April 12 First News: A Santa Fe homeless encampment is cleared out. (listen)
A number of vagrants camping on open land on Santa Fe's Northeast side have been told to clear out. The new owner of the property and the fire department took the action as prolonged drought is leading to higher fire danger. The area known locally as Hobo Hill is between Hyde Park and Bishops Lodge roads. People have been camping there for years. The New Mexican reports that the new owner of the property has already cleared out a thousand bags of camping refuse.
Santa Fe police say residential property crime in the city has been on the decline. Now, the county sheriff's department is saying much the same thing. The Journal North reports that the number of incidents in areas outside city limits has dropped by nearly half from last year. It's the second year of decline. Last year's number was down slightly from the year before that.
More now on the question of a court ruling over New Mexico's energy-efficiency building rules. The state's Construction Industries Commission has scheduled a special meeting next week to consider how to reconsider their decision to eliminate the rules. This comes after the state appeals court ruled that the commission acted improperly in overturning the building rules that were established before Gov. Martinez took office. Advocates for energy efficiency say the old rules were created to save New Mexicans tens of millions of dollars in energy costs.
A new report by the New Mexico health department points to how a person's socioeconomic status can affect health. The report says low income New Mexicans are more likely to run up against barriers to preventive health care and that can lead to health problems like weight gain, heart problems, stress and depression.
Kenneth Gonzales, current U.S. Attorney for New Mexico, has moved a step closer to becoming a U.S. District Judge with his nomination unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The New Mexico native and UNM graduate was named for federal judgeship back in November by President Obama who had also put him forward as US Attorney back in 2010. His nomination now proceeds to the full Senate for consideration.
One of nearby Bandelier National Monument's signature attractions will be closed for repairs until mid-summer. The park's Alcove House, a cliffside ceremonial kiva some 14 stories above Frijoles Canyon is crumbling and must be stabilized. The site has long been a popular one, with visitors scaling a number of ladders to reach it.
Santa Fe police are trying to find the man believed responsible for a series of vending machine thefts. The suspect has been using tools to break into the machines, stealing the money contained therein and causing damages. Thefts have been perpetrated across Santa Fe, from the Wal-Mart on Cerrillos Road to downtown hotels. Surveillance video indicates the thief is a blond-haired man in his 20s, sporting a goatee and driving a red Ford Focus.
Santa Fe city hall is planning a vehicle auction tomorrow. Available will be about 150 vehicles, most of them the result of being taken from owners under the city's DWI forfeiture program. Officials say most of the vehicles have operating engines. A preview for buyers is set for today at the city's impound lot on Siler Rd. Bids must be submitted on the auctioneer's website.
Weather for Santa Fe – mostly sunny today and through the weekend. Highs today in the low 60s; upper 60s Saturday. There’s a very slight chance for a passing afternoon shower both days.
Overnight lows between 35 and 40 degrees