has been hurt in an underground electrical fire in downtown El Paso that led to some evacuations.

The El Paso Fire Department says the blaze was under control by about 3 p.m. MDT Wednesday. A couple of blocks were evacuated for several hours amid the fire that sent flames and black smoke pouring through a manhole.

Authorities say the fire was reported before dawn Wednesday.

Investigators are working with El Paso Electric officials to try to determine what sparked the blaze.

AAA: Retail Gas Prices In Texas, US Slips Four Cents Per Gallon

Sep 8, 2016

Retail gasoline prices across Texas and nationwide have declined 4 cents per gallon this week.

AAA Texas on Thursday reported the average price at the pump statewide was $2 per gallon. Gas prices across the U.S. are an average $2.18 per gallon.

The association survey found that Corpus Christi has the cheapest gasoline in Texas this week at an average $1.94 per gallon. Drivers in El Paso and Amarillo have the most expensive gasoline statewide at $2.02 per gallon.

An AAA Texas statement notes Labor Day weekend marked the end of the summer driving season.

Historic Creamery In Roswell Faces Demolition

Sep 8, 2016

A building that once housed a historic creamery in southeastern New Mexico is set to be demolished.

The Roswell Daily Record reports that attorney Frank Patterson said this week the Price's Creamery's building in Roswell will be torn down to make room for another business.

Patterson says the building has gone through several hands over the years and recently has had a tough time keeping renters.

https://www.facebook.com/HighlandsUniversity

Highlands University is using a historic Las Vegas landmark for its Media Arts and Technology Department.

The northern New Mexico school is set next week to publicly unveil the transformed 21,000-square-foot Trolley Building a month after classes started.

Officials say the revamped building includes 3-D printers, a large-scale laser cutter, and a modern television studio. It also has labs for studio photography and audio mixing.

Courtesy Photo

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Senate Armed Services Committee, returned from a week long national security trip to the Middle East focused on the U.S. fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Senator Heinrich traveled to Iraq, Kuwait, and the Horn of Africa where he met with top military officials to discuss operations against ISIL, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations, and visited with U.S. troops from New Mexico. The following is a full press conference held on September 7th. 

Children in Las Cruces living with disabilities will soon have a new playground, specially built to accommodate different disabilities and provide fun activities for all children to enjoy.

Earlier this year, we met Dana Garcia and her teenage daughter Seriyah, who is living with cerebral palsy. Garcia was working to raise money for the city to be able to build a playground for children living with disabilities.

Garcia says something as simple as a playground can help children and families feel like they are part of the community.

Man Receives More Than 13 Years in Prison in Attempted Murder Case

Sep 7, 2016

  LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Today, District Attorney Mark D’Antonio announced that a man convicted of shooting two New Mexico State University students has been sentenced to more than 13 years behind bars.

Earlier this year, Philip Zaman, 25, pleaded no contest to attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, negligent use of a firearm and criminal damage to property. 

As a result, Chief District Judge Fernando Macias sentenced the defendant to 13 ½ years in prison.

NMSU Las Cruces Global Connections talk takes us to Thailand

Sep 7, 2016

  Son Tran, a professor of computer science at New Mexico State University will discuss his time spent in Thailand this summer during the first talk of the College of Arts and Sciences’ “Global Connections” series at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14th at the College of Health and Social Services annex building. 

            

  Yolanda Diaz, President of Mirador Enterprises, had always aspired to become an entrepreneur, but patiently waited for the right opportunity. She learned the ins and outs of developing a small business and competing for federal contracts by attending various free training courses offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. In 2002, Yolanda opened her facility maintenance and management business with her two employees, Hector Martinez and Pete Diaz.  Hector still works for Mirador today and is the VP of Operations.

Martinez Activates State Emergency Operations Center Due To Tropical Storm Newton

Sep 7, 2016

  Santa Fe, NM — Today, Governor Susana Martinez directed the activation of the New Mexico Emergency Operations Center to assist in the coordinated response to flooding across the state and in preparation for possible severe storms entering New Mexico relating to Tropical Storm Newton. Several of the affected southern counties have already been hit with heavy monsoonal rain over the past two weeks. The remnants of Newton began hitting our southwestern counties this morning with the heaviest rains forecasted for this evening in Catron and Sierra Counties.

Patriot Day to be Celebrated Sept. 11 In Las Cruces

Sep 7, 2016

  The Las Cruces police and fire departments will host a Patriot Day Ceremony on Sunday in remembrance of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States and the 421 first responders who died that day in the line of duty.

The Patriot Day Ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, at the new Plaza de Las Cruces, near the corner of Main Street and Griggs Avenue in Las Cruces.

NMSU experts offer tips to safely store green chile

Sep 7, 2016

  Green chile is everywhere, fresh from the farmer’s market or your favorite grocery store. Some stores are selling it by the 25-pound box and offer roasting as well. How do you make sure you can enjoy one of New Mexico’s best products year round? 

Experts at New Mexico State University recommend freezing or canning green chile. Freezing is probably the most popular method of processing green chile, and will prolong its shelf life for about a year.

Scientists Concerned About Beetles' Effect On Rare Bird

Sep 7, 2016
USGS
https://www.usgs.gov/

As if drought wasn't enough, federal scientists say an endangered songbird that lives along rivers and streams in several states is now threatened by a destructive beetle.

A report by the U.S. Geological Survey identifies new threats facing the Southwestern willow flycatcher and provides more detail about its habitat.

Scientists say satellite modeling that predicts the effects of tamarisk leaf beetles in the bird's habitat can be used by land and water managers as they try to balance protecting the bird with controlling invasive salt cedar trees.

  Silver City, NM – Western New Mexico University is establishing a new cultural event tradition called The President’s Chamber Music Series with an inaugural event on Tuesday, September 20 in Light Hall at 7:00 p.m with an artist Meet and Greet immediately following the performance.

Video Shows Encounter That Wounded New Mexico Officer

Sep 7, 2016

Police have released video of the minutes leading up to a shooting that wounded a New Mexico police officer and the frantic moments that followed.

Clovis Police Officer Chris Caron's lapel video begins soon after he pulls over Anthony Baca and makes small talk while authorities run a background check on the suspect.

When the officer learns there's an active warrant for Baca's arrest, he tells Baca he's going to take him into custody. That's when the suspect runs to a dark driveway where gunfire erupts and the suspect runs away.

Over $2.6 M In Funding To Help NM Treat And Prevent Prescription Drug Addiction

Sep 7, 2016

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that New Mexico will receive $2,604,223 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve access to potentially life-saving treatment and prevention programs for people addicted to prescription opioids.

Highlands University Professional Staff Gets New Union

Sep 7, 2016
https://www.facebook.com/HighlandsUniversity

Highlands University professional staff has a new union.

The Las Vegas Optic reports that the new unit, which represents roughly 80 professional staff, was officially certified by the state labor last week. Those employees are now part of the New Mexico Highlands University Faculty and Staff.

The petition to form the new bargaining unit was filed less than three months after Highlands facilities, clerical and maintenance staff workers voted overwhelmingly to organize. The northern New Mexico college's faculty formed a collective bargaining unit years ago.

Mexico's Agriculture Secretary To Visit NMSU Friday

Sep 7, 2016

Mexico's agriculture secretary is set to visit New Mexico State University and sign a new agreement on research.

Jose Eduardo Calzada Rovirosa is scheduled to tour the campus on Friday and meet with NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers as he seeks to sign a memorandum of understanding.

Under an agreement with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Mexico and the group will promote scientific research and work on future collaborations.

Calzada Rovirosa will also speak with NMSU students during a Domenici Institute Forum.

West Texas Has Minor 3.5 Magnitude Earthquake, Near Pecos

Sep 7, 2016

Experts say a minor earthquake shook parts of far West Texas.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the 3.5 magnitude quake happened at 3:15 p.m. CDT Tuesday. USGS officials say the earthquake was centered in a rural area about 19 miles southeast of Pecos.

The Reeves County Sheriff's Office had no immediate reports of anyone hurt or damage.

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

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