The latest report on the Thompson Ridge Fire burning in the Jemez says 10,400 acres have been burned with just 5% containment. Spot fires have been erupting in the Valles Caldera’s meadowlands. The Caldera’s headquarter buildings were threatened for a time but some of the 800-or-so firefighters on scene Wednesday turned the flames back. Meanwhile, the Tres Lagunas Fire burning to our east near Pecos has now charred some 9400 acres. Even with some thundershowers dousing the area Wednesday afternoon, fire officials say that did little to suppress fire activity. Over 900 personnel on scene have managed to achieve 24% containment.
City council's public works committee is recommending that Santa Fe end its relationship with a national company that provides insurance against sewer and waterline repairs. The issue comes up after a complaint from an Albuquerque plumbing company and calls from residents saying an implied city endorsement of the company doesn't seem right. The New Mexican reports that councilor Patti Bushee made the motion and the full committee voted to move it forward.
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King will today weigh in on the issue of same-sex marriage in our state. King has previously said New Mexico would recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states. The AG’s announcement coming this morning was set in motion some months ago when Santa Fe City Hall asserted nothing in the state's marriage statute specifically references gender. That, they said, should allow county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples seeking them. Two couples who were recently denied licenses in Bernalillo County are the basis of an ACLU lawsuit.
Commuters between Santa Fe and Albuquerque will find an easier time of it on I-25 this morning. But that was not the case yesterday afternoon when a sudden hailstorm saw a number of minor accidents in southbound lanes near La Bajada Hill. Authorities say several inches of hail caused the accidents that led to a backup of traffic for more than an hour.
Gov. Susana Martinez is using Facebook as a tool to complain about one of the e-mail issues she faces. In a 350-word post on Facebook, Martinez asks, "How low will they go?," she talks about the former campaign manager facing federal charges for hi-jacking the governor's election campaign emails. At the bottom of the post she says -- in her words -- "The leftwing criminal defense lawyer representing the indicted man is promising a smear campaign." The Facebook post does not mention the other issue of emails that concern the controversial contract to operate the Downs racino in Albuquerque.
The 1st of three out-of-state advance strike teams taking up positions around the state to help prevent small fires from growing into larger conflagrations have been welcomed by Governor Martinez. Their dispatch had been sought by the Governor earlier this week due to elevated fire dangers statewide. The initial strike team from Wyoming will be positioned in Rio Rancho. A second team from Oregon sets up in Las Vegas. The third strike team, from North Dakota, is headed for Socorro.
Santa Fe resident and Los Alamos Lab researcher Thomas L. Rising has been killed in an Alaska plane crash. Rising was aboard a sight-seeing trip with five other passengers, one of whom sustained serious injuries when the plane flew into a mountainside. The crash is under investigation by the NTSB and the FAA.
Santa Fe County's Community Services Department has chosen seven contractors to provide summer programs for county youth. A total allocation of $110,000 is shared, with each agency limited to $20,000 and a 5% administrative cap. The agencies were required to describe how their services would impact mental or physical health, obesity or substance abuse. The Boys and Girls Club of Santa Fe/Del Norte and the Family YMCA’s Espanola Teen Center are among the groups chosen.
Weather for Santa Fe – A 30% chance for afternoon and evening thundershowers both today and Friday. Highs in the low 80s under partly sunny skies; overnight lows in the low 50s.