Sept. 12 First News: Former SF home builder charged with felony fraud. (listen)

A former Santa Fe builder has been indicted by a state grand jury on multiple felony fraud charges that victims say amount to millions of dollars.  William "Kal" Kalinowski was the force behind Barranca Builders and a number of other local companies. In 2008, he defaulted on bank loans made for multiple high-end home construction projects at Las Campanas, leaving sub-contractors and home buyers holding the bag. He filed for bankruptcy in 2009. The 68-year-old Kalinowski, now living in Massachusetts, has been ordered to appear in a Santa Fe District Court on October 7th.

The year-long, $13 million makeover of Atalaya School is the focus of a Santa Fe Public Schools community forum today at Kaune Elementary. The 5:30 event will feature a presentation by the Community-District Working Group followed by a Question &Answer session.  23,000 square feet of additions are being made, including classrooms, restrooms as well as a new gymnasium. That component has been the focus of some protest from the surrounding neighborhood as residents say its placement and height will obstruct views. A compromise solution will be presented at the meeting.  The entire project is expected to be completed by June of next year.

The Chevron Corporation has agreed to pay $5.2 million to settle all claims relating to its alleged improper application for funds from the New Mexico Corrective Action Fund.  Attorney General Gary King says that Chevron never informed New Mexico as required that they collected hundreds of millions from their outside insurers while using public funds to clean up petroleum contamination from their leaking underground storage tanks at gasoline stations around the state. New Mexico paid out approximately $4 million directly to Chevron for that cleanup over the years.

September has been proclaimed "Preparedness Month" in Santa Fe. Today, the City will conduct a public meeting on its Hazard Mitigation Plan at 5:30 pm at the Community Convention Center. This meeting will focus on long-term strategies to reduce disaster losses, both human and material, from any of a broad scenario of emergency situations. A copy of the draft Mitigation Plan is available online at the City's website. 

Santa Fe Police have publicly identified 55 year-old Mark Ginnel as the man whose body was found Tuesday near Rosario Cemetery. Ginnel is believed to have died as a result of a violent, alcohol-fueled altercation with 37-year old Orlando Yazzie.  Yazzie admits to repeatedly kicking Ginnel in the head as he lay on the ground. He’s being held at the Santa Fe County Detention Center on a $1million cash only bond, charged with an open count of murder. 

The Los Alamos National Lab says an event this weekend will parallel one that took place 69 years ago involving the Lab’s first director, Robert Oppenheimer. It has nothing to do with science and technology bur, rather, theater. In 1944, Oppenheimer appeared as a corpse in the Los Alamos Little Theater’s production of “Arsenic and Old Lace.” The theater is mounting a revival with an as yet unnamed LANL official reprising Oppenheimer’s role tomorrow and Saturday.

Being laid to rest today in Albuquerque is US Forest Service Captain Token Adams, the 41-year-old wildland firefighter whose body was found last Friday one week after reported missing. Adams was part of a crew dispatched to investigate a small fire in the Jemez. His body was found near the crashed ATV he was using in difficult terrain. Funeral services are being conducted at Calvary Church in Albuquerque. Governor Martinez has ordered flags to be flown at half staff through sundown.

Weather for Santa Fe – another round of heavy rain very likely later today as a strong plume of monsoonal moisture sets up over our area. Meteorologist Mark Fettig with the National Weather Service office in Albuquerque says rainfall totals could be significant….**** An 80% chance for rain later with highs in the low 70s. Precipitation probabilities increase to 90% tonight and there’s a 60% chance for rain again tomorrow.