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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.

Las Cruces City Council approved the initial funding that will go toward a future soundstage in Las Cruces.

The City Council voted to accept a state legislative appropriation of $402,000 that will be put toward building a soundstage in Las Cruces. Irene Oliver-Lewis, Vice President of Film Las Cruces says it’s exciting to see the first of the funding.

Man Gets Long Prison Term For Drug Trafficking In New Mexico

Jan 19, 2016

A California man has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for drug trafficking and firearm violations in New Mexico.

Prosecutors say 31-year-old Marcos Anthony Correa of San Bernardino also was sentenced Tuesday to five years of supervised release after his prison term.

Correa was indicted in the case in August 2014. He pleaded guilty in June 2015 to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and using a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

The Latest: House GOP Leader Says REAL ID Reform Top On List

Jan 19, 2016

New Mexico House Majority Leader Nate Gentry says Republicans will strongly push for a revision to the state's immigrant driver's license law.

Gentry said Tuesday that House Republicans hope to come to an agreement with the Democratic-controlled Senate to make New Mexico compliant under the federal REAL ID Act.

Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

Around 20 New Mexico Democrats wore "pizza" socks at the start of the New Mexico Legislature in an apparent mocking of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

Senate Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, sported the blue and yellow socks during the governor's State of the State speech and showed them off to supporters.

The socks were in reaction to a holiday hotel party thrown by the governor that drew scrutiny after police were called to investigate a noise complaint.

Heinrich Announces His Nominees To The United States Service Academies

Jan 19, 2016
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced his nominees to the United States Service Academies. A nomination is required to attend the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy–the Coast Guard Academy does not require a nomination. Being nominated is a significant honor. The application process is rigorous, and only the most qualified and meritorious candidates receive a nomination.

2 Indicted By Bernalillo County Grand Jury In Fatal Shooting

Jan 19, 2016

Two men have been indicted by a Bernalillo County grand jury in connection with a fatal shooting last year.

Prosecutors say 22-year-old Jack Daniel Trujillo and 18-year-old Esias Madrid both are accused of first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and other charges.

Albuquerque police say a group of teenagers and young adults were playing a drinking game at a December party at a mobile-home park.

They say a fight erupted that spilled onto the street and ended in gunfire.

Gov. Martinez Wants Driver's Licenses Fixed

Jan 19, 2016
Office of the Governor

Gov. Susana Martinez is taking aim again at New Mexico's practice of issuing driver's licenses to people suspected of being in the country illegally.

She used her State of the State address on Tuesday to urge lawmakers to resolve the long-standing stalemate over the policy and establish a path forward so New Mexico driver's licenses will be acceptable under the federal government's tougher Real ID requirements.

Martinez says immigrants who are in the country illegally should not have preferential treatment at the expense of U.S. citizens.

Downtown Events Set For Las Cruces

Jan 19, 2016

 

  Downtown Events January 18-24, 2016

  • Main St:
  • Farmers and Crafts Market:

o   January 20 & 23, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Museums and Cultural Center:

o   Branigan Cultural Center –The Beggars of Venice, by Ed Smith. The exhibit will be on display through Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016.

o   Branigan Cultural Center –Remembering the Mays, an exhibit celebrating our local history and one of Las Cruces’ pioneering families. The exhibit will run thru Jan. 23, 2016.

  After growing a 14-pound head of cabbage last season, one elementary school student in Carlsbad has added $1,000 to the account for his future college expenses.

In Depth: New Mexico Lobbyists Spend Over $800,000 In 2015 Alone

Jan 19, 2016

  Lobbyists and their employers spent some $818,000 on meals, receptions and gifts for lawmakers and other New Mexico officials in 2015.

Individual lobbyists – 148 of them – spent more $474,000, while 23 businesses spent more than $344,000, reports show.

  The overall total includes a rarity in New Mexico campaign finance reporting -- the money a big New Mexico corporation spent on lobbying services last year.

Garrett Comments On Vado Roads Meeting

Jan 19, 2016
Commissioner Billy Garrett

  On Thursday, Jan. 14, District 1 Commissioner Billy Garrett and Commission Chair Wayne Hancock met with approximately 140 residents from the communities of Vado, Mequite and Berino.

Scheduling conflicts and the time needed to prepare responses to questions raised by community organizers required that the meeting date be postponed several times.

Maintenance of private roads was the primary topic of the meeting.

  University of New Mexico researchers recently completed installation of the nation’s first hospital room equipped with “smart lights” capable of mimicking light from different times of the day.

The room at UNM Hospital can provide sleep medicine reserachers constant feedback on variables ranging from spectral content and intensity to body temperature and positions. Early studies using the new lab may determine whether “night owls” with delayed sleep-wake syndrome can be treated by varying the spectrum of light they are exposed to throughout the day.

“Artists in Residence Program” for the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

Jan 19, 2016

  Las Cruces, New Mexico - The Friends of Organ Mountains Desert Peaks and Bureau of Land Management announce a call to artists to apply for the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument Artist in Residence Program to take place May 1st-31st, 2016.

A New Mexico State University professor is collaborating with a New Mexico company and Arrowhead Center through the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program to test the efficacy of a mosquito repellent wristband that promises to be more effective than other commercially available repellents. The BugBling™ band has different active ingredients compared to other mosquito repellent bands on the market.

Transcript: New Mexico State Of The State Address

Jan 19, 2016
Office of the Governor

 

  Lieutenant Governor; Senate President Pro Tempore; Mr. Speaker; Democrat and Republican leaders; esteemed members of the New Mexico Legislature; Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham; Congressman Steve Pearce; honorable members of the judiciary; former New Mexico governors; tribal governors; Archbishop John Wester; distinguished guests; the State’s first gentleman, my husband, Chuck Franco; the State’s first newlyweds – Carlo and Tara; my sister, Lettie; and, my fellow New Mexicans.

Results of a statewide poll about proposed campaign finance and ethics reforms in New Mexico show broad support among registered voters for more public disclosure of political funding sources.

Common Cause New Mexico commissioned the survey and published results Tuesday as the Legislature convened for a 30-day session that may include campaign finance and ethics initiatives.

Public Domain Photo (U.S. Government)

  In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, The Dona Ana County Branch of the NAACP held a breakfast to remember the struggles of the past and honor the leaders of tomorrow.

Politicians, local leaders, and community members gathered at Hotel Encanto for the 8th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast. President of the NAACP’s Dona Ana County Branch Curtis Rosemond says he hopes the breakfast will continue to grow in the future.

KIDS COUNT Report: New Mexico Has Highest Rate of Child Poverty

Jan 19, 2016

  ALBUQUERQUE—New Mexico has seen some improvement in child well-being—particularly in teen birth rates and on-time high school graduation rates—but not everything is looking up. The state now has the highest rate of child poverty in the nation, according to the 2015 New Mexico KIDS COUNT report. While child poverty is down slightly—from 31 percent in 2013 to 30 percent in 2014—other states have seen bigger improvements in child poverty, leaving New Mexico dead last in this indicator.

Rep. Jason Harper, R-Rio Rancho

A New Mexico alcohol tax that has helped fund college scholarships is set to expire at the end of next year and lawmakers are looking to move that money elsewhere.

In 2014, legislators voted to add $19 million from the alcohol excise tax to the lottery scholarship fund through mid-2018.

Rep. Jason Harper, R-Rio Rancho, says that money should go to drunken driving prevention instead of tuition.

Lawmakers Consider Lower Tuition For Some Students From Mexico

Jan 18, 2016
Courtesy: US Dept. of Education

New Mexico lawmakers are weighing whether to offer lower tuition at state colleges to some international students from Mexico.

The Legislative Finance Committee discusses on Monday the proposal to allow reduced tuition rates to students from the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora who attend New Mexico state colleges.

If endorsed by the committee, the bill would be introduced at a 30-day legislative session that starts on Tuesday.

Texas Governor Meets With Israeli Prime Minister

Jan 18, 2016
http://gov.texas.gov/

Gov. Greg Abbott has told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Texas will maintain its Iran divestiture policy.

A statement from Abbott's office says the governor, who's traveling overseas, met with the Israeli leader on Monday.

Abbott also announced that he'll seek new laws, during the 2017 Legislature, to strengthen prohibitions in Texas on the investment of public funds in Iran.

Report: Pope Francis Is In Touch With A Man On Death Row In Texas

Jan 18, 2016

Vienna's cardinal says he is in touch with a man condemned to die in Texas, and that Pope Francis is following the case, too.

Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn said Monday that he has been in close touch with Richard Masterson, scheduled to be executed on Tuesday. Masterson was convicted of strangling a man who was a female impersonator. Attorneys for Masterson have contended his earlier lawyers were deficient and that his confession about the death of Darin Shane Honeycutt, who went by the stage name of Brandi Houston, was improper.

New Mexico Charter Schools: Cost More, Perform The Same Or Worse

Jan 18, 2016

An evaluation of student achievement at New Mexico charter schools finds higher spending per student with roughly the same academic results as traditional public schools.  The evaluation also finds that charter schools authorized by local school districts perform below charter schools authorized by the state of New Mexico.

The evaluation by New Mexico's Legislative Finance Committee looked at six representative charter schools. The full report is being presented Monday to lawmakers in Santa Fe.

An Overview Of The New Mexico Legislative Session

Jan 18, 2016

The New Mexico Legislature at a glance:

START TO FINISH:

The Legislature convenes at noon Tuesday. It's formally called second session of the 52nd Legislature.

Lawmakers adjourn after 30 days at noon on Thursday, Feb. 18. The governor then has until March 9 to sign bills.

___

THE MAKEUP:

The House has 70 members: 37 Republicans and 33 Democrats. The Senate has 42 members: 24 Democrats and 18 Republicans.

___

PAY:

Monday Business Watch

Jan 18, 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 discusses New Mexico Magazine. 

Santa Fe Establishing City Film Commission

Jan 17, 2016
Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales

Santa Fe will have its own film commission to help lure productions and cultivate independent filmmakers.

The Santa Fe City Council unanimously approved establishing a 16-member commission last week amid inquiries about how it would use its $50,000 budget.

Councilor Joseph Maestas says he will "reluctantly support" the commission but wants more discussions about the film industry's potential in Santa Fe.

Former New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran was released Sunday from a Santa Fe County jail after a 30-day sentence for using political campaign funds to fuel a gambling spree.

A judge ordered Duran to be released at 9 a.m.

Duran pleaded guilty to felony counts of embezzlement and money laundering. Her transgressions have led to calls for a major overhaul of New Mexico's campaign finance and ethics laws during the legislative session that starts on Tuesday.

Former Las Cruces City Councilor Miguel Silva Dead In Apparent Suicide

Jan 17, 2016

NMPolitics.net is reporting that former Las Cruces city councilor Miguel Silva has died in what Las Cruces Police are calling an apparent suicide.

Newsmakers 802, 1/14/15

Jan 17, 2016

This episode of Newsmakers includes the following field reports and
more:  Dona Ana County Community College demonstrates a "use of force"
simulator being used to train area law enforcement officers; students
at UTEP build a soccer field for a shelter in El Paso; and "Living
Here" takes us to the Our Lady of Guadalupe Festival held by Tortugas
Pueblo.

  The New Mexico State University Art Gallery will host the opening reception for “Water! What is it good for?” from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21. This exhibition will allow viewers to engage with multifaceted and complex environmental concerns.

As an associated program, the gallery will present “Relational Sustainability,” an interdisciplinary panel discussion focused on environmental issues, beginning at noonSaturday, Jan. 23, at the UAG. Both events are free and open to the public.

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