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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.

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall responded to news that President Trump may soon announce an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He issued the following statement:

"DACA has compassionately allowed 9,000 young New Mexicans, who have known no other country than the United States as their home, to legally realize their dreams of continuing their education and contributing to the economy and their community. These young people came to our country as children, and today, they are working and going to school to become teachers, doctors, engineers. They are making our country stronger – reneging on our promise to them now is hurtful and wrong, not to mention a disaster for our economy.

"The United States of America that I love honors its commitments, and I will fight tooth and nail to defend our Dreamers and prevent families from being ripped apart. Instead of peddling these dangerous, hateful proposals to deport young people who are contributing to our society and waste billions of dollars to build a pointless wall, we should be focused on comprehensive legislation to fix our immigration system."

Santa Fe, N.M. - New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis announced today that USA Network's television series "Mr. Robot" produced by Universal Cable Productions in association with Anonymous Content, will partially shoot in Albuquerque at the end of August through the beginning of September.

"Once again, New Mexico's incredible landscapes, unmatched workforce, and our powerful incentives are bringing good jobs to New Mexico," said New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis. "This is another great TV show that will have a tremendous economic impact as we continue to grow and diversify our economy."

The production will employ approximately 75 New Mexico crew members, 18 New Mexico principal actors/stunt players and 75 New Mexico background talent.

The television series hails from director, writer and executive producer Sam Esmail, as well as Anonymous Content executive producers Steve Golin and Chad Hamilton. The series stars Emmy® Award winner and Golden Globe® nominee Rami Malek, Golden Globe® Award winner Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin, Martin Wallström, Grace Gummer, Michael Cristofer, Bobby Cannavale, BD Wong and Stephanie Corneliussen.

The series follows Elliot Alderson (Malek), a cyber-security engineer who, along with Mr. Robot (Slater) and fsociety, starts a revolution to change the world. Picking up immediately following the Season 2 cliffhanger, Season 3 will explore each character's motivations and the disintegration between Elliot and Mr. Robot.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2017 – USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is actively working with officials in Texas and Louisiana to ensure that people impacted by Hurricane Harvey have access to food now and after emergency operations are completed.

"In this time of crisis, with many grocery stores closed and other sources of food unavailable, USDA is committed to ensuring that our fellow Americans get the vital nutrition they need and is streamlining procedures to make that happen," said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. "President Trump made it clear to his cabinet that helping people is the first priority, and that process and paperwork can wait until later. USDA is already doing the work to help people in need today."

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is working with officials in the affected region to help feed displaced and affected residents. The agency has granted several waivers in Texas allowing schools in the National School Lunch Program to provide free meals. It has also provided more flexibility to schools in what they can feed kids, given the challenges of preparing specific foods during this period.

"FNS works every day to ensure Americans have access to food, but it is during events like this that we have to be nimble," said FNS Administrator Brandon Lipps. "Our job is to make it as easy as possible for our programs to be administered in a way that ensures no one affected by this disaster goes hungry."

Steps already taken by USDA in Texas include:

  • Approving a request by Texas officials to waive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations to allow program participants to buy hot foods and hot ready-to-eat foods with their benefits. FNS has notified authorized SNAP retailers in Texas of this waiver, which will be in effect through September 30.
  • Supporting the state in its plans to shift the full SNAP issuance schedule for September to the first of the month so that families have access to their monthly benefits sooner during this time of immediate crisis.
  • Allowing all schools in declared disaster counties to waive the National School Lunch Program meal pattern and meal service time requirements. This will allow schools to serve meals that do not meet the menu planning or meal pattern requirements for schools and child care institutions and facilities in the affected areas through September 30.
  • Allowing all disaster affected schools to provide meals to all students at no charge and be reimbursed at the free reimbursement rate through September 30.
  • Providing the state the flexibility needed to allow seniors who participate in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program in the service areas impacted by the hurricane to receive two food packages in September to make up for the loss of their August food benefit.
  • Approving Texas to designate schools not directly impacted by the Hurricane to serve as disaster organizations and shelters so that USDA foods can be used for congregate feeding, providing critical food assistance to those in need. USDA Foods include a variety of canned, fresh, frozen and dry products which include fruits, vegetables, meats, and whole grains.

Details of waivers can be found here. FNS is concurrently providing technical assistance to Louisiana and offering support as needed.

The FNS response efforts go beyond these programs. The FNS WIC program has policies in place to allow the state flexibility in program design and administration to support continuation of benefits to participants during times of natural disasters. With a number of WIC clinics damaged or closed during the hurricane, FNS held a conference call with Texas WIC State agency to provide this information and offer any other technical assistance needed to ensure WIC participants received help in obtaining food.

Although USDA food has not been requested as yet, FNS has coordinated with the Texas State Department of Agriculture to provide food deliveries to voluntary organizations as needed. FNS has determined the available USDA food supplies in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas in anticipation of requests by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide food deliveries.

FNS is also ready to support the state for other SNAP waivers that may be needed to support recipients who have lost food due to the disaster and to simplify the application process for affected households, as well as waivers covering Child and Adult Care Food Program sites and schools used as shelters.

In addition, FNS will provide infant formula and food to infants and children housed in disaster congregate shelters if requested. FNS can typically fulfill a request for these items 24-48 hours after receiving a request from the state or the FEMA.

In the coming weeks, at the state‘s request, FNS also stands at the ready to offer continuing food assistance through the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) – after commercial channels of food distribution have been restored and families are able to prepare food at home, Perdue emphasized.

To simplify program administration in disaster conditions, the D-SNAP application and eligibility process is shortened and streamlined. In times when D-SNAP becomes necessary, low-income households not normally eligible under regular program rules may qualify for D-SNAP if they meet the disaster income limits, which are slightly higher, and have qualifying disaster-related expenses such as loss of income, damage to property, and relocation expenses. Additionally, ongoing SNAP clients may also receive disaster assistance in the form of a supplement, when their benefits are less than the monthly maximum, to help replace food destroyed in the disaster.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which together comprise America's nutrition safety net. For more information on FNS assistance during times of disaster, visit www.fns.usda.gov.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico Department of Agriculture provides limited funds to New Mexicans who grow or make food and other agricultural products through two assistance programs.

The Cooperative Advertising Assistance and Tradeshow Assistance programs can reimburse for partial advertising or tradeshow expenses.

Cooperative Advertising Assistance is available to help offset some advertising costs for New Mexican food and agricultural businesses. Assistance can help cover some of the expenses associated with advertising or marketing activities.

Within the advertising assistance program there is limited funding available for company projects that exhibit collaboration or exclusively involve placing paid online advertisements. The time spent creating the graphic design will not be reimbursed.

Members of the NMDA Logo Program can also receive discounts on print advertisements in several in-state publications.

The Tradeshow Assistance program provides reimbursements of up to 50 percent to companies that plan to exhibit in a trade show.

For exhibiting companies, NMDA provides cost-share assistance on a reimbursement basis for up to 50 percent of the floor space. A company may receive assistance for the same trade show up to three years in a row, after that time companies may still apply, but must be a different tradeshow to continue to receive assistance.

If companies wish to be reimbursed for the Fiery Foods Show, the cost-share assistance is limited to no more than 25 percent of the floor space. A company may receive assistance for this show each year. There is not a yearly limit for the Fiery Foods Show reimbursements.

Applications must be sent to NMDA via mail, email, or fax on or before November 30 of the fiscal year the advertisement(s) or tradeshow will occur.

For more information call NMDA Marketing and Development Division office at 575-646-4929 or email them at tastethetradition@nmda.nmsu.edu. The applications can be found on the NMDA's marketing website, www.newmexicotradition.com. Click on the "Programs" tab on the top of the homepage and then select "Funding Assistance."

Sunland Park: The New Mexico Department of Transportation District One office (NMDOT) has posted an alert for Monday September 11, 2017:

The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) along with Kiewit (Contractor) will begin roadway reconstruction and storm drain culvert installation operations on NM 273 McNutt Road. Traffic will encounter lane drops and possible flagging operations. Motorists are asked to reduce speed, obey posted signs, use extreme caution, and be cautious of personnel in the area. Hours of operation will be from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

For updated information go to:
New Mexico Department of Transportation at www.nmroads.com.

White Sands Missile Range Notification

For information regarding closures you may call WSMR at 678-1178 or 678-2222 for updates.
Traffic updates are posted on the NMDOT traffic advisory web-site at http://nmroads.com and can be retrieved through our automated system at 511 in New Mexico or 1-800-432-4269 from any line.

I-10, Mile Marker 91.7 to 94.5, Deming CN 1101250
The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) along with La Calerita Construction (Contractor) continues with bridge rehabilitation and roadway reconstruction operations on Interstate 10 (I-10) in Luna County. Interstate traffic will encounter detours while work is being performed. Both eastbound and westbound driving (right) lanes are open with passing (left) lanes closed. An 11 width lane restriction is in effect. Motorists are asked to reduce speed, obey posted signs, and use extreme caution, as well as continue to be cautious of heavy equipment and construction personnel in the area. Construction is expected to be completed by summer 2017.

Albuquerque, N.M., Aug. 31, 2017 – Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed up to $20 million in support of relief efforts in response to the severe weather impacting the Gulf region. This includes $10 million focused on support of American Red Cross shelters and $2 million in support of the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, which was announced today at a press briefing with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

SANTA FE, NM – State Auditor Tim Keller and Prosperity Works, a non-profit organization, launched a working group to develop policy and legislative recommendations regarding child savings accounts and financial literacy programs. Child savings accounts have a strong track record of helping kids escape poverty by helping them to learn financial management with funds dedicated to post-secondary education.

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Editor's Note

The Grant county Beat continues to bring you new columnists. New this past week are the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

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