Wednesday morning's top news stories from KSFR's Tom Trowbridge.

Direct download: 123015-First_News.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:47am MDT

KSFR's Tom Trowbridge has Monday morning's top news stories on KSFR.org.

Direct download: 122815_First_News.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:17am MDT

KSFR's John Calef brings you local news at noon. 

Direct download: 122215-37057_NEWS_12pm__Newscast.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:29pm MDT

Direct download: 37031_NEWS_CharityScam_Part_2.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:28pm MDT

Direct download: 37032_NEWS_Charities-AARP.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:28pm MDT

Facing a slumping economy, China is looking to recreate the Silk Road. Beijing-based Financial Times journalist Lucy Hornby told KSFR's Dave Marash about how the Chinese are going to do this and what a new Silk Road might look like.

Direct download: 37033_NEWS_H-T_SIlk_Road.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:27pm MDT

On Today’s Medical Insights Doctor Erica Elliott talks about the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables.

Direct download: 37034_NEWS_Dr._Elliot.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:24pm MDT

KSFR's John Calef brings you local news at noon. 

Direct download: 122115-37057_NEWS_12pm__Newscast.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:39pm MDT

According to Charity Navigator, a non-profit working to make charities more transparent and accountable, Americans gave more than 350-billion dollars to charitable causes in 2014.  Seventy-five percent of those donations came from individuals. KSFR’s Mary Lou Cooper spoke with Kendall Taggart, co-author of “America’s Worst Charities” to learn more about the good and bad of charitable giving in the U.S.  Kendall is now an investigative reporter at BuzzFeed.  When she researched charities, she reported for The Center for Investigative Reporting. 

Direct download: 37032_NEWS_Charities.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:39pm MDT

The recent election in Venezuela produced an historic turnout and historic results as the opposition won a 2 to 1 majority in the nation's legislature. But what message were the voters sending?  A-P Bureau Chief for Colombia, Venezuela and Panama Joshua Goodman told KSFR's Dave Marash about the vote and the changes it might bring.

Direct download: 37031_NEWS_Venezuela.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:37pm MDT

In this week’s edition of “The Sporting Life,” host Dan DeFrancesco gives us a review of the 2015 Year in Sports.

Direct download: 122115-37033_NEWS_TSL.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:32pm MDT

KSFR's John Calef brings you local news at noon. 

Direct download: 121815-37057_NEWS_12pm__Newscast.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:37pm MDT

This weekend sees the opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which brings the popular scifi franchise swinging into the modern era. Without a doubt, TFA is on track to become the biggest box office smash of the year. Breaking international records and making more than 100 hundred million dollars in pre-sold tickets. With all of this anticipation KSFR correspondent Jeremy Zeilik caught up with local movie goers before the premiere.

Direct download: 37031_NEWS_StarWarsVoxPop.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:36pm MDT

Direct download: 37032_NEWS_JeremyReview.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:35pm MDT

Uranium mine operator Rio Grande Resources, recently proposed to re-open the Mt. Taylor Mine in the village of San Mateo near Mt. Taylor.  That Mountain is sacred to 30 Indian tribes and enjoys Traditional Cultural Property Status in the state of New Mexico. At a recent New Mexico Mining and Minerals Division hearing which we reported on here at KSFR, tribal governments were well represented. Today KSFR Reporter Ellen Berkovich looks more in depth at some of the responses of those tribes to the possibility of the mine reopening.

Direct download: 37033_NEWS_EllenUranium2.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:34pm MDT

In this week's edition of Equal Time, host Martha Burk reflects on a holiday season which has in recent years been overshadowed by mourning the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. 

Direct download: 37036_NEWS_EqualTime1218.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:32pm MDT

Today is December 18th, the date when Former New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran has promised to turn herself in at a county jail to serve 30 days as partial punishment for siphoning money from her election account to fuel a gambling addiction. She has been ordered to report Friday morning to the Santa Fe County Adult Correctional Facility. Duran, once among the state's top elected officials, is expected sleep in a 6-by-8-foot cell and wear khaki scrubs. The 60-year-old from Tularosa resigned from office in October, and she pleaded guilty to felony counts of embezzlement and money laundering. The transgressions have led to calls for a major overhaul of state campaign finance and ethics laws. Under a plea agreement, Duran had the opportunity to withdraw her pleas, but she did not do so.

New Mexico state auditors have tracked down 5,406 evidence kits from rapes and sexual assaults that never were tested for DNA to help identify criminals. The tally was announced Friday by state Auditor Tim Keller. His oversight agency has conducted an exhaustive search for the untested sexual assault kits at law enforcement agencies across the state after earlier inquiries went partially unanswered. Auditors plan to review internal controls that led to the backlog and identify ways to speed up the testing and analysis of evidence.

A recently concluded study shows that New Mexico’s program providing 25 supplementary days of school to tens of thousands of students in Kindergarten through third grade, might not be all it’s cracked up to be. New Mexico’s Legislative Education Study Committee Thursday heard a report that although the K-3 Plus program does boast significant short-term gains in participating students’ math, reading, and writing proficiency, over time, that advantage flattens out. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Damon Cann, an associate professor of political science at Utah State University, presented the study, says New Mexico’s current 24-million-dollar investment in what Governor Martinez this month called a “successful” K-3 Plus program, may not be paying off. A new bill in the upcoming legislative session seeks to more than double that financial investment to bring the program to more schools and students. Cann says increased participation might turn K-3 plus into a winning strategy—55% of New Mexico students between Kindergarten and 3rd grade already participate, but Cann says one of the barriers to long-term improvement is that when participating students return for the new school year, they have to start back at the beginning with students who did not receive K-3 plus instruction.

In further education news, New Mexico's Secretary of Education has been dropped from a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Albuquerque Public Schools' chief finance officer. A First District Court judge ruled Thursday that Hanna Skandera was named in the suit for actions related to her job responsibilities and that makes her immune under tort law. Don Moya sued Skandera, former superintendent Luis Valentino and the APS Board of Education a few weeks after he was placed on administrative leave in early August. The suit says Moya raised concerns about a contract awarded to a Denver company whose chief operating officer had worked with the newly hired deputy. Moya's attorney contends Skandera and Valentino conspired against Moya. The Albuquerque Journal reports that Moya will remain an APS employee at least through Feb. 15.



Former Rio Arriba County Sheriff Tommy Rodella has lost his second appeal of a civil rights violation conviction, for which he’s currently serving 10 years in prison. The Albuquerque Journal North reports the 10th Circuit US Court of Appeals in Denver maintains that Rodella did not have probable cause to arrest 26-year-old Michael Tafoya in an off-duty traffic stop in March 2014, and that testimony given by three other motorists who said they’d experienced aggression from Rodella during traffic stops was admissible. Rodella was accused of provoking Tafoya’s speeding and stop sights violations through intimidating driving leading up to the March 2014 traffic stop that landed Rodella in lockup. The incident has been referred to as “bizarre” and an act of “road rage.” Rodella is the husband of New Mexico Democratic Representative Debbie Rodella.

An officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed teen was highlighted in a U.S. Justice Department report has been named as the Albuquerque police union's vice president. The Albuquerque Journal reports that Justin Montgomery says he never set out to be involved in a shooting, and it doesn't represent the entirety of his career. The shooting of 19-year-old Andrew Lopez was found to be justified.Montgomery’s appointment comes just as union president, Stephanie Lopez, resigns from her post amid charges that she battered her 14-year-old daughter over a utilities shutoff notice. Lopez has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

And these national stories:

Budget legislation that's speeding toward approval in Congress includes an additional $600 million to fight wildfires next year but no long-term fix to firefighting's havoc on the U.S. Forest Service budget. The Forest Service spent a record $1.7 billion fighting fires this year. Year after year, the agency must borrow from other programs to keep up with ever-growing cost of fighting fires. The Obama administration wants to address the problem by treating wildfires like other types of natural disasters for funding purposes. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, supports a long-term solution, but she says paying for wildfires like the government's response to hurricanes and tornadoes needs more review. U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Robert Bonnie calls the funding increase a Band-Aid solution that also neglects to make forests more resilient to fire.

A judge is set to hear arguments over whether to continue blocking an anti-abortion group from releasing recordings that it secretly gathered at annual meetings of the National Abortion Federation, an abortion providers' association. U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco has scheduled a hearing for Friday to determine whether to grant the National Abortion Federation's request for a preliminary injunction against the Center for Medical Progress. The center has released several secretly recorded videos that it says show Planned Parenthood employees selling fetal tissue for profit, which is illegal. The National Abortion Federation says members of the center infiltrated its meetings and recorded its members. The group says release of any audio or video would put members in danger. The Center for Medical Progress says its work is the equivalent of investigative journalism and protected by the First Amendment. The recordings released so far have been slammed by Planned Parenthood as deceptively edited and misinforming.

And now this extended weekend forecast for Santa Fe: Bad news for winter sports enthusiasts might be good news for just about everyone else: today marks the beginning of a reprieve from a cold and snowy week in Northern and Central New Mexico. Today in Santa Fe, sunny, with a high of 38 degrees; tonight, mostly clear, with an overnight low down to 22. Tomorrow, mostly sunny and a bit warmer, with a high near 45, Saturday’s nighttime low, 24 degrees; Sunday, sunny with a high around 40 and an overnight low near 20.

Direct download: 121815-37072_NEWS_7amNewscastSeg2.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:30pm MDT

KSFR's John Calef brings you local news at noon. 

Direct download: 121715-37057_NEWS_12pm__Newscast.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:02pm MDT

With the holidays right around the corner, KSFR turned to the American Automobile Association for tips to make holiday travel safe and enjoyable.  Reporter Mary Lou Cooper brings us the story.

Direct download: 37031_NEWS_AAATipsWithMusic.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:02pm MDT

Climate impacts are on everyone’s mind these days, and particularly our man-made contributions. A recent study led by Los Alamos researchers funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Program looked at the impact of Urban smoke as an accelerator of climate change. We spoke with project leader Manvendra Dubey of Los Alamos National Laboratory about the impact of urban smoke particles on a warming planet.

Direct download: 37032_NEWS_Soot.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Somos Un Pueblo Unido is organizing a series of candlelight vigils across the state as immigrant families call on legislators to pass a non-discriminatory driver's license policy that complies with the REAL ID Act. In Santa Fe the next vigil will be heldtomorrow evening in front of the Virgin of Guadalupe statue.

Direct download: 37033_NEWS_SomosVigil.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 12:45pm MDT

Former New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran has issued a written public apology to comply with part of her sentence in a campaign finance scandal. She distributed the letter for publication in media outlets on Wednesday as part of a sentence that includes 30 days in jail. The 60-year-old former state senator wrote that her transgressions were "not borne out of greed but rather a result of very tragic personal circumstances which led to some very poor decisions." Duran has pleaded guilty to felony embezzlement and money laundering charges involving the use of campaign donations to fuel a gambling addiction.

New Mexico's attorney general letter says he's "concerned" 15 percent of employees in the state's largest school district don't have background checks on file. Attorney General Hector Balderas wrote in letter to Albuquerque Public Schools on Wednesday that district officials should work quickly to conduct background checks on 2,270 employees. Balderas says the district should try to get the checks done before the district's May 2016 deadline. In August, Balderas announced he would look into why Albuquerque Public Schools' safety protocols were breached and former administrator Jason Martinez was hired before a background check was completed. Martinez resigned abruptly after it surfaced he was facing sexual assault on a child charges in Colorado. The scandal forced superintendent, Luis Valentino, to resign just weeks into his new job.

State regulators have adopted a plan that calls for closing part of a coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico that serves customers across the Southwest. The 4-1 vote by the Public Regulation Commission came Wednesday after years of public meetings, protests and legal challenges that reached the highest courts in New Mexico. The debate has centered on how the utility that runs the San Juan Generating Station plans to replace the lost capacity. Public Service Co. of New Mexico says a mix of coal, nuclear, natural gas and solar power would be most economical option for ratepayers. Some environmentalists had pushed for the closure of the entire plant and for more renewable energy to be added to the grid. Under the plan, the utility says customer rates will increase by about $10 a year starting in 2018. For KSFR’s report live from the PERA building at yesterday’s meeting, visit KSFR.org.

A week after Santa Fe City Council received a report that unlicensed vacation rentals cost the city 2 million dollars a year in lost tax revenue, one licenseddowntown vacation rental business is suing the global short-term rental service Airbnb. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Bruce Kuehnle, owner of a business that maintains 30 short-term rental units in Downtown Santa Fe, has filed a complaint in state District Court. His case has been assigned to Judge Raymond Ortiz. Kuehnle’s complaint says that Airbnb’s flouting of city ordinances, requiring licenses, inspections and lodger’s taxes for rentals, has cost his business money. Kuehnle is suing to prevent Airbnb from renting unlicensed properties within the City Different, and for monetary damages for himself and other operators of licensed rentals in Santa Fe. Airbnb has agreements in place in other cities where taxes are required for short-term rentals, and has told Santa Fe officials that it would be willing to pursue such an agreement here. Airbnb has declined to comment on Kuehnle’s lawsuit.

The president of Albuquerque's police union has resigned from her leadership post after authorities say she abused a teenage relative. Stephanie Lopez was arrested last week on charges of child abuse and bribery or intimidation of a witness. Lopez, who is 40, is a patrol officer with the Albuquerque Police Department. The department placed her on paid administrative leave after her arrest. Lopez has pleaded not guilty to charges.

The accomplice in an Arizona prison break that preceded the killings of an Oklahoma couple in New Mexico has lost her appeal. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a trial judge's ruling that federal prosecutors didn't violate Casslyn Welch's plea agreement. That agreement led to her being sentenced to 40 years in prison. Welch helped three Arizona prisoners escape from the Kingman prison in August 2010. She and two of the prisoners were charged in the carjacking killings of Linda and Gary Haas of Tecumseh, Oklahoma at a rest stop in Quay County, New Mexico. Welch argued that prosecutors broke an oral promise to not oppose a 20-year sentence for her, but prosecutors said no such promise was made. The appeals court cited Welch's written plea agreement and said any alleged oral promises were unenforceable.

A nationwide warrant has been issued for a Sunland Park man who failed to return to jail after being let out on furlough. Dona Ana County Sheriff's officials say 27-year-old Christopher Fuentes was released on furlough on Dec. 7. According to the conditions of his furlough, he was scheduled to return the following day by 9 p.m. Authorities say Fuentes was awaiting trial on charges of battery on a peace officer, assault on a household member, resisting or obstructing and disorderly conduct.

And now these national stories:

School officials in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Houston say they're beefing up security on campuses after receiving threats similar to the ones received by the Los Angeles and New York school districts earlier this week. The Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Houston Independent School District announced on their websites that "less-than-credible" threats were received late Wednesday evening. Both school districts plan to open as usual Thursday. In Miami, school district police immediately contacted law enforcement agencies and decided to open schools. In Houston, officials said law enforcement officers were making sweeps of school district buildings to ensure student safety. They encouraged parents and students to be vigilant Thursday morning and report any suspicious activity to police. In a tweet sent Thursday morning, Broward County Public Schools in South Florida also said a threat had been received, but students should report to school as usual.

Members of the House Oversight Committee are set to press administration officials on what safeguards are in place to ensure that would-be extremists are not exploiting a variety of legal paths to travel to the United States. The committee is expected to focus heavily Thursday on how the government uses social media posts in vetting applications from U.S.-bound foreigners and what clues may have been missed when San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik was given a visa. FBI Director James Comey says Malik and her husband used private, direct social media messages to discuss jihad and martyrdom as far back as 2013. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson also denies reports that officials at his department were secretly barred from examining social media as part of the vetting process.

And the weather in Santa Fe: Mostly sunny today, with a high of 29 degrees; the wind chill however could make it feel as cold as -4. Tonight, partly cloudy, with an overnight low around 14 degrees. Tomorrow, sunny and warmer, with a high around 39 degrees.

Direct download: 121715-37072_NEWS_7amNewscastSeg2.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 12:43pm MDT

KSFR's John Calef brings you local news at noon. 

Direct download: 37057_NEWS_12pm__Newscast.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:13pm MDT

Today, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission voted 4-1 to approve Public Service Company of New Mexico's long-contested plan to shut down two units at the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station in northern New Mexico. KSFR's Zelie Pollon attended the PRC's meeting, and shared her insights from the deliberations. 

Direct download: PRCFEATURE-Noon_News_12_16_2015_RAW.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:13pm MDT

The Santa Fe Community Foundation continues to broaden its reach, coming to the aid of advocates for New Mexico families who were in the wake of the radioactive Trinity cloud 70 years ago.  The New Mexico Health Equity Partnership, a division of the foundation, has awarded $35,000 to expand health assessments of residents of communities downwind from ground zero.  KSFR’s Dennis Carroll has the report.  


Direct download: 37032_NEWS_TrinityGrant.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:10pm MDT

This week, in Your Money Decisions, Kate Stalter looks at rising interest rates, and what that means for you.

Kate is the personal-finance columnist for the Santa Fe New Mexican, and an investing columnist at U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Morningstar and The Street.com.She also blogs and hosts a podcast at BetterMoneyDecisions.com.

Direct download: 37033_NEWS_BetterMoney.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:09pm MDT

KSFR's John Calef brings you local news at noon. 

Direct download: 121515-37057_NEWS_12pm__Newscast.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 12:26pm MDT

Mayor Javier Gonzalez announced several steps to grow the local Santa Fe economy and to retain and attract educated young people to the City.  Expansion and development of the airport are high on his list.  So, too, is the expansion of rental housing, and a couple of weeks ago he announced plans to increase film and TV production and post-production work in the City.  Yesterday he held a press conference to announce another step in his program: faster internet service. Alan Dee was at the downtown press conference.  He filed this report.


Direct download: 37031_NEWS_Gigabyte.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 12:25pm MDT

According to the polls, billionaire Donald Trump leads the pack as the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries get closer.  But how did the nouveau politician get to be a billionaire? Pulitzer prize winning investigative journalist David Cay Johnston told KSFR's Dave Marash about some of the deals that made Donald Trump into a "big deal."

Direct download: 37032_NEWS_DonaldHandT.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 12:23pm MDT

In today’s Medical Insights, Dr. Erica Elliott tackles part three of her series on yeast and how to treat it. 

Direct download: 37033_NEWS_YeastPart3.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 12:21pm MDT

KSFR's John Calef brings you local news at noon. 

Direct download: 121415-37057_NEWS_12pm__Newscast.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:12pm MDT

Former Secretary of State Dianna Duran was sentenced to 30 days in jail today and is required to pay a $14,000 fine. State District Judge Glenn Ellington said Duran must report to the Santa Fe detention center on Friday morning at 9am to begin serving her 30-day sentence. KSFR’s Deborah Martinez was in the courtroom for Monday's sentencing and describes the scene. 

Direct download: DebLiveFromAircheck.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:11pm MDT

Water rights in the American southwest are a complicated issue; and it becomes more complex as international players get involved. KSFR's Dave Marash spoke with the Associated Press's Northern Arizona reporter Felicia Fonseca on HERE AND THERE about some new investors in Arizona water rights: they come from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and plan to grow alfalfa for export.

Direct download: 37033_NEWS_H-TFonseca.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 12:55pm MDT

In this edition of The Sporting Life, host Dan DeFrancesco pops in with a few topics that bear mentioning and one that needs updating. 

Direct download: 121415-37034_NEWS_SportingLife.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 12:54pm MDT

Sentencing for former Secretary of State Dianna Duran is scheduled to take place today in state district court in Santa Fe. Duran resigned from office in October and pleaded guilty to dozens of charges related to siphoning money from her election account to fuel a gambling problem, including felony embezzlement charges and four misdemeanor counts. Under a plea bargain, prosecutors agreed to a suspended sentence and probation if Duran promises to undergo treatment and not enter any casinos. She can withdraw her pleas if the judge orders jail time. A former state senator, she ran for one of New Mexico's highest offices on a platform of eliminating voter fraud. She was the first Republican to be elected secretary of state since 1928.

On the subject of casinos, authorities are seeking two men and a woman who carried out an armed robbery of one near Albuquerque. The FBI says the trio fled Route 66 Casino Express on Sunday morning with an unspecified amount of money in a silver four-door Ford sedan that had tinted windows and a spoiler on the trunk. Both men wore camouflage and had scarves covering their faces. One of the men walked with a limp in his left leg. The woman wore a black leather jacket and served as the driver.

A study shows Santa Fe is losing at least $2 million annually in uncollected taxes from unlicensed vacation rentals for tourists and short-term residents. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the study presented to the City Council last Wednesday concludes that at least 600 unlicensed rental units are available inside city limits on a regular basis, despite a city law that caps the number of short-term rentals and requires annual inspections. The city doesn't know if the units' owners pay the state-mandated gross receipts tax. But the report assumes most licensed units are organized as businesses and pay the taxes, while those that are unlicensed probably don't. There's pressure from hotels and bed-and-breakfast businesses who say unlicensed owners bring unfair competition because they can offer lower prices while evading taxes and fees, some of which fund local tourism services from which all lodgers benefit, licensed or otherwise.

Some industrial energy consumers in New Mexico are protesting a move to make large-scale electricity customers pay for fuel savings they now enjoy from Public Service Co. of New Mexico's investments in renewable energy. About two dozen industrial energy consumers could be hit with a $1.5 million annual bill if state regulators stand by their decision to make large-scale electricity customers pay for the fuel savings. A hearing examiner for the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission had concluded that large-scale industrial and institutional consumers receive a disproportional share of those savings while enjoying legal protections that either limit or fully eliminate the amount they must pay to support PNM's renewable investments. The commission agreed. New Mexico Industrial Energy Consumers is appealing the decision.

The president of the Albuquerque police union has pleaded not guilty to charges of child abuse and intimidation of a witness. The Albuquerque Journal reports Officer Stephanie Lopez made her first court appearance on Saturday. She was arrested Thursdayafter authorities say she repeatedly struck a teenage relative during a dispute over a utility notice. She was released from jail upon posting a $5,000 cash-only bond. A criminal complaint filed by a Bernalillo County sheriff's deputy said the teen reported the abuse to a school official, who contacted authorities. Lopez, who is 40, has been ordered not to possess a firearm or contact the teenager in the case. She went on leaveFriday from the police department and as president of the Albuquerque Police Officers Association.

Santa Fe County for the first time has comprehensive zoning, and a clear picture of acceptable use for unincorporated land within county limits. But some residents are worried about a provision allowing anyone who owns 10 or more acres to operate a sand or gravel mine on their land. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the comprehensive zoning plan put in place at last week’s County Commission meeting is the culmination of five years of work. As of that meeting, residents have voiced concerns that a rule preventing mining operations from extending to within 200 feet of a land owner’s property line isn’t enough to protect neighbors from the unsightliness and noise of mining activities. Attendees at the meeting suggested the distance requirement be increased to 500 or even 1000 feet. The new rules also don’t say how long a mine within county limits can remain in operation. Instead, they specify the maximum amount of gravel or sand that can be extracted from mines in their lifetime.

Officials took the first step toward requiring most incoming freshmen at New Mexico State University to live on campus for one year. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the university's Board of Regents approved a resolution Friday in support of requiring incoming freshmen to live in student housing. They also expressed interest in possible exemptions from the requirement, such as students who live within a certain distance of campus and military veterans who are attending college for the first time. University President Garrey Curruthers indicated that the requirement could open the door for the university to enter into public-private partnerships with companies to provide additional on-campus housing. Regent Kari Mitchell expressed concern that the university was mandating a market for a potential public-private partnership.

Winter sports enthusiasts may have yet another reason to celebrate this week, as Northern and Western New Mexico gear up for more snowfall Monday night. In the Santa Fe Area, accumulation of 2-4 inches is expected. As National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Shoemake told the Albuquerque Journal, this next storm will be colder and will produce drier, more powdery snow, ideal for skiing and snowboarding. Shoemake said that while it’s too early to say much about the outlook for New Mexico snowpack, but he said conditions already look better than they have in four years, with more snow on the way in early 2016.

And the weather this morning in Santa Fe: The current temperature around 20 degrees. Today’s high, 37 degrees, mostly sunny with a slight chance of snow; a winter weather advisory in effect this afternoon through this evening. Tonight, cloudy, with a low down to 17, and a 70% chance of snow overnight.

Direct download: 121415-37072_NEWS_7amNewscastSeg2.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 9:49am MDT

The Global Climate Change Conference is wrapping up on Paris this week as nations try to come up with an agreement to limit the causes of climate change. This issue has been on people's minds for several years now, as leaders in Washington wrestle with questions of just how real it is and how to keep it under control.  Alan Dee sat down with Eric Blinman, the head of the New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies, to find out if there have been periods of climate change before.

Direct download: 37032_NEWS_NMPastClimateChange.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:25pm MDT

KSFR's John Calef brings you local news at noon. 

Direct download: 121115-37057_NEWS_12pm__Newscast.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:22pm MDT

In the midst of a sweeping new federal education law and shrinking state revenues, Governor Susana Martinez's administration is asking for an increase in funding to fill desk jobs and expand Pre-K programs, among other priorities.  KSFR's Deborah Martinez has more details on the two-point-nine-billion dollar schools’ budget.

Direct download: 37031_NEWS_SchoolsBudget.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:21pm MDT

Cuts in federal funding have left the American health care industry looking for new sources of money. One new method that health care providers have come up with is to have doctors solicit financial contributions from grateful patients. Dr. Joseph Carrese of John Hopkins Medicine was the first professional ethicist to question this idea, and he told K-S-F-R's Dave Marash on HERE AND THERE how 20 of his medical colleagues responded to his questions.

Direct download: 37033_NEWS_H-T_Carrese.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:09pm MDT

Friday morning's top news stories from KSFR's Tom Trowbridge.

Direct download: 121115_First_News.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:38am MDT

KSFR's John Calef brings you local news at noon. 

Direct download: 121015-37057_NEWS_12pm__Newscast.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:19pm MDT

Several dozen small business owners from Santa Fe heard from their state legislators at a continental breakfast held at Quail Run this week.  The event was sponsored by the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, ahead of next month’s 30-day session of the New Mexico State Legislature. KSFR’s Deborah Martinez was there, and she brings us this report.

Direct download: 37031_NEWS_Chamber-Legislature.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:18pm MDT

The New Mexico Mining and Minerals Division held a public hearing in Grants last week … the subject before the panel: a petition by uranium mine operator Rio Grande Resources to re-open Mt. Taylor Mine. KSFR’s Ellen Berkovitch traveled to the hearing and prepared this report.

Direct download: 37032_NEWS_UraniumMine.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:16pm MDT

With mass shootings becoming the norm across the country, efforts are being made to remind citizens not to become immune to the impacts of violence. This Saturday on the plaza one group in collaboration with the City of Santa Fe, will once again remind people that gun violence is just as rampant here in New Mexico as it is across the nation. KSFR’s Dennis Carroll spoke with anti-gun advocate Miranda Viscoli.

Direct download: 37033_NEWS_GunRally.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:15pm MDT

Direct download: 120415Charters-2.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 11:46am MDT

KSFR's John Calef brings you local news at noon. 

Direct download: 120915-Noonnews.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 11:15am MDT

Tuesday evening's State of the Schools address from Santa Fe Public Schools staff focused on the successes the District has made in recent years. District leaders pointed to achievements such as an increased graduation rate and the addition of new schools and new programs within schools to prepare students for the workforce. While they've made great gains, school district Superintendent Joel Boyd said, the pace isn't fast enough and the work is far from done. He and Board of Education President Linda Trujillo spoke to the need to accelerate their efforts to see all students starting kindergarten on the same level, enriching their education throughout school, and graduating ready for careers.

Direct download: 37031_NEWS_StateOfSchools.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 11:14am MDT

KSFR News spoke with Andrew Lustig when he was just leading his Santa Fe-based organization Global Outreach Doctors to the Greek island of Lesbos to help with the influx of refugees. Upon his return we wanted to hear first-hand what it’s like dealing with hundreds of fleeing migrants every day. He began by telling us that coordination is challenging, and the efforts are run primarily by smaller non-government organizations like his own.

Direct download: 120915_-_Lustig_on_Lesbos-AuditionFix.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 11:09am MDT

In this week’s Your Money Decisions, Kate Stalter gives more year end tips that could lower your tax bill for 2015.

Direct download: 37033_NEWS_Money-Part-2.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 11:07am MDT

Thursday morning's top news stories from KSFR's Tom Trowbridge.

Direct download: 121015-First_News.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:10am MDT

Wednesday morning's top news stories from KSFR's Tom Trowbridge.

Direct download: 120915-First_News.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:43am MDT

John Calef presents Santa Fe Local News at Noon

Direct download: 12082015KSFRNewsatNoon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:58pm MDT

Filling up at the gasoline pumps these days puts a smile on a consumer’s face, but in New Mexico those lower fuel costs mean lower revenues, and a tighter state budget.  That’s the reality state lawmakers are facing as they start the process of formulating a six-point-two-billion-dollar spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year that begins next summer.  KSFR’s Deborah Martinez reports the state now expects 232-milliondollars  in new money as they head into the next Legislative session, down from estimates of 293-million in August.


Direct download: 120815-StateBudget.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:55pm MDT

On today’s Medical Insights, Dr. Erica Elliott gives us part II in her report on yeast.

Direct download: 120815_-_EricaYeastPtII.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:52pm MDT

Last Friday the U.S. Labor Department reported strong job growth nationwide for the third month in a row.  Speaking before a Congressional panel last week, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said she anticipates “continued growth at a moderate pace sufficient to generate additional increases in employment and further reductions in the remaining margins of labor market slack.”  The story is different in New Mexico, however.  For the year ending in October, New Mexico registered a three-tenths of one-percent growth rate, adding 28-hundred jobs, but the pace of job growth is starting to look better.  Alan Dee looked into the job picture in New Mexico, both the current situation and the long-term picture. 

Direct download: 120715_-Alan_econ.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:17pm MDT

As part of an effort to increase student health and success, Santa Fe Public Schools is increasing the courses available through their parent academy to include a series focused on the social and emotional wellbeing of students. Topics to be addressed include depression and bullying, which the district faced again this week in the form of reports of online bullying through an app called "After School" that allows for anonymous posting of derogatory comments and personal attacks. The new courses will be designed to give parents tools and information to approach some of these tough topics with their students, Elizabeth Miller reports for KSFR.

Direct download: SFPS_parent_academy.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:13pm MDT

KSFR's John Calef brings you local news at noon. 

Direct download: 120415-37057_NEWS_12pm__Newscast.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:12pm MDT

Next week New Mexico Public Education Department Secretary Hannah Skandera will present her agency’s budget request for the coming year. One of the items within PED’s budget will be charter schools, which the state has been approving in increasing numbers over the past few years.  KSFR’s Deborah Martinez reports on some of the concerns about charters by education advocates and administrators in Santa Fe.

Direct download: 37031_NEWS_Charters.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:12pm MDT

Arlene Goldbard is a cultural activist writing and speaking about the intersection of culture, politics and spirituality and is the co-founder of the US Department of Arts and Culture. For her work she recently was named a Purpose Prize fellow, honoring people over 60 who combine passion and experience for social good. KSFR’s Veena Vasista spoke to Goldbard, who just relocated to New Mexico from California, about this new project, which seeks to engage creative citizens throughout the state.

Direct download: 37032_NEWS_GoldieBard.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:10pm MDT

When veteran photojournalist Paula Bronstein (BRON-steen) recently spent several weeks on the Greek island of Lesbos her plan was to cover the arrival of refugees, most from Syria and Afghanistan. But, she told KSFR's Dave Marash on HERE AND THERE about a time she had to stop covering the story to become, in effect, a part of it.

Direct download: 37033_NEWS_Bronstein.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:06pm MDT

Friday morning's top news stories from KSFR's Tom Trowbridge.

Direct download: 120415-First_News.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:02am MDT

KSFR's John Calef brings you local news at noon. 

Direct download: 120315-37057_NEWS_12pm__Newscast.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:19pm MDT

Y'know the old saying, "If you don't like today's weather, wait till tomorrow?"  Weather is something that can change, literally, all the time.  Climate, on the other hand, changes slowly; and its changes can stick around for decades.  New Mexico environmental reporter Laura Paskus told KSFR's Dave Marash on HERE & THERE, she's seen the state's climate change over the past 10 years, with noticeable and important effects.

Direct download: 37031_NEWS_PaskusClimate.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:19pm MDT

Women journalists aren't that much of a novelty these days. But back in 1887 when Nellie Bly broke down the doors of news rooms by going undercover in a mental hospital, the entire country paid attention to her bold investigative journalism. The film "10 Days in a Madhouse" is based on Nellie Bly's actual reporting. The film opens in Santa Fe on December 4 at the Regal Santa Fe Stadium 14. KSFR's Marguerite Kearns talked to director Timothy Hines and producer Susan Goforth about a film that is expected to get attention at the 2016 Academy Awards. 

Direct download: 37033_NEWS_NellieBly.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:12pm MDT

KSFR'S Tom Trowbridge speaks wi th United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.

Direct download: 120315-HerreraForWebsite.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04am MDT

KSFR's Kana Gaines brings you local news at noon. 

Direct download: 120215-37057_NEWS_12pm__Newscast.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 12:24pm MDT

There has been quite a bit of incorrect information in media reports about REAL ID and New Mexico’s compliance. We asked Marcela Diaz, director of Somos un Pueblo Unido, to clarify what REAL ID is, what it does and doesn’t do and how it can be applied in New Mexico.

Direct download: 37031_NEWS_REAL-ID.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 12:24pm MDT

This week on Your Money Decisions, Kate Stalter shares some ideas for year-end financial moves that could lower your tax bill for 2015.

Kate is the personal finance columnist for the Santa Fe New Mexican, and an investing columnist at U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Morningstar, and The Street.com. She also blogs and hosts a podcast at BetterMoneyDecisions.com.
Direct download: 37033_NEWS_Yo_Money.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 12:23pm MDT

The new King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and his son, the Defense Minister, have started a hot war in Yemen that is part of a regional Cold War the Saudis are mounting against Iran.  New York Times Editorial Board member Carol Giacomo (GEE-uh-KO-mo) is just back from Saudi Arabia, and she told KSFR's Dave Marash on HERE & THERE, the Sunni-Shi'ite conflict with Iran is beginning to dominate all political decisions in the Saudi kingdom.

Direct download: 37034_NEWS_HereThereGiacomo.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 12:22pm MDT

Wednesday morning's top news stories from KSFR's Tom Trowbridge.

Direct download: 120215-First_News.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:58am MDT

When Congress began debating the Affordable Care Act more than five years ago, 50-million Americans were uninsured.  Since then, according to the federal government, almost 16-and-a-half million of those people have enrolled.  KSFR’s Deborah Martinez reports that as the third year of enrollment gets underway, Santa Fe has added a help center on Rodeo Road, with experts eager to help more people signed up for health insurance coverage and avoid costly penalties.


Direct download: 120115-SFeInsuranceCtr.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 3:10pm MDT

John Calef presents Santa Fe local news at Noon

Direct download: 12012015NewsatNoon.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:36pm MDT

With the wars in Syria at a military stalemate, and the conflicting interests there of the U-S, Russia, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia increasingly at loggerheads, American Secretary of State John Kerry has been campaigning for a grand compromise which will allow all parties to concentrate on destroying the Islamic State.  A nice idea, says Brian Michael Jenkins, Senior Analyst at the RAND Corporation, but he told KSFR's Dave Marash on HERE & THERE, wishing won't make it so.


Direct download: 120115_-_HandTJenkins.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:28pm MDT

Dr. Erica Elliott talks about Yeast on this week’s Medical Insights:


Direct download: 120115_-_EricaYeastPt1.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:23pm MDT

Tuesday morning's top news stories from KSFR's Tom Trowbridge.

Direct download: 120115-First_News.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:27am MDT

John Calef presents Santa Fe Local News at Noon

Direct download: Nov_30_Local_News_at_Noon.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:00pm MDT

Although the city of Paris had been targeted by Islamic State terrorists twice earlier this year, the six attacks on November 13th has left Parisians frightened.  And former 60 Minutes producer, and long-time Paris resident, Barry Lando, told KSFR's Dave Marash on HERE & THERE, it's not just the huge scale of the recent mass murders.

Direct download: 113015_-_DaveLando.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:57pm MDT

Convincing people to shop at small, local businesses where money is re-circulated in the community rather than out-of-state mega-stores which export capital, is a main goal behind the annual ‘Small Business Saturday’ event.  According to the American Independent Business Alliance, almost 50-percent of the money spent on purchases at local businesses is re-circulated locally, while less than 14-percent of purchases at chain stores stay within the community.

Here in Santa Fe, this past Saturday’s specially-designated shopping day attracted Senator Tom Udall and Mayor Javier Gonzales to the Big Adventure Comics store on Cerrillos Road to highlight the power of small firms. Big Adventure’s owner, Kevin Drennan, says he bought the store five years ago after working with the shops’ previous ownership.

Direct download: 113015-PM-SmallBiz.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:54pm MDT

Monday morning's top news stories from KSFR's Tom Trowbridge.

Direct download: 113015-First_News.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:19am MDT

John Calef presents Santa Fe local news at noon.

Direct download: Santa_Fe_Local_News_at_Noon.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:40pm MDT

This week, in Your Money Decisions, Kate Stalter shares some recent data on how men’s and women’s investing habits differ - and what that means for you.
Kate is the personal-finance columnist for the Santa Fe New Mexican, and an investing columnist at U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Morningstar and The Street.com.She also blogs and hosts a podcast at BetterMoneyDecisions.com.
Direct download: 112515_-_Money_decision_Nov25.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:27pm MDT

Is eating bacon going to give you cancer?  All those recent headlines you may have seen recently, the real risk is slight. Wired Magazine science reporter Sarah Zhang told KSFR's Dave Marash on HERE AND THERE, the confusion begins with the difference between identifying a cancer threat, and assessing its real-world risk.  The World Health Organization completed the first step, but didn't take the second..

Direct download: 112415_-_HereandThereBacon.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:24pm MDT

New Mexico campaign finances have grabbed the headlines in recent days--specifically, the activities of Governor Martinez’s chief political consultant Jay McCleskey. Today, reporter Mary Lou Cooper explores the federal angle of the story.

Direct download: 112515-mlccampaign_finance_interview_with_CPI.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:21pm MDT

Wednesday morning's top news stories from KSFR's Tom Trowbridge.

Direct download: 112515-First_News.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:21am MDT

Tom Trowbridge presents Santa Fe Local News at Noon

Direct download: Nov._24_-_Santa_FE_Local_News_at_Noon.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 4:10pm MDT

Dog and cat yoga. Puppy lattes at Starbucks. Doggy day care. There seems to be no end to what we’ll do for our pets’ well-being. But what about health insurance for our furry friends? It’s estimated that only about two-percent of pet owners in the United States have medical coverage for their pets.

Direct download: 112315-PetInsuranceProsCons.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 4:06pm MDT

It’s well-known, at least among Santa Feans, that ours is one of the oldest cities in the country.  Just how old can be eye-opening to almost anyone, but the Office of Archaeological Studies of the Museum of New Mexico works to unearth and shed light on the state’s history from the earliest times into the 20th century.  It is frequently called in when there is excavation going on to determine exactly what is underground and how it ties into the many centuries of New Mexican history.  KSFR’s Alan Dee spoke with the director of the Archaeological Center, Eric Blinman. 

Direct download: 112415_-_Alans_archeology.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 4:03pm MDT

Direct download: 112415-Holiday-DWI-Prevention.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 4:00pm MDT

Tuesday morning's top news stories from KSFR's Tom Trowbridge.

Direct download: 112415-First_News.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:02am MDT

John Calef presents Santa Fe Local News

Direct download: Santa_Fe_Local_News.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:35pm MDT

The one success story coming out of the Arab Spring is under terrorist attack, and government of Tunisia has wavered between cracking down on lots of perceived opponents and then backing off.  Swedish Journalist Christine Petre' (PET-treh) has lived through the ups and downs and told KSFR's Dave Marash on HERE & THERE, she's had an easier time than her Tunisian journalist colleagues.

Direct download: 112315_-_Petre.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:12pm MDT

It has been nearly three decades since active uranium mining was abandoned near the Red Water Pond Rd. community on Navajo Nation. Last October community members from Red Water Pond Road joined with about half a dozen other community groups from U.S. towns and cities to present testimony on the impacts of polluted groundwater on their health and safety. The Inter American Commission on Human Rights, which is part of the Organization of American States, held this right to water hearing following a request that this coalition of groups had made to be heard in July 2015. Ellen Berkovitch has the story.

Direct download: RedWaterPondRd.UraniumAftermath_EBERK.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 2:08pm MDT

Monday morning's top news stories from KSFR's Tom Trowbridge.

Direct download: 112315-First_News.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:12am MDT

John Calef presents Santa Fe Local News at Noon

Direct download: Nov._20_Local_News_at_Noon.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 4:12pm MDT

KSFR's Dave Marash asked former Amb. Ryan Crocker on HERE & THERE about the ongoing war in Yemen. The diplomat's answer covered Yemen and the present American predicament across the Middle East.

Direct download: 112015_-HandT_Crocker.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 4:08pm MDT

There’s been a plume of jet fuel soaking into the Albuquerque landscape beneath Kirtland Air Force base for the better part of 20 years. More recently Kirtland and the US Government have said they were taking steps to clean it up. But according to a new intent to sue, those steps are going far too slowly. Douglas Meiklejohn is the Executive Director for the New Mexico Environmental Law Center and the attorney representing several parties against the US Air Force, US Secretary of Defense the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the New Mexico Attorney General. MeikleJohn spoke to KSFR about the lawsuit and the history of the spill itself.

Direct download: 112015-SWOPsuit.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 4:04pm MDT

KSFR's John Calef brings you local news at noon. 

Direct download: 111915-37057_NEWS_12pm__Newscast.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 12:58pm MDT

Residents across the city are complaining about exorbitantly high water meter readings. But as  City’s Public Utilities Director Nick Sciavo explained to KSFR, the numbers are merely correcting faulty water readings from the past – and most importantly, residents will not be held accountable for some of those fees.

Direct download: 37031_NEWS_Sciavo.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 12:57pm MDT

Young people across New Mexico face many challenges. But that's particularly true for young men of color. Tonight on New Mexico PBS channel 5.1 the public engagement program PUBLIC SQUARE looks at “Boys Into Men: Role Models & Mentors”. The program, funded by the Kellogg foundation and hosted by Megan Kamerick, tackles the question of how to connect young men of color with mentors and role models so they can grow to become the next generation of leaders. KSFR's Zelie Pollon spoke with Kamerick about tonight’s episode.

Direct download: boyz_editwoutCarlos.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 12:56pm MDT

The University of New Mexico Fine Art Museum’s current show takes a critical look at a divisive issue of the day—Police Violence.  The show is called “Necessary Force: Art of the Police State” and is on display until December 12th. KSFR’s Tom Trowbridge spoke recently with Dr. Kymberly Pinder, the interim director of the UNM Art Museum, as well as the dean of the college of Fine Arts.

Direct download: 37033_NEWS_NecForce.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 12:56pm MDT