3 New Members Appointed To New Mexico Spaceport Authority

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has appointed three new members to the New Mexico Spaceport Authority and re-appointed three other members.

The Spaceport Authority is administratively attached to the New Mexico Economic Development Department.

It consists of eight members with six appointed by the governor and confirmed by the State Senate.

The lieutenant-governor and the cabinet secretary of the Economic Development Department are also members.

By statute, no more than three of the appointed members shall belong to the same political party.

The three new appointees are Ethan Epstein of Los Rancho, Peggy Johnson of Williamsburg and Eric Schindwolf of Tijeras.

The members reappointed are Michelle Coons of Albuquerque, Laura Conniff of Las Cruces and Richard Holdridge of Deming.

Cabinet Secretary Alicia Keyes will serve as the Chair of the Spaceport Authority.

Spaceport America is situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico.

It currently hosts flight testing and operations with Virgin Galactic, Boeing, UP Aerospace, EXOS Aerospace, HyperSciences and SpinLaunch.

University of the Southwest Waives Cost of Grad Programs

A southeastern New Mexico college has announced it will allow all of the school’s recent undergraduate to begin master’s degree programs tuition-free.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports the University of the Southwest said last month the tuition-free experiment will start this summer.

University President Quint Thurman says he and other administrators made the decision after exploring what the school could do to assist recent graduates when the job market is challenging.

Eligible students must have completed their bachelor’s degrees in 2020 at the private Christian university. They cannot take more than one course each term.

Provost Ryan Tipton says the tuition-free program has been expanded to include 50 students who have recently graduated from colleges or universities who belong to the “Yes, We Must” coalition.

Snake Interrupts Las Cruces Teacher’s Zoom Session With Students

A southern New Mexico elementary school teacher on Zoom with students had a lesson interrupted thanks to an uninvited guest: a bullsnake. The desert animal surprised Sunrise Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Annette Otero Nuñez during a class May 12 via Zoom from her backyard in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the Las Cruces Sun-News reports. The students — at home on their computers or mobile devices — saw Nuñez getting rattled as the snake slithered toward their teacher.

NM Malls, Restaurants, Salons Allowed To Reopen Monday, With Restrictions

New Mexico will allow restaurants, shopping malls and salons to reopen at limited capacity starting on Monday, June 1, as state health regulators relax restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the changes under a new 30-day public health order, speaking Thursday at an online news conference from the Statehouse. “This is really good news,” Lujan Grisham said. “New Mexicans have worked really heard to respect and protect each other, and in fact it’s paying off. … We can restart out economy. We can come back strong.”

Former New Mexico Air Base Becomes Home For Grounded Planes

The downturn in the commercial air travel industry has turned into a boon for a former military base in New Mexico. The Roswell International Air Center has emerged as a major storage facility for planes that have been grounded by airlines due to age and lack of demand. The air center was storing about 160 aircraft before March. As of last week, another 309 planes had arrived from carriers including American Airlines, United Airlines and Frontier Airlines. There are more grounded planes in Roswell now than at any point during the modern history of the former base, surpassing even the number of aircraft stored there in the days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Local Restaurants Prepare To Open Dione-In Services On Monday

Local restaurants are preparing to open for limited dine-in services on Monday. The new statewide requirements will require restaurants to limit dining room capacity and space out tables. The governor already allowed patio services to reopen on Wednesday. Many had been hopeful that the governor would start to allow dining room access after her May 20th statement that New Mexico was “on track” to begin lifting the harsher restrictions. You should also check with dine-in restaurants first, because many are requiring reservations in an effort to keep capacity down.

Crash on US 285

Deputies responded to a rollover accident on Wednesday at about 7 in the morning on US 285 near mile maker 54. Once there, deputies say they found a female driver had been thrown out of her car after it flipped at least once. Meanwhile, a 2 year old and 9 month old children were also injured in the crash. The mother was flown to an out of state hospital for treatmewnt, while the kids were taken to a local hospital and are expected to be ok. No names have been released yet.

Eddy County Sheriff Promotion

The Eddy County Sheriff, Mark Cage, congratulating Richard McDonald on his promotion from deputy to detective. The sheriff posted a picture on his official Facebook page on Wednesday, thanking McDonald for his continued service and dedication to the residents of Eddy County.

Carlsbad Water Park And Splash Pads To Remain Closed For Memorial Day Weekend

The city of Carlsbad says it cannot yet open up Carlsbad Water Park or the two City of Carlsbad splash pads because they require an annual inspection from the state of New Mexico in order to reopen. The city of Carlsbad says in a public statement that it has been informed by the New Mexico Environment Department that no inspections have been authorizied at this time for any public aquatic facility in the state. Therefore, the Carlsbad Water Park and the two city splash pads will not be open by Memorial Day Weekend. The city says it looks forward to opening these facilities at a future date this summer, when state inspections resume. The Lake Carlsbad Recreational Area, including the Carlsbad Beach area, remain open for exercise and visitation, with social distancing guidelines in effect.

Vitalant Hosting Blood Drive Friday