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Last updated 2:30PM ET
August 18, 2018
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First News: Mayor David Coss wants Santa Fe to start a gun buyback program. (listen)
(KSFR) - In the wake of the Connecticut school shootings, Santa Fe Mayor David Coss wants to launch a gun buyback program here. And he says he hopes mayors of other New Mexico towns will do the same. Coss has asked the police chief and city manager to come up with $25,000 from their budgets to begin the program. Gun buyback programs are gaining momentum around the country. New York City has been paying from $100 to $200 each for turned-in weapons. Meanwhile, a congressional report puts the number of guns owned by civilians at more than 300 million -- roughly one per every person in the country.

Albuquerque Sunport travelers are advised that, as of today, the 500-space long-term parking lot will be closed ahead of an extensive renovation project. Construction work will begin in January as the structure is repaved and outfitted with solar panels paid for by an FAA grant of $3.3 million. At completion, the project will generate 2 megawatts of power and savings of $400,000 each year in electricity costs.

New Mexico's Encanto supercomputer is to be dismantled and key components parceled out to three educational facilities. When new back in 2008, Encanto was ranked the 3rd fastest computer in the world. By the middle of 2012, it had fallen to 128th place. That reduced its market value and the device was repossessed by the Martinez Administration due to high overhead costs. Its array of processors may now be shared among UNM, NMSU and New Mexico Tech. Encanto originally cost $11 million to build and another $9 million in tax dollars to maintain.

Tomorrow at the Roundhouse, the body of House Speaker Ben Lujan will lay in state in the Rotunda from 11AM to 2PM. The long-serving representative from Nambe passed away last week at age 77 from lung cancer. A funeral Mass is set for 9AM Saturday at the St. Francis Cathedral Basilica.

More of Ski Santa Fe will be opened up, beginning today. With the upper part of the mountain open, 65 percent of the ski area will be available to enthusiasts. The ski area has gotten 12 inches of new snow in the past week and now has a 37-inch base.

The Pajarito ski area above Los Alamos still hasn't opened but when it does, it could be tricky for skiers to drive there. The Los Alamos national lab says its new security checkpoints will require all vehicles entering certain access roads to be stopped and checked. Drivers will be asked to show a photo I.D. They suggest drivers use the West Road bypass in Los Alamos to avoid traffic delays.

Weather for Santa Fe - mostly sunny today with highs in the mid 30s. Meteorologist Brian Guyer with the weather service office in Albuquerque tells us what to expect thereafter ***
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