Retroactive pay: Timely, complex

Tom Philpott Many Vietnam veterans with ischemic heart disease, Parkinson’s disease or B-cell leukemia expected VA compensation for their illnesses to begin soon after a 60-day congressional review period ended Oct. 30. Though the first batch of payments did go out mid-week, the relatively small number — about 1,300 claims worth $8 million — reinforced […]

Bond D will have positive impact

As presidents of Clovis Community College and Eastern New Mexico University, we want to outline the benefits of General Obligation Bond D in the Nov. 2 General Election, and why it makes sense to the citizens of Curry and Roosevelt counties. The cost of Bond D is very reasonable. The owner of a $100,000 assessed […]

School board approves land acquisition for middle school

Liliana Castillo The Clovis Municipal School board of education approved a contract Tuesday to acquire 40 acres of donated land from Clovis developer Sid Strebeck. Thirty acres will be used to build a proposed new middle school. The contract included the offer of 10 additional acres for the future development of an elementary school, sewer […]

Retroactive stop loss pay filing deadline nears

CNJ staff report The deadline to apply for retroactive stop loss pay is Oct. 21. Service members whose service was involuntarily extended from Sept. 11, 2001 to Sept. 30, 2009 are eligible for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay. Stop loss is a policy used during major conflicts to quickly retain and generate forces to surge. […]

Feds ready to pay ‘stop loss’ troops

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Let’s go on a scavenger hunt! The object is to find one (or more) of 89,836 service members, many of them now veterans, who were forced to stay on active duty under “stop loss” orders, for days or months beyond projected separation or retirement dates, sometime from Sept. 11, 2001, […]

Advisory panels: Military benefits unsustainable

By Tom Philpott: Military Update A consensus is building among current and former military leaders and defense industry executives that rising military personnel costs threaten the viability of the all-volunteer force. In July, two separate advisory groups reached the same general conclusions regarding what needs to be done to sustain the force. In the nearer […]

County to consider bond question

CNJ staff Curry County commissioners meet Monday to consider posing a bond question to voters in the November general election. The bond, if approved by voters, would pay for a judicial complex. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the commission room at the courthouse. Commissioners will also consider a bid and contract for the […]

Commissioners approve one ballot question, postpone another

Sharna Johnson Curry County commissioners Tuesday approved one ballot question and postponed action on another regarding possible tax increases to pay for a new jail and a judicial complex. The board adopted an ordinance letting voters decide in the November general election if the county should increase gross receipts taxes to pay for a new […]

Middle school site raises concerns

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer Citizens brought concerns about the site chosen for the new middle school to the Clovis Municipal School board of education Tuesday. On June 8, the board chose a 40-acre plot of land from three gifts of land. The site is on Pleasant Hill Highway and Humphrey Road and owned […]

Bill lessens pay gap for troops

By Tom Philpott: Military Update A House panel has voted to give the military a 1.9 percent pay raise next January. That would be a half percentage point higher than what the Obama administration wanted simply to match private sector wage growth. The House armed services subcommittee on military personnel panel also endorsed increases next […]

Veteran caregiver incentive offered

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Primary in-home caregivers to severely wounded veterans of current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be paid a stipend by the Department of Veterans Affairs, under a bill Congress has passed unanimously. The stipend, payable to a spouse, parent, child, friend or even a hired caregiver, will be based on […]

Letter to the editor: Obamacare exerts too much control

Obamacare exerts too much control I must respond to the Portales woman who thanked U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan Jr., D-N.M., for voting for Obamacare. I fought and will continue to fight against this bill and any move to take America from the Land of Opportunity to the Land of the Dependent. First, if a […]

Prepare to pay higher costs for health care

Freedom New Mexico Proponents of the recently passed health care bill often stated that the United States should have universal health care “like Canada,” “like Europe,” “like other advanced nations.” Opponents were quick to point out that like all those other nations, nationalized health care in this country would lead to long waits and worse […]

Press release: Bingaman: Federal grant will help students pay for AP tests

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman today announced that the New Mexico Department of Public Education will receive a $119,990 federal grant to help low-income students defray the cost of Advanced Placement tests. Bingaman is responsible for creating the U.S. Department of Education program from which this grant was awarded. “This grant award will allow […]

Pay raises, fee increases proposed

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist The Obama administration proposes to spend three percent more next year on support programs for war-strained military families. But officials are urging Congress to stop adding extra dollars to the military pay raise every January and find a way to raise TRICARE fees for the first time in 15 years. […]

Wednesday morning briefing: Snow’s coming and time to pay up

Good morning and welcome to Freedom New Mexico’s Wednesday briefing. Heart jumping If you pledged money for Jump Rope for Heart…it’s due today. Several Clovis elementary schools are participating in the fundraiser as part of American Heart Month. Students participating in the fundraiser find sponsors to pledge payment for jump time. Zia students jump Friday; […]

Tough questions during pay review

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist Should military pilots who have been reassigned from cockpits to ground-based computer consoles to fly remotely piloted vehicles continue to draw the same flight pay as pilots who still fly jets and helicopters? Should reserve component personnel on lengthy overseas assignments in locales like Germany continue to draw the same […]

Poor economy boosting recruitment

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist Middle-class American youth are entering the military in significant numbers today, drawn by more competitive pay, a battered civilian job market and the buzz surrounding an improved GI Bill education benefit. The Department of Defense announced earlier this month that for the first time since the draft ended and the […]

Mesalands president suspended

By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico Mesalands Community College Board of Trustees on Tuesday suspended President Phillip O. Barry without pay. Board members met in executive session in response to allegations Barry was driving under the influence of liquor or drugs last week in Albuquerque. Court records show Barry was charged with DUI on Friday. […]

VA not ready to back disabled pay

By Tom Philpott: Military update Monthly compensation the Department of Veterans Affairs pays to veterans with service-connected disabilities is intended to replace average earnings loss due to injuries or ailments. But should VA also pay disabled veterans something extra for diminished quality of life? Two prominent commissions in 2007 said it should. Last week, however, […]