Oil and gas management courses being offered

From KOB-TV.com - By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - Oil and gas production is a way of life in the Four Corners and other parts of the state. Now, two New Mexico colleges are offering a degree program to help more students develop their careers San Juan College and New Mexico Highlands University have teamed up to offer the first bachelor's program in oil and gas management.
     "We believe it one of the first degrees of its kind in the United States,” said Randy Pacheco, Dean of the School of Energy at San Juan College.
     The schools have been designing this program for about a year.Officials at San Juan College say this is an opportunity for people who work in the field to take their career to the next level from field work to management.
     "I think when they're searching for bachelor’s degree they want something specific for their industry something they can really relate to that they can use in their everyday job," said Pacheco.
     Students at the School of Energy said they’re excited about the new program. Matthew Burt wants to take what he's learned in natural gas compression a step further. "In order to someday be an expert, I really need to learn all the basics and that's critical in thiscourse," he said.
     Cody Watson hopes this new degree will help him and other students develop their careers in the four corners. "Oil and gas is the lifeblood of San Juan Basin so if we can put students out there with a good knowledge base then they can develop themselves better as employees," Watson said.
     Highlands University says the program is all online and they are already seeing a lot of interest. They expect to have 20 to 30 bachelor's and master's students enrolled in the spring. More

Las Cruces City Council votes to increase GRT

The Las Cruces City Council voted Tuesday to increase the city's gross receipts tax by three-eighths of one percent.   

That amounts to about four cents on a ten dollar purchase.

The council voted 6-1 for the tax increase, which will take effect on January 1.  Councilor Miguel Silva was the lone "no" vote.  Councilors voting "yes" said the tax increase was needed due to a reduction in state tax revenue.  

The state legislature voted to remove the so-called "hold harmless" provision over a period of years.  

The move was part of a last-minute bill that reduced corporate taxes in New Mexico.


Santa Fe Reporter files lawsuit against Gov.

Gov. Martinez
The Santa Fe Reporter has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Susana Martinez, alleging violations of the state's open records laws as well as retaliation by her office against the alternative weekly. 
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in state district court. It alleges seven instances where the governor's office failed to produce calendars, emails, documents about pardons and other material sought by the Reporter under the state's Inspection of Public Records Act. 
Martinez's administration is being accused of violating the state's guarantee of a free press with "unlawful selective withholding of public information and retaliatory and discriminatory conduct." 
The lawsuit asks that Martinez, who ran on a campaign of transparency, be ordered to implement a system for adequately responding to public records requests.