Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Webcast 10/29/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm NEwscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Transporation Dept. announces I-40 closures
Governor and Nunez political battle
NM oil refinery to pay $400,000 fine
NM re-instates Hispanic Nurse Association 


Foundation re-establishes NM Hispanic Nurses Association

The Santa Fe-based Con Alma Health Foundation, in an effort to address a health care gap for New Mexico’s minority populations, secured a national grant recently to help diversify the state’s nursing workforce. 

The project will kick off today with re-establishment of a New Mexico Hispanic Nurses Association from 3 to 5 p.m. at The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque. 

Helen Alarid, a nurse of almost 30 years who has cared for cardiac patients at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center and now teaches at Northern New Mexico College in EspaƱola, envisions the Hispanic group providing resources and mentorship. 

Alarid said 85 percent of Northern’s enrollment is Hispanic students, and they come with socioeconomic challenges and inexperience with academic life. She said they are more likely to continue their education if they have role models who understand their challenges and can help them find solutions


Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Webcast 10/29/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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NM oil refinery pays $400,000 fine
ABQ Journal poll shows Heinrich up
Controversial coyote hunt back on
Early voting record set in Bernalillo County 


State MVD continues to struggle, Finance Committe conducts evaluation

Audio story here:

The Legislative Finance says New Mexico’s agency for licensing drivers and vehicles continues to struggle with outdated technology and staffing problems.
The committee says the Motor Vehicle Division’s old computer system is on the verge of collapse, the division has a high management turnover, staff is paid less than the regional average, and frustrated customers have to make multiple trips to the MVD.
Committee Chairman, John Arthur Smith says the problems continue despite efforts to revamp major parts of the MVD.
John Arthur Smith
John Arthur Smith- “We’re talking about a revamp, through and through. This has been an issue that we have had regardless of which governor is in office. Either the governor doesn’t ask for enough money in the budget or we don’t fund enough. When we try to give them additional assistance in the past thinking we’ve fixed a problem it hasn’t been resolved.”
The MVD isn't fighting the findings of an evaluation and say they are working to fix some of the problems.
The evaluation made recommendations including re-engineering the department's computer system as soon as possible, however the MVD says that could top $65 million.
The committee also wants the MVD to figure out a way to start accepting Visa cards. The card isn't accepted right now because Visa won't allow government agencies to pass the $1.25 transaction fee onto customers in face-to-face transactions.
A total of ninety-one offices provide MVD costumer services throughout the state. These include thirty-two state-run field offices, thirty-nine county and municipal field offices, seventeen privately owned retail agencies as well as call centers.

For Newsbreak New Mexico, I’m Vanessa Dabovich.  


Spence: The Men Who Built America

Jim Spence
Commentary by Jim Spence - “The Men Who Built America” is a new mini-series running on the History Channel. Despite a decidedly progressive tilt to the overall narrative, the series does a decent job of telling the story of how some of the greatest 19th century American entrepreneurs risked their entire personal savings, committed to providing great new products and services, and ultimately made life much easier for millions of their fellow citizens. They also transformed America from an economic backwater into the country with the highest living standards on earth. Oh yes, and one more thing. Those who accomplished all of these things…… rich.

During the first episode the development of the nation’s railroad and oil industries is featured. As is typical with any progressive-slanted presentation of American history, there was an almost twisted overemphasis on the competitive aspects of the personalities of great men like Cornelius Vanderbilt and John D. Rockefeller. The incredible wealth they amassed seemed to be repeated over and over. If the same approach were used in a documentary about Michael Jordan and Nolan Ryan, there would be a relentless over-dramatization of Michael Jordan’s rough fouls on defense and the number of batters Nolan Ryan hit with the ball.

Lost in the shuffle of portraying John Rockefeller’s battles with his competitors as particularly ruthless was an important fact. His very first product, Kerosene, put an end to the merciless slaughter of whales for their oil by the whaling industry.

It comes as no surprise that there were many missed teaching points in, “The Men Who Built America.” At least in the title it is acknowledged that these men built their own businesses. Read rest of column here: News New Mexico

Governor appoints Robert Wallach to state Transportation Commission

Gov. Susana Martinez has named a businessman from southeastern New Mexico to a commission that oversees the state Department of Transportation. 

Robert Wallach of Hobbs fills a vacancy on the six-member state Transportation Commission, which sets policies for the department. The 56-year-old Wallach runs a family-owned concrete business and also owns a ranch. Wallach is a former member of the Hobbs City Commission. 

His appointment is subject to confirmation by the state Senate. The department is responsible for the state's network of highways and bridges.


NM oil refinery to pay $400,000 fine in settlement

An oil refinery in New Mexico will pay a $400,000 fine in a settlement over safety violations stemming from an explosion that killed two employees and injured two others. 
The New Mexico Environment Department and Navajo Refining of Artesia entered a settlement agreement for citations issued by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 
The explosion occurred when employees of Northwest Insulation of Texas were performing welding operations on top of a storage tank at the refinery on March 2, 2010. A welder ignited vapors from flammable liquids within the tank. The resulting explosion ripped open the top of the tank and the ensuing fire burned for more than an hour before being extinguished. 
OSHA officials say Navajo Refining doesn’t admit fault, but agreed to settle for the fine.


Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Webcast 10/29/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

                                     Listen here:

Traffic deaths up in NM
Las Cruces attorney receives incorrect ballot
Early voting record set in Bernalillo County


ABQ Journal poll shows Heinrich in lead

According to an ABQ Journal poll, Democratic Rep. Martin Heinrich continued to lead Republican Heather Wilson in New Mexico’s U.S. Senate race with less than two weeks to go before Election Day.
 Heinrich, now in his second term as the 1st Congressional District representative in the U.S. House, was backed by 50 percent of voters surveyed statewide Oct. 23-25. 
Wilson, the former five-term representative of the 1st Congressional District, had support from 42 percent of voters in the survey.
 Independent American Party candidate Jon Barrie totaled 3 percent in the new poll. Another 6 percent of voters remained undecided.


Controversial coyote hunt is back on

A controversial coyote hunt is back on. Now a Los Lunas gun 
store is organizing the event after an Albuquerque gun store gave up

Gunhawk Firearms says people who oppose coyote hunts like the one they're organizing just don't understand what it's like to live in a rural area and want to emphasize they are helping people and the coyotes. 

 It's an argument that wildlife activists have been trying to shoot down, but the Los Lunas business is picking up where Calibers Gun Store of Albuqueque left off. 

Gunhawk launched a coyote hunt of their own. The prize: an assault weapon for the person who brings in the most carcasses. Calibers' Gun Shop got a massive amount of negative comments from those opposing a similar hunt on its Facebook page . That is the reason why Calibers' hunt was called off. 


Las Cruces Attorney receives incorrect ballot

A Las Cruces attorney who says she was handed an incompletely printed ballot at an early voting site says she's worried the problem may be more widespread than election officials contend. 

Deborah Thuman says she was handed a ballot that printed on only one side at a Dona Ana County early voting site on Oct. 20. She says a number of judicial races that should have been printed on the ballot's back side were missing. 
She was given a new ballot but says she's unsure if other voters would catch such problems.


Traffic deaths up in NM

More people are dying on New Mexico highways this year, with state statistics showing a 25 percent jump in traffic deaths during the first nine months of 2012.

Deaths from alcohol-related crashes are also up by 20 percent this year. Alcohol played a role in about 40 percent of the state's 296 traffic deaths. 
Figures compiled by the New Mexico Department of Transportation show pedestrian deaths and crashes that killed people above age 70 led the increase in fatalities.