June 29, 2017
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Morning Word: See ya! UNM's Latest Vacancy

June 5, 2017, 7:30 am

Krebs finds the door
It must be hard to say goodbye to a $419,000 annual salary, car and gas allowances, free travel to team games for your family and a host of other benefits, but University of New Mexico Athletic Director Paul Krebs did that late Friday. He's under investigation for paying $24,000 to ferry potential boosters to Scotland to golf with him and former coach Craig Neal at Trump Turnberry. But Krebs says his resignation doesn't mean he's running away. Also, Lobo men's basketball tickets go on sale today.

UNM eliminates payroll
The state's flagship university just raised some tuition rates, but that's still not enough to keep the school from eliminating more than 13 percent of its staff jobs by 2018. Most of that is happening by leaving vacant positions unfilled, but the university is also getting rid of more than $1 million worth of faculty jobs.

On second thought ...
Remember furloughs? Yeah, those won't happen. Gov. Martinez had for weeks been threatening forced unpaid days off for state employees—maybe even the closure of state parks, monuments and museums—because of a budget shortfall. Lawmakers didn't believe her; and with a budget compromise from the special session, we'll never know. A spokesman says furloughs are off the table.

Tierra o Muerte
It's been 50 years since a band of land-grant activists stormed the courthouse in Tierra Amarilla. New Mexico made national headlines that bloody day, as the governor mobilized the National Guard and two courthouse security officers were wounded. Feelings about historic land rights may have faded, but for some, the anger that made them take up arms against the government is still real.

Richardson and the chimps
Former governor Bill Richardson most recently made local headlines for "tapping" the bumper of another car and promptly driving off to the Capitol for a TV interview. But the man who made a name talking to tyrants and negotiating the release of political prisoners was also involved in negotiating the long-term care of research chimpanzees.

About that agenda
The Española school board has reported itself to the attorney general for violating New Mexico's Open Meetings Act. The law requires public bodies to post agendas for meetings 72 hours in advance. The school board was a few questions into interviewing three finalists for the superintendent's job when it realized what it had done. The board stopped the meeting and will draw up new questions for the publicly announced gathering on Wednesday. 

Doctors with borders
The University of New Mexico is fighting to keep newly trained doctors in the state. Like many rural states, New Mexico has a shortage of doctors willing to build a career here. The Las Cruces Sun-News examines the effort to help pay for school in return for a stay in New Mexico once new docs are official.
 
Winner, winner
The prize is not a chicken dinner, but a McDonald's breakfast burrito. The fast-food franchise in Raton, just south of the recreational-marijuana-is-legal-here Colorado border, advertises its burritos on a billboard that reads "Usually, when you roll something this good, it's illegal!"

Thanks for reading! The Word will invariably forget about that billboard until the next time we drive past, then debate about whether it's worth it to turn around and get a picture.

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