Connect to nature

A private contractor is putting wifi in state parks in New Mexico, including Hyde Memorial State Park and Elephant Butte Lake. The move is part of a plan by the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department to install wifi in up to 17 of the 34 state parks ($ TNM) in the state by February. The parks aren't paying for it; the private company doing the install will charge users and profit off that. And if you're mad about the internet ruining your experience of nature, remember you can always just … not buy it.

Diversion tactics

Money previously allocated for defense projects in New Mexico will be diverted to pay for a section of the border wall; $125 million, to be precise. The order came down from the US Department of Defense as part of a plan for $3.6 billion in funding for 127 defense projects inside and outside the country to be diverted to build 175 miles of wall.

Dos mas

Two more lawsuits have been filed against New Mexico churches claiming sexual abuse by clergy. The churches accused in the new cases are located in Roswell and Las Cruces.

A heads-up would have been nice

Business owners in the vicinity of East Central Avenue in Albuquerque reached out to the Bernalillo Counhty Sheriff's Office for a little help in dealing with folks disrupting their daily operations in the area, and BCSO answered the call, sending 35 officers into the area to deal with the purported riff-raff. Turns out, though, that the BCSO didn't coordinate the surge with the Albuquerque Police Department, and City Councilor Pat Davis says that BCSO has enough to do without taking over part of Albuquerque.

Fight for your right to fiesta

The Santa Fe Fiesta Council will this year see fewer visits to schools this week ($ TNM) due to its presentation's focus on religion and what many have argued is the whitewashing of New Mexican colonial history. Erica Wheeler, Santa Fe Public Schools social studies coordinator, said that when teaching students history, "teaching the skills to be a successful student of history are as important as the content. … Still, I don't think those assemblies are a critical part of the curriculum that any teacher needs to teach that history."

Wrap it up

According to a study by Health Testing Partners based on information provided by the Center for Disease Control, New Mexico is fourth in the nation for concentration of cases of … drumroll please … chlamydia! New Mexico has 651.6 chlamydia cases per 100,000 people; the national average is 528.8. Alaska came in at No. 1 with 799.8 cases and Maine came in last with 342.1 cases.

Cram ’em in there

A developer wants to build 51 manufactured homes on 8 acres near the KSK Buddhist center on Airport Road, and neighbors aren't all on board. SFR's Katherine Lewin reports that some people believe traffic, access and services to a struggling area aren't being considered.

Mee-Yow

Seeing as the weather is just continuing to be stupid, the Word would rather report a cute kitty in this spot instead today. SFR got a new (and particularly beautiful) picture of the African serval wandering the hills at Hyde Memorial State Park. The animal is likely an escaped pet, but if Game & Fish can catch it, it will likely end up in a zoo, because the cats are illegal to own in New Mexico.

Thanks for reading! The Word sure is thankful for coffee this morning.