Snapshots of NM news

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Marijuana sprouts and other interesting facts

By Harold Morgan

Ours is a big state. Few others can boast population centers 492 miles apart, the distance between Farmington and Hobbs.
Life being life, it’s easy to forget that the other corners of the state exist, much less take the time to pay attention to them.
A few years ago, when doing Capitol Report New Mexico, I would survey community newspaper websites, taking a snapshot of local events. Recently I did the same survey. Sunday is the best day.
In Columbus, businessman Philip Skinner wants a separate economic development group for the village.
Southern Luna County gets too little attention from the group in Deming, Skinner says. (Deming Headlight, Sept. 16.)
North of Espanola, increased competition for the Ohkay Casino has meant falling revenue and the layoff of 15 employees.
Additional cuts affect about 100 of the 300 employees. Gambling provides about a quarter of the revenue for Tsay Corp., the corporate entity for Ohkay Owingeh. (Rio Grande Sun, Sept. 15.)
In Farmington, charges of misuse of a San Juan County vehicle that was a take-home car for a manager at the San Juan Adult Detention Center have led to the question of why so many of the county’s 43 take-home cars are driven by jail employees.
After all, jail staffers pretty much go to the same place every day. (Daily Times, Sept. 18.)
In Hobbs, the Lea County Regional Airport is hiring part-time transportation security officers.
There are federal benefits and paid, ongoing training. (Hobbs News-Sun advertisement, Sept. 15.)
Near Los Alamos, Bandelier National Monument officials found new marijuana sprouts when they conducted a follow up visit to the massive marijuana farm discovered in a remote area of the monument. (Los Alamos Monitor, Sept. 17.)
New Mexico State University will spend $260.5 million this year on salaries around the state, down about 6 percent from the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
NMSU has six campuses, 13 science centers, and an extension office in every county. (Las Cruces Sun-News, Sept. 17.)
In Raton, $15,000 in lodger’s tax funds granted to the Raton Arts and Humanities Council will keep the Old Pass Gallery operating for about six months while the local arts organization continues to search for needed revenue.
The council had requested $23,000. (Raton Range, Sept. 15.)
In Roswell, the U.S. Postal Service is studying the feasibility of folding the Roswell Customer Service Mail Processing Center into a Lubbock, Texas, facility. (Roswell Daily Record, Sept. 16.)
In Ruidoso, a lawsuit alleges Mayor Ray Alborn’s prohibition on carrying firearms on village-owned property is illegal and seeks to void the order. (Ruidoso News, Sept. 15.)
Taos is having a conversation about the plaza, which no longer is the community and local business center remembered by locals.
Too touristy is the complaint, too congested.
Nearly all plaza shops serve out-of-towners.
The old county courthouse and the theater are closed. One businessman says, “Sinister change in our society.” (Taos News, Sept. 15).
In Window Rock, a gala dinner honoring four-time PGA tour winner Notah Begay and hosted by Navajo tribal leaders raised $340,000 for scholarships. (Navajo Times, Sept. 15.)
The city of Socorro will pay the EPA $200,000 after being identified as a “potentially responsible party” as owner of the land where Eagle Picher Carefree Battery manufactured non-automotive, lead-acid batteries from 1979 to 2000.
It’s money the city won’t have for parks and street repairs, says the mayor. (Socorro Defensor-Chieftain, Sept. 21.)
The water level at Brantley Lake is low, but a buoy system is helping boaters navigate, and the fishing is good. (Artesia Daily Press, Sept. 21).
A few, who have been involved in the challenge of tracking the entire state, pitch the value of a web-based news aggregation service.
Anyone interested, email IdeasforNewMexico@swcp.com.

Harold Morgan
© New Mexico
News Services 2011