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Damien Willis
Works at Las Cruces Sun-News
Lives in Las Cruces, NM
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Damien Willis

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From today's front page: +Robin Zielinski and I have spent a month keeping up with +Patricia Campos as she prepared to leave for L.A. to audition for "The Voice." Saturday morning, she got on that airplane. You've heard Patricia on the radio for years, but there's a big part of her story you may not know--how she's motivated by the memory of her father, who was murdered in Las Cruces when she was only eight. This one was a pleasure to write, and Robin did a spectacular job telling Patty's story in video. I hope you'll spend a little time with this story.

Full story: http://bit.ly/1HUu1Ks

#TheVoice   #NBCUniversal   #ItsAllGoodEP   #KissFM   #ElPaso   #LasCruces   #LCNM  +Las Cruces Sun-News 
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Thatz so awesome. Man she is a beautiful Lady. 
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Damien Willis

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The High Cost of Being Transgendered... For many in Las Cruces, the struggle goes beyond the financial difficulties. A few brave transgender residents share their stories with me... #Transgender   #LCNM   #LasCruces   #LGBTQ   #TransIssues   #CaitlynJenner  
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In today's paper, I have four stories. Here's one of the big ones, which I've spent nearly two weeks reporting. LCPS is facing some critical budget problems. (Being unable to make July's payroll is not entirely far-fetched.) Some sizable staffing cuts are coming soon, as the district looks to "right-size" the bloated system. The second part of this two-part examination of the budget will run on tomorrow's front page.
LAS CRUCES >> Las Cruces Public Schools is spending $27 million less on compensation this school year than last as the district works to "right-size" the system.
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Damien Willis

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Check out my latest column, out today, on why I believe Jay-Z's new subscription streaming service, Tidal, may not make the waves that some are expecting.
They'd have you believe it's going to be the next big thing. I'm more than a little reluctant to buy into the hype.
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And Trey Songz is "stuck in Montreal with nothing to do." Quite the story...
UPDATE: After this story was published, Chris Brown deleted his tweets. You can still read the text below.
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My latest: Friday's approval from the NMSU board of regents moved forward a plan to build a hotel next to the Las Cruces Convention Center. #NMSU   #Hospitality   #CVB   #Conventions   #Hotels   #Development   #EconomicDevelopment   #LasCruces   #LasCrucesSunNews   #LCNM   #NMPure   #NewMexico  
LAS CRUCES >> Plans to build a new hotel adjacent to the Las Cruces Convention Center could be a little closer to becoming a reality, after New Mexico State University's board of regents
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Damien Willis

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Rigo Alvarado had just gone for a tackle, and was slow to get up. The 10-year-old was playing for the Crocs, a team in the Nerf League of Las Cruces. Because the league has implemented "Heads Up Football" practices, Rigo couldn't return to the field until he was cleared by a doctor. At the hospital, doctors discovered an arachnoid cyst--roughly one-third the size of his brain. With every hit, he ran the risk of rupturing it--and he was about to take up boxing. Rigo's mom, Crystal Banegas, credits the league's safety measures with saving her son's life.
In my latest story, I share Rigo's. And I look at concussion safety practices around our city, and recent efforts to make improvements at the federal and state levels. Read it here: 
#Concussions   #Sports   #Football   #Youth   #Coaching   #HeadsUpFootball   #USAFootball   #TomUdall   #Legislation   #SaferSports  
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Meet Tim Hand, the guy at #LCPS  responsible for assessment and evaluation. A year ago, very few in the community knew or cared what Tim did. This year has been different for the man in charge of administering #PARCC  exams and handling all of the opt-outs. At the center of all of the controversy, there's a friendly tennis coach. #Schools   #StandardizedTesting   #Tennis   #Centennial   #Evaluation   #Assessment   #Education  
LAS CRUCES >> A year ago, nearly all of Tim Hand's work at Las Cruces Public Schools was behind-the-scenes.
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Precious few of us will cure cancer, or carry us into a future that no longer depends on fossil fuels, or discovers something on Mars that revolutionizes life on earth. For young Sophia Sanchez-Maes of Las Cruces, all of those are VERY distinct possibilities. She has INCREDIBLE things in her future. 
Las Cruces >> She calls herself a number artist. Sophia Sánchez-Maes just turned 17, but you'd never guess it by looking at her résumé.
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Here's the story I spent part of the day working on. These kids were amazing. The ones I spoke with were so articulate, and they UNDERSTOOD the importance of the work they were doing. I love stories like this. Here's one for anyone who has ever complained that we don't report the GOOD news in our community... Check it out! #Charity   #Service   #Community   #Cemetery   #Children   #LCPS   #LasCruces   #NewMexico   #DoGood  
LAS CRUCES >> More than 30 students from Hermosa Heights and Valley View elementary schools showed up Friday afternoon with brushes, paint and garden tools to clean up the pauper cemetery on
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My Latest: This afternoon, Barbara Hubbard was awarded +Pollstar's first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award. I caught up with Barbara at home on Tuesday, before she left for Nashville, and spent much of this week crafting her story to share with you. I hope you'll take a moment to check it out. +Robin Zielinski also produced a great video to accompany it--except that I talked all over it. #Pollstar   #LifetimeAchievement   #Concerts   #Promotion   #ACTS   #LasCruces   #LCNM   #PanAm   #Reba   #RebaMcEntire   #LCCVB  
LAS CRUCES >> In a large ranch house situated on 40 acres west of town, Barbara Hubbard sat at her dining room table.
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Here's one of the stories I spent most of the day yesterday chasing. I arrived at work to an email from Captain Jimenez of the NM State Police, denying Superintendent Rounds' claims that the agency was consulted before the decision was made not to cancel school yesterday. NMDOT told me that they provided no more information than the conditions & closures they sent out to their entire distribution list, but made NO recommendation as to whether school should be cancelled.
Friday was a doozy, but I took very seriously the responsibility of telling the other side of the story. It's front-page today, but you can also read it at the link attached... #Snowmageddon   #LasCruces   #LCNM   #LCPS   #SnowDay   #NewMexico   #School   #Education  
LAS CRUCES >> Thursday's snowfall has led to fallout for Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Stan Rounds after New Mexico State Police and the New Mexico Department of Transportation
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Americans only want to hear about deflated footballs right now.
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In his circles
1,539 people
Have him in circles
526 people
Daniel David's profile photo
Eddie Laners's profile photo
Reve Dreamer's profile photo
Bogdan Sebastian's profile photo
Hudson King's profile photo
Robert Yduarte's profile photo
kafil kafil's profile photo
Staff Departsansretour's profile photo
jason rowland's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Reporter, Journalist & Columnist - Former Radio Program Director, Music Director & DJ - Freelance Writer & Copyeditor - Community Organizer
Skills
Writing - Radio Programming - Music Selection & Scheduling - Commercial Production - Editing - Marketing - Team Building
Employment
  • Las Cruces Sun-News
    Education Reporter, 2015 - present
    I am the Education reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News. My beat includes Las Cruces Public Schools, the Gadsden Independent School District, Dona Ana Community College and New Mexico State University. I also do Feature reporting from on occasion.
  • #Inspired Mornings: Las Cruces
    Founder, 2013 - present
    Our goal is to bring together CREATIVE TYPES in Las Cruces, NM, across ALL disciplines. Whether you're a writer, graphic/visual artist, director, producer, musician, designer, actor, photographer, fashion designer, etc., we NEED you!
  • GETright Copy
    Owner & Personal Author, 2009 - present
    I am the owner of GETright Copy, a multifaceted service for the music and entertainment industries. Primarily, I write artist bios and provide copyediting services. Recently, however, we have also taken on some radio commercial production projects, as well as television voiceover work.
  • Las Cruces (NM) Sun-News
    Entertainment Columnist, 2004 - present
    Each week, I write a 500-600 word column which appears in "Pulse," the weekly entertainment tabloid in the Las Cruces (NM) Sun-News. Topics are of my choosing, and have ranged from the death of Norman Mailer to the role of the grill in a man's life. I have written about The Game's beef with 50 Cent, have interviewed Marlon Brando's best friend, have interviewed Krayzie Bone and written profile pieces on Buddy Guy, Hunter S. Thompson, Don Imus, Stanley "Tookie" Williams, Ana Castillo, The Imagine Peace Tower and more.
  • KHQT-FM (Hot 103)
    Program Director/Music Director/Afternoon DJ, 2001 - 2014
    I was responsible for all on-air programming for KHQT-FM (Hot 103), from talent development & coaching to brand management and station promotions. I selected and scheduled the music that we played on the station, and maintained the music library. I also hosted the station's afternoon show, weekdays from 3p-7p.
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
Award-Winning Newpaper Reporter & Columnist / Former Radio Program Director, Music Director & DJ / Freelance Writer, Copyeditor & Proofreader / Community Organizer
Introduction

I am a creative person, still searching for a medium. I am a passionate and proficient writer, and am slowly learning photography and design. I'm interested in typography, psychology, and etymology.

Somehow, these passions have led me to a 13-year career "on-the-air," and my writing has found a longtime home in the pages of the Las Cruces Sun-News. I've emceed numerous clubs and concerts, interviewed President Barack Obama (and First Lady Michelle), and scores of celebrities--some of whom I'm fortunate to count as friends. 

Still, I seek more. I'm always looking for ways to add more. I want to write more. I want to voice and produce more commercials for a larger audience. I want to learn everything I can, and put it to good use.

I want to give back to my community more. I want to organize more charity events, and build communities of writers and artists and photographers and musicians. I want to leave behind a dramatically better world for future generations. 

My objective is to stay busy, and to make the world a better place through my efforts, both at work and play. And to never stop learning.

Bragging rights
Former Program Director, 13+ Years On The Same Afternoon Shift, 550+ Consecutive Weekly Columns (Without Missing A Deadline), New Mexico Broadcaster Association DJ Personality Of The Year (2005), Las Cruces Sun-News Reader's Choice Award (Local Newspaper Columnist 2012), Las Cruces Young Professional of the Month (September 2014), Southern New Mexico PRIDE Media Advocate of the Year (2014), Las Cruces Hispanic Chamber of Commerce - Executive Marketing Committee, Las Cruces Press Women - Secretary
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Las Cruces, NM
Previously
Albuquerque, NM - Fort Sumner, NM
Damien Willis's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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UPDATE: After this story was published, Chris Brown deleted his tweets. You can still read the text below.

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