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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.

Udall To Vote Against Tom Price For Secretary Of Health And Human Services

Feb 6, 2017
tom price

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he will vote against confirming Congressman Tom Price (R-Ga.) as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Udall released the following statement:

Monday Business Watch

Feb 6, 2017

What’s happening in the world of business in the Mesilla Valley? Time now for the Monday Business Watch with Edmundo Resendez and Jason Gibbs, Business Editor for the Las Cruces Sun-News. This week, managing credit card debt and thinking local first when it comes to shopping. 

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Tight budgets spark talks of unionizing university faculty

Feb 5, 2017
NMSU Chancellor Dr. Garrey Carruthers

Faculty members are talking about setting up a union at New Mexico State University as budget issues persist and departments prepare to reorganize.

Emails provided to the Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/2kCdd4i) show the faculty discussing the possible union come from various departments at the university.

Professor Ken Hammond says efforts to unionize have fizzled out at least three times in about two decades.

He said faculty members are now concerned and even threatened by state-level funding issues as well as how budget decisions will be made.

“Aspirational” recyclers drag down Las Cruces program

Feb 5, 2017

Aspirational recyclers are people who “hope” a material is recyclable and put it in the blue bin or recycling dumpster. “It’s made of plastic, there must be some way to recycle this!” is the thought some people have, and thereby ignore the list of materials that our recycling partner Friedman Recycling can take.

A new program by New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center is offering help to those looking to develop innovative ideas related to agricultural technology.

The Arrowhead Technology Incubator is launching AgSprint, a five-month venture builder program designed to support innovation in agriculture, early this spring. AgSprint acts as a facilitator, connecting agricultural entrepreneurs to financing, demonstration and validation partners, academic faculty, corporate partners and more.

I-10 Closures This Week

Feb 5, 2017

I-10 @ Mesa

Continuous for 6 weeks

The following closures started on Jan.18 and will continue until 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24:

·     The right turn-only lane on eastbound North Mesa Street (SH 20) will close between Osborne Drive and South Desert Boulevard.

·     The right through lane on eastbound North Mesa Street (SH 20) will close between Osborne Drive and South Desert Blvd, but only when necessary and only during the day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Group To Release Information About Health Effects From Trinity Test Radiation Exposure

Feb 5, 2017

Commentary:        The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC) has completed its Health Impact Assessment (HIA) on the effects of July 16, 1945, Trinity Test on New Mexicans and the potential benefits of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) amendments for the residents of the Tularosa Basin. 

The HIA report will be released the week of February 6, 2017, at the events listed below. 

Rep. Bill McCamley (D-New Mexico House District 33)

  Commentary: Santa Fe, NM – A bill to legalize, tax, and safely regulate marijuana passed the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee by a vote of 3 to 1. House Bill 89 would open New Mexico to the $35 billion marijuana industry and create a major new stream of revenue for our ailing economy. The revenue from this act would fund our public schools, substance abuse programs, public safety, and the public defenders office. The act would legalize the social use of marijuana for adults aged 21 or over.

 

Bill to Close Loophole on Gun Sales Passes New Mexico House Committee

Feb 5, 2017

 

Court denies Justice request to immediately reinstate ban

Feb 5, 2017

A federal appeals court has denied the Justice Department's request for an immediate reinstatement of President Donald Trump's ban on certain travelers and all refugees.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco instead asked both the state of Washington and the Trump administration early Sunday to file more arguments by Monday afternoon.

The Trump administration appealed a federal judge's ruling that temporarily placed the ban on hold. The higher court's denial of an immediate stay means legal battles over the ban will continue into the coming week at least.

Police say the boyfriend of a missing West Texas college student has been arrested a day after remains believed to be his girlfriend were found in a shallow grave.

Alpine police Lt. Felipe Fierro says Robert Fabian was arrested Saturday on a charge of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence by concealing a human corpse.

Sul Ross State University junior ZuZu Verk of Fort Worth disappeared last fall. Fierro says Fabian reported Verk missing Oct. 14, then declined to cooperate with police.

Appeals court says Pasadena must change voter election plan

Feb 4, 2017

 A federal appeals court has affirmed a lower ruling that a Houston suburb's voting plan discriminated against Hispanics and cannot be used in May city elections.

The Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/2kzVryO ) reports the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday affirmed a judge's Jan. 16 ruling on Pasadena elections.

U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal decided the Pasadena election system must be under federal oversight for six years. Rosenthal determined the city's voting plan diluted Latino power at the polls.

Ex-leader of drug ring convicted in New Mexico homicide case

Feb 4, 2017

A former leader of a drug trafficking organization that shipped large quantities of methamphetamine from Phoenix into the Alamogordo area of southern New Mexico has been convicted in a 2011 killing.

The Alamogordo Daily News (https://goo.gl/60YWSe ) reports that a state District Court jury in Alamogordo on Friday convicted Joe D. Chavez Jr. of accessory to murder, conspiracy to murder, arson and tampering with evidence in the killing of 31-year-old Richard Valdez.

The victim's body was found in a burned-out station wagon.

It's been mostly ignored by the press, but there's a plan in Congress that could expand health coverage (one hitch...it means putting the national interest above profits).

MALDEF Applauds Pasadena, Texas Voting Rights Decision

Feb 3, 2017

  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit on Friday blocked the City of Pasadena, Texas from using an election system that dilutes Latino voting strength in the upcoming May 2017 municipal election.

City officials had sought a temporary stay after U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal ruled in January that Pasadena’s election system was unconstitutional and violated the federal Voting Rights Act because it intentionally diluted Latino voting strength.

An appeal of the district court’s ruling is still pending.

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.

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