May 31st Morning Rush: Mayor to sign new city budget

Mornings

1. Mayor Tim Keller is expected to put his final stamp of approval on the 2019 operating budget that approaches $1 billion dollars. That includes about $577 million dollars in general funds. The major focus of the budget is public safety including money for more officers, pay increases, crime lab and homelessness services. To balance the budget, the city is planning for an increase in gross receipts tax revenues that will be collected starting July 1.

Full Story: Mayor Tim Keller expected to sign new city budget Thursday

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2. Mayor Tim Keller says the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project could finally be up and running this winter, which is a full year behind schedule. Although Keller adds the city will break ties with the California-based bus company “Build Your Dreams” (BYD), the original bus supplier. The mayor is calling the break, a ‘divorce with kid’s option, meaning the city will keep the five busses they already have. In the meantime, the city is looking at other electric bus companies to fill their fleet. The city says bus drivers will begin training on the ART routes starting midsummer.

Full Story: Mayor details ART project progress

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3. A toasty finish to May with high temperatures well above average statewide. Expect temps to top out in the 80s and 90s north of I-40 with a mix of 90s and low 100s further south. Sunshine will blanket the state with no storm chances expected within statelines on Thursday.

Full Story: Kristen’s Thursday Morning Forecast

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4. The groundbreaking will take place on a Memorial Park to honor the West Mesa murder victims this weekend. The city plans to construct the memorial where the victims were found buried in 2009. That year, a woman walking her dog discovered a large bone in the dirt, leading police to excavate the area. No one has ever been arrested in their deaths. Mayor Tim Keller plans to attend the groundbreaking on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. on the city’s West Mesa.

Full Story: Memorial Park honoring West Mesa murder victims to break ground

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5. A stolen dog is back home with her owner all thanks to a good samaritan. Rose Perea says she saw two men near Kelly Liquors and AutoZone in Belen peddling the tiny pup for drugs. She says she knew the dog was stolen because she had a well-groomed coat. After posting the dog’s picture on Facebook, a family member recognized her and set up a reunion. Veronica Gurule says the dog was stolen right out of her yard. She’s now calling Perea a hero for saving her puppy.

Full Story: Good Samaritan buys stolen puppy, reunites it with family

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