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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's Corn Crop Expected To Grow In 2017

Apr 3, 2017
facebook.com/USDA

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal agriculture officials say New Mexico's corn crop is expected to be slightly bigger in 2017.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's statistics service says a survey in March of growers in the state indicate they are planning to plant about 125,000 acres of corn this year. That's enough to cover 195 square miles (505 square kilometers).

Sorghum and cotton planting also is expected to be up this year, but the surveys show the peanut acreage will likely remain the same at 8,000 acres (32 square kilometers).

Martinez Announces Teacher Evaluation Changes

Apr 2, 2017
Office of the Governor

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — It has been the source of legal fights, protests and much debate by lawmakers, but after hearing from educators around New Mexico, Gov. Susana Martinez said Sunday that her administration is making changes to the state's long-contested teacher evaluation system.

"Our teachers have spoken, and we've listened," Martinez said after a weekend stop at a charter school in Albuquerque. "These changes are for teachers and by teachers, and I know they'll help build on the success we're seeing in the classroom."

Stephanie Ly-AFT NM President / aft photo

Commentary: Albuquerque – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly released the following statement:

 

“This afternoon, Governor Martinez announced changes to the New Mexico evaluation system she described as ‘compromises’ between educators in New Mexico public schools and the Public Education Department during a tightly controlled press conference at an Albuquerque charter school.

 

NMSU Regents To Consider Tuition Hike Monday

Apr 2, 2017
Darren Phillips, NMSU

  LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A tuition hike could be coming for New Mexico State University students.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the New Mexico State University Board of Regents will consider the rate increase Monday.

Officials are proposing a tuition and fee rate hike of up to 6 percent for the Las Cruces campus.

That would increase the cost from about $254 to $269 per credit hour.

A student with a full-time course load of 15 credit hours would pay $196 more per semester.

What to Watch: Could North Carolina backtrack affect Texas?

Apr 2, 2017

  AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — As Texas grapples with whether to embrace a North Carolina-style "bathroom bill," that state is working to water down its own.

North Carolina state lawmakers last week approved legislation not fully repealing the law that caused national uproar and costly boycotts of concerts and NCAA sporting events — but taking a big step in that direction.

New Mexico “Letters About Literature” Champions Announced

Apr 2, 2017

Raven Callaway-Kidd, a fifth grade student at Turquoise Trail Elementary in Santa Fe, is the Level 1 champion.  Raven wrote her letter to Holly Schindler about her book, The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky.

One thing every graduate student works toward is writing an intriguing and thorough thesis to show that they are absolute experts at a subject. 80,000 words would normally take about nine hours to present, but these New Mexico State University students have three minutes. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will present the sixth annual “Three-Minute Thesis” competition at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 8, at Corbett Center Auditorium. The deadline for students to register for the competition is Thursday, April 6.

I-10 Closures This Week

Apr 2, 2017

Sunday, April 2

3 a.m. to noon

·     I-10 Eastbound will close completely at Sunland Park Dr (Exit 13). Motorists will exit at Sunland Park Dr (Exit 13) and take North Mesa St (SH 20) to Executive Center Blvd. People may re-enter I-10 East from Executive Center Blvd. Follow the detour signs in place.

·     The Sunland Park Flyover Entrance Ramp to I-10 Eastbound will close.

·     The Resler Flyover Entrance Ramp to I-10 Eastbound will close.

·     Paisano Drive (US 85) will close at Sunland Park Dr and at Crockett St.

  Kevin Rudi was 27 years old when he passed away November 12, 2014, from spindle cell sarcoma. His New Mexico State University fraternity brothers started a foundation to honor his memory and to raise money for sarcoma research.

Las Cruces – DACC student artists will present their work at the Doña Ana Community College (DACC) student art exhibit from April 7 to April 28, 2017.  “The Artful Earth” features students’ creative images from all art disciplines at the community college.

The exhibit is hosted by the Cottonwood Gallery located inside Southwest Environmental Center, on the downtown mall, 275 N. Main St. An opening reception as part of the downtown arts ramble will be held in honor of the artists at the Gallery from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, April 7.

Troubled Santa Fe art school won't accept new students

Apr 1, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The future of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design is in doubt after negotiations for the sale of the school to an Asian company broke down.

Interim President Maria Puzziferro is downplaying the option of closing but the for-profit school has decided not to accept any new students for the coming academic year.

The Santa Fe school is owned by Laureate International Universities. The city leases the campus to the university for $2.2 million a year. Laureate had hoped to sell its assets to Raffles Education Corp., but the deal stalled.

UNM Basketball Coach Out After Four Years

Apr 1, 2017

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — After four years as head coach and 10 overall with New Mexico, Craig Neal and the Lobos have parted ways.

"He's a good man and a winning coach, but the time has come to move Lobo Basketball in a new direction," athletic director Paul Krebs said in a statement late Friday from the Final Four in Glendale, Arizona.

He said a search for a successor begins immediately.

The move comes just three weeks after Krebs had given Neal a vote of confidence following the Lobos' loss in the Mountain West Conference quarterfinals.

Former U.S. Sen. Bingaman Endorses Michelle Lujan Grisham for Governor

Apr 1, 2017

Commentary: ALBUQUERQUE – Former U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman announced his endorsement of Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham in her bid for the Democratic nomination for Governor of New Mexico.

“In my 30 years in the United Stated Senate, I saw some excellent leadership,” Bingaman said. “It was clear who was in politics for personal gain and who was really there for their constituents. So I can tell you with certainty: Michelle Lujan Grisham is a true leader who fights tooth and nail for New Mexicans in Washington. That is why I proudly support her for Governor.

 

Silver City, NM – Things seem a little Upside Down at Western New Mexico University today.

Each year, WNMU’s website transforms on April Fools Day as a surprise to visitors of the page. This year’s theme is a take off of the popular Stranger Themes show on Netflix.

Several news stories with plot elements and characters from the show are featured including cryptic messages sent through Christmas lights, and rise of 80s fashion trends by the millennial generation.

Water Shortages Expected In New Mexico

Mar 31, 2017

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — In all but one corner of New Mexico, water managers are projecting shortages in drinking and irrigation supplies given expected demand and variability in rainfall over the next few decades.

Like many places in the West, the arid state is recuperating from an unprecedented drought that peaked in 2013. The sting has yet to go away as a month of record-setting temperatures and little rain have left dry conditions across the eastern plains and parts of southern New Mexico.

New Mexico Continues Fight Against Trump’s Illegal Travel Ban

Mar 31, 2017
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

Commentary: Albuquerque, NM - Attorney General Hector Balderas has joined 16 fellow state attorneys general in continuing the fight against President Donald Trump’s unconstitutional travel ban by filing an amicus brief in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The brief urges the court to reject the Trump administration’s request to reinstate the travel ban while it appeals a decision from the U.S.

Best named president of NMSU’s Grants campus, effective June 1

Mar 31, 2017

  Mickey Best, the vice president for learning at South Arkansas Community College, has been appointed president of New Mexico State University – Grants, effective June 1. 

“I think Mickey Best is an outstanding choice to lead our Grants campus,” said NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers. “I was particularly impressed with how quickly he connected with the faculty and staff, as well as the Grants community. That bodes well for his future in New Mexico, where relationships are key to success. I look forward to seeing him lead the campus.”

SANTA FE, NM — The New Mexico Department of Health’s Office of School and Adolescent Health will host the 21st annual Head to Toe conference at the Albuquerque Convention Center April 19-20, 2017. More than 500 school nurses, counselors and social workers will meet, network and learn valuable skills and best practices to take back to their schools across New Mexico.

New Mexico State University’s Doña Ana County Cooperative Extension Service will offer a free six-week Chronic Disease Self-Management Program starting on April 11. 

Developed and tested by Stanford University, the CDSMP has been proven to improve health and quality of life for adults with one or more chronic health conditions. 

Issues And Answers: Advocacy At Work

Mar 31, 2017

Students in the New Mexico State University College of Health and Social Services served as mentors to Las Cruces High School students over the last year, teaching them how to be health advocates.

Newsmakers 910

Mar 31, 2017

Las Cruces Auto Burglary Suspects Sought

Mar 31, 2017

Las Cruces Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that helps identify the suspects who broke into and burglarized several vehicles on Lookout Ridge.

The auto burglaries occurred at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday, March 19, on Lookout Ridge. Video surveillance from one residence shows a newer-model vehicle drive up and two suspects exit. One of the suspects can clearly be seen checking door handles and entering vehicles that he burglarizes.

Several vehicles were burglarized that morning.

Rep. Beto O'Rourke Begins Campaign To Unseat Senator Ted Cruz In 2018

Mar 31, 2017
Rep. Beto O'Rourke kicks off his Senate campaign

  

  AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Democratic Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke kicked off his bid to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on Friday, vowing an unscripted and unconventional campaign that could catch voters' imagination at a moment when Democrats are eager to go on offense against the Trump administration.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Santa Fe Public Schools officials are standing behind the superintendent's decision to dismiss schools early for a public rally calling for the legislators to stop slashing school budgets.

The district sent New Mexico Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera a letter Thursday defending Superintendent Veronica Garcia's decision to close schools early on March 16. The letter was in response to a letter from Skandera's office last week claiming Garcia's actions broke the law.

New Mexico High Court Clarifies Trespass In Portales Case

Mar 31, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has found that the general public doesn't automatically have permission to enter a property if there are no signs posted to prevent trespassing.

The court issued a ruling Thursday in a 2011 case in which Trevor Merhege was convicted of criminal trespass after running through the front yard of a Portales home and trying to jump a fence.

The Court of Appeals had reversed Merhege's conviction after he argued that the property wasn't posted as private and that the state had insufficient evidence to prove the trespass charge.

New Mexico Fishing Season Starts April 1st

Mar 31, 2017
facebook.com/nmdgf

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Game and Fish Department is reminding anglers that the fishing season begins this weekend and new licenses will go on sale starting Friday afternoon.

Licenses can be purchased around the clock on the department website or during business hours at department offices and license vendors statewide. They are also available by calling the department's information center.

The fishing license year runs from April 1 to March 31, 2018.

Your Weekend Pulse!

Mar 31, 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, live music and entertainment in Las Cruces and laugh it up in Spanish or English. 

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Senator José Rodríguez Blasts Texas School Voucher Plan

Mar 30, 2017

Commentary: Austin – Senator José Rodríguez, Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, released the following statement regarding Senate Bill 3, which redirects public school money to private schools:

Instead of fixing the state's chronic, long-term underfunding, the Senate voted instead to squeeze the system even tighter by redirecting public money to private schools through vouchers.

Heinrich Questions Witnesses During Hearing On Russian Interference In The 2016 Election

Mar 30, 2017
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) asked a series of questions during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence open hearing related to the Committee’s investigation into Russian intelligence activities. The hearing, Disinformation: A Primer in Russian Active Measures and Influence Campaigns, consisted of two panels to provide a foundational understanding of Russian active measures and information operations campaigns.

Navajo Leaders Look For Way To Keep Mine, Power Plant Open

Mar 30, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) — Navajo Nation political leaders are planning to ask the federal government for subsidies to keep a mine and generating station in northern Arizona open.

The current owners of the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station say it is not currently profitable and voted recently to run it until the end of 2019 and then give up ownership, The Arizona Republic reported Thursday (http://bit.ly/2nPBqFz ).

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