Howdy Homemade ice cream creates jobs for El Pasoans with disabilities

A new Downtown ice cream shop is serving up unique flavors along with work opportunities for El Pasoans with special needs. Howdy Homemade ice cream opened this November on the first floor of the Roderick Artspace at the intersection of Missouri and Oregon. The Dallas-based franchise is staffed primarily by teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 23% of people with disabilities in the U.S. are employed, compared to 68% of people without disabilities. After almost seven years since its opening, Howdy Homemade now has 10 franchisees across the country, four of which are in Texas.

Vet shortage contributes to overcrowding at El Paso animal services shelter

Kennels are packed tightly in the hallway, squeezed into employee break room areas and just about any corner where there is some space. Overcrowding has worsened at El Paso Animal Services and more animals are waiting longer to be adopted. In September, Joey had been at the shelter more than a year. He’s a friendly, medium-sized golden Labrador Retriever mix with striking two different colored-eyes. “We’re really trying to get pictures of Joey out on social media to get someone to adopt him,” Michele Anderson, the Marketing Public Engagement Manager for Animal Services said.

‘Life-saving conversations,’ immersive learning, advance military training in suicide prevention

On a sunny spring morning, Air Force cadets gathered in a dimly lit auditorium at the University of Texas at El Paso to hear a 20-year Army officer with 11 combat tours talk about suicides in the military. Retired Lt. Col. J.C. Glick began his discussion, via Zoom, with a brief description of his military experience, mostly in special operations. What he said next stunned many of the cadets. “About 18 months after my 11th combat tour — was my first of four suicide attempts,” he said.

Problems remain for private border wall builders after founder’s guilty plea in fraud

by Jeremy Schwartz and Perla Trevizo, ProPublica

Brian Kolfage arrived in Texas three years ago pledging to help fulfill President Donald Trump’s promise of a “big, beautiful” wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. After pleading guilty to federal fraud charges last month, Kolfage leaves behind two small stretches of fencing that are mired in legal, environmental and permitting fights.

Better paying job opportunities await more El Paso women going into construction work

Roger De Moor has presented his students with an emergency scenario many of them know well: Your 3-year-old has locked themselves in the bathroom. They’re panicking. In a room that looks like a high school shop class, nine women walked up to a makeshift door and slid a small pick into the doorknob, searching for the groove that would open the lock. “My teenager, she takes the keys,” said Kathy Chavez, whose daughter went through “the terrible teens” and used to lock the door to her room. Chavez’s cousin, Terri Garcia, held up the pick and grinned: “Not anymore.”

The cousins are single moms eager to rely less on Garcia’s aging father for help with home improvement tasks — and to save money.

Married for 51 years, photos capture loneliness of the pandemic for couple living just a few feet apart

Ana Maria, 74, and Jose Becerra, 80, are a high-risk couple living in El Paso. The two have illnesses that weaken their immune system and make them fearful of contracting COVID-19. After a recent surgery Ana Maria Becerra, who is my grandmother, socially distanced herself in her home to protect my grandfather from anything she may have contracted during her time at the hospital. This photo essay captures moments of their lives on a recent Saturday, nearly at the end of the two week at-home social distancing period. Married for 51 years, they struggled to stay six feet apart, manage day-to-day tasks and outwait the loneliness.

Restaurant wall painting of Puerto Rico inspired images

What El Pasoans need to know about Puerto Ricans

El Paso is dominated by residents of Mexican descent, so other Latino groups aren’t always reflected in the mainstream culture of the city. In this video, Borderzine reporter Michelle Rosado breaks down the differences and similarities of Mexican and Puerto Rican cultures in the borderland. https://youtu.be/mZSwbETnghQ

 

Ruidoso’s peak season a bust as tourism from Mexico, Texas collapses over coronavirus

RUIDOSO, NM — In this town where tourism is one of the biggest sectors of its economy, not having visitors can become a real problem. Ruidoso has experienced a huge drop in tourism because of COVID-19 concerns beginning with spring break, one of the village’s busiest times of year after the winter season. We actually haven’t been seeing a lot of tourism at all,” said Juan Sosa, a sales clerk at clothing store Parts Unknown in mid-March. That’s when the casinos, racetrack and ski resort saw a drop off in visitors before they closed down completely. “It’s affected the town as far as tourism quite a lot,” Sosa said.

Census form and mailbox

Fear may keep undocumented immigrants out of 2020 census, hurt communities

By Mary Lehman Held, University of Tennessee

The United States might not be able to get information about more than 10 million people in the 2020 census. That’s the number of undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Another 16.7 million individuals live in a household with an undocumented member and so might also not be counted in this year’s census. The primary reason that undocumented immigrants might forego participation in the 2020 census? Fear.

All Latinos don’t vote the same way – their place of origin matters

By Eliza Willis, Grinnell College and Janet A. Seiz, Grinnell College

Joe Biden won Florida’s 2020 Democratic primary, capturing a majority of the state’s Latino voters. Polls have been tracking the Latino vote in Democratic presidential primaries, and many analysts are trying to predict which candidate Latinos might favor in November. Interest in Florida has been especially strong. Observers commonly speak of “the Latino vote” as if Latinos make up a distinct and unified interest group. This both overstates and understates Latinos’ uniqueness.

Children of color already make up the majority of kids in many US states

By Rogelio Sáenz, The University of Texas at San Antonio and Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Texas A&M University

Demographers project that whites will become a minority in the U.S. in around 2045, dropping below 50% of the population. That’s a quarter-century from now – still a long way away, right? Not if you focus on children. White children right now are on the eve of becoming a numerical minority. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that, by the middle of 2020, nonwhites will account for the majority of the nation’s 74 million children.

Fort Bliss soldiers share their thoughts on living in El Paso

EL PASO – Life in the military brings soldiers to duty stations across the U.S and overseas. For many, it is easy to picture being stationed in places like Hawaii or Colorado. But, when it comes to a posting at Fort Bliss in this West Texas city on the U.S., Mexico border, some soldiers didn’t know what to expect. “All I really knew of it was what I heard from old tales of the wild, wild west,” said New Jersey National Guard, Staff Sgt. Brandon Glaser, who came to El Paso from Chicago in 2012.

Cross-border home ownership rate reflects El Paso, Juarez binational community dynamic

About one in every six El Pasoans say they own homes in both Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, according to a recent survey. The Border Perception Survey asked border residents about topics ranging from education and health to the security and environment. The survey, a collaboration between the El Paso Community Foundation and Fundación Comunitaria Frontera Norte as part of an initiative called Building Broader Communities in the Americas, was conducted between August and September of 2018 and included 896 El Pasoans and 1,535 Juarez residents. “The surprising thing was such a large number of people who actually are dual citizens, or are citizens of one side of the other but have homes on the other side of the border. And so that was an impressive finding,” said one of the researchers on the project, Josiah Heyman, director of the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies and professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas at El Paso.