Feeling Unified, New Mexico Delegates Head Home–Associated Press
New Mexico's Republican delegates are heading home from Cleveland with a sense that their party is united behind Donald Trump.
They say the Republican nominee's efforts to reach out to disenfranchised groups and his call for rebuilding America's economy should resonate with New Mexicans as the campaign marches toward November.
The state is grappling with slumping revenues and a budget shortfall, while employment rates have yet to rebound in the wake of the 2008 recession.
Sam LeDoux is one of New Mexico's youngest delegates. The 24-year-old millennial says Trump's speech was tinged with pessimism, reflecting the "dark time" the country is in right now.
He questioned whether Democrat Hillary Clinton can craft a winning message given that recovery hasn't been felt by middle-class and impoverished Americans under the Obama administration.
New Mexico's June Unemployment Rate Unchanged At 6.2 Percent–Associated Press
New Mexico's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained 6.2 percent in June, unchanged from May and down from 6.6 percent a year earlier.
The state Department of Workforce Solutions reports that the state's economy lost 2,400 jobs since May but added 14,000 jobs compared with June 2015.
Bernalillo County is the state's most populous county. Its June unemployment rate was 6.1 percent.
The two counties with the highest employment rates in June were Luna County at 11.5 percent and McKinley County at 10.1 percent.
The counties with the month's lowest employment rates were Union and De Baca counties at 4.1 percent and 5.2 percent respectively.
$5K Reward For Info On Owl's Shooting Death Near Santa Fe—Associated Press
A reward of $5,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the fatal shooting of a burrowing owl near Santa Fe.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the case.
The owl was found dead on the Caja del Rio Plateau just days after being photographed on June 27 with its mate.
Authorities say the bird was missing a leg and X-rays showed shrapnel in the animal's wing and shoulder.
The U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act protects burrowing owls from capture or killing.
If caught, authorities say the shooter faces up to six months in prison and a $500 fine.
The Humane Society and Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering the reward.
New Mexico To Invest More In Early Pre-K Pilot Project—Associated Press
New Mexico will invest another $3.5 million in its early pre-kindergarten program.
Officials with the state Children, Youth and Families Department announced Friday that unused pre-K funds will be funneled to the early education effort.
The pilot program began last summer. It provides early childhood education opportunities to 3-year-olds who are not eligible for the New Mexico Pre-K program.
Officials said with the additional funding, the early pre-K program will be able to reach nearly 1,000 children in childcare centers in about half of New Mexico's counties.
Under the program, services will be available at seven centers in Eddy, Lea, Luna, Santa Fe and Torrance counties. The extra funding also allows for expanded operations in Bernalillo, Dona Ana, Rio Arriba, San Juan and Valencia counties.
Critics: Trump Speech Signals Shift To Coded Race Language–Associated Press
During the primaries, Donald Trump threw red-meat rhetoric to supporters, pledging to build a wall on the Mexico border and to ban Muslim immigrants.
Now that he's the GOP presidential nominee, some observers say he's turning to code words to gin up racial animosity and fear among America's white voters.
Ian Haney Lopez is author of Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class. He says the celebrity businessman singled out refugee families with unknown backgrounds by saying they threaten to transform the nation.
The speech, Lopez says, declared that, "the barbarians are at the gate."
When asked Friday for a comment, a Trump spokesman said the campaign was focused on a deadly shooting in Munich, Germany.