Here’s a look at today’s news:
Today, State Auditor Tim Keller, released a special audit of Deming Public Schools. The audit resulted in 19 findings and identified nearly $145,000 in public funds that were likely stolen from the District. State Auditor Keller designated Deming Public Schools for a special audit after receiving information from the school district about the potential mishandling of money by a former employee. “We see our fair share of fraud, but it’s especially disappointing to see tens of thousands of dollars apparently being taken from kids by an employee for personal use,” stated State Auditor Tim Keller. “We appreciate the cooperation of the district and law enforcement in working with us to get to the bottom of these serious allegations.” The OSA will be forwarding the report with potential criminal violations, including fraud, larceny, embezzlement, forgery, and making or permitting a false public voucher to law enforcement and the District Attorney. The Deming Police and the Sixth Judicial District Attorney’s Office were also previously made aware of potential violations when concerns were first raised.
Students from all the Western New Mexico University Expressive Arts studio classes will show their semester’s work tonight from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on both floors of the Chino building on campus at 1000 West College Avenue. From drawing, painting, print making and photography to clay, sculpture and weaving, this all-inclusive show features art of all media made by 165 students. This show is up for one evening only and a rare chance to see student work and give feedback. The students will return next week for their final critique.
In other regional news, retired Las Cruces Police Officer, J.R. Stewart was struck and killed on Monday night by suspects fleeing police in a stolen vehicle. The high- speed chase began at the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 10, west of Las Cruces. After an apparent carjacking several hours later, another chase commenced on Las Cruces streets that led to the suspects ramming J.R Stewart on his motorcycle on Las Altura Drive. He was rushed to MountainView Regional Medical Center and later died from his injuries. Stewart’s body was escorted by a law enforcement procession through five counties and included family members in Hatch joining the caravan before ending in Las Cruces. Officer Stewart retired from the Las Cruces Police Department in 2014 after serving in law enforcement for 35 years.
The 15th Annual Deming “Turkey Trot” was held on Thanksgiving Day in Deming and successfully raised over six thousand five hundred dollars for he Cancer Support of Deming and Luna County, Inc. Attendees to the event were given a choice of races that included of a 3-mile run, a 2-mile walk, a 1-mile kid’s fun run or a chick run. Xavier DeLaTorre and Dolores “Lola” Cisneros, were winners of the 3-mile run. DeLaTorre is the cross country running coach at Cobre High School in Bayard, and Cisneros is a bilingual Math teacher at Deming Intermediate School.