Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

The Rotary Club of Silver City, NM, in conjunction with Western New Mexico University and Silver Screen Society, have launched a film competition for the documentation of the invasion of Columbus, NM by Pancho Villa.  The film documentation will take place during the Centennial in Columbus, NM, March 9-12, 2016.   Participants are invited to join WNMU students, faculty and others for the Centennial events in Columbus, NM.  The final editing can be finished the following weekend at WNMU (optional). For more information please contact Assistant Professor Peter Bill at or call 575-538-6607.

New Mexico Representative Miguel Garcia pre-filed House Bill 51, the Firearms Transfer Act.  The bill calls for background checks on individual non-licensed firearms vendors at gun shows. The current law does not require such checks. HB51 is the facsimile of the 2013 compromise bill HB77.  According to the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence, there is strong evidence that background checks save lives.  Fifteen states already require background checks for all gun sales.  Those states have 64% fewer guns being trafficked, 49% fewer firearm suicides and a 38% reduction of women being murdered by an intimate partner.

The FBI will start with a new program targeting animal cruelty as a “crime against society” and Class A felony, on Jan. 1, 2016. The new program is part of a decision made in 2014 that goes into effect at the beginning of the year with the FBI tracking animal cruelty cases.  The FBI can track where cruelty is occurring, how often and whether or not animal cruelty is on the rise. Having this specific targeted data will help in the fight against animal cruelty with the offenses falling into 4 categories: (1) Neglect (2) Intentional Abuse (includes officers that shoot dogs unjustly, shelter workers that abused animals) and Torture (3) Organized Abuse (dog and cock fighting) (4) Animal Sexual Abuse. Police agencies must report incidences as well as arrests.  The general public can also report abuse to the National Incident Based Reporting System website.

Those wishing for a white Christmas in New Mexico perhaps got more than they bargained for this weekend when a massive winter storm slammed the southeastern part of the state, shutting down Interstate 40’s eastbound lanes from Albuquerque to the Texas state line.