- New Mexico's population growth is the slowest in the region.
- The first same-sex couple received their marriage license in Roosevelt County. The previous county clerk had resigned rather than follow a Supreme Court decision that said same-sex couples were able to get marriage licenses.
- NM Telegram continued the short series of year-end posts with my favorite stories of the year.
- The Wall Street Journal looks at why New Mexico's economy is sluggish compared to the neighboring cities and finds New Mexico's reliance on federal jobs is one to blame.
Finding a job has proved difficult for Brenda Laweka, 53 years old, who said recently at a workforce center in Albuquerque that she had been searching without success.
Ms. Laweka said she had worked for seven years at a federal agency that provided health services to Native Americans but lost her job after the government shutdown. She interviewed for a cashier job with the city, but learned there were 800 applicants for two positions.
- The Santa Fe New Mexican looks at the economy in Santa Fe and throughout New Mexico in 2013.
There were more home sales, new renovation and change downtown, and a healthy tourism industry that filled more hotel rooms and restaurants.
Job and income growth, however, are still lacking in New Mexico as the state economy is still tethered to federal government hiring and spending — and that is not likely to change in the coming year.
- A State Senator wants to take drivers licenses away from students who don't go to school.
He believes the possibility of losing a license to drive would send a strong message, particularly to teenage boys.
“They hold dear their driver’s license,” Brandt said. “Driving is a privilege not a right. Being able to lose that privilege is huge.”
- Albuquerque had net job gains in the first 11 months of 2013.
- New Mexico Capitol Report declares New Mexico "a state of dependency."
- Yesterday, Jim Baca said he could not get in contact with Alan Webber's campaign. He updated his piece:
UPDATE: Webber's staff said they did try to contact me about a meeting but I can't find the email.
- Santa Fe voters will get to know the mayoral candidates very well next month -- there are eight mayoral forums scheduled.
- The sale of a coal mine to an entity run by the Navajo Nation has been finalized.
- Construction employment is up in Albuquerque, though still down from pre-recession highs.
- Come the new year, Albuquerque's minimum wage will increase to $8.60 per hour.
- Santa Fe's minimum wage will hit $10.65 on March 1. That number could change, but it will be up from the current $10.51 because it is tied to the consumer price index.
- Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, all Democrats, sent a letter to Kit Carson Electric Cooperative's supplier asking the supplier to lift its cap on how much energy the co-op can generate from renewable sources.
The co-op is contractually prohibited from generating more than 5 percent of its total energy needs using its own facilities, and it has nearly hit that ceiling by building several solar arrays across its service area in the last few years.
The co-op has asked that Tri-State raise the limit to allow it to continue expanding its solar program, but Tri-State has so far been unwilling to budge.
- The controversial horse slaughter plant is still on hold.
- A mistake by the Public Regulation Commission in 2011 is putting Green Cab Company in limbo.
- The Clovis News Journal says sheriff and jail issues dominated the year.
- The Quay County Sun looks at the top stories of 2013 for the area.
- Will officials dam the Gila River to save it?
Most days of the year, the Gila is what people from other regions of the United States would probably call a stream. Or maybe a creek. But for 13 days in September, its flows ran above 1,000 cfs. (And for three days, it was above 4,000 cfs.) The flooding here, as well as within many of its tributaries, showed what the river could do. “The Gila River is what makes southwestern New Mexico so special,” says Siwik. “It’s America’s last wild river.” - See more at: http://newmexicomercury.com/blog/comments/damming_a_river_to_save_it#sthash.GTfXfxx3.dpuf
- Those supporting wild horses in the Placitias area lost an appeal in federal court.
- Today is the last day on the job for the State Folklorist, Claude Stephenson.
"The main goal of the state folklorist is to document, preserve and perpetuate the traditional cultures of the people of New Mexico," Stephenson said. "You do that in a lot of ways."
Many associate the word lore with stories, written or oral. But there's much more to it than that, Stephenson said. "Lore is a body of knowledge. That can be a lot of things. Material arts like weaving, pottery, basket-making, saddle-making, boot-making, guitar. It can be food, cooking and family recipes, cultural recipes."
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