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May 5 First News: Santa Fe Police Investigate Fatal Hit-and-Run (Listen)

Santa Fe Police are investigating a fatal hit and run pedestrian crash that occurred around 10pm Sunday. The crash occurred just north of Sawmill Road. There are few details at this time. Anyone who witnessed the crash or may have information about it is asked to call the Regional Emergency Communications Center at 505-428-3710. St. Francis Drive, which had been closed during the investigation, is now re-open to traffic.

Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, who’s been pushing to close the historic Santa Fe Plaza to vehicle traffic during the summer months, has called a time-out on the issue. The Journal North reports Gonzales says he wants to work on bringing more and new public activities to the Plaza and make that part of his proposal. Gonzales initially called for a year-round Plaza traffic ban but pared it back to summertime last week.

According to a new report, the amount of money New Mexico spends per university student is dropping as tuition continues to rise. The New Mexican cites a study from the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities indicates per-student spending has declined by more than 45-hundred dollars since the start of the recession in 2008. Meanwhile, tuition at four-year universities in the state has climbed more than 25 percent. Education officials say all state programs have been hit with budget cuts in a proportional manner. The study says the pressures of an economic downturn and increased enrollment in the last six years have forced states to scale back funding and depend on more tuition.

 A weekend candidate’s forum among the five Democrats seeking the party’s nomination to attempt to un-seat Republican Governor Susana Martinez saw the candidates focus on Martinez and not one another. Democrats will choose between Santa Fe businessman Allan Webber, former government administrator Lawrence Rael, State Senators Linda Lopez and Howie Morales along with Attorney General Gary King in the June Primary election four weeks from tomorrow. The five pointed to the state’s economic troubles and its ranking as the worst state nationally for child safety. Candidates also agreed on the need to raise New Mexico’s minimum wage. New Mexico’s Primary elections are set for Tuesday, June Third.

New data from the Agriculture Department shows just how tough New Mexico’s four-year long drought has been on farmers. The federal agency says net case income for New Mexico farmers, which had been 17-thousand, 500-dollars is now just-over 95-hundred dollars. Despite the decline, the report showed greater participation from small farms, with more of them reporting using a nursery or greenhouse.

New Mexico State University’s physics department has received a 300-thousand dollars research grant from the U-S Defense Department. The Las Cruces Sun-News reporting that the funds will go toward buying a new high-resolution X-ray device that can measure distances between atoms.

A Chimayo widow is pleading for the return of her husband's gravestone after it was stolen from her porch. The Journal North reports Chenee Sherwood is hoping whoever took the 150-pound gravestone will get it back to her. She says she kept it in a box on the porch until she could get help hauling it to the cemetery.

Actor and comedian Cheech Marin says he and longtime comedy partner Tommy Chong may soon reunite on film. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports Marin made the comments last week while launching an exhibit of his art collection at the Las Cruces Museum of Art.

Santa Fe Weather: Sunny today, with a high near 76. Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 43. Sunny skies tomorrow, with the high, 73.