Nov. 25 First News: Snowstorm Causes Widespread Delays

  The storm that blanketed Santa Fe and much of northern New Mexico with snow this past weekend has led Santa Fe schools and state government offices, among others, to be on a two-hour delay schedule this morning. State road condition updates are available on the “NM-Roads-dot-com” website or by calling 5-1-1. The storm that hit the Southwest hard led to hundreds of flight cancellations and is moving east and threatens to create havoc among Thanksgiving travelers. Here now is the list of weather-related delays and closures: (see list) New Mexico Corrections Department head Greg Mercantel has told state lawmakers he plans on cutting the number of state inmates who are living in solitary confinement by about one-half in the next year. Mercantel outlined his plan Friday while testifying before a legislative committee. Mercantel says nearly 10 percent of the state's seven-thousand prisoners live in segregation—meaning they’re locked-up alone for 23 hours a day.. A report from advocacy groups last month indicates another 300 inmates in county jails puts the total number of New Mexico inmates in solitary is more than one-thousand. New Mexico abortion opponents, fresh off last week’s resounding defeat of an Albuquerque city effort to ban abortions after 20-weeks of pregnancy, are looking to redirect their attention to the State Legislature. The Albuquerque Journal reports however that Democratic legislative leaders say the abortion issue has been considered on an annual basis for nearly two decades. In Washington, Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich are working to designate the 45-thousand acre Columbine-Hondo area in Taos County as wilderness. Senator Heinrich spoke last week to a Senate Committee in support of the legislation he’s co-sponsored with Udall: *****Nov. 25 Heinrich-1  :14***** Heinrich says the Columbine-Hondo area is a central attraction for visitors to Taos County where outdoor recreation and tourism drive the local economy. New Mexico Congressman Ben-Ray Lujan has introduced companion bill in the U-S House. Santa Fe Weather:  A 20 percent chance of snow showers, with partly sunny skies and a high near 33. North wind 5 to 15 mph. For tonight, A 10 percent chance of snow showers before 11pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 16.  Mostly sunny tomorrow, with a high near 37.