May 21 First News: New Mexico Red Cross readying to assist in Oklahoma tornado recovery. (listen)

New Mexico members of the American Red Cross are at the ready to lend assistance to Oklahomans impacted by Monday's devastating tornado. KOB-TV reports that the Red Cross volunteers may know as early as this morning whether they'll be dispatched to help with recovery efforts around Moore, Oklahoma.  Three emergency vehicles in Albuquerque are being readied for assistance. An F-4 twister almost two miles wide ripped a path of destruction through the town, killing at least 50 people, many of them children. The death toll is expected to rise.

A Santa Fe judge apparently intends to rule that the state has the authority to provide textbooks paid for by taxpayers to private schools. Two Santa Feans had brought suit against the state over a law authorizing spending on textbooks and other school materials for private schools. The New Mexican reports that District Judge Sarah Singleton said nothing in the state constitution prohibits the practice. Last year, the state spent nearly a million dollars on materials for private schools.  

Santa Fe's Public Safety Committee meets today and will look at a proposed ordinance that would ban high-capacity ammunition magazines for firearms within city limits. The measure has the backing of Mayor Coss, city councilors Bushee & Trujillo and Police Chief Rael.

A former horse race veterinarian who also worked as an Agriculture Department inspector is among the latest to oppose the plan for a horse slaughterhouse operation in Roswell. Dr. Lester Friedlander lives in Pennsylvania but is touring New Mexico to speak out against the plan. *** Friedlander says in addition to the danger to humans from horsemeat, the method of killing them for slaughter can be inhumane. 

Santa Fe's Finance Committee has approved giving some $1 million to dozens of non-profits serving the city's young people. Two of the groups were the subject of scrutiny due to concerns about their overall financial sustainability.  Today's Journal Santa Fe says that questions were raised about Warehouse 21 and the Santa Fe Boys and Girls Club. Both groups have been recommended to receive approximately $45,000 each for the 2014 fiscal year that starts in July, albeit under close financial monitoring by city staff.

The first space flight out of Spaceport American could take place on Christmas Day this year. That's the word from a newspaper in the Arab emirate of Abu Dhabi.  The report also claims that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are among the celebrities believed to have bought tickets for the flight. Investors from Abu Dhabi co-own the space-flight company Virgin Galactic together with Britain's Richard Branson.  

The New Mexico Department of Health is warning anyone who received dental services in their homes or other non-clinic settings to be aware of the potential for transmission of bloodborne diseases.  Specifically, they’re looking for folks who may have been treated by a man known as “El Dentista” who worked out of his car. The New Mexico Department of Health is offering services that will include counseling, no-cost confidential blood tests and referrals to additional services if needed.

Weather for Santa Fe – sunny and dry today with highs in the low 70s and overnight lows in the mid 40s.  A bit warmer tomorrow and for the remainder of the week—highs in the upper 70s with lows in the low 50s.