July 12 First News: New Mexico's public schools receive better grades than last year. (listen)

New Mexico's public schools have received their 2013 report cards and show overall improvement with letter grades higher than last year. Statewide, some 70% of schools maintained their grades or received higher ones. Gains were best for high schools.  Here in Santa Fe, that was reflected in Capital High moving from a "D" to a "B" and Santa Fe High turning last year's "C" also into a "B". Less impressive were grades for local elementary schools.  Four of those earned "F"s as opposed to just one last year.

Due to the arrival of summer rains, the New Mexico State Forestry Division today lifts its smoking, firework, campfire and open fire restrictions for all New Mexico counties. Those restrictions were imposed in May on all non-municipal, non-federal and non-tribal lands statewide due to extreme fire danger. The Santa Fe National Forest is among those moving back into lesser Stage 1 Fire Restrictions.  Some areas will remain closed due to recent wildfires and the potential for flooding. The Forest Service advises that restrictions could be re-imposed if dry, fire danger weather conditions return.

Santa Fean Felix Martinez, who pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering in the shooting death last year of his brother, David, has been sentenced to roughly nine more months in lock-up at the county jail. The crime has links to the February 2012 shooting death of Santa Fe artist Ethaan Boyer.  Authorities believe the late David Martinez shot Boyer during a burglary. The gun used in that case is the same weapon that his brother later used in what he claimed was an act of self-defense. Martinez was officially sentenced Thursday to seven years, with the judge suspending five of those and giving the defendant credit for 15 months served under monitoring.

Getting underway today at Museum Hill in Santa Fe is the 10th annual International Folk Art Market. It's the largest event of its kind in the world featuring handmade works by 190 artists from 60 countries. Over the past nine years, participants have generated more than $16 million in sales, 90 percent of which has gone home with the artists. Many come from developing countries where the average income is less than $3 a day.  The Market runs through Sunday.

That Santa Fe Planning Commission hearing on the redevelopment of the vacant Manderfield Elementary School has been rescheduled for August 1st.  Yesterday's event was cancelled as residents of the Canyon Road neighborhood complained that the developers' plans had changed since introduced at earlier meetings.  Clair and Michael Maraist hope to turn the facility into a mixed-use cafe, art studio and residential complex.Former New Mexico Governor David F. Cargo, who died last week at age 84, will be laid to rest today. A funeral Mass takes place in Santa Fe at the St. Francis Cathedral Basilica followed by burial services at the National Cemetery.

Weather for Santa Fe – partly sunny today and through the weekend with daytime highs in the upper 80s.  Each day brings a 30% chance for afternoon and evening thunderstorms. The monsoonal flow will strengthen by Monday with better chances for daily showers along with cooler temperatures in the upper 70s.