State may boost wells in Northern New Mexico

Hillcorp, a company that recently gobbled up equipment and leases for natural gas extraction in San Juan and Rio Arriba counties, wants the state to double the allowed density of wells in the Blanco-Mesoverde pool. The company says the current restriction of two wells in each 160-acre section and four in 320-acre spacing units is outdated. The state has already let the company exceed that 62 times by individual application. There's a hearing set on Thursday.

Lockdown

Officials at the Lea County Correctional Facility appear to be limiting access to hot meals and showers as a sort of punishment while the prison remains on some form of lockdown. SFR got ahold of a memo that had been distributed to prisoners there in late August. That date coincides with both a statewide lockdown of prison facilities and a national prison labor strike, though the state Department of Corrections won't say the two were connected.

Teacher ratings

The state Public Education Department rolled its annual teacher ratings, and about 5 percent of teachers achieved the highest rating. That qualifies them for a $5,000 bonus—$10,000 if they teach math or science—under a new rewards program instituted by the Martinez administration this year. Statewide, about 75 percent of teachers were at least rated "effective" according the five-class scale used by PED in its controversial ratings.

Que viva

It was a much different Fiesta Friday as the Fiesta de Santa Fe's replacement for the controversial Entrada of Don Diego de Vargas took its first tentative steps forward. The new tradition was a far more inclusive series of events that honored the past in a new light. SFR was there and has the pictures.

Historical/hysterical/political

Santa Fe's Historical/Hysterical Parade, a longtime part of the Fiesta, was much more political than funny this year, as a dozen candidates or political parties strolled along the streets of the city on Sunday. Gone were many of the funny political commentary entries ($) … but at least there was candy.

Health choices

Santa Fe is racing toward Oct. 1, the day the new Presbyterian hospital is set to open on the Southside. The 30-bed facility will provide direct competition to Christus St. Vincent hospital, though on a smaller scale (St. Vincent has 206 beds). Joe Ditzler at The New Mexican compares the two facilities ($).

Metal choices

It's Metal Monday, which means if the Monday-ness of things has you down, you can always bury yourself in an auditory wall of guitars and percussion. Tumbleroot Brewery and Distllery plays host tonight at 8 pm. It's $10.

Warm

There may be pumpkin-spiced everything available at your preferred coffee shop, but it's still summer. Expect highs around 90 for places like Roswell and Albuquerque over the next few days. Santa Fe should enjoy mid-80s temperatures, with rain limited to the high country.

Thanks for reading! The Word is wary of pumpkin burnout this year. Pace yourselves.

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