April 28 First News: State Officials-35-Thousand New Mexicans Insured Through 'ObamaCare'

Apr 28, 2014

State officials are reporting that nearly 35-thousand New Mexicans have signed up for health insurance through a federal online marketplace that became available last October. The figures released last week are based on enrollment information supplied to the state's insurance regulator by private insurance companies offering health plans through the exchange. New Mexico has used a federally operated website to enroll individuals since October, but will switch to a state-based computer system for individuals later this year for the next open enrollment period.

While New Mexico—along with Arizona, Nevada and Texas—is one of four states in the running for Tesla Motors’ sought-after battery factory—it’s expected to employ 65-hundred people—a new report indicates the factory may end up in California. The New Mexico Watchdog website reporting that Tesla, which is based in California, has acquired property about an hour’s drive from its headquarters. It also observes that Tesla’s owner is being lobbied by California Governor Jerry Brown and Senate Diane Feinstein to open the plant in the Golden State.

Tuition at Northern New Mexico College in Espanola isn’t going up—but, the college’s newly approved budget makes serious cuts in other areas. The New Mexican reports the budget approved Saturday saves one-half million dollars by eliminating three educational programs as well as faculty and staff positions. Northern serves more than 15-hundred full and part-time students.

Bernalillo County officials are denying allegations of excessive force and mistreatment of inmates made in a nearly 20-year-old federal lawsuit. The Albuquerque Journal reports that County Attorney Randy Autio says authorities discipline inmates with behavioral problems in an appropriate fashion that doesn't violate their constitutional rights. Autio says the county received the latest motion last week in the civil-rights lawsuit, which was first filed in 1995.

While Amazon is developing drones to deliver packages, a Santa Fe real estate agent is using the un-manned aircraft to market homes for sale. The New Mexican reports that local real-estate-agent Brian Tercero is taking videos shot by drones to help sell homes. He says photos from the drones do a better job conveying a property’s appeal than do conventional photos.

Santa Fe Weather: Mostly sunny and windy today, with a high near 54. Tonight: Mostly clear and windy, with a low around 25. Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 53.