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Houston-area man accused of kidnapping New Mexico baby whose mom, another woman were killed

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Houston-area man accused of kidnapping New Mexico baby whose mom, another woman were killed


A Houston-area man is accused of kidnapping a 10-month-old girl whose mother and another woman were found shot and killed in New Mexico, federal officials say. Authorities say the baby later was found in Texas.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico, 26-year-old Alek Isaiah Collins, of Manvel, was charged by criminal complaint with interstate kidnapping of a child.

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Alek Collins (Photo: Abilene Police Department)

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Police in New Mexico say two 23-year-old women – Samantha Cisneros and Taryn Allen – were found shot to death at a park near Clovis on May 3. Cisneros’s 5-year-old daughter was also reportedly found on the ground with a head injury and was taken to the hospital.

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Police discovered that Cisneros also had a 10-month-old daughter, who was not at the scene. An Amber Alert was issued for the girl.

According to federal officials, evidence indicated the potential involvement of a maroon Honda, and witnesses reported that a maroon or red sedan was at the park at around the time of the incident.

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According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the investigation revealed that Collins had rented a maroon Honda, and GPS data from the vehicle showed it near that park around the estimated time of the homicide. Collins was also allegedly linked to a phone that was in the area of the park around that time.

MORE NEWS: Suspect charged, second suspect sought in robbery-kidnapping case

Federal officials say the car was found at a home in Abilene, Texas, where the vehicle had been remotely disabled after Collins failed to return it to the owner on time.

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Officers were preparing to execute a search warrant at the house when an Uber driver pulled up in an SUV and Collins came out of the home with the girl, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says. Collins allegedly put the girl in the backseat and then forced the Uber driver to get out of the vehicle at gunpoint before Collins drove away with the girl.

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Abilene police were able to bring the vehicle to a stop, arrest Collins and get the girl out of the car, federal officials say.

Authorities say Collins has no relation to the girl and does not have legal custody of her.

Collins appeared before a federal judge in Abilene on Tuesday morning and will remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending transfer to New Mexico.

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This story was reported from Houston.



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New Mexico

New Mexico to receive $18.9M in federal money for ‘forever chemical' detection • Source New Mexico

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New Mexico to receive $18.9M in federal money for ‘forever chemical' detection • Source New Mexico


Big check energy at the Roundhouse.

National and state environmental officials celebrated a $18.9 million federal grant for most of New Mexico’s water systems to use over the next two years to detect “forever chemicals,” in the state’s drinking water.

State officials say they hope to pull down a total of $47.2 million in the next five years in additional rounds of federal grants. The first two years will focus on detection and subsequent phases will address removal of Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS for short) in drinking water.

More than 496 systems serving 231,000 New Mexicans are eligible for the funding, state officials said.

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A check of this size will help the state “fund its way” out of pollution, said New Mexico Environment Secretary James Kenney from the Roundhouse Rotunda.

“These forever chemicals will not be a forever legacy. We will address these chemicals and New Mexico will be the leader in the way we do that,” he said.

What are PFAS?

This class of synthetic chemicals are ubiquitous, present in the blood of most people in the U.S. They are toxic and extremely hard to break down. There are nearly 15,000 types of these chemicals, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA looks to limit toxic ‘forever chemicals.’ Here’s what New Mexicans should know

Their resistance to breaking down in sunlight, water, oil and fire over time makes them useful in fabrics, nonstick cookware, food packaging, in our carpets, clothes and firefighting foam. It also means they build up in our bodies, linked to cancer, heart and liver problems, developmental damage, vaccine resistance and other health issues.

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Despite decades of rising concern about the dangers of these chemicals, the EPA only implemented drinking water limits for only the five most-common, releasing the final rule in April 2024.

These drinking water limits for the two most-studied and common chemicals – PFOA and PFOS – is 4 parts per trillion, the lowest limit the EPA believes to be technologically possible. The new rule requires water systems to be compliant by 2029.

The size of the problem will require billions of dollars in spending, with an estimated cost of $1.5 billion to implement the drinking water rules.

And that’s just the low estimate. The U.S. military estimated PFAS clean-up just on military bases and surrounding communities to be at least $31 billion.

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New Mexico context

As the nation grapples with the reality of these contaminants’ omnipresence – in rainwater, in our bodies, in animals –  New Mexico water systems are already struggling.

In 2021, the environment department found PFAS in at least 15 water systems in New Mexico, according to tests performed with federal assistance.

The most impacted communities are in Curry County and Otero County, according to that data. That’s also where PFAS plumes from firefighting foam infiltrated the groundwater for decades next to military bases. The state tested more than three dozen cities and water systems for 28 compounds. Only five compounds are subject to the proposed limits.

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A Clovis dairy had to euthanize more than 3,600 cows after Cannon Air Force base contaminated water sources infiltrated wells on the dairy.

Rep. Melanie Stansbury described hearing about the moment, saying that the disaster made PFAS not just an economic issue, but a personal one for New Mexico.”

“It’s a big day for New Mexico. it’s a big day for families, it’s a big day for ranchers, and it’s a big day in our fight to really tackle the chemical contaminants that affect our communities,” Stansbury said.

Rebecca Roose, acting as the infrastructure czar in the governor’s office said addressing PFAS is part of a larger plan to address water scarcity in the arid state.

“When we talk about our water being polluted and contaminated and not safe, there’s few things we take more seriously than that,” Roose said. “Perhaps right up there with it is protecting the water so that it never becomes polluted, contaminated or unsafe, because there is not a drop of water to spare.”

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The federal grant is funded from the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which contained at least $9 billion earmarked for addressing PFAS contamination.

This is the first grant of its kind in the region, said Earthea Nance, who oversees EPA Region 6, which includes Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Nance said there are no set plans for enforcement for holding PFAS polluters accountable in Region 6, but said that could change with more information.

“I don’t want to say no, because we mean, tomorrow, we could start putting a plan together,” she said.

Nance said the EPA Region 6 office is relying on state officials to help determine how large the enforcement response will be.

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“Because we’re giving this money to the state of (New) Mexico, some of that will fall on them in terms of assessing the situation so that we can then figure out how to identify enforcement issues,” Nance said.

EPA R6 Director Earthea Nance, right, sits with NMED Secretary James Kenney at Thursday, May 23, 2024 event in the rotunda. (Danielle Prokop / Source NM)

How does the program work?

The grant has the unwieldy name; Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities Program (EC-SDC). Name aside, it will allow for New Mexico’s environment leaders to spend up to $18.9 million over the next two years.

The program’s first phase will oversee water sampling, creating a statewide database and outreach to water systems, according to environment department officials.

Public water systems with 10,000 or fewer connections, or communities where the median household income falls between $56,828 – $75,770 are eligible to opt in, using this form.

“The great thing about this grant is we will be hiring and controlling a lot of the contract work and actually implementing it, which does take a little bit of a relief off the water systems,” said Kelsey Rader, the deputy division director for Water Protection with the state.

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Rader said further federal money, two years from now, would offer more than testing, but also water treatment.

“That’s what’s really special about this grant is that it covers everything from the testing, from the design to the actual remediation, in paying for the necessary upgrades,” she said.

When asked if the $18.9 million is close to addressing the scope of PFAS in New Mexican’s water systems, Rader said the department doesn’t have a date set on when they’ll be able to test every New Mexico system.

“It’s difficult to say when that’s going to happen,” she said.

More work to do

Kenney said the state is still working to address current contamination, noting the environment department recently sent a letter asking for the federal government to commit to clean up water surrounding the Cannon Air Force base, not just beneath it.

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A contentious court fight continues on, as the New Mexico Environment Department is still attempting to require the U.S. Air Force to follow state testing and treatment protocols over contamination at Cannon Air Force base. The case has stretched on for years in federal district court and now is in the 10th Circuit Appeals Courts.

Battle between New Mexico and US Air Force to track toxic chemicals drags on

The state is currently in mediation with the U.S. Air Force over the litigation and has been for over a year, said Bruce Baizel, the compliance and enforcement director for the environment department. The parties just extended that mediation period through late June.

The $18.9 million for clean-up would go farther, if people’s contact with PFAS in everyday items were reduced, said Kenney.

“In our legislative session, I’d like to see a bill introduced that bans PFAS but for essential uses, like medical devices,” he said. “But if given the choice of having a toxic chemical in your house that then becomes a toxic chemical in your body, I would choose not to have it in my house, or my body.”

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WKU Baseball eliminates New Mexico State, 8-2, to advance in CUSA Championships

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WKU Baseball eliminates New Mexico State, 8-2, to advance in CUSA Championships


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) – WKU Baseball defeated New Mexico State to advance in the Conference USA Championships, 8-2, Thursday evening at Pat Patterson Park. The third-seeded Hilltoppers will face the loser of sixth-seeded FIU and two-seeded Dallas Baptist on Friday at 4 p.m. CT in another elimination game.

It was a pitcher’s duel early as the game entered the sixth inning with a 1-1 score. With two outs and the bases loaded, junior Austin Haller laced one up the middle to score a pair of runs before junior Kyle Hayes did the same thing two batters later. The Hilltoppers tacked on three more in the seventh courtesy of an Aggie error and a pair of RBI from sophomore Dylan O’Connell.

Haller continued off his momentum from yesterday, driving in three runs in a two-hit outing while scoring a run. O’Connell also had a pair of hits with two RBI while Hayes accounted for the other two RBI. Juniors Blake Cavill, Joey Baran, and Zayd Brannigan tallied multi-hit performances.

The WKU pitching staff allowed just two runs on seven hits and three walks on the day to a New Mexico State lineup averaging over eight runs with over 10 hits per game.

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Junior Grant Burleson made his first start on the mound since the end of February and surrendered one run on one hit while punching out two. Senior Cory Bosecker checked in to start the third inning and tossed 3.0 shutout frames while conceding three hits with a trio of strikeouts. The next 3.0 innings belonged to junior Cole Heath and sophomore Jack Bennett who combined to give up zero runs on two hits while fanning two. Heath earned the winning-decision and improved his 2024 record to 1-0.

The Aggies got on the board first in the second inning, but an RBI groundout from Haller tied the game in the third.

In the sixth, Haller put the Tops in front with a two-run single before Hayes added a pair of insurance runs with another two-run single.

WKU poured it on in the seventh with a New Mexico State error scoring one before O’Connell singled to score a couple more.

The Aggies added a second run in the top of the ninth, but that would be all they could muster.

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Blessin Kimble Signs at New Mexico Highlands – KSCB Radio News

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Blessin Kimble Signs at New Mexico Highlands – KSCB Radio News


Jay Daubenberger

Liberal, Kansas – After two seasons in Liberal representing the Seward County Saints, Blessin Kimble has now made his decision to continue his basketball career at the four-year level having now signed with the New Mexico Highlands Cowboys to continue his collegiate career.

Kimble stepped up in every way for the Saints this past season as the sophomore big man averaged 11.2 points and a team high 7.4 rebounds per game through 21 games played. He reached the double figures mark in 14 games on the year with a season high of 18 points in a close win over Independence where he also hauled in 14 rebounds for SCCC. His rebounding ability helped the Saints tremendously with Kimble grabbing ten or more boards in five games with a career high of 17 against College of Southern Nevada with 15 in the game before against Eastern Arizona where an offensive rebound led to a game winning putback for Seward County. Over his two-year span with the Saints Kimble recorded 467 points, 170 made shots, 362 rebounds, 48 assists, 30 steals, and 20 blocks.

He will be heading to a Cowboys basketball program that has gone below .500 over the past two seasons with their recent record ending at 10-17 overall while going 7-15 in conference action. Kimble will be a veteran presence right away with two years of eligibility remaining to become a force in the paint on both ends of the floor.

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