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Morning Word: Republican Pearce Pans Border Wall

February 10, 2017, 7:30 am

Pearce Says Border Wall is Unworkable
The problem with building the wall? People can go "over it, under it, around it, through it." That's why Republican Rep. Steve Pearce says a border wall won't work to secure the United States' southern border. Pearce, who's been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in 2018, addressed the state Legislature yesterday.

Senator, Ethics Group Spar Over Whistleblower Bill
A bill introduced by Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, provides for wide-ranging changes to the state's fledgling Whistleblower Protection Act. Among other things, it would require whistleblowers to prove "tangible or significant change" in their work status if they are claiming retaliation. A ethics watchdog group says the changes go too far and dilute the law.

Sanctuary State Bill Advances
Local law enforcement agencies would be blocked from helping the feds with immigration actions under a proposed bill at the Legislature. That bill passed through a House committee yesterday. It has a long way to go before becoming law and opponents say it needlessly jeopardizes federal funding. The bill's sponsor says it's an important way to focus state resources on problems other than immigration.

Santa Fe Considers Legal Options After 'No Sanctuary' Executive Order
The city of Santa Fe is one of several sanctuary cities in the state that are impacted by an executive order signed by President Trump. The order attempts to block federal funding to such cities and Santa Fe is mulling its options, including suing the feds.

People who live in Tularosa, near the Trinity Site, hope to find out more today about whether the world's first atomic blast made them genetically predisposed to cancer. The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium is set to release a health survey funded by a grant from the Santa Fe Community Foundation.

Frank Stays at UNM For Now
Bob Frank, the departed president of UNM, isn't departing just yet. Frank was a finalist for the top job at Ohio University. But this week he took himself out of consideration, saying the job wasn't an ideal fit. He also added he sees good things ahead for the newly created Center for Health and Education Innovation at UNM's Health Sciences Center, where he plans to take a tenured faculty position. He did not say whether he'll keep looking for other jobs.

Aggies Lose for the First Time Since Before Thanksgiving
The New Mexico State University men's basketball team was sporting a 20-game winning streak heading into last night's game in Bakersfield, California. It was the nation's second-longest run, but the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners had other plans. Meep, meep!

Is That ... Snow?
We will see near-record highs today, but it may finally start to feel like February later this weekend. Snow is forecast across parts of the state on Sunday, which means Monday morning could be a little rough as you return to work. 

Thanks for reading! The Word is pondering whether shorts are inappropriate February attire.

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