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Last updated 5:25PM ET
September 22, 2018
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First News: Santa Fe is seeking a refund of the $5 million it spent on faulty automatic water meter readers. (listen)
Firefly water meter reader (c) Datamatic LTD
(KSFR) - More than 12,000 automatic water-meter readers in Santa Fe have stopped working and city hall is suing the supplier for a refund. The devices were installed beginning in 2004 to save the cost of reading water meters manually. The New Mexican reports that the devices came with a 10-year warranty, but the supplier has refused to make good on its promise. Santa Fe spent about $5 million on the automatic readers. The lawsuit seeks a refund plus three times that amount in damages.

Union workers at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical center say they have filed federal complaints over staffing levels at the hospital. That's according to today's Journal North, which reports that the union believes the hospital hasn't worked with them in good faith. Among other things, the complaints say the hospital has not abided by contract requirements to bargain collectively over staffing levels. The union says the hospital's staffing levels are far below what's needed for patient care.

Following an emergency meeting, Brent Woods has been tapped as interim CEO of the New Mexico Finance Agency. At the same time, CEO Rick May was placed on paid administrative leave and Chief Financial Officer John Duff was placed on leave without pay. This follows Wednesday's arrest of Duff and former controller Greg Campbell for securities fraud and racketeering related to the agencies faked audit. The Finance Authority raises money through bond offerings and then makes loans for capital improvement projects to state entities. As a result of the scandal, Moody's has been considering downgrading its ratings of the agency's debt. That would likely raise the cost of future borrowing.

The wife of a state representative from Santa Fe is wondering why she's on the list of voters that may be purged from the state's voter rolls. Kelley Egolf is the wife of Rep. Brian Egolf. She says she's been registered at the same address for six years and has voted in every election since then. Meanwhile, a member of Common Cause New Mexico says she also got a postcard even though she's been registered to vote for 40 years. Secretary of State Diana Duran has mailed nearly 180,000 postcards to voters who have had mail returned as undeliverable. She says the action is required by federal authorities who claim New Mexico has not cleaned up its voter rolls in years.

$5 million more in federal assistance relief funds are headed to nearby Santa Clara and Cochiti Pueblos in efforts to prevent further flood damage from areas ravaged by last year's Las Conchas Fire. The soils were rendered unable to absorb moisture and debris on hillsides has been clogging waterways as summer rains have fallen. Santa Clara can now expect another $4 million on top of a previous $11 million given by FEMA last month. Cochiti Pueblo will receive $1.2 million.

Weather for Santa Fe - mostly sunny and seasonably warm today and through the weekend. High temperatures from the upper 80s to low 90s. Throughout the period, there's just a 10-to-20% chance for precipitation.
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