Friday News Roundup: Veteran Dies Waiting For Ambulance At VA Hospital

Jul 4, 2014

Veteran Dies Waiting For Ambulance At VA Hospital - The Associated Press

A veteran who collapsed in the cafeteria at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center, 500 yards from the emergency room, died after waiting 30 minutes for an ambulance.

It took a half an hour for the ambulance to be dispatched and take the man from one building to the other, which is about a five minute walk.

NM VA Health Care System spokeswoman Sonja Brown says medical personnel performed CPR until the ambulance arrived.

She says staff followed policy in calling 911 when the man collapsed on Monday. But she says that policy is under review.

The man's name hasn't been released.

Los Alamos Admits Violating Nuke Waste Permit 
- The Associated Press

Los Alamos National Laboratory says it made mistakes in packaging the waste that has been linked to a radiation leak at the government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico.

In a letter released by state regulators, lab officials say their internal probe of the handling of the toxic waste from decades of nuclear bomb building has uncovered several violations of its Hazardous Waste Facility permit. But lab officials say it's unclear if the violations are to blame for the February leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad that contaminated 22 workers and shuttered the repository indefinitely.

Teams of scientists have been trying to determine exactly what caused a barrel from Los Alamos to burst, and whether a switch from inorganic to organic cat litter to absorb moisture in the barrels played a role.

Udall: Little Impact From Artesia Immigrant CenterThe Associated Press

Sen. Tom Udall says he thinks people in Artesia, New Mexico, are getting more comfortable with the idea of having Central American immigrants brought to a detention center in their community.

Udall was in southeastern New Mexico yesterday to tour the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Barracks at the border patrol training facility are being used to house the overflow of immigrants caught trying to enter the country illegally.

As in other communities where the immigrants are being processed for deportation and asylum, many Artesia residents have expressed concern about safety and health issues from having hundreds of women and children brought to the center.

Udall says there will be little impact on the community, and he has urged immigrations officials to give regular updates on its operations there to allay community concerns.


Governor Raises Nearly $875,000 For Re-Election - The Associated Press

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez raised nearly $875,000 for her re-election campaign in the past month, which was more than twice as much as Democratic challenger Gary King.

The King campaign reported yesterday raising almost $321,000 since late May, with $200,000 coming from personal loans from the candidate.

King spent about $280,000, with $200,000 of that to air advertising.

The governor had cash-on-hand of $4.3 million in her re-election account as of last week, after spending almost $860,000.

King had a cash balance of $116,000.

The Republican Governors Association has spent about $571,000 to produce and air advertising against King in June.

Candidates and political committees faced a Thursday deadline for disclosing how much they've raised and spent from May 28 through June 28.

Loan Sought For Spaceport America Visitors Center - The Associated Press and Las Cruces Sun-News

The New Mexico board that oversees Spaceport America is seeking a $6.5 million loan to build a visitors center in Truth or Consequences

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the New Mexico Spaceport Authority board on Tuesday approved a measure that will enable it to seek the loan from the New Mexico Finance Authority.

According to Spaceport Authority Executive Director Christine Anderson, options for repaying the loan include using money from county-level sales taxes used for spaceport construction and revenue from Virgin Galactic's lease of spaceport facilities.

Spaceport officials previously planned two visitors centers, one in Dona Ana County and one at the spaceport site in Sierra County.

However, officials say delays in spaceport operations and other developments have meant that previous funding plans haven't panned out.

FBI Searching For Pickup Truck In Shiprock Death - The Associated Press

Federal authorities are searching for pickup truck possibly involved in the death of a 21-year-old man near Shiprock last month.

The FBI says the body of 21-year-old Ryan Hill was found June 22 on Mesa Farm Road about six miles west of Shiprock on the Navajo Nation.

They say a witness reported seeing a man run after a bright red pickup truck shortly before the body was discovered.

FBI officials say the witness described the truck as stopping and starting while the man chased it.

Authorities are investigating whether Hill was struck by the vehicle or pushed out it.

Autopsy results are pending.

Investigators want to talk to anyone who may know the owner or whereabouts of the truck or who may have been in the area at the time.

4 Injured In Plane Crash At New Mexico Airport - The Associated Press

A single-engine plane crashed while landing at a northern New Mexico airport, injuring all four people aboard, including one critically.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the pilot was hospitalized in critical condition while the three passengers on the plane suffered less serious injuries in the Wednesday evening crash at the Las Vegas airport.

Las Vegas police on Thursday identified the pilot as James Fretham, 50, and said he was airlifted to a hospital in Santa Fe.

FAA records say the plane was registered to Fretham and listed an address for him in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

Police identified the passengers as 49-year-old Elizabeth Fretham, 15-year-old Grace Fretham and 21-year-old Caitrin Fretham.

Lunsford says the plane was flying to Las Vegas from Ames, Iowa.