Welcome to El Paso News Week in Review. First, we’d like to wish you all a Happy New Year!
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First on tap for the week is Duranguito.
The over six year battle to preserve the Duranguito neighborhood from gentrification to make way for a sports arena ended on Tuesday after a newly seated city council voted to end the controversial sports arena. The newly elected city representatives are Art Fierro, Chris Canales and Brian Kennedy. Although colloquially known as a sports arena, in 2012 the voters voted to build a multipurpose entertainment venue in downtown El Paso.
Four city representatives voted to end the controversial sports arena. They were Alexsandra Annello, Joe Molinar and newly elected Art Fierro and Chris Canales. Brian Kennedy abstained on the advice of the city attorney because of his previous work with the El Paso Sports Commission.
The three city representatives who voted against ending the controversial project were Cassandra Hernandez, Henry Rivera and Isabel Salcido.
The remaining $155 million in quality-of-life money for the project will be allocated towards updating existing city properties. Kennedy previously told the El Paso News that one of the buildings that may be updated is the Abraham Chavez Theater. The existing convention center may also be expanded, although city council has not voted on doing so.
In other news the migrant issue remains in the headlines. Oscar Lesser declared a disaster emergency on December 17 due to the influx of migrants transiting through El Paso. Although ending Title 42 was said to be behind the disaster declaration, on December 27, the U.S. Supreme Court kept the health directive in place for at least two more months.
On to political news.
City council elected Alexsandra Annello as the mayor pro tempore on a motion made by Joe Molinar and seconded by Brian Kennedy. The motion passed 5 to 3 with Cassandra Hernandez, Henry Rivera and Isabel Salcido voting no.
On a motion made by Brian Kennedy and seconded by Art Fierro, Art Molinar was elected alternate mayor pro-tempore on a vote of 6 to 2, after Oscar Leeser broke a tie against Isabel Salcido filling that spot. Henry Rivera and Isabel Salcido voted no on the motion.
And, in global news, Mexico elected Norma Piña as Mexico’s first female Supreme Court president. On a vote of 6 to 5, Piña now leads Mexico’s highest court. The 11 members of the Mexican Supreme Court serve 15-year terms. They select the presiding judge to four-year terms. Piña was appointed to the Supreme Court by then-president Enrique Peña Nieto in 2015. Her term ends in 2030.
In closing, in an announcement yesterday from the White House, Joe Biden will be in El Paso on Sunday to “assess border enforcement operations” and “meet with local officials.”
And that is our news report for this week. Thank you for joining us today.
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See you again next Friday.