August 13 First News:City Committee approves resolution to promote urban agriculture. (listen)

A move to promote urban agriculture in Santa Fe has been approved by the city's Public Works and Land Use Committee. The resolution would have the City collaborate with local non-profit organizations to create farm stands, which would sell fresh produce from community gardens and orchards. The matter is headed to full city council at the end of the month and has already received support from the Sustainable Santa Fe Commission and the Food Policy Council.

New teacher evaluation standards for Santa Fe Public Schools have been okayed by the state Public Education Department. School Superintendent Joel Boyd says the new evaluation system will have a positive effect and state Education Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera also lauds the plan for mirroring standards established state-wide. Critics have complained the standards place too great an emphasis on student scores on standardized tests.  That component accounts for 35% of a teacher's evaluation. Another 25% will be based on three in-class observations made during the school year.

Two Santa Fe Police Officers have completed their standard three days of paid administrative leave following last Friday’s officer-involved shooting. The officers were attempting to pull over a stolen vehicle when suspect Roberto Mendez  rammed a police unit and attempted to run the officers over. Mendez was shot in the cheek. It’s still unclear which officer wounded the unarmed Mendez and how many shots were fired.  Both the Santa Fe Police Department and State Police are investigating.

New Mexico’s and the nation’s first human case of plague this year has been confirmed by the state’s Department of Health.  A 15-year-old boy from Torrance County is currently hospitalized in stable condition.  Plague is a bacterial disease of rodents and is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, but can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals including wildlife and pets. Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, chills, headache and weakness and, in most cases, painful swelling of lymph nodes. 

With the start of school tomorrow in Santa Fe, local police will be out in strength monitoring school zones. Police will be using radar speed guns, bike patrol officers, and the speed vans to catch speeding or aggressive drivers, those not wearing seat belts and individuals not using the proper drop off locations. Fines handed out in school zones are double the normal amount. A zero tolerance policy will be in effect with no warnings issued.

Weather for Santa Fe – mostly sunny today and Wednesday with highs around 80 degrees.  There’s a 20% chance for afternoon showers today, increasing to 30% tonight and tomorrow. Overnight lows in the mid 50s.