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Gallup Sun’s picks for top 10 national stories of 2017

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1. Las Vegas shooting

The shooting in Las Vegas claimed the lives of 58 people on Oct. 1, and injured nearly 550 more. It was the deadliest shooting committed by an individual in United States history. This was a national tragedy that had particular resonance in Gallup, as one of the victims, Lisa Romero-Muniz, was...

AG Balderas launches campaign against child predators

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Staff Reports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – On Dec. 28, Attorney General Hector Balderas launched a new ad campaign targeting New Mexico teenagers and parents with children under eighteen in an effort to combat sexual predators. The ad, titled “Monsters”, reminds New Mexicans that monsters behind their computer, tablet or phone screen really do exist in the form of sexual predators seeking to abuse children and teens. The ad can be found at www.facebook.com/NMAttorneyGeneral/ and is sponsored in order to specifically reach New Mexico teenagers ages 13-17 and parents with children under eighteen years of age years on Facebook.

“There is no higher priority of the Office of the Attorney...

RMCH CEO faces heat over finances

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Raises, equipment costs, and a helicopter pad among 2016 expenses

A remodeled helicopter landing pad, staff raises, a new wellness center and new radiology and MRI equipment accounted for significant spending in 2016 at the Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services’ hospital on Red Rock Drive.

Hospital CEO David Conejo discussed 2016 spending among other financial concerns with the McKinley County Board of Commissioners Dec. 12.

Conejo first defended increases to staff pay.

“Raises had not been given to employees in seven years,” Conejo said. “None of the salaries have been adjusted.”

Previous to the raise, nurses were paid $20 an hour. Their rate of pay...

Beloved elections director, husband, father passes on

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Rick Palochak remembered

If you ever frequent the McKinley County Courthouse area, you may have recognized the tall lanky man with glasses, outside on a break, catching a quick smoke and some fresh air. If you crossed his path, he may have said hello to you, or given you a nod if you knew him.

He was the director of the Bureau of Elections, and possessed an obvious sternness, as many supervisors do. But when he spoke, he was at the ready to help answer any questions (yes, even from a reporter), and with a warm smile. He would go out of his way to get the documentation that was necessary to craft a solid election story.

This man was Rick Palochak, and he passed away the early morning...

Erratic Driving results in fatal Friday night car crash

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YATAHEY – New information on the fatal car crash that claimed the life of Cree Oceana Silver, 27, of Pinon, Ariz. was made available available by the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office.

The single car crash occurred on Dec. 15 at the intersection of U.S. Route 491 and State Highway 264 in Yatahey.

MCSO Lt. Eric Jim was on highway patrol on the southbound lane of 491 at roughly 6:50 pm when his radar registered a dark passenger car speeding at about 100 mph, according to his written police report.

Jim slowed down and pulled into the median. A New Mexico State Police unit with flashing emergency lights was already in pursuit of the vehicle. Jim turned around onto the northbound lane...

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