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.

Human Services Department announces end of federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program extra benefits

516,537 New Mexicans will go back to receiving regular SNAP benefits starting in March 2023

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Human Services Department today announced the official end of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) emergency allotments. SNAP customers will receive their regular benefit amount starting in March 2023.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the federal government approved increased payments known as SNAP emergency allotments to those receiving SNAP food assistance. Beginning in March 2023, all SNAP households nationally, including those in New Mexico, will return to their regular benefit amount. 

 “Now more than ever, we encourage the public to support food banks, nonprofits, faith-based partners and others who have been serving the community non-stop even with the emergency allotments in place — HSD is working with these partners to continue helping families in need across the state,” said Kari Armijo, Interim Acting Secretary for the New Mexico Human Services Department. 

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Pancho Villa State Park celebrates Camp Furlong Day!

Las Cruces, NM – The State Parks Division of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD), invites the public to attend the annual Camp Furlong Day at Pancho Villa State Park as a part of the greater Fiesta de Amistad in the Village of Columbus.

A series of historic events will be hosted inside the featuring three special guest speakers, providing historical presentations and slide shows at the park’s Exhibit Hall on Saturday, March 11th.

Pancho Villa State Park is located on the historic Camp Furlong in New Mexico’s bootheel region. The public can take tours of the park exhibit hall along with a guided historical tour of the village of Columbus. The State Park will offer three special guest speakers providing historical presentations & slide shows in the Park’s Exhibit Hall.

WHAT:          Camp Furlong Day

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Agriculture producers encouraged to apply to the Regional Farm to Food Bank Program

Feeding the community can grow agricultural businesses

Haga clic aquí para español.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – One in eight New Mexicans experience food insecurity on a daily basis. In an effort to reduce this statistic, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, the New Mexico Association of Food Banks, The Food Depot and the New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association have initiated the Regional Farm to Food Bank Program. This program allows local ranchers, farmers and other food suppliers to receive fair market prices for their products while feeding those in need. 

The Regional Farm to Food Bank Program is a result of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s prioritization of food security investments that bolster New Mexico agriculture. Led by the New Mexico Association of Food Banks, the program uses funds from the United States Department of Agriculture to purchase locally-produced foods to help feed those in need. 

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Heinrich, Daines, Neguse, Leger Fernández Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Complete The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and U.S. Representatives Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) and Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.) introduced the bipartisan Continental Divide Trail Completion Act. This legislation would direct the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior to prioritize completion of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) by the trail’s 50th anniversary in 2028. 

“The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail not only passes through some of our most incredible natural, historic, and cultural landscapes, but is also a major source of economic opportunity for communities along the trail,” said Heinrich. “With this legislation, we can make the CDT safer and more accessible so that more people can experience and explore our nation’s great outdoors.”

“The Continental Divide Trail provides an unmatched outdoor experience for Montanans and visitors alike,” said Daines. “My bipartisan bill ensures the trail will continue to provide public access and a continuous route will finally be completed!”

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Human Services Department announces NMConnect app now features self-help wellness tools 

New Mexicans able to engage with new digital tools for emotional, mental, and behavioral support 

SANTA FE —The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) announced today that the NMConnect app has released an upgraded version that engages New Mexicans in a full suite of free digital self-help wellness tools. These tools offer support for one’s emotional, mental, behavioral, and substance use concerns. 

As of January 2023, 8,840 New Mexicans have downloaded the NMConnect app to access a counselor or peer support, self-help digital wellness tools, and community resources. The mobile app has new updates to help community members work on getting better, strengthen their recovery, and maintain mental wellness. 

“This app was developed to increase access for all New Mexicans — whether they are in crisis, need resources in their community, or just want to talk to someone."

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NMSU system ends COVID-19 vaccine, case reporting requirements

  • NMSU is ending its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for employees and students, effective March 1
  • The requirement to report positive COVID-19 cases is also ending.
  • Employees and students are strongly encouraged to stay up to date on COVID-19 boosters.

The New Mexico State University system announced Wednesday that it will end its requirement that all employees and students become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment or enrollment. The requirement has been in place since January 2022 for employees and was extended to in-person students in July 2022.

In a memo to the NMSU community Wednesday, Chancellor Dan Arvizu said that while the vaccine requirement had served the university community well during its time, the declining efficacy of the primary series against current variants was a factor in the decision.

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EMNRD marks major milestone in program to reduce methane waste from oil and gas operations

New Data Portal Provides Additional Details on Operator Gas Capture Baselines & Compliance Schedules to Achieve 98% Gas Capture by December 31, 2026

SANTA FE, NM -- The New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) has sent a reminder to oil and gas operators across the state that February 28, 2023 is the first deadline to certify that they are on track to be in full compliance with the state’s methane waste rules.

The department also launched a web portal for operators to submit their compliance certifications. Members of the public can access the portal to review operators’ compliance information, which is available here.

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Construction Update: Northbound I-25 On-Ramp Closes on March 1; Southbound I-25 Off-Ramp & Broadway Street to Close Week of March 6-10 

Update as of February 28, 2023

NOTE: All construction is weather permitting and is subject to changes without notice.

On Wednesday, March 1, 2023, crews will close the northbound I-25 on-ramp at Exit 75. The week of March 6-10, 2023, crews will close the southbound I-25 off-ramp at Exit 75 and Broadway Street west of NM 187 as construction continues on Phase 2.  Detours will be as follows:

•  Northbound I-25 traffic will be detoured to Exit 71

•  Southbound I-25 traffic will be detoured to Exit 79

•  Broadway to northbound I-25 will be detoured to Exit 71

•  Broadway to southbound I-25 will be detoured to Exit 79

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