Nov. 5 First News: US Court blocks NM equine slaughterhouse. (listen)

A federal appeals court has temporarily halted plans to resume domestic horse slaughter at Roswell’s Valley Meat Company. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver issued a temporary injunction Monday, barring the Department of Agriculture from inspecting the plants. Valley Meat had hoped to begin equine slaughter operations this week after a federal judge in Albuquerque threw out a lawsuit by animal protection groups. The Humane Society of the United States and other parties that oppose the slaughterhouses appealed their case Saturday.

Those job layoffs at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe announced Monday are being tied to reorganization steps made necessary by implementation of the Affordable care Act. The hospital is eliminating 58 positions and 36 employees have been let go with assurances of a six-week severance package.  The action trims millions from Christus' payroll.  With a total staff near 2,000, Christus is the largest private employer in Santa Fe County.

Santa Fe's Ethics & Campaign Review Board meets this afternoon. They'll be looking at a number of amendments likely to be put before voters in the March 2014 Municipal election. One would amend the definition of contribution to include certain expenditures made by persons other than a candidate or his or her political committee. Another would ban contributions arising from individuals or businesses having a contractual relationship with the City.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez spent Monday in New Jersey appearing with Governor Chris Christie ahead of today's gubernatorial election in the Garden State. The Christie campaign covered the travel expenses for our governor who made multiple appearances with hopes of wooing New Jersey’s Hispanic voters, who slightly favor Christie's democratic opponent.  Martinez returns to New Mexico today.

The League of Women Voters of Santa Fe County is planning a public forum on the Affordable Care Act a week from today at Christus-St. Vincent Hospital. Local League President Donna Reynolds says the panel will discuss progress and issues surrounding the implementation of “Obamacare” in New Mexico. *****Nov. 5 Reynolds 1  :17***** Reynolds says former State Senator  Dede Feldman will introduce the topic and moderate a diverse panel of speakers. 

The New Mexico Department of Transportation launched a series of public meetings on its new Rail Plan in Santa Fe Monday evening. The agency’s updated plan defines goals for train transportation in New Mexico. NMDOT Rail Manager Bill Craven says the proposed five-year document contains little that’s new for passenger rail in the state. *****Craven  :10***  Craven says future public meetings will be held in Albuquerque, Gallup, Farmington and Las Cruces. The D-O-T is also taking public comment on the draft plan until January third.

The Santa Fe Metropolitan Planning Organization is generating a pedestrian master plan for the greater Santa Fe area. As part of the planning process, the MPO is providing opportunities for public input on improvements needed to make walking a viable transportation option. The MPO is holding eight public meetings, the first of which is today between 4:30 and 6:30pm at Ramirez- Thomas Elementary School. The Pedestrian Master Plan will outline a vision for existing and future sidewalk connectivity that addresses community desires and needs.

The City of Santa Fe Arts Commission has announced winners of the 2013 “Common Ground: Art Prize and Exhibit.” Max Lehman’s fired earthenware sculpture titled “Red Skelton” was selected from among 80 entries to receive the honor of “Best in Show.” Now in its third year, Common Ground is a non-juried exhibit, providing an opportunity for local artists to display their artwork at the Community Gallery. Scott Parker’s linoleum block print, “Rug Room,” received second place. 

Weather for Santa Fe – mostly cloudy through the morning hours with more chances for showers and high elevation snows. Clearing skies this afternoon with highs in the upper 40s. Clear and cold overnight with lows in the mid 20s. Wednesday will be sunny with highs in the upper 40s.