State economic development secretary hails Sunland Inc. during visit

PNT Staff The chief of New Mexico’s Economic Development Department hailed the expansion of Sunland Inc. peanuts as a model for other cities across the state. Fred Mondragon’s remarks came Thursday while in Portales for a tour of the peanut processing plant and Eastern New Mexico University. Mondragon is secretary of the state economic development […]

U.S. agriculture secretary backs dairy relief proposal

knkqp2-730dairy.jpg

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture has committed to temporarily raise the price the federal Department of Agriculture will pay for dairy products, providing the director of the U.S. Office of Management and the Budget approves the move. In a meeting with U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and other senators […]

MVD looking online for better customer service

51afde11b3d23.jpg

By Argen Duncan: PNT staff writer Long waits and frustrating automated call systems with the state Motor Vehicle Division could be on their way out, according to the state official overseeing the division. Secretary of the Taxation and Revenue Department Rick Homans was in Portales on Wednesday to explain plans to put many MVD functions […]

Portales police seek school purse thief

PNT Staff Report Steiner Elementary School was locked down Wednesday for 20 minutes after a man walked into the secretary’s office and stole her purse, according to Portales police. Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said around 9:30 a.m., a man entered the school when the secretary wasn’t in her office. “The guy walked around and stole […]

Gates: Health care needs overhaul

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ prescription for what ails the military health care system includes replacing aging hospitals, and raising TRICARE fees for working-age retirees, which Congress has kept frozen since 1995. “Health care is eating the (Defense) Department alive,” Gates told officers attending the Air War College on Maxwell-Gunter Air […]

U.S., Mexico collaboration right step

Freedom New Mexico U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s recent meeting with Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Patricia Espinosa appears to have borne sweet fruit. Since their meeting the two countries have formed a joint working group to make immigration easier. The group will work to make immigration easier and safer, starting with improving the documentation […]

It’s their job: Judit Barrera

khcrhh-331itjbarrera2web.jpg

Name: Judit Barrera Job: Secretary at Ace Hardware. Background: I was born and raised in Portales. Time on job: Two years this May.

Timely budgets on secretary’s agenda

By Tom Philpott: FNNM 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.

Legislature tidbits, Jan. 28

Santa Fe New Mexico staff Days remaining in session: 51 A swarm of lobbyists More than 500 lobbyists have registered with the Secretary of State’s Office this session, with another 500 expected. There also are 600 organizations represented by lobbyists. That’s a ratio of 4.46 lobbyists to each of the 112 lawmakers. It’s also a […]

Human Services secretary unveils health-care plans

New Mexican staff Days remaining in session: 53 If at first you don’t succeed… Human Services Secretary Pam Hyde on Monday unveiled her department’s health-care reform plans for this session. The 10-point plan includes an electronic medical records act, a requirement that insurance companies spend 85 percent of premiums on direct services to client, and […]