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Morning Word: Chief's Child Abuse Charges are 'Personal' Matter

August 21, 2017, 7:30 am

Grand jury indicts Española police chief
A Taos County grand jury has handed up indictments for Matthew Vigil, the police chief in Española, on charges of child abuse and intimidating a witness. Vigil was also placed on paid leave by the city, where Mayor Alice Lucero told the newspaper that it was a personal matter.

Your awful cell service
Something seems to be amiss with Verizon's data capabilities in the core of Santa Fe. The provider has staked its reputation on reliable, fast service, but it's turtle for Santa Feans and tourists whose daily routine brings them to downtown Santa Fe. The provider was dead last in recent speed tests.

Tribes opt out of federal death penalty
The Associated Press has an interesting look at the decision by many Native American tribes to opt out of the federal death penalty law. Experts say the decision reflects a long history of mistreatment and a skeptical attitude toward the justice system.

Cult leader charged with sexual assault
The leader of a Cibola County commune claiming to be a Christian religious organization has been charged, along with three other members, with 100 counts of child abuse and rape. The Cibola County Sheriff says he's been investigating the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps since last year, when two former members claimed they had escaped from the commune.

Whither goest thou, Garrey Carruthers
New Mexico State University Chancellor Garrey Carruthers has announced plans to leave the school after his contract runs out next year. But a few people would like the former Republican governor to stick around, and Carruthers has said he'd do so. He was outspoken about the damage caused to New Mexico universities by the governor's complete higher-education funding veto earlier this year. If you've been following the Board of Regents saga at the University of New Mexico, you know the governor appoints regents and isn't afraid to use that power.

UNM Press woes
The University of New Mexico's imprint, UNM Press, is fighting for its life in the face of budget cuts. Regents have cut funding to the press and reduced the staff by a quarter and its output by a third. The school may try to fold the press into its library division.

Best of Show
Crazy-talented artist Pat Pruitt won Best of Show at the 2017 SWAIA Indian Market. Pruitt, a mechanical engineering whiz and Laguna Pueblo member, sculpted a pot out of zirconium and titanium. He also built his own house out at Laguna and has designed custom body piercing jewelry for years. His win is a distinct shift toward contemporary art at the annual festival.

Thank you, NASA
You may have heard there's a total solar eclipse today. It's the first one in North America—well, visible from it—since 1979. This is cool, undeniably, but we'll see another in 2023. And then another the year after that. Here in New Mexico, we'll get about an 80-85 percent eclipse today, according to NASA, which knows a thing or two about space and the sun.

Thanks for reading! The Word sincerely hopes you don't have Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" running through your head all day. But now you might. At least you're not on the cruise where she will sing the song live at the moment of the total eclipse ... of the sun. Because close enough, right humans?

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