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Voters to decide most McKinley County races June 7

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New Mexicans go to the polls June 7 for the primary election and to decide several local offices. Polling sites will be open from 7 am to 7 pm (see list of McKinley County sites below).

As a practical matter, most McKinley County races will be settled with next week’s election because all of the candidates are from one...

Cameron Cheromiah honored as 2022 Special Olympics New Mexico ‘Athlete of the Year’

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Gallup Special Olympics athlete Cameron Cheromiah was honored as the 2022 Special Olympics New Mexico “Athlete of the Year” at the SONM State Summer Games in Albuquerque on May 20.

Cheromiah was nominated for this award by Pam Burgess, one of his Special Olympics Gallup track and field coaches, and was recognized as the 2022 SONM Area 6 “Athlete of the Year” at the Area 6 track and bocce competition on April 30.

Some of the qualities that Burgess highlighted in her nomination was Cheromiah’s friendliness and sense of humor, as well as his willingness to lend a hand and make new athletes feel welcome.

“Cameron is a joy to be around,” Burgess said. “He works hard and...

Gallup VA clinic swept up in national infrastructure overhaul

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Opened in 2015; slated to close in 2026

About 2,000 military veterans rely on Gallup’s VA clinic as their first point of contact for health care. They aren’t happy that the clinic is on the chopping block as part of a national effort to rebalance veterans’ health services and infrastructure.

New Mexico has eight VA community-based outpatient clinics. Four are slated for closure: Gallup, Las Vegas, Raton and Espanola. All together, they serve a little under 5,000 veterans.

Without the clinic, Gallup veterans who aren’t eligible for services from IHS will have to go to Albuquerque for primary care, Dave Cuellar, head of Veterans Helping Veterans, said. Many older veterans...

City holds the (power) line

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The bad news is: electricity rates will go up in July. The good news is: just a little bit.

The City Council approved a new rate schedule with a 1.89% bump May 24.

That amounts to about $1.26 a month for a customer using 400 kWh; had the old rate schedule remained in place, that bill would have increased by $6.39.

For those who use more power, a customer using 1140 kWh per month will pay an extra $3.12. For a general service small customer using 7980 kwh per month, the bill will go up $21.59; for a general service medium customer using 81,147 kwh per month, the increase would amount to $206 per month.

City Manager Maryann Ustick commended Electric Director John Wheeler for his...

Special Focus Story: Navajo tribal land uranium clean-up plans inch forward

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The Navajo describe the powdery yellow uranium ore present in their water, air, and land as leetso--meaning “yellow dirt.”

In July of 1979, a dam collapse at United Nuclear Corporation’s   Northeast Church Rock Mine caused tons of uranium waste and massive amounts of radioactive water to pour into the Puerco River—creating a major environmental disaster that continues to contaminate the land, air, and water in Navajo communities today.

Additionally, hundreds of closed uranium mines are located throughout the Navajo Nation— negatively impacting the health of Navajo children and adults whenever radioactive dust particles from mine debris is inhaled or blown into drinking...

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