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Tuesday, Jun 27th

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Bill that stops data collection signed into law

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A bill to stop the bulk collection of data as allowed through the post-9/11 Patriot Act passed the Senate on Tuesday and was quickly signed by President Barack Obama.Both members of the Senate from New Mexico voted in the majority on the 67-32 vote on the bill dubbed the USA Freedom Act.

The bill had overwhelmingly passed...

Attorney General Complaints Allege Medicaid Fraud at Carlsbad-area Mental Health Center

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CARLSBAD, NM - Attorney General Hector Balderas’ office today charged four top personnel at Carlsbad Mental Health Center with Medicaid fraud and also brought charges against the center as a corporation. Criminal complaints against the four individuals— Michael Stoll, Noel Clark, Darrill Woodfield and John Bain—and the corporation were filed June 2, 2015, in Eddy County Magistrate Court. The corporation and each of the individuals was charged with eight counts of Medicaid fraud under the Medicaid Fraud Act, one count of conspiracy and one count of fraud involving non-Medicaid funds.

“We will aggressively defend victims of fraud and abuse by prosecuting providers who violate the...

Sham cancer charities bilked millions from consumers

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SANTA FE – New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas joined with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, all 50 States and the District of Columbia in a complaint charging four sham cancer charities and their operators with bilking more than $187 million from consumers.

The defendants told donors their money would help cancer patients, including children and also women suffering from breast cancer, but the overwhelming majority of donations benefitted only the perpetrators, their families, friends, and fundraisers.

“Our office works diligently to protect New Mexicans from scammers and fraudsters, but this case is repulsive. We must support legitimate charities and stamp out...

City selects skateboard park location

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If you travel downtown enough these days, you’ll spot them here and there, skateboarders jumping off concrete curbs with precision, and spinning in circles with seeming confidence.

While still in the early planning stages, local skateboarders will get a concrete playground of their own, in the east parking lot of the Gallup Cultural Center.

City Councilors were presented with three possible locations and voted in favor of the downtown location May 12. It was with some persuasion, a generous $50,000 pledge from William McCarthy, CEO of Southwest Indian Foundation.

The city has about $10,000 in funds, and Rep. Patty Lundstrom secured $40,000 for the park during the 2014 legislative...

Adult Detention Center faces funding shortfall

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The Bureau of Indian Affairs decision to send prisoners to Yuma, AZ instead of McKinley County Adult Detention Center has left the city and McKinley County in a projected financial bind moving into fiscal year 2016.

McKinley County Finance Director Sara Keeler presented the news to the City Council May 12. She said the total deficit is about $1.3 million.

And the city’s share is 30 percent of the deficit, which equates to more than $3 million.

“This is a disaster,” said Mayor Jackie McKinney.

County Manager Bill Lee said the jail houses an average of 180 to 190 inmates per day and has a capacity to hold 326.

There’s no extra compensation for housing inmates from the area...

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