May 31 First News:The Tres Lagunas Fire near Pecos now at 500 acres. (listen)
The nearby Tres Lagunas Fire has been less active in the overnight hours but weather conditions today are not expected to be helpful, says Dan Ware with the State Forestry Division…***clip The 500 acre blaze 10 miles north of Pecos has prompted evacuations of some 134 seasonal homes in the area. The fire continues to burn to the north along both sides of highway 63. Some 200 personnel are currently assigned to the scene. The fire broke out Thursday afternoon, thought to have been started by a downed power line.
The state Supreme Court has ruled that about 10,000 state workers should get back pay amounting to a total of more than $20 million. The court said the Richardson administration improperly used an appropriation that had been approved for unionized workers and instead spread it out in pay raises for all workers across the board. Gov. Susana Martinez is complaining that no appropriation exists this year to abide by the court's order. Her office says they have to explore options to make the payments.
Jamie Estrada, a former campaign manager for Governor Susana Martinez, is saying he has done nothing wrong in response to an indictment by a federal grand jury. 12 counts against Estrada accuse him of computer intrusion and false statement charges for seizing control of a Martinez campaign website he had control over for a brief time back in 2009. He never surrendered the passkeys to the site and, according to the indictment, accessed it in 2011 and re-routed email communications intended for the governor and her staff to another site under his control. Estrada then allegedly distributed some communiques to state politicos critical of Martinez administration policies.
The move of the 1st district courthouse from Catron Street to the new complex on Montezuma is accelerating. The final efforts will require the courts to close at the middle of next week, reopening in the new space on Monday, June 10th.
It's a traditional "final ride home" this afternoon for retiring Santa Fe Fire Department Chief Barbara Salas. She has been with the department since 1995 and became its first female Fire Chief back in 2009. The 4:30 ride begins at Fire Station 1 at Fort Marcy Park, passes near the Plaza and ends at the Southside's Santa Maria de la Paz Church. Erik Litzenberg is Santa Fe's new fire chief.
Weather for Santa Fe – Sunny, windy and dry today with highs near 80 degrees. Red Flag Warnings once again in place for much of our region of the state due to wind and low humidity readings making for critical fire conditions. More tranquil weather for Saturday and Sunday ushers in a 20% chance for afternoon and evening thundershowers. Highs both day near 80 with overnight lows in the upper 40s.