April 22 First News:Unemployment in Santa Fe and NM unchanged from last year. (listen)

State officials say the unemployment picture for Santa Fe and the rest of the state hasn't changed much from last year. Santa Fe's rate stood at 5.5 percent both years while the New Mexico unemployment rate for both periods was 6.9 percent.  

At New Mexico's Kirtland Air Force Base, some 2100 civilian workers will be furloughed one day a week for 22 weeks, beginning this Friday, April 26th. The Department of Defense issued notification of furloughs back on February 20th and Friday marks the end of the mandatory 45-day waiting period.  Civilian employee furloughs are also expected at Cannon Air Force Base near Clovis, Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo and the White Sands Missile Range.

Tomorrow brings a 2PM groundbreaking ceremony for Santa Fe Community College’s Higher Education Center. The 31,000 square-foot, $9.8 million center is located at Siringo Road and Yucca on lands acquired from the old College of Santa Fe. It will allow the community college and its higher education partners to offer northern New Mexicans the coursework they need to earn a four-year college degree. A pilot version of the program has been operational for the past two years at the SFCC campus.

Starting today, there will be a new way to get to New York. Jet Blue Airlines is beginning non-stop flights between the Albuquerque Sunport and New York's JFK.  The once-a-day flight leaves the Duke City at 11 p.m. and arrives after 5 a.m.  New Yorkers will have a somewhat easier time if they're going to Albuquerque. Their flight leaves at 8 p.m. and arrives here at 11 p.m.

Santa Fe City Council on Wednesday will vote on that resolution asserting that New Mexico's marriage statute language is gender-neutral and thus same-sex marriage is legal, allowing county clerks to issue licenses. The resolution will not have the force of law but is intended to make the city's position known and bolster support of marriage equality in New Mexico. Supporters say that the state already recognizes the validity of same-sex marriages performed elsewhere and New Mexicans deserve the same rights.

Today's marks the beginning of Earth Week. A number of Earth Week observances are planned in Santa Fe this week, including a discussion of water sustainability for the local area. That will be at 1:30 this afternoon at the Santa Fe Community College. This week is also National Park Week and  visitors will be able to tour the Bandelier National Monument beginning today at no charge.  

The New Mexico Association of Realtors says home sales and home prices showed gains in the first three months of this year. Sales were up about 9 percent over last year's period while the median price rose about one-half of a percent.  Overall, New Mexico had more than 3,300 homes sales during the period.  

Weather for Santa Fe – a sunny, warm and breezy day in store with highs in the mid 70s.  Clouds move in tonight with lows in the mid 30s.  A big cooldown tomorrow with highs only in the mid 50s and a 10% chance for a shower under partly sunny skies.  Lows Tuesday night around 30 degrees.