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June 15 First News: Santa Fe, Espanola Sue Santa Fe County Trying To Stop Pending Tax Boost (Listen)


Santa Fe and Espanola are suing Santa Fe County as well as the state to stop a tax hike from taking effect next month. The New Mexican reports that the two city governments and several Espanola businesses have joined in the lawsuit over the county’s’ gross receipts tax. The suit, which was filed in state District Court in Santa Fe last week, says the increase would lead to a "tax disincentive for businesses to locate or expand" in parts of Santa Fe County. A 2013 state tax package allows local governments to impose a higher gross-receipts tax rate within their jurisdictions. The two cities claim the new tax doesn't apply within their boundaries. They say county ordinances should only apply to unincorporated areas belonging to the county.

Northeast New Mexico’s Mora County, which unsuccessfully tried to ban hydraulic fracturing or “Fracking” two years ago, is considering imposing a moratorium while it drafts a new proposal to impose strict limitations. Mora County was sued over its 2013 ban of hydraulic fracturing, resulting in a federal judge overturning it in January. The Albuquerque Journal reports that the county Commissioner George Trujillo said a new measure imposing limitations could be similar to ones already on the books in Las Vegas and Santa Fe County. According to Trujillo, the commission could consider the issue during a July 14th meeting or possibly sooner. Hydraulic fracturing extracts oil and natural gas from the ground by injecting water, sand or gravel and chemicals at high pressure into cracks beneath the earth's surface.

Members of a U.S. House panel say they're frustrated with decades of security and safety lapses at the sites that make up the nation's nuclear complex. They called out top officials with the U.S. Energy Department and the National Nuclear Safety Administration during a hearing Friday in Washington, D.C. The panel focused on oversight failures that contributed to a 2014 radiation release that forced the closure of the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico. An energy department official said it's unclear how much it will cost to resume full operations. New York Republican Chris Collins of New York says taxpayers are on the hook for mistakes made at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and wanted to know why no one was fired.

An exhibit featuring the work of American photographer Margaret Bourke-White is showing at Santa Fe’s Monroe Gallery of Photography through June 28th.  Sid Monroe and wife Michelle transplanted the gallery to downtown Santa Fe from Manhattan in 2002. Sid Monroe says since it opened in New York in the mid-90s, and has established a niche specializing in the art of photojournalism. The Monroe’s New York gallery had exhibited Bourke-White’s work, Monroe says, in its early New York days.

          Runs 1:12                     Q: look back at the work.”

Monroe notes there’s much subtle social commentary in Bourke-White’s photography… particularly relevant, he says, in light of recent events including the 50th anniversary of the Selma protest march and the racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.  You can hear a more detailed feature on the Margaret Bourke-White exhibit— later today during KSFR’s daily news-hour, ‘At Noon.’

Santa Fe Weather: Partly sunny today with a 40-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms with the high reaching 79. Tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 50-percent chance for precipitation and the overnight low 54. Tomorrow: Partly sunny with the high 83 and a 40-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms.