Officials ready to raise enrollment fees

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Defense Department officials have drafted plans to raise TRICARE enrollment fees and deductibles sharply over the next three years for military retirees under age 65 and their families, about 3 million beneficiaries. If the changes touted by senior Defense officials are adopted, annual enrollment fees for TRICARE Prime, the military’s […]

High tariffs send construction costs even higher

Freedom Newspapers Just as the Gulf Coast struggles to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, the Bush administration has tossed another obstacle in the way that makes the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s bungled disaster relief seem like a minor wrinkle. It’s no secret that construction costs are on the rise, and part of the reason is enormous […]

Military health spending to be slowed

Tom Philpott: Military Update Congress will worsen a near crisis of runaway military health care costs if it enacts a Senate-backed provision to open the new TRICARE Reserve Select program to all drilling Reserve and National Guard members, the Defense Department’s top health official has warned. In testimony before a House subcommittee, Dr. William Winkenwerder […]

Heating costs forcing some seniors to look at alternatives

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Richard Jamieson holds up his homemade storm window Saturday at his home north of Clovis. The storm window, which is piece of insulation with tape, is used to keep out the cold and lower heating costs. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer A wood stove and closed doors. These are the […]

Davis-Bacon wage act should remain suspended

Freedom Newspapers One of the smartest things President Bush did to reduce recovery costs in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita was to suspend Davis-Bacon Act rules in the hardest hit states. But Congress is frantically trying to overrule the president, which would add billions of dollars to the already staggering recovery costs. Davis-Bacon, […]

Winter cost-cutting: Some residents turning to heating alternatives

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Clayton Ortiz cuts pinon and pine Tuesday at David’s Firewood on 21st Street. The pieces of wood will be packaged and sold in stores. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer Curry County residents will be paying more to heat their homes this winter. On Wednesday, the Energy Department predicted winter heating […]

Gas prices irk governor

Staff and wire reports ALBUQUERQUE — Gov. Bill Richardson will meet with legislators this week to discuss whether to call a special session — a move that could provide consumer relief to high gasoline prices and home heating costs. The proposed session, dubbed the Gas and Home Relief Special Session, would be aimed at stemming […]

Service members should be better informed

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Editor’s note: Military Update will move to Tuesdays beginning next week. Many service members are not well informed about their hodgepodge of pays, allowances, benefits and tax breaks and therefore don’t recognize and appreciate the real worth of their compensation packages. The observation is made in a Government Accountability Office […]

County projects surplus

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer Curry County Commission-ers approved an $8 million budget Monday during a special meeting at the courthouse. More than 50 percent of budget revenues are raised through property taxes, 40 percent through gross receipts taxes, and the remaining 10 percent through motor vehicle taxes and miscellaneous fees, according to County […]

Military health care costs still rising

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Defense Department officials say it’s time users of military health care pay a greater share of rising medical costs, perhaps through higher co-payments and enrollment fees that haven’t been raised since TRICARE, the military’s managed care program, began a decade ago. In an interview, Dr. William Winkenwerder, Jr., assistant secretary […]

5/29 Court Dispositions

The following criminal dispositions were filed in 9th Judicial District Court: • Alisha K. Spell, 23, pleaded no contest to attempted fraudulent use of a credit card (two counts) and ordered to serve two years less two days supervised probation, pay all probation costs, enter into and complete substance abuse rehabilitation arranged by Spell or […]

5/25 BRAC letters to the editor

Many airmen have fond memories of Cannon In regard to the letter written by Floyd Shumpert of Dallas and his experiences as a young airman at Cannon Air Base: I can only relate that my time here as a “base ape” was entirely the opposite. Almost from the first day I arrived at CAFB I […]

5/22 Court Dispositions

The following criminal dispositions were filed in Ninth Judicial District Court: • Travis Roach, 49, pleaded guilty to larceny (over $250), receiving stolen property and is ordered to serve 18 months supervised probation, pay all probation costs, have no contact with the victims, provide a DNA sample and pay a $100 testing fee. • Pablo […]

Tucumcari wants smaller share of pipeline cost

By William Thompson: Freedom Newspapers LOGAN — Now that Tucumcari has reduced its projected water needs by two-thirds, it wants to see its costs related to the Ute Pipeline Project reduced accordingly. Tucumcari currently is scheduled to pay one-fourth of the costs of a proposed project that would pipe water from the Ute Reservoir near […]

Clovis schools staring at deficit

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer Clovis Municipal Schools may be facing a $1.3 million budgetary shortfall for the 2005/2006 school year. Interim superintendent G. C. Ross and other school officials told members of the school board Tuesday that unfunded state mandates, increases in health insurance costs and property insurance costs account for the budget […]

Sky-high gas prices hit hard

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Two tractor-trailers exit Love’s truck stop Wednesday afternoon. Increased gas prices have left most companies and government agencies with little short-term option but to absorb the cost. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth) By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer Burgeoning fuel prices are gouging into budgets of private businesses and government organizations alike. With no end […]

Board votes to reduce energy costs

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer The Clovis school board voted unanimously Tuesday to contract with a firm that specializes in reducing energy costs in school districts. Energy Education, Inc. said the projected savings to the school district is $1.6 million in the next seven years. The program focuses on correcting the habits of faculty, […]

2/20 Court Dispositions

The following criminal dispositions were filed recently in the Curry County Magistrate Court: n Juanita A. Gonzales, 30, pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia. Sentenced to 364 days in county jail, all but 75 suspended, and $192 court costs and fees. Placed on supervised probation with 98 hours community service. n James R. Ellison, […]

Wet 2004 makes big splash in savings

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A combine harvests wheat to the south and east of State Highway 209 and Curry Road 17 June 2004 as storm clouds build in the distance. (CNJ file photo) By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer Mother Nature’s dousing of eastern New Mexico this year was a economic boon to the region, allowing farmers to cut […]

Iraq violence will get worse before situation calms

By CNJ staff The two events are not directly related, yet in a way they are. A Dec. 21 attack at a U.S. military base in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul killed 22 people, including more than a dozen Americans. The next day newspapers reported that for the first time a major U.S. contractor, […]