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Morning Word: National Monument Status Threatened for Two Sites in New Mexico

November 25, 2016, 7:30 am
Federal Status Threatened
The Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in Taos County and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in southern New Mexico could have their national status revoked if Donald Trump takes the advice of the Republican chair of the House National Resources Committee. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, wants all the national monuments created during the Obama and Clinton administrations revoked. Needless to say, that idea doesn’t sit well with members of New Mexico’s federal delegation, including Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, who is also speaking out in favor of rerouting that controversial pipeline in South Dakota that many Native Americans believe “would imperil the Standing Rock Sioux Nation’s only water source.”

Water Supply Woes
With a warmer and drier winter season, farmers in Southern New Mexico are expecting poorer than normal access to water next spring. Climate change is also straining water supply in parts of Santa Fe, Los Alamos and Rio Arriba counties, according to a new water use plan study submitted to the Interstate Stream Commission earlier this month.

Film Festival Grant Money Mix Up
Talk about a whopper of a mistake. The New Mexico Tourism Department gave the Santa Fe Film Festival $40,000 in grant money that was actually designated for the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. Now the state will have to settle for free advertising in the first group’s festival material, since the nonprofit has already spent the money on last year’s expenses.

NMSU Student Studies Racism in College Sports
Speaking of grant money, a New Mexico State University doctoral student has received funding from the NCAA Research Committee to study racism. Jessica Jackson’s research will focus on “utilizing scales measuring experiences of racism, stress responses to race-related events and psychological distress, and aims to understand a potential unique source of stress for NCAA black male student-athletes.”

Trump Considers Generals and Ultra-Wealthy for Top Jobs
A number of retired US military generals continue to be interviewed for top posts in the Trump administration. Analysts say “it raises questions about the proper balance of military and civilian advice in a White House led by a commander in chief with no defense or foreign policy experience.” Ultra-wealthy investors are also being tapped for top jobs, including Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor who became known as the “king of bankruptcy” for buying, restructuring and selling off steel-makers and other fading industrial companies. He is expected to be named commerce secretary.

Lobos Lose; Cowboys Win
The University of New Mexico men’s basketball team lost Thursday to Virginia Tech by 20 points in the opening round of the Wooden Legacy tournament in California. While the Lobos got “run out of the gym” 92-72, Dallas Cowboy fans were celebrating another big team win yesterday. Their 31-26 win over the Redskins is the Cowboy’s tenth straight victory. The Lions and Steelers also picked up Thanksgiving Day wins.

What a Deal
Okay, now that you’ve got your morning news update, here’s everything you need to know about Black Friday shopping.

Enjoy your long weekend and see you back here on Monday.


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