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Last updated 1:32AM ET
September 25, 2018
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First News: 31,000 New Mexico Blue Cross/Blue Shield customers hit with 6.9% rate hike come June 1. (listen)
(KSFR) - The State Superintendent of Insurance has approved a 6.9 percent rate increase for Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico that will impact about 31,000 of the company's policyholders starting June 1. A previous request for a 9.9 percent rate increase was denied. The higher premiums will apply to those with individual coverage and comes on the heels of a 2010 rate hike of 21%.

Fire officials haven't confirmed it yet, but news reports say the wildfire in the Gila National Forest is now the biggest in New Mexico's history. The Whitewater-Baldy complex fire is said to have grow to more than 156,000 acres as of last night, surpassing the size of last year's Las Conchas fire in the Jemez Mountains. It is still zero-percent contained.

The committee searching for a new president for Santa Fe Community College has selected three applicants for final consideration. They come from a field of six previously asked to present their credentials. Finalists are Ana Guzman, who is currently president of a college in San Antonio...Margie Huerta, who is president of Dona Ana Community College in Las Cruces ... and Leslie Navarro, president of a college in Illinois. The candidates are vying for the position now held by Sheila Ortego. She'll be retiring this summer.

The Albuquerque Sunport has unveiled final plans for more solar panels. It's the first airport in the nation to get a federal grant for an on-site solar project. The final plans include five arrays that will power the terminal building. Eight existing arrays already provide power to the parking structure.

Santa Fe City Council will take final action today on a proposal to raise salaries for firefighters and police officers by two percent for the coming fiscal year. Councilor Carmichael Dominguez says that it's been some time since public safety officers have had a pay increase **** He says the raise would be made possible by more gross receipts taxes coming into the city treasury.

Santa Fe's Public Work Committee has given their approval to the hiring of private security guards to patrol the Railyard. The plan, which requires approval by full city council, would provide for funding some $100,000 for the initiative with oversight by the non-profit Railyard Community Corporation. The private security force would be deployed seven days a week from 10AM through 10PM as a response to numerous merchant and citizen complaints of unruly behavior and vandalism. Today's New Mexican reports that the plan could be in place toward the end of June.

Santa Fe police will bring no charges against a man who discharged a firearm at a downtown gas station during an argument last week. The gunfire ricocheted and slightly wounded a bystander. The Friday incident unfolded as 45 year old Mateo Romero was at a Guadalupe Street Allsup's and was allegedly attacked by a homeless man. Mateo defensively fired his gun at the ground. The shot bounced, causing minor injury to a nearby 24-year-old man who was treated at Christus St. Vincent. Police say the homeless man has refused to cooperate in their investigation and thus they cannot demonstrate intent to harm. They've turned the matter over to the District Attorney's Office for further review.

Weather for Santa Fe - mostly sunny today and Thursday with highs today in the low 80s and in the upper 70s tomorrow. Overnight lows in the upper 40s. A slight chance for a passing shower or thunderstorm moves in for Friday and Saturday.
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