Pay now and pay later

Developed by corporate giant Deloitte at an initial cost of $115 million, the ASPEN system was intended to streamline New Mexico’s processing of benefits for its poorest residents. But it has repeatedly failed them, cutting off tens of thousands of children and families from their financial lifeline.

2018: The year in photographs

Searchlight New Mexico photojournalist Don Usner looks back at the past year with a selection of images from throughout the state.

Opportunity costs

UNM and Presbyterian Hospital are discussing a joint venture – a single children’s hospital, unified under common governance or housed under one roof. Healthcare professionals argue this would make good medical sense. But what about financial sense?

Oil leases bring jobs, strains to southeast NM

The September 2018 sale of nearly $1 billion in federal oil and gas leases in southeast New Mexico has set off one of the greatest oil booms in American history and has overwhelmed everything from the region’s highway to its housing supply.

For healthcare, please take a number

Throughout much of New Mexico, finding a doctor can be difficult. In a small village, the specialized services required for a diagnosis of autism are hard to come by, and treatment is nonexistent.

Fever pitch

Bitter competition between Presbyterian and UNM has meant kids who need specialized care are getting sent out of state — instead of to the competitor. Now the hospitals are finally talking about a partnership.