Didn’t see that coming

A bill to legalize recreational marijuana has passed the New Mexico House of Representatives. It hasn't been looking too good on the legalization front, so this may come as a surprise to those following the issue. The bill passed as a result of a new changes; that weed would be sold by state-run stores, users would be required to carry receipts to show they bought the substance legally, and folks could only have up to 1 ounce in their possession at a time. If it passes the Senate and is signed into law, rec sales could start in mid-2020.

So it begins …

As predicted, the wind was wicked yesterday, and whipped up a fire near Belen that burned 100 acres and damaged five homes and closed Highway 47 for a bit. That wind isn't going to stop today, either, so hold on to your butts.

He plays both kinds: Country and Western!

It's Friday, so it's time to offer up your weekend long-read from SFR; though this week's doesn't feel long at all. Alex De Vore sat down with local music legend Bill Hearne to hear the honky-tonker's story, from birth to this year, his 70th. We feature Hearne in advance of a screening of New Mexico Rain, a documentary about him and his late wife Bonnie.

A pawn in the game

A 25-year-old Ohkay Owingeh man was arrested in Santa Fe ($) after burglarizing two houses on Wednesday. Mariano Romero, along with Mercady Montoya, 26, of Santa Fe, was apprehended when trying to pawn goods stolen from homes in the 1500 and 2500 blocks of Agua Fria. Police say Romero has a six-year-long burglary history.

Big Brother is watching

A proposed change to the US Census could mean trouble for states' federal funding, New Mexico among them. For the 2020 Census, the Trump administration wants to bring back a question about citizenship, which—if enough non-citizens answer honestly—could reduce federal funding. But even those who are citizens may skip the census due to a general mistrust of the federal government, says Robert Rhatigan, New Mexico liaison for the Census Bureau. Even just a one-percent undercount of New Mexicans in 2020 could result in $600 million less in federal funds over the course of a decade.

Happy dang birthday, kid

An Albuquerque mother was reported to police for bringing her 8-year-old daughter to an all-ages concert at the Launchpad. Jovan Salazar was fulfilling her daughter's request to see her favorite rap group for her birthday when cops came into the venue and said someone was concerned that the child was around marijuana smoke. Salazar was released due to lack of probable cause that she'd done anything wrong.

I’m so excited, I’m so scared

If you're looking for fun stuff to do this weekend, check the SFR calendar, or just take our word for it that you should support the kids from New Mexico School for the Arts. This weekend is Stress and Coffee, their 24-hour playwriting festival, which sees students writing, casting, rehearsing and performing five brand-new short plays in a 24-hour period. That's tomorrow night at 7 pm, and it's free (but there will be a donation box).

Thanks for reading! The Word has family in town for a few days, so you just know we're gonna be eating at all our favorite restaurants this week. Oh yeah.