Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

A new executive director for the University Foundation has opened her doors to alumni, donors and community members looking to make connections with Western New Mexico University.  Since July 1, Jodi Edens-Crocker has been meeting people, setting up appointments and brainstorming on how to grow relationships with anyone who has a connection and interest in Western New Mexico University.

A university department that focuses on academic programs for the community is expanding its services for area residents who may be facing temporary unemployment periods.  The Adult Education Services office (AES), based in Watts Hall on the corner of Swan Street and Highway 180, offers free programs for community members in different subject areas.  AES programs include preparing for the High School Equivalence Diploma, training for computer skills, math, reading and writing. An open lab is available to any community member and staff members are on hand to create flexible schedules with personalized start times.

Today, the New Mexico Office of the State Auditor (OSA) released a Special Audit of New Mexico’s special education funding. The audit, which was conducted by the independent public accounting firm Atkinson & Co., found an historical shortfall of over $100 million in the amount of money our state has allocated for special education. This significant problem places federal funding at risk.

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released this statement following yesterday’s federal court decision in Texas to invalidate the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to list the lesser prairie chicken (LPC) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA):  “Yet another one of this administration’s job-killing, onerous regulations has been shot down by a federal court,” said Pearce. “Yesterday’s ruling reconfirms what we already knew, that the Fish and Wildlife Service’s listing of the lesser prairie chicken was unnecessary and unfair. As the Court noted, the agency didn’t follow their own rules and ignored existing conservation efforts by states and private landowners — instead choosing to recklessly list the species. We now know that those grassroots conservation efforts are more than sufficient as the species population continues to surge. This ruling will remove the federal government from the process and return species management to those who do it best, states and private landowners.”