YOUR DAILY UPDATE FOR THURSDAY AUGUST 21, 2014
El Paseo closure
El Paseo Road will be closed from 5 a.m. on Saturday, July 19, until 5 a.m. on Sunday, July 20 so that construction crews can pour concrete on the flooring for the new Las Cruces High School sky-bridge. The sky-bridge is joining the eastern side of the high school campus to the existing west side. New academic buildings are currently under construction on both sides of El Paseo as part of the $80 million renovation project for the 60-year old school.
County adds constituent service person
Doña Ana County Manager Julia T. Brown has announced the formation of a new division of her office to respond in a timely fashion to constituent concerns and complaints, as well as to facilitate community meetings and to assist individual members of the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners in their ongoing outreach efforts.
The Office of Community and Constituent Services will be headed by longtime Doña Ana County employee – and former Undersheriff – Edward Lerma.
The office, Lerma said, will provide an improved pathway to address areas of concern while consistently facilitating clear lines of communication and feedback. The office, he said, will handle issues ranging from road concerns and animal control to expedited service provisions and complaints or concerns related to work done in the field by county personnel.
“Working directly with the county manager, the individual commissioners, the constituents and department heads, the goal of this office will be to identify and resolve issues as they arise in a manner that is as expedited as possible,” Lerma said. “It will be a challenge, but I love a good challenge, and I’m excited to launch this initiative with the confidence of the county manager.”
Brown said creation of the Office of Community and Constituent Services is designed to enhance the ability of the five county commissioners to be responsive to a vast range of needs and concerns as they arise.
“The commission districts are large and diverse,” she said, “and the county’s past efforts to assist the commissioners and their constituents have not gone far enough or been effective enough. It is my vision that by centralizing the response duties, we can improve both response and communication in both directions.”
Downtown plaza deal struck
A public-private effort has forged a deal to create a plaza in Downtown Las Cruces, overcoming obstacles that had stalled the revitalization project previously.
On Tuesday, June 23, the city’s Tax Increment Development District (TIDD) board – which is made up of the City Council – approved spending $5.3 million on the plaza for purchase of the land and construction of the plaza.
The plaza will be located adjacent to the city Municipal Court building between Church Street and Main Street across from the Rio Grande Theatre.
Sheriff warns of phone scam
A tip was called in to the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office Friday, June 20, from a woman who reported that she was the target of a scam that used the sheriff’s office by name.
According to the victim, a man claiming to be a Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputy called the woman to inform her she had warrants for her arrest. In order to clear the warrants, the victim was reportedly told she had to call a phone number with a 904 area code to pay the so-called fines with either a credit or debit card.
The victim further stated that her caller ID listed the man’s phone number as (575) 525-1911, the same number as the sheriff’s office main headquarters in Las Cruces.
The Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office does not notify anyone by phone if they have a warrant, and would never ask for any type of payment over the phone.
An actual sheriff’s deputy called the 904 number Friday and spoke to a man with a Middle-Eastern accent who said he was with Federal Claims Court.
Research done by the sheriff’s office discovered that Federal Claims Court does not exist, but another government agency – the U.S. Court of Federal Claims – hears monetary claims against the United States.
Investigators with the Criminal Investigations Division warn anyone that it is dangerous to give personal or financial information over the phone to anyone you do not know.
To report any corrections, please contact the Las Cruces Bulletin at