Wednesday’s Top Stories

Wednesday’s Five Facts

[1] Lawmakers pass rebate, revised junior spending bill – New Mexican families can expect some money to come their way to help with the rising gas prices. Lawmakers passed a rebate bill as they wrapped up the special session. House Bill 2 passed, with lawmakers voting to give $500 to individual taxpayers and $1,000 to married couples. It would come in the form of two electronic payments, one in the spring and one in the fall. Your income level doesn’t matter. Lawmakers also wanted to help people who may not file their taxes, such as low-income seniors, so they’ve created a special fund for people who fall into that category.

[2] APS looking to extend school year – The school year for Albuquerque’s students could be getting longer. The Albuquerque Public School board is set to discuss a proposal at Wednesday’s meeting that would extend the year by ten days. If approved, school would start July 27, and finish May 25. The school board president says the change could boost learning, but some families and teachers disagree.  The public is invited to weigh in on the proposal at Wednesday’s board meeting at 5 p.m. They can join either in-person at APS headquarters or online

[3] More gusty winds, but cooler temperatures – Wednesday morning is quiet, with no weather issues. Winds are a bit breezy, up to around 15 mph, and the winds will become breezier by this afternoon. A wind advisory will be in effect from 2 PM to 7 PM in central and northwest New Mexico, where northwesterly wind gusts up to 45 mph are expected. The east side of the state will be calmer. Temperatures will stay around fifteen degrees cooler than yesterday, thanks to a cold front that is passing through this morning. Skies will stay completely sunny.

[4] Albuquerque city council approves indoor smoking lounges – Albuquerque city council updated its Clean Air Act ordinance to bring cannabis under its control. Legally you can use cannabis in your home, the only place publicly you can smoke marijuana is at a place that has a license to sell and consume cannabis. The bill does allow for the creation of smoking lounges at places with licenses to consume marijuana. These designated areas in Albuquerque would have to get a permit from the city, like any other room that allows cigarette smoking. The cannabis facilities would have to have separate ventilation in those rooms that could not be inhaled by the general public, one of the topics discussed was also the inclusion of vaping with marijuana.

[5] Albuquerque artist creates illustrations for children’s book about autism – A young autistic artist from New Mexico is helping educate the community about autism with a new children’s book. Dylan Zinn was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Recently he teamed up with clinical counselor Katie Bassiri to create a book about autism. The book focuses on positive and affirming language when talking about autism. It took Zinn about a month to help bring the book to life. He says when its hard for him to communicate, he turns to his art work because he says it’s easy for him to draw these pictures rather than saying words. Dylan and Katie’s book ‘Congratulations You’re Autistic’ is available on amazon for ten dollars.