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New Mexico leaders visit Miami to learn from behavioral health approach

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New Mexico leaders visit Miami to learn from behavioral health approach


What could Albuquerque learn from Miami? A group of New Mexico leaders is heading to Miami this week to see a first-of-its-kind facility devoted to behavioral health.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — What could Albuquerque learn from Miami? A group of New Mexico leaders is heading to Miami this week to see a first-of-its-kind facility devoted to behavioral health.

This is the third group from New Mexico to make this trip, hoping to bring back some substantial ideas. This week’s trip holds even more weight as leaders consider the governor’s agenda for the upcoming special session.

The governor’s agenda for the special session includes five main points, and some leaders say the most complicated part of it involves mental competency. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wants lawmakers to rework the laws to essentially make it easier for the courts to mandate mental health treatment for certain suspects.

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Some lawmakers are already looking at the concerns of implementing the legislation, if it passes. That’s where the Miami trips come in.

The group of 20 heading to Miami this week includes one Albuquerque lawmaker and local leadership from much of southern New Mexico. The facility in Miami serves people with serious mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders who cycle through the criminal justice system.

The idea is to learn how to approach building behavioral health facilities, staffing, and sustainability – from an already successful model.

“Looking at the whole picture, it’s just a win for everyone to move in this direction,” Republican Rep. Jenifer Jones said. “It’s only a piece of what we need in mental health and, you know, behavioral health infrastructure here in New Mexico, but it’s a big piece that affects everyone.”

Jones said being successful will come down to better communication and using the state’s resources more effectively.

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The trip to Miami is scheduled for later this week ahead of the special session on July 18.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham shared the following statement on the issue:

“Republicans contend that making New Mexico a safer place during the special session under my proposals is ‘undoable’––an assertion I flatly reject. It’s only ‘undoable’ if lawmakers refuse to roll up their sleeves and work with me to get it done.  

State lawmakers of both parties must ask themselves if they are comfortable with more crime and more homelessness because business owners and rank-and-file New Mexicans are fed up. We can make our state safer but it’s going to require some hard work, a can-do attitude, and a collaborative approach. I call on lawmakers to help me pass my common-sense public safety reform agenda for New Mexicans during the special session.” 

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New Mexico

Arvada firefighter robbed while fighting New Mexico blaze

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Arvada firefighter robbed while fighting New Mexico blaze


DENVER (KDVR) — An Arvada firefighter was robbed while fighting deadly wildfires blazing in New Mexico.

Matthew Ramos was part of a Colorado crew that traveled to help battle the South Fork Fire and Salt Fire, which have burned thousands of acres near Ruidoso, New Mexico, about eight hours south of Denver.

While helping out the community, Ramos’ car was parked outside of a fire station near the burn zone. When he got back, a duffle bag full of gear and some money had been stolen.

“It looks like they broke my car door handle somehow and got in. It’s an older vehicle so it’s not hard to break into,” Ramos told FOX31. “You know, maybe they were in a bad spot and needed it more than I did. But it’s just unfortunate to see really.”

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Ramos has returned to Arvada, and said fighting the fire was “traumatizing” and said the full impact of the massive blaze has not set in.

Despite the robbery and traumatizing experience, Ramos said he hopes to return and help fight the fire if his help is needed again.

The Associated Press reports that the blaze killed two people and destroyed hundreds of homes in the past week.



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FBI seeks suspects in 2 New Mexico wildfires that killed 2 people, damaged hundreds of buildings

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FBI seeks suspects in 2 New Mexico wildfires that killed 2 people, damaged hundreds of buildings


APTOPIX New Mexico Wildfires

A charred car and the remains of the Swiss Chalet Hotel are pictured after being destroyed by the South Fork Fire in the mountain village of Ruidoso, N.M. on Saturday. Andres Leighton/Associated Press

RUIDOSO, N.M. — Full-time residents of Ruidoso will be allowed to return to their village Monday morning as federal authorities seek to prosecute whoever started a pair of New Mexico wildfires that killed two people and destroyed or damaged more than 1,400 structures.

The FBI said it is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrests and convictions of those responsible for the South Fork Fire and Salt Fire in southern New Mexico, which forced thousands to flee.

The federal agency also said it was seeking public assistance in identifying the cause of the fires discovered on June 17 near the village of Ruidoso.

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But the notice also pointedly suggested human hands were to blame, saying the reward was for information leading to the arrest and conviction of “the person or persons responsible for starting the fires.

Lincoln County Manager Randall Camp said at a news conference Saturday that “we are approaching a thousand homes lost” in the fires.

President Biden issued a disaster declaration for parts of southern New Mexico on Thursday. The move freed up funding and more resources to help with recovery efforts including temporary housing, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property and other emergency work in Lincoln County and on lands belonging to the Mescalero Apache Tribe.

The National Interagency Fire Center said the South Fork Fire, which reached 26 square miles, was 31% contained Sunday. It said the Salt Fire that has spread over 12 square miles was now 7% contained.

Both fires had been at zero containment Friday. Full containment isn’t expected until July 15, according to fire officials.

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More than 1,100 firefighters continued to fight the flames in steep and rocky terrain Sunday.

The South Fork and Salt fires are still burning on both sides of Ruidoso and a threat of flash floods still looms over the village.

Authorities said downed power lines, damaged water, sewer and gas lines plus flooding in burn scars continued to pose risks to firefighters and the public.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham toured some of the disaster areas Saturday with Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Deanne Criswell.

Even with federal and state assistance on the table, Ruidoso Mayor Lynn Crawford estimates it could take at least five years for the area to fully recover.

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Ruidoso officials said those wanting to return home Monday must bring drinking water and at least a week’s worth of food. They warned residents that homes may be without gas, electricity or water.

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United pulls out win in 5th clean sheet of season

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United pulls out win in 5th clean sheet of season


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico United’s defense, and Alex Tambakis, came through yet again. The black and yellow recorded its fifth clean sheet of the year on Saturday night in a 1-0 victory over visiting Colorado Springs.

New Mexico’s defense was tested early and often. While Colorado Springs was able to get a large number of shots off (16 in total), New Mexico never waivered and kept pushing through.

United struggled to find offensive chances in the first half but started to gain momentum in the second. With the game still scoreless in stoppage time, Colorado Springs committed a penalty in the box on Mukwelle Akale to give United a chance to win. Talen Mapels stepped to the spot and sealed the win.

“I am really proud of the grittiness to find a way,” said New Mexico head coach Eric Quill. “I thought our second half was amazing, and then Talen Maples, I’m so proud of him to step up in a moment after last week he could have doubted himself. I am just ecstatic for him because this guys mental fortitude is something special.”

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With the win, United now sits three points above second place Sacramento in the western conference. The club now hits the road to San Antonio next Saturday. The next home match will be on Wednesday, July 3.



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