Wednesday News Roundup: NM's Infant Mortality Rate On The Rise

Nov 27, 2013

NM's Infant Mortality Rate On The Rise - Associated Press

New Mexico health officials are concerned about an increase in the state's infant mortality rate.

The state Department of Health says New Mexico's rate has exceeded the national rate for the first time since 1994. The latest figures show an increase from 5.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 to 6.9 in 2012.

Health Secretary Retta Ward says the department will monitor the numbers closely to see if the increase signals a trend.

The main increase in infant deaths was in white and Hispanic infants during the neonatal period.

Birth defects as well as low birth weight and disorders related to preterm births were the most common causes of infant deaths.

Since last year, the department has been participating in a regional collaborative to reduce infant mortality.

Navajo Code Talkers Honored At Redskins Game - Associated Press

Four members of the famed Navajo Nation Code Talkers were honored at a Washington Redskins game.

The men's appearance at Monday night's game against the San Francisco 49ers came during the Redskins' military appreciation night. But it's also fueling the debate over the team's mascot, which has been criticized as racist and offensive.

The crowd cheered as Peter MacDonald Sr., George Willie Sr., George James Sr. and Roy Hawthorne stepped onto the field during the first quarter.

A video shown overhead paid tribute to the Code Talkers, who used their native language to confound the Japanese during World War II. The video ends with MacDonald saying, "Hail to the Redskins. Go, Redskins. Let's do it."

The Redskins declined to make the Code Talkers available for interviews at the game, and attempts to reach them Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Governor Fills Vacancy On Pension Governing Board - Associated Press

An Albuquerque area investment adviser has been named by Gov. Susana Martinez to a board overseeing the state pension system for educators.

Larry Magid of Sandia Park will serve a term on the Educational Retirement Board ending June 30, 2017. He replaces Delman Shirley, whose term had expired.

Magid has a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Oklahoma.

The seven-member board of trustees oversees a $10 billion pension fund and sets policies for the retirement system covering about 37,000 retirees and 61,000 workers, ranging from public school teachers and principals to college faculty.

The governor appoints two members of the board. Groups representing retirees, educational employees and university workers elect three members. The state treasurer and secretary of public education also serve on the board.