Today's News

  • Colo. Firefighters: Blaze Could Burn for Months
  • Today in History June 25
  • Audit: NM mental health companies overbilled

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Fifteen New Mexico providers of mental health and substance abuse services failed to meet standards, overbilled the federal and state government by tens of millions of dollars, and may have taken part in fraudulent activities, according to a new state audit released Monday.

    New Mexico Human Services Department officials said the audit found that "errors and overpayments were so widespread that the business and billing practices of every provider (in the audit) warrants careful scrutiny."

    It also found "mismanagement, fraud, waste and abuse" in the treatment of potential suicide victims, including disregard for follow-up care and basic policies.

    Department Secretary Sidonie Squier said that, as a result of the audit, Medicaid payments would stop immediately to all 15 providers and out-of-state managers would be brought to New Mexico to manage behavioral health care services for patients.

    In addition, she said the results of the five-month audit have been forwarded to the New Mexico Attorney General's Office for further investigation of potential fraud.

    "New Mexico can't risk this type of activity," Squier said in an interview with The Associated Press.

  • Hope Floats in a Concrete Canoe

    Does concrete float? Teams representing 23 schools were judged on how well they applied their engineering skills to building boats from concrete. The concrete canoes were more than four times heavier than same-size canoes made of wood.

  • Energy Dept. says worst Hanford tank may be leaking nuclear waste into the soil

    An underground tank holding some of the worst radioactive waste at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site might be leaking into the soil.

    The U.S. Energy Department said workers at Washington state's Hanford Nuclear Reservation detected higher radioactivity levels under tank AY-102 during a routine inspection Thursday.

    Spokeswoman Lori Gamache said the department has notified Washington officials and is investigating the leak further. An engineering analysis team will conduct additional sampling and video inspection to determine the source of the contamination, she said.

    State and federal officials have long said leaking tanks at Hanford do not pose an immediate threat to the environment or public health. The largest waterway in the Pacific Northwest — the Columbia River — is still at least 5 miles away and the closest communities are several miles downstream.

    However, if this dangerous waste escapes the tank into the soil, it raises concerns about it traveling to the groundwater and someday potentially reaching the river.

  • 2 pueblos join fireworks ban in NM

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two pueblos have agreed to join a fireworks ban amid New Mexico's dangerously dry conditions.

    KOAT-TV reports that Santa Clara Pueblo and the Santa Ana Pueblo agreed last week to join a ban on fireworks on the reservation after meeting with Gov. Susana Martinez.

    The governor recently met with leaders from all 22 pueblos and told them about the effects of the state's extreme drought.

    Martinez says this is the worst drought the New Mexico has seen in 118 years.

    Officials hope to have a list next week of all the pueblos that have banned fireworks.

  • Today in History for June 24th
  • Nik Wallenda Crosses Canyon on Tightrope

    Aerialist Nik Wallenda crossed the Little Colorado River Gorge near the Grand Canyon on Sunday. The stunt took him about 1,500 feet above the river. It took him 22 minutes to cross the quarter-mile gorge.

  • Hostess: Twinkies to return to shelves July 15

    NEW YORK (AP) — Hostess is betting on a sweet comeback for Twinkies when they return to shelves next month.

    The company that went bankrupt after an acrimonious fight with its unionized workers last year is back up and running under new owners and a leaner structure. It says it plans to have Twinkies and other snack cakes back on shelves starting July 15.

    Based on the outpouring of nostalgia sparked by its demise, Hostess is expecting a blockbuster return next month for Twinkies and other sugary treats, such as CupCakes and Donettes. The company says the cakes will taste the same but that the boxes will now bear the tag line "The Sweetest Comeback In The History Of Ever."

    "A lot of impostor products have come to the market while Hostess has been off the shelves," says Daren Metropoulos, a principal of the investment firm Metropoulos & Co., which teamed up with Apollo Global Management to buy a variety of Hostess snacks.

  • Raw: Growing Colo. Wildfire Threatens Town

    A wildfire threatening a tourist region in southwestern Colorado has mushroomed to nearly 100 square miles. But fire officials said Saturday night that they are still optimistic they can protect the town of South Fork.