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April 3 First News: N.M. 'Rio Grande Trail' One Step Closer To Reality (Listen)

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has signed into law a measure to create a 500-mile, statewide recreation trail stretching from Colorado to Texas. Martinez signed the bill Thursday at the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park. The law creates a commission to define the best routes and reach necessary agreements to designate a path that would weave through majestic vistas, monuments and cultural areas. Las Cruces Democrat Representative Jeff Steinborn's bill garnered bipartisan support and squeaked through the Senate a day before the legislative session ended. Called the Rio Grande Trail, the pathway is envisioned as being similar to the Appalachian Trail or the Continental Divide Trail. Steinborn says the idea for the trail in not new, but the magnitude of the project has previously deterred construction.

A man known as "El Dentista," who recently was sentenced for operated an unsanctioned mobile dentistry service in Santa Fe, has been charged with drug possession in jail. Authorities recently caught EliverKestler with 20 strips of the narcotic Suboxone hidden inside his shoes at the Santa Fe County Jail. Authorities say Kestler claims he was holding it for another inmate but refused give the inmate's name. Suboxone is a narcotic used to treat heroin addicts by suppressing withdrawal symptoms. Kestler was sentenced to six years in prison last month. Prosecutors say Kestler didn't use gloves or anesthesia while working on patients and carried his tools in a dirty toolbox. Authorities say he preyed on immigrants.

The New Mexico Tourism Department has awarded a four-year, seven million dollar advertising contract to Santa Fe-based Talweg Creative. The department making the announcement Thursday. Talweg will be tasked with managing the department's New Mexico True marketing campaign in national and regional markets and within the state. Talweg has been working with the department over the past year on the New Mexico True video series and will continue to focus on digital media markets. Governor Susana Martinez says tourism is an important economic driver for the state and she's looking forward to seeing the evolution of the New Mexico True campaign. Tourism Secretary Rebecca Latham says the department currently uses four ad agencies to oversee the campaign. She says assigning responsibilities to one agency will streamline the creative process.

More than one hundred businesses gathered yesterday at Santa Fe Place Mall for the Santa Fe Chamber Of Commerce's 12th annual Business Expo and Job Fair. Chamber Director Simon Brackley: *****040315-Brackley-1 :33*****KSFR will feature some of the participating businesses from the expo later today during KSFR’s Noon-time news hour, ‘At Noon.’

New Mexico's top prosecutor is following through with a revised lawsuit against one of the nation's largest nursing home chains over inadequate care. Current Attorney General Hector Balderas said his office reviewed the case after the New York Times reported that a private law firm urged Balderas' predecessor to sue. The state initially sued in December, targeting several nursing homes run by Preferred Care Partners Management Group, which operates in at least 10 states. The suit claimed thin staffing made it impossible to address residents' needs and resulted in improper billing of the state and federal governments. An amended complaint includes accounts of neglect and poor care. Preferred Care Management Partners has argued that New Mexico is targeting practices at facilities that date to the time before it bought them.

A documentary on Atari's decline and a decades-old urban legend on the secret dumping of the "E.T." game in the New Mexico desert is airing on Netflix. "Atari: Game Over" was released on the streaming service late Wednesday and details the demise of gaming giant Atari. The documentary also investigates claims that Atari hid its biggest flop, 1982's "E.T.," by burying the cartridges in an Alamogordo, New Mexico, dump. The "E.T." game had the reputation of being the worst game ever made and contributed to the demise of the company. Around 300 and 400 games uncovered in the New Mexico landfill last year were later sold on eBay. One of the "E.T." Atari game cartridges unearthed from a heap of garbage was added to the Smithsonian's video game history collection.

Santa Fe’s Police Department appears to be largely ignoring a new city ordinance that decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana. Record show that Santa Fe police since November have been filing cases only under state statute in Magistrate Court. After the Santa Fe council voted last summer to adopt the new ordinance, officers were given discretion to issue citations under either municipal or state law. Those charged under state law face a criminal petty misdemeanor — punishable by up to 15 days in jail and fines up to $100 — that remains on a person's record. Under the city's ordinance, offenders are charged with a civil violation subject to a maximum $25 fine.

Santa Fe Weather: Mostly sunny today and tomorrow. Today’s high, 58, rising to 62 on Saturday. Tonight: Partly cloudy and breezy with the overnight low 34.