Nov. 18 First News: NMSU Offers To Assist Its Lottery-Scholarship Students If Needed. (Listen)

  Concerned about the future of the lottery scholarship, New Mexico State University officials say the school will cover up to 60 percent of spring-semester tuition for its scholarship students if a funding shortfall isn’t remedied by state lawmakers next year. NMSU Vice President Bernadette Montoya says NMSU is stepping up financially because time is running out: *****Nov. 18 NMSU-1  :16***** Montoya says NMSU could end up with a shortfall if the lottery scholarship isn’t funded. High demand has nearly drained it. 14-thousand students at New Mexico higher education institutions rely on the scholarship to cover tuition.

A Democratic member of the Legislative Behavioral Health Subcommittee is drawing attention to what he calls the lack of due process in the ongoing Medicaid-fraud investigation into fifteen of New Mexico’s largest mental health providers. Senator Bill O’Neill notes the implicated firms haven’t had the chance to see what their charged with, and told KSFR: *****Nov. 18 O’Neill-1  :15***** O’Neill says mental health services are tenuous by their nature, and the transition of providers has disrupted services for an entire vulnerable population.

Santa Fe Mayor David Coss is in Incheon (in-chun), South Korea, this week to finalize a "sister cities" agreement between Incheon and Santa Fe. The Albuquerque Journal reports Coss was invited by Incheon's mayor and will be in South Korea's third-largest city through Friday. No city funds are being used for the trip. The sister cities program promotes cultural, educational, youth and other exchanges for mutual economic and tourism benefits.

Governor Susana Martinez's administration says it will move forward with implementation of its teacher evaluation system despite opposition from some teachers and Democratic lawmakers. Two state senators had asked Public Education Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera this week for more time to acclimate to the new rating system. However, the New Mexican reports that the administration signaled it’s not compromising. Some 18-thousand teachers statewide will be affected.

Senator Martin Heinrich has announced that the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology is being commissioned to study the potential effects of the proposed SunZia transmission line on White Sands Missile Range. Heinrich says M-I-T will research and identify measures that will allow for White Sands’ missions to continue and for construction of the 515-mile transmission line to move forward. The missile range has said that the currently proposed route would hamper its operations and has asked for it to be re-routed. SunZia managers say that would effectively kill the project, expected to be delivering wind- and solar-generated electricity to western markets by 2017.

Celebrating and encouraging Santa Fe-area small businesses is the focus of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which is being celebrated through Friday by the Santa Fe Business-Incubator. Marie Longserre (long-sear) is President and CEO of the non-profit that has been assisting area small businesses since 1995.*****Nov. 18 Longserre-1  :15***** Longserre says the Santa Fe Business Incubator provides a professional place for start-up businesses to launch their effort.

Weather for Santa Fe – mostly sunny today through Wednesday with highs in the mid 50s and overnight lows in the low 30s. By Thursday, a backdoor cold front and a weather system from the West will set the stage for several days of what may be Santa Fe’s first significant snowfall.