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Morning Word: Historic Church Fire Leaves Congregation Reeling

January 4, 2017, 7:30 am

After the Fire
A historic Albuquerque church community is reeling from a suspected electrical fire that heavily damaged the building's interior. The Joy of Light Church of God in Christ was the former home of the Grant Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of New Mexico's oldest predominantly black congregations and a hub for the civil rights movement in the city in the 1950s.


Bottom Feeders
Our state's schools have earned another sad grade from Education Week magazine's "Quality Counts" report. No states earned an A grade in the analysis, but nine are labeled with B or B-. New Mexico has a D. Here's a graphic that breaks it down. The Santa Fe New Mexican analyzed the Wednesday report on today's front page

Action!
SFR's Alex De Vore takes a deep dive on the status of film incentive programs that helped New Mexico lure productions and their spending. The story re-introduces Eric Witt, the director of the new regional film office opened by the city and county of Santa Fe.

Election Question
Did Breaking Bad actor Steven Michael Quezada fill out his own candidacy paperwork before his recent election to the job of Bernalillo County commissioner? Breaking reports from KOB indicate State Police are looking into the question as part of a criminal investigation. A civil case about the election is already pending. 

Benefits Blunder
The City of Santa Fe says it has updated its HR policies after an internal audit showed temporary and seasonal employees were denied medical benefits despite being eligible. 

Schools Sued
A new federal lawsuit alleges gender discrimination and nepotism at the Mora Independent Schools. Dora Romero, former superintendent, says the board fired her to make way for Charles Trujillo, a nephew of a board member who later stepped down from the job after reports in the Las Vegas Optic that Trujillo faked his credentials to obtain his administrative license.

Dozen Club
Police dashcam footage published this week by KRQE News 13 shows a man near Las Vegas leading cops on a high-speed chase before getting nabbed on his 12th DWI. It's the kind of repeated news story that's right on time for the upcoming legislative session, in which Gov. Susana Martinez says she will push for tougher DWI penalties.

Bad Idea
Even though it appears massive social media outcry stopped the madness, the big news of the last couple days has been the Republican plan to gut the independent ethics office. New Mexico Political Report says New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce was in on it

 

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