Non-Local News Releases

This category will feature news releases from out-of-area government agencies and representatives, as well as events that are not taking place in the four-county area of Grant, Catron, Hidalgo or Luna. For those events please visit Local News Releases.

Statewide- New Mexico State Police will continue to respond, investigate and potentially cite citizens or businesses who refuse to comply with the amended Emergency Public Health Order.

On June 30th, 2020 New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham extended the Public Order to July 15th, 2020 which requires all New Mexicans to wear personal protective face covering while in public. New Mexico State Police will ensure the public and places of business adhere to this mandate.

Officers will issue a citation to individuals who intentionally disregard the Public Health Order face covering requirements under Public Health Act (contrary to NMSA 24-1-1 a petty misdemeanor). The violation could carry a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) or imprisonment in the county jail for a definite term not to exceed six months.  Citations can be issued by all state and local law enforcement agencies in accordance with Section 12-10-10.

Kunkel will remain in place through crisis to assist state response

SANTA FE – New Mexico Secretary of Health Kathyleen Kunkel announced on Friday her intention to retire, although she will remain in her position through the current wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to ensure a smooth leadership transition.

The Lujan Grisham administration will begin a nationwide search for a full-time replacement.

“Every single day of this public health crisis has been a physically and mentally exhausting ordeal – not just for the Department of Health, not just for the thousands of health care professionals putting their lives and livelihoods on the line to protect New Mexicans, but for all of us as the people of this state,” Kunkel said.

SANTA FE — The New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department on Wednesday launched the state’s first Extended Foster Care program, Fostering Connections, which extends the age of support and services available to young adults involved with CYFD from the age of 18 to 21.  Some of the extended supports available to young adults include guaranteed housing, guaranteed connection to community based behavioral health supports, job assistance, food access, and money for college.

Fostering Connections was first passed in the 2019 legislative Session with clean up legislation in the 2020 Session.  It opts in to the increased supports and funding made possible by a 2008 federal law by the same name.  These valuable services were made possible by the leadership of Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham, the bi-partisan sponsorship of Senator Michael Padilla and Senator Candace Gould, and many, many young people who spoke in support of the legislation.  Both bills passed unanimously in the New Mexico House and Senate.

Doña Ana County, NM – On July 1, 2020, at about 9:00 p.m. the New Mexico State Police responded to a fatal crash involving a motorcycle on New Mexico State Road 478 around mile post 8 south of Las Cruces. 

The initial investigation indicates that a 2006 Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by Genaro Baeza (58) of Vado, NM was traveling south on State Road 478 when for unknown reasons the motorcycle left the roadway and crashed. 

Baeza was transported by ambulance to a Texas area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased. Alcohol appears to have been a factor and Baeza was not wearing a helmet. 

SANTA FE – The state Supreme Court today upheld an Albuquerque man’s convictions and sentence for the robbery and beating death of an elderly homeless man.

The Court unanimously rejected Nigel Johnson’s arguments that there was insufficient evidence to support his convictions and that his punishment for first-degree felony murder and conspiracy to commit robbery violated constitutional protections against double jeopardy. Johnson was sentenced to life in prison. Felony murder is a killing that occurs during the commission of a felony.

According to evidence presented at trial, Johnson was among three young men who left an Albuquerque convenience store early in the morning of Aug. 10, 2016, crossed a street and then beat and robbed the victim, Irvin Sanchez.

unnamed 57The New Mexico State University Library will offer a curbside pickup service for NMSU faculty, staff and students July 6-31. The pilot project will offer access to general circulation items located in Zuhl and Branson libraries. (NMSU photo by Josh Bachman)The New Mexico State University Library will begin a pilot service for curbside pickup Monday, July 6. The free service for NMSU faculty, staff and students will run through the end of the July and offers access to general circulation items located in Zuhl and Branson libraries.

An NMSU ID is required and must be presented at pickup. Faculty can designate a proxy, but a form must be submitted prior to pickup. Forms are available upon request by calling the Zuhl help desk or online at the library website.

ROSWELL, N.M. – With the easing of public health and safety restrictions enacted by State of New Mexico health officials, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Roswell Field Office today announced that it has reopened the Valley of Fires Recreation Area. This includes the visitor center, vault toilets and bath house. The BLM is working servicewide with Federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a case-by-case basis.

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At the BLM, our operational approach is to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and to regularly monitor these. We continue to work closely with the Department of the Interior and follow CDC guidance to ensure public and employee spaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers. 

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Editor's Note

Check out Pets to Adopt. The High Desert Humane Society has some new cats and dogs up for adoption.

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