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Last updated 4:32PM ET
September 25, 2018
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First News: Opening arguments will be heard in Santa Fe today in death penalty case. (listen)
(KSFR) - Opening arguments are scheduled to begin in Santa Fe this morning in the death-penalty trial of a man convicted of killing a Bernalillo County deputy sheriff in 2006. Michael Astorga could be the last person in New Mexico to face the death penalty. The legislature voted three years to end executions. Astorga went to the state supreme court, but they ruled he could still face capital punishment because his crime was committed before the repeal.

Still no final word on when the remaining Rail Runner stop in Santa Fe will be put into service. The station at Zia Road and St. Francis Drive was built in 2008. But a series of problems had kept it on hold. The most red light has come from the state transportation department. While the city formally sought the state's approval last year to open the station, New Mexico officials now say they will require a traffic study to be conducted first. They tell the New Mexican that may not be completed for yet another year.

Former Gov. Gary Johnson seems to have locked up the nomination for president from the Libertarian Party, The party's chairman tells the Alamagordo News that he's done enough voter sampling to project Johnson as the nominee when party delegates meet next month in Nevada. Johnson had tried to make his mark in the Republican party primaries but was not successful in building a big enough following.

Two members of the state public regulation commission are asking PNM to hold off on its appeal of government rulings about the company's San Juan coal-fired power plant. Jason Marks and Doug Howe say they would like to see PNM develop another alternative plan for retrofitting the plant, including installing natural gas to take over part of the plant's power needs. They are asking PNM to voluntarily put on hold a retrofit plan the company has developed and is now asking the courts to consider in oppositon to an EPA order to significantly reduce pollution at the plant.

That move of the charter Academy for Technology and the Classics school to the former Kaune Elementary on Santa Fe's eastside has been delayed. Today's Journal Santa Fe is reporting that questions have arisen over potential problems with a city land use ordinance that could take months to resolve. Meanwhile, ATC will remain at its current southside location near the community college. Santa Fe's School Board narrowly approved the move to Kaune last week while also voting to restore the school's charter standing. That had been suspended last year as ATC grappled with administrative and financial problems. The city's Land Use department says the school needs to apply for a permit and conduct a neighborhood notification meeting before any approval can be made.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry has seen the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce support his proposed $477 million budget for fiscal year 2013. The proposal has no tax increases or pay cuts and does not seek layoffs, furloughs or a reduction of hours of operation for city facilities. It does provide for funding a 1% increase for those city workers making less than $50,000 a year.

Tomorrow sees the City of Santa Fe conducting a 9:30AM ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of new segments of the Santa Fe River Trail. The event will be staged at the southwest corner of Calle Don Jose and the Santa Fe River Road. The newly completed sections of the River Trail add 1.3 miles to the city's urban trail network for pedestrians and bicyclists for a total of 2.1 miles along the river's edge. The $4.5-million project was paid for with funds provided by the state of New Mexico, plus city of Santa Fe bond funds that voters approved for the development of the city's urban trail system.

Weather for Santa Fe - our spate of unseasonably warm weather has ended with highs today in the mid-to-upper 60s. Sunny and breezy with west winds to 25 miles per hour.
Winds remain for the overnight hours under partly cloudy skies and a low of 40 degrees.
The weekend will be sunny with lighter breezes and highs from the mid 60s to the low 70s.
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