Finalists Named For Top Post At UNM Hospitals, Carlsbad Caverns To Raise Entry Fee

Apr 14, 2018

3 Finalists Named For Top Post At UNM Hospitals – Associated Press

A series of town halls are planned over the coming weeks as one of the state's largest hospital systems seeks a new chief executive officer.

Officials at University of New Mexico Hospitals say the meetings will give employees a chance to meet the three finalists. The first will be April 17.

The finalists include Herb Buchanan, most recently the president of Methodist and University Hospitals, the academic medical centers for Indiana University Health.

Also in the running is Kate Becker, president of SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, the primary teaching hospital of Saint Louis University, and Deborah McGrew, vice president and chief operating officer for the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston.

Long-time CEO Steve McKernan announced his retirement last August after nearly four decades.

Utility: Inspections Ongoing In Wake Of Coal Silo Failure – Associated Press

The investigation into the cause of a structural failure of a coal silo at a power plant in northwestern New Mexico is ongoing, but the plant's operator says repairs are underway.

Officials with Public Service Co. of New Mexico say insurance will pay for repairs, with the exception of a $2 million deductible the utility must cover. That will come out of the utility's operations and maintenance budget.

Utility spokesman Dan Ware says to minimize down time and costs, PNM is using the outage to perform regularly scheduled maintenance that had been planned for the fall.

The unit is expected to be operational again before summer demand ramps up.

Environmentalists are pressing state regulators to investigate the March incident, which resulted in a fire and some damage but no injuries.

New Mexico Senators Voice Concerns About Pecan Tariffs – Associated Press

New Mexico's two U.S. senators are concerned that tariffs implemented by the Chinese government on dozens of American product lines, including pecans, could hurt growers in the state.

New Mexico is one of the nation's top pecan-producing states.

Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich wrote a letter Friday urging U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider the effects restrictive import tariffs on pecans will have on U.S. growers and rural agricultural businesses.

Udall contends increased tariffs are already causing significant uncertainty and will make farming difficult.

China and Hong Kong have been the largest export markets for the U.S. pecan industry.

The senators say New Mexico produced 72 million pounds (32,660 metric tons) in 2016 and that production had a value of more than $213 million.

Drivers Urged To Use Caution During 5-Day Cycling Event – Associated Press

The state Department of Transportation advises drivers in southwestern New Mexico to be on the watch for cyclists and to expect intermittent road closures in the coming week due to a five-day cycling event.

The Annual Tour of the Gila begins Wednesday and runs through April 22 in and around Silver City.

Law enforcement officers will be stationed along the routes of events, some of which involve intermittent road closures.

District Engineer Trent Doolittle says drivers should be extremely cautious during the event.

Tips provided by the department include allowing three feet of passing space on the right side of vehicles and not passing if oncoming traffic is near and slowing when passing cyclists, especially if the roadway is narrow.

Carlsbad Caverns To Raise Entry Fee Next Year – Associated Press

Carlsbad Caverns National Park will raise entrance fees next year.

The National Park Service announced Friday that the New Mexico attraction's increased admission cost of $15 will go into effect starting Jan. 1.

The per-person fee will apply to people age 16 and up. But ages 15 and younger will be allowed in for free.

Park officials say the increase is needed for additional funding for maintenance and infrastructure needs. Eighty percent of the revenue will stay at the park to support visitor services.

The park previously upped entrance fees in January from $10 to $12.

The park is in the midst of upgrading its main elevator system, which is expected to be operational by May.

Report: 2 Mexican Wolves Found Dead In New Mexico – Associated Press

Federal wildlife managers say two endangered Mexican gray wolves have died, bringing the total of dead in the last few months to four.

The animals were found dead in New Mexico in March. Authorities did not release any details about the circumstances or where the wolves were found but confirmed their deaths are under investigation.

The deaths come after two of the animals were discovered dead in Arizona in February. They were the first to be reported this year.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials had those carcasses sent to a lab in Oregon for examination.

Efforts to reintroduce the endangered wolves in Arizona and New Mexico have been ongoing for two decades.

60 Arizona National Guard Troops Arrive At Mexico Border – Associated Press

Authorities say 60 of 338 Arizona National Guard members who will be deployed for President Donald Trump's plan for troops at the U.S.-Mexico border have arrived at the border town of Nogales.

Chief Border Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch of the U.S. Border Control's Tucson Sector and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday said the troops' arrival does not represent border militarization.

Trump wants to send up to 4,000 National Guard members to the border to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

Karisch and Ducey say the Arizona contingent will perform support roles such as road repair, aerial surveillance and camera operation.

They say that will free up Border Patrol agents to concentrate on law enforcement.

National guard members from California, New Mexico and Texas will also participate in the effort.

Radio Host's New Mexico Ranch Sells To Nebraska TV Mogul– Associated Press

Radio talk show host Don Imus has sold his sprawling New Mexico ranch to rural cable TV mogul Patrick Gottsch.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reportsthat facilitators of the deal declined to give the selling price of the 3,400-acre property about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Santa Fe, but it was last listed for $19 million.

Bell Tower Keller Williams listing agent Craig Huitfeldt says the price was not far from the target.

Huitfeld says the property near Ribera includes a 10-bedroom grand hacienda with a Western-style town that "rivals any Hollywood movie set."

The newspaper could not reach Gottsch for comment.

Gottsch founded Rural Free Delivery Television and the Rural Media Group, which are based in Omaha, Nebraska.

Imus had acquired the ranch in 1998.