Gubernatorial gloves

They're off, folks: Democratic candidate Jeff Apodaca says Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham should be investigated by a congressional ethics panel after a transgender woman claimed she was fired from an internship at the congresswoman's office after reavealing her gender identity. Lujan Grisham says she's dumbfounded by the allegation. She's also the one who called for state Sen. Michael Padilla to drop out of the race for lieutenant governor because of sexual harassment claims that were made public more than a decade ago. Democrats think they have a good chance of taking back the governor's office next year, and it's going to be a pitched contest for the nomination.

Former veterinarian gets jail, pet ban for animal cruelty conviction

"You won't even be allowed to pet an animal," state District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer told Debra Clopton during sentencing, in which the former vet was given two years in prison and a 10-year ban on coming within 25 feet of any animal. Prosecutors charged her with 48 counts of animal cruelty after deputies found her Edgewood home overrun with dogs in 2013. She'd already lost her veterinary license. Clopton's attorney blamed undiagnosed hypothyroidism for the behavior.

SWAIA switch

The Native organization that sponsors Indian Market is once again readying for a leadership change. Attorney and current Chief Operating Officer Dallin Maybee is leaving for Arizona ($). He oversaw controversial changes to tenure rules and the application process for artists seeking to show their work—and make a significant chunk of their yearly income—during the August festival. His contract ends on Dec. 31, though he'll stick around to help with the leadership transition.

Hard rock delay

The construction slowdowns will continue along Highway 68 through the Rio Grande Gorge up to Taos. The New Mexico Gas Company began work on the pipeline along the river this fall and hoped to be finished by the end of November. It's blaming unexpected veins of granite ($) for the delay. There won't be any traffic controls until after New Year's Day. There may not be any snow until then, either, so … (We hope we're kidding.)

Text to test

Pre-filing of bills for the next legislative session started on Friday, just as the news cycle slowed way down. So, get ready for a lot of stories on a lot of bills that are interesting, but not necessarily even on the agenda for the session. Nevertheless, it's the time of year for giving, and local news outlets will be giving you a lot. House Minority Leader Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, wants schools to text parents two days before a test. He says parents are more apt to make sure their kids are in school that way.

Nobody plans to fail … 

You know the rest. Hey, speaking of Nate Gentry, he pre-filed another bill that would require high school seniors to apply to at least one college or have other trade school or military plans. If they don't, they can't graduate. The bill doesn't address the cost of applications.

Drunken girl steals deputy’s truck

A sheriff's deputy in San Juan County thought he had a drunken 16-year-old girl locked up in the back of his truck after her mother flagged him down to get help. Not so. She kicked out the barrier to the front, jumped in the driver's seat and took off. She hit three cars and eventually crashed the patrol unit, too. A bystander ran over to the crash and could see the girl was still alive, but also holding a shotgun. The bystander took it from her and waited for police.

C-c-c-cold Christmas

It still looks like we're headed for a chilly Christmas, with an arctic air mass marauding its way through the central part of the country by the weekend. Right now, it appears we're likely to be just on the edge of the really cold stuff, but as good as forecasters are, this is still a ways out. The high on Sunday in Santa Fe will likely be right around freezing or lower, with a slight warm-up on Christmas Day.

Hey there! You're appreciated. We're busy cooking up a double issue so we can close the SFR offices for the next week. Ergo, the Word is on holiday for a bit and hoping not to get wedged between the fighting couple on the airplane or directly in front of the kid who wants to kick the snot out of the back of the seat. But hey, it's a small price to pay to see family. Have a safe holiday and we'll see you next week!

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