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Around New Mexico

Journal and Wire Reports
NMHU Executive's Tenure Is Ending
    SANTA FE— Thomas Atcitty's tenure as director of New Mexico Highlands University's learning center in Farmington is drawing to a close.
    Members of the university's board of regents were told this week that Atcitty, hired 17 months ago by Highlands President Manny Aragon, would no longer be serving as the center's director.
    Concerns about declines in enrollment at the center and about high staff turnover were discussed at the regents' October meeting.
    Carol Cloer of Bloomfield, a retired school administrator and former chairwoman of the State Fair Commission, will replace Atcitty on an interim basis.
    Atcitty is a former president of the Navajo Nation and former state legislator. His appointment was controversial from the beginning, with critics questioning his qualifications.
Hospitals May Get State Tax Relief
    SANTA FE— Draft legislation endorsed Thursday would effectively exempt for-profit hospitals from the state's gross receipts tax, eliminating about $9 million a year in revenue.
    The hospitals would continue to pay the share of gross receipts taxes that goes to county and city governments.
    The proposal, endorsed by the Legislature's Revenue Stabilization and Tax Policy Committee, would affect the state's 20 for-profit general and acute-care hospitals, said Dan Weaks, lobbyist for the New Mexico Hospitals and Health Systems Association.
    Under current law, more than 50 percent of the revenues of for-profit hospitals are exempt from state and local gross receipts taxes.
Man Faces Trial In Gallup Girl's Death
    GALLUP— A 30-year-old Gallup man has been ordered to stand trial in the death of a teenage girl.
    Joseph Evans waived a preliminary hearing this week in Magistrate Court and was ordered to stand trial in state District Court on charges of murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence. He remained jailed without bond.
    He was charged in the death of Felizia Hope Penaloza, 16, of Gallup, whose body was found in September underneath a bridge northwest of Gallup.
    Another Gallup man, Kenneth Durante, 48, also is charged in the case with murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence. His preliminary hearing is Dec. 9.
8 N.M. Newspapers In Partnership Deal
    EL PASO— A partnership between MediaNews Group Inc. and Gannett Co. will give the Denver-based MediaNews control over five newspapers in Pennsylvania, six dailies in New Mexico and the El Paso Times.
    Both companies will be represented on the partnership's board, but MediaNews will be the managing partner.
    The agreement with the Pennsylvania newspapers expands a 2003 deal between the companies involving Gannett's El Paso Times and MediaNews' New Mexico papers: the Las Cruces Sun-News, the Alamogordo Daily News, the Carlsbad Current-Argus, The Deming Headlight, The Daily Times in Farmington and the Silver City Sun-News.
    Also included are two MediaNews weeklies in Ruidoso and Lordsburg.
    The Pennsylvania papers involved in the deal are the Public Opinion in Chambersburg, a Gannett paper; as well as the York Daily Record and York Sunday News, the Lebanon Daily News and the Evening Sun of Hanover, all MediaNews publications.