Return of PNM shutdown bill

It was one of the most complex pieces of legislation many lawmakers had ever seen. A bill last session to finance the shutdown of a coal-fired power plant in the Four Corners would have also dictated terms of replacing that power and pumped some cash into the area that would lose the high-paying jobs. It failed in committee, but interim groups have begun meeting this summer and the bill's sponsors say it's worth keeping on the table ($).

Oil boom

New Mexico's state piggy bank does well when oil and gas boom. That's happening with oil in the Permian Basin, and the next governor is going to have some extra cash to spend. So far, state collections are up nearly $600 million over last year. Lawmakers are already cautioning themselves against spending all the new cash and some are calling for a more moderate approach that takes into account the eventual downturn.

The new boss

This Friday, Lillian Montoya will become the first woman to lead Christus St. Vincent as the nonprofit hospital's president and CEO. She's been around the Northern New Mexico community in various leadership roles for decades and led the hospital's board of directors for a time. SFR sat down with her to speak frankly about the hospital's reputation and what's ahead for Santa Fe's largest private employer. Don't let the nonprofit status fool you; past leaders of the hospital have pulled in more than $1.2 million annually.

Daycare fight

Nope, that's a literal headline. Parents in Clovis are suing the Future Generations Early Concepts Learning Center after they say their child was injured during a fight between two employees, an early concept they'd obviously prefer their child not learn. Video of the fight seems to show a child getting kicked as one employee throws another to the floor.

Luke-warm rating 

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is giving a ho-hum assessment of the historic talks between the US and North Korea. Richardson says the document signed by Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump amounted to little more than a promise to keep talking. Richardson, whose tenure in the governor's mansion began with a visit by North Korean diplomats, says he hopes the president didn't promise to suspend joint military exercises with South Korea, but allowed that details in the Trump administration are often fluid. Meanwhile, the president is claiming this morning that there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.

Renewable transmission

For years, the knock on renewable energy in New Mexico has been the difficulty in effectively getting it to market. For the next five days, the Public Regulation Commission will hear arguments in the SunZia transmission project case. The proposed power lines would run 520 miles through New Mexico and Arizona and deliver renewable energy to some of the biggest markets in the Southwest. Military bases and environmentalists have raised concerns about the location of the lines.

While Virgin Mary gently weeps

You may recall the Diocese of Las Cruces is investigating an allegedly weeping statue of the Virgin Mary at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Hobbs. Over the weekend, parishioners took video of the statue apparently shedding tears.

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