Sept 4 First News:LA County Clerk to court on defiance of order on marriage licenses. (listen)

Republican Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover appears in the First Judicial District Court this morning to explain why she is defying an order to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She was ordered to begin doing so last week.  Stover says her refusal is based on the fact that the licenses issued by her office require a male and female or bride and groom applicant. Stover says the forms are outdated and deficient but updating them is a matter for the state legislature to fix and not a judge or clerk.

Senator Tom Udall says he has grave reservations about President Obama’s proposed U.S. military intervention in Syria. At hearings by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Udall asked if the administration’s planned bombing campaign might not further pull the nation into the Syrian civil war. The senator also questioned whether the US has exhausted all diplomatic and economic sanction options to affect Syria’s behavior. Udall says he’d like to see new efforts made to get Russia and China to stop support for Syrian President Assad’s regime.

The Diocese of Gallup, headed by Bishop James Wall, will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That's due to strapped financial resources from lawsuits over clerical sex abuse. Bishop Wall says that since he took over, the number of such lawsuits-some over alleged incidents decades ago-has continued to increase. He says Chapter 11 reorganization presents the only effective means to compensate sex-abuse victims without imperiling the church's ministry and mission.

Santa Fe Police are looking for three bears spotted on the prowl near Santa Fe High School and St Francis Drive on Tuesday. City Animal Control Agents say bears are usually seen in the city around this time of year, but recent activity is above normal. Within the past week, 3 other bears have been tranquilized and relocated after found roaming residential streets.  While active sightings continue, police are advising Santa Feans to bring pet foods and hummingbird feeders inside along with trash receptacles.

The Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners is seeking individuals to nominate for State Representative District 50, the post left vacant when Representative Stephen Easley passed away last month. Those interested must be 21 and live within the district which also includes portions of Bernalillo, Torrance and Valencia Counties. Current officeholders are not eligible. Santa Fe County will accept  letters of interests and resumes until noon, Monday, September 9th.  Ultimately, it will fall to Governor Martinez to select a replacement for the remainder of Easley's term.

The search continues today in the Jemez mountains for missing wildland firefighter Token Adams.  He was last seen Friday when a crew was dispatched to the area to investigate a small fire. Some 250 people including state police officers and National Guard members are engaged in locating the 41-year-old Token, a captain with the Jemez Ranger District.

Weather is often inconsistent and recent statistics on the southwestern monsoon bear that out.  The National Weather Service office in Albuquerque had reported that Duke City rainfall totals for July hit 2.7 inches, making the month the 9th wettest on record. Now, however, the numbers for August tell a much different story. Average Albuquerque rainfall for the month is over one-and-a-half inches but just four-tenths of an inch was received.  That makes last month the 10th driest August on record.

Weather for Santa Fe – Look for mostly sunny days today and into the weekend as our region enters a drying trend.  Highs will be in the mid 80s with only the slightest chance for a late day shower. Overnight lows throughout the period in the mid-to-upper 50s.