- ALBUQUERQUE-BLACK INVESTMENT
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The mayor of Albuquerque plans to release details this month of a plan to invest $1 million in the city's Black community. The Albuquerque Journal reported Monday that Mayor Tim Keller will elaborate on the investment program during the city's Juneteenth Festival. It's been a year since Keller first proposed funding for Black-owned businesses in response to the racial reckoning sparked by the killing of George Floyd in May 2020.The prop osal was approved by the Albuquerque City Council after lengthy talks about how the money would be allocated. A city spokeswoman, told the newspaper the city has been working closely with the Black business community and other partners on a plan.
- ENDANGERED WOLVES-PUPS
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. wildlife managers say they have placed a record 22 captive-born Mexican gray wolf pups into dens in the wild to be raised by surrogate packs. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the announcement Monday, calling this year's cross-fostering season a success. Officials have said the fostering program has helped to boost the genetic diversity of the wild population in Arizona and New Mexico. Some environmentalists say the fate of many of the cross-fostered wolves released over the last four years is unknown and that federal officials should release family groups instead. Ranchers also remain concerned about the effects of the endangered predators on livestock.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-BUSINESS COMPENSATION
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Supreme Court says that New Mexico has no obligation to compensate businesses for financial losses and expenses due to emergency health orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The unanimous opinion on Monday scuttles about 20 lawsuits filed last year in district court. The original plaintiffs argued that aggressive health restrictions from the governor's administration constituted a regulatory taking much like the taking of land for public works projects. The governor urged the Supreme Court to block the lawsuits. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed into law a variety of temporary grants, minimal-interest loans and tax breaks on businesses in response the pandemic.
- NEVADA LEGISLATURE-GRASS BAN
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has signed legislation to make the state the first in the U.S. to ban certain kinds of grass. The measure signed last Friday will ban water users in southern Nevada from planting decorative grass so they conserve water. The grass ban starting in 2027 applies to office parks, entrances to housing developments and street medians. But it does not apply to homes or parks. Water officials say the ban will eliminate about 40% of the grass in the region. The ban comes as western states that rely on the Colorado River for water prepare for the federal government to issue its first-ever official shortage declaration.
- MAYOR-PRIDE FLAG FLAP
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller is facing criticism for failing to include two openly gay city councilors at a recent Pride month event. The Albuquerque Journal reports that neither Pat Davis nor Diane Gibson was present last week when Keller raised a rainbow flag, a symbol of Pride, outside City Hall with members of the LGBTQ community. Both Davis and Gibson confirmed that they were not invited. Davis tweeted "Inclusivity is not a photo op." Gibson told the newspaper Keller has a history of not including her at events in her own district. A spokeswoman for the mayor said nobody was excluded from the public event.
- ALBUQUERQUE HOMICIDES
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police were investigating two suspected homicides in Albuquerque on Sunday, including one involving a motorcyclist who appeared to have been shot before crashing. Officers questioned but released two people at the scene of the other killing of a man early Sunday on the west of town where shots were fired and one man died. Police were called to an area near Broadway and Coal avenues at about 1:30 a.m. found a male motorcyclist who was suffering from a gunshot injury and later died at a local hospital. About 10 minutes later, police responded to reports of shots fired in on Blue Avena SW where a man was found dead.
- IMMIGRATION-HAITIANS IN MEXICO
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — Haitians rejoiced when the Biden administration recently extended protections for those living in the United States, but it doesn't apply to Haitians who still hope to make it to the country. Many are calling Mexican border cities home as they face increasing repatriation flights by the U.S. and bleak prospects for finding protections outside their homeland. Haiti faces political and humanitarian crises following a devastating 2010 earthquake. Some Haitians have recently moved from Tijuana to Ciudad Juarez, driven by job prospects, hopes of less racial discrimination and a temptation to cross what they perceive to be less-guarded stretches of border.
- RANCH PURCHASE-NATIONAL FOREST
The federal government plans to purchase a private ranch in the Jemez River Valley to expand the Santa Fe National Forest in northern New Mexico. Officials said the acquisition of the 3.1 square miles will both protect land rich in natural and cultural resources and provide public access to areas of the forest currently difficult to reach. The land consists of two parcels on both sides of the river and is nestled between spires of volcanic tuff and red rock mesas. The parcels are within the congressionally designated Jemez National Recreation Area.Forest managers estimate the sale will close in the coming year.