Sitting on a match
A DNA sample provided by 21-year-old Leland Hust at a Rio Rancho home the day police started investigating 6-year-old Ariana Romeo's murder and rape has matched him to the victim. Police had DNA results in hand early last month, but waited three and a half weeks before making an arrest. Rio Rancho police say they didn't see Hust as a risk to public safety, though prosecutors have asked a judge to order him held in jail until trial.
Pearce’s business blues
Republican Congressman Steve Pearce, also a candidate for governor, owns two businesses that rent oilfield equipment to other companies. Pearce would have a huge say in how the state regulates the oil and gas industry were he to become governor, posing a conflict of interest conundrum. He's been aggressively criticizing Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham for a contract her former company had to manage the state's high risk insurance pool.
Judge sues school district
State District Court Judge Lisa Riley has filed a defamation suit ($) against Carlsbad Municipal Schools, claiming district employees leveled accusations of racism at her after she defended her son, Will, and his right to hold a pro-gun rally in the weeks after the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting. Riley says in the complaint that the district had a duty to act to correct false allegations, but instead chose to let them percolate in the community.
Smokey or Bandit?
Are Santa Fe County Sheriff's deputies breaking some of the most basic laws they're sworn to uphold? Probably. That's based on 45 complaints about deputy behavior to the sheriff's office since the beginning of last year. The most common complaint: Speeding, including presumptively to and from work, as well as apparently just because they can. SFR took it nice and slow this week to look at complaints.
Sports betting is about to become legal in New Mexico. Santa Ana Star Casino announced plans to open a full-scale sports book next week ($). The US Supreme Court decided a case last summer that opened the door for sports wagering across the country. Under current law, the state does not have the authority to regulate sports betting, nor does it get a cut of the profits from casinos (unless winnings are reported on personal income tax statements).
Trash to … well, less trash
Compost may only be considered treasure by a handfull of master gardeners, but according to Santa Fe County, one quarter of all the stuff in a landfill is compostable. With an eye toward saving money and landfill space, the county is launching a home composting pilot program. SFR's Layne Radlauer digs in. He DIGS IN.
Living in the Biosphere
Not a biosphere. THE Biosphere. The one we all wondered about. Mark Nelson lived there, and he'll talk about his adventure—and its ties to Santa Fe—tonight at SITE Sante Fe. Tickets start at $5, and the presentation starts at 6 pm.
There's snow on the mountains. You'll see it once the clouds lift, at least in Santa Fe. Expect continued cool temperatures over the next couple of days, though not as cool as yesterday. Moisture will be less widespread. There's a real-live cold front coming around Sunday.
Thanks for reading! The Word thinks this is a rough week to be a balloonist.
Spread the Word! Forward this and subscribe to our other newsletters at sfreportercom/signup.
Although most sites allow a few free views, the dollar signs ($) indicate links that require a paid subscription to the news source.