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Chopper 4 video shows devastation of New Mexico wildfires

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Chopper 4 video shows devastation of New Mexico wildfires


It’s going to be a long road to recovery for the people who live in and around Ruidoso.

RUIDOSO, N.M. – It’s going to be a long road to recovery for the people who live in and around Ruidoso. The South Fork and Salt fires are both around 90% containment at last update. 

While the fires themselves are not posing an active threat right now, the devastation they left behind is hurting a lot of New Mexicans right now. 

On Tuesday, that area is particularly susceptible to flooding. 

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Video captured by Chopper 4 Tuesday morning illustrates just how much the fires changed the community.

Watch the video above for more.



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New Mexico

The struggles holding New Mexico back

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The struggles holding New Mexico back





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University of New Mexico Health System provides first-time sleep apnea device surgery

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University of New Mexico Health System provides first-time sleep apnea device surgery


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – For those who struggle with lack of sleep, the University of New Mexico Health System and Sciences is providing a new way to treat sleep apnea.

High blood pressure, heart, and lung issues are just some of the impacts of sleep apnea, a condition where people have trouble breathing while they sleep.

“There’s been a device for many years called a CPAP that many people are familiar, which is a positive pressure device that a ‘not-surgical’ treatment, but some people can’t use that for whatever reason,” said Dr. Noah Syme, head and neck surgeon at the University of New Mexico.

A big issue with the current treatment is that most people who wear it to sleep find it highly uncomfortable. Dr. Syme is hoping to change that with the newer “inspire therapy” device.

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“It’s all internal, and it’s portable. The battery does have to be replaced eventually, but it has a 10-year battery life,” said Dr. Syme.

After an eight-year wait, Dr. Syme performed the first two surgeries at UNMH in June. In the surgery, he made two incisions, one under the jawline and the other on the chest. He then put in a device that looks similar to a pacemaker into position, which charges a wire.

“We place the wire in the neck around a nerve, and it’s the nerve that moves our tongue that helps us protrude our tongue. Because one of the things that happens with sleep apnea is the tongue falls to the back of the throat, and that’s how that upper airway gets closed,” said Dr. Syme.

While this treatment was first introduced in New Mexico two years ago, the recipients were extremely limited due to insurance. Now, it will be accessible to a much larger crowd.

“For me, that’s sort of the reason why I’m at the university is so that we can treat everybody regardless of what their insurance status is,” said Dr. Syme.

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Potential patients do have to meet certain requirements including being diagnosed with moderate to severe sleep apnea. Which is determined by a sleep study. You also need to meet a certain weight-to-height ratio or BMI. Finally, you must have already tried and failed the CPAP treatment.

“It’s important to me because it’s not just a new shiny thing to do, but it’s a thing that I think people really respond to well,” said Dr. Syme.

Dr. Syme stated his first patients have healed well and their devices will be activated on July 26, one month after the surgery.



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New Mexico

Heavy rain causes flash flood warnings across parts of New Mexico

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Heavy rain causes flash flood warnings across parts of New Mexico


Josh’s Saturday Evening Forecast

Very active weather has moved into New Mexico this afternoon. Storms will continue to drift off to the south and southwest as they continue to develop through this evening. Storms are capable of very heavy rain. A Flood Watch is in effect for much of New Mexico through Sunday night as well for a large portion of the state. Flash Flood Warnings have been issued as well for the South Fork and Salt Fire burn scars and surrounding areas. Burn scar flash flooding continues to be the biggest concern this weekend, but any strong thunderstorm could also drop heavy rain and cause flash flooding elsewhere.

Another active afternoon is likely on Monday as temperatures will be cooler across New Mexico. We will start to see some slightly drier air move in around the middle of next week, but thunderstorms will continue to develop each afternoon across parts of New Mexico.

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