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Hidalgo County Herald
Lordsburg, New Mexico
November 26, 2010     Hidalgo County Herald
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November 26, 2010

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VOLUME 10 ISSUE48 FRIDAY NOVEMBER 26, 2010 50 Hidalgo County SmallTown Papers 5026 California Avenue SW Seattle,WA 98136 II,l,,I,,I,,,,ll,,ll,,ll,,,,]l,I Health Insurance to improve health care access in rural NM Submitted by SEN. JEFF BINGAMAN'S OFFiCEWashington, DC U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman said Monday that New Mexico stands to gain from a new health insurance law initiative that helps doctors serving rural communities repay their school loans. Bingaman helped write the pro- vision of the law that invests $290 mil- lion next year in the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Pro- gram (NHSC). The NHSC offers primary care medical, dental and mental health cli- nicians up to $60,000 to repay student loans in exchange for two years of ser- vice at health care facilities in medi- cally underserved areas. "This new health insurance law aims to expand quality health care to millions more Americans. Many health care providers serving in rural .parts of our state already benefit from the Na- tional Health Service Corps. Expand- ing the loan repayment program will ensure that more New Mexicans can access qhality health care," Bingaman said. The Obama administration Mon- day also announced that, under the new health insurance law, insurance com- panies will be required to spend at least 80 percent of the premiums they gen- erate providing quality health care. BYA cleaning up the community The BootheelYouth Association (BYA) has been working to clean up the streets of Lordsburg as part of the organization's Trssh-a-Thon. The clean up will run through November and December. The BYA is currently looking for community sponsors, both individual and business, who will pledge a dollar amount per bag of garbage collected, not to exceed 40 bags. For more information on becoming e sponsor, contact Eric Moore at 575-538-1781 or Undy Kerr at 575-538-8446. Courtesy photo Financial assistance available for agricultural producers through NRCS in New Mexico Submitted by USDlVAIbuquerque is encouraging private landowners who The Natural Resources Conserva- currently farm ranch to maintain their tion Service (NRCS) in New Mexico land for agricultural uses. Dept. of Health announces changes to DD Waiver Program Submitted by NM DEPT. of HEALTH/ Santa Fe Health Secretary Alfredo Vigil, MD, announced last week that due to a drop in federal funding the New Mexico Department of,Health has to reduce its expenses to sustain the De- velopmental Disabilities Waiver Pro- ram. The DD Waiver Program is an optional Medicaid program that pro- vides services to about 3,700 people with developmental disabilities in New Mexico so they can live as indepen- dently as possible. The Department will work with providers to roll out the changes starting Jan. 1. "We have struggled to maintain this program despite escalating costs, and we must act now. to protect this pro- gram for the people who rely on its services," Dr. Vigil said. The Department is scheduling a public meeting in early December to present these changes and receive feed- back. The Department will announce when the meeting is scheduled. The following changes are expected to save almost $5.4 million this fiscal year: An 8 percent cut to individu- als' annual budgets, which will be off- set by a rate reduction for services A 5 percent rate reduction for all providers, including residential care and non-residential care such as thera- pies, skill building and care during the day Eliminate goods and services, such as club memberships and certain types of devices and supplies (batter- ies for hearing aids, books, comput- ers) Prevent payment for services not authorized in the individual bud- get The immediate changes are nec- essary because the federal government's funding match for Med- icaid will begin dropping January I, 2011. The federal match will gradu- ally decrease' from giving the State 80 cents for every dollar it spends today to 69 cents by July 1, 2011. The 8 percent budget reduction will result in fewer dollars for individuals to spend on services they need, but the re- duction will be offset by a lower cost for those services. For example, one visit with a nutritional counselor will cost $40.69 instead of $42.83. A month of ongoing case management services will cost $249.91 instead of the current rate of $263.06. Services will cost less, and accord- ingly individuals will have less money to buy those services. A child currently receiving an annual budget of $19,953 will receive $18,357, a reduction of $1,596 for the year. An adult receiving non-residential care with an annual bud- get of $36,527 will receive $33,605, a reduction of $2,922. The cost savings will help maintain the $307 million program but will not allow the Department to take people off the waiting list. There are more than 5,100 people on the waiting list. "We will always look at ways to serve as many people as we can, but right now we're focused on preserving the services we have for those currently in the program" Dr. Vigil said. The Department has been holding public meetings to make long-term changes to the DD Waiver Program in 2011. The Department has worked with clients, people on the waiting list and providers in planning changes that will make the program operate more effi- ciently and continue to improve the quality of life for people who have de- velopmental disabilities. The Depart- ment has also received input from pub- lic meetings, its stakeholder advisory councils and provider associations. For more information about the DD Waiver renewal process, look up http:// resourcesupportbureaupublications/. DDW/DDWaiverRenewalUpdate.htm And the NRCS will back up that encouragement with funding. The Farm and Ranch Lands Pro tection Program (FRPP) is a voluntary program that helps eli ible nti "es with arm n ran h rot " n r - rgr.a_m_ to protect agricultural lands. FRPP rcfluires, a state, tribal or local government/non-government organiza- tion to be primarily involved in the application. Interested landowners should work through an eligible en- tity. Eligible entities make application to NRCS when they enter into agree- ments with landowners interested in protecting their lands. To participate in FRRP, landowners must agree on two key points: (1) aaot to convert their land to non-agricultural uses and (2) to develop and implement a conserva- tion plan for any highly erodible land. To qualify, the land offered must: contain 50 percent or more prime, unique or other productive soil, or historical or archaeological re- sources meriting protection be included in a pending of- fer from a state, tribal or local gov- ernment or" non-governmental organizatior's farmland protection pro- gram be privately owned be covered by a conservation plan for any highly erodible land be able to sustain agricultural production be accessible to markets for what the land produces be surrounded by. parcels of land that can support long-term agri- cultural production The FY 2011 FRPP Batching deadline is February 18, 2011. Enti- ties must submit .applications by this date to be considered for the next fund- ing cycle. In addition to the entity application package, interested /and- owners must'complete Farm Services Agency (FSA) eligibility requirements and the USDA Form AD-1200. For more information about Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program (FRRP) and to find the application visit the NRCS website at: htt_!_t_t_t_t_t_t__: www.nm, frpp.html. Christmas Tree permits available for Gila National Forest Submitted by GNMI Silv'er City Permits for cutting Christmas trees on the Gila National Forest will be available at all ranger district offices on Monday, November 22, 2010. Per- mits sell for $5.00 each with a limit of one permit per household. Any tree species up to 10 feet high may be cut. Free permits for pifion trees will also be available. As an additional service to fami- lies who cut their family Christmas tree on the Forest, permits can be pur- chased 4 days earlier this year! By providing this additional service, fami- lies have an opportunity to obtain their family Christmas tree during the Thanksgiving holiday with visiting family or friends and avoid the after Thanksgiving Day rush. In the past, permits were sold the day after Thanksgiving. Christmas tree permits include the tree tag, an information sheet on cut- ting regulations, and maps of the .des- ignated cutting areas. Tree cutting activities are NOT allowed within wil- derness areas, river and stream (ripar- ian) areas, and areas within 200 feet of paved roads and developed recre- ation sites. Before starting on the hunt for the family Christmas tree, it is advisable to check with ranger district offices for road and weather conditions. During this time of year, dirt roads may be muddy, snow packed, and impassable. Forest visitors are asked to respect for- est and private lands, keep the Forest free of all litter by disposing of it in trashcans or packing it out, and close all gates after passing through them. For purchasing of permits by mail, please contact the ranger district of- rices or th Supervisor's Offce in Sil- ver City. Office hours are Monday through Friday (except on holidays) from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Note: In the Village of Reserve, Christmas tree permits are available at the Black Gold Emporium Store (7 days a week during their normal busi- ness hours, 7:00 am to 9:00 pm). UPCOMING EVENTS Court Closed Hidalgo Magistrate court will be closed, November 25 and 26, 2010 in observance of the Thanksgiving Holi- day. With the approval of the Chief Jus- tice and the Administrative Office of the courts, the Hidalgo Magistrate court will be closed on Wed. Dec 8th and Thurs. December 9th, 2010. There is a Jury trial scheduled on Dec 8th at 9:00 a.m. and Jurors are still requested to report. This closure is to allow the staff to work strictly on data entry. Regular office hours wi!l resume on Friday, December 10, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. Animas Christmas Bazaar The ,nnual Animas Christmas Ba- zaar sponsored by Omega Alpha of Epsi- Ion Sigma Alpha International will be at the Animas Community Center from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. on Saturday December 4, 2010. Come do your Christmas shopping and enjoy a delicious Green Chile Stew or Bean Burrito lunch. Santa will drop in from 2 p.m. - 3p.m. Donations sought Sarah Goodman, of Lordsburg, will be visiting South Africa next month and plans tO take much-needed items to the needy people there, including clothing, toys, shoes, etc. She is currently taking donations of items and is seeking assis- tance with shipping costs. For more in- formation, Goodman can be reached at 575-654-4016. Veterans Service Officer Reggie Price, Veterans Service Of- ricer from New Mexico Department of Veterans' Services, will be available to meet with veterans and/or their families on Monday November 29,2010 at the Lordsburg City Hall. Office hours will be from 10am-2pm. For better assistance, please bring a copy of the veterans' dis- charge papers. More information is available by calling Reggie in the Sil- ver City office at 575-538-2377. Moonlight Madness The annual Moonlight Madness event is set for December 3, 2010. For booth information, contact the Special Events Center at 575-542-8844. Diabetes support group There will be no Diabetes Support Group for November and December, since everyone will be busy for the holi- days. Happy Holidays to our Support Group and their families and see you next year! Step Aerobics The Active and Alive Step Aerobics class is held at 6 PM at Central Elemen- tary School on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information call 575-537-0248 ext. 227. Continued on Page 3 I