NEW MEXICO: Guv's kin were illegal
Gov. Susana Martinez has acknowledged that her paternal grandparents came to the United States illegally, amid national attention and protests over her efforts to bar the undocumented from getting driver's licenses. "I know they arrived without documents, especially my father's father," the Republican said in an interview in Spanish with KLUZ-TV, the Albuquerque Univision affiliate. When asked previously, her office has said Martinez was unsure of her grandfather's status because he abandoned the family when her father was young. Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell said Thursday she had learned just recently of her grandparents' immigration status through census records.
SOUTHWEST: Troops extended at border
More than 1,000 National Guard troops will remain on the Southwest border at least through the end of December. After months of wrangling over how to pay for keeping the troops in position, the Department of Defense has agreed to cover the $10 million in monthly costs through the end of the calendar year, extending the guard beyond Sept. 30, when funding was slated to run out, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said. The troops have manned observation posts, built fences and monitored surveillance footage in support of the Border Patrol since August last year. The Guard is not authorized to make arrests of people crossing the border illegally.
TEXAS: Big aerial attack on fires
Firefighters rushed Thursday to prepare their biggest aerial assault yet on a massive wildfire that has raged for days across Central Texas, incinerating nearly 1,400 homes and miles of parched land. Crews made steady progress against the Bastrop County fire and closed in around its biggest flames as they finalized plans to deploy a converted DC-10 jetliner capable of dropping 12,000 gallons of retardant on the blaze and smoldering hot spots across some 45 square miles. Concern lingered, however, about wind sparking flare-ups or fanning flames outside the area.