Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

Governor Susanna Martinez announced on June 30th that the VA has approved bids by four cities in New Mexico to build veterans’ cemeteries using the Cemetery Grant Program.  The locations include Carlsbad, Angel Fire, Gallup and Fort Stanton, and were selected as part of the Governor’s Strategic Veterans Cemetery Initiative to build VA-funded, but state-managed veterans’ cemeteries.  Currently, New Mexico has only two existing National Cemeteries: in Santa Fe and at Fort Bayard.

The Gila Forest Service has announced emergency closure of the low campgrounds of the Forks and Grapevine Areas.  The low areas along the Gila River in the vicinity of the Forks and Grapevine Campgrounds experienced major flooding from high river flows. This caused much of the riverbank and adjacent flood plains to erode away. Many of these eroded areas were popular camping spots along the river. Due to the repeated large forest fires from the past few years and monsoonal rains, it is expected for the foreseeable future that flooding and erosion of the riverbanks will continue.  The closure to these areas will restrict camping, but the area will be open for day use.  The Grapevine Campground proper remains open for camping, but surrounding areas are closed to camping for public safety until further notice.

Gila Regional Medical Center is cutting its hospice and home health departments due to financial constraints.  GRMC is attempting to decrease the deficit from last fiscal year, which put the hospital around $10 million in the hole.  Given the additional access to other home health and hospice services in the area, GRMC is working with these providers to transitions patients and staff to another agency for uninterrupted care.

In other GRMC News, Gila Regional Medical Center announced Omaira Heakin  as the new GRMC Chief Financial Officer.  She brings over 13 years of financial management and experience to the area, and most recently served as the Chief Financial Officer for Alta Vista Regional Hospital in Las Vegas, NM.  To learn more, visit