YOUR DAILY UPDATE FOR WEDNESDAY AUGUST 27, 2014
Aggie softball signs former Oñate star and Hawai’i standout
New Mexico State head softball coach Kathy Rodolph the signing of former Oñate star Lucy Mendoza and Nue Sivia to the Aggie softball squad. The pair begins their freshman campaign during the 2014-15 season.
Mendoza was a key member of the Oñate High School softball team that came within one inning of winning the New Mexico state championship in May.
Mendoza was an all-district and all-state shortstop for the Knights last season, helping Oñate to a 30-4 record. Oñate was ranked No. 2 in New Mexico throughout the season and lost to top-ranked Rio Rancho in the state championship game in extra innings.
Before moving to Oñate for her senior year, Mendoza played four seasons for Gadsden High School, astonishingly playing varsity softball since she was in middle school. She was also part of the 2012 Gadsden volleyball team that brought home a state championship.
“Lucy is a local student-athlete who excels in the classroom and on the field,” associate head coach Cat Heifner said. “Her tenacity, dedication and coachability will impact the Aggies every day.”
Sivia is a towering player from Honolulu, Hawai’i. She played for Waianae High School and the Mililani Prep travel team from Hawai’i, one of the best club teams in the West.
Sivia manned the infield corners while in high school, playing third base and first base for the Seariders. She was honored on the second team all-star team from her sophomore year through her senior year. Sivia finished her junior campaign with a .333 batting average and increased her average to .429 as a senior.
“Nue has game changing power at the plate,” Heifner said. “Even though she's close to 6-feet tall, she has good athleticism for her height. We are excited to get her on campus and welcome her to Aggie softball.”
Sivia will rejoin her former Mililani Prep teammate, Misty Ho'ohuli, who is now a sophomore for the Aggies.
Scam: Courts not calling about warrants
At least three Doña Ana County residents – and many others nationwide – have reported receiving phone calls threatening them with arrest for failure to report for jury duty or respond to a court summons, then seeking money and/or personal information to clear the arrest warrant.
Third Judicial District Court Chief Judge Fernando Macias said the phone calls are a scam, and should be reported to authorities immediately.
“Courts in the State of New Mexico do not request personal information – such as Social Security numbers, credit-card information, dates of birth, etc. – by telephone,” Macias said. “Our work is done by first-class mail and in person here at the court. Anyone with a question about whether they should report for jury duty or tend to a warrant should call the municipal, magistrate and/or district courts to request clarification. We do not recommend giving out any personal information over the phone.”
Macias said that recipients of such calls should record the number from the call was made if it shows up on their caller ID, then notify local authorities to file a police report.
Military Service Academy Night is Aug. 28
High school students who may be interested in the military while earning a higher education degree should attend the Military Service Academy Night, sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall, Sen. Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Steve Pierce. Open to all high school students, the event will be from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 28, at Centennial High School, 1950 S. Sonoma Ranch Blvd., in the commons area of Academic Building “A.”
Representatives from the five military academies, the congressional offices and ROTC units will provide students and parents information about service academy nominations, ROTC opportunities, scholarships and more.
The five Service academies include the U.S. Military Academy (Army) in West Point, NY; the U.S. Naval Academy (Navy/Marine Corps) in Annapolis, MD; the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO; the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT; and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. All offer full four-year scholarships, covering tuition, books, room and board, and medical and dental care paid by the federal government. At the end of their four years, students will graduate with an undergraduate degree (many graduate with multiple minors and double majors) and a commission as an officer in the U.S. Armed Forces.
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