YOUR DAILY UPDATE FOR THURSDAY MAY 28, 2015
New Mexico State Wins WAC Commissioner’s Cup for most titles
The Western Athletic Conference announced the winner of its annual Commissioner's Cup with this year's honor going to New Mexico State with 89.25 points.
The WAC awards its Commissioner's Cup to the school with the best performances in each of the conference's 19 men's and women's championships.
The Aggies finished the year with 11 WAC championships, winning the postseason titles in men’s basketball, women's basketball, men's tennis, women's tennis, men’s golf, women’s golf and softball.
The men’s basketball, women's basketball, men’s tennis and softball teams also claimed regular season titles.
Points are awarded in order of finish, equal to the number of teams that participate in each sport and are averaged between a team’s regular season finish - if applicable - and its WAC championship finish.
All 11 of the Aggies’ titles came in less than a two-month span, from March 14 to May 10, a timeframe that saw NM State win seven-consecutive WAC postseason championships.
Seattle U finished in second place with 85.75 points. The Redhawks won three WAC championships, winning postseason titles in women’s cross country and women’s soccer. The women’s soccer team added a regular season title.
Dollar General makes surprise $40,000 donation to Oñate High for 'Reading Revolution'
Dollar General arrived at Oñate High School in Las Cruces, New Mexico this afternoon ready to start a revolution. Company representatives carried a yellow and black box with a very special gift inside. When school leaders opened the box in front of a classroom of curious students, they were surprised and elated to find a check for $40,000
“Dollar General is very passionate about its mission of Serving Others, and we are all excited to surprise Oñate High School with a donation to further their reading and literacy programs,” said Phillip Ortega, Dollar General’s Regional Director. “We hope this donation will help equip the school with the tools and resources it needs to improve the learning experience for students.”
The donation from Dollar General is part of its new Reading Revolution program. The program aims to provide schools with additional resources to purchase books, computers and other educational supplies to enhance their reading and literacy programs.
Oñate High School was chosen for the donation because of the strong community contributions to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation through the Cash Cube program available in stores, particularly at store #13442 located at Mesa Grande Drive and Calle Bella Avenue in Las Cruces. Dollar General plans to make donations to additional schools through its Reading Revolution program in various locations where it has a strong presence.
“By supporting Oñate High School with this gift, we hope to help students become better readers, more successful students and lifelong learners,” said Denine Torr, Dollar General’s director of community initiatives.
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Shooting at Las Cruces senior center leaves two injured
A shooting at senior care facility The Village at Northrise at 2880 N. Roadrunner Parkway, has left two people injured, Las Cruces Police Department Spokesman Dan Trujillo said.
He confirmed the police do have a suspect in custody.
Trujillo said more information will be released later this Monday, May 11.
The Whole Enchilada Fiesta canceled after 34 years
The Whole Enchilada Fiesta is no more.
The event’s board of directors announced Wednesday, May 6, that after 34 years, the three-day festival could not survive for a 35th.
The following is the announcement from board president Sonia Saldana:
After 34 years and varied circumstances, including, but not limited to, the retirement of Roberto Estrada’s making of the Guinness Book of World Record holder “The Whole Enchilada”, the 2014 board of directors for the fiesta has voted to retire the event.
Throughout its history, the fiesta has received recognition as one of the top 100 fiestas in the country and as one of the top 3 largest events in New Mexico featuring artists such as Brooks and Dunn, Selena, Los Lobos, Josh Grider, Malo, Bri Bagwell and many more. As a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, the Whole Enchilada Fiesta relied heavily on sponsorships not only to make the event possible, but also to make it one of the premier events in the State of New Mexico.
The Whole Enchilada Fiesta celebrated Southern New Mexico’s food, fun, people and traditions through its rich cultural diversity. For the past 34 years, the three-day event attracted community members and business people within NM, other states and different countries. It provided a quality experience for people of all ages through its involvement in the community and volunteer opportunities.
The intent of the fiesta has always been to raise funds and give back to the community. Therefore, after all financial commitments have been fulfilled and assets have been liquidated, all remaining funds will be dispersed to community non-profit organizations. Non-profits that would like to be considered for TWEF proceeds should send a letter of interest to: THE WHOLE ENCHILADA FIESTA, INC., P.O. Box 8248, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88006-8248. Recipients of the proceeds will be announced through media outlets.
The 2014 Board of Directors would like to take this opportunity to THANK everyone that has ever been part of this great event. Without the hundreds of volunteers, countless hours of work and the financial backing of the many faithful sponsors throughout the years, this event would not have been possible. A very Special THANKS to Mr. Roberto Estrada for his commitment to the community and for retiring with his world record. Mr. Estrada has financially sponsored the making of the Enchilada for 32 of the 34 years.
It was over many hours of deliberation and sadness in our hearts that the decision was made. Despite the long hours of work and many obstacles the team’s dedication and spirit celebrated many milestones together. I’m very proud to have served with my fellow members and would like to thank them for their professionalism and dedication to the community.
NMSU offers help for students affected by earthquake in Nepal
New Mexico State University’s International Student & Scholar Services office and the NMSU Nepalese Student Association are offering assistance for students and families affected by the recent earthquake in Nepal.
The magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck Nepal on April 25. More than 4,000 people have been killed and at least 7,000 people were injured in the quake and the resulting aftershocks. Durga Prasad Sapkota, the father of NMSU doctoral student Rishi Sapkota, was one of those killed. Rishi Sapkota’s mother, Khina Devi Sapkota, was critically injured.
Students who may have been affected by the devastating earthquake can receive counseling assistance from the NMSU Counseling Center in Room 100 of the Garcia Annex. Students in need of immediate help can also contact the Crisis Assistance Listening Line of Southern New Mexico at 575-646-2255.
To help those in need of emergency relief funds, donors have a choice of giving to the Red Cross at www.redcross.org, Oxfam at www.oxfam.org, or Sarvodaya USA at www.sarvodayausa.org. Those wishing to give directly to the NMSU Nepalese Student Association, which has about 30 members, can visit their website at http://web.nmsu.edu/~nesa. NESA students will also collect donations outside of Corbett Center throughout the week.
Funds collected by NESA will go toward rescue and treatment efforts for quake victims.
“The reason why the Nepalese Student Association had to take a lead in this matter is because for 10 years this has been the only organization for Nepali community here in New Mexico and West Texas,” said NESA secretary Gaurav Thapa. “In this hour of need, we feel it is integral that we show a united front of solidarity for all the Nepali people here. We also feel this is the best way to send help to as broad a community in Nepal. We are looking into working together with students from (the University of New Mexico and the University of Texas at El Paso) and vetting through a dozen nonprofit organizations to make sure the money doesn’t go towards people’s salaries, travel expenses and administrative costs, but goes directly towards the relief effort, which is going to be a process that is going to last several years.”
Gov. Martinez helps pour foundation for medical school at NMSU
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez was on hand Monday, April 27 at New Mexico State University to help pour ceremonial foundation for the Burrell Osteopathic Medical College.
The school is expected to accept its first class in August 2016.
Local behavioral health meeting rescheduled
A meeting of local officials and organizations to work on the transition from La Frontera to other behavioral health providers has been rescheduled from 1 p.m. today (April 26) to 1 p.m. Monday, May 4, in the same location of Doña Ana County Commission chambers at the Doña Ana County Government Center, 845 North Motel Blvd.
Reportedly, the meeting was pushed back a week in order for New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran to be in attendance.
Pic Quik to donate $10,000 for playground equipment for special needs children
Playground equipment for special needs children will be added to Young Park and the owner of the Pic Quik stores has committed to help.
During the Las Cruces City Council meeting Monday, April 20, City Manager Robert Garza pointed out there are plans to put the equipment in Young Park, although the city was hoping for capital outlay money from the state Legislature that will now not be available.
Garza said anyone who wishes to be a community partner in the project will be welcome. Oscar Andrade, owner of the Pic Quik stores, said during the public comment period that he had not intended to speak but was moved to help. He committed $10,000 to the project.
NMSU regents approve tuition bump
New Mexico State University regents today (Monday, April 6) approved a 2.4 percent tuition increase, but in the process gave NMSU administration a year to offer a proposal to offer future students a four-year frozen tuition rate. Regents' concern about the impact of rising higher education costs to students shot down a proposed 2 percent housing rate increase and $7.50 parking permit fee increase to students, though the board did approve a 4 percent increase in meal plan rates.
2015 Tour of the Gila faces possible cancellation
GFor the past 28 years, Silver City, New Mexico has hosted the Tour of the Gila (TOG), one of the most iconic bicycle stage races in the United States. The TOG is one of America’s great stage races. It’s the American road cycling stage race where “Champions are Discovered™.”
Over the past three decades, the TOG has grown into an international road cycling race; equally important to major pro teams as it is to many, many domestic amateur clubs. With this mix of participants and the authentic, small-town Southwestern community backdrop, the TOG offers a very unique, global engagement opportunity.
The TOG is one of the only cycling stage races in America that’s both attainable and aspirational at the same time. Riders of all categories share the roads with the pro teams over the five-day stage race. The town of Silver City is intimate, offering the pros and amateurs to be able to converse and swap stories throughout the course of the race.
Earlier this week, the race directors of the TOG received word that a title sponsor had to pull investment. Because of this, the 2015 Tour of the Gila, which begins April 29, may not happen.
Today, the race directors are officially putting out the call to action to draw in angel sponsors to help Silver City pull off one of the greatest American road cycling stage races in 2015, offering Union Cycliste International (UCI) sanctioning / points.
To date, with this news, over 600 racers will not be able to experience this bucket-list cycling goal. Of that number, five international teams and six or more domestic men’s pro teams, as well as three international and between five and nine domestic women’s pro teams will not be racing at the TOG this year. This is a tragic loss for competitive cycling, for all levels of riders, in the United States and globally.
What’s more, small business owners and community members in Silver City, New Mexico will go without this major tourism draw that has incredible global reach.
This year was to be the first year for the race to receive UCI sanctioning for the pro women, putting Silver City, New Mexico on the international calendar of professional women’s cycling for the first time. The five-day race is optimally scheduled between Arkansas’ Joe Martin stage race and the AMGEN Tour of California, making it an ideal event for national and international teams to compete in. As a result, the registrations for teams from international and domestic locations are at an all-time high. What’s more, the Tour of the Gila has obtained a pro-bono public relations relationship with Verde Brand Communications, a leading provider of multi-service communications and engagement strategies in the outdoors active lifestyle markets. The partnership ensures that the exposure and amazing storytelling from the 2015 race will have international reach for title sponsors, for the first time.
Some of the teams slated to toe the start lines this year include UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling’s men’s and women’s teams, Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies, Drapac Professional Cycling, Team Venezuela, TWENTY16 p/b, SHO-AIR, Team SmartStop, Silber, H&R Block, Orgullo Antioqueño, along with many others.
The Tour of the Gila has overcome a similar challenge in the past. “We faced race cancellation in 2009,” race director Jack Brennan stated. “Once the word went out, the cycling community rose to the occasion and the race became one of the most successfully-attended races in Gila’s history. This is a grassroots event that relies largely on the unparalleled support of the Silver City community, which is a major feat in a town of 10,000 people.”
This year’s race is already tracking to be the strongest participation globally and internationally of any Gila in the past.
The race still has a chance to continue for amateurs and pro riders.
“While posting this press release was very difficult, we felt that it was important to go forward with this announcement with the goal of saving and furthering the legacy the Gila for 2015,” Brennan continued. “We’ve always been known for being able to pull off a lot for a little and the door is open for a few companies or individuals to obtain a title sponsorship for this year.”
“We encourage entities interested in title sponsorship to call us to have a discussion about the opportunity that has become available. We are committed to making this legendary race a reality and we have given ourselves one week to find the funds,” said Michael Engleman, director of competition for the Tour of the Gila.
For more information on securing title sponsorship of one of America’s classic road bike stage races, please contact Jack Brennan at 575-590-2612.
Las Cruces Downtown Partnership names Parsons interim director
Downtown Las Cruces Partnership has a new director.
Board President John Hummer has announced Arianna Parsons of Las Cruces was unanimously approved by DLCP's board as the interim executive director effective Tuesday, Dec. 16.
Parsons will hold the position of interim director for 90 days, during which time the organization will conduct a search for a permanent executive director. Parsons will is a candidate for the permanent position.
The director will replace Carrie La Tour, who was executive director for three years, but announced she would step down before the end of December.
“We are extremely pleased and genuinely excited to have someone of Arianna's capabilities and passion for our downtown's continued growth and development as our interim executive director,” Hummer said. “Not only can she relate with business owners working hard to grow their businesses, but she also lives in the immediate area of our downtown.”
Parsons, along with her husband Tyrell Thacker, operate Beck’s Coffee, located in the Downtown district.
“I am extremely excited to take my passion for our Downtown to the next level,” Parson said. “We have great momentum from all of the hard work and enthusiasm of the outgoing director, board and other stakeholders so I feel confident in saying that great things are going to happened”
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