Back to the coal-fired drawing board

The state's largest utility, Public Service Company of New Mexico, filed a request for regulators to reconsider a decision made last week that would allow PNM to take in about $37 million less than it had requested. The vote by the Public Regulation Commission, which governs the quasi-monopoly afforded to PNM and has to approve rate increases, would have let the utility boost rates by about 9 percent over two years, but that money couldn't be used to recoup costs from two coal-fired power plants.

Up in smoke

A federal judge dismissed dozens of complaints against Santa Fe Natural Tobacco this month, but allowed others to move forward as consumers have sued the cigarette maker ($) and its parent company, which sells the popular Natural American Spirit brand. The complaints generally say the tobacco company has been trying to fool smokers into thinking the brand is safer than others by using terms like "organic" and "additive-free."

Real tax bill impact on Santa Fe real estate?

Depends on who you ask. The elimination of a mortgage-interest deduction for homes costing between $750,000 and $1 million has given rise to speculation that it could hurt the sales of such homes. They don't make up the majority of Santa Fe's real estate market (though it can sometimes seem so), but some real estate agents worry sales for homes in that range could slow. Others say people who buy such homes often have a different kind of mortgage or no loans at all.

Fire kills two toddlers, injures teen

A mobile home fire in Kirtland in the northwestern part of the state killed two toddlers Wednesday night. Investigators say two teens were home when the fire broke out, but no adults were in the house. They say the teens escaped out the window and door, and one of them was hurt trying to put the fire out.

Assault claim was a flashback, woman says 

Over at the New Mexican, Milan Simonich tells the story of a woman who drunkenly pounded on the door of the Inn of the Anasazi in November. She apparently told a hotel employee she'd been beaten by her boyfriend. Police eventually named a local real estate agent as a suspect. But the woman now says there was no assault. It was a flashback, she says ($), from an attack in Hollywood that happened 35 years ago.

Your drained iPhone

Apple admitted this week that its new operating system has been messing with battery and processor performance in older iPhones. The company announced yesterday that, starting late next month, it will replace batteries for $29. That's a $50 discount because of the mess, but still money out of your pocket. The "deal" runs all next year.

Having a bowl

New Mexico State plays in its first bowl game since 1960 this afternoon. Legions of Aggie faithful have made the short trip west to Tucson to watch the football team take on Utah State in the Arizona Bowl. Actually, it's the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl, but you knew that already. Both teams have 6-6 records  The game's on CBS Sports Network, which means you'll need some sort of subscription, friend or restaurant tab to watch it.

You rock for reading! Thanks for staying engaged with the world around you in 2017. We know it hasn't always been easy. The Word hopes you have a safe holiday weekend that is the perfect precursor to a wonderful year.

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