Predatory insuring?

With just a single level-one trauma center in the state and tons of territory to cover, a medical emergency in certain parts of New Mexico can necessitate an air ambulance. But insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield and Molina Healthcare have declared some trips medically unnecessary or said that because they're with a non-contracted company, they can charge whopping totals like $65,000 per flight—and the insurance company might not cover it. Larry Barker takes you on a nine-minute ride.

Judge nixes water plan

A state District Court judge has denied a water plan for the proposed Campbell Ranch development in the East Mountains by Albuquerque. The proposal sought 350 acre-feet of water rights for 4,000 homes in the upscale community. Judge Shannon Bacon, who's headed to the state Supreme Court, said the plan failed to account for predicted climate change impacts. Bacon cited the testimony of UNM climate scientist David Gutzler, who is one "z" away from having a really cool name for a water expert.

Overkill?

An autopsy shows a US Marshals Service fugitive task force shot suspected bank robber Wes Allen 40 times last summer, as they caught up with him outside an Albuquerque motel after a string of robberies in the Four Corners. It's estimated maybe 100 bullets were fired as Allen reportedly tried to escape in a car. He was armed with a handgun at the time, and officers say he rammed them with his car before pulling the gun.

More penalties for Block

A judge sentenced ex-Public Regulation Commissioner Jerome Block, Jr., to three years of probation for robbing downtown timeshares ($) that his mother managed. He'd been working as a handyman and security guard there. Block, who lost his seat at the PRC in the throes of drug addiction, stole a nearly $7,000 watch and other items from an Oklahoma couple.

Where’d you get that money?

This is the last day for state officials to file financial disclosure statements, which tell the public some of the money interests held by their elected and appointed representatives. Cabinet secretaries have 30 days after their appointments to file. The forms have been crafted by lawmakers to allow some seriously vague disclosures, but they're better than nothing. And, as we saw with ex-Sen. Phil Griego, they can be used against you in a criminal trial.

Lodging loophole

Lawmakers are considering another effort to require short-term rental websites like VRBO and Airbnb to collect lodgers tax. An exemption in state law has allowed the booming industry to avoid paying lodgers tax to local governments (though some, like Santa Fe and Albuquerque, have struck deals with the companies). The Legislature passed a similar bill last year, but Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed it.

Make it

Just 10 spots were up for grabs when the Institute of American Indian Arts posted its jewelry-making workshop on SFR's calendar. It's $25, but from the looks of the picture, you'll be lucky if you get a spot this afternoon from 1-3:30 pm. You have to reserve a spot in Brian Fleetwood's class at the IAIA's downtown museum.

Vandals close school

Six people in black hoodies slipped into Eunice High School on Sunday and poured vegetable oil all over the floors. Classes were delayed Monday while maintenance staff cleaned up the mess. Police haven't caught the vandals yet, but even if they do, it's not certain the charges will stick.

Thanks for reading! The Word wonders what is so damn interesting about Cerrillos Road that people have to drive 30 mph all the time?

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