June 4 First News: Thompson Fire at 3300 acres, Tres Lagunas at 8500. (listen)
The latest report on the Thompson Fire burning in the Jemez says it now encompasses some 3300 acres with containment remaining at 5%. Almost 600 personnel are working the blaze burning in steep and rugged terrain with 5 helicopters deployed. Meanwhile, the Tres Lagunas Fire raging to the east of Santa Fe 10 miles north of Pecos has scorched 8500 acres. 600 personnel are working to create fire lines along the perimeter and have achieved 7% containment. The entire Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District will close as of tomorrow. The city of Las Vegas has concerns their watershed may be endangered.
The next chapter in the story of the Legal Tender restaurant in Lamy may be played out in court. The operators of the restaurant have filed a lawsuit against the Lamy Railroad and History Museum for making the eatery shut down. Among other things, the dispute is over how much the restaurant should pay the museum as well as over the amount of floor space taken up by the restaurant as it has grown in popularity. The lawsuit comes after the restaurant's final day of operations on May 31st.
New Mexico's Court of Appeals has ordered the Martinez administration to reinstate green building standards that had been changed when the new governor took office. The court some months ago issued the same order, but the state's Building Industries Commission said it considered the order a requirement for another set of hearings on the matter. But the court's latest order denies the request for a rehearing.
The latest report from the New Mexico Realtors Association shows that residential home sales are increasing. The group reports a 10 percent increase in the number of homes old over last year's period and 20 percent over two years ago. But median prices are slightly lower.
Eliver Kestler, also known in Santa Fe as "El Dentista," was arraigned Monday on multiple charges related to practicing dentistry without a license. At the proceeding, it was revealed that Kestler has three prior felony convictions from California on similar charges. The New Mexican reports that if sentenced as a habitual offender from those previous convictions, a 76 year jail term is possible. Kestler, a Mexican national, remains at the Santa Fe County Jail on a $25,000 cash-only bond with no date yet designated for trial.
Safety and traffic flow improvements along NM 599 will require closing today of the interchange with County Road 62. Crews are performing the final paving of the ramps and roundabouts. 599's frontage roads will remain open. Then tomorrow, 599 will have intermittent lane closures. All work is expected to be completed by July 1st.
City councils in both Albuquerque and Las Cruces have declared emergency fire danger conditions and have issued stringent new restrictions on fireworks on the run-up to the 4th of July holiday. The city of Farmington will address the issue today. A 1999 state law prohibits local governments from enacting outright bans. An attempt to change the law failed to move through the Roundhouse during the last legislative session.
Weather for Santa Fe – mostly sunny today with a high in the low 80s and overnight lows in the mid 50s. Slight chances for afternoon showers move in tomorrow and linger through Friday. Temperatures a bit cooler with highs in the mid-to-upper 70s.