May 9 First News: SF City Hall approves $320 million for FY 2014 budget. (listen)

In the face of lower revenue projections, Santa Fe city councilors have approved a budget of about $320 million for the coming fiscal year. The vote came after City Manager Robert Romero described the steps budget planners went through in examining virtually every aspect of operations at city hall. *** In addition to not cutting actual jobs, the city has stepped up its spending on employee retirement and health insurance. 

Sam Govea, principal of St. Michael's high School in Santa Fe, will be staying put for the time being. School officials had said this spring they would not renew Govea's contract, citing his lack of a state-issued school administration license. The plan prompted an outcry from parents, students and alumni who wanted Govea to stay on. The school said it would reconsider and has now announced the popular principal will return for a fourth year. Meanwhile, Govea is pursuing the administration license.

Today sees the Santa Fe Police department rolling out its newly designed vehicles. The department says the switch away from its former red, white and blue color scheme to a more classic law enforcement black & white can help curb crime. The  two new Dodge Chargers, 18 Ford SUVs, and five Ford Taurus also feature new rumbling sirens that make the nearby ground shake.

New Mexico's medical marijuana advisory board meets in Santa Fe next week to consider adding more disorders to the list of 17 that qualify for treatment with marijuana. The board has already agreed to allow PTSD to remain on the list, after an Albuquerque physician challenged it. The health department says nearly half of the 8,900 patients registered to get medical marijuana qualify because they have a PTSD diagnosis. 

Six more lawsuits have been filed against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe regarding sexual molestation charges against a deceased priest.  A total of ten plaintiffs have now recently stepped forward claiming they were abused by Reverend Michael O'Brien while serving as altar boys. O'Brien, who died at age 47 in 1993 worked in various parishes including Taos, Questa, Estancia and Las Vegas. The archdiocese has previously said it does not comment on pending litigation. The case is in state district court in Albuquerque.

The Santa Fe Institute, a prestigious Santa Fe nonprofit and research organization, has elected former US Senator Jeff Bingaman to a 3-year appointment on its Board of Trustees.  Bingaman was one of New Mexico’s longest serving senators with a tenure spanning 3 decades. From 1979 to 1983 he was New Mexico’s attorney general.  

Another lawsuit has been filed against the owners of Santa Fe eatery, the Pink Adobe. Last year, Conroad Associates which has a stake in Canyon Road's Geronimo restaurant, filed a foreclosure action against the Pink Adobe claiming it was in default on a $1.3 million loan. Now this week, another suit has been filed by a woman who says she loaned the Adobe's Hoback family $100,000 back in 2010 with the establishment's liquor license as collateral. Repayments stopped last fall, the suit contends and the liquor license should now be sold to pay the debt.

Weather for Santa Fe – mostly sunny today with a high in the mid 60s. There’s a 30% chance for isolated afternoon and evening thundershowers.  That increases to 50% tomorrow and temperatures will be cooler with highs in the upper 50s.