Not so fast
The story is not over for Santa Fe Police Department officers Jeramie Bisagna and Luke Wakefield. Last week, the officers were cleared of criminal wrongdoing in a fatal shooting in 2017. But the family of Anthony Benavidez, the young man shot and killed by the officers in a botched SWAT raid, has asked District Attorney Marco Serna to file charges against the officers, saying in a 14-page letter that the three-DA panel which cleared them didn't do its job, and that New Mexico district attorneys as a whole "have repeatedly skirted their accountability to both the public and to … officers' victims."
The Santa Fe Planning Commission has unanimously recommended a rule change that would allow a landlord to rent both a house and a casita on the same property. SFR's been following the story closely, because the housing shortage in Santa Fe is perhaps the most important thing we're dealing with right now (sorry potholes). Thanks to the social media efforts of would-be evictee Jamie Durfee that has raised support and awareness throughout town, it looks like the rule may go the way of the dodo. The proposed amendment is next set to appear before City Council on May 28.
Moves in the right direction
After 5,500 rape kits sat untested in Bernalillo County, some for decades, the county was awarded grant money in 2018 to finally make them a priority. As a result, after 10 indictments and 77 of the cases getting reopened, a man was arrested on Wednesday night for an assault case from 2006. Some kits will not be considered due to the statute of limitations on sexual assault cases (which is not very cool, 'cause survivor trauma has no time limit), but in better news, Albuquerque Police Department officers are to undergo sensitivity training to try to make coming forward about assault less terrifying. Good luck.
Be careful out there
Your weekend long-read isn't much of a read at all, but more of a long-look—usually not the kind of look we give to roadside memorials. SFR's Charlotte Jusinski (who also moonlights in early mornings as the Word) traveled around the state to photograph descansos, those crosses on the sides of highways, then found what information she (I) could to go along with them. Some are high-profile, some are anonymous, all were poignant and perhaps haunting. And she (I) looks forward to hearing about even more stories, sites and thoughts from readers.
Cerrillos Road businesses have NMSurf to thank for impending lightning-fast internet via newly installed fiber optic cables. Santa Feans, who pay more than Albuquerque residents for their internet and get slower service, are salivating over such an option, but for now it'll only be available commercially (and from another company for two new 'n' tony residential developments north of town, but who's counting).
Nothing to see here, folks
After contamination at a Clovis-area dairy farm made national news in February, more than two dozen water samples tested by the New Mexico Environment Department appear to show Clovis' drinking water in the clear. Contamination by perfluorinated and polyfluorinated substances, or PFAS, caused farmer Art Schaap to destroy his 4,000-head dairy herd, and dozens of private wells showed contamination in November. The toxic plume and others like it across the country have been traced to Air Force bases.
It’s MIMOSA TIME!!!!!!
The gov has signed into law a bill that changes the tax structure for breweries (currently, they're taxed 41 cents for every gallon of beer produced; starting in July, that will drop to 8 cents per gallon on the first 30,000 barrels and 28 cents per gallon for 30,000 to 60,000 barrels), and also allows them to start selling alcohol at 11 am instead of noon on Sunday. Good news for your brunch hair of the dog.
Go look at rocks
Do you have a teen in your life looking for something cool to do this summer? The Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project, one of the Word's favorite local orgs, is ISO a few good young people for its summer internship program in June. Participants help the organization identify, catalog and photograph the thousands of petroglyphs on the Wells Preserve near Alcalde—plus, kids receive a stipend and can get college credit for it. (And luckily for people like the Word, they are also looking for adult mentors! So apply for that here.) The deadline is May 10.
Thanks for reading! The Word thought the whole "hair of the dog" thing was a myth, until we tried it. That's some witchcraft right there.
Additionally, thanks to loyal Word readers Tom and Jeanne for pointing out that the Word got the wrong compass direction when referring to San Antonio, New Mexico, yesterday. Not to be confused with the the Northern New Mexico San Antonio or the Central New Mexico San Antonio, nor the Colorado San Antonio or the Texas San Antonio for that matter, the Buckhorn Tavern is indeed in the Southern New Mexico San Antonio.