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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.

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Trump's Immigrant Travel Ban

Feb 3, 2017
Flickr (Creative Commons)

Washington state's attorney general says a federal court ruling temporarily blocking President Donald Trump's travel ban shows nobody is above the law.

U.S. District Judge James Robart granted a temporary restraining order Friday that Washington state and Minnesota requested. It halts Trump's executive order banning travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries and suspending the U.S. refugee program.  The Trump administration is seeking an emergency stay of Robart's restraining order.

Santa Fe, NM – A bill decriminalizing assisted suicide passed the House Health and Human Services Committee today by a vote of 4-3 following two hours of emotional testimony by supporters of the bill. The End of Life Options Act, sponsored by Representatives Debbie Armstrong (D-Albuquerque) and Bill McCamley (D-Mesilla Park), sets standards for health care providers for when they can assist a terminally ill patient in dying and it decriminalizes that assistance.

Fatal Motorcycle Crash In Las Cruces

Feb 3, 2017

Las Cruces Police are investigating Friday afternoon’s crash that claimed the life of a motorcyclist on the city’s East Mesa.

Shortly after 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, Las Cruces Police were dispatched to the report of a two-vehicle crash on Mesa Grande Drive near the intersection of Calle Pastura. Officers learned the crash involved a Yamaha motorcycle and a Freightliner panel truck.

Bill Would Require Audits For All Large New Mexico Projects

Feb 3, 2017

Is the state getting what it pays for? Now, it is hard to tell.  But Senator Sander Rue’s  bill would change that.

His bill requires there to be an independent audit to assess if all the conditions of a large contract with the state are met when the contract is finished.  Currently, there are no such end-of-contract audit requirements.

Some families in Las Cruces are volunteering to help refugees who are seeking safety by opening up their homes to them while they transition to family living in the United States.

The program is called “Project Oak Tree.” It is only facilitated by The Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces, and works with the Annunciation House of El Paso at the request of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

As part of the program, volunteer host families in Las Cruces briefly house refugees seeking asylum after immigration officials have vetted and released them.

New Mexico has taken a step toward joining a movement to elect presidents by popular vote.

A Senate committee on Friday recommended approval of a bill to join an inter-state compact that requires Electoral College voters to cast ballots for the national popular vote winner.

Senate bill sponsor Mimi Stewart of Albuquerque says she not only is concerned about political campaigns that focus on swing states but also how presidents govern.

New Mexico has sided with two presidential candidates that won the popular vote but lost the election — Al Gore and Hillary Clinton.

Texas bill to bar climate change views as evidence in cases

Feb 3, 2017

A lawmaker from East Texas has drafted a bill that would bar a defendant's theories on climate change from being used as evidence in a case involving fraud or deceptive practices.

State Rep. James White, a Republican from Hillister, told the Austin American-Statesman (http://atxne.ws/2kxzIYq ) that he had Exxon Mobil Corp. in mind when he drafted the bill. Democratic state attorneys general targeted the Irving-based company last year, claiming it had lied to investors and the public about the threat of climate change.

  New Mexico would have about 250,000 potential customers of cannabis should the state legalize adult recreational use of cannabis, an economist told the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee yesterday. And those consumers would purchase roughly $412 million worth of the drug in the first year.

Events On Tap For Downtown Las Cruces

Feb 3, 2017

Main St. Downtown:

·         Farmers and Crafts Market

o   Wednesday, February 8, 8:30 am - 1:00 pm.

o   Saturday, February 11, 8:30 am - 1:00 pm

o   Wednesday, February 15, 8:30 am - 1:00 pm.

o   Saturday, February 18, 8:30 am-1:00 pm

·         Plaza De Las Cruces

o   Food Truck Fiesta! – Wednesday, February 15, 3-10 pm

Las Cruces Museum System: Branigan Cultural Center, the Las Cruces Museum of Art, the Las Cruces Museum of Nature & Science and the Las Cruces Railroad Museum Free Admission!

AG Balderas Endorses HB 75 to Limit Restraint & Seclusion in New Mexico Schools

Feb 3, 2017
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

Santa Fe, NM – As a father and as the chief law enforcement officer in the State of New Mexico, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced this morning that he supports HB 75 to limit school restraint and seclusion in New Mexico schools. More than 1100 students were subjected to restraint at school during the 2015-16 school year in New Mexico, and students with disabilities account for 76% of all restraints and out-of-school suspensions in New Mexico public schools, while they comprise just 14% of the student body.

Alleged Cockfighting Ring Discovered Outside Las Cruces

Feb 3, 2017

    

More than 200 roosters believed to have been used in an illegal cockfighting ring were seized Saturday after Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputies were given information that an event was taking place in Berino.

   Deputies arrived in the 500 block of Calle al Rumbo just after 11 a.m., where they reportedly saw several dozen cars parked outside of a large, two-story house. Inside, deputies say more than 100 people were gathered for what one man described as an “organized event.”

Santa Fe, NM -- The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) reports the first flu-related deaths of the 2016-2017 season. Three adults have died: two adult men in Rio Arriba and Santa Fe counties, respectively, and an adult woman in Grant County.

New Mexico State University College of Engineering Associate Dean for Outreach Patricia A. Sullivan was elected chair of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education during the commission’s semi-annual meeting held in Westminster, Colorado, in the fall. 

The Bulletin On The Radio

Feb 3, 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.

Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced legislation that will clarify the permanent membership of the National Security Council (NSC) to ensure that decisions affecting national security are not clouded by political calculations.

The legislation addresses significant concerns following President Trump's reorganization of the NSC, which diminished the roles of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence and extended NSC membership to a top campaign and political advisor.

Udall, Heinrich, Luján, Lujan Grisham Urge President Trump To Reverse Federal Hiring Freeze

Feb 3, 2017

Commentary: U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham urged President Trump to reverse his executive order that freezes all federal hiring, to ensure that fundamental government services are not negatively impacted and hard-working, well-qualified New Mexicans, many of whom are veterans, do not lose out on employment opportunities.

Heinrich: ACA Repeal Will Threaten Rural Hospitals in New Mexico

Feb 3, 2017

  Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) invited Charles Alfero, a leading expert in rural and frontier community health delivery from Silver City, N.M., to address Senate Democrats at a roundtable discussion on rural hospitals.

UNM Health Sciences Center To Host Forum On Child Well-Being

Feb 3, 2017

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center is hosting a conference on abuse and other childhood adversities as the state recovers from a string of high-profile cases that spurred public outcry.

Tuesday's event will include experts in prevention.

Organizer and medical school professor Elaine Bearer says officials want to raise the consciousness and understanding about the issues of childhood adversity and how it can be collectively addressed in New Mexico.

Navajo Nation Seeks Special Recognition Status From UN

Feb 3, 2017

The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission and a tribal delegate are advocating for the Navajo Nation to become an official member of the United Nations.

Tribal officials say the delegation visited New York City this week.

Navajo Council Delegate Nathaniel Brown said non-governmental organizations and civil societies enjoy the privilege of participating in the United Nations but indigenous nations are limited with regards to their participation.

Navajo, Hopi Nations Oppose Possible Closure Of Power Plant

Feb 3, 2017

The Navajo and Hopi tribes joined forces to oppose the proposed closure of a coal-fired power plant in northern Arizona.

Leaders said Thursday that keeping the Navajo Generating Station in full operation benefits the tribes and state because it is an important economic driver.

The Navajo Generating Station is near Page and employs 500 people, mostly Navajo.

Rail Runner Looks To Add More Weekend Riders

Feb 3, 2017
https://www.facebook.com/nmrailrunner/

The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is considering changing its schedule in an effort to expand weekend ridership.

Key changes would include having both weekend days offer a mid-morning train from Albuquerque to Santa Fe and be on the same schedule. The last departing train from Santa Fe on the weekend would leave an hour earlier under the proposal, for which the Rail Runner is seeking public comment.

The Rail Runner says the proposed changes are meant to offer more options, especially to riders who want to take the train on Sundays.

Immigrant rights activists in Las Cruces are calling on Dona Ana County Sheriff Kiki Vigil to meet with them to discuss the department's polices on enforcing federal immigration laws.

A group of faith leaders and immigrant advocates are meeting on Friday morning to pressure the sheriff.

They say Vigil canceled a community meeting that was supposed to take place last week.

The group wants to know whether the sheriff's office will help federal agents detain and deport immigrants. It wants the county to be a safe space for immigrants.

Texas 'Bathroom Bill' May Pose Big Test For Sports Leagues

Feb 3, 2017
State of Texas

Texas has been a prime location for major sports and entertainment events, but a "bathroom bill" proposed in the state Legislature could put that status in question.

The bill would require people to use public bathrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate. Critics say the measure unfairly discriminates against LGBT people. Republican supporters say they're unfazed by the NCAA and NBA pulling big events out of North Carolina last year over a similar law.

New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Charles Daniels is warning that criminal cases will be dismissed if funding for juries is not approved soon.

Daniels reacted Thursday to a veto of emergency court funding to the judiciary by Gov. Susana Martinez.

The justice says money will run out to pay jurors in early March without new funding, shutting down jury trials and likely leading to dismissals based on the right to a speedy trial. The judiciary continues to seek funds from an executive board overseen by the governor and by separate legislative action.

Your Weekend Pulse!

Feb 3, 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 Super Bowl weekend, get away from the big game and check out a Kiwanis pancake breakfast and the chile conference.  

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

Young Achievers Forum introduces sixth-graders, families to NMSU

Feb 2, 2017
Darren Phillips, NMSU

New Mexico State University will host the first New Mexico Young Achievers Forum Feb. 11 at Corbett Center Student Union. Community en Accion, AT&T and Bravo Dealerships of Las Cruces and El Paso are partners in this event committed to introducing sixth-grade students and their parents from across southern New Mexico to NMSU and a variety of career opportunities. 

Deputies Bust Burglars Inside Las Cruces-Area Home

Feb 2, 2017
Esteban Acosta, Jr.

 Three people were arrested Wednesday after Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputies walked in on a burglary in progress near Mayfield High School.

24 Senate Democrats Urge Protection Of BLM Methane Waste Rule

Feb 2, 2017
U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

Commentary: WASHINGTON – Today, 24 Senate Democrats, led by U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), urged Senate leaders to defend the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Methane and Natural Gas Waste Prevention Rule, which protects air quality and prevents the waste of taxpayer-owned natural gas on federal and Tribal lands, by opposing efforts to dismantle it through the rarely used and extremely dangerous process set out in the Congressional Review Act. 

Senator Ron Griggs - (R)

Santa Fe- Restaurant and bar patrons wanting to drink their own bottle of wine in a New Mexico restaurant or bar could do so under a bill sponsored by Senator Ron Griggs (R-Alamogordo.)

SB 58 allows a business with a liquor license to have the option of offering its patrons the service of uncorking a customer’s own bottle of wine and serving it to them  for a fee.

Federal agency traces listeria in Blue Bell product to Iowa

Feb 2, 2017

Federal inspectors have confirmed that listeria found in a brand of Blue Bell ice cream, prompting another recall of its products, originated with a third-party supplier.

The Houston Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/2k4mlh4 ) that the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter last month to Iowa-based Aspen Hills detailing the company's failures in preventing contamination.

The contamination that forced the Blue Bell recall in October was traced to Aspen Hills' chocolate chip cookie dough.

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