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View Sample Pages : Santa Fe New Mexican, April 15, 2005

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New Mexican (Newspaper) - April 15, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico THE SANTA FE Locally owned and independent Serving New Mexico for 156 years FRIDAY APRIL 15 2005 FIFTY CENTS New law means fewer will escape debt By MARCY GORDON The Associated Press WASHINGTON Bankruptcy lawyers expect thousands of debt burdened people to rush to court houses to beat a new law making it harder to wipe the slate clean of creditcard bills and other obliga tions The biggest changes in bank ruptcy laws in a quartercentury will occur 180 days after President Bush signs a bill that Congress sent him Thursday The to people that the American Bank ruptcy Institute estimates will be affected by the new law can escape its impact if they file for bankruptcy before then We will be up working late trying to get those petitions filed before the said Roland Spencer a bankruptcy attorney practicing in Roanoke Va In recent weeks as Congress has debated the legislation Spencer said hes seeing seven to eight clients a day up from four a day beforehand The bill passed by the House Thursday on a 302126 vote marks the second majpr change in law to benefit business since Republicans increased their House and Senate majorities in last falls elections The Senate passed the bill last month 7425 The measure requires people with incomes above a certain level to pay creditcard charges medical bills and other obligations under a courtordered bankruptcy plan Opponents say the change would fall especially hard on lowincome working people single mothers minorities and the elderly and would remove a safety net for those who have lost their jobs or face crushing medical bills The legislation protects the credit industry at the expense of the Rep Alcee Hast ings declared during a House debate It will drive more Americans deeper into financial crisis and weaken the nations economy and social But backers in Congress and the financialservices industry argue that bankruptcy frequently is the last refuge of gamblers impulsive shop pers divorced or separated fathers avoiding child support and multimil lionaires often celebrities who buy mansions in states with liberal homestead exemptions to shelter Please see DEBT Page A9 Whos affected The vote The House voted 302126 to pass a bill that changes the rules for those who file for bankruptcy Backers say the bill will close off a refuge for gamblers and deadbeat dads Still owing Now those who declare bank ruptcy and earn over a certain amount will still be stuck with credit card and medical bills Some Democrats say the bill will hurt the economically vulnerable including the elderly and single mothers How many The bill could affect to people from percent to 20 percent of those who go bankrupt per year The bill would take effect six months after enactment The Associated Press INSIDE TODAY El Alma de Espana El Alma de Espana The Soul of which opens Sunday is the first of three shows of Spanish art the Albuquerque Museum hosts in the coming year It features almost 100 pieces of Spanish art from the mid 16th century to the early 19th century Pasatiempo inside Smokin celebration Every year on April 20 cannabis aficionados all over the world raise their roach clips in amiable spacedout celebration of the illegal substance Generation Next Cl Sweep for fugitives As part of a national sweep for fugitives spearheaded by the Marshals Service between April 4 and Monday 181 people were arrested in New Mexico Santa Fe El Norte Bl Todays obituaries Audelia Roybal 88 Santa Fe April 12 Betty Hoffman Albuquerque Elizabeth M Paris 80 April 11 Marie Crider 90 April 12 Pablo Gonzales 99 Santa Fe April 15 Please see Page B2 Todays forecast Partly cloudy isolated showers High 68 low 39 Page B2 INDEX Anmos B5 Business D5 Classifieds C3 Comics B6 Crossword B5 Generation Next Cl Horoscope B5 Local news Bl Lotteries B2 Mutuals D5 Opinion All Police notes B2 Scoreboard D2 Sports Dl The Wests OWest Newspaper Four sections 40 pages Paf attempo 88 pages 156th year Issue No 105 Publication No 596 440 Late paper Classified ads News tips Main office 9840363 9863000 9863030 9833303 Home sweet home Santa Fe County prepares to make dreams of homeownership come true for less than Luis Sanchez New Mexican Santa Fe County worker David Corlz prepares a home In Valle Vista for renovation Wednesday Twentyfive houses in the subdivision will eventually be for sale to buyers with qualifying incomes By JULIE ANN GRIMM The New Mexican Do you dream of owning your home Are you down and out about the prospect of ever reaching that goal because you dont earn enough to pay for an average Santa Fe home that costs more than Santa Fe County might have a deal for you The county is selling 25 homes in an orderly neighbor hood off south of Santa Fe The selling price for the homes is based on a buyers income but could cost between and depending on the number of bed rooms Most of the singlestory stucco homes in the Valle Vista subdivision Interested in buying For information about buying a Valle Vista home contact Hornewise realestate agent Steven Brugger at 9836214 were built in the late 1970s when the county got a sizable grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development Another six duplex units were built about two years ago For most of their lives these homes have served as rental units for lowincome residents of the countys publichousing program But HUD allows housing agencies to sell homes that were built with federal money and that is trans forming the neighborhood Before the older homes go on the market county work crews refur bish them giving what maintenance superintendent Larry Narvaiz calls quite an intense facelift inside and The units get new exterior stucco carpet vinyl floors bath tubs appliances retextured walls asbestos abatement and electri calsystem overhauls among other improvements The newer duplexes dont require as much work as the singlefamily homes From his front porch longtime Valle Vista resident Ray Martinez can see the first house he rented under the publichousing program in 1985 About a year and a half ago he became the proud owner of a three bedroom house across the street He says being a homeowner has made his credit Please see HOME Page A9 Private operator of county jail quits Sheriff County should take over jail management By JULIE ANN GRIMM The New Mexican The company running the Santa Fe County jail is calling it quits Management and Training Corp announced Thursday that it will stop operating the jail because of challenges in provid ing adequate medical services Now Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano is advocating the county take over jail operations rather than hire another private contractor Solano said he expected MTC to bail out because it reported losses of about million last year but the termination of the contract came sooner than he thought it would Still he said he believes the county is ready to run the jail without a forprofit prison manager The contract would have expired in August 2006 but the company wants to leave as soon as it can County commissioners had considered taking over the adult jail as they did with the coun tys juvenile lockup more than a year ago but ruled in August to keep MTC on the job Most county officials said money was the reason they opted for a pri vate contractor The county expected to pay about million for jail opera tions this fiscal year and had budgeted about million for fiscal year 2006 under the MTC contract County Finance Direc tor Susan Lucero said shes starting to evaluate the fiscal impact of the countys running the jail itself When it offered the contract for proposals last Please see JAIL Page A5 Science museum finds fossils of colossal bugs footsteps near Espanola The Associated Press ALBUQUERQUE Think mosquitoes and millipedes are nasty Then dont look too deeply into New Mexicos past Today you can squish the tiny bugs but 300 million years ago 8footlong mil lipedes were in control of the landscape and humans werent even a gleam in evo lutions eye New Mexico is now a worldrecord holder of such exquisitely grotesque as one worker at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Sci ence calls them Evidence of the largest arthropleura its technical name ever found was recovered by the museum last Friday In todays world you couldnt have a bug this said Spencer Lucas paleontology curator at the museum This is basically the Tyrannosaurus of the Pennsylvanian period mil lions of years before dino saurs evolved If you took a time machine back youd definitely want to check your sleeping bag for these suck Please see BUG Page A4 The Associated Press Andy Heckert of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science displays a model of an arthropleura HIVdiagnosis delays worry health officials By DIANA HEIL The New Mexican State Health Department officials are troubled that too many gay men are not get ting tested for HIV on a reg ular basis The result Those who dont find out they have the terminal virus until they become quite sick According to a Febru ary report 63 percent of New Mexicans diagnosed with AIDS last year were unaware they had HIV a virus that destroys cells in the immune system AIDS a later stage of the virus takes five to 10 years to develop The earlier the diagnosis the better the life expectancy Many New Mexicans diagnosed with AIDS hadnt previously been tested for HIV Then they fell sick enough to seek help Two of the men with AIDS were already so sick they died in emergency rooms Its a Lily Fos ter surveillance coordinator and epidemiolo gist at the state Department of Health said about what she sees as a trend Nationwide intravenous drug users make up the larg est group of those infected with Not so in New Mexico Here the dis ease hits hardest men who have sex with men no Please see HIV Page A4 ;