Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

The NMDOT District One office will be performing maintenance operations on NM 174/Catwalk Road on Monday, March 16th.  The work will require that a section of NM 174 be closed at mile marker 1 from 8 am until 3 pm.  The NMDOT will remove a section of the existing roadway in order to install a large culvert where a low water crossing has damaged a section of NM 174.  Once the culvert is placed, the employees will make the necessary roadway repair work to ensure a safe passage for the traveling public.

Every year in conjunction with the Girl Scout Birthday on March 12 (this year being the 103rd), Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest give a gift to the first baby girl born on or after the Girl Scout birthday. This year Baby Kaylee Peña with her mom and dad Salina and Aaron Peña were given gifts by Girl Scouts from troop 54307 of Silver City.   Among the gifts were homemade headbands by the girls, baby bath items, bottles, socks, a beanie and hair bows. Gift for the mom were lotion, socks, chocolates and, of course, Girl Scout Cookies. The family also received a certificate making Kaylee an Honorary Girl Scout.

Shannon Rivera of Silver City has been appointed to the State Early Learning Advisory Council. She is the interim assistant dean for early childhood programs at Western New Mexico University. Rivera previously worked as an adjunct instructor and assistant director for early childhood programs at WNMU. She has more than a decade of experience teaching in classrooms at the preschool, kindergarten, and post-secondary levels. Rivera holds a Master of Arts from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

Gabrielle Begay of Arenas Valley has been nominated for appointment to the Western New Mexico University Board of Regents. She is a student and serves as the president of the Associated Students of Western New Mexico University. Begay holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and anticipates matriculating into an advanced degree program this fall.

In legislative action:

A Senate bill that would allow famers in the state to grow industrial hemp for research has sailed through its first New Mexico House panel.  The Agriculture, Water and Wildlife Committee Wednesday unanimously approved and moved the proposed legislation to the Judiciary Committee.  The proposal would allow the Agriculture Department to set up regulations and fees for the processing of hemp for research and development not for sale.  Many products made from hemp, such as oils and clothing, are legal.

Thousands of dogs and cats are euthanized in New Mexico each year, and a State Representative is sponsoring a bill seeking to address the problem by establishing a statewide spay and neuter program.  Under current law, New Mexico Counties are spending more than 27-million dollars a year for animal control, housing and euthanasia.  The bill would change that by repealing the current law and centralize the effort which would be funded by income tax refund donations and by directing money from the state’s spay and neuter license plate fund.

Senate Bill 491 would tighten controls over homeowner associations and encourage settlement of grievances outside of the court.  The bill amends a broader measure which governs disclosure and transparency over homeowner associations and the management companies that are often paid to operate them.  The bill makes it clear that meetings and records must be open to all lot owners and clarifies that boards can only go into a closed session to discuss litigation or personnel matters.