The big time

If you want to see beautiful pictures of a place, you turn to National Geographic—though perhaps it's a sign of the times that a new NG story about New Mexico's acequias features really cool pop art-style animations as illustrations instead. The mag talked to a number of locals you probably know about our beloved irrigation systems, as much a cultural tradition as they are an agricultural tool. We suspect this one is best viewed on a desktop, not mobile, to get the full effect of the illos.

Food stamp folly

In a lawsuit that has been simmering for 31 years now, we may be no closer to the end of the tunnel. New Mexico state employees admitted in 2016 to fudging documentation and requirements to keep people off the Medicaid and SNAP (food stamps) rolls, and New Mexico In Depth gives both a history of the case as well as how it's progressed since 1988. In short, we still have serious problems; the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty reviewed 288 cases and found 182 legal violations, 30 percent of which caused a loss or delay of benefits.

Confirmed

That suspected case of measles from a week or so ago is now a confirmed case of measles in New Mexico, the first since 2014. Officials are not confirming the location of the 1-year-old with the disease other than to say the child lives in Sierra County (which includes Truth or Consequences).

The other kind of 1%er

Motorcyclists descended upon Las Cruces this weekend to bring 30,000 pounds of food to migrants. About 25 bikers of a few Southwestern groups (affiliations included Bandidos, Soldados, Squad, Riga, and Guardians of Children) unloaded pallets of food donated by Pack Away Hunger, an Indiana-based nonprofit. Asylum-seekers themselves immediately jumped in to help with the task.

We got seepage

The Word has taken a few drives around Northern New Mexico lately, and it's glorious to see rivers overflowing their banks and the ground mushy. The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District and the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission suspect that such high flows will last until June (at which time the monsoons will kick in, if predictions hold true), but New Mexico Political Report's Laura Paskus points out that all that water could cause levees to seep. She tells us what to do if we see a problem.

Pedal on back

Last week SFR reported that two popular candidates for New Mexico Senate will reject PAC money for their campaigns. Seemed like a pretty cool idea for both US Rep. Ben Ray Luján and New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver to avoid accusations of being in anyone else's pocket. They're clarifying their promises now, however, saying they are in fact open to donations from labor unions and like-minded advocacy groups.

Help on the way?

A few officials in New Mexico's judicial system are taking a more compassionate, recovery-centric approach to those in our community struggling with addiction, and The New Mexican's Phaedra Haywood offers a profile of Rio Arriba County District Court Judge Jason Lidyard ($) as one of them. Among other things, he requires those awaiting trial to obtain the anti-overdose drug naloxone and attend recovery meetings. He says he will also start to require defendants meet with caseworkers from 12-step groups, and with it all, he aims to help the defendants learn how to navigate transportation and keep a schedule.

Welcome the weathergirl

The National Weather Service's Albuquerque Twitter feed was all atwitter this morning (okay that's a dumb use of that adjective) with severe thunderstorm warnings for eastern New Mexico; apparently there was golf ball-sized hail near Logan. The mountains will likely see flakes today, the lowlands some rain, and parts of Colorado are set to get up to a foot of snow. Also, we've been warned that wind could pick up today.

Thanks for reading! The Word is gearing up for summer; it begins this weekend, for all intents and purposes. Are you ready?