Officials in a southern New Mexico county passed a resolution last week supporting President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the US-Mexico border.
According to KOAT Luna County commissioners unanimously approved the county resolution backing the president. After numerous failed attempts to access funds for the construction of a border wall earlier this year, President Trump declared a national emergency last month to circumvent Congress and divert federal funds. The announcement was made hours after a spending measure had passed without the inclusion of funds for the wall.
The governor said the crisis at the border is a humanitarian one, but Luna County officials disagree. The county resolution they passed last week states that Luna Commissioners will support any and all efforts to secure the border, reports Deming Radio.
Water in Española Drinkable Again
City and state officials say they failed to warn Española residents about high levels of a toxic substance detected in their drinking water last year.
KOB4 reports a lab found dangerously high levels of nitrate in the city's water last November, but the results never made it to officials with the city or state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say nitrates are dangerous for pregnant women and infants and can cause birth defects.
Española Mayor Javier Martinez told reporters that the city failed to follow up when it didn't receive the test results in November. The city's Public Works Director Steven Trujillo reportedly took responsibility for the mistake, but pointed out that following up on missing results has never been part of the protocol.
Trujillo said the city tested the water in January and found safe nitrate levels. City officials will be giving free bottled water to residents who are pregnant or have children under 6 months old. The NM Environmental Department's Drinking Water Bureau and the city of Española have implemented weekly safeguards to prevent any similar incidents form happening in the future.
Armed Guards at Rio Rancho Schools
Armed security guards began patrolling Rio Rancho Public Schools campuses this week.
According to KRQE the school board is placing 12 armed guards across the district. The security force will primarily rotate between high school campuses, but school officials say they will be deployed at other schools as well. The guards are reportedly volunteers with backgrounds in law enforcement and the military. The officers were required to pass a competency test and undergo medical and psychological screenings before they were accepted. A recently approved measure will allow them to carry firearms while on duty on campus.
School officials say they will also be introducing additional security cameras, electronic doors and improved fencing to increase the safety of students. School resource officers who are part of the Rio Rancho Police Department will also continue to be seen in schools.