Tue July 29, 2014
July 29 First News: Roundhouse To Re-Open Following Threat And Closure Monday (Listen)
The State Capitol in Santa Fe will be open today after being evacuated Monday over concerns about a male caller threatening to kill himself in the building. State Police Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez says the evacuation was ordered around 12:30 p.m. Monday and the building was shuttered for the rest of the day. Gutierrez says police know the identity of the caller, but hadn't been able to locate him. A spokesman for Governor Susana Martinez says the governor's office had received a series of calls from someone threating suicide. Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell says the evacuation was ordered after an initial investigation by law enforcement found the threat to be credible. Knell says the governor wasn't in the building at the time.
New Mexico's annual tax holiday is approaching and will provide shoppers with savings on purchases of school supplies, computers and some clothing and shoes. Starting Friday through the weekend, there will be no gross receipts tax on certain products purchased at participating retailers. The tax rate varies across the state, but exceeds eight-percent in some communities.
No tax will be imposed on computers up to one-thousand dollars, including tablets; and computer hardware costing no more than 500-dollars, including printers. Also tax-free are certain clothing and shoes up to 100-dollars and school supplies under thirty-bucks. Cell phones and video game devices remain subject to taxation. The Taxation and Revenue Department's web site lists the tax treatment of various goods.
More New Mexico hospitals are about to start screening all newborns for a type of heart disease. State health officials say some hospitals already test for a group of heart defects that cause severe, life-threatening symptoms but that others will start doing so Friday. That's a result of legislation enacted earlier this year. Health Secretary Retta Ward says it's important because some of the defects may not be apparent early on but the infants need life-saving interventions quickly. Hospitals will use an instrument placed on the skin to measure the pulse rate and the blood's oxygen levels. If the baby screens positive for low oxygen levels, further testing can be done. A legislative staff memo says an estimated 243 infants are born annually in New Mexico with the defects.
Taxpayers and public employees would chip in more money over three years under a proposal to improve the finances of a program providing health care for retired state and local government workers. The Retiree Health Care Authority executive director Mark Tyndall said Monday the Legislature will be asked to approve the proposal when it convenes in January. Under the proposal, about 100-thousand public employees would make an additional 15-million dollars in annual payroll contributions if the increases are fully implemented. Governmental employers — meaning taxpayers — would increase their yearly payments by 30-million dollars. A government worker or educator earning 40-thousand annually would pay an extra150-dollars a year if the proposed 0.375 percent payroll contribution rate increase is enacted. The proposal is for a three-year phase-in of the increase.
National Weather Service meteorologist Clay Anderson says New Mexico is in for wet weather for the week. Anderson says the state can expect a lot of precipitation today, with northeast New Mexico the center of the action. And Anderson says more is coming later in the week. *****072914-Anderson-3 :19***** Anderson says late July through early August is the peak of monsoon season in New Mexico.
Santa Fe Weather: Cloudy today and tonight with showers likely—the chance of precipitation at 60-percent. Today’s high will be 80, the overnight low, 60. Tomorrow: Partly sunny with a 30-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms and the high, 84.