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Non-Local News Releases

This category will feature news releases from out-of-area government agencies and representatives, as well as events that are not taking place in the four-county area of Grant, Catron, Hidalgo or Luna. For those events please visit Local News Releases.

Cultivating Coders is focused on developing New Mexico’s workforce and maximizing the opportunities for young people in tribal, rural, and overlooked inner cities

Albuquerque, NM - High Schoolers across the state will graduate this month. Myriad opportunities await them, perhaps the most enticing of which is New Mexico’s own Cultivating Coders’ Coding Boot Camp. Students ages 17-29 are invited to join a cohort with peers, from every walk of life, for a free computer coding camp in Albuquerque, starting in September. In collaboration with TechHire New Mexico, Cultivating Coders is making tech education accessible to everyone.

Otero County, NM – On May 7, 2019 at about 10:00 a.m., the New Mexico State Police investigated a fatal crash on U.S. 82, around mile post 8, west of Cloudcroft, NM.

The initial investigation shows a 2012 Freightliner Commercial Motor Vehicle, driven by Mays Quinton (47) of Phoenix, AZ was travelling west on U.S. 82. For reasons still under investigation the Freightliner crashed into the northside of a tunnel located near mile post 8 on U.S. 82. Quinton sustained fatal injuries and he was pronounced deceased on scene by the Office of Medical Investigator. 

Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash and seatbelts appear to have not been properly utilized. No additional information is available.  

This fall, with support from an alumnus and corporate donors, New Mexico State University will launch a highly anticipated Bloomberg Terminal curriculum in the Finance Department in the College of Business at the Las Cruces campus. It will be the largest program of its kind in New Mexico, featuring enhanced finance courses integrating the Bloomberg Terminal.

nmsu jason brady thornbug 050319Jason Brady, president and CEO of Thornburg Investment Management. (Courtesy photo)The Bloomberg Terminal is a software platform that provides real-time and historical data, market-moving news and analytics to help leading business and financial professionals worldwide make better informed investment decisions. The service also features execution platforms for every asset class, research and a global network to communicate securely and reliably. 

ALBUQUERQUE – Today, the New Mexico Office of Natural Resources Trustee (ONRT) finalized its Damage Assessment Plan (Plan) for the NASA White Sands Test Facility in southern New Mexico.

Groundwater beneath the facility was contaminated when hazardous substances were disposed of and released to the environment during earlier NASA operations. Implementation of the Plan will help determine the appropriate scale and scope of potential restoration compensation to New Mexico.

Based on this Plan, the ONRT will evaluate the impacts of releases of hazardous substances on natural resources and the services provided by those resources. Unlike the ongoing environmental remediation process, which focuses on containment or removal of contaminants to risk-based standards, the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process focuses on restoration of resources and their services to the condition they would have been in, absent the release of hazardous substances.

(Albuquerque, NM) – Earlier today, PNM in collaboration with the City of Albuquerque, announced the launch of a major project to convert all PNM-owned streetlights in Albuquerque to LED. PNM owns over 11,000 streetlights within Albuquerque, and plans to have all streetlights converted to LED by Dec. 31, 2019.

Working with contractor Bixby Electric, the project began on April 15, with the streetlight areas within Albuquerque broken into nine phases. Crews will complete the conversion of each phase before moving on to the next. The project started in the International District, and PNM is proud to announce that the streetlights within the International District have all successfully been converted to LED. A map of the project phases will be made available on PNM.com in the next couple of days.  

WASHINGTON, May 8, 2019 – Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $68 million (PDF, 125 KB) to build or improve community facilities and essential services for nearly 715,000 rural residents in 13 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

“Having access to high-quality education, health care, public safety, community infrastructure and municipal services is crucial to achieving prosperity,” Baxley said. “Under the leadership of Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural community leaders to improve quality of life and economic development in rural America by building or modernizing the essential community facilities that provide these building-block opportunities.”

USDA is funding 20 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. The funding helps rural small towns, cities and communities make infrastructure improvements. For example:

  • The city of Atka, Alaska, will receive a $3 million loan to help build a new 3,850-square-foot community health clinic. Atka is an extremely isolated community on the Aleutian chain. The current clinic is the only one within a 350-mile radius, is in disrepair and does not meet the community’s health care needs. The new facility will provide primary and preventative care, integrated behavioral health, dental, optometry and emergency care.
  • In North Carolina, the town of Winfall is receiving an $85,000 loan to purchase a multi-use fire and rescue vehicle for the fire department. The vehicle will provide reliable transportation and contain equipment to fight and contain small fires and respond to other emergencies.

The projects announced today are in rural communities in Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, South Dakota and Texas.

More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes. Applicants and projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

SPACEPORT AMERICA - Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, and SpinLaunch, an innovative new space company revolutionizing access to space, today celebrated the ground-breaking of SpinLaunch’s future test facility at Spaceport America.

Attending the groundbreaking ceremony was Dan Hicks, CEO, Spaceport America, Alicia Keyes, Cabinet Secretary for Economic Development for the State of New Mexico, and Jonathan Yaney, founder and CEO of SpinLaunch, among New Mexico government and business leaders, and students from area universities.

In January, Spaceport America announced a new lease agreement that will facilitate testing for the new launch company. The new agreement enables SpinLaunch to develop a $7 million construction project, adding 20 new jobs in New Mexico at the Spaceport.

SpinLaunch, which was founded in 2014, and last year announced a $40 million Series A financing round funded by Airbus Ventures, Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, is developing disruptive launch technology with an environmentally responsible kinetic energy-based launch system that will provide the world’s lowest-cost orbital launch services for the rapidly growing small satellite industry. The responsive launch system will allow for on-demand launches of small satellites in virtually any weather at an order of magnitude lower cost and higher frequency than any existing or proposed launch system.

“We are excited to be developing our first flight test site at Spaceport America,” remarked Jonathan Yaney, CEO, SpinLaunch. “The state of New Mexico historically has been the genesis of innovation in aerospace going back to the early days of rocketry and we are proud to continue this tradition. The commercial space market is expected to grow to a trillion dollar industry within the decade and this new agreement with Spaceport America will expedite our ability to service that emerging market.”

"I'm excited to welcome an innovative company like SpinLaunch to our state," Gov. Lujan Grisham said. "Aerospace has tremendous potential as an economic driver, and any step we take that encourages the growth of an industry that can put New Mexicans to work and catalyze our local communities is a very positive development."

“The citizens of New Mexico have supported Spaceport America to enable a new revolution in space systems,” said Dan Hicks, CEO, Spaceport America. “SpinLaunch, with its new configuration to employ kinetic energy, is truly one of the most exciting new ventures to enter the space industry and we are excited to be part of their growth - and in turn enable the growth of the small satellite market.”

“In New Mexico space is not the final frontier, it’s the next frontier,” said Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes of the Economic Development Department. “We have the facility, we have the talent and we have the air space, to grow the aerospace industry and be a permanent home to SpinLaunch and other companies.”

GALLUP – The Navajo Nation is a vast “food desert” with the majority of Dine’ people having little or no access to fresh fruits and vegetables or other healthy food.

navajo gardeningSinnery Lynne Begay looks at a spiral garden at the Sheep Spring Senior Citizen Center demonstration garden. The garden is being created to demonstrate how to raise vegetables to help address the food insecurity and poor health of Dine' people of the Navajo Nation. New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service is supporting community leaders and families in the U.S. Highway 491 corridor, from Gallup to Shiprock, in grassroot projects, such as Cultivating Navajo Success, to address this need. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)Since 2015, New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service has been working with community leaders and families in the U.S. Highway 491 corridor, from Gallup to Shiprock, to address issues of food insecurity and poor health.

The region includes roughly 2,500 Navajo families living in rural communities organized as chapter houses. The majority of the families have limited access to healthy food due to their low income and geographical isolation.

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