Carl Trujillo technically has less than six months to serve out his term in the state House of Representatives, but a Legislative committee's 43-page report about allegations that he sexually harassed a lobbyist found "credible evidence" ($) to start public hearings that come with the levy of a formal ethics charge. The allegations against the Northern New Mexico lawmaker surfaced during the primary election campaign, and Trujillo's novice opponent Andrea Romero squeaked by with a win to guarantee his ouster. Trujillo's lawyer says the outcome of the investigation is "predetermined" and called the process unfair ($).
We knew you probably weren't serious when you said that, Gary. After another disappointing run for president, New Mexico's former governor Gary Johnson said he was done with politics. But since the habit is apparently hard to kick, Johnson is thinking about jumping into the race for US Senate against incumbent Martin Heinrich. Though Johnson was a Republican when he served on the Fourth Floor of the Roundhouse, he's since become one of the nation's most high-profile Libertarians, and with the looming departure from the race of Aubrey Dunn, the party needs a new nominee on the general election ballot. Here's a friendly video interview with all the wide-eyed claims of potential success you've come to expect.
From the top
President Trump had another Sunday night tweet-off that doubled down on new threats to shut down the US government if a funding strategy to pay for a border wall does not emerge. Apparently now it's the fault of Congress if Mexico won't fulfill his campaign promises. NM Rep. Ben Ray Lujan is quoted in The Washington Post story saying a "comprehensive immigration reform conversation with the American people" has to occur. Oh, and Trump is still hating on the media despite renewed pleas from The New York Times about the danger ($) of labeling the press "an enemy."
The 2018 wildfire season has been relatively mild in New Mexico so far. Last night a new start was reported in the Jemez Ranger District in the Las Conchas burn scar area, and the Vendado Fire ate up about 3,000 acres not far away. Meanwhile, our neighbors further west in California are suffering. Firefighters are experiencing extreme fatigue as they battle blazes that last longer and are more intense than in history. AP reports the fire near Redding exploded in size this weekend, destroying hundreds of homes and killing five people, two of them firefighters.
Getting kicked around
UNM's soccer team could have just one season left due to a plan underway to cut it and other sports from the school's athletic program to save money. KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel sat with tenacious coach Jeremy Fishbein, who says he will keep fighting to get the decision reversed. In the meantime, he says the team is energized, noting, "It's not even conceivable that Lobo Soccer's not going to be part of our community."
Is New Mexico going to be known better for blue meth distributed by a fictional cancer-ridden high school teacher or for a spinoff involving a more loveable, albeit shady lawyer and his wifi-sensitive brother? Better Call Saul is getting a fifth season, cable station AMC announced as it readies for the premiere of Season 4. Although several seasons of the show purport to take place in Santa Fe, producers shot most of the scenes with Bob Odenkirk and the rest of the cast in Albuquerque. Insiders say Season 5 will bring in more overlap with Breaking Bad. Odenkirk flashed a butt tattoo at the news conference. The jury's out on whether it's a fake.
One of the 50 is missing, again
Communities sometimes clamor for a certain brand of fast food to finally decide its citizens are worth reaching. The Word remembers when the first New Mexico Krispy Kreme opened and we thought you all were going to lose your minds. The same thing happened in Santa Fe when Chick-fil-A opened here this year. Now there's a furor because the chain with questionable morals has declined to open in Alamogordo. The reason? They're not ready to move into the international scene yet. News flash: Neither is this small town 90 miles north of the US/Mexico border.
How’s the weather up there?
As Santa Fe continues cleanup efforts from its epic storm last week, private residences are awaiting help from insurance companies and the city is appealing to FEMA for big-picture assistance. New Mexico Rail Runner Express train service was out Friday due to track damage ($) from flooding north of Albuquerque, but it's back in action. We find it hard to believe it will soon be August; however, the national weather forecast says the region will continue to see temperatures near or above average for the next month. Today's report shows chances of afternoon rain.
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