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Last updated 5:40AM ET
August 16, 2018
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First News: Adding fluoride to Santa Fe's drinking water to be subject of a July 11th public hearing. (listen)
(KSFR) - The debate over whether to keep adding fluoride to Santa Fe's drinking water supply is continuing. City Council has set a public hearing on the issue for mid-July. On the docket will be the question of whether to accept new federal standards for fluoridation or scrap the practice altogether. Some councilors and city residents say there is already enough natural fluoride in the water. But some experts say they believe the new federal standard will help prevent tooth decay in children.

Also coming up on July 11 will be discussion of a proposed rate change for trash pickup. The plan calls for increasing the monthly fee residents pay to just under $14 a month from the current level of about $12. The full effect of the change would come in three years.

The Ruidoso area's Little Bear Fire is now said to be 40% contained with over 1300 personnel on scene at the more than 37,500 acre blaze. 224 residential structures have been burned since the fire started back on June 4th. A specialized Incident Type III Re-entry Team from Texas has arrived in the area. They're setting up phone banks and procedures for contacting property owners that have suffered damage and expect to be fully operational tomorrow.

The Whitewater Baldy Complex Fire has reached 56% containment. That fire, New Mexico's largest ever, has scorched some 290,000 acres. About 450 personnel remain working the fire. It's spread has been successfully checked, enough so that the nearby Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and the Gila Visitor Center can reopen to visitors today.

Santa Fe County's weekend ride-home cab program is credited with preventing untold numbers of DWI crashes, but county officials are going to change it. They say the $160,000 spent on subsidizing low-cost cab fares is too much for the county's budget. Until July 1, you can book a cab under the county program to go to and from a restaurant or bar for $5 per passenger. After July 1, the New Mexican reports that riders will be able only to take the cab home from a bar, not to go to it. But the cost of the fare will be reduced to $1 per rider.

The State Department of Health reports that the Torrance County man who became the state's first human plague case of 2012 has recovered from the bacterial infection. The news comes with reporting of the first domestic animal case observed in a Taos cat. The disease is spread by the bites of fleas living among rodent populations but can also be transmitted by direct contact with an infected animal. Over the years, Santa Fe County has been the site of the greatest number of plague cases reported in pets such as cats and dogs.

Weather for Santa Fe - mostly sunny today and Friday with highs in the upper 80s. A slight chance for showers arrives Saturday with a 20-to-30% chance for precipitation.
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