Here’s a look at some local news:

New Mexico’s senior US Senator, Tom Udall, has announced he will not run for re-election in 2020. The 70-year old Udall, has served for two terms as a Democrat in the U.S Senate. According to Udall, he wishes to spend the next two years focusing on important issues instead of the distraction of running a campaign. Udall began serving as United States Senator in 2009, after two decades of public service as a U.S Representative and New Mexico’s State Attorney General. He was re-elected in to the U.S Senate in 2014.

The Bayard City Council approved the hiring of a new police chief during a regular meeting on Monday. Lee Alirez, grew up in Corona, New Mexico and has worked as an internal affairs investigator in California, and has held the position of police chief in Hatch and Truth or Consequences. Alirez is replacing former Bayard Police Chief, Willy Kerin, who retired on January 31st.

The New Mexico Department of Health and Human Service Department have been instructed by Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham, to develop a Medicaid and community support waiver program for people with disabilities who are currently waiting for assistance on the Developmental Disabilities Waiver. According to the New Mexico Department of Health, “The average wait time for Waiver services in New Mexico is approximately 13.5 years and there are approximately 5,000 people waiting. Adding a Supports Waiver will help those New Mexicans currently on the wait list for services. Approximately 53 percent of those waiting are under the age of 21.” When completed, New Mexico will join more than 20 other states that operate a Support Waiver.

The Deming School District has reported a graduation rate increase from a district-wide percentage of 67.0 in 2017 to 71.2 for 2018. The increase is the highest the district has seen in nine years. The New Mexico Public Education Department also released Deming Public Schools dropout rates that show a 2.6 percent decrease of students that do not reach graduation. The district has implemented several programs that have contributed to the decrease as well as providing additional truancy officers.

The Southwest Adolescent Group, a newly formed nonprofit organization, will be donating $250 to the Sierra House women’s shelter in Silver City. The shelter, part of the Silver City Gospel Mission, is a medium to long-range shelter designed to help women with or without children integrate back into the community. The Southwest Adolescent Group, also known as SWAG, primarily raises funds through its thrift store stocked with items donated from the community.