Non-Local News Releases

This category will feature news releases from out-of-area government agencies and representatives, as well as events that are not taking place in the four-county area of Grant, Catron, Hidalgo or Luna. For those events please visit Local News Releases.

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – PNM recognizes that the government shutdown can impact many federal employees throughout New Mexico and is stepping up to offer protection for the federal employees who are behind on their PNM bill by not disconnecting their power during the government shutdown.

“We believe it is important to assist federal employees during this uncertain time,” said Becky Teague, vice president of PNM customer service operations. “PNM will not be disconnecting power for federal employees, due to non-payment, during the government shutdown because it is simply the right thing to do.” 

With a new study out that evaluates which areas of the country workers have been hit the hardest, New Mexico ranks number two out of 50 states as being most affected by the government shutdown.   

PNM understands that the government shutdown can affect federal employees throughout the state and wants to help.  Effective immediately, any federal employee who is behind on their bill will be protected from disconnection by PNM during the government shutdown. All they need to do is provide PNM a copy of their furlough letter.

If federal government employees are not behind on their PNM bill, but need payment assistance during the furlough, customers should contact PNM to go over some resources that may provide some financial relief.

If customers are not federal government employees, but are still in need of bill payment assistance, whether it be through the PNM Good Neighbor Fund, payment arrangements, or other resources, PNM wants to help.   

Historical & Outdoor Adventures Available in Farmington during the Government Shutdown

Farmington, NM – January 10, 2019 – Farmington, New Mexico is well known as the place where active families and outdoor lovers thrive. The ideal basecamp to many area National Parks, outdoor recreation areas, and cultural attractions, Farmington has a wealth of experiences to offer visitors, even during the current Government shutdown. 

“With the current shutdown, there’s a common misconception that all parks, attractions, and outdoor recreation areas will be closed,” said Tonya Stinson, Executive Director for Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau. “However that is not the case. Farmington is still open for outdoor exploration at many sites, and we encourage travelers to visit, explore and take in the unique culture and history of the Four Corners Region. For those who have trips scheduled and were planning to visit National Park sites, there is no need to cancel a trip, as there are plenty of exciting cultural adventures still to be had in Farmington despite closures, and the Farmington Visitor Center staff will be happy to recommend fitting adventures, based on the interests of visitors.”  

For those looking to explore ancestral Puebloan history, the Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau recommends Salmon Ruins, one of the largest outlying Chaco colonies, or a self-guided tour of the Dinetah Pueblitos and rock art. For those interested in a guided experience to learn about the history and cultures of the region, archeologists with Journey Into the Past Tours offer tours of several key ancestral Puebloan and early Navajo structures in the Farmington area. For those seeking the outdoor adventure typically associated with a National Park, a visit to the Bisti Badlands, Angel Peak Scenic Area and Glade Run Recreation will offer exceptional hiking experiences.  

Colfax County- On January 9, 2019 at about 8:00 a.m., New Mexico State Police were informed of a US Postal Service Vehicle that had been stolen from the Maxwell area.

The stolen vehicle was located by officers traveling south on Interstate 25 near mile post 429, when it turned around and began to head north on Interstate25. A pursuit was initiated by New Mexico State Police.  

esklesonStop sticks were deployed during the pursuit and Pursuit Intervention Techniques were utilized on the vehicle eventually bringing the vehicle to a stop between North 2nd Street and North 1st Street in Raton, NM. The driver identified as Chanel Eskleson (34) of Raton, NM was arrested without further incident. Eskleson was booked into the Colfax County Detention Center. 

Colfax County Sheriff’s Department and Raton Police Department assisted with the investigation.

Washington, D.C., January 8, 2019 – At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a plan to ensure that low-income Americans have access to the nutrition they need, despite the inability of Congress to pass an appropriations bill that safely secures our borders. The plan provides full benefits for participants in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for the month of February.

When USDA’s funding expired on December 21, 2018, SNAP benefits for January were fully funded. States have already received that money and have been distributing it to participants. Since the lapse in appropriations, USDA has been reviewing options available to the department for funding February benefits without an additional appropriation from Congress.

“At President Trump’s direction, we have been working with the Administration on this solution.  It works and is legally sound. And we want to assure states, and SNAP recipients, that the benefits for February will be provided,” Perdue said. “Our motto here at USDA has been to ‘Do Right and Feed Everyone.’  With this solution, we’ve got the ‘Feed Everyone’ part handled. And I believe that the plan we’ve constructed takes care of the ‘Do Right’ part as well.”

To protect SNAP participants’ access for February, USDA is working with states to issue February benefits earlier than usual.  USDA will rely on a provision of the just-expired Continuing Resolution (CR), which provides an appropriation for programs like SNAP and child Nutrition to incur obligations for program operations within 30 days of the CR’s expiration. USDA will be reaching out to states to instruct them to request early issuance of SNAP benefits for February. States will have until January 20th to request and implement the early issuance. Once the early issuances are made, the February benefits will be made available to SNAP participants at that time. 

SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday announced that Sen. Cisco McSorley, after a distinguished career of more than 30 years in the state Legislature, will now serve as director of the Probation and Parole Division within the state Corrections Department. 

The division oversees inpatient and outpatient substance abuse programs; domestic violence and mental health counseling; financial and housing assistance; community corrections programs that assist offenders with chronic mental health needs, medical issues and chronic homelessness; in-patient residential drug, alcohol and mental health treatment programs; and other services.

“Senator McSorley has been a devoted public servant not only to the people in his district but to New Mexicans across the state,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “I’m excited he will now lend his talents to our administration.”

“Judicial reform improves public safety and saves the taxpayers money,” McSorley said. “Simply incarcerating people is the most expensive and least effective way to bring about public safety, and in New Mexico today we need to adopt more effective measures.”

McSorley is a native New Mexican, practicing attorney, active member of the community and one of the state’s current longest-serving legislators. He previously served as chair of both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and in other leadership roles. He was first elected to the New Mexico state legislature in 1984, serving in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 1996. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico and a law degree from UNM Law School.

The senator submitted his resignation Tuesday.

Two associate professors with New Mexico State University’s College of Education have each been selected to positions that will help serve the educational needs of the region.

araujo salazarperez college of ed awardsBlanca Araujo, left, director of the Office for Teacher Candidate Preparation at New Mexico State University, has been named the Stan Fulton Chair in Education for the Improvement of Border and Rural Schools, while Michelle Salazar Pérez, associate professor of Early Childhood Education, is the recipient of the J. Paul Taylor Endowed Professorship in Education. (NMSU photo by Adriana M. Chávez)Blanca Araujo, director of the Office for Teacher Candidate Preparation, has been named the Stan Fulton Chair in Education for the Improvement of Border and Rural Schools, and Michelle Salazar Pérez, associate professor of Early Childhood Education, is the recipient of the J. Paul Taylor Endowed Professorship in Education. Araujo succeeds Azadeh Osanloo, while Pérez succeeds Betsy Cahill. Osanloo and Cahill are co-directors of the NMSU School of Teacher Preparation, Administration and Leadership, which is housed in the College of Education.

The Stan Fulton Chair was established in 2005 to enhance communication among NMSU faculty, staff and students and pre-kindergarten through 12th grade constituents to improve border and rural schools. The chair works to expand, improve and coordinate existing outreach programs and research activities, and is funded in part by an endowed gift from Stan Fulton, a benefactor to the university and owner of Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino who died in January 2018.

Washington, D.C., January 8, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today extended the deadline for agricultural producers to apply for payments under the Market Facilitation Program as provided by the trade mitigation program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The original deadline had been January 15, 2019, but farmers have been unable to apply for the program since the lapse in federal funding caused the closure of USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices at the end of business on December 28, 2018.

Secretary Perdue issued the following statement:

“President Trump instructed me, as Secretary of Agriculture, to craft a program that would protect farmers from unjustified retaliatory tariffs from foreign nations.  As part of that package, the Market Facilitation Program has been making payments directly to farmers who have suffered trade damage.  Using existing funds, we were able to keep FSA offices open as long as possible, but unfortunately had to close them when funding ran out.  We will therefore extend the application deadline for a period of time equal to the number of business days FSA offices were closed, once the government shutdown ends.  Farmers who have already applied for the program and certified their 2018 production have continued to receive payments.  Meanwhile, I continue to urge members of Congress to redouble their efforts to pass an appropriations bill that President Trump will sign and end the lapse in funding so that we may again provide full services to our farmers and ranchers.”

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico – January 8, 2019 – TriCore Reference Laboratories is pleased to announce and welcome Kim Hedrick as the Vice President of Business Development. Reporting to TriCore CEO, Dr. Michael Crossey, Ms. Hedrick will assume responsibility for developing, implementing and directing business development strategies for TriCore and Rhodes Group business lines.

Ms. Hedrick has a rich history with TriCore. She led the merger twenty years ago of the hospital laboratories of The Reference Laboratory, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, and Presbyterian Healthcare Services. Of her appointment, she stated, “I am so glad to return to TriCore. I look forward to working with the dedicated TriCore pathologists and employees who have made TriCore such a success over the past 20 years.”

Says Dr. Crossey, “In this time of rapid change in healthcare, strong leadership in business development is paramount to ensure we are best serving New Mexico patients. Ms. Hedrick brings an innovative approach, deep expertise in healthcare, and strong ties to the community that will be instrumental in advancing TriCore’s growth and transformation strategy. I am honored to have her join the TriCore team.”

Ms. Hedrick previously served as Chief Operations Officer for Eye Associates of New Mexico and Molina Healthcare of New Mexico where she oversaw operations for both organizations. She also served as the Vice President of Strategic Business Development for the UNM Medical Group, Inc., where she directed business development activities for more than 900 physicians in 152 specialties including strategic planning, new hospital (UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center) and clinic development, real estate management and telehealth contracting. Prior to that role she served as Administrative Director of Community Relations for Presbyterian Healthcare Services, where she was the project lead for the initial planning of a 250-million-dollar hospital and medical office building on Albuquerque’s Westside now known as Presbyterian Rust Medical Center.

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