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Last updated 5:27PM ET
August 17, 2018
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First News: PNM responds to harshly critical report. (listen)
(KSFR) - Electric Utility PNM has responded to a harshly critical report on its profitability that was issued Tuesday by a coalition of environmental groups. The report claims that PNM increased its profitability by 2500 percent over the past several years while shirking environmental responsibilities. But Frederick Bermudez of PNM says he and other PNM officials cannot arrive at a similar number. *** PNM also claims to have invested 100s of millions in renewable energy and cleaning up the San Juan generating station. PNM says their bills are among the most affordable in the nation.

As dry weather conditions continue in New Mexico and throughout the southwest, wildfire experts are meeting in Santa Fe to discuss how to prevent or manage huge forest fires. A national conference put together by fire ecologists from California is exploring the 2011 wildfire season that saw the largest wildfires in the history of both New Mexico and Arizona. The Las Conchas last year burned more than 150,000 acres in the Santa Fe National Forest and came close to engulfing Los Alamos. The conference, at La Fonda Hotel, concludes tomorrow.

Among issues on the agenda for Santa Fe's city council tonight is a proposal to allocate 1,000 acre feet of water to the Santa Fe River. Last year at this time, the governing body approved a one-year allocation of several hundred acre feet. City Hall officials say tonight's proposal for a greater amount has provisions to scale back the flow if drought conditions worsen. KSFR will broadcast tonight's meeting live, just after the 7 o'clock news.

This afternoon, Governor Susana Martinez will sign legislation that will expand the definition of a veteran under state statute to include members of the New Mexico National Guard and Reserve units for the purpose of being eligible for state veteran's benefits. Bills addressing the issue were introduced in both houses this past session. Also getting her nod are two bills that will put a check box on certain state forms so that New Mexicans can more easily make donations to the Veterans' Enterprise Fund, which helps pay for veteran's projects around the state.

Lawyers for state republicans say they will stand down from their previous call for a federal court to take on the matter of drawing a map of state political boundaries. They said Tuesday that they won't contest the latest map put forward Monday by retired state district court judge James Hall and found to be reasonable in their opinion. The GOP lawyers wanted federal intervention back in early February when the New Mexico Supreme court first ordered the judge to come up with a better map, free of political bias. That, they said at the time, was unconstitutional. Meanwhile, today is the deadline to appeal the new redistricting map which, locally, separates Eldorado from Santa Fe in the state House of Representatives. More in today's Albuquerque Journal.

Santa Fe police are hoping to apprehend a group of men who committed an armed robbery of a southside Santa Fe restaurant Monday evening. The thieves showed up at the Fusion Fire Buffet & Grill after hours with its doors locked. They shot out the glass and entered, holding three employees at gunpoint. The restaurant's assistant manager fought with a man holding him at gunpoint and trying to gain access to the business's office. The assistant manager suffered a minor knife wound during the scuffle but managed to hold the thieves at bay while police were summoned. Meanwhile, the robbers panicked and left the scene. Police hope surveillance video will provide clues to their identity as the investigation continues.

Weather for Santa Fe -- sunny today with a high near 50 degrees and lows tonight in the upper 20s. Turning very windy for Thursday with southwest winds to 25 miles per hour.
Fair but unseasonably cold by Friday with daytime highs only in the upper 30s and a 10% chance for snowshowers.
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