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Last updated 4:53PM ET
September 24, 2018
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Santa Fe alert and reward about catalytic converters
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Santa Fe police have issued an alert to owners of light trucks and SUVs. They say there's been a big jump in thefts of catalytic converters. And Crimestoppers is offering a reward of $1,000 for information that could lead to an arrest. Thieves can cut the converters off quickly on vehicles with high ground clearance. They sell them for their content of precious metals. KSFR has been reporting on this issue. Rich Montoya of Santa Fe's Toyota Tech says his garage replaces as many as 15 catalytic converters a month. Santa Fe police say the targeted vehicles are 1990 to 2010 Toyota 4Runners and pickup trucks. The tell owners to keep these vehicles locked inside a garage at night, or in well lit areas. And to be aware of noises late at night, especially electric cutting tools, such as sawzalls.

Big arguments are surfacing over incentives for the film industry in New Mexico. Hundreds gathered in Albuquerque last night for a debate on the issue. Republican Rep. Dennis Kintigh says it's a wasteful program, and he is introducing legislation to either put a cap on it on eliminate it completely. Supporters say the program has brought more than $3 billion in direct economic impact to the state over the past 7 years. They say that includes thousands of jobs. The program calls for the state to reimburse movie production companies up to 25 percent of the money they spend in New Mexico. Paul Gessing of the conservative Rio Grande Foundation would like to see other industries, like oil and gas, get similar support. But State Rep. Brian Egolf of Santa Fe counters that the state already provides those incentives. (Listen)

Gov. Susana Martinez' administration is facing its first legal test. A nonprofit group has asked a court to reverse one of the governor's first actions after taking office. She ordered a hold put on pending rules and regulations that could be unfriendly to business. The action included preventing the official publication of a greenhouse gas emissions rule that the state's Environmental Improvement Board approved in December. The court is being asked to reinstate the rule. Lawyers say it's not pending at all, but a final rule approved under state statute.

State lawmakers meet next week for a regular 60-day session, and a looming question is will the current Speaker of the House be able to keep his job. The New Mexican is reporting today that there may be enough votes to unseat Rep. Ben Lujan of Nambe and replace him with another Democrat, Rep. Joe Cervantes of Las Cruces. It will take at least 36 Democratic and Republican votes to change speakers. Lujan has held the position since 2001.

Santa Fe public schools will face a budget cut in the coming fiscal year, but it may not be as deep as the $13 million they initially feared. Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez says it's good news the governor doesn't want to cut teacher salaries, but she's not sure of all the details behind the Martinez budget proposal. *** Gutierrez appeared on KSFR with a top official of Albuquerque schools. The full interview is on our website KSFR.Org.

Weather: Mostly cloudy today. There could be a few snow flurries this morning and perhaps snow flurries or sprinkles this afternoon. Highs will be in the upper 30s to low 40s. Lows tonight 10 to 20 once again. A little warmer for the weekend.

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