The nearby Tres Lagunas Fire has been less active in the overnight hours but weather conditions today are not expected to be helpful, says Dan Ware with the State Forestry Division…***clip The 500 acre blaze 10 miles north of Pecos has prompted evacuations of some 134 seasonal homes in the area. The fire continues to burn to the north along both sides of highway 63. Some 200 personnel are currently assigned to the scene. The fire broke out Thursday afternoon, thought to have been started by a downed power line.
On Thursday's midday report: Following that bridge collapse outside Seattle, we’ll check in with the bridge inspection program director in New Mexico to check on bridges here… New Mexico has a poor high school graduation rate. Now comes word that the number of expulsions of children from preschools makes New Mexico the worst in the nation …and a former Martinez aide is indicted on federal charges of email hacking….headlines...60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen...
The Santa Fe man found guilty of double homicide in a $100 rent dispute has been sentenced to two consecutive life terms. Arthur Anaya fatally shot teenager Austin Urban and 51-year-old Theresa Vigil back in January 2012 at a mobile home they were renting from him. Anaya has a lengthy criminal record and is known to have mental problems. District Court Judge Stephen Pfeffer presided at Anaya’s sentencing in district court which, at minimum, requires serving 66 years in jail. The defendant plans to appeal.
After local news headlines, a conversation with new Santa Fe Fire Chief Erik Litzenberg. We also speak to some 9th graders from Taos competing for a top national science prize -- they've discovered a Native American medicinal plant has promising anti-cancer properties. And Red Flag Warnings for critical fire conditions around the state through Friday; we speak with meteorologist Brent Wachter with the NWS office in Albuquerque.
On Tuesday's midday report: We'll take a look at drone aircraft over New Mexico. It turns out the Zia state is the only one, so far at least, with FAA approval to use airspace to test drones...If you want to know how bad the drought is, just ask a farmer. That's what our reporter did at the Santa Fe Farmers Market...Enterprising Santa Fe high school students study the effectiveness of ignition interlocks...And what's the country with the highest rating for happiness in work and living. We'll find out it's not the U.S.
Florida-based Teco Energy Inc. is buying New Mexico Gas Company for $950 million. The purchase deal also includes assumption of New Mexico Gas Company's current $200 million in debt. Pending state and federal approvals, the deal is expected to close in the 1st quarter of 2014. Teco currently operates the Tampa Electric company. New Mexico Gas Company is currently a subsidiary of New York-based Continental Energy Systems LLC, which acquired it back in 2009 when PNM Resources sold it off for $620 million.
On Friday's midday report: We’ll listen in as members of the Santa Fe School Board debate whether pay raises for teachers next year should be 1 percent or more…A most unusual healthcare program in Albuquerque operates in large part with grant money from the Mexican government and it’s recipients don’t necessarily have to be Mexican nationals…Special young people from New Mexico wil be getting special recognition for their outstanding community work….headlines...60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen...
Santa Fe's school board has approved an $89 million budget for the coming year, but only after a heated debate over pay raises for teachers and other workers. Board member Glenn Wikle brought up a last-minute proposal to offer a 3 percent raise to teachers, while the budget discussions had included raises equaling just 1 percent. Supt. Joel Boyd and other board members argued against the plan, saying it would cost the district an extra $1.5 million they don't have. In the end, Wikle cast the only "no" vote against the budget that contains the 1 percent raise.
On Thursday's midday report: A Japanese-Canadian consortium says it has plans to create a uranium mine in west central New Mexico. It would be the largest in the country....Yet another study has come out giving New Mexico a poor grade for dealing with its population...And the mayor of San Antonio speaks to the biggest graduating class Santa Fe Community College has ever had....headlines...60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen...
Santa Fe Police are looking for anyone who may have witnessed a fatal hit and run earlier this morning along St. Francis Drive between Cordova and San Mateo. Folks are being urged to call the Regional Emergency Communications Center as an investigation continues. Southbound St. Francis has been closed in the incident zone with traffic being diverted to Cerrillos Road.
A free public event will inform Santa Fe area residents on the requirements for Medicare eligibility being expanded under the national Affordable Care Act. We also take a look at Santa Fe's "Green Code" for home building. And a new state program offers assistance to our state's smaller communities.