Down for the count

The rusted remains of a service station on Motel Drive in Lordsburg. (Julia Sclafani/Searchlight NM)

The 2020 census is doing a number on rural America. In places like Lordsburg, New Mexico, that could spell doom.  By Julia Sclafani | Searchlight NM Tucked away in New Mexico’s bootheel, Lordsburg is the kind of town that hasn’t bustled in 50 years. It’s the birthplace of the state song “O Fair New Mexico”… Continue reading Down for the count

Census deadline moved up, surprising NM native communities

Census packets in plastic bags are geo-coded to specific addresses and left at doors in rural areas. Image: Marjorie Childress / NMID

By Shaun Griswold / New Mexico In Depth New Mexico’s tribal communities suddenly find themselves in a rush to reorganize their plans to ensure a complete census count after federal authorities this week abruptly moved the deadline up by a month, from the end of October to September 30. “We have pretty much lost a month… Continue reading Census deadline moved up, surprising NM native communities

Hitting Home: Busted!

Nick (who chose not to give his last name) relaxing at a “man camp” in Carlsbad after finishing his shift with a fracking crew in nearby oil fields.

The Carlsbad region was poised to send $3 billion to New Mexico coffers, thanks to one of the biggest oil booms in history. Then came COVID. By Rachel Mabe and Ed Williams | Photography by Don J. Usner | Searchlight NM CARLSBAD, N.M. — On a Thursday in late May, Michael Trujillo sat in the… Continue reading Hitting Home: Busted!

Categorized as Carlsbad

Hitting Home: Bordering on desperation

Dr. Caleb Lauber and Medical Assistant Shaniya Wood checking on Roger Bydone and Rita Norton, patients who may be COVID-19 positive, quarantined in a motel in Gallup.

In Gallup, surrounded by the Navajo Nation, a pandemic crosses paths with homelessness, hate and healers By J. Weston Phippen | Photos by Don J. Usner | Searchlight NM GALLUP, N.M. — At the end of the Howard Johnson Hotel’s orange and white hallway, Dr. Caleb Lauber paused by a mirror as if he were… Continue reading Hitting Home: Bordering on desperation

Hitting Home: When history deals a bad hand

A sign announces the closure of the Indigo Theater on Bridge Street in Las Vegas.

The scrappy city of Las Vegas gambled on its Wild West history to draw tourists and keep the economy afloat. With the coronavirus, all bets are off. By Rachel Mabe / Photos by Don Usner / Searchlight NM LAS VEGAS, N.M. — Elmo Baca has always loved historic buildings. He was born in Las Vegas,… Continue reading Hitting Home: When history deals a bad hand

Hitting Home: Planting hope amid a plague

TahNibaa Naataanii with one of her lambs at Table Mesa, south of Shiprock. Photo by Don J. Usner / Searchlight NM

Older generations on the Navajo Nation have passed down stories of scourges, resilience — and survival. New generations are bringing these tales to life. By Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi / Searchlight New Mexico SHIPROCK, N.M. — Four miles down Farm Road, just off U.S. Route 491 in northern Navajo, a group of young Diné used what… Continue reading Hitting Home: Planting hope amid a plague