County Approves Certificates of Obligation Issuance: The El Paso County Commissioners Court on Monday voted 4-1 to issue $59 million in certificates of obligation – debt that’s repaid with property taxes but doesn’t require voter approval. Commissioner Iliana Holguin voted against the issuance; while Commissioners Sergio Coronado, Carlos Leon and David Stout and County Judge Ricardo Samaniego supported it. The money will be used for what the county calls “essential public infrastructure projects” under its capital improvement plan, including improvements to the county courthouse and sheriff’s office as well as for major upgrades to Ascarate Park and to expand the county airport in Fabens. The certificates of obligation would mature in about 20 years with a payoff of about $100.6 million. The bonds would not require a tax rate increase, though county taxes could go up if property valuations increase. 

Black Women In Art Exhibit: The El Paso Museum of Art has a new exhibit opening on Friday called, “There is a Woman in Every Color: Black Woman in Art.” The exhibit examines the representation of black women in the United States over the past two centuries. Featuring more than 40 works of art from the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine, the show confronts the history of marginalization and makes visible the presence of women of color in the history of American art. The exhibit is inspired by African American artist Elizabeth Catlett’s work. The exhibit runs through May 14 at the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Gallery in the museum, 1 Arts Festival Plaza in Downtown.

El Paso County Healing Garden National Designation: The El Paso County Healing Garden, built by the county at Ascarate Park in 2021 to honor those killed during the Aug. 3, 2019, mass shooting, was designated as a national memorial by Congress in December. It is now known as the El Paso Community Healing Garden National Memorial. However, according to the order, H.B. 4380, the garden is not designated as a unit of the National Park System and would not receive federal funds for activities related to the memorial.

El Paso native Cindy Ramirez has spent most of her career in journalism, with some stints in public and media relations and military reporting. She's covered everything from education to local government...