1. Paychecks are on hold for some 800,000 federal employees forced to go on unpaid leave or work without pay since December 22 when the shutdown began. That includes roughly 6,000 New Mexicans. While Washington squabbles over billions of dollars to build a border wall. Federal employees are scrambling to make ends meet and some have told us they’re running out of money to pay major bills like mortgages and car loans. U.S Senator Martin Heinrich is now co-sponsoring The Federal Employee Civil Relief Act to protect them from foreclosures, evictions, and loan defaults during the government shutdown by prohibiting landlords and creditors from taking action against those affected. If landlords or creditors violate this protection, federal workers can sue.
2. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham wants to spend more on education. Her budget proposal calls for a nearly 13 percent increase in general fund spending starting in July. The plan would increase starting pay for New Mexico teachers to $41,000. It also seeks $110 million in new school spending directed at students from low-income and minority families. According to the Albuquerque Journal, the governor wants an additional $36.5 million for CYFD. Plus $60-million for pre-k programs.
3. Morning rain and snow will continue over northern and western NM early Friday, making for a slippery commute to work and school. In addition, a thick fog will reduce visibility within th RIo Grande Valley and southwest corner of the state.
Full story: Kristen’s Friday Morning Forecast
4. APD says they are working with their open space unit to create a tact plan to stop shootings on the West Mesa. This comes after a bullet went flying into a living room of a nearby home, where three little girls and their two dogs were sitting. One of the dogs was hit. The home sits on 98th and Central. In-home surveillance video shows their miniature poodle, Jet, stand up on the couch in between the young girls. Montoya believes that’s when their dog jet was shot in the chest. Jet was taken to an animal hospital, but it was too risky to remove the bullet, so he’ll have to live with it.
5. UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones is looking ahead to his next fight after his latest drug test from USADA and the California Athletic Commission has come back clean. Jones reclaimed his light heavyweight belt after he defeated Alexander Gustafsson last month. UFC president Dana White told TMZ Sports that Jones will defend his belt against Anthony Smith as the headliner of UFC 235 on March 2 in Las Vegas.