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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 Attorney General Hector Balderas

Santa Fe, NM - Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that he filed a federal civil action against a group of individuals and businesses, located in California, who were taking advantage of New Mexicans facing foreclosure. The complaint alleges that the group violated state and federal consumer protection laws by sending deceptive mass mailings to over 4,400 New Mexico homeowners offering foreclosure relief and loan modification.

Las Cruces Assistant City Manager Resigns

Dec 21, 2016

 

Assistant City Manager/Chief Operating Officer Daniel Avila has submitted his resignation effective Dec. 31. Avila was hired on June 22, 2015 to replace Brian Denmark who retired from the City of Las Cruces after 29 years of service.

In a press release, the city stated, "The City of Las Cruces wishes Mr. Avila well in his future endeavors."

Avila had been on leave from the city in recent weeks.

Taxation Department In Flux After Head's Departure

Dec 21, 2016
tax.newmexico.gov

The state Taxation and Revenue Department is working to move forward after Secretary Demesia Padilla's abrupt resignation last week.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Deputy Secretary John Monforte, who is now leading the department, says he has held several town hall meetings to speak with staff after Padilla resigned on Thursday, the day after state investigators raided tax agency offices.

Investigators seized personal and business income tax records for Padilla and her husband.

Feds Pour $225 Million Into Water Projects Around The US

Dec 21, 2016
facebook.com/USDA

The federal government will be pouring nearly a quarter-billion dollars into several dozen projects aimed at tackling the effects of drought in the West and restoring watersheds that provide drinking water to communities around the nation.

The $225 million in funding will be shared among 88 projects, from California's Central Valley to centuries-old irrigation systems in northern New Mexico and thousands of square miles of fragmented streams in Maine.

Police: New Mexico Man Arrested For His 12th DWI

Dec 21, 2016

New Mexico police say a man has been arrested on his 12th drunken driving charge.

The Las Vegas Optic reports 45-year-old Edward Moya was arrested earlier this month after a state police officer reported seeing him travel 120 mph in northern New Mexico. Authorities say he was taken into custody following a short chase.

Police say Moya smelled of alcohol and admitted to consuming alcohol.

New Mexico State Police say Moya had been arrested 11 previous times for drunken driving.

Silver City Report

Dec 21, 2016

Time now for the Silver City Report with Edmundo Resendez and Silver City Press and Independent reporter, Ben Fischer. This week, the hospital board voted to hire an interim CEO, a burglar overdoses, and two local authors win awards. 

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

Texas gives Planned Parenthood notice of Medicaid ouster

Dec 20, 2016

Texas has given Planned Parenthood final notice of plans to cut off Medicaid funding, a move that federal judges have so far blocked other Republican-controlled states from making.

Planned Parenthood responded Tuesday by saying it will also ask a court to stop Texas from defunding clinics in January. Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Kansas are among the states where judges have denied similar efforts.

Planned Parenthood says its clinics serve nearly 11,000 women in Texas each year through Medicaid.

Las Cruces Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Drug Charges

Dec 20, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE – Jimmy Alex Barela, Jr., 38, of Las Cruces, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to methamphetamine and heroin trafficking charges.  The guilty plea was entered without the benefit of a plea agreement.

Heinrich Announces Funding For Innovative STEM Education Program At KAFB

Dec 20, 2016

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced $25 million in authorized funding for the continuation of the nationwide STARBASE program, which motivates fifth grade students to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) through hands-on learning in collaboration with military installations.

Albuquerque Police Identify Victim In Gruesome Death

Dec 20, 2016

Police have identified the man who was found beheaded and mutilated behind an Albuquerque store over the weekend.

Police say 42-year-old Clifford Miller of McAlester, Oklahoma, was found behind a store on the city's northeast side.

Police spokesman Fred Duran says the body was discovered on Saturday. He said Miller had gone to New Mexico within the past few months with plans to find work in Albuquerque.

Miller was found nude and had been castrated. Police are still investigating and are looking for any information about the killing.

The Latest: 2 Arrested After Police Find 21 Stolen Cars

Dec 20, 2016

The Latest on the seizure of 21 stolen cars in Albuquerque (all times local):

12:37 p.m.

Authorities say they've arrested two men after an investigation led to the recovery of 21 stolen vehicles in Albuquerque's south side.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department says 32-year-old Gilbert Sanchez was arrested on a felony warrant and probation violation. The department also says 43-year-old Jerry Frazier is facing 21 counts of receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle, along with felon in possession of a firearm and drug possession.

Convicted Serial Killer Tries To Withdraw Guilty Plea

Dec 20, 2016

Convicted killer Clifton Bloomfield has tried to withdraw his guilty plea in the killings of five people in New Mexico.

Attorney General Hector Balderas says he's not going to let that happen.

Balderas said he argued before Judge Benjamin Chavez on Tuesday that Bloomfield should remain in prison the rest of his life and that his request to withdraw his murder plea should be dismissed without a hearing.

Bloomfield pleaded guilty in 2008 to murdering five people.

Las Cruces Art Exhibit For Area Teens

Dec 20, 2016

The City of Las Cruces Parks & Recreation Department is issuing a call for teen artists to submit their artwork for the third annual “Chaos Collaboration”, an art show with music performances for teens by teens, bringing a fresh perspective to local culture.

nmtechbookstore.com

The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech) will assess the value of approximately 6.6 million acres of unleased federal mineral estate in New Mexico that could potentially support early childhood education, according to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) approved by New Mexico State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn.

The MOU is part of the commissioner’s due diligence process to determine the feasibility of assuming ownership and management of the unleased federal split estate minerals.  The surface estate is privately-owned.

Santa Fe Bishop Denounces New Mexico 'Food Tax' Idea

Dec 20, 2016

The Roman Catholic church is calling on New Mexico residents to reject a proposal to reinstate a food tax.

Santa Fe Archbishop John C. Wester said he will oppose efforts to restore a food tax in New Mexico, especially since the majority Hispanic state ranks the highest nationally in child poverty.

Rep. Jason Harper, R-Rio Rancho, says his proposal would reinstate a food tax but lower the sale tax rate from 8 percent to nearly 4. He says the plan would not force New Mexico residents on food stamps to pay food taxes.

NMSU Awards Fallen Hatch Officer With A Posthumous Degree

Dec 20, 2016
Fallen Hatch, NM, officer Jose Chavez

New Mexico State University has awarded a posthumous degree to a Hatch police officer who was killed in the line of duty.

The degree was awarded to the family of Officer Jose Chavez during the university's fall commencement ceremony in Las Cruces.

Chavez died Aug. 12 after being shot during a traffic stop.

University Chancellor Garrey Carruthers said during the commencement that Chavez was a dedicated student and gave his life serving the community.

Civic Groups To Grade Crime Bills In New Mexico's Upcoming Session

Dec 20, 2016

A coalition of civil liberties, human rights and faith-based groups in New Mexico has created a new litmus test for criminal justice legislation designed to encourage evidence-based proposals and question highly politicized calls for harsh penalties.

New Mexico ACLU Public Policy Director Steven Robert Allen says members of New Mexico Safe coalition plan to assign letter grades to major criminal justice bills before proposals reach initial committee hearings early next year.

Las Cruces Library Offers Free Computer Classes in January

Dec 19, 2016

  Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, 200 E. Picacho Ave., will hold free computer literacy classes during the month of January. Registration is not required, however, only the first 8 attendees will be guaranteed a computer. Attendees are welcome to bring their own laptops if space permits.

 

Introduction to Computers: The Basics – Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2 - 4 p.m.

Big data, cyber-human systems and flash drive technology are among the projects receiving more than $1.89 million in National Science Foundation awards to computer science faculty at New Mexico State University this year. 

In addition to the research grants, which range from two to three years long, NMSU’s computer science department in the College of Arts and Sciences has another reason to be proud. The department recently received initial accreditation for NMSU’s bachelor of science in computer science degree from the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). 

New Mexico MainStreet Program Receives National Reaccreditation

Dec 19, 2016

Santa Fe, N.M. - The New Mexico Economic Development Department (NMEDD) announced today that the New Mexico MainStreet program has been reaccredited and licensed through the National Main Street Center, Inc. for 2017.

The Latest: Trump Wins Electoral College Vote, Presidency

Dec 19, 2016
facebook.com (donald trump)

The Latest on the Electoral College meeting Monday to formally elect Donald Trump the nation's 45th president (all times EST):

5:28 p.m.

Donald Trump has cruised to victory in the Electoral College despite thousands of anti-Trump protesters who converged on state capitols across the country.

Monday's vote ensures that the billionaire will become America's 45th president.

Las Cruces Winter Camp Registration

Dec 19, 2016

Registration for the City of Las Cruces Parks & Recreation Department’s Winter Camp will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the following locations:

Parks and Recreation Department administrative office, 1501 E. Hadley Ave.

Meerscheidt Recreation Center, 1600 E. Hadley Ave.

The Las Cruces Regional Aquatic Center, 1401 E. Hadley Ave.

and Frank O’Brien Papen Community Center, 304 W. Bell Ave.

Events On Tap For Las Cruces Museum

Dec 19, 2016

Culture Series: Cowboy Music and Storytelling by Steve Cormier

Jan. 12, 7 p.m.

Cowboy music is the Western version of the human condition, according to Steve Cormier. His music is mainly old and traditional cowboy fare and reflects his nine years as a ranch and farm hand. Teaching college history for 22 years also has influenced his music. Along the way, he has played roles in film and television. Admission is free.

Exhibit Opening: Jay Hill: Our Wholesome Valley

Jan. 19, 5:30-8 p.m.

SANTA FE – New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announces that all five of New Mexico’s presidential electors have voted for Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton.  This result aligns with the November 8, 2016, New Mexico popular vote, where Clinton prevailed with 385,234 votes to Republican Donald Trump’s 319,666 votes. 

NMSU ranks as a leading degree producer for minorities

Dec 19, 2016

New Mexico State University has been honored as a top university for awarding degrees to minority students. In its annual ranking, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education publishes the Top 100 producers of associate, bachelor’s and graduate degrees issued to minority students. 

Las Cruces Man Indicted for Vehicular Homicide

Dec 19, 2016

  LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Today, District Attorney Mark D’Antonio announced that a grand jury has indicted a Las Cruces man accused of causing a fatal car accident while driving drunk.  

Adam Spaulding, now 24, is charged with one count of homicide by vehicle, a third-degree felony. He is also charged with aggravated driving under the influence, reckless driving, driving without a seat belt and driving without insurance, all misdemeanors. 

NMSU honors fallen Hatch police officer with posthumous degree

Dec 19, 2016

New Mexico State University awarded late Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez with a posthumous degree during the university’s fall 2016 commencement ceremony Dec. 10 at the Pan American Center. Chavez, an NMSU student, died Aug. 12 after being shot during a traffic stop. 

ALBUQUERQUE – Gabriela Castro, 24, a legal permanent resident from El Paso, Texas, pled guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine in Doña Ana County, N.M. 

US, Mexico Wildlife Officials Draft Recovery Plan For Jaguar

Dec 19, 2016
Photo courtesy Flickr Commons/Eric Kilby

A team of wildlife officials in the United States and Mexico has drafted a recovery plan for the endangered jaguar.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the plan Monday. While the elusive cat is found in 19 countries stretching from the American Southwest to South America, the agency says the plan focuses on efforts in northern Mexico and the U.S.

Earlier this month, video captured in a southern Arizona mountain range shows what is believed to be the second wild jaguar spotted in the U.S. in recent years.

Third Judicial District Attorney's Office

Today, District Attorney Mark D’Antonio announced that Sam Olmstead has been named the New Mexico Children’s Court prosecutor of the year by the State Bar of New Mexico.

Olmstead, a senior trial attorney, has worked for the 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office since 2015. He currently oversees the prosecution of juvenile defendants including those designated as serious youthful offenders. 

He also helped revamp a dormant truancy program while securing more truancy convictions than any previous administration.   

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