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Morning Word: Santa Fe's $3 Million Election

April 26, 2017, 7:30 am

Soda tax battle carries nearly $3 million price tag
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg pumped $400,000 cash into Santa Fe's sugary-drink tax election, the latest campaign records show. With that infusion, proponents of the tax to fund almost 1,000 new pre-kindergarten program seats have taken the fundraising lead. Funded largely by soft drink makers and distributors, opponents aren't far behind and together they've raised nearly $3 million in cash and in-kind contributions for the May 2 election.

Looking for the last drink
A recent fatal drunken driving wreck where the driver admitted to having downed three beers on an empty stomach at a local brewery has thrust "source investigations" into the spotlight. SFR examines how police decide when to look for the source of a drunken driver's last drink and what's at stake for the people who hold liquor licenses and server's permits.

Federal court lifts ban on Mexican gray reintroduction
An appeals court in Denver has removed a temporary order blocking the placement of Mexican gray wolves into New Mexico's wild lands. The court said the state failed to show irreparable harm would come if the feds continued wolf reintroduction. The state refused to issue a permit for the program in 2015; the US Fish and Wildlife Service released the wolves anyway, citing low populations of the threatened lobos and the need to prevent inbreeding.

Dark clouds for Skylight
The unique downtown concert venue is shutting down, the latest in a long string of bigger-than-a-bar event locations to fail at making a go of it among the galleries, boutiques, restaurants and bars downtown. Skylight plans to open for events that are on the calendar through October.

Here's why you shouldn't come to work
Despite being on track to collect $55 million more than expected this year, the governor's office insists the state's finances aren't stable enough to have every employee go to work every day during the next two months. The administration's furlough plans would likely force five days off for state workers between now and the end of June. Unions say it's political windowdressing and are skeptical of planned meetings with the State Personnel Office.

Judge stomps on sanctuary city order
A federal judge blocked the Trump administration's attempt to stop funneling federal funds to sanctuary cities, of which New Mexico has several. Court conundrums have abounded for the president, though they haven't slowed his rhetoric much.

'A few little measly little cones'
A blind man says the construction zone surrounding Albuquerque's controversial bus rapid transit project might as well be a minefield for him. He told KRQE he fell into a ditch while trying to navigate the construction.

Boy, were we wrong
Okay, admittedly Monday's declaration of "warm year, warm week" was not the headline to go with for the next few days. It's gonna be a warm year, but this week is sticking its thumb in our eye. Snow on Saturday? 

Thanks for reading! The Word is unpacking its winter gear.

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