Sept. 22, 2017
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Morning Word: Give Us Your Money!

May 16, 2017, 7:30 am

Northern NM communities fear losing LANL taxes
That's what could happen if a nonprofit group takes over management of Los Alamos National Lab. The company that shepherds the lab and its multi-billion dollar budget currently pays gross receipts tax on goods and services it uses. That pumps millions into a Northern New Mexico economy that's thirsty for cash. The tax reform bill that lawmakers will consider during next week's special session contains a provision to make a nonprofit pay the tax. 

Chan attorneys upset over edited interview
The retrial of the former Santa Fe deputy sheriff accused of shooting and killing fellow deputy Jeremy Martin in 2014 is in its second week. Tai Chan's attorneys, Santa Feans John Day and Tom Clark, said an audio recording of Chan made shortly after the shooting had been edited to exclude statements from Chan that Martin "tried to kill me." The court refused to dismiss the case and the trial continues today.

NM Animal Sheltering Board disappears after 12-year run
The board is supposed to keep an eye on the state's shelters. But the nine-member body has been meeting with just three or four members the past several years. In fact, it seems to have meet just four times, period, since October 2015. Former members say the state Regulation and Licensing Department wanted nothing to do with the board, which handles complaints against shelters and euthanasia technicians. A new law will turn the board into a committee and give the Board of Veterinary Medicine authority over those complaints.

KOB's Joles retiring
After 29 years at Albuquerque's last major family-owned TV station, Tom Joles is retiring. The KOB anchor's last night on the air will be June 7. The May ratings period, which TV stations use to help set advertising rates, ends next Wednesday. Expect a relatively long goodbye and an announcement about his replacement in the coming weeks.

Santa Fean files for governor
Peter DeBenedittis, a teacher here in Santa Fe, has announced his candidacy for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. He'd be a rookie to public office. DeBenedittis says he'd use increased taxes on alcohol and tobacco to help pay for universal health care and expanded early childhood education.

Former Española, Santa Fe teacher charged with abusing students  
Complaints and concerns and even criminal charges had dogged Gary Gregor for years. He'd faced them in Utah, Montana and New Mexico. But he kept teaching until the state refused to renew his teaching license in 2011. Now, nearly a decade after he taught at Fairview Elementary in Española, Gregor has been charged with three counts of raping a minor, along with kidnapping and child abuse charges.

AG investigating Miss New Mexico complaint
There she is, a disappointed pageant winner. Stephanie Chavez says after winning her current title as Miss New Mexico—and a spot in the Miss America pageant—she was supposed to get nearly $10,000 in scholarship money. She hasn't. The pageant group, Miss NM Scholarship Organization, says she hasn't filed the right paperwork. The attorney general is investigating the claim.

The Screen at SFUAD will stay open
The Santa Fe University of Art and Design promised yesterday that it will keep the arthouse film venue open through its final year. The school will close after the next academic year, but said it plans to hand over the theater to the city of Santa Fe, which technically owns the property. The first screening under city management will be an endless loop of sugary-beverage tax commercials. That last part isn't true.

Thanks for reading! The Word thinks its a good night to catch a movie. Steel yourself against the lure of that popcorn ... if you can.

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