New budget may call for fee hike

As defense budgets grew over the past decade, Congress shrugged off complaints of runaway military health costs and blocked every proposal from the Bush administration to raise TRICARE fees sharply on retirees. Defense budgets have stopped rising, however, and Defense officials today are sounding more confident that Congress will follow last October’s $5-a-month bump in […]

Mental health needs still unmet

Despite adding billions of dollars for mental health care to Department of Veterans Affairs budgets the last four years, and the hiring of 7,000 more mental health professionals at VA clinics and hospitals, many veterans with severe combat-related stress still face long waits to get the care they need. And some VA facilities might be […]

Rising feed prices stretch budgets

lgmwrj-lgmwk8215feed.jpg

CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson Austin Hale of Clovis One-Stop Feed Inc. said rising feed costs are stretching already tight budgets for consumers who have animals. Sharna Johnson With steadily rising grain-based feed prices, the future is hard to predict, but the one thing that is certain is costs are stretching budgets, especially for those […]

Timely budgets on secretary’s agenda

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist The new secretary of Veterans Affairs, retired Army Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, got a recent tour of the paperwork battlefield on which VA claim adjudicators serve every day.

Aisle getting steeper

k35mwp-629weddingplanner.jpg

CNJ Staff Photo: Tony Bullocks Lisa Pellegrino, left, event manager for the Clovis Civic Center, goes over wedding plans Thursday with Sasha Guhrke and Jason Zaikowski of Clovis. The couple are planning for a July wedding at the Civic Center. By Keely McDowell: CNJ Staff Writer With the economy putting a strain on spending money, […]

Teachers purchase additional supplies

by Mike Linn Zia Elementary second-grade teacher Terri Damron has two budgets for school supplies — one from the school and one from her husband. When she runs out of budgeted money for her classroom, or when certain items can’t be bought with a purchase order, she reaches into her own pocket to buy arts, […]