--2 Morning Word: Anti-abortion protester interrupts Veterans Day ceremony
Sept. 24, 2017

Morning Word: Anti-abortion protester interrupts Veterans Day ceremony

And the rest of New Mexico's news

November 12, 2013, 8:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
  • Measured Finance Committees will spend over almost million dollars on the late term abortion question, Mid-Heights Messenger reports.
  • KRQE reports on the elephant in the room of the abortion vote -- it will face an immediate legal challenge.
  • Any publicity is good publicity? A man interrupted a ceremony to honor veterans to protest abortion. He was wrestled off the stage by veterans, not Gov. Susana Martinez's security team.
    Holding a sign that said, “Operation Stop Abortion” and “Ban Late Term Abortion,” the man slowly walked towards the stage while yelling “Ban late-term abortion!”

    After a few seconds, a group of veterans grabbed the man as he fell to the ground yelling. One man with a cane even grabbed the protestor’s sign and ripped it in half. Eventually, a group of four veterans and a security guard grabbed the man, picked him up and ran him out of the park’s amphitheater.
  • Turnout is very high -- 22,000 have already voted early. In the most recent mayoral election, 26,000 voted early.
  • The Santa Clara Pueblo is still looking at almost $12.5 million in flood relief funds to be released. The funding came in response to floods in 2011 and 2012, New Mexico In Depth reports.
    Chavarria also pointed out that getting funding to fix the problems isn’t easy. “There is a great deal of work that needs to be done,” he said. “The major focus is put on debris removal. Then some of the water-holding facilities need to be modified and repaired so that they can function as they’re intended: to hold back water and slow down the velocity of the water coming into the community.”

    Despite presidential disaster declarations in 2011 and 2012, funds to the tribe are just beginning to trickle in from the state, Chavarria said in September.
  • One of the plaintiffs in the landmark same-sex marriage case succumbed to cancer at the age of 44. She was able to marry her partner after a judge ordered the Santa FE County Clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
  • New Mexico became the first state to find photos of all those lost in Vietnam.
  • The Santa Fe New Mexican looks at those having trouble finding suitable health care plans.
    Davis figured he would have to pay more for health insurance under the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But he was shocked at how much more he would have to pay Presbyterian Health Care if he chooses one of the plans they offered him recently. Under one plan, his monthly premium would be twice as high; under another, it would be lower but with a $1,500 higher deductible. “They’re not really offering me anything extra that I need,” Davis said. “I know I’m paying extra to help those who do need it.”
  • Winthrop Quigley says the canceled health plans probably weren't a good idea in the first place.
    Pre-ACA individual pools aren’t big or predictable. Individuals drop in and out of the pools all the time. They join when they lose a job or start their own company, and they drop out when they go to work for someone else. They join when they worry about being sick; they drop out when they are healthy. They join when they marry; they drop when they divorce.

    The companies tried to mitigate the risk through medical underwriting, which ACA has made illegal. If you had a bum knee, the individual insurance policy you could buy would most likely exclude knee treatment, assuming the company would sell you insurance at all. Nobody covered pregnancy and childbirth, to my knowledge.
  • The Las Cruces Sun-News tackles locals having problems with the website.
    State Rep. Bill McCamley, a Democrat from Las Cruces, said he wants Obamacare to work, but is concerned with the problems people face when they try to use the government's health care website.

    "If they don't figure it out in the next few weeks, there are a lot of folks who are going to give up," McCamley said. "The website has been a disappointment to say the least."
  • Lovelace Health Plan was sold to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, a move that was in the works for awhile, Albuquerque Business First reports.
  • The former CEO of the New Mexico Finance Authority is suing over an audit that was never completed. This lawsuit is against the firm that never completed the audit. He has already filed a suit against the state and Gov. Susana Martinez. Note: The post originally said May was suing the NMFA, not the audit firm.
  • The San Juan County Commission is defending the $350,000 price tag on consultants who helped craft a land use code that the county commission ended up tabling.
    Commissioners and county officials said the money paid to consultants wasn't wasted because the tabled code will have value when the county selects specific elements and proposes them as ordinances.
  • The Sunport will see a hit when the Wright Amendment expires and more flights from Texas can skip Albuquerque on their way to more popular destinations.
    But when the amendment expires next October, Southwest – which represents about 60 percent of the Sunport traffic – will be free to bypass New Mexico when heading to bigger population centers in the Western U.S.

    While Southwest is not divulging its plans, local officials are bracing for service cuts to an airport that already is seeing steady decreases in traffic.
  • KOB reports some deplorable working conditions at pumpkin patches in the state.
    Our investigation took us to massive farmland on the Navajo Nation slightly south of Farmington. The farmland expands more than 2,000 acres and some of it is leased out to private companies. A private company called Pumpkin Patch Fundraisers leases out fields to grow pumpkins and each fall the company recruits about 500 workers from around the state, mostly from tribal lands. The workers live together in dormitories on the farm.

    "People are working seven days a week, 8-10 hours day,” said Tess Wilkes, an attorney with the NM Center on Law and Poverty. “It’s sweat shop conditions basically. (Farm workers) tend to be a group that is exploited because they are vulnerable."
  • Milan Simonich highlights two hearings, one about preserving an Amtrak route from Chicago to LA and another on state legislators looking at WIPP.
  • There is going to be talk of what to do with the high number of homeless people in downtown Albuquerque.
  • The Farmington City Council will decide on $350,000 in grants to combat DWI. Farmington Police Sgt. Dave Monfils said the city has for at least five years received the grant money, which offsets the cost of the three full-time officers.

    According to the agenda, the grant enters the city into a project agreement. Under the agreement, the city's goal is to reduce drunk-driving-caused deaths by 10 percent in 2014, according to the agenda. Another goal is to increase drunk-driving awareness through community education to reduce deaths in 2013 and 2014, according to the agenda.
  • Oil and gas companies are starting to embrace water recycling.
    The change is happening so swiftly that regulators are racing to keep up and in some cases taking steps to make it easier for drillers to recycle.

    Fracking operations require millions of gallons of relatively clean water. Each time a well is drilled, about 20 percent of the water eventually re-merges, but it is jam-packed with contaminants from drilling chemicals and heavy metals picked up when the water hits oil. Until recently, that water was dumped as waste, often into injection wells deep underground.
  • The drug-sniffing dog involved in controversial searches in southern New Mexico was retired into the care of the former trainer, who is the fired police chief.
    For a while after Vega's departure, officials said they didn't know what their legal options were for the dog, a village-owned resource. They said they were concerned about violating a state law that keeps public property from being given to private individuals in most cases. Meanwhile, a number of community members clamored for the dog to be turned over to Vega.

    Since then, village officials found out about another state law that allows police dogs to be transferred to their handler or trainer, if certain conditions are met.
  • The Portales schools Board of Education approved a school bond vote for February.
    The $5.5 million bond issue slated for Feb. 4, 2014 is for the purpose of purchasing or improving school grounds, purchasing computer software and hardware, and providing matching funds for capital outlay projects funded pursuant to the Public School Capital Outlay Act among other things. The bond will have a life of 14 years. Paul Cassidy with RBC Capital Markets said there would be no tax rate increase with this bond election because the bond is replacing other bonds that have matured.
  • A pet dog was caught in a coyote trap in the Sandia Mountains foothills.
  • An author is going to talk in Los Alamos about New Mexico's contributions to space travel.
  • The Clovis Mayor Pro-Tem is participating in No Shave November.
    According to a City of Clovis press release, Vohs would like to raise at least $1,500 for the American Cancer Society during the month.

    “I would like to encourage men to join in, and donate the money they usually spend on shaving and grooming for the month to our local chapter of the American Cancer Society,” he said in the press release, “To educate themselves about cancer prevention, save lives and aid those fighting the battle to end cancer.”
  • Sky child.

    6:20 pm mst am 195 Divert to Phoenix with woman lying on the floor of the airliner in full labor Sky child

    — Steve Pearce (@RepStevePearce) November 12, 2013

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