Smith found not guilty

Rachel Smith has been found not guilty of causing the death of a baby in her care. Smith, who admits to struggling with addiction and whose case we told you about on Wednesday, initially lied to police and told them she was the baby's mother; as a result, she was convicted of one count of obstructing an investigation of child abuse and neglect, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Marco Serna, Santa Fe district attorney, said in a statement, "We are disappointed with the jury's decision regarding the higher charges."

More on Meow

Want more info about that Meow Wolf lawsuit news that broke this week? Plaintiff Tara Khozein talked to SFR about why she filed, what she hopes to accomplish, and how her claims are just "the tip of the iceberg" of mistreatment at the arts corporation.

Find out what happened

Police are looking for information about the death of Destinee Alexis Atencio ($), 21, whose body was found near the Camel Rock formation. It's suspected that she'd been dead a few weeks; she was last seen alive in May. Anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI at 889-1300 go to

In case you missed it

Fourth of July roundups are a'plenty in newspapers today, so check out features about Corrales and Albuquerque from the Journal, Santa Fe ($) and Madrid ($) from The New Mexican and Eldorado from SFR. The New Mex also reports that a volunteer was injured ($) at Pancakes on the Plaza around 7 am, but perhaps the sound of an cooking spray reacting with hot water on a grill was more frightening than the injury itself.

Gray water

Farmers and ranchers in La Cieneguilla are concerned that recent water quality questions at the nearby waste treatment plant have tainted their water ($). It was headline news recently when the City of Santa Fe voted to water fields and golf courses with drinking water, and while spokesfolks from the treatment facility say that the water running into La Cieneguilla is safe for cattle, residents aren't so sure and want more information. "If they have a major catastrophe at that plant, all residents on the river should be given notice first," says livestock owner Ed Sceery. "Then they can call the damn golf courses."

Make it wet and cold

Abandoned campfires are on the minds of forest rangers this weekend as revelers head into the woods and up to the mountains. Thankfully, numbers of abandoned fires are lower than they have been, but anything above zero threatens wildfire. KUNM has some info on how to make sure your fire is out. There will be extra crews and trucks out this weekend ($ TNM) to better ensure safety in the forest.

The wheels on the bus

The New Mexico United soccer team has some die-hard fans, that's for sure. When flights to Minnesota sold out in advance of the team's July 8-12 series there, a bunch of fans have chartered a bus for 75 people to drive to the games. With swag and camaraderie thrown in, the $150 ticket is a steal. If you want to go, click that link for more info; if you just think this is fun, and are musing on how nice it is to have some feel-good news, we're right there with you.

Still hot

It'll be another hot one today, with Santa Fe getting up to about 91. (Even Taos, where the Word is headed this eve, is looking at 88, which is pretty warm.) We can, however, expect increased moisture this weekend, and storms should cool it down a bit.
Thanks for reading! The Word did not light up a single sparkler yesterday, but sure did eat a lot of food.