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Today's News

  • Obama taking softball questions

    SANTA FE — The White House press corps, which covers every move of President Barack Obama, owes a big thank you to an Albuquerque pop music station.
    Last Friday morning, the president accepted an invitation for an on-air chat with KOB-FM’s “Morning Mayhem” co-hosts Carlos Duran, Kiki Garcia and Danny Vigil.
    Presidents do that sort of thing from time to time, but the White House press corps has been feeling ignored recently because the escalating battle between presidential candidates has produced an atmosphere in which neither candidate had been inclined to take questions from the press corps.
    Just look at the battle of gaffes and their exploitation by the opposing camp to see why Obama and Mitt Romney prefer to confine themselves to prepared remarks.
    But last weekend, President Obama’s team made a quick pivot. Last Monday morning, Obama submitted to a grilling by reporters. Former Gov. Romney was in Hobbs Wednesday. We’ll see if New Mexico’s enchantment caused him to sit and talk with press corps reporters.
    According to news coverage of Obama’s conversation with reporters, little new information was imparted. Readers may have learned more from the light-hearted conversation with the KOB radio crew.

  • Medicaid is black and white and red all over

    Last week, the state’s leading economist waded into the Medicaid debate.
    “I think we should seriously think of saying yes to Medicaid,” said Lee Reynis, director of UNM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research. “It’s an opportunity to develop health-care infrastructure, especially in rural areas. The federal government is willing to pay the freight for much of it.”
    BBER’s forecasting models indicate New Mexico would receive $3.9 billion from the federal government from 2014 to 2020, and the expansion would create thousands of new jobs. Reynis was speaking to Economic Forum, a nonpartisan business group. I was surprised at the comment, which came at the end of an otherwise gloomy look at the economy.
    Medicaid expansion has become an election issue. The Supreme Court, in upholding the Affordable Care Act, removed the mandate to expand the program, giving states a choice. Expansion supporters and detractors have their boilerplate arguments, so true believers can take a position without thinking.  If you’re in the middle – I’m sorry – you’ll just have to think.

  • Isaac becomes Cat 1 hurricane near the Gulf Coast

    MIAMI (AP) — Isaac became a hurricane Tuesday that could flood the coasts of four states with storm surge and heavy rains on its way to New Orleans, where residents hunkered down behind levees fortified after Katrina struck seven years ago this week.

    Shelters were open for those who chose to stay or missed the chance to get away before the outer bands of the large storm blow ashore ahead of a forecast landfall in southeast Louisiana on Tuesday night or early Wednesday. However, with the exception of some low-lying areas, officials had not ordered mass evacuations.

    The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Isaac became a Category 1 hurricane Tuesday with winds of 75 mph. It could get stronger by the time it's expected to reach the swampy coast of southeast Louisiana.

    In Houma, a city southwest of New Orleans, people filled a municipal auditorium-turned-shelter. However, in the bayou country of Terrebonne Parish off Highway 24, storms pose a perennial dilemma for those living a hardscrabble life.

  • Raw Video: Isaac Knocking on New Orleans' Door
  • Today in History for August 28th
  • Today in History for August 28th
  • Today in History for August 28th
  • LANL workers exposed to radiation leak

    According to lab officials, about 12 employees were accidentally exposed to Technetium-99, a  type of low level radiation that travels fast, but is stopped by the clothing and skin. As of press time, LANL is determining when and how the exposure occurred.

    "They are investigating what exactly happened and how to accurately characterize it at  this point," said LANL Public Information Officer Nancy Ambrosiano.

    The dosage they received is approximately 10 times lower than the allowable amount of millirems by law, and does not pose a public health threat, according to LANL officials. 

    LANL officials are also saying that some of the employees apparently took the radiation home with them and a clean up operation is now underway.  As of late Monday afternoon LANL officials cannot say where the employees went after they left the lab.

    One place that was checked though was Chamisa Elementary School.  It was checked Sunday. According to a statement on the school’s site, Chamisa was given the all clear sign, with no signs of contamination found. The statement also said that was the only school checked.

    “We appreciate the thoroughness of the lab in assuring the safety of our students and staff,” said a statement on the site.

  • Gas Prices Could Rise As Isaac Hits Gulf
  • Ala. Coast Residents Ordered to Leave