June 16 First News: Downtown Santa Fe Evacuated Sunday Afternoon Due to Suspicious Device (Listen)

Jun 16, 2014

Santa Fe police evacuated an area of downtown near the library for about an hour Sunday afternoon following reports of a suspicious device. The New Mexican reports a couple came across the device around 1 p.m. Sunday and notified authorities. The police and firefighters cordoned off an area near Washington Avenue and Marcy Street from 1:30 p.m. until 2:45 p.m. Police Captain Patrick Gallagher says the device resembled a container of industrial pesticide. Bomb squad officers removed it and will have it detonated at an explosive range. There were no injuries. Police say a nearby arts and crafts fair and an outdoor concert went on without disruption.

An online funding initiative for a planned arts market organized by former employees of the popular Santa Fe Indian Market appears to have fizzled. The Albuquerque Journal reports that the Kickstarter campaign for Santa Fe's Indigenous Fine Art Market failed to reach its goal of 60-thousand dollars by a Thursday deadline. Fewer than 150 people donated a little over eight-thousand. Market organizers say Kickstarter rules state that they do not get any money if the campaign doesn't hit its goal. Officials say they are unsure what other plans they will try to get funding for the August event. It is scheduled the same weekend as the Santa Fe Indian Market. The Indian Market has long been the city's biggest tourist draw. Three of its key workers resigned and started IFAM.

The City of Santa Fe’s new Police Chief gets sworn into office today. Eric Garcia will take the helm of the Department. Garcia’s 24-years of law enforcement experience includes the past two years as Espanola’s Public Safety Director and 18-years with the New Mexico State Police. He takes the place of Ray Rael, who retired earlier this year.

A proposed set of new rules for New Mexico's medical marijuana program is drawing criticism. The New Mexican reports that the state Department of Health is scheduled to hold a public hearing Monday on the possible changes. However, a legislative panel has asked the department to delay adopting any of them until more feedback can be obtained. The overhaul of the Medical Cannabis Program includes lowering the number of plants a patient can grow. Growers say the new rules would be too costly to undertake and drive up the price of legally grown marijuana. Officials say more than 11-thousand patients are currently enrolled in the program.

Santa Fe Community College will be offering a course in Disability Studies this fall. Dr. Patricia Murphy says Disability Studies offers a way to develop critical thinking about disability issues and notes it’s a new academic pursuit here. *****061614-Murphy-1 (q: in higher education) :14***** Murphy says the field of Disability Studies emerged after passage in 1990 of the Americans With Disabilities Act. You can register for the course at Santa Fe Community College’s website, SFCC.edu.

Santa Fe Weather: Sunny and breezy today with a high near 85. Tonight: Partly cloudy and breezy with the overnight low, 53. Tomorrow, Mostly sunny with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms, with a high near 83.