A rich poor state/a poor rich state
New Mexico's budget saw a significant boost this year thanks to hefty revenues from oil and gas extraction, but we all know the very definition of a boom says that it will soon bust. New Mexico Political Report takes a look at what it might take to diversify our state's portfolio, as we currently get 35% of our general fund and 50% of our reserve funds from oil and gas. That is way too much. On the extraction subject, check out Searchlight New Mexico's report on the effect of oil and gas on small New Mexico communities by April Reese; it's a narrative read with some beautiful images.
Be right over
Last month, mother Nichole Salazar made the news when she found ammunition (TNM $) on the ground at a playground in Santa Fe, and then it took hours for the cops to show up. SFPD says that after an internal review, it blames a busy morning (TNM $) for the delay, and promises to be better. The ammo, by the way, was reportedly stolen from a car parked at a nearby home. In Albuquerque, cops are delayed in a different way, when UNM's ubiquitous blue emergency phones don't always work. A UNM student says KOB 4's findings about the phones are not surprising, and that many students carry pepper spray and Tasers to feel safe in the absence of police help.
Speaking of a delay for cops, it took Santa Fe police 28 minutes to show up to a robbery-in-progress at a dispensary in March. The robbery could be linked to others with similar MOs that have occurred this month. Cops and a crime analyst say that the perpetrators look like teenagers in security camera footage, but that they haven't yet identified them.
Voted most likely to improve
As recently as 2017, Christus St. Vincent hospital received a D rating from The Leapfrog Group, a nationally recognized hospital safety rating organization. Things are looking up for the hospital, though, as this year they have scored an A (TNM $). In 2017, Christus called the Leapfrog survey "poorly validated;" this year, hospital CEO Lillian Montoya said the org is "extremely proud of this amazing accomplishment."
What’s up, Doc?
The state has published a detailed plan about how increases to Medicaid payments to doctors should help attract and recruit physicians to our state. The plan says payments to doctors for face-to-face appointments that do not require a medical procedure (which feel like the hardest kind of appointments to get, right) could see increases of up to 30%. The proposed changes would increase state and federal spending by $60 million, including $13.1 million from the state's general fund. The state's public letter about the plan has information on how you can comment on these proposals.
One week ago, 46-year-old Brian Encinias eluded cops by jumping in the Pecos River during a pursuit. He still has not been located, and his brother fears he may have died in the leap.
A New Mexico father and his two sons were found dead in their home in Cuarteles, possibly from carbon monoxide poisoning (TNM $); official causes of death have not been determined yet, but foul play is not suspected. The man, Dominic Manzanares, 39, was a hip-hop artist who performed as Sandman; his children were ages 19 and 9. This is a perfect opportunity to remind our beloved readers that carbon monoxide detectors are unobtrusive and can save lives; this is the one the Word has.
Thanks for reading! The Word puts the siiiiiiiiiiiing in single.