Archives for August 2015

Wait times for appointments and disability claims improving for vets

Managers of agencies that provide health care and disability benefits to New Mexico veterans say wait times for medical appointments and disability claims have improved.

The VA health care system director tells the Albuquerque Journal that the last two years have brought much progress.

Halliburton to reduce Artesia workforce

Halliburton has announced layoffs in Artesia.

Spokesman William Fitzgerald says the company does not drill in Eddy County, but it does have two locations in Artesia.

In an email to the Current-Argus, he says Halliburton continues monitoring the business environment and should adjust the size of its workforce to align with current business demands.

Fitzgeral says the company values all employees, but he calls reductions necessary to work through this market.

Bus crash injures NMMI students

Ten people had injuries from a bus crash this weekend involving NMMI students.

The bus carrying the school’s volleyball team rolled Saturday night near Abilene.

Troopers say after a car drifted into their lane, the bus driver swerved to avoid it. That flipped the bus.

KOAT-TV reports a helicopter took four people to a hospital.

Bubble Bash raises $16K

The Bubble Bash 5K in Carlsbad had 350 entrants on Saturday.

Each mile of the event had bubble stations to help participants beat the heat.

The Current-Argus reports the event raised $16,000 for the United Way of Carlsbad and South Eddy County.

Linda Dodd from the United Way said $10,000 of that money came from sponsors, and over 98 percent of that money would stay local.

The organization has a million-dollar fundraising goal.

The event had a family health expo going on at the same time.

More opportunities for hunters

The state’s game commission has made hunters happy.

Commissioners have approved measures that would allow more kills of bears and cougars.

Ranchers support expanding the limits. They say their livelihood depends on trapping animals who prey on their herds.

Parents skipping child support payments

Law enforcement continues rounding up parents who have avoided child support payments.

Over 500 bench warrants remain active statewide.

Delinquents have until the end of the month to pay up or face arrest.

All money goes to the children.

PNM trying to raise rates again

The state’s largest electric utility has renewed its request to raise rates.

This time, PNM wants to do this by more than 14 percent.

A previous attempt failed earlier this year because PNM failed to provide enough information.

PNM says revenue resulting from the proposed increase would cover the half-billion dollars in investments in solar and natural gas plants, pollution controls, and grid maintenance.

Mayor pushes grand jury petition

Roswell’s mayor has started a process that could lead to convening a grand jury.

This grand jury would determine probable cause for some felony cases in the county.

The Roswell Daily Record reports this petition stems from a clause in the state constitution.

This grand jury would serve for at least a year and a half. It would hear cases from the district attorney’s office.

The mayor claims this jury could force reluctant witnesses to testify. It could also save police time they normally spend at the courthouse to testify at preliminary hearings.

Limits on hunting and trapping bears and cougars may change

The state game commission today may decide on easing limits for hunting and trapping bears and cougars.

Revised rules would allow more black bear hunting in most of the state’s game management districts.

They would also double the cougar hunting limits.

BCBSNM leaving state health exchange next year

Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico has decided to pull out of the state health exchange next year.

The company says it has lost $19 million this year on the 35,000 people who have purchased plans.

It also says existing policies remain active until the end of the year.