KUNM

Tribes Commission Problem-Gambling Study, Court Clears Way For Public Hearing On Chromium Plume

Jan 1, 2018

American Indian Tribes Commission Problem-Gambling StudyThe Associated Press & The Santa Fe New Mexican

The first major study in more than a decade of compulsive gambling in New Mexico is being commissioned by an association of American Indian tribes that run casinos.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the industry-funded Responsible Gaming Association of New Mexico is financing a study designed to combat problem gambling in New Mexico.

The study will examine gambling behavior among adolescents and adults across New Mexico with a focus on economically vulnerable populations. It is being carried out by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.

A 2006 study of problem gambling in New Mexico estimated as many as 15,000 women and 24,000 men had compulsive or pathological behavior.

In the 1990s, New Mexico legalized slot machines at tribal casinos, horse-racing track, and veterans and fraternal clubs.

Court Clears Way For Public Hearing On Chromium Plume - The Associated Press

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has sided with a coalition of environmental groups that had sought a public hearing related to the cleanup of chromium contamination at one of the nation's premier federal laboratories.

The court in a ruling issued last week found that state regulators should not have dismissed the groups' request for a public hearing.

At issue is a permit issued by the state Environment Department that allows Los Alamos National Laboratory to release thousands of gallons of treated wastewater as part of its efforts to address groundwater pollution.

The coalition known as Communities for Clean Water says discharging the treated water could end up pushing a plume of chromium contamination closer to drinking water wells.

The Environment Department did not return messages seeking comment.

Navajo Filmmaker To Start Shooting WWII Code Yalkers MovieThe Associated Press

Navajo storyteller Kody Dayish says it's no secret that the Navajo code talkers played a significant role in the Allied powers' victory in World War II.

The Daily Times reported earlier this month that Navajo servicemen's complicated native tongue was critical in communicating crucial Allied messages that could not be deciphered by Japanese foes.

Their story has been told before in films, but Dayish says it's never been told from a Navajo point of view.

Dayish has wanted to tell his own version of the code talkers' story for some time, but says he wanted to wait until he felt he had the skills and maturity as a filmmaker to tell it properly.

His company, Kody Dayish Production, plans to begin shooting "Unbroken Code" in 2018.

New Mexico Town Looks To Keep Schools SafeThe Associated Press & The Deming Headlight

Deming Mayor Benny Jasso also is the safety director for Deming Public Schools. He has made a practice of dropping by campuses unannounced disguised as an intruder.

The Deming Headlight reports the game is to stop Jasso from penetrating layers of security at school sites. He says generally students are the first to spot him, as they are taking ownership of their campuses.

School safety is a priority, especially after a shooting at Aztec High School in the northern New Mexico town of Aztec on Dec. 7, when William Atchison opened fire with a handgun, killing two students before killing himself.

Security cameras cover almost the entire Deming High School campus and a combination of design features, daily routines, and security procedures are being refined to keep Deming schools secure. 

Commission Urges Changes To Guardian-Conservator SystemAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

A state Supreme Court commission wants New Mexico to inject more accountability and oversight into its system under which guardians and conservators make financial and other decisions on behalf of incapacitated people.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that implementation of the recommendations to the court, the governor and the Legislature would require $1 million to computerize filing and monitoring of conservator reports, hire auditors and employ special masters to handle grievances.

Other recommendations include calls for adopting laws to provide families with more notice about hearings and requiring mediation or facilitated family meetings in contested cases.

The court established the 16-member commission in April. It released its recommendations Thursday.

Many of those who are deemed incapacitated have dementia, Alzheimer's disease or have mental illness or impairment.

New Mexico Town Looks To Keep Schools Safe, InvitingDeming Headlight, Associated Press

Deming Mayor Benny Jasso also is the safety director for Deming Public Schools. He has made a practice of dropping by campuses unannounced disguised as an intruder.

The Deming Headlight reports the game is to stop Jasso from penetrating layers of security at school sites. He says generally students are the first to spot him, as they are taking ownership of their campuses.

School safety is a priority, especially after a shooting at Aztec High School in the northern New Mexico town of Aztec on Dec. 7, when William Atchison opened fire with a handgun, killing two students before killing himself.

Security cameras cover almost the entire Deming High School campus and a combination of design features, daily routines, and security procedures are being refined to keep Deming schools secure.

Theater Dome To Be Replaced At New Mexico Space MuseumAlamogordo Daily News, Associated Press

The final phase of renovations at the New Mexico Museum of Space History's theater and planetarium call for a full dome replacement.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports that the work will begin Jan. 2. The construction will close the theater through March 9.

The new dome is being installed by Spitz Inc., the same company that installed a new laser planetarium projection system in the theater in 2016.

The company will use a special process that effectively eliminates seams in the dome by handcrafting each individual panel to be flush with its neighbor, making the entire projection surface uniform.

The new dome will consist of 154 custom-cut panels with reflectivity much greater than the one that was installed in 1980.

Grant funding is helping pay for the renovations.

New Mexico Base Is Home To US Air Force's Top Nurse For 2017Associated Press

The U.S. Air Force has named its top nurse for 2017 and the award goes to a nurse practitioner stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.

Maj. Cindy Callisto is assigned to the 377th Medical Group. She says the honor comes as a shock.

Callisto says she enjoys her patients and staff and feels like she owes it to them to do her best. She credits her team with helping her through an undermanned summer at Kirtland, where staffing levels fell to 50 percent during one of the most critical times of the year.

Originally from Worcester, Massachusetts, Callisto joined the Air Force in 2000.

Callisto says she has aspirations of being a chief nurse someday and mentoring other nurses with an aim toward retaining more young airmen.

Alarmed By Fake News, States Push Media Literacy In SchoolsAssociated Press

State lawmakers around the country are pushing schools to put more emphasis on teaching students how to tell fact from fiction online, a skill they say is critical to democracy.

Lawmakers have introduced or passed bills calling on public school systems to develop lessons for a form of instruction called "media literacy."

The effort has been bipartisan but has received little attention despite successful legislation in Washington state, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Mexico.

Several more states are expected to consider such bills in the coming year, including Arizona, New York and Hawaii.

Supporters say the misinformation spread during the 2016 presidential campaign has helped their efforts. They want schools to include lessons about how to evaluate and analyze sources of information in civics, language arts, science and other subjects.

Part of an ongoing examination of threats to First Amendment freedoms by The Associated Press, the American Society of News Editors and Associated Press Media Editors.

Arizona Man Pleads Guilty To Intimidating Flight CrewAssociated Press

An Arizona man whose behavior aboard a flight earlier this year forced an emergency landing in New Mexico has pleaded guilty to charges that he assaulted and intimidated crew members and flight attendants.

Federal prosecutors say 55-year-old Robert Tomblin of Phoenix entered his plea during a hearing Friday in Albuquerque. Sentencing has yet to be scheduled.

The charges stem from an August flight between Roswell, New Mexico, and Phoenix.

According to court documents, a flight attendant reported to the captain that Tomblin, who was seated in an emergency exit row, appeared to be intoxicated and was acting belligerent.

Attendants asked him to move to another seat due to safety concerns but he refused.

Tomblin was accused of head-butting two police officers before being carried off the plane after the flight was diverted to Albuquerque.

Man Accused Of Causing Fatal Wreck With 2 Young Kids In CarAssociated Press

A 30-year-old Albuquerque man is accused of causing a fatal crash while driving with his two young children in his car.

Albuquerque police say another driver was killed late Friday when Steven Deskin's car slammed into the other vehicle stopped at a red light.

Police say witnesses reported seeing Deskin's vehicle weaving through traffic at high speed before the collision.

According to police, Deskin had been drinking and showed signs of inebriation.

Deskin had picked up his 2- and 3-year-old children from daycare and they were in the backseat.

Deskin remains jailed on suspicion of homicide and child abuse charges and it's not known whether he has an attorney could speak on his behalf.

Navajo Filmmaker To Start Shooting WWII Code Talkers Movie – Farmington Daily Times, Associated Press

Navajo storyteller Kody Dayish says it's no secret that the Navajo code talkers played a significant role in the Allied powers' victory in World War II.

The Daily Times reported earlier this month that Navajo servicemen's complicated native tongue was critical in communicating crucial Allied messages that could not be deciphered by Japanese foes.

Their story has been told before in films, but Dayish says it's never been told from a Navajo point of view.

Dayish has wanted to tell his own version of the code talkers' story for some time, but says he wanted to wait until he felt he had the skills and maturity as a filmmaker to tell it properly.

His company, Kody Dayish Production, plans to begin shooting "Unbroken Code" in 2018.

Experts Try To Keep Georgia O'Keeffe Paintings From Fading - By Morgan Lee, Associated Press

Chemical reactions are threatening to discolor and deform the surface of Georgia O'Keeffe's famously vibrant paintings, and experts are hoping new digital imaging tools can help them slow the damage.

Art conservationists in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Chicago area on Thursday announced a federally funded project to develop new 3-D imaging tools to detect destructive buildup in paintings by O'Keeffe and potentially other artists in museum collections around the world.

Dale Kronkright, art conservationist at the Georgia O'Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, says the project builds on trial efforts that started in 2011 to monitor the preservation of O'Keeffe paintings without disturbing or damaging the works.

The buildup on her art is soap. It emerges when fats in the original oil paints combine with alkaline materials contained in pigments or through drying agents.

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