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AG Files Lawsuit Against Presbyterian Health Plan, Presbyterian Network, Presbyterian Insurance For Fraud

on July 11, 2017 - 10:17pm

Attorney General Hector Balderas

STATE News:

SANTA FE - Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that he has filed a lawsuit against Presbyterian Health Plan, Presbyterian Network and Presbyterian Insurance Co. for fraud based on the systematic, deliberate underpayment of taxes on premiums received or written.

The Office of the Attorney General’s complaint alleges that between 2001 and 2015, Presbyterian routinely filed false claims for premium tax deductions and credits, thereby defrauding the people of New Mexico and evading its legal duty to pay these taxes.

The Presbyterian

LANL Holds Accountable Those Individuals Responsible For Improper Shipment Of Special Nuclear Material

on July 11, 2017 - 10:15pm
By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

Los Alamos National Laboratory has taken swift action against those responsible for improperly shipping small quantities of special nuclear material to both Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Savannah River National Laboratory last month.

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) issued a press release June 24 stating it had been informed that the shipments should have been made using commercial ground cargo services, and were packaged and containerized for this mode of transportation.

State Auditor Responds To Presbyterian Lawsuit

on July 11, 2017 - 5:53pm

State Auditor Tim Keller

STATE News:

SANTA FE -- State Auditor Tim Keller responded to the announcement the Attorney General Hector Balderas is suing Presbyterian  over allegations that it falsified deductions and credits through the Medicaid program, thus evading tens of millions in premium taxes and surcharges:

“We are confirming that our office is conducting an ongoing audit of premium tax collection that covers many issues with major New Mexico health insurance providers over multiple years.

Largest Websites On Earth Prepare For Net Neutrality Day Of Action Wednesday July 12

on July 11, 2017 - 3:54pm

INTERNET News:
  • More than 80,000 websites, Internet users and organizations plan massive online protest Wednesday, July 12. Participants include Twitter, Amazon, Facebook. Google, Reddit, Netflix, OK Cupid, Mozilla, Etsy, Kickstarter, Vimeo and PornHub...

Airbnb, Spotify, Yelp, Snapchat, and Dropbox are the latest major players to announce their participation in the Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality scheduled for July 12 to oppose the FCC’s plan to slash Title II, the legal foundation for net neutrality rules that protect online free speech and innovation.

Annual Battle Of The Badges Blood Drive Aug. 2

on July 11, 2017 - 2:38pm
Urgent Need: Blood supplies coast-to-coast are dangerously low due to a severe dip in donations leading up to and following the July 4 holiday, prompting a coordinated nationwide call for donors of blood of all types. Forecasting projects a shortfall of 5,700 donations in July and greater shortfalls throughout the summer. Courtesy photo

COMMUNITY News:

“Find the hero in you” ... Los Alamos residents have the chance to do just that by joining in the 2nd Annual Battle of the Badges community blood drive noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 3 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug.

Weekly Fishing Report: July 11

on July 11, 2017 - 2:00pm
By GEORGE MORSE
Sports and Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post

As the weather continues to be hot and dry with widely scattered thunderstorms, the fishing in the lakes and rivers is slowing down as the water warms and streamflows drop. This time of the year the best fishing is often to be had early in the morning or late in the evening.

One of the better spots to try would be the Rio Grande. The streamflow has dropped to less than normal from the Colorado state border all the way down to Velarde. Spinners like the Panther Martin are a good choice under the present conditions.

Northern New Mexico College Hosts El Rito Watershed Conference Friday, July 14

on July 11, 2017 - 10:18am
NNMC News:
 
Northern New Mexico College invites community members, conservationists and interested parties to The El Rito Watershed from the Ground Up Conference, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 14 at Northern’s El Rito campus.
 
The conference is premised on the notion that natural communities are dependent upon their watersheds, which when carefully used and protected, can continuously sustain productive local economies with a high quality of life.
 
The conference features more than 20 local authorities who will discuss various aspects of the El Rito watershed, its geology,

National History Day Nationals Contest Finalists

on July 11, 2017 - 6:43am

NMHC News:

Sixty-seven National History Day state finalists proudly represented New Mexico at the national competition June 12-15 at the University of Maryland.

Projects from Los Alamos High School, Moriarty High School, Silver City High School, Albuquerque Christian School and Academy for Technology and the Classics in Santa Fe went on to compete in the final rounds of their respective categories:

Sydne Ashford and Miriam Wallstrom (Los Alamos High School) for their Group Website Containment Begins: How the Berlin Airlift Took a Stand Against Soviet Communism; Steven West (Albuquerque

FBI: Sunland Park Heroin Trafficking Ring Member Carlos Diaz Sentenced

on July 11, 2017 - 6:01am

FBI News:
ALBUQUERQUE  Carlos Diaz, 37, of El Paso, Texas, was sentenced June 29 in federal court in Las Cruces for his conviction on heroin trafficking charges resulting from a DEA-led investigation targeting a heroin trafficking ring operating out of Sunland Park.
 
Diaz was sentenced to an 18-month term of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release.
 
The DEA’s investigation targeted a heroin trafficking organization led by Raymundo Munoz, 69, of Sunland Park that obtained its heroin from Juan Francisco Rivera, 60, of El Paso, Texas.

Special Meeting About UNM Press July 24

on July 11, 2017 - 5:45am
NMBC News:
 
As a result of the administrative reorganization taking place at UNM Press, the New Mexico Book Co-op will be having a fact-finding lunch with the Interim Provost of UNM Dr. Craig White and Dean Dr. Richard Clement of UNM Libraries who is scheduled to take over as administrative contact for UNM Press this summer.
 
NM Book Co-op has requested that the new Director of UNM Press also be present since the last day for the current Director of UNM Press, John Byram, is July 25. It is unknown who the new Director of UNM Press will be.

Udall, Heinrich, Luján, Lujan Grisham Announce Federal Review Of Behavioral Health Access In New Mexico

on July 10, 2017 - 8:36am
NM DELEGATION News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will review the level of access that New Mexicans have to behavioral health services provided through the Medicaid program.
 
The OIG agreed to a request from Rep. Lujan Grisham, along with Sens. Udall and Heinrich and Rep.

Santa Fe Woman Faces Up To 72 Years In Prison For Attempted Tax Evasion

on July 10, 2017 - 8:34am
NMTR News:
 
SANTA FE  A resident of Santa Fe has been indicted for attempted tax evasion. The indictment follows an investigation by the Tax Fraud Investigations Division of the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department.
 
Cynthia Canyon, 58, was charged with 48 counts of Willful Attempts to Evade or Defeat Tax, all felonies. Canyon faces a maximum sentence of 72 years imprisonment and $240,000 in fines.
 
“This administration is committed to hunting down those who would cheat the system,” Acting Secretary John Monforte said.

Steve Pearce: I’m Running For Governor To Change New Mexico’s Direction

on July 10, 2017 - 8:15am
Steve Pearce
 
POLITICAL News:
  • Pearce Launches PearceforNM.com

HOBBS – Former businessman and military veteran Steve Pearce announced today that he is a candidate for governor in 2018.

“I’m running for governor to change the direction of the state I love and call home. New Mexico has such great potential, but we need leadership to move the state forward. Too many people are struggling to find jobs and to many families are wrestling with poverty. Our kids are working their way through a broken education system. Crime has taken over our streets. We can do better. We have to do better.

 

Councilor Maestas Announces Re-Election Campaign

on July 9, 2017 - 7:36pm

Santa Fe City Councilor Joseph Maestas

STATE News:

SANTA FE -- Santa Fe City Councilor Joseph Maestas announced July 6 his intent to continue serving as City Councilor to District 2 residents and seek another term in office. He pledged to help restore the public’s trust in City Hall by increasing accountability, reforming the city government’s management, and uniting a divided community.

Councilor Maestas released the following statement:

"Over the last 3.5 years, I have worked hard to champion policies to end bad government financial practices costing the city millions, improve our

State Auditor Tim Keller Releases New Mexico’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

on July 9, 2017 - 6:49am

STATE News:

SANTA FE – The Office of the State Auditor (OSA) recently released New Mexico’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2016.

The report provides an overview of the state’s finances and was conducted by an independent accounting firm. All of the sections in the audit received a disclaimer of opinion, meaning the auditors were unable to obtain sufficient audit evidence on which to base an opinion.

The report contains four audit findings, one of which is due to an inconsistency in accounting principles used for the Land Grant Permanent

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Atomic Heritage Foundation Collaborates With Local Partners To Preserve Oral History Of Manhattan Project

on July 8, 2017 - 9:42am
Painting at El Convento in Española commemorating local contributions to the Manhattan Project. Courtesy photo
 
ATOMIC HERITAGE  FOUNDATION News:
 
Washington, D.C. – “It was an entirely different world,” Eulalia “Eula” Quintana Newton remembered, describing life in the northern Rio Grande valley before the coming of the Manhattan Project. “Our lives changed entirely.” 

The Manhattan Project, the top-secret World War II effort to build an atomic bomb, had a profound impact on the communities of northern New Mexico.

Heinrich Issues Statement On June Jobs Report

on July 8, 2017 - 8:10am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

 

U.S. SENATE News: 

 

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ranking Member of the Joint Economic Committee, recently issued the following statement after the Department of Labor announced 222,000 jobs were added in June:  

 

“Today’s jobs report underscores the risk that Republican’s TrumpCare poses for the U.S. economy. Health care, as the fastest growing sector, is an important economic driver, and TrumpCare threatens this growth.

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument Will Be Unavailable For Visitation For Three Days

on July 7, 2017 - 8:40am
BLM News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in cooperation with the Pueblo de Cochiti (Pueblo), announces that Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument (Monument) will be unavailable for public visitation July 13 and 14, as well as July 25.
 
These three days and future days will allow the BLM to assess and work on special projects within the Monument, ultimately providing visitors with a more enjoyable recreation experience, and the Pueblo will have access to the Monument on days that are significant to them.
 
The Monument was created in 2001 with a provision that

Heinrich Aims To Increase Access To Pell Grants, Make College More Affordable

on July 7, 2017 - 8:32am
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24) have introduced bicameral legislation, the Middle Class Creating Higher Education Affordability Necessary to Compete Economically (CHANCE) Act, to increase access to affordable post-secondary education for low- to moderate-income students.
 
The bill would address the significant loss in value of Pell Grants by adjusting them for inflation, reinstate year-round Pell Grants, and increase the number of eligible semesters from 12 to 15.
 
"As the cost of tuition continues to

NMVC: The Real Value Of Our Public Lands

on July 6, 2017 - 8:19am
James Jimanez at a waterfall. Courtesy photo
 
 
By JAMES JIMANEZ
Executive Director 
New Mexico Voices for Children
 
Camping is one of this nation’s great equalizers. Whether you camp with the latest, most expensive gear, or you hang a tarp and sleep in the bed of a pickup truck, there is a camping style to fit most every budget.
 
It continues to be, for many families, one of the cheapest ways to vacation and enjoy the great outdoors. Camping is becoming an equalizer in a different way, as more and more racial and ethnic minorities are pitching tents.
 
A recent survey showed

NMSP Releases July 4th Traffic Operation Results

on July 6, 2017 - 7:53am
NMSP News:
 
During the Fourth of July holiday, the New Mexico State Police participated in the Combined Accident Reduction Effort (CARE) operation across all roadways within the state.
 
The goal of the traffic initiative was that a strong law enforcement presence would have a direct effect on the driving behaviors of motorists during the holiday weekend, and, thus, reduce the number of crashes and increase motorist safety.
 
The NMSP provided an increased patrol presence during this initiative on roadways throughout all State Police districts.

Letter To The Editor: Response To Pearce's 'Regulation'

on July 6, 2017 - 7:44am
By EDWARD BIRNBAUM
Los Alamos
 
I think most people would agree with at least one sentence of Rep. Steve Pearce’s recent op-ed in the Los Alamos Daily Post, i.e., “The United States must do more to cut off the ability of criminal enterprises to launder money through anonymous shell companies.”
 
The complication is that he wants to accomplish this without imposing any “… burdens on the back of new businesses or the financial institutions that fund them.”
 
The question is, how can you cut off money laundering without imposing additional regulations and/or costs on either businesses or

Gov. Susana Martinez Announces Fifth Straight Year Of Record-Shattering Tourism Numbers

on July 5, 2017 - 8:08pm

STATE News:
 
SANTA FE — Today, Gov. Susana Martinez announced 34.4 million trips were taken in New Mexico in 2016 – shattering the previous record set in 2015 of 33.4 million. New Mexico is a leader in tourism, with trips to the state growing at double the national average. 
 
“A record number of people are visiting New Mexico and that means more money being spent in our communities – large and small,” Martinez said.

Drowning Victim Recovered From Cochiti Lake

on July 5, 2017 - 8:02pm
NMSP News:
 
SANDOVAL COUNTY -- Today, the body of Ariel Gonzalez-Vasquez, 34, of Albuquerque was recovered from Cochiti Lake.
 
Gonzalez-Vasquez was reported to have been in the water swimming when large waves and wind made the swimming difficult and he sank and never resurfaced.
 
The New Mexico State Police were asked to assist with a possible drowning victim Saturday at Cochiti Lake, just south of Santa Fe. At approximately 6:30 p.m., July 1, the Sandoval County Sheriff's Department requested the assistance of the NMSP Dive Team to locate the victim within the lake.

FBI: Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Bank Robbery Charge ... Faces 20 Years In Federal Prison

on July 5, 2017 - 7:46am

FBI News: 

 

ALBUQUERQUE – Randy K. Lovett, 34, of Albuquerque, pled guilty in federal court to a bank robbery charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

 

Lovett was arrested April 19, on a criminal complaint charging him with robbing the Bank of America at 7644 Jefferson St. NE, in Albuquerque. According to the complaint, Lovett robbed the Bank of America by handing a bank teller a note in which he claimed to have a gun, demanded money, and informed the teller she had 30 seconds to comply. Lovett subsequently was indicted May 9, on a bank robbery charge.

 

During

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