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Dec. 19 First News: Wrong-Way Driver On I-25 Causes Injury-Crash (Listen)

  Santa Fe Police say a crash involving a wrong-way driver on I-25 near the St. Francis Drive exit sent four people, including the errant driver, to the hospital. Law enforcement officials suspect drunk-driving in the crash that occurred just before eight-pm. Santa Fe police say the driver was a 52-year-old local man whose Dodge Stratus crashed into a truck carrying three people – two men and a woman. All four were taken to the hospital, where one is listed in critical condition and another’s in serious condition. The Dodge driver was headed south in the northbound lanes.

Five school districts across the country this week found out they were winners of the federal education department’s “race to the top” competition for a 10-million dollar grant, but the Santa Fe Public School District—one of 31 finalists—wasn’t one of them. SFPS Superintendent Joel Boyd: *****Dec. 19 Boyd-1  :13***** Boyd notes that the comments from the competition’s reviewers were very positive for the District’s reform plan and its potential positive impacts for students.

Governor Susana Martinez on Wednesday announced 122-thousand dollars in grants to revitalize some of New Mexico's traditional town centers through the state’s MainStreet program. The funds are courtesy of Public Service Company of New Mexico. Seven cities: Albuquerque, Belen, Clayton, Corrales, Deming, Las Vegas and Silver City will be using the funds for downtown improvements.

Investigators say a small plane that crashed after takeoff from the Los Alamos airport had just made a sharp turn before it went down early on December eighth. The crash in a canyon near the airport destroyed the plane and killed two people onboard. According to a National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report, a witness reported that the plane appeared out of whirling snow and then made a 180-degree turn.

Valley Meat Company in Roswell plans to begin equine slaughter operations on New Year’s Day. KOB-TV reports the plant has pending international business contracts to sell enough horse meat that it won’t be able to meet demand. The Humane Society has vowed to keep up its fight to prevent the slaughtering of horses.

 A federal lawsuit claims U.S. border and customs officials strip-searched a 54-year-old New Mexico woman at the El Paso border crossing, then took her to a hospital for illegal body cavity probes. The American Civil Liberties Union says no drugs were found on the woman but was charged five-thousand dollars by the hospital. U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman declined to comment.

 A flamenco studio in downtown Albuquerque has been destroyed in a fire and authorities say the cause of the blaze is under investigation. Fire crews responded to the scene just before 4:30 last night at the National Institute of Flamenco building. No injuries have been reported.

KOB-TV reports President Barack Obama called out New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce on Twitter for holding back on immigration reform. The President’s Wednesday tweet said Pearce and five other Republican representatives needed to make immigration a priority in 2014. Pearce's office responded to the tweet in a statement, saying immigration reform has been his priority for years.

Santa Fe Weather: Mostly sunny today, with a high near 48. Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 26. Tomorrow, it’ll be mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers and a high  near 43.