July 29 First News:Albuquerque still dealing with storm damages nearing $1m. (listen)
Albuquerque residents are still dealing with the aftermath of torrential rain and wind damage in the wake of Friday evening's storm. More than 2300 PNM customers are still without power with the utility calling in crews from other states to help with repairs. PNM says they hope to have some 99% of the more than 30,000 initially affected back online by late tomorrow. The storm brought a record-setting windgust of 89 miles per hour to the Albuquerque Sunport, downing trees and flooding streets with more than an inch and half of rain. Damage repair estimates are nearing $1 million.
Tomorrow, the Santa Fe County Board of Commissioners will give consideration to a resolution calling for support of same-sex marriage in New Mexico. The proposal also urges the state legislature to make necessary and appropriate amendments to the state's domestic affairs laws without which there may be violations of the Equal Protection Clause of the state constitution. The resolution is seen as a companion to actions earlier this year at Santa Fe City Hall and is being carried by County Commissioner Liz Stefanics.
Roswell's Valley Meat Company is poised to start operations of its horse-slaughtering facility one week from today. The enterprise has been vigorously opposed by a number of state officials and animal welfare groups. A final hurdle for the equine slaughterhouse arrives Friday when a federal court will be asked to issue an injunction. Animal welfare groups contend that an environmental review must by conducted.
Coming up at the end of this week is New Mexico's 8th annual back-to-school tax free shopping weekend. It starts at midnight, Friday August 2nd and runs through Sunday the 4th. Among items exempt from state sales tax are clothing and shoe purchases under $100, computers costing less than $1000 and individual school supplies below $15. The Santa Fe Public Schools district begins classes Wednesday, August 14th.
The states Human Services Department and the Children, Youth, and Families Department are now preparing to distribute back-to-school cash assistance for low-income children and children in foster care.The annual children’s clothing allowance through HSD provides a $50 payment per qualifying New Mexico child to purchase clothes for the upcoming school year. More than 15,000 low-income children will qualify. Meanwhile, the CYFD will be providing $100 to foster families for each child in their care three years old and above.
At todays meeting of Santa Fe's Public Works and Land Use Committee, approval will be sought for permission of beer sales at ballgames within Ft. Marcy Park to expand operations beyond the current designated beer garden. The proposal seeks to allow sale and consumption throughout the concessions and seating areas. The matter is headed toward full city council in September.
Weather for Santa Fe – The monsoonal pattern across our state will be taking a break through the first part of this week. Drier, warmer days in store with highs today in the low 80s making the upper 80s by Wednesday. Little to no chances for showers until Wednesday.