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Local News

  • Lawyers say Luna chair can’t be axed

    Attorneys for the state Higher Education Department and the New Mexico Public Schools Insurance Authority are warning the Luna Community College Board of Trustees that attempting to oust their chairman before the next board election would be a violation of state law.

    In separate letters to college officials dated Aug. 1, those attorneys say state law is clear on the issue. Their interpretation backs up the legal opinion proffered by Tony Ortiz, the school’s own attorney at the last board meeting.

  • Court dismisses funding appeal

    By Barry Massey
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Behavioral health providers under investigation for possible overbillings, mismanagement and fraud lost an appeal Monday of a ruling that allows New Mexico to continue to withhold Medicaid payments.

    Among the providers affected is TeamBuilders, which has an office in Las Vegas.

    The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver dismissed the appeal by eight nonprofit providers.

  • Audit: Nonprofit operators received $1.5M

    The Associated Press
    ALBUQUERQUE — An audit of 15 behavioral health providers in New Mexico says a couple who run a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that provides Medicaid-funded services to children and families is estimated to make as much as $1.5 million a year in salaries and other income.
    The Albuquerque Journal reports that the audit says Shannon and Lorraine Freedle derived much of that income from leases paid by the nonprofit, TeamBuilders Counseling Services Inc., to holding companies owned in full or in part by the Freedles and other TeamBuilders officers.

  • State eyes opening deadly prison riot site as museum

    By Russell Contreras
    The Associated Press

    New Mexico state officials are hoping to make a tourist attraction out of an unusual place: a prison where one of the nation’s deadliest riots took place in 1980.

    In February 1980, inmates at New Mexico’s “Old Main” prison killed 33 fellow prisoners in a violent clash that included beheadings, amputations and burned bodies. More than 100 other inmates and guards were hurt in the 36-hour riot fueled by overcrowded conditions.

  • Firm will defend Mora County

    The New Mexico Environmental Law Center has agreed to represent Mora County if it is sued over the Community Rights Ordinance that the commission majority adopted earlier this year, board chairman John Olivas announced recently.

    The ordinance bans oil and gas extraction within the county and also seeks to strip corporations that want to drill of rights that courts have said they enjoy.

    Olivas said in his release that the New Mexico Environmental Law Center has agreed to defend the county on any constitutional claims that might arise.

  • Looking Back - Aug. 7, 2013

    In 1963

  • Looking Ahead - News - Aug. 7, 2013

    Beer and Chili Fest
    Heritage Week continues through this weekend. Among the events taking place is a Beer and Chili Fest from 5 to 7 p.m. this Thursday at El Fidel Courtyard.

  • Weather - Aug. 7, 2013

    Wednesday
    Scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80. North wind 10-15 mph, becoming south in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent. Scattered showers and thunderstorms at night. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 55. North wind 5-10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent.

    Thursday

  • Body found off I-25 near San Jose exit

    The body of an unidentified man was discovered in a ravine off Interstate 25 on Thursday, and state police are treating it as a suspicious death.

    State police weren’t releasing many details.

    Among the details they did release was that police were dispatched to the scene just before 4 p.m. on Thursday. The body was located off I-25 mile post 318, which is near the San Juan/San Jose exit.
    Passersby saw at least six police cars at the scene as officers secured what state police Sgt. Emmanuel Gutierrez told the Optic Thursday evening was a crime scene.

  • Charette a great spot for anglers

    By Karl Moffatt
    Las Vegas Optic

    High on a windblown mesa overlooking the plains of New Mexico lies an unexpected oasis where visitors can camp and fish from the banks of a deep lake still thriving despite the long-running drought.

    “Charette Lake still holds plenty of water and fish,” says Clint Henson of the Department of Game and Fish’s northeast area office in Raton.”And not a lot of people get up there too often.”