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September 21, 2018
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First News: Alfred Lovato acquitted of vehicular homicide. (listen)
(2012-02-21)
(KSFR) - Alfred Lovato, the man who, as a passenger, was on trial for vehicular homicide stemming from a 2008 Santa Fe DWI hit and run- has seen the judge order the jury for a directed verdict of acquital. This came after the driver of the car, Carlos Fierro -- now serving a seven-year prison term -- appeared in court to testify. Lovato's defense asked Judge Michael Vigil for the directed verdict, stating the prosecution failed to make its case against the defendant. The judge agreed, now leaving Lovato facing only the charges brought against him for leaving the scene of the accident.

Governor Susana Martinez has signed legislation that will allow judges to impose additional financial penalties on public officials convicted of corruption, including the cost of the individual's pension and other benefits. The bill passed with bi-partisan support during this year's legislative session. The governor said that the law sends a strong message and that corrupt public officials should not be allowed the benefit of their taxpayer-funded salaries and pensions.

Monday evening's meeting of Santa Fe's Finace Committee revisited the issue of city acquisition of the old St. Catherine's Indian School campus and, in turn, lease it to the charter New Mexico School for the Arts. A $1.9 million appraisal of the 11-acre tract has been a point of contention with the property's current owner who says it's worth several times that amount. Last night, the city attorney said the owner is willing to negotiate on the price and the committee directed the city manager to arrange for a new appraisal, expected to be completed within six weeks. Mayor David Coss expressed caution that if the amount moves far away from the previously touted $1.9 million, the acquisition plan may prove unworkable. More in today's New Mexican.

Republican state senator Vernon Asbill of Eddy & Otero counties has announced he will not seek re-election. Asbill will have served eight years in the senate and sponsored the measure implemented last year that put New Mexico schools on an A-through-F performance grading system. Asbill also helped establish Katie's Law and its recent expansion to require DNA samples from anyone arrested for a felony crime in the state. His announcement comes on the heels of another republican senator, Clint Harden of Clovis, saying he's retiring after 10 years in the senate.

Santa Fe Municipal Airport will see American Airlines restore its additional, daily seasonal flight to-and-from Dallas/Ft. Worth come April. Last year, American's parent company announced bankruptcy proceedings that would cut 14,000 jobs and discontinue service routes seen as unprofitable. Airport manager Jim Montman says the restoration of service points to the airline's recognition of Santa Fe as a viable market.

Weather for Santa Fe - A more tranquil weather pattern will take us throughout the remainder of the week. Sunny skies each day with highs ranging from the mid 40s to the low 50s. Overnight lows in the mid 20s.
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