Nov. 13 First News: Amtrak Service To Lamy Could Cease if NM Doesn't Come Up With Millions. (Listen)

  Amtrak Southwest Chief service to Lamy and other stops could cease if New Mexico doesn't come up with millions of dollars needed for rail line improvements by 2016. That's because Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which owns much of the route, has requested New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas share costs of maintaining the deteriorating tracks. The cost-sharing price-tag amounts to four-million dollars a year for a decade. The proposal has the support of Amtrak officials and several New Mexico local government leaders including Santa Fe Mayor David Coss. It’s not clear if Governor Martinez is on board.

At tonight's meeting of Santa Fe City Council, a number of city charter amendments will be looked at.  They will form the basis for a special election to be held in conjunction with Santa Fe's March municipal election. The City's Charter Review Commission had outlined an expansion of mayoral powers and duties, along with an increase in pay for the post which would forbid additional employment. Whether or not such changes will become ballot measures could be determined tonight.

Governor Susana Martinez will today propose a streamlined licensure process for nurses and nurse practitioners who are willing to move to New Mexico. The Governor will speak at an Albuquerque health clinic to unveil her plan for nurses licensed in other states to quickly become licensed here. Martinez will also discuss efforts to recruit more nurse practitioners to New Mexico from nearby states, where restrictions on practitioners are higher than they are in our state.

New Mexico's Spaceport America has conducted its 20th successful launch which also is its   second highest  flight to date.  UP Aerospace's SpaceLoft XL-8 on Tuesday reached an altitude of just over 72 miles, landing 25 miles downrange as planned. The rocket carried research payloads from New Mexico State University students and New Mexico Tech students.   

The firm that’s providing Santa Fe County leaders guidance on options for its now-abandoned judicial complex on Catron Street downtown recommends replacing the current building for a new one—one that has parking. David Dekker of Studio Southwest Architects explained the reasons for the firm’s preferred option: *****Nov. 13 Dekker-1  :12***** Dekker stressed the plan for an expanded County presence downtown gives it “the best potential for the future.”

New Mexico’s ski season kicks-off Saturday when the lifts at Sipapu begin turning, marking the earliest opening in the resort's history. The executive director of Ski New Mexico, George Brooks, says he's excited about the upcoming season given the early snow and cool temperatures: *****Nov. 13 Brooks-1  :10***** Brooks says Red River is expected to open November 27th, followed by Taos Ski Valley, Ski Santa Fe and Ski Apache the next day—Thanksgiving.

A forum sponsored by the New Mexico Parent Teachers Association with state education chief Hanna Skandera Tuesday featured numerous challenges from educators attending the Albuquerque event. The Albuquerque Journal reports many teachers took the opportunity to question Skandera about the changes she has initiated with the support of Governor Susana Martinez. The new Common Core Standards, which sets nationwide benchmarks for K-12 education, was a particular point of contention between Skandera and attendees. Skandera plans to hold four more meetings around the state to explain changes in New Mexico’s education policy.

Santa Fe County Commissioners are supporting a “Healthy Kid, Healthy Economy Program” to better connect local farmers with schools to provide healthy dietary options for students. Commission Chair Kathy Holian’s proposal seeks legislative funding of more than one-point-four million dollars: *****Nov. 13 Holian-1  :13***** The measure had the support of the Santa Fe Food Council’s Erin Ortegoza, who said it would allow local farmers to further develop rural economies by partnering on health issues. Commissioners approved the resolution unanimously. 

Weather for Santa Fe – mostly sunny today and Thursday with highs from the low-to-mid 50s. Overnight lows near 30. Friday brings a 20% chance for showers.