New Mexico's public schools have received their 2013 report cards and show overall improvement with letter grades higher than last year. Statewide, some 70% of schools maintained their grades or received higher ones. Gains were best for high schools. Here in Santa Fe, that was reflected in Capital High moving from a "D" to a "B" and Santa Fe High turning last year's "C" also into a "B". Less impressive were grades for local elementary schools. Four of those earned "F"s as opposed to just one last year.
After local news, we talk with a staff scientist at LANL regarding a joint study with UNM that says our local forests may be drastically reduced as soon as 2050. We also speak with a representative from the Alliance For Excellent Education who says cutting our state's high school dropout rate by half would result in annual Medicaid savings of some $46 million. And...as always...60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Santa Fe City Council has moved to create a new, small park downtown adjacent to the Water street parking lot. The 240 square foot area will be known as Cerletti Park, named for the late Tourism Secretary Mike Cerletti who had also managed the St. Francis Hotel just across the street. In other action, the governing body denied a density-rezoning request made by the Civic Housing Authority regarding some vacant land off Siringo Road. The Authority was seeking to create new rental units, some of which would have been part of the city’s affordable housing program.
A report on the rising instances here in New Mexico of babies born with an opiate addiction. We talk to a LANL researcher on his findings that large wildfires cause more warming of the atmosphere than previously thought. And homeowners near the Hondo Fire department could soon see a downward revision of their home insurance policies. And as always...60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Florida-based TECO Energy has applied to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission for approval of its acquisition of New Mexico Gas Company. In May, TECO Energy entered into a stock purchase agreement to buy the company for $950 million. The transaction is expected to close in early 2014, pending approval from regulators. TECO Energy’s main subsidiaries are the Tampa Electric Company in West Central Florida, ad TECO Coal in Kentucky and Virginia.
A conversation with the Drug Policy Alliance in New Mexico as they begin a campaign to de-stigmatize military veterans needing use of medical marijuana. We catch up with senator tom Udall on several items of interest to New Mexico and Santa Fe city councilor Rebecca Wurzburger weighs in on making the mayoral post a full-time, fully salaried position. Plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Santa Fe's mid-afternoon cloudburst Monday is being blamed for the death of a 51 year old woman who apparently got caught in turbulent flash-flooding of an arroyo near Siringo Road. Tina Vigil's body was spotted around 6PM. Extremely heavy rain and hail caused channels leading to the Arroyo Chamisos to flood to an estimated depth of eight feet at the storm’s peak run-off.
An interview with Rob Dean, retiring editor for the Santa Fe New Mexican on the job for 21 years. A report on the "Long Walk" 150 years ago when the US Government forcibly relocated Navajo and Apache people. And a feature on trying to maintain a local habitat for jaguars. All that plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Today sees a ribbon-cutting ceremony as Santa Fe County begins to provide water to the State Penitentiary complex on Highway 14. For years, the facility, which includes the New Mexico Corrections Training Academy, has relied on the same well water system as residents of La Cienega and surrounding areas. All tolled, New Mexico Corrections Department has monthly water usage between 2.6 and 6 million gallons. It’s expected that NMCD will pay some $200,000 annually for its use of county water.
By Bill Dupuy News Director and Interim Executive Director
These past days have been trying times for the family of people you hear on KSFR, Santa Fe public radio. We lost two friends and colleagues through the death of Journey Home host Diego Mulligan and the departure of our general manager, Linda Highhill. They brought huge measures of dedication and camaraderie to our studios and played important roles in helping us succeed in our mission. (Continued)
After local news, we have a conversation with a PNM rep about the electric utility's plans to bring online more energy from renewables sources such as solar and wind. We also speak with the event coordinator behind tomorrow's annual 4th of July "Pancakes on the Plaza." And New Mexico has improved its roadways -- now, more needs to be done about its drivers. Those items plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen here for you AT NOON.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed charges against Whole Foods Market with the New Mexico Human Rights Bureau for allegedly discriminating against Spanish speaking personnel. Two Hispanic employees at an Albuquerque Whole Foods were admonished last month for speaking to each other in their native language. They have alleged that the store’s “English-only” policy is in effect a “No Spanish” policy as some other workers routinely speak in their first language without criticism.
After local news, a conversation with the New Mexico center on Law & Poverty and their disturbing assessment of conditions for our state's agricultural workers. A conversation with Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham of NM about her bill to reform how 501(c) (4)s operate. And a look at a potentially dangerous new fad -- alcohol inhalation. Plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
More local expressions of grief and condolences are being expressed by state and local officials regarding the deaths of 19 members of Arizona's Granite Mountain Hotshots, killed as they battled a wildfire north of Phoenix. That team had worked with the City of Santa Fe's Fire Department and had also been deployed to the Thompson Ridge Fire in the Jemez last month. Governor Martinez has ordered flags to be flown at half staff today through Friday in the team's honor.
After local news, a talk with a member of Santa Fe's Food Policy Council concerned with the nutrition of area residents. Valerie Espinosa of the PRC talks about a national energy policy she attended. And a report with the state veterinarian on the rise of the bacterial illness tularemia here in New Mexico. Plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.