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Last updated 7:53AM ET
August 18, 2018
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First News: Human-caused blaze in Chimayo is controlled. (listen)
(KSFR) - Fire officials say a grass fire that sprang up Sunday in Chimayo was human-caused. Reports from the scene say four structures were lost and the blaze covered an area of more than 20 acres. A number of homes were evacuated. They say they will be doing mop up operations today to keep the smoldering blaze under control. A smaller fire was reported just north of Tesuque.

The physician charged with setting up the New Mexico office handling the national health care program has quit his post. Dr. Dan Derksen says he met too much resistance from the Martinez administration as he tried to organize the New Mexico Office of Health Care Reform. The process apparently has been hampered because Gov. Susana Martinez last year vetoed a bill that would have created a one-stop shopping clearinghouse for New Mexicans seeking health care. There are reports that more than 400,000 people in New Mexico have no health insurance, making the state the second highest in the nation for its uninsured rate.

Regents of the University of New Mexico have pulled back on their plan to increase student fees by about 8 percent, reducing that to 5.6 percent. But the university's student newspaper reports that the regents are still firm on raising tuition by nearly 4 percent. A portion of that would be used to hire new faculty members. Faculty would also get a raise of nearly two percent. It would be the first salary increase in four years.

Representatives of the communities surrounding the Los Alamos National Laboratory say they're pushing Washington to budget more funds for environmental cleanup at the lab. The Coalition of LANL Communities met Friday to review budget cuts at the lab. Santa Fe Mayor David Coss says the amount of money the lab will get to clean up its waste is proportionately much less than other labs. *** Los Alamos is scheduled to get $239 million next year for cleanup, The coalition says it should be $250 million.

A report from the New York Times is criticizing New Mexico's horse-racing industry, saying it's among the worst in the nation for violating horse-racing principles. The report says New Mexico tracks regularly run horses that are drugged to dangerously high levels. It says New Mexico last year had five of the seven tracks with the highest incident rates in the nation.

Testing for some Santa Fe high school students begins tomorrow for the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment. Students in the class of 2013 and beyond will be required to pass all parts of the high school NMSBA by the end of their senior year in order to obtain a diploma. Those not passing on initial rounds can retest up to four times and have up to five years after graduation to re-take the exam. Those not passing will receive a certificate indicating course credits earned and grade- level completed rather than a diploma. Santa Fe High, Capital High School and The Academy at Larragoite administer the tests Tuesday through Thursday.

The City of Santa Fe says that with the arrival of warmer weather, final work on the Cerrillos Road Construction Project begins today. Most of the work will be along the roadway's shoulder with minimal or no traffic disruptions. Over the past year, the near $7 million project has often been the bane of Cerrillos Road businesses, with traffic detours and lane closures making customer access difficult. This final phase involves light concrete work in the Cielo Street area. Motorists are asked to be cautious and obey posted speed limits.

Weather for Santa Fe - sunny and warm today with highs near 70 degrees. Windy at times, with southwest breezes from 15-to-25 miles per hour. Clear skies tonight with lows around 40. The rest of the week is forecast to be sunny and dry.
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