Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
At least 250 students will be earning certificates, associate, baccalaureate or master degrees on Friday, December 11, at the fall commencement ceremony beginning at 2:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Theatre. The ceremony will be streamed online live and can be seen at www.wnmu.edu/events/commencement-2015.
In sports action: the Western New Mexico University basketball teams will hit the road this Saturday to open Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play against in-state rival New Mexico Highlands University. It will be a pair of early start times with the women playing at 2 p.m. followed by the men’s game at 4 p.m. On the women’s side, the Lady Mustangs (2-3) will look to snap a two-game losing streak falling to a pair of Lone Star teams in Angelo State and Eastern New Mexico. WNMU has wins against Oklahoma Panhandle State and the University of the Southwest. On the men’s side, the Mustangs (0-5) are coming off of a tough two-point loss to Benedictine-Mesa. So far this season, four of the losses have been by nine points or less.
U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement today following his vote to disapprove the Conference Report to accompany the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill (H.R. 22): “Our nation’s transportation infrastructure is in dire need of repair,” stated Pearce. “Unfortunately, the bill voted on today, fails to make the needed changes to provide long term funding, stability, and certainty to our infrastructure nationwide. As I said when the House first voted on this bill in November, 90 percent of the money in the Highway Trust Fund comes from the gas tax, yet more and more is being spent not on roads and transportation infrastructure, but rather on bike paths, landscaping, and community planning – all of which do not contribute to the Fund. Instead of addressing this broken program, Congress has bailed it out again with questionable funding.”
Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall cast several votes to protect important health care services for New Mexicans. The series of votes were on amendments to and final passage of a budget reconciliation bill, which Republicans put forward in an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The bill passed by a vote of 52-47, though it is expected to be vetoed by the president, and the Senate vote is far short of what would be needed to override that veto. Udall voted against the bill.
Udall also honored victims of drunk and drugged driving by introducing a bipartisan resolution in the U.S. Senate designating today, December 3, 2015, as a National Day of Remembrance. He released the following statement: “Last year, nearly 10,000 people were killed in crashes involving drunk drivers. Thousands more were injured — one person every two minutes. New Mexicans are all too familiar with these tragedies, including a horrific crash that cost the lives of three young people this past holiday weekend. All of these deaths are one hundred percent preventable.”