Newly elected Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham takes office shortly after midnight tonight, when she'll be sworn into office by her sister-in-law in a private ceremony ($). The public festivities open at 9 am New Year's Day, with a day of free concerts followed by an evening of not-free ones. One of the big names to perform is Chevel Shepherd, the Farmington teen and recent winner of The Voice reality competition. Milan Simonich has a fun look back at some cold receptions for gubernatorial inaugurations ($).
Susana: a retrospective
Describing outgoing Gov. Susana Martinez' legacy as "complex," the Albuquerque Journal's Dans (Boyd and McKay) trace the prosecutor-turned-governor's eight years in office. They were marked with plenty of lawsuits, including from teachers unions, student-rights groups and lawmakers. Martinez says she governed consistent with her campaign promises. Other lawmakers see her tenure as a missed chance for New Mexico, and criticized her tax policy.
The next round of winter storms has gotten progressively more menacing, and it's already snowing in Farmington this morning. Expect 8-12 inches along the central mountain chains and west along I-40 toward Gallup and Grants. Snow will taper off Wednesday. It's going to be cold, so if you must travel, pack blankets in the car.
A family from Carlsbad was found safe in their truck after two days of being stranded due to the last storm. Police say a father and his three kids, ages 11-14, were stuck near Mayhill, New Mexico, and stayed in place until they were found by searchers on a snowmobile. The hotel where they were staying reported them missing Thursday.
Anything but pedestrian
New Mexico's rate of people on foot who are struck and killed in a traffic accident is among the nation's highest as the year draws to a close. The Albuquerque Journal's Matthew Reisen reports that the state's 82 pedestrian traffic fatalities are a spike that's due in part to Albuquerque, where half the city's traffic accident deaths were people hit by vehicles.
The return of Garrey
Former governor and former New Mexico State University Chancellor Garrey Carruthers is among the people new Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has asked to help her evaluate new regents for the state's universities ($). The Republican Carruthers was forced out of his NMSU job by a Martinez-appointed board of regents, as the state's college campuses became a political battleground for the governor in her second term. The new governor will get three appointments to the NMSU board right away, as well as five to UNM's seven-member board.
The Four Corners' massive coal-fired electrical generation industry is undergoing changes that are just as hefty. Three power plants in Arizona and New Mexico are scheduled to close in the coming years. The Navajo Nation is considering a host of measures involving two of the three plants and their attendant coal supply. The Tribal Council is weighing plans to turn its Navajo Transitional Energy Company into a for-profit enterprise ($), as well as how to collect remaining lease payments on the soon-to-be-shuttered Navajo Generating Station.
Have you seen me?
Falling behind on the news cycle is part of life. No one can keep up. That's what year-end retrospectives are for (or 16 open browser windows on your phone, as the Word had this month). Here are the most-clicked, most-read stories on good ol' SFReporter.com in 2018. The blizzard should give you a chance to plow through them on tomorrow's holiday.
Thanks for reading and Happy New Year! The Word should have purchased snow chains for his tires.
Although most sites allow a few free views, the dollar signs ($) indicate links that require a paid subscription to the news source.