Trapping bill highlights state’s urban/rural divide

Mary Katherine Ray has seen traps up close. One caught the leg of her dog Greta while they were hiking. “I will never forget the sound of Greta’s screaming,” Ray told a New Mexico legislative committee on Thursday. It was a story lawmakers heard over and over again — a story of beautiful days outdoors turned bloody by traps lurking in the brush. Animal welfare advocates and others are renewing a years-long effort to ban trapping on public lands in New Mexico.

Suit claims MVD ignores law on authorization cards

Former Santa Fe Mayor David Coss has not had a valid driver’s license since August, though not for lack of effort in attempting to renew it. Coss says he made four separate but unsuccessful trips to a Motor Vehicle Division office to try to obtain a state driver’s authorization card. Employees of the MVD rejected his application on grounds that Coss says were illegal, leading him to become the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit filed Monday against Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration. Coss says the MVD staff told him he had to supply an identifying document — his Social Security card — that is not required under New Mexico law to receive a driver’s authorization card. Worse still, he says, the MVD staff readily recognized him as the city’s former mayor, but then said he would have to be fingerprinted if he revives his attempt to obtain the card for driving privileges.

Immigrants, advocates keep heat on

Hundreds of people packed into the rotunda of the Capitol on Monday in an intensifying show of alarm over President Donald Trump’s clamp down on illegal immigration and his vow to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. The demonstration reflected growing concern nationally among immigration and civil rights advocates as Trump’s flurry of executive orders in his first weeks in office have escalated to include banning refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, an effort temporarily halted last week by a federal court. The demonstrators included immigrants here legally and illegally and scores of supporters who gathered to listen to politicians and faith leaders rail against the president’s policies. Children stood near the speaker’s lectern holding a broad banner that read, “No ban. No wall.