June 10 First News: Audit Displays N.M. Veterans Affairs Medical Program Dysfunction (Listen)

Jun 10, 2014

Numbers released Monday by the U-S Veterans Affairs Department spotlight the agency’s failings: they show that more than one-thousand patients in its New Mexico health care system are still waiting for initial medical appointments 90 days or more after requesting them. The newly-released findings are from an audit of VA medical centers across the country, including Albuquerque's, where officials previously said more than three-thousand patients were assigned to a doctor who didn't actually see them. The audit says new patients seeking primary care wait an average of 46 days, while those needing specialty care wait nearly two months. New Mexico's congressional delegation asked for an independent investigation following allegations of manipulated wait times and delayed care for thousands of veterans. Auditors say New Mexico’s V-A medical center is among the facilities that require further review.

Just one week after winning the Democratic race for Governor of New Mexico, Gary King is looking for a new campaign manager. The Associated Press reports that Jim Farrell, who led King’s primary election campaign is stepping down to spend more time with his family in Las Cruces. King is stressing that there’s no animosity between Farrell and him… and that he may have a new manager on board by the end of the week. Meantime, King’s campaign today launches a new TV ad statewide countering negative messages sponsored by the Republican Governor’s Association.

A New Mexico charitable organization is offering grants for non-profits to meet the health needs of an under-served area of the state...KSFR's Mindy McGovern has the story. ***** m m *****

The news regarding the closure of the Chevron Questa Mine in Taos County, which employs about 300, was perhaps not unexpected. The mine, in operation in Questa for 98-years, has had a boom-and-bust history in the community of two-thousand residents and became a casualty to the global price of molybdenum. But for those who worked at the mine, the end is near. Questa State Senator, Carlos Cisneros: *****061014-Cisneros-1 (q: forever, in effect) :24***** Cisneros notes that the post-mine future of Questa features opportunities, as Chevron will continue to provide financial assistance and employment opportunities will continue with remediation of the site in the immediate future.

A state Supreme Court ruling has drawn a dissent from a justice who says the decision could undermine New Mexico's constitutional protections against unreasonable searches of automobiles. Justice Richard Bosson dissented from a court ruling Monday that upheld a warrantless search of a vehicle by Farmington police in 2010. Bosson disagreed with the court's majority that there were emergency conditions justifying the search of the vehicle's truck.

He wrote that warrants usually have been required in New Mexico to search locked compartments of an automobile. Police were responding to a report that someone in the vehicle had pointed a rifle at individuals. The gun was found in the trunk. But Bosson pointed out the truck was searched after the driver and passengers were in custody and handcuffed.

New Mexico State Police say they're investigating a fatal shooting involving Carlsbad police officers. State police say 24-year-old Troy Kirkpatrick died in the 10 a.m. shooting Monday, but didn't immediately release any details. The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that Kirkpatrick had escaped from police custody and was facing burglary charges. He reportedly was taken to the Carlsbad Medical Center, where he died of his wounds.

Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales wants to be a role model, not just for political leadership, but good health, and city spokeswoman Jody McGinnis-Porter told KSFR's Dave Marash, the Mayor is ready to sacrifice...20 pounds.

*****Q: do some community work."  1:35*****

Santa Fe spokeswoman Jody McGinnis-Porter talking with our Dave Marash.

A California tortilla company is expanding to New Mexico. Governor Susana Martinez announced Monday that Franco Whole Foods, which supplies tortillas to Whole Foods and Costco, will open a manufacturing facility in Las Cruces that will create 160 jobs with an average salary of 37-thousand dollars plus benefits. With the help of 75-thousand in state economic development funds, the company will convert a long-vacant warehouse into a modern manufacturing facility.

A problem with train derailments has resident of Southern New Mexico worried.  KSFR's Tilcara Webb has the story. *****Q:  I'm Tilcara Webb   RUNS:  00:45*****

Santa Fe Weather: Sunny today, with a high near 84. For tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 53. Tomorrow expect mostly sunny skies, with a high near 85.