June 18 First News:The forced closing of the Legal Tender restaurant in court on Thursday. (listen)

A court hearing has been set for Thursday over the dispute between the Legal Tender restaurant in Lamy and the Lamy Railroad and History Museum. The operators claim the museum doesn't have the authority to evict them. The restaurant closed at the end of May, following demands from the museum's board that they leave.  

It's a “not guilty” plea from the political operative accused of stealing emails belong to Gov. Martinez. Jamie Estrada faces charges of hijacking the governor's election-campaign website and having emails diverted to himself. His lawyer says the “not guilty” plea will assure that all of the details of the case come out.  

A New Mexico ranch owned by Ted Turner is set to go off the grid. An Albuquerque solar company has been hired to install a $1 million solar system at Turner's ranch near the Colorado border.  Turner is one of the largest private landholders in New Mexico.  

A longtime Santa Fe retail establishment, Packard's on the Plaza, is calling it quits. The operators say the store, which opened in 1944, will close on September 28th after the conclusion of the summer tourist season.  The 5,000 square foot space on the east side of the Plaza was known for its Native American and Southwestern artisan-crafted merchandise such as jewelry and pottery. The store says it has suffered since the recession.

Santa Fe's Finance Committee has approved a measure that would give patrons of the Railyard's proposed movie complex four hours of free parking. Such an arrangement is seen as necessary to satisfy the cinema's developer, Violet Crown of Austin, Texas. The parking costs would eventually be shouldered by the non-profit Railyard Corporation but deferred until 2029 when they would begin to reimburse the city. Full city council looks at the matter on June 26th.

The Finance Committee has also acted to have City Hall consider terminating its contract with nationwide insurer, Service Line Warranties of America. That company was given permission to use city letterhead to sell homeowner insurance policies regarding water and sewer line repairs. Critics have argued that it’s a questionable use of public resources for a private entity.

A firefighting crew funded by Santa Fe city hall is back on duty in the city after being called to help with the nearby Tres Lagunas fire. Porfiorio Chavarria is the city's urban wildfire specialist and says before being diverted, the crew had been working on thinning operations in the Santa Fe watershed, just below the reservoirs. ***

With unanimous approval from the US Senate, Kenneth J. Gonzales will now become a US District Judge for New Mexico. Last year, then-Senator Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall submitted his name to President Obama for the post.  The president formally nominated him in April. Gonzales is a graduate of Pojoaque High School and has been serving as the US Attorney for our state.

Weather for Santa Fe – mostly sunny today with highs in the mid 80s and a 20% chance for an isolated thundershower.  Upper  80s for highs tomorrow with just a 10% chance for precipitation.