Oct. 25 First News: State lawmakers get update on behavioral health audits. (Listen)

Oct 25, 2013

  The state's Legislative Finance Committee has been given updates on two separate inquiries into fraud allegations against in-state providers of mental health and substance abuse services. The allegations caused the Human Services Department to cut off Medicaid payments to the providers back in June. New Mexico Attorney General Gary King told the LFC Thursday that his inquiry could possibly conclude by the end of the year.  State Auditor Hector Balderas was less committal on his separate review though he will issue his required annual audit of the Human Services Department in mid-December.

Santa Fe Public Schools has announced the appointment of Geno Zamora as General Counsel for the school district, effective November 1st. Zamora and will now work as SFPS’s in-house counsel and is stepping down from his post as City Attorney. Mayor Coss issued an expression of good wishes to Zamora, making special mention of his contributions on matters of annexation, marriage equality and day-to-day city business.

Santa Fe Mayoral hopeful Javier Gonzales has announced that his campaign has qualified for public financing. All of the other mayoral hopefuls have indicated they, too, are seeking to go the publicly funded route for the March municipal elections. To qualify, candidates need to obtain 600 donations of five-dollars from registered Santa Fe voters who live anywhere in the city.  The deadline is November 18th.

Governor Martinez announces two new initiatives today geared toward hiring unemployed military veterans. One will seek to fill openings in the trucking industry; the other within Emergency Medical Service fields. The governor will present the hiring plans at a luncheon at Albuquerque’s National Guard Armory honoring employers who have made a special outreach to veterans. 

Santa Fe County conducts an unwanted prescription drug turn-in drive tomorrow.  A collaboration among multiple law enforcement agencies as well as the Drug Enforcement Agency, the aim is to prevent prescription drug abuse by collecting expired, unused, and unwanted pharmaceuticals. In Santa Fe proper, Albertson’s grocery stores at DeVargas Center and on Zafarano will serves as anonymous disposal locations. 

An official emergency salvage order from the Department of Game and Fish, in effect now through Friday, November 1st, allows for catching and keeping an unlimited number of trout.  It applies only to a two-mile stretch of the Santa Fe River, between Paseo de Peralta and Camino Alire. The order comes as the Santa Fe River is about to run dry and was recently stocked with 500 fish for the Children’s Fishing Derby. Anglers 12 and older must have a valid state fishing license.

Weather for Santa Fe – Mostly cloudy today with a high near 60 and a 60% chance for showers and thunderstorms. Rain chances decrease to 40% this evening and just 20% for Saturday under partly sunny skies. Sunny and dry Sunday with highs in the low 60s.