June 25 First News: Officials hopeful on control of Jaroso Fire. (listen)

Fire managers seem optimistic that they can bring the Jaroso Fire under control before long. The fire has been burning in rugged terrain east of Española.  Santa Feans saw a huge plume of smoke yesterday as winds fanned the blaze. But the latest official report puts its size at 4,500 acres -- a slight increase over a few days ago.

With the high risk of wildfire, officials closed the Santa Fe National Forest completely yesterday. Hyde Memorial State Park just north of Santa Fe is also closed.

A bronze statue standing outside Santa Fe city hall this morning is the likeness of Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Leroy Petry. The statue was unveiled in ceremonies yesterday after Petry made a parachute drop from a small airplane onto the grounds of Fort Marcy. Petry is a native Santa Fean who lost a hand while trying to save fellow soldiers in Afghanistan. Today, an official ceremony will re-name the South Meadows Bridge that spans the Santa Fe River in Petry’s honor.

Some 1,400 Bernalillo County employers outside Albuquerque city limits will have to start paying a higher minimum wage, starting July 1st. That's the day the minimum wage goes up to $8.00.  It goes up again on January 1st to $8.50.  Businesses inside Albuquerque already pay the higher minimum. Meanwhile, a group in Santa Fe is hoping to get the county commission to consider raising the minimum wage to Santa Fe city's $10.51 an hour.  

Several items that City Hall has been mulling over through various committees arrive at full city council tomorrow. The governing body will discuss that free parking provision for patrons of the Railyard's proposed movie complex. Also up for review is the city's contract with an out-of-state insurance underwriter offering Santa Feans limited liability in the event of water or sewer line repairs on private property.  And a public hearing will be held on that proposal to prohibit the transfer, possession or sale of large capacity ammunition magazines in the City of Santa Fe. 

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved funding for essential military construction projects for New Mexico's Air Force bases with a total price tag of some $148 million. Of that, some $30 million will go to Kirtland Air Force Base for a nuclear systems wing. $60 million will go toward replacing the medical clinic at Holloman Air Force Base.

60 new apartments in Santa Fe will be the scene of a ribbon-cutting ceremony today. They are newly-built affordable housing units at the site of the old Stagecoach Inn on Cerrillos Road. Prospective tenants must earn less than 60% of the city's median income. Today's New Mexican pegs the cost of the project at about $12million. Both Mayor Coss and Governor Martinez will officiate at this afternoon's presentation ceremony.

A bicyclist hit by a car along St. Francis Drive late Monday morning has been identified as 50-year-old Ande Maillard. He's said to be in critical condition in the intensive care unit at Christus Saint Vincent.  The driver of the car swerved but could not stop when the cyclist turned in front of him . Maillard was not wearing a helmet.

Weather for Santa Fe – Sunny, hot and dry weather is forecast for the next few days. Highs today in the upper 80s will hit the mid 90s by Thursday. A very slight chance for isolated showers arrives Friday. Overnight lows throughout the period between 55 and 60 degrees.