Friday News Roundup: Court Asked To Safeguard NM Mental Health Audit

Jul 26, 2013

Court Asked To Safeguard NM Mental Health Audit - Associated Press

The attorney general's office says an agreement has been reached for State Auditor Hector Balderas to have access to an audit that identified potential overbillings and fraud by behavioral health providers.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Al Lama said Thursday a state district judge in Santa Fe has been asked to issue an order making clear the audit report will be protected from public disclosure once it's provided to Balderas.

The auditor and Human Services Department support the request.

Balderas said his office needs the information in auditing the department's finances. He obtained a subpoena to try to force the department to provide him with the audit done for the agency.

Lama said public disclosure of the audit could jeopardize the attorney general's investigation of allegations against the behavioral health providers.

Rare Kingfisher Hatched At Albuquerque Zoo - Associated Press

Zookeepers at the Albuquerque BioPark are celebrating the recent birth of a rare Micronesian kingfisher.

The male chick is being hand-raised on crickets and soft pieces of meat. At six weeks old, it's fully feathered and ready to move to a larger enclosure where it will develop flight and landing skills.

Micronesian kingfishers are extinct in the wild. There are only 151 of the birds in captivity.

Officials say this marks the third successful offspring of Micronesian kingfisher at the zoo.

Zookeepers are also monitoring the development of another egg and are cautiously optimistic that kingfisher No. 152 will hatch Friday or Saturday.

The zoo's curator of birds, Peter Shannon, says the success the BioPark has had with breeding and raising the birds for the past two years is extremely important for conservation of the species.