This is your Friday update, which takes a quick look at the week ahead and some developments that El Paso Matters is following.

Castner Range Celebration: The El Paso Community Foundation in conjunction with U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar and the Castner Range Coalition will gather Friday morning to celebrate Castner Range’s National Monument Designation. The range in Northeast El Paso, which used to be an Army training site, was designated as a national monument by President Biden on March 21. The celebration is from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Andress High School Performing Arts Center, 5400 Sun Valley Drive. Among those scheduled to speak are Escobar, D-El Paso, U.S. Under Secretary of the U.S. Army Gabe Camarillo and Fort Bliss Maj. Gen. James P. Isenhower III.

Chihuahuas Baseball Returns Friday: The El Paso Chihuahuas, the city’s Triple A major league baseball team, begins its 10th season on Friday with a 7:05 p.m. game at Southwest University Park in Downtown El Paso. For information on the game, promotions and the season you can visit the Chihuahuas website.

UTEP increases research expenditures for fourth year in a row: The University of Texas at El Paso announced that its $130.5 million in federal research expenditures in fiscal year 2022 broke its record for the fourth straight year. That amount put UTEP fourth among the state’s public, non-medical higher education institutions behind only UT Austin, Texas A&M and the University of Houston. The latest figure, which was reported to the National Science Foundation, is a 19.3% increase over the previous fiscal year’s $109.4 million. University leaders attribute this success to impactful research in fields such as water sustainability, brain science, hypersonic systems and genetics of disease.

Thornton to Lead NorthEaster Parade: Organizers of the 45th annual NorthEaster Parade expect about 4,000 spectators for the free, family-oriented event that starts at 10 a.m. on April 8,  at the corner of Diana Drive and Hercules Avenue. Approximately 100 entries, to include marching bands, veterans’ organizations, the El Maida Shrine Red Baron roadsters, and the Easter Bunny, will follow the route north along Diana and turn right on Hondo Pass Drive to Nations-Tobin Park. This year’s grand marshal is Wayne Thornton, a longtime community volunteer who worked for the city of El Paso’s Department of Parks and Recreation for 42 years until his retirement in 2020. He was instrumental in the creation of numerous civic events such as the annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and the Gus & Goldie Learn to Swim program. This year’s parade theme is “Wild, Wild West.”