Headlines: Rudolfo Anaya Honored, BCBS Says Some Customers Must Change Health Plans...

Sep 30, 2014

Credit University of New Mexico

'Bless Me, Ultima' Novelist Anaya To Be HonoredThe Associated Press

The godfather of contemporary Chicano literature has been chosen as the 2nd ever inductee into the Albuquerque Wall of Fame.

Author Rudolfo Anaya is scheduled to be honored Tuesday at the Alvarado Transportation Center.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry says Anaya is receiving a Wall of Fame nod because his descriptive narratives opened up Albuquerque and New Mexico to the world.

Anaya was born in Pastura, New Mexico, and raised in nearby Santa Rosa.

He is best known for the novel Bless Me, Ultima, which experts say sparked the Chicano literary movement in the late 1960s and influenced a generation of Latino writers.

The novel was made into a movie in 2012.

Blue Cross Tells Some Customers They Must Shift - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

A major insurer is telling thousands of New Mexico residents that they'll have to select new plans for individual health care coverage.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico last week sent a letter to customers now covered by individual insurance plans that don't meet the federal health care law's standards.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the move will impact coverage for approximately 30,000 people Jan. 1. That includes 13,000 people whose plans had been grandfathered because they were in place before the law was enacted in 2010.

New Mexico Insurance Superintendent John Franchini in May directed that all plans sold in New Mexico after Dec. 31 must comply with the law's standards.

The New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange offers plans by five different insurance companies, including Blue Cross.

National PAC Plans Ads In Attorney General Race - The Associated Press

A national political group that's helped Democratic candidates is preparing to launch a television advertising blitz in New Mexico's race for attorney general.

Ad records of Albuquerque TV stations show that the Committee for Justice and Fairness plans to spend about $300,000 to broadcast ads starting next week and continuing until the November general election.

Democrat Hector Balderas and Republican Susan Riedel are running campaign ads but their spending so far is less than the cost of the broadcast time reserved by the political action committee.

The Committee for Justice and Fairness is a "super PAC" that's free from campaign contribution limits because it independently advocates the election or defeat of candidates.

IRS records show the Democratic Attorneys General Association has been a large contributor to the committee.

Navajo Legislative Leader Resigns - The Associated Press

The head of the Navajo Nation's legislative branch has resigned a day before he is to plead guilty in a criminal case.

Johnny Naize's resignation Monday ends his nearly four years as speaker of the Navajo Nation Council and 16 years as a tribal lawmaker.

The council already had stripped Naize of his administrative duties after he was charged with bribery and conspiracy in an investigation into the use of tribal funds.

His attorney, Troy Eid, says Naize is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. Prosecutors say Naize schemed with his former colleagues to divert tens of thousands of dollars to his family.

Santa Fe Southern Suspends Passenger Rail Service - The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

Tourist-oriented passenger train service between Santa Fe and the village of Lamy is suspended again.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the Santa Fe Southern Railway is notifying customers that operations have been halted for the foreseeable future.

The railroad did not immediate respond to several messages from The Associated Press on Tuesday, but its website says service "has been temporarily suspended."

Twice-daily service on the 18-mile route resumed in July after being suspended in 2013 after two decades of operations.

The latest service involved equipment provided by X Train Holdings, a unit of Las Vegas Railway Express Inc.,

$1M In Federal Funding To Promote NM Agriculture - The Associated Press

New Mexico State University and other organizations will be sharing in federal funding that will help farmers and ranchers market their products and make them more competitive.

More than $538,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will go toward organizations that work to bolster economic opportunities for family farmers and support rural communities.

One of the groups, Delicious New Mexico, will receive $100,000 to provide outreach, marketing, training and technical assistance to improve and expand the Espanola Food Hub.

The Pinyon Foundation in Santa Fe will receive another $100,000 to produce and implement Spanish language multimedia campaigns to promote farmers' markets nationwide.

Five other groups will also receive grants.

Under a separate initiative, nearly $500,000 will go to NMSU to help organic livestock and crop producers to be more competitive.