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.

Preliminary Hearing Set For Ex-Senator In Fraud Case

May 10, 2016

The former legislator charged in a fraud case is set for a week-long preliminary hearing split between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Albuquerque-based Judge Brett Loveless scheduled the hearing for July 5.

Former state Sen. Phil Griego has pleaded not guilty to charges including bribery and fraud.

Griego had a role in the state's sale of a building in 2014, receiving commissions topping $50,000.

A Senate ethics committee investigated the sale and Griego resigned from the Legislature a week before the end of the 2015 session.

Gov. Martinez Announces Summer Reading Challenge

May 10, 2016
Office of the Governor

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has announced a summer reading challenge using prizes to get students reading.

The governor said Monday the New Mexico True Summer Reading Challenge will keep students engaged during the break and allow them to compete.

The challenge is open to all New Mexico elementary school children ages 5 to 12.

Students who submit a completed log showing that they read six books will receive a New Mexico True bookmark and a certificate.

Democratic Presidential Hopeful Wants On New Mexico Ballot

May 10, 2016

A Democratic presidential candidate not named Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders is fighting to be placed on the ballot in New Mexico.

Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente, a California Democrat, has filed a federal lawsuit to get his name on the New Mexico ballot for the state's June 7 primary.

De La Fuente says he collected enough signatures to be on the state's ballot but the New Mexico Secretary of State's office says his campaign fell short. His campaign disputes that and wants his name next to Clinton and Sanders.

De La Fuente is a businessman based in San Diego.

  Friends and family of Amanda Concha, a kinesiology student at New Mexico State University, often seek her out for advice on workout tips and sports-related injuries.

But once February rolls around, the questions become less frequent, typically because they start to veer away from their New Year’s resolutions, Concha said.

Las Cruces City Council is hoping to team up with other community partners to help stop the growth of the drug “Spice” a synthetic drug.

Council heard from Ruth Rivas, a mother who founded the non-profit Spice is Not Nice in El Paso, after her son Adam, a member of the U.S. Navy died from a Spice overdose.

New Mexico State Fair Announces Concert And Rodeo Schedule

May 9, 2016

  New Mexico State Fair officials announced the majority of performers for the 2016 New Mexico State Fair rodeo-concert entertainment lineup. Tickets for the concerts/rodeos offer an exceptional value, because a concert/rodeo ticket lets you enjoy all that the Fair has to offer included with the price of a ticket.  Season tickets are on sale today, with individual tickets going on sale June 6.

White Sands National Monument

  On Tuesday, May 10, the Today Show is broadcasting live from White Sands National Monument to help the National Park Service recognize and celebrate our Centennial year.  The monument is one of several parks being featured for it's unique geological resources. Our goal for the Centennial is to connect with, and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates.  We also want to kick off a second century of stewardship of America's national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation and historic preservation programs. 


  A 24-year-old man is facing a slew of charges in two states after he’s suspected of leading police on a pursuit to El Paso Sunday morning, carjacking an SUV and briefly kidnapping its owner at gunpoint in El Paso, and then attempting to flee from police a second time upon his return to Las Cruces.

Roswell Police: Suspect Arrested After Man Is Fatally Shot

May 9, 2016

Authorities say a confrontation preceded the fatal shooting of a man in Roswell and a suspect is in custody.

Roswell police arrested 31-year-old William Anthony Otero around 2 a.m. Monday in connection with the case.

They say Otero was detained almost immediately after Sunday night's shooting.

Police say officers found 34-year-old Ralph Pichardo dead on a street about 8 p.m.

Investigators believe there was an argument and a possible fight between Otero and Pichardo before shots were fired.

Navajo Nation Plan New Alert System In Wake Of Girl's Death

May 9, 2016

The Navajo Nation's president is reacting to concerns raised by the abduction and death of an 11-year-old girl by setting a 60-day goal for establishing a new tribal alert system.

Eight hours passed between the initial May 2 missing-persons report by the family of Ashlynne Mike to tribal police and the May 3 issuance of an Amber Alert by New Mexico State Police at the FBI's request.

Tribal President Russell Begaye announced Monday he has created a task force headed by the tribe's telecommunication director and the director of the Department of Public Safety.

New Mexico Ban On Teachers Criticizing Tests To End

May 9, 2016

The New Mexico Public Education Department says it will remove a rule that prohibits teachers from making disparaging remarks about standardized tests.

Department spokesman Robert McEntryre confirmed Monday that officials are working on getting rid of the rule and have never used it against any teacher anyway.

The move comes after the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico filed a lawsuit in March challenging a regulation that prohibits New Mexico teachers and other public school employees from criticizing standardized tests.

Complaint: Stumbling Man In Park Tries To Sell Son

May 9, 2016

An Albuquerque man is facing drug and child abuse charges after authorities say he was found stumbling in a park and reportedly tried to sell his infant son.

The Albuquerque Journal reports a criminal complaint says James Dingman was arrested Saturday morning after a caller told police she heard the man say he wanted "to sell the baby."

The complaint says officers found the 39-year-old Dingman in a park with the baby "swinging around" in the carrier strapped to his chest. Officers say Dingman stumbled when he tried stand up and they feared he might fall on the baby.

Governor Martinez To Discuss Higher Education Reforms

May 9, 2016
Office of the Governor

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez still is pushing higher education reforms aimed at increasing college graduation rates.

The Republican is scheduled Monday to address New Mexico college and university administrators at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, and is expected to press them on limiting degree paths to 120 credit hours.

She also wants them to consider new ways at helping high school graduates who aren't ready for college.

Residents Of Dulce Claim UFO's, Bigfoot Spotted In Area

May 9, 2016

When most people think UFOs and the unexplained in the state they turn to Roswell, but residents of a tiny town in northern New Mexico say they've also seen strange things.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that residents of Dulce, a small town on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation, say they've seen flying saucers, UFOs and fast moving lights moving back and forth in the sky. One resident says he's tracked Bigfoot.

Roswell Police: Unidentified Man Fatally Shot After Argument

May 9, 2016
<p><a href="">Image: Simon Howden /</a></p>

Roswell police say an argument and possibly a fight preceded the fatal shooting of a man who hasn't yet been identified.

Police say the victim was found Sunday night after multiple people called 911 to report hearing gunshots.

The victim is described as a man who appeared to about 30.

According to police, at least three people were involved in the incident and that a fourth person who may have been involved.

Equity Grant Awarded to Doña Ana Communities United

May 9, 2016

Doña Ana Communities United (DACU), an initiative of the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, is committed to building the capacity of communities to develop and implement policies and community-based solutions that improve social, economic, and environmental conditions that shape health. In collaboration with the City of Las Cruces Sustainability Office, DACU has been awarded a grant totaling $51,981. The funding source, Partners for Places Equity Pilot Initiative, is a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities.

Middle School and High School Students from around New Mexico traveled to NMSU to participate in the annual Innoventure competition, an Entrepreneurial competition hosted by the Arrowhead Center.

Marie Borchert, Director of the Innoventure Program at Arrowhead Center says student teams of 2-5 are given a theme at the beginning of the year, and then have to develop a project and meet different business deadlines.

StoryCorps: Yvonne El Ashmawi

May 9, 2016

Time now for KRWG’s StoryCorps which visited our area in January. Daisy Maldonado (37) and her friend, Yvonne El Ashmawi (41), talk about the challenges and experiences they face being Chicana Muslims.

Daisy Maldonado and her friend, Yvonne El Ashmawi on KRWG’s StoryCorps which airs Mondays at 8:45 am and 6:45 pm. KRWG is proud to have hosted 3 StoryCorps so that our stories too can be included in the Library of Congress. You can hear this....and other interviews on the StoryCorps page in the radio krwg-dot-org

Monday Business Watch

May 9, 2016

Every Monday at 7:51am on Morning Edition, Edmundo Resendez covers the week's top local business stories with Las Cruces Sun News Business Editor Jason Gibbs. This week, Jason checks in with the Mesilla Valley Mall.

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

Sandia Peak Tramway Celebrates 50th Anniversary With New Tram Cars

May 8, 2016

The Sandia Peak Tramway got a new set of wheels for its 50th anniversary of providing transportation high above the Sandia Foothills.

Gov. Susana Martinez and Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry were among the officials who helped unveil two new tram cars during a special ceremony Saturday.

CWA Switzerland, which built the original cars as well as tram cars installed during the 20th anniversary, built the new ones.

The new tram cars were christened with the smashing of a champagne bottle.

Officials say the new cars are roomier.

Legislator Demands Answers Over Delays In New Mexico Tax Refunds

May 8, 2016

A New Mexico lawmaker says attempts to crack down on tax refund fraud is delaying money to legitimate taxpayers throughout the state.  Rep. Debbie Armstrong, of Albuquerque, is demanding Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla disclose how regulators choose which taxpayers to scrutinize.

Armstrong says she believes elderly people are being targeted, as most people with delayed returns that she's spoken to have been seniors — including her mother.

El Paso Hotel Guest Killed When Semi Slams Into Hotel

May 7, 2016

A semitrailer rig hauling railroad track rails on its flatbed veered off a West Texas interstate highway and smashed into a motel room, killing the man inside.

The crash happened Friday morning at a Studio 6 motel on Interstate 10 in northwestern El Paso. Police Sgt. Robert Gomez says the truck driver was eastbound when he lost control of his rig, which veered off the highway, through a funeral home parking lot and a brick wall and into the motel room, hitting the guest inside.

Gathering of Nations founder 'appalled' by UNM decision to drop event

May 7, 2016

The founder of North America's largest powwow is appalled at the University of New Mexico's decision to no longer host the Gathering of Nations.

Derek Mathews said in a statement last week that organizers are in discussions to secure a new venue in Albuquerque for 2017.

UNM data shows the powwow resulted in a loss for the university of more than $2,300 in 2015, compared to a rodeo competition last year that brought in about $261,400 in profit for the university.

Talks to renegotiate the Gathering of Nations contract were unsuccessful last year.

The Republican Party of New Mexico is dropping a $100 fee for media seeking to cover its state convention.

GOP officials backtracked Friday on requiring news organizations pay $100 a piece for press credentials to the May 21 convention.

State GOP spokesman W. Tucker Keene says the idea of a fee was to help defray costs, not discourage media from attending.

New Mexico Democratic Party officials criticized the fee as a tactic to duck questions from journalists.

Keene refuted that claim, saying the convention welcomes all press.

Prosecutors Protest Bail In Alamogordo Double-Killing

May 7, 2016

Prosecutors are objecting to the release on bail of a man charged in a double-killing in Alamogordo.

Otero County's 12th Judicial District Attorney's Office is expected to file a motion asking that conditions be placed on 34-year-old Terrick Thompkins' release.

Thompkins, who is accused of fatally shooting 33-year-old Phillip Banka and 30-year-old Jessica Thompkins in March 2015, was released Wednesday on a $240,000 cash surety bond.

GOP States, Including Texas, Benefit From Shift To Renewable Energy

May 7, 2016

U.S. investment in renewable energy projects has outpaced investment in fossil fuels for the second straight year.

The U.S. Department of Energy says wind turbines and solar panels accounted for more than two-thirds of all new electric generation capacity added to the nation's grid in 2015. The remaining third was largely new power plants fueled by natural gas, which has become cheap and plentiful as a result of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Four trees from ex-President George W. Bush's ranch will be part of a West Texas memorial to slain Navy Seal and "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle.

The Odessa American reports crews worked Thursday to replant the live oaks in Odessa, where Kyle was born.

The trees, costing more than $3,000 apiece, were purchased from Bush's ranch near Crawford. Architect Kelly Cook says the trees are symbols of patriotism.

Organizers of the project expect the Chris Kyle Memorial Plaza to open in July. The site will also feature a bronze statue of Kyle.

Police: Body Found Near Golf Course In Albuquerque Is ID'd

May 6, 2016

A body found near a golf course has been identified as a man reported missing by Albuquerque police earlier this week.

Police say children found the body lying next to a chain-link fence Wednesday near Ladera Golf Course.

It's now been identified by the Office of the Medical Investigator as 39-year-old Lee Rowland.

Police say preliminary results don't indicate foul play but an exact cause of death hasn't been determined and more tests are necessary.

Missing 74-Year-Old Roswell Woman Found Dead Near Hagerman

May 6, 2016

Authorities say 74-year-old Roswell woman reported missing late last month has been found dead.

Roswell police say the body of Sharon Berry was located around 6:30 a.m. Friday about 14 miles east of Hagerman.

They say the body was found near her truck by ranchers along the remote road and the woman's dog was found alive nearby.

Police say Berry suffered from dementia.

She disappeared from her house in Roswell on April 28 and was reported missing by her son.

Her death is now being investigated by Roswell police and the Chaves County Sheriff's Office.

NMSU digital literacy camp for girls now accepting applications

May 6, 2016
File photo

  New Mexico State University’s Department of English is accepting applications through Tuesday, May 10, for this summer’s Girlhood Remixed Technology Camp.

The camp will take place June 6-10 in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Creative Media Institute in Milton Hall on the NMSU campus. 

Designed for local middle school girls in grades sixth through eighth, the camp introduces students to different types of technology, including high- and low-tech platforms such as Photoshop, InDesign and iMovie.