Morning Word: Sex offenders living in childcare centers
And the rest of New Mexico's news
September 26, 2013, 8:00 am
- Three registered sex offenders lived in houses that were used as childcare centers according to state legislators.
All three sex offenders were living in homes that served as state-registered childcare centers, said Yolanda Deines, cabinet secretary of the state Children, Youth and Families Department.
Deines said in an interview that she suspended the registrations of all three childcare providers after legislative researchers told her of their findings.
- The cost of health care on the New Mexico health insurance exchange is below the national average.
- Here is a three-part investigative piece from the Albuquerque Journal on efforts to improve early childhood education in New Mexico.
- An LFC report finds early-childhood education has not produced better academic outcomes.
- A man brought an assault rifle into the state capitol just to prove a point.
- The Public Regulation Commission is looking at changes to the renewable energy threshold.
So the PRC is proposing taking another look at the renewable cost threshold rule that will be voted on in October.
The reasonable cost threshold case before the PRC affects the “diversity rule” that mandates a mix of wind, solar, geothermal and distributed transmission power. If the threshold is changed, it could mean a lot of wind, but very little solar and geothermal energy because their costs are higher.
- The Alibi looks at the Albuquerque mayoral race, the 10 General Obligation Bonds and the Albuquerque city council races.
- The Santa Fe New Mexican looks at how a case against a doctor will test the limits of the state medical marijuana program.
A public hearing on proposed new rules aimed at clarifying the role of medical providers who certify patients for the cannabis program, which was scheduled last month, was postponed by the Medical Board and has not been rescheduled.
The proposed rules drew criticism from medical marijuana advocates, who said the board seemed to be overstepping its authority. Critics also called some of the regulations “oppressive” and said the rules were not intended by state law. One rule, for instance, would require medical practitioners to consult with a patient’s primary care practitioner, and another would require the names of patients who are certified for medical marijuana to be listed on a controlled-substances database.
- Sen. Martin Heinrich is the latest to wade into the 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary, endorsing Roxanne Lara. The DCCC has put Lara on a list to help her candidacy as Democrats try to oust the one Republican in the state's delegation.
- State Sen. Michael Sanchez wants HSD secretary Sidonie Squier to resign after a draft email where she claimed there is no hunger in New Mexico emerged.
- Las Cruces mayor Ken Miyagishima won't be Doña Ana County manager.
Miyagishima received a letter Wednesday from Cindy Campanna, county human resources coordinator, telling him other candidates for the position are apparently better qualified."We have received your application for the position of county manager and have reviewed it in comparison to the requirements posted for the position and in comparison to those of the pool of candidates received," said Campanna, in the letter to Miyagishima. "Based upon that review, I must inform you that you will not be moving into the next step of our hiring process for this position."If he had been chosen as the next county manager, he would have had to give up his spot as mayor of Las Cruces.
- The cuts to food stamp funding is concerning to a Carlsbad food pantry.
"I have no idea what is going to happen with the food stamp program. But there is no doubt if they cut the program's budget, it's going to hurt not only our food pantry, but all of them in the state," said Beth Ackman, who is acting director for the pantry in the absence of director Maryann Marrs.
Patty Strecker, who serves as the pantry's secretary and screens clients for eligibility, said the food pantry, located at 512 W. Stevens St., is already seeing an increase in clients. She said cuts in the food stamp program could have an overwhelming impact on the local food pantry.
- Conservationists have a few nicknames if New Mexico keeps allowing animal-killing contests.
After a two-week online survey, the favorite among the names are "Land of Entrapment,"
''The Thrill-Kill State" and "New Mexico: We'll Blow You Away!"
The groups are asking the tourism department, as protector and promoter of New Mexico's image, to support future legislation banning cruel treatment of wildlife and ensure the state lives up to the nickname "Land of Enchantment."
- A Las Cruces resident, Jeremy Denk, received a prestigious MacArthur "genius grant" this week.
Denk, called by the New York Times "one of his generation's most eloquent and thoughtful interpreters" was "selected for his extraordinary originality, dedication in his creative pursuits, and a marked capacity for self-direction," according to a Wednesday announcement from the MacArthur Foundation.Being a MacArthur Fellow comes with a $625,000 stipend.
- State Sen. John Arthur Smith will get a warm reception in Albuquerque.
- The Paseo del Norte / I-25 interchange will still feature a stoplight for eastbound motorists.
- There will be two meetings in Taos to discuss upcoming Medicaid changes.
- New Mexico Mercury looks at the use of a controversial weed killer by the city of Albuquerque, county of Bernalillo and state of New Mexico.
Bernalillo County resident, author, and health expert, Susan Clair, said she was walking on a public path on Frost Rd. in the East mountains in Bernalillo County when she saw men spraying Glyphosate along the path. She said the men spraying were Bernalillo County employees who knew little about the product they were using and were not using protective clothing to keep them from coming in contact with the herbicide.
Clair said Glyphosate is a carcinogen and that it can leach down into the groundwater and poison people who use the affected water. She said Glyphosate is unnecessary and that vinegar is a much safer alternative that won’t harm residents or the environment.
- Gov. Susana Martinez unveiled two locations for the "Heart Gallery" in Alamogordo on Wednesday.
- A motorcycle rally cost the village of Ruidoso big in overtime for police officers.
- Commercial development in Los Alamos County is looking good.
- Rio Rancho Public Schools will adjust school boundaries in an effort to reduce overcrowding. It will be the first time the district adjusts school boundaries without a new school being opened.
- Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson backs same-sex marriage in the state.
But even as an advocate of limited government, I would suggest that protecting rights and ensuring equality are two things government absolutely must do. That’s what government is for, as opposed to much of what it otherwise does.Johnson ran for President as a member of the Libertarian Party last year.
- New Mexico In Depth's Heath Haussamen appeared on a Las Cruces TV show to discuss transparency and the health audit.
- New Mexico was actually never in consideration for being part of the new Star Wards films, according to the Albuquerque Journal. Previous reports had placed New Mexico as being one of the filming sites for the upcoming blockbusters.
- ESPN personality Keith Olbermann says NMSU president Garrey Carruthers is the "worst person in the sports world" following news of the university essentially bribing students to stay to the end of games.
Students attending the games will be entered in drawings to win $250 in cash or a black parking pass, a tag held only by top university officials that allows the owner to park in any campus lot.
A student's name will also be selected each game from the list of all students enrolled for a $2,000 prize.
Students must be at the games in the fourth quarter to win the prizes.
- Bernalillo County is concerned about graffiti along the Railrunner route.