Santa Fe Police Department offering free gun locks

From - Santa Fe Police Chief Raymond Rael announced Monday that his department is offering free trigger locks to City of Santa Fe residents to ensure public safety. The trigger locks will be handed out free of charge on a first-come, first-serve basis while supplies last at the main Santa Fe Police Station at 2515 Camino Entrada off Cerrillos Road. They will be available at the front desk Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
     “Residents with firearms in their homes must take common sense steps to avoid accidental shootings,” said Chief Raymond Rael. “The Police Department encourages storing weapons locked and unloaded with ammunition secured in a separate place.”
     Santa Fe’s Public Safety Committee unanimously passed a resolution earlier this month recommending that all city gun stores sell trigger locks with every firearm. Current law states only new guns are required to be sold with them.
      The resolution recommends any gun sold, old or new, in Santa Fe includes the simple device which prevents the gun from accidentally firing. The resolution was amended to include weapons purchased at pawn shops and other businesses. The resolution simply encourages gun shops to obey. It is not currently illegal in the city to sell a used gun without a trigger lock. Read more


Group in Santa Fe to give Gov. min. wage petitions

A group called Working America says it will be in Santa Fe today to try and persuade Gov. Susana Martinez to sign a minimum wage increase. 
The group says it will deliver thousands of photo petitions and petition signatures to the governor's office in support of a just-passed Senate Bill to increase the state's minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.50 an hour. 
Martinez has said she opposes the bill because it would make the state's minimum wage the fourth highest in the nation. She says she told lawmakers she would support raising the minimum wage to $7.80 an hour, the same as Arizona, but that the full dollar-an-hour increase was simply unsustainable.


State sees drop in TB cases

New Mexico health officials say there has been a drop in the number of tuberculosis cases in the state. 

The state Health Department says there were a total of 40 cases of active tuberculosis diagnosed in New Mexico in 2012. That's down from 49 cases the previous year. The rate of tuberculosis in New Mexico stands at 1.9 cases per 100,000 people. The national rate is more than 3 cases per 100,000 people. 

Despite the good news, health officials say New Mexico is still experiencing a higher than average TB mortality rate of 15 percent. Nationally, the mortality rate stands at 4 percent. 

The signs and symptoms of infectious active TB include a persistent cough, unexplained weight loss, night sweats, fatigue and loss of appetite.


FAA says Santa Fe airport will lose control tower

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday that Santa Fe is among 149 airports around the country set to lose funding for their air traffic control towers because of federal budget cuts.
 It was not immediately clear what impact the cuts will have on the state capital and mountain tourism destination, which has just in the past few years won back commercial jet service. 
American Airlines currently has daily flights between Santa Fe and Dallas and Los Angeles, and United plans to begin service to Denver later this spring. 
Double Eagle, a general aviation airport in west Albuquerque, is also losing tower funding.


President to designate Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

Retired U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman and U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich will join President Obama at a National Monument Proclamations Signing Ceremony in the Oval Office on Monday to establish the Río Grande del Norte in northern New Mexico as a U.S. National Monument. 
 In 2007, now-retired Senator Jeff Bingaman's office began working with residents of Taos and Rio Arriba Counties to identify how to best protect the land. 
Since then, Bingaman, Sens. Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, and Rep. Ben Ray Luján have worked to advance legislation through Congress to protect the area and asked the White House to consider a monument designation.