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Last updated 7:54AM ET
August 18, 2018
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First News: Judge gives Block a deal (Listen)
Jerome Block, Jr.
(KSFR) -
A district court judge in Santa Fe has spared former PRC Commissioner Jerome Block, Jr., from serving prison time. KSFR's Charles Maynard reports the judge sentenced Block to 4 1/2 years but put him on probation if he enrolls in a drug treatment program and pays full restitution. Block had been convicted of misuse of his state-issued credit card while in office but agreed to a plea deal to avoid prison time if he completed drug court. When Block was kicked out of that program for repeated drug offenses, Judge Vigil ordered him to be sent to prison for a mental evaluation before sentencing.

At the top of the list of priorities for two candidates for county clerk are running clean elections and seeing that the files in the clerk's office are converted into digital form. Tara Lujan and Geraldine Salazar were two of the four candidates to make an appearance last night at the first political debate since filing for office. The other two candidates -- Gilbert Garcia and Letitia Montoya -- were no-shows at the Democratic Party forum. In the race for county treasurer, both candidates Oliver Garcia and Pat Varela said they would likely depend on a financial adviser to recommend investments in the treasurer's office if they were elected.

The man acquitted in a crash that killed four Santa Fe teens has pleaded not guilty to a second DWI charge. Thirty-year-old Scott Owens has been released until his trial but is required to wear a transdermal alcohol detector on his body. He's also required to install an interlock detection system on his car. This was Owens' second official DWI arrest. He was not charged with drunk driving in the case of the fatal accident, although he tested drunk at the time.

Santa Fe city council has decided that draft reports created by city managers must be made public quickly once they are in near-final form. The question came up after the media and citizens groups tried unsuccessfully to get a draft audit of the police department until it became a public issue. And council members are also talking about a change in the policy that now allows any police officer to drive a police car home. It would eliminate take-home cars for new officers who live more than 20 miles away.

Work is underway on a large PV solar system on top of the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. When the work is completed at the end of April, the system will supply about 11 percent of the center's electricity need. Officials say it will offset more than 3,600 tons of greenhouse gasses over the next 20 years.

Weather: More of the same today and in the days ahead. Sunny, dry and warm with highs in the uppers 60s to mid 70s.
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