Cigarette tax hike, other West Virginia laws taking effect

JONATHAN MATTISE, Associated Press

 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Starting Friday in West Virginia, cigarettes will be more expensive, coal and natural gas will get a tax break, a right-to-work law will kick in, and Uber can start offering rides in the state.

Friday starts a new budget year in the Mountain State and marks the July 1 date that several new laws take effect.

After months of stalled negotiations over how to balance the state budget, lawmakers in mid-June opted to bank on higher taxes on cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to raise about $98 million a year.

The cigarette tax will grow by 65 cents to $1.20 a pack starting Friday.

Compared to its neighbors, the change would keep West Virginia cheaper than Maryland’s $2 tax and the $1.60 taxes in Pennsylvania and Ohio. The Mountain State would become more expensive than Kentucky, at 60 cents. Virginia was already less expensive at 30 cents.

The move helps fill a budget hole left by falling revenues from the sputtering coal industry and low natural gas prices.

Those two industries are also set to get a tax break starting Friday.

The break would account for about $110 million combined in the 2017 budget year. Coal and natural gas producers had been paying the additional surcharge to cover a workers’ compensation debt for years. At Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s suggestion, the GOP-led Legislature earlier this year passed a bill to eliminate the two taxes.

A right-to-work law set to kick in Friday did not have the same buy-in from both parties.

The law says that new and updated collective bargaining agreements starting Friday can’t require covered workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

The law is already embroiled in legal drama. Unions from around the state filed a lawsuit in Kanawha County Circuit Court on Monday challenging the law, saying it lets non-union members get union services for free. They called it an illegal taking of property.

The Republican-led Legislature passed the bill without any Democrats on their side, Tomblin vetoed it behind strong opposition from unions, and lawmakers overrode the veto. Only a simple majority of the House and Senate was needed.

On Friday, West Virginia is also set to join the scores of states that allow ride-hailing, phone app-based services like Uber.

Uber spokesman Bill Gibbons said the service will be available in the coming weeks.

 

Animal groups offer services for pets affected by flooding

 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The Kanawha-Charleston Human Association and the American Humane Association Red Star Animal Emergency Services are joining to offer wellness checks for pets affected by flooding in West Virginia.

The groups are operating a mobile veterinary clinic beginning Thursday at Interstate 79 Exit 19 at Clendenin daily from noon until 4 p.m. It will be closed Monday. There is no charge for residents of the Clendenin and Elkview areas.

The groups are also offering temporary boarding for pets of displaced flood victims.

The clinic will offer wellness checks, vaccinations, flea and tick prevention, microchipping and, for dogs, heartworm tests and prevention.

 

3 new coaches look forward to competing in Big 12

CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer

 

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Brad Underwood embraces the rich history at Oklahoma State.

One of the Big 12’s three new men’s basketball coaches, Underwood takes over a program built by Henry Iba and Eddie Sutton. Though Oklahoma State’s previous coach, Travis Ford, was successful by many standards, unhappy fans stopped coming to games, forcing the Cowboys to make a move.

Sutton, who still sometimes sits in the front row at home games, led the Cowboys to Final Fours in 1995 and 2004.

“That’s why I came here,” Underwood said. “That’s why I wanted to be a part of this.”

Underwood, Texas Tech’s Chris Beard and TCU’s Jamie Dixon join a conference that is coming off one of its best years, with Oklahoma having reached the Final Four and Kansas, Iowa State and West Virginia spending time in the top 10.

Beard steps into a pressure situation, too. Tubby Smith led Tech to the NCAA Tournament last season, then he took the job at Memphis. Beard said he thought Texas Tech’s run last season was one of the best stories in college basketball.

“I’ve got so much respect for coach Smith and the job that he did here,” Beard said. “The foundation is solid. Our job is to try to take it to the next level.”

Dixon, who spent 13 years as head coach at Pittsburgh before heading to TCU, said he likes what TCU’s administration has done to put him in position to be competitive.

“We had a lot of great coaches here over the years that I don’t think had the resources put in place that we have now,” Dixon said. “I think that’s exciting for us. We’ve got a whole different amount of involvement.”

AKOLDA MANYANG

Oklahoma’s 7-foot center was kicked off the team earlier this month after being accused of aggravated robbery in Minnesota.

“You hate seeing young men make decisions that don’t help them moving forward,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “We’re just pulling for AK in that sense. The team is way secondary to that.”

Manyang was in line to fill some of the minutes vacated by Ryan Spangler, who is on the Oklahoma City Thunder’s summer league roster.

JOSH JACKSON

Kansas’ next big thing is Josh Jackson. You won’t catch him acting like it.

The small forward from San Diego was the McDonald’s All-American game co-MVP and was part of the FIBA U-17 World Championship team in 2014 and the U19 World Championship team in 2015.

Kansas coach Bill Self said Jackson has a good attitude and doesn’t seek attention.

“The feeling that I get from Josh is that he just wants to be a college kid,” he said. “Of course, he’s not going to be a college kid very long. Certainly, he wants us in every way that we possibly can, to protect and shield him from all the talk that could potentially go on. He’s not caught up in it.”

SWITCHEROO

Beard left Arkansas-Little Rock for UNLV, then changed his mind a few weeks later and took the job at Texas Tech. Beard is from Texas, he was an assistant at Tech under Bobby Knight and Pat Knight, and his three daughters were already in Texas.

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Beard said. “It was difficult. The timing was terrible. I had a lot of respect for the people at UNLV, and we were 100 percent committed to trying to get the job done there, but sometimes in life, you get a special opportunity.”

SIX DRAFTED

Six players from the Big 12 were selected in the draft: Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield and Isaiah Cousins; Iowa State’s Georges Niang and Abdel Nader; Baylor’s Taurean Prince and Kansas’ Cheick Diallo. Among those not drafted were Kansas’ Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden and Texas’ Isaiah Taylor. Ellis has signed as a free agent with the Dallas Mavericks.

GIANT KILLERS

Two of the new coaches made splashes with mid-majors before taking their new jobs. Oklahoma State’s Underwood led Stephen F. Austin to a win over West Virginia in this year’s NCAA Tournament, while Texas Tech’s Beard led Arkansas-Little Rock past Purdue.

 

Feds add 2 West Virginia counties for flood disaster aid

 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Federal officials have approved two more West Virginia counties for individual aid after damaging floods killed 23 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

In a news release, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday expanded the federal disaster declaration to include Pocahontas and Webster counties.

Those two counties join Kanawha, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Fayette, Clay, Roane, Summers and Monroe on the declaration.

People affected by floods in those counties can apply for individual aid, which covers emergency medical support, housing and other immediate needs.

The governor also lifted a state of emergency for 32 counties.

Those still in a state of emergency are Kanawha, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Fayette, Clay, Roane, Summers, Webster, Pocahontas, Monroe, Lincoln and Jackson.

 

Police: Parents charged in 3-month-old infant’s death

 

OAK HILL, W.Va. (AP) — Authorities say an infant’s parents have been arrested in connection with the child’s death.

WSAZ-TV reports (http://bit.ly/2930IK6) Oak Hill police say in a news release that 27-year-old Michael Warrick and 23-year-old Jade Warrick, both of Oak Hill, are each charged with death of a child by parent, guardian, custodian or other person, by child abuse.

Authorities began investigating in December after a 911 call was made saying that the 3-month-old was unresponsive at a home in Oak Hill.

The child was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Officials have not released any other details at this time.

It isn’t immediately clear if Michael Warrick and Jade Warrick have attorneys.

 

West Virginia flood: Stormy morning turns into a nightmare

CLAIRE GALOFARO, Associated Press
JOHN RABY, Associated Press
BRUCE SCHREINER, Associated Press

 

RAINELLE, W.Va. (AP) — Penny McClure eyed the creek swelling up behind the Go Mart as she worked her shift on the morning of June 23. It didn’t seem ominous. Just an unpleasant, rainy day in West Virginia.

Customers streamed in for supplies. Nobody seemed too worried.

Then the rain sped up in the afternoon. The creeks churned faster and the sky grew dark — so dark that Robert Frank’s young daughter asked if she had fallen asleep and woken up at night.

McClure’s phone beeped with alert after alert from the National Weather Service. Thunderstorms, forecasters warned. Potential flash floods.

A few blocks away, Karol Dunford called her daughter and said she could see water rising up in the distance. She was alone, she said, and the power was out.

As they surveyed the sky in their town of 1,500 people that Thursday afternoon, they did not imagine that the rain would keep pouring down and the water would keep rising, that within hours it would turn their town into a lake and trap dozens whose screams would echo all night. By daybreak, at least 23 would be dead across the state.

Those who lived though it said it seemed to veer from relentless storm to catastrophe in an instant.

“It was a nightmare. It was like the Titanic sinking,” said Terri Bowen, who would later stand on the edge of the water, looking out into darkness as her husband steered a kayak through the flood to save 18 neighbors clinging to branches and roofs.

Phil Hysell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, described it as a “1-in-1,000-year” storm. Parts of Greenbrier County got more than 9 inches of rain in 36 hours.

The rain started in the county around 2 a.m. and was coming down at the rate of 2 inches an hour between 1 and 3 p.m. The National Weather Service, which had been warning for days that the water might rise, issued a dozen more flash-flood warnings Thursday. People started calling the sheriff, worried about the water.

“It was just like buckets of water falling out of the sky,” Sheriff Jan Cahill said.

At 2 p.m., a deputy sent him a photo of the town of White Sulphur Springs, on the opposite side of Greenbrier County from Rainelle.

“Streets had turned into raging rivers,” he recalled.

Around 3:30 p.m., Tracy Dowdy told her sister, Jennifer Stephens, that the floodwaters had lifted her car from her driveway in White Sulphur Springs and carried it away. She said water started pouring out of the furnace grates. A trout flopped up onto her porch. The water was up to her ankles. Five minutes later, it was up to her knees.

Dowdy sent her 8-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter up to the attic, then tried to get some food for them. By 3:45, the water rose to her waist and she couldn’t get the refrigerator open. She joined her kids in the attic. They prayed and watched from the window as the flood swallowed the front porch. They were trapped for five hours.

At 4:41 p.m., the National Weather Service sent out a rare flash-flood emergency warning, the sort of alert reserved for the most dangerous situations.

Ninety miles to the northwest, near the town of Clendenin, a woman trapped in her SUV called 911 at 4:28 p.m. as the water rose around her. Rescue teams were unable to get to her. The dispatcher heard screaming just before 5 p.m., and the line went dead. The woman’s body wasn’t found for another eight hours.

Greenbrier County, too, was quickly descending into chaos.

Dunford texted her daughter, Randee Suzer, at 6:30 p.m. to say both streets leading to town had flooded out.

Rescuers plucked people from stranded cars and second-story windows. The Rhema Christian Center in Lewisburg opened as a shelter around 7 p.m. and people poured in. Frank, a church emergency response team member, listened to the stories from refugees of what was lost: Their homes. Their cars. Their pets. Frank said a 15-year-old boy’s hands were cut to pieces after trying to grab his teenage sister and 7-year-old brother as water roared over them. He saved the boy, but his sister slipped away and remains missing.

Many outside the shelter would remain trapped in their houses into the night, wet, shivering and screaming.

Dunford’s texts to Suzer grew more desperate. Dunford, a 71-year-old in a wheelchair, sat with her four dogs crowded into her lap as the water crept into her trailer.

“Pray for me,” she wrote at 7:50 p.m.

She screamed and screamed, “Help me! Somebody save me!”

McClure, the Go Mart cashier, stood in her mother’s yard on high ground around 8:30 p.m. and could hear Dunford’s screams from the other side of the tree line. She called 911 over and over.

Her 7-year-old son cried. He said he wanted to turn into a water snake, swim over and carry the woman on his back to shore. She told him as long as the woman screamed, it meant she was still alive. She sang to him to drown out the screams as she tucked him into bed.

When she went back outside, she couldn’t hear the woman anymore.

“I thought she was gone and there was nothing I could do to help her,” McClure said. She cried herself to sleep.

A few blocks away, Stephanie Fox’s parents called and told her they’d decided to flee.

They got onto the porch, but there was only raging water in every direction. They climbed onto the porch banister, hoisted their Chihuahua up onto the roof and clung to the rafters. The water rose to their waists by the time they were rescued six hours later.

At 10:30 p.m., Robert Bowen and another man found a two-seat kayak, strapped an aluminum boat to the back and set off in the floodwaters to help rescue neighbors.

“We decided where to go based on the sound of people’s screams,” he said. “And they were screaming from everywhere.”

Bowen saved a blind woman and a disabled man. He opened a front door to find a body, said a prayer for the victim and headed out to find somebody who could still be saved. He could barely see through the dark and the fog and the leaking propane tanks floating by.

At Dunford’s trailer, the water rose to her shoulders.

“Are they in the wrong place looking for me?” she texted her daughter at 11:16 p.m.

“I’m freezing,” she wrote at 12:36 a.m.

One of the dogs, a Chihuahua named Frankie, fell off her lap into the water. She watched it drown and couldn’t stop it.

“They aren’t coming,” she decided at 12:39 a.m.

“I’m so tired,” she wrote at 1:42.

Two more hours passed.

The National Guard arrived for Dunford just before 4 a.m. and rescued her and the three dogs she had left.

The sun rose and the town woke up to see the devastation the flood left behind: houses ripped off their slabs, tree uprooted, roads collapsed. The death toll climbed from seven to 14 to 23.

McClure heard Friday morning that Dunford had made it out alive. She wrote her a message on Facebook and described listening to Dunford scream for hours, then fearing that the storm had swallowed her.

“I can’t help but feel like a part of me was with you.”

___

Associated Press writer Jonathan Mattise contributed from Clendenin, West Virginia. Galofaro and Schreiner reported from Louisville, Kentucky.

 

Military base near DC on lockdown, active shooter report

 

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (AP) — Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Thursday there was an “unfolding situation” at Joint Base Andrews in Washington’s Maryland suburbs but provided no further details.

The base instructed all personnel at the base to continue to shelter in place and stay inside.

It was not immediately clear if any shots were fired or if anyone was wounded.

A tweet from the base said the incident was ongoing at the Malcolm Grow Medical Facility. The base tweeted earlier Thursday it was on lockdown due to a report of an active shooter.

Johnson was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He said he might have to take a break from the hearing as the situation at Andrews develops.

Joint Base Andrews is located about 20 miles outside of downtown Washington, D.C. and is home to Air Force One.

Rodney Smith, the patient advocate at the Andrews medical facility, said an active-shooter exercise was scheduled for Thursday morning, and then he was told it was a “real-world” situation. He said he was on lockdown and didn’t have any more information.

“First it was an active-shooter exercise. Then it came back ‘real world,'” Smith said by phone Thursday morning.

Smith said the situation was unfolding at the newer of two buildings at the Malcolm Grow Medical Facility. He was in the older building.

 

Man who helped cop subdue gunman is among 23 Carnegie heroes

 

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A civilian who helped a New York police officer subdue a gunman who had already fatally shot another officer is one of 23 people being honored with Carnegie medals for heroism announced Thursday.

M. Neil Jones Sr., 60, was a valet supervisor who worked at Southern Tier Imaging, a radiology lab in Johnson City, when the shooting occurred March 31, 2014.

Two officers responded when a mentally disturbed employee created a scene. The worker grabbed the gun of Officer Dave Smith and fatally shot him in the head as Smith emerged from his patrol car, then engaged in a gunbattle with Smith’s partner, Officer Louis Cioci.

Cioci wounded the suspect, then tried to subdue him. As that happened, the man grabbed for Cioci’s gun and the officer called for help, with Jones pulling the suspect off Cioci until he could be handcuffed. Jones suffered a heart attack shortly afterward but recovered, and the shooting suspect died of his gunshot wounds.

Cioci was one of 13 U.S. police officers awarded the nation’s Medal of Valor last month by President Barack Obama for risking their lives to save others.

The Carnegie Hero medals are named for Pittsburgh steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who was inspired by stories of heroism during a coal mine disaster that killed 181 people, including a miner and an engineer who died trying to rescue others.

The Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission investigates stories of heroism and awards medals and cash several times a year. It has given away $38.2 million to 9,868 awardees or their families since 1904.

The other awardees being honored Thursday are:

— Keith A. Wilt, 49, of Frederick, Maryland, and Matthew J. Geppi, 25, of Baltimore, Maryland, who saved two toddlers trapped in their family’s burning Baltimore row house in January 2015.

— Kenneth Arnold Hansen, 46, of Crystal, Michigan, who saved an 8-year-old boy who was being attacked by four Rottweilers in a yard in Riverdale, Michigan, in May 2015.

— Raymond L. Robinson, 45, and Christopher Z. Smith, 59, both of Chicago, who saved two police officers after a shoplifter stole one officer’s gun as they were trying to arrest him in February 2015.

— Andrew Baugh, 28, of Mason City, Illinois, who saved a 14-year-old boy from a burning midget-chassis race car at a Lincoln, Illinois, speedway in June 2015.

— Ronaldo R. Romo Jr., 32, of St. Louis, who saved a man and his son from burning in a crashed vehicle in Shrewsbury, Missouri, in April 2015.

— Michael H. Peddicord, 45, and Donald E. Lee Sr., 60, both of Denton, Maryland, who saved an 87-year-old woman from a propane explosion and fire in her home in October 2014.

— Calindo C. Fletcher Jr., 20, of Huntsville, Alabama, who drowned trying to save another man from drowning after his kayak overturned in Athens, Alabama, in July 2015.

— William James Griep Jr., 54, of St. Francis, Minnesota, and Benjamin McAuliffe, 31, of Apex, North Carolina, who saved an 80-year-old woman from burning in her Oak Grove, Minnesota, home in September 2015.

— Ashley Marie Aldridge, 19, of Auburn, Illinois, who saved a 75-year-old man from being hit by a train when his motorized wheelchair got stuck on a train rail in September 2015.

— Turner Lagpacan, 23, of Wichita, Kansas, and Jason C. Newby, of Eaton, Colorado, who tried to rescue the driver of a tractor-trailer that crashed and burned in Mulhall, Oklahoma, in April 2015.

— Derrick M. Johnson, 51, of Circle Pines, Minnesota, who rescued a 78-year-old man being attacked by a pit bull in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, in July 2015.

— Kaiden J. Porter-Foy, 16, of Lake Stevens, Washington, who rescued a woman from her burning mobile home in August 2015.

— Jacob Scott Jones, 35, of St. Helens, Oregon, who disarmed a gunman who wounded a neighbor and threatened others with a gun in March 2015.

— Charles G. Gluckleder, 56, of Steger, Illinois, who rescued an 88-year-old man and his 64-year-old son from their burning home in Chicago Heights, Illinois, in October 2015.

— Christopher Canale, 33, of Farmingville, New York, who rescued a bus driver and his 70-year-old passenger after the vehicle crashed and burned in Manorville, New York, in October 2015.

— Christopher T. DePaoli, 53, of Irvington, New York, who rescued a woman after she was stabbed on a commuter train platform in April 2015.

— Kelly Winters, 47, of Chapin, South Carolina, who rescued a man from a burning gasoline tanker that had crashed in Columbia, South Carolina, in May 2015.

 

Journey to Jupiter: NASA spacecraft nears planet rendezvous

ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jupiter takes center stage with the arrival next week of a NASA spacecraft built to peek through its thick, swirling clouds and map the planet from the inside out.

The solar-powered Juno spacecraft is on the final leg of a five-year, 1.8 billion-mile (2.8 billion-kilometer) voyage to the biggest planet in the solar system.

Juno promises to send back the best close-up views as it circles the planet for a year. Jupiter is a gas giant made up mostly of hydrogen and helium unlike rocky Earth and its neighbor Mars. The fifth planet from the sun likely formed first and it could hold clues to how the solar system developed.

A look at the $1.1 billion mission:

THE ARRIVAL

As Juno approaches Jupiter late Monday, it will fire its main rocket engine to slow down and slip into orbit around the planet. This carefully orchestrated move, all preprogrammed, is critical because Juno will zip past Jupiter if it fails to brake. The engine burn — lasting about a half hour — is designed to put Juno on a path that loops over Jupiter’s poles.

Since it takes 48 minutes for radio signals from Jupiter to reach Earth, mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory won’t be able to intervene if something goes awry. They’ll watch for beeps from Juno that’ll signal whether the engine burn is going as planned.

THE MISSION

Spacecraft have visited Jupiter since the 1970s, but there are still plenty of questions left unanswered. How much water does the planet have? Is there a dense core? Why is its signature Great Red Spot — a hurricane-like storm that has been raging for centuries — shrinking?

During the mission, Juno will peer through Jupiter’s dense clouds, flying within 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers), closer than any other spacecraft.

Earlier visitors included the Voyagers and Pioneers, Galileo, Ulysses, Cassini and most recently, New Horizons, which reached Pluto last year. Most were quick flybys en route to other destinations. Only Galileo — named for the Italian astronomer who discovered Jupiter’s large moons — orbited the massive planet and even released a probe.

THE SPACECRAFT

Named after the cloud-piercing wife of the Roman god Jupiter, Juno carries nine instruments to map Jupiter’s interior and study its turbulent atmosphere. Also stowed aboard are three mini figures of Jupiter, Juno and Galileo designed by the Lego Group. The Italian Space Agency donated a plaque inscribed with Galileo’s writings.

Previous trips to Jupiter have relied on nuclear power because of the distance from the sun. Juno is the first spacecraft to venture this far out on solar power. Juno, about the size of an SUV, has three tractor-trailer-size solar wings that extend outward like blades from a windmill. The solar panels are designed to face the sun during most of the mission.

After its launch on Aug. 5, 2011, Juno took a roundabout journey to Jupiter, swinging around the inner solar system and using Earth as a gravity boost to the outer solar system.

THE PICTURES

The Hubble Space Telescope and other spacecraft have returned stunning pictures of Jupiter, including a new photo released Thursday of its northern lights. But scientists said the best views are yet to come. Juno will get in closer and will provide the most detailed look at the planet’s polar regions, clouds and auroras.

The camera onboard — the JunoCam — has been snapping pictures of Earth, Jupiter and its moons along the way. But the camera and other instruments were turned off this week to avoid any interference during the critical arrival. So there won’t be images at the nail-biting moment when Juno enters orbit around Jupiter.

The public can also vote on where to point the camera. NASA has said pictures from the mission won’t be publicly released until late August at the earliest.

THE FINISH

Once Juno wraps up its work, it will deliberately dive into Jupiter’s atmosphere and burn up. The fiery finale — expected in 2018 — ensures that the spacecraft doesn’t accidentally crash into Jupiter’s moons, particularly the icy moon Europa, a prime target for future missions.

 

In New Mexico, New Deal legacy gets a second look

MORGAN LEE, Associated Press

 

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Amid the misery of the Great Depression, Rupert Lopez gratefully worked for $1 a day for the Civilian Conservation Corps, making adobe-block walls for a new regional National Park Service administration building in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The 100-year anniversary of the National Park Service is igniting new interest in the majestic Spanish-pueblo themed building that Lopez and other “CCC boys” built, along with other remote cabins, furniture and artwork of the 1930s that transformed and popularized national and state parks while putting millions of impoverished Americans back to work.

The Old Santa Fe Trail Building, nicknamed after its address alongside the former frontier migration and supply route, was stocked with hand-carved furniture and Native American pottery and paintings commissioned under the Work Projects Administration from local artists.

It is now celebrated as a graceful landmark that blends with the surrounding high-desert landscape — while serving as a testament to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal public works projects.

That legacy is slipping from living memory. Lopez, who turned 100 in January, is the only known surviving member of the work crew that laid the foundation and hoisted hand-carved wooden beams called vigas.

In June, preservationists of the New Deal era brought together Lopez with descendants of Franklin D. Roosevelt and several Cabinet secretaries that had helped ramp up government employment and infrastructure projects in the midst of the Great Depression.

They met in downtown Santa Fe, blocks from frescos in the New Mexico Museum of Art and canvas federal courthouse murals commissioned by the Public Works of Art Project, another New Deal institution.

Nina Roosevelt Gibson, the daughter of the President Roosevelt’s youngest son, said she had to take a history course in college to fully appreciate the Depression-era accomplishments of her grandfather, who she knew only briefly as a young girl.

Gibson said the New Deal agencies would be difficult or impossible to replicate today — but still serve as call to collective action.

“The spirit of the New Deal is all over the country, in every national park you go to, there are CCC trails that have been developed, you go into post offices and there are murals and art work … that were created through funding of various New Deal projects,” she said. “And then I see it in the hearts of men and women, their families were able to keep hope during a time when there was a lot of hopelessness.”

Beyond Santa Fe, an online archive called The Living New Deal is bringing the national scope of Roosevelt-era public works sites into sharper focus. More than 10,000 site locations are tagged to a Google map for browsing. The crowdsourced archive started as a student project and is hosted by the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley.

Susan Ives, who works for the project from Mill Valley, California, said amateur contributors have helped identify public works buildings where plaques and labels went missing through neglect and as Roosevelt’s progressive political ideals fell out of favor during the Cold War years.

“They were taken down when the pendulum swung to the right,” she said.

When it comes to national parks and monuments, meanwhile, many devotees of New Deal history want that era’s artifacts to be given a larger stage of their own, after serving for some 80 years as the backdrop to other wonders of nature and human history.

The National Park Service already juggles those competing missions at Bandelier National Monument, 18 miles from Santa Fe, where the main attraction is ancestral Native American cliff dwellings carved into soft rock. The monument also is home to a cluster of 31 support buildings created by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s that mimics a small New Mexican village, and is designated as a historic district in its own right.

Jerry Rogers of Santa Fe, a retired cultural preservation official at the National Park Service, thinks it is time for a special Park Service unit devoted solely to New Deal preservation. The Old Santa Fe Trail Building could be exhibit No. 1, he said, emphasizing the human drama behind the structure where inside-and-out renovations are planned during 2017.

“What was going on in New Mexico at the time, like the whole nation, the bottom has just fallen out the economy,” he said. “But New Mexico was already kind of poor when that started. There was genuine hunger, and not just scarcity.”