Albuquerque police officer Ryan Holets and his wife, Rebecca, were featured guests at President Trump's State of the Union address last night. The Holets gained national attention after adopting the baby of a pregnant heroin addict Holets encountered on patrol. The family received a pair of standing ovations and were widely praised, although some outlets, like Slate, questioned the power dynamics of the adoption and what happened to Crystal Champ (she and the baby's biological father are in a Florida rehab facility).
Coca-Cola is the primary backer of a political action committee that supports Ron Trujillo for mayor. The local bottler and Coke HQ in Atlanta each gave $5,000 to the group. The existence of People for Santa Fe hadn't been disclosed by the Santa Fe City Clerk's Office until this week. The money isn't a game-changer in the race, as Alan Webber raised almost triple the combined total of Trujillo's $60,000 in public financing and the PAC's $10,000. However, Big Soda spent millions defeating the soda tax, and those deep pockets are now in the mayor's race. Trujillo said he didn't know about the group. He's not allowed to coordinate with it.
This week, SFR talked with Alan Webber about the downfall of two powerful men from his past: Neil Goldschmidt and Eliot Spitzer. Webber authored a blog post trying to make sense of it back in 2008. Now, as the #MeToo and Time's Up movements take center stage, he revisits his thoughts and talks about authenticity on the campaign trail.
Another costly, deadly mistake
Cibola County has settled with the family of Douglas Edmisten, a 50-year-old inmate who died in custody at the county jail in July 2016. The $5 million settlement is the seventh multi-million dollar agreement over inmate mistreatment in New Mexico in the past five years. Edmisten burst a blood vessel in his stomach and died an excruciating death in jail as fellow inmates surrounded him, praying and pleading for help from jail staff.
‘At the hands of a monster’
The new details offered by law enforcement yesterday in the death of 13-year-old Jeremiah Valencia are hard to believe. The boy, whose body was found in near Highway 503 in Nambé, was kept in a dog kennel ($) and abused before he died. Police have arrested three people in connection to his death, including Tracy Peña, his mother. Thomas Ferguson is the primary suspect. He's a career criminal who Valencia's sister says abused the boy to the point that he sometimes had to use a cane to walk or a wheelchair to get around.
Jail guard gets 10 years
A former guard whose behavior had raised red flags and warning signs for years is now behind bars after raping and assaulting female inmates from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Bernalillo County. Some of the assaults happened inside a courthouse in Albuquerque.
Okay, let's do something else other than three really tough stories in a row. Thanks for toughing it out with us. SFR's time-honored, widely feared and revered pop quiz is back this week. We asked the guy who faces no opposition in the Southside District 3 about the neighborhoods he wants to represent, and we asked three candidates who are trying to replace Ron Trujillo in District 4 about their neck of the woods. See what they know and what stumped them.
Get some sun
It's going to be warm and windy today across much of the state, with serious concerns, on this last day of January, about fire danger in the eastern part of New Mexico. Expect highs in the 50s across much of Northern New Mexico and warmer down south. You're not going to get any snow for a bit, so you might as well get some sun.
Thanks for reading! The Word finally and belatedly procured a Roundhouse breakfast burrito yesterday. So simple. So good.
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