This category will feature news releases from out-of-area government agencies and representatives, as well as events that are not taking place in the four-county area of Grant, Catron, Hidalgo or Luna. For those events please visit Local News Releases.

NMSU selected for student success capacity investment

New Mexico State University is one of 16 institutions participating in the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Powered by Publics initiative to receive additional investment and support to advance student-centered transformation.

The cohort of 16 institutions will engage in an in-depth institutional needs assessment, share student success data, and receive targeted professional development and technical assistance based on needs in advising, college readiness policy and practice, and digital learning. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the effort.

“NMSU is very pleased to be selected to participate in ‘Transforming Institutions to Increase Student Success,’ a Powered by Publics project of the Association for Public and Land-Grant Universities,” said NMSU Provost Carol Parker. “This data-centered, collaborative project aligns directly with our LEADS 2025 strategic plan’s goals for equitable improvement of student success. The project’s institutional needs assessment and data-gathering activities will both help improve our existing student success strategies. We also believe our participation will aid us in refining and reforming our first-year and general education curricula to be more equitably serving all of our students.”

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Examining the Need to Expand Eligibility Under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act

(RECA) before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties

When: Wednesday, March 24, 2021, at 2 pm EDT, noon MDT

Where: https://judiciary.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=4479 

At the invitation of Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Tina Cordova, Co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC), will provide written and oral testimony to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties this week to urge the members to expand the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) to include the Trinity Downwinders.  

The Trinity Downwinders seek justice for the unknowing, unwilling, and uncompensated innocent victims of the first atomic bomb test on July 16, 1945 in south central New Mexico.

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State Auditor Colón Warns New Mexicans About Unemployment Insurance Scams

Auditor Colón and the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions Urge New Mexicans to be Aware of Fraudsters Seeking to Take Advantage of Unemployment Benefits 

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Auditor Colón is once again urging New Mexicans to be aware of fraudsters exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic. The Office of the State Auditor (OSA) together with the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS) issued a joint risk advisory and fraud alert concerning unemployment benefits scams. Both agencies are calling for increased awareness as fraudsters continue to perpetuate numerous schemes related to the pandemic and are providing actionable steps individuals can take to protect themselves.  

"Predators continue to target New Mexicans who are already struggling to make ends meet during this pandemic," said Auditor Colón. "These fraudsters are stealing personal identification information and as a result are stealing money out of the pockets of taxpayers."

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Senator Cliff Pirtle Applauds Removal of Ban on Youth Sports Games

SANTA FE – Following a letter sent from Senator Cliff Pirtle (District 32-Chaves, Eddy, and Otero) to Secretary of Health, Dr. Tracie Collins, the Department of Health has removed the ban on youth competitive play and scrimmage for club sports.

Senator Pirtle released the following statement applauding the Department's decision:

"I want to thank Dr. Collins and the Department of Health for making this reasonable and important modification to the state's COVID-Safe Practices. Our young children have not been able to play since the spring of last year and were facing yet another lost season. With this change, they will now be able to safely return to competitive play."

The revised COVID-Safe Practices are available at cv.nmhealth.org/covid-safe-practices.

NMDOT Traffic Report for week of March 21 to 28, 2021

In all construction zones, motorists are asked to reduce speed, obey posted signs, and use extreme caution, as well as continue to be cautious of heavy equipment and construction personnel in the area. PLEASE NOTE: Conditions are subject to change without notice. Double fines for speeding in work zones may be in effect.

White Sands Missile Range Notification

For information regarding closures, you may call WSMR at 678-1178 or 678-2222 for updates.  

Traffic updates are posted on the NMDOT traffic advisory web-site at http://nmroads.com and can be retrieved through our automated system at 511 in New Mexico or 1-800-432-4269 from any line.

Interstates: 

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New Mexicans encouraged to learn their health risks on Diabetes Alert Day

SANTA FE - The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) joins the American Diabetes Association in recognizing Tuesday, March 23 as “Diabetes Alert Day”. The annual health observance encourages New Mexicans and others nationwide to take a quick, free online Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test and learn if they need to take action that could prevent or delay this condition.

Family history of diabetes, race/ethnicity, higher body weight, increasing age, smoking, lack of physical activity, high blood pressure, and a history of gestational diabetes are all risk factors for developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. To access the free one minute anonymous Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test, visit PathstoHealthNM.org

The Department of Health estimates that more than 245,000 New Mexican adults have diabetes and over 535,000 New Mexican adults have prediabetes, a condition that precedes type 2 diabetes where the blood glucose levels are higher than normal.

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Board of Pharmacy issues notice regarding electronic prescribing of controlled substances

Santa Fe- The Board of Pharmacy of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department is reminding practitioners and pharmacists that there are changes to state rules regarding electronic prescribing of controlled substance (EPCS) prescriptions in New Mexico.

The first change affects prescriptions to be reimbursed under Medicare Part D pursuant to the Support Act, otherwise known as the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act. 

Federal requirement:           

Effective January 1, 2021 the SUPPORT ACT requires electronic prescribing of controlled substance prescriptions under Medicare Part D, subject to any exceptions which the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services may apply. 

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USDA Announces $218 Million Investment in Land and Water Conservation

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2021 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the USDA Forest Service will invest more than $218 million to fund Great American Outdoors Act projects to conserve critical forest and wetland habitat, support rural economic recovery, and increase public access to national forests and grasslands.

Leveraging the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) provided by Congress, this investment will improve public access by funding strategic land acquisitions. Funds will also support work with state agencies to encourage private forest landowners to protect their land through conservation easements or land purchases.

“These investments reflect President Biden’s commitment to supporting locally led conservation efforts from coast to coast and to honoring and building on the proud private land stewardship traditions of farmers, ranchers, and forest owners,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The investments will not only protect our natural heritage, they will also create jobs, expand access to the outdoors, and help tackle climate change.”

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