Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

The North Fire on the Magdalena Ranger District continues to increase in size and is now 14,508 acres at 20% containment.  Acreage will increase daily as ignition operations continue.  The lightning-caused fire started on May 21st and is located in the San Mateo Mountains 25 miles southwest of Magdalena.  Aerial and hand ignitions continue to be planned daily as weather permits.  The North Fire is a managed low intensity fire which consumes the large accumulation of woody debris on the forest floor.  This type of fire management reduces the risk of catastrophic wildfire which would kill tree canopy and result in loss of forested habitat for perhaps hundreds of years, impacting numerous wildlife species.

Details of the process to examine the feasibility of diverting water from the Gila River to provide water for Deming were revealed last Thursday during a special meeting of the New Mexico Central Arizona Project Entity held in the Grant County Administration Center.  The current list of alternative plans has been narrowed down to seven.  The projects aim to divert water from various sources for a variety of uses.

USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner was in Columbus earlier this afternoon to celebrate National Homeownership Month with a groundbreaking ceremony to begin the construction of new homes in the community.  USDA Rural Development provided a $403,000 grant to Tierra Del Sol Housing Corporation to administer the Self Help housing program that will be used to provide technical assistance in the construction of the homes.

The New Mexico Higher Education Department has determined the level of funding for the Lottery Scholarship for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017.  The Lottery Scholarship funds only a portion of tuition costs of the student, the student must personally pay student fees.  The Lottery Scholarship will pay $2,465.62 for research institutions including New Mexico Tech, UNM and NMSU; $1,643.11 for comprehensive institutions including ENMU, NMHU, NNMC, and WNMU and $617.25 for the 19 community colleges.  For WNMU students, this will mean $460 in uncovered tuition and $1,219 in fees.

A new study by names New Mexico as the laziest state in America.  The criteria included the lowest average hours worked, shortest commute time, fewest workers per household, highest unemployment rate, and fewest adults with a college degree.  According to the report, New Mexico has a low number of bachelor’s degree holders at just under 15%, the 10th lowest number of workers per household in the country, and the 17th lowest of average hours worked at 38.2, and 60.2% of the state actually in the labor force.  Get the full story here: