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Major closings or delays

A storm that brought snow and Arctic cold to most of New Mexico caused a number of schools and other institutions to close or delay hours of operation Tuesday.

All state of New Mexico employees are on a two-hour delay.

Albuquerque Public Schools closed East Mountain schools, which also means that Manzano High School students who live in the East Mountains are excused for the day.

All other APS schools are on a regular schedule.

Rio Rancho Public schools are closed, as are Las Cruces Public Schools.

Santa Fe Schools are on a two-hour delay.

Stay with KOB Eyewitness News 4 for updates throughout the day. Link to closings

NM approves smaller increase for Presbyterian Healthcare

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Presbyterian Healthcare has received approval from New Mexico regulators for a rate increase, but it's not as much as the company had hoped for.

The state Insurance Division recently denied Presbyterian's request for a 9.7 percent rate increase for its health insurance.

That prompted the company to reduce the request by 5 percent.

The Insurance Division says the lower 4.7 percent rate increase is based solely on annual inflation of medical costs in New Mexico.

Insurance Superintendent John Franchini says the agency feels the increase is fair to Presbyterian and customers since it restricts the increase solely to the inflation costs.

Franchini says Presbyterian's rate is the lowest set in five years.

The agency says the new rate will go into effect Jan. 1.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Winter storm blasts New Mexico with snow, cold

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Winter weather is causing some challenging driving conditions in New Mexico.

Interstate 25 is closed in both directions between Las Cruces and Belen.

Tuesday morning, New Mexico State Police said the nearly 200-mile stretch is still "frozen." 

Interstate 10 has also been closed in both directions from Lordsburg to Las Cruces.

A number of crashes have been reported on I-10 between Las Cruces and Deming.

There was also a multiple car pileup on I-10 east of the Las Cruces Airport. U.S. 70 between Alamogordo and Las Cruces is also closed.

Both closures are expected to last until Tuesday morning as well.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

NM insurance division issues wind declaration

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico's Insurance Division has issued a catastrophe declaration for insurers and adjusters after receiving thousands of claims stemming from last week's damaging winds.

New Mexico's administrative codes say the division can issue a catastrophe declaration when it receives at least 1,000 claims totaling more than $5 million due to a single disaster-related incident within 72 hours.

Once a formal declaration is made, insurers must close all filed cases within 90 days. A declaration also helps expedite applications for adjuster licenses. The declaration was signed Monday.

Last week, strong winds swept across New Mexico, resulting in scattered power outages, difficult driving conditions, down trees and roof damage that ended classes early at one Valencia County school. Gusts of 88 mph were clocked at the base of Sandia Tram in Albuquerque.

Man arrested in connection to Old Town homicides

A man who police believe killed two people and deserted their bodies at an Old Town Park was arrested after being found breaking into vehicles, the Albuquerque Police Department said.

Carlos Carrillo was charged with two counts of murder in connection to the deaths of Christopher Kinney, 23, and Lindsey Frost, 18.

According to APD, Carrillo, 31, killed the two, then fled to the Westside and committed several auto burglaries.

Carrillo was apprehended and linked to the Old Town homicides.

Kinney and Frost were found dead inside a blue GMC truck parked at Tiguex Park near 19th Street and Old Town Road around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.

APD said the two died from gunshot wounds and drugs appear to be a motive behind the killings. 

At the scene detectives found a bullet casing outside the truck, but police are not sure if it was connected to the shooting.

Joy Junction aims to keep Albuquerque's homeless warm

Stay indoors, keep warm - that's good advice but it isn't easy to follow if you don't have a home.

Diane Peterson-Lane has been doing something about Albuquerque’s homeless, often ignored during winter storms, for the last four years.

She's a driver for Joy Junction, the state's largest homeless shelter.

>Learn how you can help Joy Junction

KOB Eyewitness News 4 rode along with Peterson-Lane on Monday while she made her rounds through downtown Albuquerque, offering homeless people a lift to Joy Junction for shelter, warmth, food, prayer and counseling.

With the wind chill factor it was 9 degrees at about 11 a.m., more than cold enough to kill somebody sleeping, especially if they are weakened by hunger, illness, alcohol or drugs.

Peterson-Lane was about six hours early for her downtown pickups, because of the cold.

Parts of Albuquerque stay dry, see light snow

While places like Rio Rancho got slammed with snow other places in the metro area got only a flake or two.

Here's why – the National Weather Service says the cold front blew in from the east through the Tijeras Canyon down the Interstate 40 corridor to the Rio Grande.

They said the wind pushed all the snow away from those areas and dumped it on places like Rio Rancho, out toward Grants and down to Socorro – those places got 6 to 12 inches of snow.