Nov. 27 First News: State Auditor Says HSD Audit Has A Missing Phrase. (Listen)
The report that led to the termination of New Mexico behavioral health providers’ contracts was missing a conclusion that stated the audit found no, quote, “credible evidence of fraud." That from the State Auditor’s office, which said it received the information as a result of a court subpoena. Auditor Hector Balderas has said the Human Services Department’s failure to provide the entire report — as required by a court order — jeopardized his work on the state's freeze of Medicaid payments. An HSD spokesman says the agency made the edit because it has the responsibility to determine if there's evidence of fraud.
Santa Fe police say a SWAT situation that locked-down a city neighborhood for two hours Tuesday ended peacefully. SF-PD spokeswoman Celina Westervelt says the incident began at the Veterans Community Clinic when a 48-year old man made threatening statements: *****Nov. 27 Westervelt-1 :17***** Westervelt says the SWAT team arrived at the suspect’s home south of the Santa Fe Country Club, and that crisis negotiators convinced the him to surrender. She adds he will not be facing criminal charges.
The New Mexico Department of Health reports that the state’s infant death rate is above the national average for the first time since 1994. The state rate increased by a third last year from approximately five infant deaths per thousand births to almost seven. Nationally the infant death rate was six per thousand in the same period. The main increase was among White and Hispanic children less than a month old due to birth defects, premature births and low birth weight. The Department of Health will be monitoring closely to see if this is the start of a trend.
The death of a Santa Fe teen as a result of taking the drug Ecstasy during a summer concert in Albuquerque has led to an arrest of the man who allegedly dealt it to her. State Police have arrested 26-year-old Eric Stone on charges of distributing a controlled substance to a minor. Stone is accused of selling ecstasy to Hannah (brush) Bruch. She died on August 10th at Expo New Mexico. No word on whether Stone has a lawyer.
From the Santa Fe School District comes word that the school board meeting set for next Wednesday has been rescheduled for December ninth. The agenda for the meeting will include items to be considered by the Board’s Finance Subcommittee.
If you saw Monday Night Football on TV this week, then you may have seen four members of the Navajo Nation Code Talkers being honored during the Washington Redskins NFL game. The honor came as part of the team’s military appreciation night. The Washington franchise’s team name has recently been the topic of scrutiny, as it’s been deemed racist. The code talkers took to the field before the game, but they aren’t talking about their nationwide TV appearance, in any language.
Santa Fe Weather: Today: Sunny, with a high near 39. Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 23. Thanksgiving Day: Mostly sunny, with a high near 44.