Danielle Prokop

Danielle Prokop

Danielle Prokop covers the environment and local government in Southern New Mexico for Source NM. Her coverage has delved into climate crisis on the Rio Grande, water litigation and health impacts from pollution. She is based in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Las Cruces superintendent public forum explored mental health, budgets and more

By: - June 26, 2023

More similarities than differences defined the approaches and philosophies on display by the three candidates vying for the superintendent in Las Cruces at a public forum on June 22. The three people up for the job – Deborah Elder, Monica Mesa and Ignacio Ruíz – emphasized listening to the district, not overhauling it. They want […]

New building, future roof concerns and repairs at Spaceport board meeting

By: - June 21, 2023

Repairs and renovations at New Mexico’s spaceport were prominent topics at last week’s New Mexico Spaceport Authority governance meeting. The Truth or Consequences-adjacent spaceport is hosting the Spaceport America Cup Wednesday – where about 150 student teams from universities compete with different rocket designs and fuel types. The competition accounts for about 80% of all launches […]

Las Cruces narrows school board race to three candidates

By: - June 20, 2023

The Las Cruces Board of Education announced a narrowed list of three candidates for the superintendent position after a series of closed-door interviews with seven semi-finalists over the weekend. The finalists are Debra Elder, Monica Mesa and Ignacio Ruíz, according to a press release. The eliminated candidates included the sole candidate applying from within the […]

Looming Otero hospital merger with Catholic group could slash reproductive health access

By: - June 19, 2023

Otero County commissioners voted unanimously against sending a letter to the New Mexico Attorney General in the wake of a potential merger between Alamogordo’s sole hospital and a Catholic medical network. The decision at the June 7 Otero County meeting overruled staff and community concerns about impacts to reproductive health care, other potential gaps in […]

LCPS name seven people to interview for superintendent bid

By: - June 14, 2023

Las Cruces Public Schools named seven semifinalists for its superintendent position, planning to narrow that number down after closed-door interviews by the end of the week. The seven candidates selected for the interviews are Deborah Elder, Monica Mesa, Fred Montalvo, Raul Peña, Geovanny Ponce, Cnythia Retana and Ignacio Ruiz. Only two of the candidates – […]

The Spaceport America facility captured May 25, 2023.

Doña Ana County puts forth hearing on potential cuts to Spaceport tax

By: - June 14, 2023

Doña Ana County is considering a cut to the tax used to first construct Spaceport America more than 16 years ago. The Doña Ana Board of County Commissioners voted 4-1 Tuesday to publish an ordinance proposing to amend the County Regional Spaceport Gross Receipts Tax. The ordinance calls for a July 11 public hearing at […]

Los Alamos labs contractor settles state violation; has federal notice for more issues

By: - June 12, 2023

As contractors at Los Alamos National Lab resolved allegations of mislabeling hazardous waste in 2020 after a New Mexico Environment Department inspection, federal overseers recently reported additional significant safety violations from 2021. Triad National Security, LLC is a contractor that manages the national lab, including LANL’s plutonium weapons program. Triad is co-owned by the Battelle […]

23 candidates vie for top spot at Las Cruces Public Schools

By: - June 9, 2023

Nearly two dozen candidates are seeking the superintendent position for Las Cruces Public Schools. Nine candidates have experience in New Mexico and 14 are applying with entirely out of state experience. Submissions for the job closed June 4. The school board intends to name someone to the position by July 1. School board members will […]

U.S. continues to take DNA samples from asylum seekers at the border

By: - June 8, 2023

CIUDAD JUÁREZ – It was well before dawn Sunday morning, when Olga Maldonado, her nieces Yulisa, Marcela Maldonado and Kevin Hernandez and the children, ages 3 to 10-years old, rose to prepare for their asylum meeting with the U.S. Customs and Border Protections.“Nervous, but excited,” was how Olga described her feelings, slipping on plain black […]

NM joins cascade of states suing PFAS manufacturers

By: - June 2, 2023

The state of New Mexico is suing 21 manufacturers of ‘forever chemicals,’ also known as PFAS, for deceptive trade practices. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in district court in Santa Fe, a site that has PFAS contamination at the City of Santa Fe Fire Department. The court filing also named Lea County Airport in Hobbs, […]

Water flows off of a concrete diversion.

NM environmental agency bracing for water law changes

By: - June 2, 2023

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling changed water law overnight last week – and the impacts will ripple through New Mexico over coming months. New Mexico’s complicated water landscape, coupled with the fact it’s one of three states that does not have a state agency regulate pollution in surface water, leaves it uniquely vulnerable, officials for […]

Virgin Galactic completes test flight

By: - May 26, 2023

SPACEPORT AMERICA – A small group of onlookers pulled in alongside a barbed wire fence, with the spaceport’s unique dome just over the rise, a plane and spacecraft in the middle distance. Then, they waited. It’s out of the way, just past mile marker 23 on Upham Road, situated in creosote and sagebrush scrublands, broken […]