El Paso Journey Concert Delayed for Hours as Band Gets Stuck in Tucson

El Paso Journey concert delayed for hours as band gets stuck in Tucson. (Courtesy: Dahlia Cano-Ruffel)

Journey concert delayed at the Don Haskins Center for over three hours. Courtesy: Ida Ruiz

EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14/CBS4) — Thousands of Journey fans waited “faithfully” for more than three hours as band officials announced the El Paso concert would be delayed because the band had not arrived.

The concert featuring Asia was scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. but at 11 p.m., Journey still had not made an appearance on stage.

People at the concert were told the band was stuck in Tucson due to technical problems.

Concert organizers announced that the band had landed in El Paso just after 11 p.m. but several people decided not to stick around and left.

Journey finally arrived approximately at 11:30 p.m.

It is unknown if refunds will be given for the concert.

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El Paso Electric Needs Dialogue on Solar: Readers

El Paso Electric officials this week began selling small chunks of solar power to customers as an alternative to rooftop solar systems.

Victor Calzada / El Paso Times

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El Paso Electric needs dialogue on solar

El Paso Electric has again proposed that the solar residences of El Paso should have their own unique rate class.

Solar panels provide members of our city’s faith communities with the opportunity to respond faithfully to the call of our conscience to respect our natural home, by discarding old ways of consuming energy that damage our planet and its atmosphere, and promoting cleaner ways that tap into constantly renewable sources of energy, such as thermal, wind and solar energy.

My own faith community holds the teachings of our shepherd, Pope Francis, in high esteem, along with many other people outside of the Catholic Church, and his encyclical letter on our natural home published two years ago urges dialogue in the search for solutions to global warming and consumerist short-sightedness.

El Paso Electric’s decision to propose a steep rate increase on its customers, and create a special category of solar panel users for its own high rate, doesn’t come from dialogue with the community.

They seem to ignore or forget that they are a public utility, and the common good is a higher priority than profits that grow larger every year for a few beneficiaries. This rate increase proposal keeps many households of our diverse faith communities from living as they know their conscience dictates.

Rev. Robert Mosher
Downtown El Paso

Money is the real point of climate disagreement

The media clamor over the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord (“G-20 statement on Paris accord excludes Trump,” July 9 El Paso Times) is humorous.

The Paris accord signatories agree to meet “self-defined targets to reduce carbon emissions.”

The Trump administration “affirms its strong commitment to an approach that lowers emissions while supporting economic growth and improving energy security needs.”

It is doubtful that any nation’s “self-defined” emission goals will sacrifice national economic and energy needs.

The real sticking point is that the U.S. is withdrawing its commitment to provide billions of dollars for the climate fund that is part of the accord. The money is supposed to help poor nations claiming injury from climate change that is supposedly caused by the rich nations.

The old saying is “follow the money.” It’s a lot simpler than real climate research.

Andy Sparke
Central El Paso

Lack of student concern by the EPISD board

After looking over the summer offerings by the El Paso Independent School District, it was sadly apparent that the normal student enrichment class and camp offers had been seriously curtailed.

For the first time in the last three years, my daughter did not find a single enrichment course that was suited for her.

Yet, the Board of Trustees found enough dollars to be able to give $45,000 to our superintendent in the form of a raise. Just think, if the trustees had any concern for our students, this amount of money would have paid for 20 to 25 teachers to offer “enrichment courses” during the summer.

It’s easy to see the board’s priorities, and it’s not students.

Claude Henschel
Upper Valley

Promote interim Animal Services director

As usual, the city is throwing taxpayers money away.

Dr. Guy Johnsen, chair of the Animal Services Advisory Committee, and former Mayor Oscar Leeser think the interim director at Animal Services should be the director. Let’s spend the money on the Animal Services Department instead of looking elsewhere when the best fit is already there.

Mike Sanchez
East Side

Thanks to bishop for column on immigration

Bishop Mark Seitz, I am grateful for your column in the July 9 El Paso Times, which had previously been published by Religion News Service.

The article referred to modern day Pharisees, and though no doubt there will be harsh critics, I and friends and family of mine share the sentiments outlined in your comments.

Those of us who consider ourselves “among the faithful” look to leadership from you and your brother bishops in Las Cruces, Juárez and beyond. Thank you.

Maria Elena Castro
Anthony, New Mexico

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Ways To Save Money In El Paso

If you are going to be traveling to El Paso, Texas anytime soon, you want to think of ways in which you might be able to save money. Luckily, there are plenty of different ways you can go about saving money on your entire trip. Below, we will be going over some of the different ways in which you should be able to save a significant amount of money on your trip.

Saving Money In El Paso:

1. Coupons.

One of the best ways to save money while you are on your trip to El Paso is by finding coupons that are available that you might be able to use whether for your flight or your accommodation. There are a lot of different booking websites that you can use when you are looking to book your trip. Therefore, you should be able to find a bunch of different coupons that should work to reduce your trip expenses.

2. Plan Ahead.

Another important thing to do when it comes to saving money on your El Paso trip would be to plan ahead. You want to be sure that you are properly planning ahead of time to ensure that you are going to be getting the best possible prices for everything involving the trip. This includes lodging and flight or travel expenses. The earlier you get these things, the cheaper they are likely going to be. Therefore, you want to try to get everything set ahead of time. That way, you will be able to save a significant amount of money that you otherwise might not be able to save on your trip.

3. Comparison.

Another good thing to do when it comes to being able to save money on your trip would be to run a comparison of the various options that you have to choose from. Never book the first flight or lodging option that you see because you might be able to find a better deal elsewhere.

El Paso Electric Prepares for Brutal Summer Ahead

EL PASO, Texas – El Paso Electric is preparing for a hot summer ahead as the borderland begins to see triple digit temps.

El Paso electric Spokesman George De La Torre says power outages are more common during the summer than at any other time of the year. Crews began preparations during February, with what they call a “blitz.’ During winter and spring months crews go to as many locations as possible and replace more than 500 pieces of equipment. De La Torre says that includes upgrades on their system and replacing older equipment like transformers, poles and wires.

De La Torre says they try to prepare for the summer, because they start to see issues with transformers. De La Torre says they overheat for two reasons: sustained heat and the large electrical usage. At night, the temps aren’t cool enough and customers still use the same amount of electricity that they use during the day, causing transformers to malfunction.

“It does heat up, it’s prolonged heat. It’s sustained heat that we’re seeing and even at night still high temperatures and the usage of that of the same electricity that’s being used in that home or several homes, doesn’t drop very much. So the combinations of both really causes the transformers to malfunction,” De La Torre said,

De La Torre say that’s why they have crews work 24/7. Their crews work different schedules beginning in May and ending in October so they can respond to outages as quickly a possible. He says the largest use of electricity in El Paso is between 4 P.M-5 P.M.

“People are usually getting home around that time, they’re turning up their air conditioners, turning on televisions or different appliances, so that’s when we tend to see that increase in demand,” De La Torre said.

The heat wave is also affecting electric customers in Phoenix and Nevada, where flights have been canceled and outages are being reported. De La Torre says we’re not alone. El Paso Electric services 411,000 customers from Van Horn, to Hatch, New Mexico and crews have to maintain thousands of transmission and distribution lines.

“What’s happening with the heat wave in Nevada and Arizona also impacts us here because we’re all interconnected in that area, so we’re definitely always in communication with them to see what it is that’s occurring with their grid so that we can maintain and keep the balance here.”

De La Torre says we’re seeing the same issues here and we may continue to see them with triple digit temps on the forecast.

“They’re dealing with the same issues we are with the melting of fuses, transformer issues, with outages caused by animals and wildlife, maybe trying to get into shaded areas at our substations or power lines, so all of those play a factor this time of year.”

De La Torre says they’re keeping a close eye on their grid to avoid major outages.

“We do have oversight of our grid 24/7, we’re supervising the balance and the frequency of our grid throughout the service territory to make sure there’s no imbalance throughout and that we continue to keep the power on for all of our customers.”

De La Torre says in the event of an outage, immediately call or go online to report it. You can track where outages are reported and how many customers are affected. De La Torre says it can take anywhere from 45-minutes to an hour to restore power. In some instances, De La Torre says it can take three hours.

“Our crews are going to do everything they can to speed that up but different issues may occur, let the customers back in, but then there’s another issue that occurs after that’s been fixed, or underground outages as well can take up to three hours sometimes. So it depends on what is happening and how quickly we can identify what the issue is to be able to prepare it.”

De La Torre recommends checking on neighbors and heading to a cool place while crews work. He also recommends keeping an outage kit with flashlights, battery-powered radios, first aid kits. In emergencies always call 911.

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Las Cruces Bank to Buy El Paso Bank Branch

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Western Heritage Bank, a small Las Cruces bank with a former El Paso bank executive leading its board of directors, has agreed to buy PlainsCapital Bank’s branch in West El Paso, Western Heritage officials announced Wednesday.

The PlainsCapital branch, at 4849 N. Mesa St, is the only El Paso location operated by the Dallas bank chain, which has 63 Texas branches.

Western Heritage is buying the branch’s $25 million in loans, its building and assuming $25 million in deposits, said Jim Volk, a former El Paso banker who is chairman of the boards for Western Heritage and its holding company, New Mexico First Financial Inc.

No sale price was divulged for the deal, which must be approved by government regulators. The sale is expected to be completed in the third quarter.

As the closing nears, El Paso PlainsCapital customers will be contacted by Western Heritage with information about the transition and the bank’s services, according to a Western Heritage news release.

Jim Volk, board chairman of Western Heritage Bank.

Volk has more than 45 years of banking experience, most of it in El Paso. His previous job was BBVA Compass Bank’s El Paso area district executive, overseeing BBVA branches in El Paso and Southern New Mexico.

He retired in 2011. But someone approached him more than a year ago about the troubled Western Heritage Bank. Volk said he organized a group of investors who sold $12.5 million in shares in Western Heritage’s privately held holding company, which helped revive the bank.

It has branches in Las Cruces and Deming and had assets of $85 million, including $38 million in loans, at the end of April, Volk said.

“We approached PlainsCapital about buying the (El Paso) branch,” which it acquired a few years ago through an acquisition, Volk said. “It didn’t fit their footprint.”

“This will increase our size pretty good and El Paso will provide growth (opportunities) in the future,” Volk said. El Paso will be “our primary expansion market, and where most of our loans will be.”

Greg Cory, who had worked many years in El Paso banks, was hired early this year to be president and CEO of Western Heritage and its holding company, Volk said.

More information: westernheritagebank.com; plainscapital.com

Vic Kolenc may be reached at 546-6421; vkolenc@elpasotimes.com; @vickolenc on Twitter.

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Burges Yearbook once again Nominated for Highest Award in Student Publishing – El Paso Herald-Post

Burges High School’s award winning yearbook once again earned another finalist nod for the prestigious Pacemaker Award. Hoofbeats has received 14 Pacemaker nominations in the past two decades and won eight times.

The award is known as the Pulitzer Prize of high school journalism, the highest award a high school publication can receive.

“With the Pacemaker, it’s nice just to be nominated,” said journalism teacher Pat Monroe.

She credits her students’ passion and work ethic for consistently creating an award-winning book.

“We spend endless hours up here. This is really our first home,” she said. “My philosophy is that good things happen to those who work hard. You cannot put together a book in 42 minutes of class time. I always tell my kids to work from their hearts. Work from their head and work from their hearts. We do all of this with love.”

Editor Jasmine Tabler hopes to see a fourth Pacemaker in her future. Tabler student has worked on three books that already have earned the prestigious award.

“It feels good,” she said. “It’s rewarding. Every year, I’ve been in this program we’ve gotten nominated and we’ve won every year so far.”

She credits Monroe for her guiding students through the pages of the yearbook.

“I’m really thankful for her,” she said. “It’s because of her that we’re able to get it done.”

Burges Yearbook Once Again Nominated for Highest Award in Student Publishing – El Paso Herald-Post

Burges High School’s award winning yearbook once again earned another finalist nod for the prestigious Pacemaker Award. Hoofbeats has received 14 Pacemaker nominations in the past two decades and won eight times.

The award is known as the Pulitzer Prize of high school journalism, the highest award a high school publication can receive. (more…)