Facebook will announce today plans to construct six buildings on the grounds of its Los Lunas data center. The decision means hundreds of construction jobs through 2023. When complete, though, the operation is expected to employ around 100 people in higher-paying jobs. The village of Los Lunas will float $30 billion in industrial revenue bonds, which amount to a loan to the company as well as a property tax break. The state has helped finance a nearby solar farm.
Taking a stand
Former state Senator Phil Griego plans to testify in his own defense today as he tries to convince a Santa Fe jury he's not guilty of eight charges related to public corruption. The charges, which potentially carry more than 20 years in prison, stem from his work as a real estate broker for the Seret family, which bought a state-owned building in 2014. Griego earned $50,000 on the deal, which required legislation allowing the state to sell it. Griego asked legislative staff to draft that paperwork.
Ethics board slaps Keller
The day before the city of Albuquerque elects its next mayor, the city's ethics panel delivered a stinging decision to the leading candidate. The Board of Ethics and Campaign Practices said Keller's campaign violated public financing rules by funneling cash donations through a political strategy group, which used the money to buy supplies that it then donated to Keller's campaign.
Gary Johnson's coattails
The former New Mexico governor raised more eyebrows in his presidential run for not understanding a question about Aleppo, Syria, than for the votes he garnered. But here in New Mexico, he pulled better than 5 percent. That means the Libertarian Party is technically considered a major political party. State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, currently a Republican, says he's considering a run.
Legislators heard from a group of scientists yesterday who say that New Mexico is perfectly positioned to become a leader in renewable power production. The Union of Concerned Scientists say it's possible for the state to get half its electricity from renewable sources in less than 15 years.
Los Alamos County and the Department of Energy say drinking water for the area is not contaminated with chromium. While the agencies acknowledge a plume of toxic chromium about 900 feet below the surface, they say it's roughly 1,000 feet above the wells used for drinking water.
Kidding. No Kidding.
A North Carolina man bought an old tintype photo for $10 at an auction a few years back. It appears to be a sound investment. Experts say it's a picture of Billy the Kid and the man who would eventually kill him, Pat Garrett. It's probably worth millions.
Space company CEO grounded
Dumitru Popescu was arrested in Las Cruces over the weekend on charges of fraud and embezzlement for lying to a Chicago tech company to obtain $20,000. Popescu's company, Arca Space, developed a low-cost, single-stage rocket that can deliver small payloads into low orbit. That technology has been utilized at New Mexico's Spaceport America.
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