Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
Four hikers, two from Silver City, two from Houston Texas, were stranded by high water conditions last week when the Gila River flooded. The two from Texas were spotted by a Customs and Border Protection Office Air and Marine Helicopter after the family called from Texas to alert local officials that they had not been heard from. They were located eight and a half miles upstream from the Cliff Dwellings at the Gila River’s West Fork. Before the Texas hikers could be rescued, two hikers from Silver City were also stranded. A helicopter dropped provisions and instructions for the local hikers to find the two from Houston, and the four remained together Tuesday night waiting for the waters to recede. Finally, the four hikers were lifted out by helicopter Wednesday morning.
US Senator Martin Heinrich announce that IEC SoCal Braiding and Continental Machine were awarded contracts to manufacture missile defense components in New Mexico. Senator Heinrich played a key role in securing an amendment in last year’s National Defense Authorization Act that supports American jobs by authorizing $15 million for the production of the Iron Dome short-range rocket defense system in the United States. To date, the United States has provided nearly a billion dollars to Israel for Iron Dome batteries, interceptors, and general maintenance; of which $220 million was authorized in the FY14 National Defense Authorization Act for procurement of additional Iron Dome batteries and missiles. Despite these significant investments, the United States has not shared in production of this missile defense system until now.
A routine pick-up of six illegal immigrants attempting to circumvent the US Border Patrol Immigration Checkpoint along the Columbus Highway on foot Sunday evening turned into an arrest. A 33 year old Mexican National traveling with the group was discovered to have an active criminal warrant from Nevada, where he was charged with “Sexual Assault of a Minor”, but never faced his charges. The man is currently being held at the Luna County Detention Center, awaiting proceedings for his immigration violation before being extradited to Nevada for the sexual assault charges.
Nearly 23,000 New Mexicans received a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield this week telling them their insurance plans would expire in November. The letter reportedly said that a person’s plan does not meet certain requirements of the Affordable Care Act and will be discontinued. Those users will have to pick another plan. The Affordable Care Act requires health insurance plans to accept members with pre-existing conditions, guarantee issue and provide essential health benefits. Those who received the letter can select a new plan beginning November 15th. December 31st will be the deadline to ensure coverage continues to 2015.
The Glenwood Ranger District has closed the Catwalk National Recreation Trail after flood waters damaged a section of the road leading into the site. The roadway has been washed away at the Whitewater Creek crossing and repair work has been assessed by the New Mexico Department of Transportation. For further information, contact the NMDOT at (505) 827-5100 or go online to http://www.dot.state.nm.us/content.nmdot/en.html.