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February 10th First News: Minimum Wage Increase Advances at Roundhouse (Listen)

A proposed constitutional amendment to raise New Mexico's minimum wage to eight-dollars, thirty-cents an hour and provide for annual inflation increases rate has cleared a Senate panel. The Rules Committee voted 6-4 along party lines Friday to forward the measure to another panel for consideration. If approved by the Legislature, the minimum wage proposal would be placed on the November general election ballot for voters to decide. The current minimum wage is seven-fifty an hour and hasn't been adjusted in five years.

The tabling of House Bill 10—which would increase penalties for repeat drunk-driving offenders--by a House Committee last week, drew the attention of New Mexico motorcyclists who rallied at the Roundhouse Saturday in favor of traffic safety legislation. Local rider Stewart Angell said the large crowd of cyclists met at the Santa Fe Harley-Davidson dealership and rode en masse to the Capitol, drawing some attention:*****01014-Angell-1 :23***** Motorcyclists at the rally were out in force to honor those who died because of drunken drivers.

A bill that would have stopped New Mexico from granting driver's licenses to most immigrants without proper documentation has stalled in the Legislature. The legislation could not overcome a tie vote Saturday afternoon among the House Labor and Human Resources Committee. House Speaker Kenny Martinez, a committee member, and three other Democratic members voted against the bill, which is backed by Governor Susana Martinez. The bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Paul Pacheco of Albuquerque, would allow temporary driver's licenses for certain immigrant youths but stop the state from granting licenses to other foreign nationals without proper immigration documents. Speaker Martinez says the measure would take away licenses from nine classes of legal immigrants.

A man is in jail after attempting to rip copper wire off a downtown Albuquerque building destroyed by a fire. KOB-TV reports police arrested Ron Pacheco after he gave chase Saturday. Witnesses told investigators Pacheco entered the building which houses the National Institute of Flamenco and was yanking off wires, which he then put into a suitcase. Pacheco is facing charges of commercial burglary and possession of burglary tools.

Meantime, a bill to deter criminals from stealing wire, cable or other utility hardware is heading to the Senate floor. The measure, sponsored by Senator Steve Neville of Farmington, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Neville, a Republican, says currently people are penalized based on the value of the product they steal*****021014-Neville-1 :13***** Neville says copper thefts have resulted in the interruption of emergency communications equipment that could potentially cause a death or thousands of dollars of damages.

The New Mexico Film Office has announced that 20th Century Fox Television will begin production of the pilot for a series called "Hieroglyph" in Albuquerque next month. Starring Reece Ritchie, Kelsey Chow and Condola Rashad, the show is set in ancient Egypt and follows a notorious thief who is plucked from prison to serve the Pharaoh. Production will begin next month and is expected to continue for 13 episodes through July. Two other television series are currently filmed in Albuquerque: "Killer Women" and "Night Shift."

Santa Fe Weather: Partly sunny, with a high near 53. A slight chance of rain and snow after 11am. Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26, with a 30-percent chance of snow, mainly before 11pm. Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, with a high near 46, with a slight chance of rain and snow.