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Morning Word: Underprivileged Children Struggle in New Mexico

State Ranked 50th for Poverty and Food Insecurity

August 12, 2016, 12:00 am
Underprivileged Children Struggle in New Mexico
Childhood poverty and food insecurity rates in New Mexico are close to the worst in the nation, according to a new WalletHub study. Matthew Reichbach reports it’s not all bad news:
New Mexico ranked in the top-half of the rankings in three categories—ranking 15th in the percentage of children in foster care (0.46 percent), 25th in Economic Mobility (8.97 percent) and 18th in the infant mortality rate (5.41 deaths per 1,000 births).
Overall, based on 16 metrics, New Mexico ranked 47th in the country.

Judges Recommend Changes to Immunity Rules
For now, federal narcotics officers can’t be held responsible for the actions of their confidential informants, but US District Judge Martha Vazquez, who dismissed a $50 million lawsuit against agents, wants immunity rules changed. 

Lawyers Warned
If you’re a lawyer in New Mexico, you may want to think twice before agreeing to counsel any of the state’s 35 medical cannabis growers. The New Mexico State Bar’s Ethics Advisory Committee says because the medication is still considered illegal under federal law, lawyers could be violating their Professional Code of Conduct by offering legal advice to the nonprofit entities.

Free at Last
“Nineteen chimpanzees that spent decades in research labs in New Mexico have made it to a forested sanctuary in Louisiana, thanks to a grant by Animal Protection of New Mexico,” reports Lauren Villagran.
About 140 chimpanzees are still being housed in a research facility in Alamogordo on Holloman Air Force Base. They haven’t undergone invasive testing since 2001, Bonar said, but prior to that, those chimpanzees endured “a gruesome variety of procedures.” Animal Protection of New Mexico is turning its efforts toward retiring those chimps to sanctuary, as well.
Johnson Wants on Ohio Ballot
We thought Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson was already on all 50 state ballots. Turns out it’s only 39 so far, but his staff is working to get him on Ohio’s ballot, which could further complicate Donald Trump’s effort to win the swing state in November.

Online Campaign Reports Glitch Fixed
The Secretary of State’s office, according to New Mexico Political Report, has fixed a glitch in its campaign finance portal that made it look like candidates were failing to list the purpose of their itemized expenses. 

Innovative Gun Buy Back Plan in SF
This is cool: KOB reports that several Santa Fe residents are organizing a gun buyback event and will then have the guns melted and turned into gardening tools like shovels and rakes.
"This is a way to safely and responsibly get rid of unwanted guns, keeping them out of homes and off the streets,” Kira Jones said. “Kids can't get ahold of them to commit suicide or to commit a crime or to accidentally kill one another.” The first gun buyback will be in Santa Fe on Nov. 12. They will hand out merchant gift cards in exchange for unwanted guns. Anyone can turn in guns no questions asked, it's completely anonymous.
Meteor Shower
If you didn’t get up before dawn to watch the Perseid meteor shower, Space.com has posted some amazing photos. Check them out here.

That’s it for this week. How about a big shout out for our new Morning Word early bird copyeditor Charlotte Jusinski. Welcome aboard and thanks for the eagle eyes.

 

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Sept. 27, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr

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