Here’s a look some headlines:
The USDA is awarding 72 grants totaling $23.6 million through the “Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program.” Western New Mexico University is receiving $191,589 of those funds to purchase video conferencing equipment that are intended to provide interactive distance learning services. The project will benefit one hub and eight end-user sites in six communities by providing video conferencing units and software. It will enable high school students to take dual-enrollment courses, provide virtual experiences and expand professional development opportunities for educational staff. The equipment also will give community residents access to employment training.
Today, the State of New Mexico Speaker of the House, Brian Egolf, announced the inaugural Speaker’s Table, a program for students from across the state to visit the Roundhouse and learn about the legislative process through hands-on participation. Students will be in the Roundhouse today joined by Representative Rodolpho “Rudy” S. Martinez, of Silver City and Representative Candie G. Sweetser, of Deming, to mentor the students and prepare them to speak in committee. The students will host mock committee hearings, floor proceedings, and will work with their mentor Representatives to present testimony in front of a committee.
Representatives of the New Mexico Environmental Department met with residents of Luna County to discuss local air quality standards. The department is looking to repeal and replace the standards for “Total Suspended Particulates” that was first enacted in 1969. The updated regulations are intended to protect public health. Research has shown that particles measuring 10 microns and smaller are harmful to the human respiratory system and can cause problems spanning from coughing, difficulty breathing, decreased lung function and non-fatal heart attacks. The new Fugitive Dust Rule that is currently under development is intended to protect public health by setting upgraded standards to detect the emission of smaller particles. Discussion continued about concerns regarding local mining, farming, unpaved roads and construction sites. The NMED is requesting public comments regarding the proposed changes until March. For more information, contact Michael Baca at 575-915-1091.
Aldo Leopold Charter School has set the lottery dates for the 2018-19 school year and will be accepting applications for the first lottery on February 15th. All new students wishing to attend the school from grades 6 through 12 need to apply through the lottery system. There will be nine separate drawings held between February 16th and July 27th. Student application packets are available at the front office located at 1422 U.S Highway 180 East or download from the school website at a l docs dot org. Aldo Leopold Charter School is a tuition-free public charter school open to all students in Grant County.