Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

It’s CRUNCH Time.  The Superior Trails effort is one week away from closing and we are still holding onto the second spot, but not by much.  We were up two days ago by 1700 votes, but today, we are only 700 votes ahead of the Florida Trail.  The weekend is here, and many folks will be out enjoying the weather and not voting, so we need to get out the vote and remind people of what is at stake.   These funds help us expand our reach from a very grassroots based approach. CDTC will leverage these funds one to one with Federal funding to double them and expand their reach even more.  But we can only leverage them if we win them.  In addition, we leverage their value in VOLUNTEER HOURS that gives back to the Trail.  So we are turning them into even more for the Trail!!!

USDA New Mexico Rural Development Director Terry Brunner presented two certificates of obligation of funds in Bayard this week.  Brunner said he talks about Bayard all over the state. “I was in Questa the other day. It’s a small town with a shut down mine. We brag about Bayard and the working relationship we have. We have helped with a real diversity of projects—the library, police vehicles and community center improvement. Today we will talk about buying new police vehicles and water infrastructure improvements. The Impact Initiative grant gives you $89,000 for public safety projects, and we are giving a grant/loan for $946,000 for water infrastructure improvements, including digital meters and water line upgrades.”

Today the U.S. House passed, with a bipartisan vote, H.R. 1937: the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015. This legislation addresses delays in the permitting of American mining projects, which can currently take seven to ten years or longer. This bill requires the lead permitting agency to identify a project lead to coordinate with all involved, set and adhere to deadlines, establish clear goals, and track progress. It also allows state reviews to count towards federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements, and streamlines judicial review and litigation.

Dianna Duran, who resigned as secretary of state Thursday night, is expected to take a plea deal in Santa Fe District Court Friday.  New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran abruptly resigned from office late Thursday amid a fraud investigation that alleges she siphoned off thousands of dollars from her election account and withdrew the money at casinos around the state.

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham is co-sponsoring legislation that would remove the term “alien,” as an outdated way to refer to immigrants in federal law. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Joaquin Castro, would replace the term with “foreign national.”