Judge: Public officials’ Facebook subject to IPRA

Public officials’ Facebook pages are subject to the state’s open records law, a district court judge ruled last week. District Judge Jerry H. Ritter Jr. ruled that the City of Alamogordo violated the state Inspection of Public Records Act over a request by Wendy Irby, according to the Alamogordo Daily News. The city did not hand over relevant documents—and actually said they did not have access to the documents. This appears to be a first in New Mexico, according to Susan Boe, the executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government. “The Facebook issue hasn’t really come up here in New Mexico, but it has in other states,” she told NM Political Report on Monday.

No more gun events at NMSU-Alamogordo campus

The Alamogordo branch of New Mexico State University announced that it would no longer allow gun shows or events with gun giveaways on campus. The Alamogordo Daily News reported the change in policy this weekend. The New Mexico State University-Alamogordo (NMSU-A) Interim President made the announced last Wednesday. It looks like it will impact the Alamogordo Evening Lions Club and Western Frontier Gun Shows, which have used the Tays Center, a facility on the branch’s campus. Dr. Ken Van Winkle, who has been Interim President since June 1, cited legal support from the main campus and recent mass shootings, including the one in Oregon on a community college campus.

Gannett acquires several NM papers

A handful newspapers in New Mexico and Texas, including the Las Cruces Sun-News and the Farmington Daily Times, will now be run by Gannett. The Sun-News reported on the sale, which includes seven newspapers in New Mexico, one in Texas and four in Pennsylvania. The newspapers were previously operated by Digital First Media, with Gannett holding a minority stake. “We are very pleased to welcome these well-respected media organizations to U.S. Community Publishing as we further our efforts to expand our reach as the best local media company in America for consumers and businesses,” Robert Dickey, president of U.S. Community Publishing and CEO-designate of Gannett “SpinCo,” said in a statement. Gannett runs dozens of newspapers throughout the country, including the USA Today. USA Today is the third-largest newspaper by circulation.