- WIC funds are staying open for now in New Mexico. The state Department of Health is using funds carried over from last year to keep it open.
The DOH didn't tell the Carlsbad Current-Argus how long the funds would last, however.
Janelle Worthan also wondered whether she'd be able to access WIC services because of the federal shutdown. After a visit to the Health Department on Wednesday, she said she was told the duration of her benefits was reduced from two months to one month. But otherwise, the visit seemed normal, she said.
"Everything is still going on," she said.
- The shutdown is hitting Native American tribes across the country, the Associated Press reports.
- Flying operations out of Holloman Air Force Base have been grounded because of the government shutdown.
"The current lack of a budget or continuing resolution is extremely disruptive to Holloman and our ability to remain mission-ready," Longmire said. "We are hopeful the government shutdown will be resolved quickly to minimize the affect on our mission and our already-stressed workforce of both military and civilian airmen."
Longmire said in addition to the cancellation of the flying missions, the government shutdown has also impacted 422 civilian employees at the base.
- An aerospace launch from the Spaceport has been scrubbed because of the government shutdown.
“We had to cancel,” said UP Aerospace President Jerry Larson on Wednesday. “The people at the air traffic center that manages the air space, and the White Sands Missile Range folks are not in their offices.”
UP was to submit a restricted air space notice Wednesday, but nobody was around to receive it.
- The government shutdown shouldn't change the oil and gas money in New Mexico,/a> -- for a few weeks at least.
“I’m not so bold as to say it with absolute certainty, but if (the shutdown) stretched to a month then the odds would go up that it would be a major factor,” NMOGA media relations officer Wally Drangmeister told New Mexico Watchdog.
- A man in Alamogordo has an ... interesting sign protesting the government shutdown.
- Former cabinet secretary and New Mexico Finance Authority CEO Rick May is suing the governor and Department of Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary Tom Clifford over alleged open records violations.
The administration is now facing a number of open-records lawsuits; the Santa Fe Reporter, New Mexico In Depth and the Las Cruces Sun-News and the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government all have sued the governor for alleged open records violations. The governor has also been recently pressured into releasing her public schedule, although it has been criticized for being contradictory and incomplete.
"After waiting 174 days for any response from the governor or DFA, we have received nothing but excuses," May's lawyer, Stephen Farber, says in a statement. "Not one email, text message, memo, document, or even piece of paper has been made for public inspection."
Neither the governor's office nor DFA responded immediately to May's lawsuit.
- Response times to 911 calls are of dispute between mayoral candidates in Albuquerque.
Mayor Richard Berry says the police force is responding to its most-important calls as quickly as it did before he took office, if not better.
His opponents – mayoral candidate Pete Dinelli, in particular – say the opposite is true, that response times are worse.
Both are correct, depending on what data are cited.
- Will voter turnout in Albuquerque be higher than expected?
- Breaking Bad didn't receive a loan from the state because of the content of the show, according to the former state chief investment officer Gary Bland. Others say the producers balked at the terms of the loan.
However, Wollmann said no vote was ever taken, in part because the producers of the proposed series balked at the state’s financial terms.
“While the show’s subject matter may have initially been an issue, what was ultimately the big sticking point was concern over whether the state would get a guarantee of its loan being repaid from Sony Pictures – a Sony subsidiary – or an irrevocable letter of credit from a bank, which is what the council preferred,” Wollmann said.
- Bad economic news for Las Cruces and Albuquerque.
A report from CBS MoneyWatch lists 10 cities that may not make it back from the housing market crash.The report also said Farmington, which didn't hit the top-ten, could take "centuries" to recover. I'd imagine that is hyperbole.
Las Cruces comes in fourth; Albuquerque is listed as eighth.
- New Mexico In Depth and the Fronteras: The Changing America Desk report on the plans some families have in case some family members are deported.
Sarah Nolan is the executive director of Comunidades en Accion y de Fe, an immigrants’ rights organization known as CAFÉ, in Las Cruces near the U.S.-Mexico border. Nolan says parents who are vulnerable have created deportation readiness plans.
“They have an emergency plan for if one or both parents get deported and what happens when they’re alone,” she says.
- The Mid-Region Council of Governments could be getting in on solar energy.
Though the report touts the possibilities of producing solar energy in the area, it recognizes that there is not a lot of private capital available, and that the state’s transmission constraints and “regional isolation” preclude many large-scale facilities.
The report says the local solar sector may be small, but has potential that could be tapped into.
- Attorney General Gary King, a candidate for governor next year, spoke to Democrats in Otero County.
He said New Mexico has had the "worst economic recovery coming out of this economic downturn" and the worst job growth, adding that big corporations have benefitted from tax cuts while moving jobs out of state.
King points to problems with several state agencies as evidence of Martinez' shortcomings, in particular, the departments of education, human services and workforce solutions, saying some departments are "broken."
- Kudos to the Clovis News Journal for continuing to follow this story:
After weeks of declining to admit or deny there was one, some Curry County officials are acknowledging an internal investigation into the county jail’s kitchen renovation.
Commissioner Wendell Bostwick declined to discuss the investigation’s purpose, findings, or other specifics Wednesday, but said the investigation was completed recently. He said it was the result of questions raised about the kitchen renovation by the resignation of Facilities Manager Joe Wright.
- Milan Simonich writes about a strange case that could rewrite domestic violence laws in the state.
- The Navajo Nation is no longer under federal scrutiny on housing funds.
- Sandoval County needs 18,000 jobs by 2023 to stave off a steep economic decline.
To return the economy to pre-recession levels, governments and private organizations must work together to increase funding of economic development efforts as well as support and recruitment of businesses, according to Lautman’s recommendations.A big part of the plan would be increased jobs at Intel's plant in Rio Rancho. The plant has been shedding jobs for those in Arizona, Oregon and overseas for years.
- Drought and Fire Digest:
La Jicarita examines the hands-on approach versus the hands-off approach to firefighting.
Farmers are trying non-traditional irrigation methods to combat the drought, KUNM reports.
A prescribed burn is going on near Angel Fire.
- Interim Committee Watch:
The Legislative Health and Human Services Committee continues its meeting at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs today and tomorrow.
The Capitol Building Planning Commission meets tomorrow at the state capitol.
The Radioactive & Hazardous Materials Committee meets Monday and Tuesday at the Pecos River Village Conference Center in Carlsbad.
The Transportation Infrastructure Revenue Subcommitee meets Tuesday at the State Capitol.
- The management of a waste facility at Los Alamos National Labs is ineffective according to a government audit.
- The NMSU effort to get students to stay to the end of football games by offering a chance to win prizes -- but only if the student attends the game and stays until the fourth quarter -- was widely mocked nationwide.
Now it's getting more bad press after a double-amputee Iraq War vet was unable to attend the game despite being chosen to win the $2,000 prize.
Taking care of her is his first priority he said, noting it would be nice to have time to go to a game. He has returned to school after taking a break last fall while his father was in the hospital.
"He cooks for me, he shops for me and he takes me to the doctor," grandma Marjorie Seedorf said. "Of course I appreciate everything he does."
- The Metropolitan Detention Center will be featured on A&E's Beyond Scared Straight, presumably interrupting a marathon of Storage Wars and Duck Dynasty.
- Cable One, the cable provider in Rio Rancho, got rid of all Turner networks. This includes CNN, TNT and TBS. For baseball fans, this is really bad -- many playoff games will be on TBS.