THURS: ABQ Biopark Welcomes New Baby Hippo, 3rd Body Found In Arroyo + More

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ABQ Biopark Welcomes New Child Hippo – Related Press

The ABQ BioPark has a brand new member of the family.

Zoo officers introduced this week that Karen, a 19-year-old Nile hippopotamus, gave delivery to a wholesome child on Monday.

The zoo didn’t say the intercourse of the infant. However the hippopotamus exhibit will likely be open on a restricted foundation in order that mom and child can bond.

In accordance with the zoo, some visitors truly acquired to see the delivery as Karen delivered within the water within the exhibit.

The calf is her third with 47-year-old Moe.

Zoo managers mentioned in a press release the being pregnant was a shock as a result of Karen was on contraception. Nonetheless, everyone seems to be “delighted.”  

 third Physique Discovered In Wake Of Storms, Flooding In AlbuquerqueRelated Press

Firefighters imagine they’ve situated a 3rd one that went lacking after being swept into an arroyo on account of storms in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque Hearth Division spokesman Tom Ruiz mentioned Thursday that crews recovered a physique within the washout space of a diversion channel.

Authorities recovered the our bodies of two males had been within the space Wednesday. Their names and ages weren’t instantly launched by authorities.

Crews initially responded Tuesday afternoon when three individuals had been seen floating down the diversion channel in northeast Albuquerque after the world was hit with heavy rains.

Swift water rescue models scrambled to the edges of the channel to try a rescue however did not spot the trio over a two-hour interval.

PNM Prospects With Unpaid Payments Could Face Shutoffs In AugustRelated Press

New Mexico’s largest utility is urging hundreds of shoppers to contact them earlier than they lose energy when a pandemic moratorium on electrical energy funds ends.

PNM mentioned Thursday greater than 47,000 households have past-due payments that might result in energy shutoffs as quickly as mid-August.

Officers with the electrical energy supplier say there are thousands and thousands of {dollars} in monetary help obtainable however clients should contact them.

The New Mexico Public Regulation Fee just lately voted to briefly keep away from disconnecting energy over unpaid payments due to COVID-19. Shutting off energy may begin Aug. 12.

PNM estimates it’s owed greater than $21 million in past-due electrical energy payments. Prospects are anticipated to ultimately pay for the vitality consumed.

New Mexico To Get One other $327M In Federal Restoration Support Related Press

Federal training officers have accepted New Mexico’s spending plan for restoration help, clearing the way in which for an additional $327 million to be distributed to the state.

The cash is meant to assist the state Schooling Division maintain secure operation of colleges and enhance studying alternatives, significantly for college students who’ve been most affected by the pandemic.

“These funds will permit our faculties to deal with studying loss and assist our college students and educators by the social and emotional toll of the pandemic,” mentioned U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, a New Mexico Democrat.

New Mexico already had obtained greater than $650 million in emergency training funding. It is amongst 14 different states to have their plans accepted by the U.S. Division of Schooling.

Among the cash will go towards grants for districts and different organizations to run summer time applications targeted on science and math. It would additionally pay for pupil internships to assist reengage at-risk youth.

As a lot as $22 million will help accelerated studying by the creation of latest tutoring applications {and professional} growth for educators and directors.

New Mexico Seeks Restoration Concepts After 2015 Mine Spill-  Related Press

New Mexico officers are on the lookout for concepts for restoration initiatives to restore injury attributable to a 2015 spill that fouled rivers in three western states with a bright-yellow plume of arsenic, lead and different heavy metals.

The state Workplace of the Pure Sources Trustee mentioned Wednesday that the initiatives could be funded by a proposed $1 million settlement with the defendants — Sunnyside Gold Corp. and its guardian firms.

The spill launched 3 million gallons (11 million liters) of wastewater from the inactive Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado. A crew employed by the U.S. Environmental Safety Company triggered the spill whereas attempting to excavate the mine opening in preparation for a attainable cleanup.

The trustee’s workplace mentioned the contamination flowed into the Animas and San Juan rivers and adversely affected New Mexico residents, the agricultural and leisure tourism industries, and pure sources alongside these waterways.

The state and the defendants in January reached a settlement that features a cost of $1 million by the mining defendants to the trustee to implement pure useful resource restoration initiatives. Courtroom approval of the settlement is pending.

Litigation towards different events — together with the U.S. Environmental Safety Company and its contractors — is ongoing.

As for the restoration initiatives, they have to profit floor water, wildlife, agriculture, out of doors recreation or different industries that depend on a wholesome river. The deadline for submitting concepts is Aug. 21.

The trustee’s workplace plans to pick out the successful initiatives and publish a closing restoration plan by January.

“Communities whose jobs, livelihoods and surroundings had been instantly affected by the Gold King Mine launch will know finest how this funding will be put to good use,” Trustee Maggie Hart Stebbins mentioned in a press release. “We acknowledge that this funding won’t absolutely restore or restore all of the accidents attributable to the Gold King Mine launch, but it surely represents a big first step towards that objective.”

After the spill, the EPA designated the Gold King and 47 different mining websites within the space a Superfund cleanup district. The company nonetheless reviewing choices for a broader cleanup.

Report Outlines Issues At New Mexico Veterans’ HouseRelated Press

A scarcity of oversight inside the New Mexico Division of Well being doubtless was a consider excessive COVID-19 an infection and dying charges amongst residents on the New Mexico State Veterans’ House, in keeping with a overview by legislative analysts.

Members of the Legislative Finance Committee mentioned the report, which was made public this week, throughout its assembly Wednesday.

The report famous that a number of unbiased evaluations discovered failure to comply with correct an infection management and private protecting gear procedures on the nursing house regardless of early steerage from state well being officers. Additionally, a sample of deficiencies has value the power over $180,000 in federal penalties since 2015.

Lawmakers described the findings as discouraging.

Democratic Sen. Nancy Rodriguez of Santa Fe mentioned the circumstances on the Reality or Penalties veterans house — the place 28 residents died of COVID-19, in keeping with federal knowledge — are “unacceptable.” The ability homes 4 disabled veterans to a room, she mentioned.

“It is unconscionable and we should change that,” Rodriguez mentioned.

The report advisable that the well being division take fast motion to make sure employees comply with finest practices relating to use of protecting gear. That would come with refresher coaching, real-time teaching and random auditing.

The analysts additionally advisable that the division develop a systemwide amenities grasp plan that features an evaluation of wants for all companies at the moment supplied. They mentioned it ought to embrace choices for changing the Veterans’ House with federal help and consolidating substance abuse therapy facilities.

Executives below Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham mentioned they largely agree with the suggestions and are taking steps to deal with the findings, the Albuquerque Journal reported. They mentioned the amenities face specific challenges as a result of they look after high-risk populations not served by the non-public sector and that some issues date again a long time.

“We’re devoted to creating issues higher for the individuals we serve,” mentioned Kathy Kunkel, a former well being secretary who now works within the governor’s workplace.

Human Companies Secretary David Scrase instructed lawmakers that even essentially the most well-funded non-public nursing houses in New Mexico confronted issue limiting the unfold of COVID-19 through the pandemic. The veterans house, Scrase mentioned, was significantly difficult, given the format of the constructing, with 4 individuals to a room.

“What occurred on the veterans house,” he mentioned, “is about the identical as what occurred all through all the state and, for my part, based mostly on design points, may have been a lot worse.”

The 28 deaths on the veterans house – which occurred over a number of months late final 12 months – equaled 19% of the power’s 145-bed capability, in keeping with the report. The share was increased than the state common, one analyst instructed lawmakers.

Constructing, designing and furnishing a brand new veterans house is anticipated to value $90 million to $95 million, state officers mentioned. Federal grants, nonetheless, may cowl 65% of the associated fee.

Rep. Patricia Lundstrom, a Gallup Democrat and chairwoman of the Legislative Finance Committee, urged the Lujan Grisham administration to faucet federal stimulus funding to construct a brand new veterans house.

“With this high-risk inhabitants,” Lundstrom mentioned, “we have to do one thing, and we have to do it earlier than later.”

A number of legislators mentioned New Mexico must concentrate on enhancing all seven amenities, not simply the veterans house.

“What we’re paying for must be excellent care, and we’re not getting it,” mentioned committee Vice Chairman Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup. 

New Mexico Seeks Restoration Concepts After 2015 Mine Spill – Related Press 

New Mexico officers are on the lookout for concepts for restoration initiatives to restore injury attributable to a 2015 spill that fouled rivers in three western states with a bright-yellow plume of arsenic, lead and different heavy metals. 

The state Workplace of the Pure Sources Trustee mentioned Wednesday that the initiatives could be funded by a proposed $1 million settlement with the defendants — Sunnyside Gold Corp. and its guardian firms. 

The spill launched 3 million gallons of wastewater from the inactive Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado. A crew employed by the U.S. Environmental Safety Company triggered the spill whereas attempting to excavate the mine opening in preparation for a attainable cleanup.

The trustee’s workplace mentioned the contamination flowed into the Animas and San Juan rivers and adversely affected New Mexico residents, the agricultural and leisure tourism industries, and pure sources alongside these waterways.

The state and the defendants in January reached a settlement that features a cost of $1 million by the mining defendants to the trustee to implement pure useful resource restoration initiatives. Courtroom approval of the settlement is pending.

Litigation towards different events — together with the U.S. Environmental Safety Company and its contractors — is ongoing.

As for the restoration initiatives, they have to profit floor water, wildlife, agriculture, out of doors recreation or different industries that depend on a wholesome river. The deadline for submitting concepts is Aug. 21. 

The trustee’s workplace plans to pick out the successful initiatives and publish a closing restoration plan by January.

“Communities whose jobs, livelihoods and surroundings had been instantly affected by the Gold King Mine launch will know finest how this funding will be put to good use,” Trustee Maggie Hart Stebbins mentioned in a press release. “We acknowledge that this funding won’t absolutely restore or restore all of the accidents attributable to the Gold King Mine launch, but it surely represents a big first step towards that objective.”

After the spill, the EPA designated the Gold King and 47 different mining websites within the space a Superfund cleanup district. The company continues to be reviewing choices for a broader cleanup.

2 Our bodies Recovered, 1 Particular person Lacking In Albuquerque FloodingRelated Press

Two our bodies had been recovered Wednesday and the search continued for one different particular person swept into an arroyo after storms hit Albuquerque, authorities mentioned.

Firefighters pulled a person’s physique from the top of a diversion channel on Wednesday morning and a second man’s physique within the afternoon.

The names and ages of the 2 victims weren’t instantly launched by authorities.

Crews initially responded Tuesday afternoon when three individuals had been seen floating down the diversion channel in northeast Albuquerque after the world was hit with heavy rains.

Swift water rescue models scrambled to the edges of the channel to try a rescue however did not spot the three individuals over a two-hour interval.

Authorities mentioned it will probably take days for our bodies to floor and crews will proceed trying to find the final lacking particular person till they’ve exhausted all efforts.

New Mexico Sees Rise In COVID-19 Instances – Related Press

New Mexico is seeing a noticeable uptick in COVID-19 circumstances and vaccinations have slowed regardless of continued stress by state well being officers to get extra individuals inoculated.

The New Mexico Well being Division reported Wednesday that one other 271 circumstances have been confirmed, marking one of many highest every day totals in months and positively the best since public well being restrictions had been lifted July 1.

New Mexico’s seven-day rolling common has elevated to about 160 circumstances per day. That is a leap of practically 25% over the earlier week. 

Coronavirus circumstances have tripled within the U.S. over two weeks as many states have seen will increase. Well being officers blame the delta variant and flattening vaccination charges for the rise.

Santa Fe Hospital Reaches Settlement Over Fraudulent Billing – Related Press

Federal prosecutors have reached a settlement with a Santa Fe hospital over claims of fraudulent billing.

The U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace in New Mexico introduced Wednesday that Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Heart pays practically $564,000 as a part of the settlement.

Prosecutors say a health care provider on the hospital precipitated fraudulent claims for cost to be submitted to Medicare, Medicaid and different federal healthcare applications throughout a seven-year interval whereas he labored on the hospital.

Authorities mentioned Christus St. Vincent got here ahead with the billing issues in early 2020 and cooperated with investigators.

Prosecutors decided that the hospital billed authorities healthcare applications for companies that the physician didn’t present or correctly supervise.

The hospital didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Federal officers mentioned the federal government spends greater than $1 trillion {dollars} yearly to offer well being by Medicaid and the opposite applications. Through the 2019 fiscal 12 months, the federal government recovered greater than $3.6 billion {dollars} from healthcare fraud judgments and settlements.

Mountain West Coaches Look Ahead To Time With Gamers By W.G. Ramirez Related Press

Nevada coach Jay Norvell remembers being overcome by heartbreak final season on senior evening, when every honored participant was launched with no one however teammates, opponents and sport officers to listen to their names.

“I believe (that was) some of the disappointing issues from final 12 months, having no household or followers within the stands,” Norvell mentioned. “That was actually exhausting. However I am very grateful that we get this season. and that a lot of these youngsters can play this 12 months and have one other alternative for his or her senior 12 months.”

The return of followers and in-person conferences had been an overwhelmingly sizzling subject Wednesday as Mountain West coaches kicked off the convention’s media days looking forward to a extra typical 2021 season after a pandemic-plagued 2020 marketing campaign.

“I could not be extra fired up for this metropolis, our college, stadium,” UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo mentioned. “To have followers are available that stadium to see us, to have our guys come out to followers and their households — man we’re fired up.”

Norvell’s Wolf Pack was chosen to win the convention’s West Division, whereas perennial favourite Boise State was picked to win the Mountain Division for the eighth consecutive season.

Defending champion San Jose State was picked to complete second behind Nevada. The Spartans defeated Boise State within the convention championship final 12 months after a tumultuous season throughout which they had been displaced when their house county in California was locked down because of the pandemic. 

They performed a house sport in Hawaii and two house contests in Las Vegas as a substitute of San Jose and did not get to spend Christmas with their households.

Nonetheless, San Jose coach Brent Brennan mentioned gamers had been instructed the group with essentially the most stringent self-discipline in mild of the coronavirus would win the league championship.

His Spartans answered each problem.

“I believe COVID, that point was actually unhealthy for everyone,” Brennan mentioned. “And I believe the people who had been impacted the worst had been that prime school- (and) college-aged child. I’ve my very own youngsters that struggled by that. I watched a bunch of men on our group battle by that. I believe (psychological well being) is admittedly difficult proper now.”

Psychological well being points had been one other large subject Wednesday among the many coaches, who’ve discovered themselves taking part in counselor whereas coping with gamers scuffling with the psychological fallout of the pandemic.

“The No. 1 factor about being a coach is you are like a father,” Norvell mentioned. “You are like a father to your employees, you are like a father to your gamers, and it was a really troublesome 12 months for our youngsters final 12 months. We’ve got an entire class of gamers which have by no means been to campus. They’ve by no means been to class on campus.”

Private interplay is one thing the coaches mentioned might need been undervalued previous to the pandemic and has been welcomed again with open arms.

San Diego State coach Brady Hoke mentioned the most important issue affecting the Aztecs’ growth was time misplaced along with his gamers. There was a interval throughout which his gamers had been despatched house and requested to do coaching on their very own to remain in form and hold their conditioning on monitor. 

“I would fairly precise meet than digital meet,” Hoke mentioned. “I believe as a lot as you will be with them and they are often collectively, to me that is every thing. I believe our management, our guys who’re coming again, it is type of a extremely large senior class, they’ve performed a extremely good job of main and pushing guys. Half of that’s being collectively, and that was actual necessary.”

Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson mentioned seven of the 12 soccer applications have reached at the very least an 88% vaccination threshold, whereas the league-wide cumulative threshold is at 73%. Thompson mentioned the league will not have necessary vaccinations necessities, but when groups wouldn’t have the numbers to play as a consequence of COVID-19, the convention won’t postpone or reschedule video games and it’ll go down as a forfeit.

Chile Harvest Begins Early For Some New Mexico Farmers – Susan Montoya Bryan, Related Press

The aroma of recent roasted inexperienced chiles is already wafting by southern New Mexico as some farmers are getting a jumpstart on the harvest.

The sooner begin to the season is the results of some a lot wanted rain, cooler temperatures and a change in the way in which some farmers are planting the state’s most famous crop.

As a substitute of ranging from seed, extra farmers are planting seedlings which have sprouted in a greenhouse to get their fields going sooner. For some it is a hedge towards growing labor prices, whereas others see the tactic as a solution to save water as local weather change provides to the uncertainty of irrigation provides with each passing rising season.

This 12 months, irrigation allotments round New Mexico are amongst historic lows as different Western states are grappling with their very own water issues, drought and wildfires. Federal officers count on to make the first-ever water shortage declaration in the Colorado River basin subsequent month, prompting cuts in Arizona, Nevada and Mexico.

In New Mexico, winter snowpack was near common. However local weather specialists say the soil already was parched following a dismal summer time monsoon season and hotter temperatures resulted within the snow melting earlier and extra quickly.

Add to that extra evaporation, and fewer water makes its approach into streams and reservoirs.

“We had been actually scared within the spring with the water scenario we had been having and people actually excessive temperatures. There wasn’t sufficient irrigation water,” mentioned Joram Robbs, government director of the New Mexico Chile Affiliation.

With transplants, Robbs mentioned one profit is that farmers do not should water their seeds for 4 to 6 weeks within the spring.

Earlier than 1940, transplanting chile seedlings was frequent. Whereas most industrial chile acreage immediately is began from seed, trade specialists say there might be a shift once more as water and labor pressures mount.

Sergio Grajeda Jr. has been utilizing transplants in some fields on his household farm in Hatch for about 5 years.

He was grateful for the latest rains, saying they might not have come at a greater time.

“God prepared, the crop goes to prove good. Everybody’s crop goes to be actually good,” he mentioned.

The one factor he has issues about is market demand and whether or not individuals have room of their freezers for recent chile.

“I believe every thing has to do with COVID,” he mentioned. “The identical factor that occurred with rest room paper, that’s what occurred with chile final 12 months. They only stocked up and stocked up.”

Processors and distributors took the hit final 12 months. Business demand was lowered as eating places and different venues had been compelled to shut. Robbs mentioned individuals acquired used to purchasing their chile from grocery retailer freezers and consuming it at house.

With companies reopening, the trade has a extra optimistic outlook.

Lisa and Herb Hawkins of Tucson, Arizona, made a pitstop at a roadside stand in Hatch on a latest Monday, lured by painted picket indicators that learn “Now Roasting.” They have been shopping for chile in Hatch — dubbed the “Chile Capital of the World” — for about three a long time.

“It’s simply higher than shopping for it within the grocery retailer,” she mentioned. “There’s nothing higher than recent inexperienced chile. Nothing.”

Walmart To Take away Gross sales Tax Evaluation On Delivered Groceries – Related Press

Walmart taxed the delivered groceries of at the very least two individuals in New Mexico regardless that a tax deduction governing such house deliveries took impact on July 1.

Walmart told the Las Cruces Solar-Information that it was working to take away the evaluation of gross sales tax on delivered groceries after receiving clarification from the state concerning the new tax exemption. “We apologize for the confusion,” Walmart mentioned in a press release.

As delivered groceries grew to become extra standard through the pandemic, New Mexicans observed gross receipts tax fees on their delivered groceries, which might usually be tax-free in grocery shops.

Beforehand, solely meals bought at retail shops might be deducted from gross tax receipts. However earlier this 12 months, New Mexico lawmakers amended the coverage in order that the deduction would apply to meals bought by retail shops, thereby making delivered groceries deductible.

Tax and Income Division spokesman Charlie Moore mentioned that though the company will make a grocer conscious of the change within the meals tax deduction, the division “can’t management what deductions a taxpayer chooses to say.”

The grocery store can determine whether or not to take the deduction, in keeping with Moore, although most grocers take the deduction and select to not cost the tax.

“It’s as much as every taxpayer to interpret their eligibility for deductions,” Moore mentioned. “The gross receipts tax is an obligation of the enterprise.”

Volunteer Firefighter In New Mexico Hit By Hearth Truck, Dies – Related Press

New Mexico State Police mentioned Wednesday that they are investigating the dying of a volunteer firefighter who was fatally struck by a fireplace truck.

They mentioned 59-year-old Janet Tracy of Caballo was at a crash scene south of Reality or Penalties on Tuesday offering help and help to a sufferer.

A fireplace truck pushed by a 52-year-old-man was being repositioned and the motive force mentioned he didn’t see Tracy and backed over her, in keeping with State Police.

The lady was pronounced lifeless on the scene by the Workplace of the Medical Investigator.

State Police mentioned the fireplace truck was not geared up with a backup digital camera and so they aren’t releasing the identify of the motive force, who’s additionally a Caballo volunteer firefighter.

Navajo Nation: 21 New COVID Instances, No Deaths 4th Day In Row – Related Press

The Navajo Nation on Wednesday reported 21 new COVID-19 circumstances, however no further deaths for the fourth consecutive day.

The newest numbers introduced the full variety of coronavirus-related circumstances on the huge reservation to 31,239 for the reason that pandemic started greater than a 12 months in the past.

The variety of identified deaths remained at 1,366.

The Navajo Nation just lately relaxed restrictions to permit guests to journey on the reservation and go to standard points of interest like Canyon de Chelly and Monument Valley. 

The reservation is the nation’s largest at 27,000 sq. miles and it covers elements of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Whereas circumstances are down, Navajo leaders are urging residents to proceed sporting masks and get vaccinated.

“States and counties the place a small share of individuals are vaccinated have rising numbers of latest infections, hospitalizations and deaths,” tribal President Jonathan Nez mentioned in a press release Wednesday. “Right here on the Navajo Nation, the masks mandate stays in place for all residents, guests and vacationers. We’ve got to stay robust and hold pushing again on the virus.”



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