August 22 First News:Kirtland AFB to undertake more aggressive clean-up measures. (listen)

New and more aggressive measures to clean up the massive underground jet fuel spill at Albuquerque's Kirtland Air Force Base have been announced. The Albuquerque Journal says that the New Mexico Environment Department and Air Force officials have agreed that 1.5 million gallons of contaminated water will be pumped from the ground by the end of October. The Air Force will also expand use of vacuum pumps to remove contaminated soils at the spill's epicenter. It’s estimated that  up to 24 million gallons of fuel may have spilled over the years, slowly moving toward Duke City aquifers and wells.  

Santa Fe Mayor David Coss has issued an expression of admiration and support for Dona Ana County’s issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples which began Wednesday. In a formal statement, Coss offers congratulations to County Clerk Lynn Ellins and his staff, calling the move an important step forward. The mayor also says he’s proud of the work the City of Santa Fe has done to advance the basic civil right of marriage equality. 

Meanwhile, the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops says the issue of marriage equality is best decided through the legislative branch of government or, in absence of action there, by the judicial branch. The bishops go on reiterate their opposition to secular marriage equality, citing their religious definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, saying it’s – quote—“made unique by their sexual union bringing forth children”.

Being made public today is a study revealing that employers in New Mexico steal wages from one out of four Mexican immigrant workers. The study was performed by a UNM professor and a doctoral student and is being presented by Santa Fe-based immigrants rights advocate, Somos Un Pueblo Unido at Attorney General Gary King's Albuquerque office.  Victims of wage theft and other workplace abuses will be on hand to recount their experiences.

The Martinez Administration has announced a new initiative to raise awareness  of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. A new position created at the Aging and Long-Term Services Department will provide assistance and resource support to family caregivers. Governor Martinez  says more than 31,000 New Mexicans have Alzheimer’s disease and the number is expected to increase to 43,000 by 2025.

Santa Fe County is seeking committee members to serve on the newly created Capital Improvements Advisory Committee.  The county is about to begin a series of public meetings next week to canvass public input on future development of roads, housing and water quality issues among others. Prospective committee members must reside in Santa Fe County and will be appointed by the Board of Commissioners based upon their submitted letters of interest and verifiable qualifications. Applications must by filed by the end of business on Friday, August 30th.

Santa Fe Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a shoplifting suspect who used his young son and his backpack to steal four notebook style digital tablets. Surveillance video shows the suspect entering the Hastings store on Guadalupe Street Tuesday evening. The man picks out the tablets and then, while in the restroom, puts them in the child’s pack and flees the store.  When apprehended, the suspect faces larceny, shoplifting and contributing to the delinquency of a minor charges. Police have posted video on the department’s Facebook page.

Weather for Santa Fe – mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid 80s both today and Friday. Just a slight chance for isolated afternoon and evening thundershowers.