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May 28 First News: New Mexico Gas Co. to be bought

    Florida-based Teco Energy Inc. is buying New Mexico Gas Company for $950 million.  The purchase deal also includes assumption of New Mexico Gas Company's current $200 million in debt. Pending state and federal approvals, the deal is expected to close in the 1st quarter of 2014. Teco currently operates the Tampa Electric company.  New Mexico Gas Company is currently a subsidiary of New York-based Continental Energy Systems LLC, which acquired it back in 2009 when PNM Resources sold it off for $620 million.

The Legal Tender Saloon in Lamy may have served its last meal.  Customers and fans of the eatery gathered yesterday for a final feast from the operators of the restaurant who have been running it on behalf of the Lamy Railroad and History Museum.  The closing comes after a dispute between the operators and the officers of the nonprofit museum.  It's the second piece of bad news for Lamy in recent days. Just last week, the operator of the excursion train that runs between Santa Fe and Lamy announced the train would not be running this year.

A Santa Fe venture capitalist is being ordered to vacate his multi-million dollar home by the end of this week as he faces foreclosure here and felony charges in Florida.  Charles Kokesh was indicted by a federal grand jury in Florida for allegedly selling two elephant tusks in violation of the endangered species act.   

U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall want round-the-clock hours of operation at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. It currently operates between 8AM to 8PM Monday through Friday. They’ve petitioned Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for the change, saying such a move will increase trade and create new jobs. The senators have also asked that the Border Commercial Zone be extended from 25 miles to 55 miles, allowing Mexicans who have been security-screened to travel farther along the Interstate-10 corridor.  They say that could bring more than $50 million in sales for New Mexico.   

At City Hall tomorrow night, councilors will again look at the proposed ordinance that would ban firearm ammunition magazines of more than 10 rounds within Santa Fe. A public hearing on the matter could be set for June 26th. Meanwhile, today’s Public Works and Land Use Committee will review parking rates for patrons of the proposed multi-screen cinema and restaurant complex to be built in the Railyard. Austin-based Violet Crown has said it would like its business to be up and running by the end of 2014.

Santa Fe Public Schools conducts three events this week to welcome incoming freshman to Santa Fe High School. Today through Thursday, students from various middle schools will be given tours of the campus and introduced to administrative staff. Information about academics, athletics and clubs will be distributed along with an opportunity to complete early registration. Details can be found at the Public School's website.

Weather for Santa Fe – The week is forecast to be sunny, dry and very windy at times. Much of our area is under an afternoon and evening Red Flag Warning for critical fire conditions. Highs in the upper 70s and overnight lows in the upper 40s. No chance for precipitation until late in the weekend.