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Last updated 6:11PM ET
September 20, 2018
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First News: A national ad campaign will recruit a new SFPS superintendent. (listen)
(KSFR) - Ads announcing the availability of the Santa Fe school superintendent's job could start appearing around the nation sometime this week. The school board is now on a fast track to find a replacement for Bobbie Gutierrez. They decided in February to give her a $180,000 buyout package instead of renewing her contract. The ads will indicate a salary range of $160,000 to $180,000 for her replacement. That's 66 percent more than Gutierrez made a year.

Meanwhile, the school board meets again tonight for a study session on how to plug a budget gap for next year that's equal to nearly 5 percent of this year's budget.

The jury could begin deliberations in a few days in the Santa Fe sentencing trial of convicted murderer Michael Astorga. Closing arguments are on the docket for today. They will decide if Astorga gets life in prison or the death penalty. He's convicted of a 2006 killing of a Bernalillo deputy sheriff.

There's a dispute between the state land office and the operators of the Dixon apple orchard over what to do with the orchard's acreage now that the Mullane family wants to leave New Mexico. The orchard was destroyed by last year's Las Conchas fire. The Mullane family wants to sub-lease the orchard and an adjacent 8,500 acres to the San Felipe pueblo for nearly $3 million. But the Journal North reports that the state land office is balking at that proposal. They say the Mullane family should be paying more for the acreage than the $100-a-year under the leasing arrangement.

New Mexico State University plans to give its faculty members an across-the-board wage increase of 1 percent. But that may not be enough to stem the number of faculty members leaving for higher paying jobs elsewhere. The Las Cruces Sun-News says NMSU has lost about 5 percent of its faculty over the past four years. A top reason is salaries. Assistant professors at NMSU earn about 16 percent less than at UNM.

The next chapter in the ongoing saga of finding a mayor for scandal-plagued border community Sunland Park may be written tonight. City councilors will hold a public meeting at a courtyard outside their local city hall wherein they may make a mayoral appointment. A disorderly meeting back on May 4th saw Sunland park officials postponing any such action pending further interview of those presenting themselves for the post. The winner of the March 6th mayoral race was prevented from taking office due to circumstances surrounding felony corruption charges leveled against him.

Santa Fe is celebrating Bike-to-work-Week. Numerous events take place each day culminating in a Friday afternoon gala at the Railyard with Mayor David Coss and city councilor Patti Bushee. All this week, any Santa Fe Trails Bus rider may ride for free if they place a bicycle on the vehicle's racks.

Weather for Santa Fe - a cool start to the workweek with highs today in the mid 60s under mostly sunny skies and just a 20% chance for a passing shower. Clear and dry Tuesday and Wednesday with highs nearing 80 degrees.
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