Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
The Mimbres Region Arts Council hosted their annual Chocolate Fantasia on Saturday. This year’s theme was “Wild West Days.” Many visitors enjoyed the pre-Valentine’s treat, as volunteers prepared 350 to 500 chocolates a piece for guests to taste or take home.
Silver City has seen an increase in stolen vehicles during 2017. So far this year, six motor vehicles have been stolen, the last of which was on February 9th. In 2016, a total of 19 vehicles were stolen. Two of the six motor vehicles were recovered. Anyone with information about any of the other thefts, or other crimes, is asked to contact the Silver City Police Department or Grant County Dispatch. The caller can remain anonymous.
Today, the New Mexico Department of Health announced improved health outcomes in key areas for New Mexico’s youth, including reduced rates of obesity, pregnancy, smoking, and others. Teen pregnancy rates for young women and girls between the ages of 15 and 17 have declined to their lowest rate in decades. Cigarette smoking among teenagers has declined to almost one in ten, the lowest ever recorded in New Mexico. And while other states have seen increases, the childhood obesity rate continues to trend downward. New Mexico also ranked 10th best in the nation with a childhood immunization coverage level of 75.9 percent, a significant increase from just 45.8 percent in 2009.
In legislative action, HB 179, which passed the House Health and Human Services Committee with a 4-3 vote, would promote healthy pregnancies in New Mexico while keeping pregnant workers on the job. Under HB 179, these employees could continue earning a living and helping to grow our state’s economy by having employers make reasonable workplace accommodations—such as allowing extra bathroom breaks—for women during pregnancy. The bill now heads to the House Judiciary Committee for Consideration.
A bill requiring background checks on all firearm sales passed the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, and now heads to the House Floor. According to a release from House Democrats, HB 50 would “close a dangerous loophole” that allows guns to be sold online or at gun shows or even in parking lots without criminal background checks. It has exceptions written in to allow family members to transfer guns to their relatives and to allow for the lending of guns for a five-day period without a background check.
Today, House Bill 289 the Agriculture in Economic Development Finance Act passed the House Labor and Economic Development Committee in a 9-0 unanimous vote. The bill amends the New Mexico Statewide Economic Development Department (NMEDD) to include value-added agricultural enterprises, providing small agricultural businesses in rural New Mexico with access to funding administered by NMEDD.