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.

Heavy Metals Found Along River Following Mine Spill

Sep 18, 2015

Researchers say they found scattered accumulations of heavy metals along 60 miles of riverbank in Colorado and New Mexico after the Gold King Mine spill, and any potential threat to crops and livestock should be studied further.

David Weindorf of Texas Tech University and Kevin Lombard of New Mexico State University say they found patches of discolored sludge containing elevated levels of iron, copper, zinc, arsenic and lead along the Animas River.

U.S. Appeals Immigration Family Detention Case

Sep 18, 2015

The Department of Homeland Security is appealing a federal court ruling that orders the government to quickly release immigrant children from family detention centers.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh C. Johnson said in a statement Friday that officials are taking steps to comply with the order by U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee but disagree with portions of her decision.

He did not specify which portions.

Federal court records show a notice of appeal was filed Friday.

New Mexico Unemployment Rate Increases To 6.7 Percent

Sep 18, 2015

New Mexico's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent in August, increasing from 6.5 percent in July and 6.4 percent a year ago, despite adding jobs over the year.

State officials said Friday the 3,000-job increase from August 2014 was the state's 36th straight month of over-the-year growth of employment. The state's economy added 2,800 jobs since July.

The state Department of Workforce Solutions said five economic sectors added jobs, seven reported losses and one had no change in employment from August 2014.

New Mexico Official Could Face Prison Time If Convicted

Sep 18, 2015
NM Sec. of State Dianna Duran / Official photo

One of New Mexico's highest ranking elected officials could face prison time and thousands of dollars in fines if convicted of charges that she allegedly misused campaign donations for personal gain.

The possible punishment came into focus Friday after prosecutors filed an amended complaint against Secretary of State Dianna Duran in district court.

They also submitted arguments as to why the case should be heard in Santa Fe after Duran's attorney challenged the court's jurisdiction.

In Depth: Major General Says Bergdahl Should Not Get Prison Time

Sep 18, 2015

The Army officer who conducted the investigation into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's disappearance says he doesn't believe Bergdahl should go to prison for walking away from his post in Afghanistan six years ago.

Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl testified Friday at a hearing to help determine if Bergdahl should face a court-martial on desertion and other charges.

He says Bergdahl told him he felt there were serious problems among his unit's leadership that endangered his platoon and that he needed to tell a general about them.

Missing World War Two Aviator To Be Honored In New Mexico

Sep 18, 2015

The nation's highest ranking military officer listed as missing in action is receiving honors in his birth-state of New Mexico more than 70 years after he mysteriously disappeared.

The city of Roswell is scheduled Friday to host a series of events for Brig. Gen. Kenneth Walker, an officer who helped create an air plan to defeat Hitler in World War II.

Walker and his crew from California, New York and Texas, went missing after a mission over eastern New Britain Province, New Guinea in January 1943. Their remains were never found.

Carlsbad Mental Health Center Official Facing Fraud Charges

Sep 18, 2015

A former Carlsbad Mental Health Center administrator will now facing charges of Medicaid fraud in district court.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports the case against John Bain, former chief operations officer at CMH, was moved over to district court Thursday. Bain faces several fraud charges, including Medicaid fraud and falsification of documents.

Bain's attorney had asked for the case to be dismissed, citing a lack of evidence that Bain knew about his staff's double billing practices. But the judge said supervisors have to be held responsible.

Texas Unemployment Rate Drops To 4.1 Percent

Sep 18, 2015

The Texas unemployment rate for August slipped to 4.1 percent for the state's lowest jobless level since January 2001.

The Texas Workforce Commission said Friday that last month's jobless rate compares to a nationwide unemployment figure of 5.1 percent.

Statewide unemployment held steady in June and July at 4.2 percent.

The commission says the Austin-Round Rock and Midland areas had the lowest unemployment in Texas last month at 3.2 percent. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission region had the state's highest jobless rate at 7.9 percent.

Albuquerque College Says Student Information Possibly Compromised

Sep 18, 2015

Students at an Albuquerque college could be at risk of having their personal information compromised after the college reported that a thumb drive containing students' information was missing.

KOAT-TV reports Central New Mexico Community College officials say the thumb drive with students' birth dates and Social Security numbers was reported missing in July by someone from the school's health center.

Gov. Martinez, Husband To Skydive At Fundraiser

Sep 18, 2015
Office of the Governor

The governor and her husband are going to skydive at a Republican fundraiser.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports House Speaker Don Tripp is hosting corporate donors, lobbyists and at least one political action committee at his home on Saturday. Suggested donations for the event were $75 and about 100 attendees are expected.

Gov. Susana Martinez and he husband Chuck Franco will jump from a Cessna airplane flying at 10,500 feet. Skydive New Mexico members will be jumping as well, holding American flags.

  Doña Ana County Sheriff’s detectives have arrested the man who was reportedly part of a weekend house party west of Las Cruces early Sunday morning that escalated into a street fight and was captured on video. 

Deric Edward Joyce, 22, turned himself in Thursday afternoon at the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department Anthony substation. Joyce was transported to the Doña Ana County Detention Center shortly after being taken into custody. He is charged with aggravated battery, battery, and public affray. He is being held on a $20,000 cash bond.

UNM Schedules New Mexico Child Abuse Summit

Sep 17, 2015

  Medical and child protection professionals and policymakers are encouraged to attend the UNM New Mexico Child Abuse Prevention Partnership Train-the-Trainer Statewide Summit 2015, scheduled Oct. 23-24 at the UNM Health Sciences Center.

The event will be held in the auditorium of the Domenici Center for Health Sciences Education, 1001 Stanford NE in Albuquerque.

UTEP Sees Record Enrollment for 17th Consecutive Year

Sep 17, 2015

  For the 17th consecutive year, a record number of students registered for the fall semester at The University of Texas at El Paso.

The University registered a total of 23,397 students compared to 23,079 last year, a 1.4% overall increase.

UTEP says the growth demonstrates continuing success in providing an accessible and excellent education to the Paso del Norte region.

  The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of the Interior today announced a $940 million proposed settlement with a nationwide class of Native American Tribes and tribal entities that, if approved by the federal district court, would resolve a 25-year-old legal dispute related to contract support costs for tribal agencies.  The proposed settlement would address claims that the United States contracted with tribes to run programs but did not pay the full amounts required by law.

Alerted By Family Dog, 3 Escape Burning Home In Albuquerque

Sep 17, 2015

The Albuquerque Fire Department says three people escaped injury when the family dog alerted them that their mobile home was on fire.

Fire Captain Jason Garcia says the fire occurred early Thursday morning on the 7500 block of Central Northwest.

According to Garcia, the woman and two children in the home were sleeping when the fire started and their dog alerted them.

They got out and call 911 from a neighbor's home.

Garcia says firefighters knocked down the fire within minutes but the family will be displaced from their home.

Father Releases Song From Tejano Star Selena 20 Years After Death

Sep 17, 2015

The father of slain Tejano star Selena has released one of her songs 20 years after the singer was killed in Texas.

Abraham Quintanilla says he found a tape a few weeks ago with a recording made during a rehearsal of the song that Selena wrote. It's called "Oh No (I'll Never Fall in Love Again)."

Selena sang a verse a cappella during a radio interview, which was later posted on YouTube. Quintanilla says fans have asked for the song.

Women Who Died Fleeing Vehicle In Albuquerque ID'd

Sep 17, 2015

Police in Albuquerque say a driver is in custody after a woman tried to jump out of his moving car and was fatally run over.

The arrest of 39-year-old Nathaniel Hertzog was announced Wednesday but police didn't immediately release what charges he is facing.

Police say the incident occurred Saturday night near Lomas Boulevard and Wyoming.

They say the couple was arguing in the vehicle while it was traveling eastbound on a stretch of Lomas that goes over Interstate 40.

Police say 39-year-old Stephanie Frost tried to get out of the vehicle while it was moving.

Albuquerque Vigil Honors Women Walking To See Pope Francis

Sep 17, 2015

A coalition of religious groups and immigrant organizations is holding a vigil in Albuquerque in honor of the women walking 100 miles to see Pope Francis.

The "Interfaith Vigil for Immigrant Justice and Dignity" is scheduled Thursday evening in Albuquerque's Barelas neighborhood.

The vigil will serve as a "send-off" for four Albuquerque women who will join the Women's Pilgrimage for Migrant Justice. The 100-mile march involving 100 women will walk from the York County Detention Center in Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C., later this month.

Texas' Uninsured Rate Falls, But Still Leads Nation

Sep 16, 2015

Texas saw its percentage of residents without health insurance fall 3 points to 19.1 percent — but the state still has the nation's highest uninsured rate.

U.S. Census Bureau data released Wednesday shows about 5 million Texans were uninsured in 2014, down 701,000 from the previous year.

But that's still the nation's highest percentage of residents without health insurance, outpacing other top five-finishers Alaska, Florida, Georgia and Oklahoma.

Nationwide, about 12 percent of people are uninsured.

Pueblo Leader Gets Prison Term In $3.5M Embezzling Scheme

Sep 16, 2015

A former governor of Santa Ana Pueblo has been sentenced to nearly five years in federal prison on charges stemming from a multimillion-dollar embezzlement scheme.

Federal prosecutors say 61-year-old Bruce Sanchez received a 56-month prison term Wednesday followed by three years of supervised release.

Sanchez also was ordered to pay more than $655,000 to the Internal Revenue Service for federal taxes owed on the money he embezzled and failed to report.

Sanchez pleaded guilty to embezzlement and tax evasion in January.

Las Cruces Police Urge Caution With Neighborhood Solicitors

Sep 16, 2015

  Las Cruces Police are encouraging residents use caution when dealing with potentially bogus door-to-door solicitors who claim to be seeking work, or selling everything from magazine subscriptions to home security systems.

Some residents have reported that door-to-door solicitors have become argumentative with homeowners who refuse to talk with them. Others have claimed the solicitors are using aggressive techniques and refusing to leave when asked politely.

NMSU Celebrates National Hispanic-Serving Institution Week

Sep 16, 2015

  New Mexico State University joins the nation in celebrating National Hispanic-Serving Institution Week Sept. 14-18. 

In order to hold Hispanic-Serving Institution status, universities must serve 25 percent or more Hispanic student enrollment.

  The Department of Justice today announced 206 awards, totaling more than $97 million, to American Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages, tribal consortia and tribal designees.  The announcement was made in Washington, D.C., at the 2015 Tribal Leader Briefing, sponsored by the National Congress of American Indians, and included Tribal leaders, Members of Congress and Administration officials. 

The following eight tribes in New Mexico received grant awards totaling $8,053,088.00: 

NMSU Physical Science Lab Deputy Director Receives Top NASA Award

Sep 16, 2015

  A New Mexico State University staff member was recognized for the exemplary work he did over the past two decades in support of NASA’s high-altitude balloon program.

Henry Cathey, now interim deputy director of NMSU’s Physical Science Laboratory, received a NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal.

El Paso Man Sentenced For Federal Drug Conviction

Sep 16, 2015

Carlos Jesus Carrasco, 25, of El Paso, Texas, was sentenced today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction.  Carlos Carrasco was sentenced to 87 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

Las Cruces Man Sentenced To Ten Years For Meth Conviction

Sep 16, 2015

  Joshua Almaguer, 33, of Las Cruces, N.M., was sentenced this afternoon in Las Cruces federal court to 120 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his methamphetamine trafficking conviction. 


Today, during a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on the Gold King Mine spill, U.S. Senator Tom Udall pressed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy about the impact on the Navajo Nation and San Juan County. Udall, who serves on the committee and requested the hearing, pushed McCarthy to commit to a smooth claims process for spill victims seeking compensation, a strong government-to-government relationship between the EPA and the Navajo Nation, and to support designating the area as a Superfund site.

Julian Castro To Headline New Mexico Democratic Party Fundraiser

Sep 16, 2015 (dnc)

Department of Housing and Urban Secretary and rising Democratic star Julian Castro will headline a fundraiser for the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

The party announced Wednesday that Castro will speak at a Sheraton Uptown dinner in Albuquerque on Oct. 16.

A former San Antonio mayor, Castro is a rising star in the Democratic Party and is frequently discussed as a potential vice presidential candidate in 2016.

President Obama raised Castro's national profile in 2012 when he chose him as the keynote speaker for the Democratic National Convention.

Letter: DOJ Reviewing Albuquerque Schools, Juvenile System

Sep 16, 2015

A letter says the U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing allegations that Albuquerque Public Schools is unfairly funneling children with disabilities into the juvenile justice system.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta wrote Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham a letter last month informing the Albuquerque Democrat the Justice Department is looking into allegations brought by a parent.

That parent also says the district is denying parents information about force used on children with disabilities and parents face retaliation for complaining.

Another New Mexico Lawmaker Addresses Spending Questions

Sep 16, 2015

A New Mexico lawmaker who's the latest to be questioned about campaign spending is calling for a review of all finance records filed by elected officials and candidates.

Rep. James Roger Madalena made the statement Wednesday after it was confirmed that the secretary of state's office was looking into his filings.

The Democrat from Jemez Pueblo reported spending campaign money on surgery expenses, attire from a Nike factory store and satellite TV service.