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Last updated 6:25PM ET
August 18, 2018
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First News: Santa Fe's new school superintendent wants to explore pay raises. (listen)
(KSFR) - The new superintendent of Santa Fe's public schools says he would like to have teachers and school workers get a pay raise. They haven't had one for five years. Joel Boyd has formed a committee to look into where funds might be found. Boyd says beginning teachers should make at least $40,000 a year. The present arrangement sets the rate at $30,000. The New Mexican reports that the average teacher salary in New Mexico is nearly $43,000 a year.

The owner of a private gun museum in Glorietta has a $40,000 antique pistol back and the man who allegedly stole it is in jail. A colleague of museum owner Jim Gordon says a man appeared on an antique-gun television show talking about the pistol. He turned out to be the same man who had taken a private tour of the museum a year earlier. The Journal North says the Colorado man is in the Santa Fe County jail. The owner of the museum keeps the location secret and offers tours only by special arrangement.

Los Alamos County has made a financial settlement with a former county official who claims she was fired because of her sex. The county will pay Diana Stephan $800,000. The Los Alamos Monitor reports that more than 80 percent of that amount will come from a municipal self-insurance fund.

A number of public hearings take place this week on Department of Energy plans to bring 13 metric tons of "surplus plutonium" from around the US to New Mexico's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The hearings will focus on the plan's Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and begin tomorrow in Los Alamos with a Santa Fe event set for 5:30 Thursday at the Marriott Courtyard on Cerrillos Road. LANL is currently converting 2 metric tons of the surplus to plutonium oxide for use as fuel for nuclear reactors.

A couple from Rio Rancho has been convicted by a federal jury in Albuquerque oof evading nearly $800,000 in taxes. Joseph Kupfer and his wife Elizabeth were found guilty of not reporting income from his consulting business. Kupfer faces another trial in October. This one is for allegedly embezzling federal election money while working on a voter-education project for the state of New Mexico.

Withdrawn from the agenda for today's meeting of the city's Finance Committee is that proposal to cease adding fluoride to Santa Fe's water supply. New federal recommendations for fluoride levels have been lowered and proponents of stopping the practice have noted that fluoride occurs naturally in our drinking water. Next week brings a public hearing on the issue at the full city council meeting set for Tuesday, August 28th.

A key science tool from the Los Alamos National Laboratory onboard the Mars Curiosity Rover has been fired up. Called ChemCam, it performed its 1st test over the weekend, taking aim at a nearby Martian rock. A laser pulse vaporizes a pinhead-sized area of any given target. That produces a flash of glowing plasma that ChemCam sends to a spectrometer for compositional analysis. ChemCam is staffed by a LANL team working in concert with scientists from the French Space Agency, IRAP.

A 'heads up' to Santa Fe area motorists today for NM 599 as the New Mexico Department of Transportation performs bridge work related to safety upgrades. Periodic lane closures are expected in both directions between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. The bridges are over Via Abajo at mile marker 7.4, Camino La Tierra at mile marker 10.1, and Avenida Rincon at mile marker 13.9.

Weather for Santa Fe - partly sunny skies are forecast throughout most of the week with high temperatures in the low 80s. A 40% chance for showers today, decreasing to just 30% tomorrow and Wednesday.
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