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August 18, 2018
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PRC votes to raise electricity rates (Listen)
(KSFR) -
July 28, 12 Noon update: New Mexico's Public Regulation Commission has approved a rate increase for PNM but at a lower amount than the company had requested. The decision gives PNM a $72 million increase for the first year of several years of increases. The company had wanted $85 million. The PNM request also asked for approval of a plan to submit a multi-year series of increases totaling $216 million. The PRC cut that back to $178 million.

July 28, 7 a.m. The Public Regulation Commission is meeting again today to consider a request by PNM to raise electric rates. The company wants approval of an $85 million plan that would be the first in a number of steps to rebuild older facilities while also moving toward increased use of renewable energy sources. PNM says a rate hike of approximately 11% is needed. That could translate to an additional $11 dollars in monthly bills to some 500,000 customers.

With a number of Santa Fe city councilors not in attendance at Wednesday's city council meeting, action on some agenda items was postponed. The governing body was to have weighed in the demolition of buildings on the St. Catherine Indian School campus that the Historic Design Review Board has deemed to have cultural & historic significance. Also forestalled was further action on opening the RailRunner's built-but-yet-to-be-used Zia stop on St. Francis Drive. Full city council will now wait until next month for further discussion.

New Mexico's Supreme Court has ruled that environmental groups can be part of any questions about the state's toughest anti-pollution law. The court's order means that the environmental group named New Energy Economy will be allowed to be at the table on any deliberations about repealing the law. The state's Environmental Improvement Board and PNM had both made attempts to have the law overturned. It puts strict caps on greenhouse gas emissions.

The Santa Fe prosecutor's office has been tapped to handle the case of that judge in Albuquerque accused to raping a prostitute. Judge Pat Murdoch has resigned from his post but faces charges in the case. No court date has been set. Prosecutors in Albuquerque said they had a conflict of interest because they regularly tried their own cases in front of Murdoch. The Santa Fe district attorney says she'll begin reviewing details of the case next week.

As letters go out following Governor Martinez' order to summon some 10,000 foreign nationals holding New Mexico's drivers licenses to make in-person residency verification checks in Albuquerque, the governor is saying that accommodations will be worked out for those pleading hardship in making the mandatory appearance. Martinez told the Journal Santa Fe that the state may ready an alternative Dona Ana County location for the verification checks. Current state law permits drivers licenses to be issued to foreign nationals irrespective of their legal status. Governor Martinez is requiring that license holders actually reside at the addressess recorded by the Motor Vehicle Department.

As New Mexico's Spaceport America continues toward full buildout, it has hired the services of an Orlando, Florida business to handle the facility's Visitor Welcoming Center and associated tourist attractions. Integrity Arts & Technology Inc. has previously performed similar work for Florida's Walt Disney World theme park and Universal Studios. The two-phase contract is said to be worth up to $7.5 million.

New Mexico's biggest wildfire ever is just about fully contained. Fire managers say the Las Conchas fire burned more than 244 square miles and destroyed 63 homes in the Jemez Mountains. Crews have been working on mopping up hot spots while work on deploying seed is getting underway to help prevent rapid runoff during heavy rains.

Weather for Santa Fe - partly sunny days are forecast today and well into next week with daytime highs in the upper 80s. There's a 30-to-40% chance for afternoon and evening thundershowers throughout the period.
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