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Dec. 12 First News: Santa Fe City Councilors Place Nine Charter Amendments On Ballot (Listen)

  When Santa Fe voters go to the polls on March fourth, they will decide on nine separate city charter amendments, including two proposals that would make the mayor’s job a full-time post with more authority and a 74-thousand dollar annual salary.  City Councilors originally proposed sixteen separate amendments, but combined eight of them into one, all dealing with mayoral power. Councilors on Wednesday also unanimously approved a resolution requesting the state environment department to not permit a permanent nuclear waste dump at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Area G.

Governor Susana Martinez chose Sweeney Elementary School in Santa Fe Tuesday as the venue for an announcement her new education proposals. The Governor is planning to budget a 10-percent pay raise for new teachers and more than 12-million dollars to reward instructors who show improvement under a new evaluation system. *****Dec. 12 Martinez-1  :19***** The proposal will be part of the Governor’s budget recommendation for the 2014 legislative session.

We now know the names of the two victims of Sunday’s plane crash in Los Alamos. Los Alamos County officials say the pilot Michael Fjetland of Minnesota along with passenger, friend and business partner, Kevin John Burrs from Iowa—both 51—were killed in the crash that’s under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. They were on their way to Arizona when they apparently decided to land in Los Alamos to avoid bad weather.

Federal officials say more than 900 New Mexicans have signed up for health insurance through the federal online marketplace during its first two months of operation. The New Mexicans who enrolled from its rollout on October first through November represent about 10 percent of people in the state who are eligible for coverage.

Two Albuquerque City Councilors along with the Sierra Club and solar industry representatives spoke Tuesday against the City of Albuquerque, Intel and the University of New Mexico’s affiliation with an anti-renewable energy lobby. The lobby--New Mexico Industrial Energy Consumers—or “NMEIC,” last month requested that the Public Regulation Commission reject 23 megawatts of solar facilities PNM plans to build in New Mexico in 2014. The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club’s Camilla Fiebelman tells KSFR New Mexicans support renewable energy: *****Dec. 12 Fiebelman-2  :13***** Fiebelman says the solar expansion planned by PNM would create some 300-jobs.

Taos Ski Valley has a new owner—resort officials announced Wednesday that wealthy conservationist and hedge fund owner Louis Bacon has agreed to buy the ski area. The sale price wasn't disclosed. Taos Ski Valley CEO Mickey Blake says the ski area needs improvement, but the company doesn't have enough money for renovation.

Santa Fe Weather: Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 37. Tonight:  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24 and a 20 percent chance of snow showers after 11pm.. Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, with a high near 40. And a 30 percent chance of snow showers, mainly before 11am. New snow accumulation tomorrow will be less than a half inch.