May 24 First News: SFPS approves an $89 million budget with a 1% pay raise. (listen)
Santa Fe's school board has approved an $89 million budget for the coming year, but only after a heated debate over pay raises for teachers and other workers. Board member Glenn Wikle brought up a last-minute proposal to offer a 3 percent raise to teachers, while the budget discussions had included raises equaling just 1 percent. Supt. Joel Boyd and other board members argued against the plan, saying it would cost the district an extra $1.5 million they don't have. In the end, Wikle cast the only "no" vote against the budget that contains the 1 percent raise.
Santa Fe City Councilor Bill Dimas has officially announced he will run for mayor next year. He joins the previously announced Patti Bushee in the race for Santa Fe's top post. The former judge and police officer was elected to represent the city's District 4 last year. Dimas says he he’ll use public financing for his campaign rather than pursue private fundraising.
A verdict of guilty has been rendered against the Santa Fe man accused of double homicide over a $100 rent dispute. 55-year-old Arthur Anaya now faces possible sentencing of life in prison for the January 2012 murders. Anaya went to a property he was renting out to 51-year-old Theresa Vigil who lived there with her 17-year old daughter Natalie and her young boyfriend, Austin Urban. An argument ensued and Anaya shot the boy and the mother at close range. Testimony began Tuesday and went to jury yesterday. Anaya will be sentenced next week.
The colorful tourist train that runs between Santa Fe and Lamy won't be operating this year. The chairman of the Santa Fe Southern Railway says he's laid off virtually the entire staff as a result of declining revenues. He tells the New Mexican the passenger business has been affected by the recession. The 16-mile rail spur has been in existence since the 1880s, just after the Lamy train depot opened.
The majority leader of the state senate says he might make a run for governor. Democrat Michael Sanches told the Las Cruces Sun News that he's been approached and is taking a serious look at it. Republican Gov. Martinez worked to have Sanchez defeated in last year's legislative elections but Sanchez created a series of television ads that turned opinion in his favor.
The victim of that fatal hit and run along St. Francis Drive in Santa Fe early Thursday morning has been identified as Juan Lopez, 29, of Chimayó. Santa Fe Police say a female driver responsible for the crash is cooperating in the investigation. She contacted state police in Española after hearing media reports and said she was on her way to work in pre-dawn hours when she thought she hit a large dog in the road. Officers are working with the District Attorney’s office to see if charges will be filed.
Though the current school year has just ended, the Santa Fe Public School District plans three events next week to welcome incoming freshman to Santa Fe High School. From Tuesday through Thursday, students from various middle schools will be given tours of the campus and introduced to administrative staff. Information about academics, athletics and clubs will be distributed along with an opportunity to complete early registration. Details can be found at the Public School's website.
Weather for Santa Fe – Mostly sunny today and Saturday with highs in the upper 70s. There’s a 30% chance for thundershowers developing this afternoon. Tomorrow brings a 20% chance. Overnight lows in the low 50s. Sunday and Monday’s Memorial Day forecast is sunny and dry with highs near 80 degrees.