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Morning Word: Audit Shows Tens of Millions for Disasters on Hold

January 12, 2017, 7:30 am

Emerging Picture
The New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management still has tens of millions in the bank, money that was supposed to be used for disaster cleanup and recovery. An overdue audit finally made public doesn't offer many clues about what's going on in the well-funded but apparently poorly managed state department. 

Backyard Harm
Putting the state's top law enforcement officials on the task of combatting an opioid addiction epidemic in New Mexico is the idea of the day. The state attorney general and a handful of district attorneys are forming a steering committee to try to make a dent in the community harm and death from the drugs. 

Heavy Reading
Get inside the president-elect's first press conference in six months with an annotated transcript from NPR that provides fact-check and analysis. How many times did he say "very" or "tremendous" or "hacking"?
Lost, Found, Forgotten
A nationwide database aims to help connect missing persons reports with unidentified dead, but many remain unsolved on both sides. The Santa Fe Reporter looked into the mystery of a man who died in Northern New Mexico in 2015 and other pending cases.

Pueblo Deaths
The FBI isn't saying much about two women and three children found dead in a remote part of Santa Ana Pueblo on Sunday. An investigator says "foul play by another party is not suspected" but there are few answers about their fate as officials—and a stunned community—wait for autopsy reports

Hated It
Reactions to the governor's proposed budget for the state's next fiscal year include political blogger Joe Monahan, whose New Mexico Politics blog is a must-read in the small town that is our state. Monahan says the provision to reduce pensions for state workers is "the stinker" in the plan. 

This is Ground Control to ...
More than 300 Grant County residents have written letters to President-elect Donald Trump to be delivered at the inauguration. The messages from the Silver City area have been sealed into a large globe that's part of the Earth2Trump tour.

Too Close to Chaco 
Drilling for oil and gas on public land near Chaco Canyon still sounds like a bad idea. Navajo Nation officials and residents plan to make the case to the Bureau of Land Management in Santa Fe ahead of a planned auction for developers on Jan. 25. A protest is also planned outside during the tribal leaders' meeting

Win big, Mo
Here are two chances to express the creative side and maybe get money and attention too.
First, for the kiddos: the Aldo Leopold Writing Contest awards cash prizes for students in grades 6 to 12. 
And for any age: SFR's photo contest helps support journalism. Winning images are published in the Santa Fe Manual magazine and get printed in large format and auctioned to support the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government. 


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