Oct. 28 First News: Hazmat incident in downtown Santa Fe closes streets and businesses. (Listen)

Oct 28, 2013

  A Hazmat incident in downtown Santa Fe over the weekend was instigated when hydrogen peroxide began bubbling up through the street on Montezuma Avenue. It forced authorities to close down some streets and businesses in the vicinity of the district courthouse. Contractors have been using the hydrogen peroxide to clean up decades-old petroleum contamination found in soils throughout the area.

Santa Fe's two Wal-Mart stores are popular with thieves. The New Mexican reports over the past two years, the stores on Cerrillos Rd and on Herrera Drive have reported more than 650 burglaries and shoplifting crimes. Both Santa Fe Police Chief Ray Rael and Santa Fe County Sheriff Robert Garcia blame drug addiction for the criminal activity.  Both law enforcement agencies report a rise in commercial burglaries in the past year.

Wealthy Santa Fe businessman Alan Webber is poised to run for the democratic nomination for Governor. Webber, co-founder of the business magazine "Fast Company," also served as a speechwriter for former Massachusetts Governor and Presidential Candidate Michael Dukakis. Political blogger Joe Monahan says Webber has hired a campaign consultant and has potential to be a self funder in the primary and outspend the other current candidates.

Governor Martinez is out of state as she embarks on a political fundraising quest.  She'll be making stops in Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and Arkansas before returning to New Mexico tomorrow. Expenses are being covered by the governor's re-election campaign.

Five prescribed burns on Santa Fe National Forest lands get underway both today and Tuesday. In all, nearly one-thousand acres of woodland slash will be burned under controlled conditions to prevent the risk of future wildfire. The largest burn is in the Jemez where 500 acres will begin treatment today. Tomorrow, weather permitting, adds 120 acres in the Santa Fe watershed.  Smoke is expected to be widely visible throughout the region.

New Mexico State University has received a more than one-million dollar gift to establish an endowed chair in entrepreneurship as well as a scholarship for business students. NMSU says it comes from alumnus Bill Sheriff and his wife. University officials hope the gift will attract and reward faculty who provide leadership and expertise in cultivating a spirit of entrepreneurship in New Mexico.

A company that provides DC-10 Air tankers and crews to fight western wildfires is setting up shop in Albuquerque. 10 Tanker Air Carrier has relocated from southern California to a large facility previously owned by Eclipse Aviation.  The company modifies DC-10 aircraft to carry large fire-retardant tanks with two such remodels currently in service.  The Albuquerque Journal reports one of those is already in residence at the Albuquerque Sunport with a second set to arrive in spring.

Weather for Santa Fe -- sunny today with highs in the low 60s. Overnight lows near 40.  Windy tomorrow and cooler with highs in the upper 50s. A very slight chance for showers tomorrow night ushers in much cooler temperatures Wednesday with highs only in the upper 40s.