Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Webcast 10/25/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

                                     Listen here:

ABQ neighborhood watch pay off duty police to patrol
NM inmate steals just minutes after being released
Lovelace and ABQ Health Partners reach agreement
Santa Fe mayor announces flights to Denver 



Branson quits counting to galactic launch

Richard Branson courtesy AFP
Albuquerque JournalBritish billionaire Richard Branson says he has “stopped counting” days to the official launch of his space tourism business out of Upham, N.M., because it gets delayed “to the next year, to the next year.” 
The founder of Virgin Galactic made the comments to reporters as he met with students on his first visit to his young persons business school called Virgin Academy in Warsaw, Poland, on Wednesday.
He says it will be at least another 12 or 18 months before the Virgin Galactic venture can offer paid space travel to adventurers, which is generally within previously announced time frames.
That would put the first launch about as early at October of next year or about four months into 2014.
Just last week, a Virgin Galactic official at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in Las Cruces said the company tentatively planned to launch its first two-stage flight to the edge of space in December 2013, about 14 months away. Read More News New Mexico (subscription)



Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Webcast 10/25/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Lovelace and ABQ Health Partners reach agreement
ERB shows strong returns
Court rules against NM family in brain casket case
Aviation and aerospace officials say NM has potential 


Gary Johnson gets his chance to debate at third party event

Audio story here:

Gary Johnson

After weeks of fighting to be included in the major party election debates, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson got the chance to speak on the issues during a third party debate event this week in Chicago.

Johnson joined presidential nominees from the Green Party, Constitution Party and the Justice Party. The C-SPAN debate was moderated by Larry King and Christina Tobin.

The debate covered topics ranging from the war on drugs and immigration, to the rising cost of college tuition. When talking about the nations fiscal condition the former New Mexico Governor gave his take on the term “free.”

Johnson-“Free’ comes with a cost. ‘Free’ is accumulating more to the $16 trillion in debt than we already have. ‘Free’ has gotten us to the point where we are going to have a monetary collapse.”

Johnson sued the Commission on Presidential Debates last month in federal court to try to force them to admit him to the debates. The commission only invites candidates who polling shows have at least 15 percent support among voters.

Johnson expressed his frustration with major party candidates.

Johnson-“There is only a couple of voices being heard (in this campaign), and it’s tweedledumb and tweedledee.”

Johnson has been plagued by the concept of a ‘wasted vote’ during this close election season. Some republicans fear he may cost Mitt Romney some some votes on November 6th.

The libertarian White House hopeful addressed the vote worth during his closing statement.

Johnson-“Wasting your vote is voting for somebody that you don’t believe in,” an impassioned Johnson said. “That’s wasting your vote. I’m asking everybody here, I’m asking everybody watching this nationwide to waste your vote on me.

Tuesday’s debate won’t be the last third-party face-off of the campaign. Another debate sponsored by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation is expected next week featuring the two candidates who receive the most online votes.

For Newsbreak New Mexico, I’m Vanessa Dabovich.  


What the debates taught us

Mitt Romney
Townhall - Commentary by Victor Davis Hanson - The president of the United States in the last debate chose to go on the attack against his challenger, Mitt Romney -- and once again largely failed to convince the American people that he was the more presidential alternative.

But how did the once-messianic incumbent find himself in this fix of playing the catch-up role of a bar-room-brawling challenger rather than a calm and confident president? Despite running ahead in the polls for most of the year, Barack Obama has rarely achieved a 50 percent favorability rating, largely because of four years of dismal economic news. Obama himself had warned us four years ago that if he didn't restore prosperity, he would be a one-term president -- and the debates taught us that he was probably right.
Barack Obama
Promises about halving the annual deficit, getting unemployment below 6 percent and increasing middle-class incomes were never met. The recent unrest in the Middle East and the killing of an American ambassador and three other Americans in Libya did not help convince anyone that Obama's foreign policy was so successful that they could afford to overlook an anemic economy.
Yet the American people always wanted a viable alternative before they admitted their mistake and dumped a president whom they had voted in with such adulation in 2008. Obama sensed that hesitancy, and so he spent nearly $1 billion in a largely negative campaign to convince voters that Romney was insensitive to women, callous to the poor and, in general, a heartless, out-of-touch capitalist. Read full column here: News New Mexico



ABQ neighborhood watch hires off duty police

Some neighborhood associations in Albuquerque are paying off-duty police officers to patrol their neighborhoods to prevent property crime. 

Onate Neighborhood Association in the Northeast Heights is just one of these associations. Stan Hafenfeld is the president for the Onate Neighborhood Association and he says the over $200 they pay a month to the city is well spent. 
The police officers volunteer for the extra money, but they can only volunteer for up to 20 hours a month of off-duty police overtime. When a neighborhood association or commercial business requests the service, they pay a fee to the city, which is used to pay the officers invovled. 


NM film office sees potential in Carlsbad area

Perhaps channeling the title character in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire, the New Mexico Film Office asked Carlsbad residents to "help us help you" during a town hall meeting Wednesday at New Mexico State University Carlsbad.

Film Office director Nick Maniatis brought a team with him from Santa Fe to better educate the public about the film industry in New Mexico and the effect it could have on Carlsbad.

As part of the public meeting, men, women, and children alike were invited to fill out applications and get their headshots taken. Maniatis promised that this information would be submitted to all of the casting directors and agencies in the state looking for extras in upcoming films.

Fourteen-year-old Brandon Perini and his 17-year-old sister, Michelle, were very excited about this opportunity. "I think it would be so much fun. If they're here, why not try," said Brandon. And even though teenagers were the most represented age group at the Film Office Town Hall Meeting, they were not the only ones excited about the possibility of appearing in a movie.

"In high school, I used to be in plays, so I thought, 'What the heck?' I'm retired now. It'd be interesting to be selected as an extra in a movie," said Al Paneral who has lived in Carlsbad since 1963.

And even though Maniatis may have put a damper on some of those dreams when he said, "Getting on screen is a tough, long, long haul," he did tell the story of a young girl from New Mexico whose mother did not believe she had a chance in the film industry. Finally the girl made it to an audition and was recently cast as young Primrose Everdeen in "The Hunger Games." "It happened by this type of thing," said Maniatis.

But aside from getting individuals involved in film, Maniatis focused the meeting on ways to get the city itself to appear in major Hollywood motion pictures. 

"It's a huge influx of dollars for cities that are film friendly. If a major film will come to our state and to your area, that's half a million dollars a day with hotels, food, and jobs," said Maniatis.

Don Gray, locations manager for the Film Office, said he was Carlsbad's "salesman" to the film industry. 

"My job is to sell the state of New Mexico through the film industry." Gray's works closely with script managers in Hollywood to find unique locations that they are looking for. And with the caverns and oil derricks here, Gray said he sees a lot of potential for shooting movies in Carlsbad someday. But in order to do that, Gray enlisted the help of the public. "I need to get you to help me to help you," he said. The Film Office has a database of more than 60,000 photos of locations around the state including dairy farms, alley ways, or desolate gas stations which are very popular shooting locations for movies. But even though Gray bragged that he has put 240,000 miles on his Toyota driving around the state of New Mexico to find these locations, he still needs the help of the local people...

Read more at The Carlsbad Current-Argus...

Lovelace and ABQ Health Partners reach agreement

Lovelace and ABQ Health Partners have reached a temporary agreement for some of their patients.
 ABQ Health Partners has agreed to continue accepting Lovelace insurance for about three thousand transitional patients. This includes patients who are undergoing cancer treatment, have surgery planned or were just discharged from a hospital. Pregnant women can also keep their doctors up to six weeks after the pregnancy.
 The remaining ABQ Health Partners patients with Lovelace insurance will have to find new insurance or a new doctor.


Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Webcast 10/25/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

                                     Listen here:

Republican and Democrat big names visit NM
Fire in Carson National Forest 300 acres
NM aerospace and aviation potential 

ERB investment returns reach historical high

New Mexico's educational pension program reports strong investment returns during the past year and the fund's finances reached a historical high. 
The Educational Retirement Board said the pension fund had assets valued at more than $9.7 billion at the end of September. The previous high was $9.6 billion in September 1997, shortly before the state's pension and investment funds nosedived because of a global meltdown in financial markets.
 About 97,000 educators and retirees are covered by the pension program.


Court rules NM family can't sue over brain in casket

The state Court of Appeals has ruled that a New Mexico family can't sue an out-of-state funeral home for placing a relative's brain in a casket before shipping an embalmed body to New Mexico
The family, whose identity isn't revealed in the damage lawsuit, discovered the brain after smelling a "foul odor" a day after a New Mexico funeral home gave it to them in a bag containing the personal effects of a woman killed in a 2009 automobile accident in Utah
The brain was in a separate plastic bag labeled with the word "brain."


Fire in Carson National Forest grows to more than 300 acres

A fire burning in the Carson National Forest east of Taos has grown to more than 300 acres and fire officials have asked people staying in three campgrounds to be ready to evacuate if necessary. 
The fire was expected to be very active Wednesday because of high winds pushing the flames to the east.
 The Midnight Fire was reported Tuesday about 5 miles northeast of the town of Red River.Campers in the Valle Vidal, McCrystal and Cimarron campgrounds have been warned to be ready to leave if the fire moves their way. 
About 75 firefighters are battling the blaze.