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Last updated 5:40AM ET
August 16, 2018
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First News: A top Santa Fe County official says they had no choice but to award a hefty contract to a firm owned by the wife of the county's utilities director. (listen)
(KSFR) - A top Santa Fe County official says they had no choice but to award a hefty contract to a firm owned by the wife of the county's utilities director. She was among three other companies bidding for the project and was not the first choice. But procurement manager Bill Taylor told the New Mexican that negotiations with the other two firms broke down, leaving just the third bidder in the running. He says they will work to make sure the utilities director has no involvement in his wife's project. The contract is for nearly $400,000 for the Santa Fe river greenway project.

A new union-only rule for some city of Santa Fe contracts may be getting a second look from some members of city council. The Journal North reports that some council members are now considering having another review of the ordinance that will require construction contracts above a certain dollar amount be performed by companies that are either unionized or follow union rules. The ordinance was approved by councilors in February. But that was before several new members were elected.

A national policy group says the wage gap between women and men is only slightly better in New Mexico than much of the rest of the nation. The study by the National Partnership for Women and Families says women in the Zia state earn an average of 79 cents for every dollar a man earns. The national average is 77 cents. Letitia Moderas of the partnership says this year's study is a first. It analyzes pay gaps between women and men in every separate congressional district. ***

Officials with Spaceport America, the first commercial, purpose-built space launch facility here in New Mexico, say they're yet another step closer to a December 2013 Grand Opening. They've just awarded a contract for a runway expansion, taking it from 10,000 feet to 12,000 by July of next year. Another contract has gone out for a Welcome Center. Located on a six-acre site to be purchased at a cost of some $1,000,00, construction will begin in January following completion of the architectural drawings.

A watchdog organization plans a public talk in Santa Fe tonight about the future of the now-sidelined Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility at Los Alamos. They note there is a potential for the project to be revived in the future and that New Mexico's congressional delegation have heretofore supported it. Unfunded in the most recent federal budget, the facility would have made new plutonium triggers for the existing nuclear arsenal. The Los Alamos Study Group holds a public forum at the CloudCliff Bakery on Second Street beginning at 6PM.

The IRS along with local tax advisors and small business concerns is hosting a a free small business tax workshop tomorrow morning at the Santa Fe community college campus. It's designed for new or existing businesses and will address record keeping requirements, rules governing business use of your home; and basic tax forms to report correctly. Federal regulations will also be discussed. The workshop starts at 9AM in the campus' Jemez Room.

Weather for Santa Fe - partly sunny today and for the remainder of the workweek with highs each day near 70 degrees and a 20% chance for isolated afternoon and evening showers.
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