Barela Lane shutdown

It took the Word, an Agua Fría Street dweller, 60 minutes to run a 10-minute errand yesterday. By evening it became clear that it was because cops were investigating a shooting on Barela Lane ($ TNM), and closed down a mile of Agua Fría near Frenchy's Field for hours. Police believe 35-year-old Miguel Mendoza-Portillo is the shooter, and he is at large; a 48-year-old man went to the hospital with gunshot wounds but is reported to be in serious but stable condition.

Something something spaceships

British gazillionaire Richard Branson, whose Virgin Galactic space tourism company has set up shop in Southern New Mexico, says it only has a few test flights to go before rockets can start sending average Joes past the atmosphere. He declined to tell the AP exactly when the flights would happen; "My track record for giving dates has been so abysmal that I'm not giving dates anymore. But I think months, not years."


Our new gov's approval rating is "tepid," writes New Mexico Political Report, and many people just don't have an opinion at all yet. A recent poll found 44 percent of New Mexico voters approve of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, 43 percent disapprove, and 13 percent have no opinion. This puts MLG sixth from the bottom so far, as compared to other US governors.

Sad end for Brizzee

In 2018, Albuquerque resident Mary Kay Brizzee fought the city to stay in her home despite not having electricity, gas or running water. City code prohibits folks from living in buildings with no utilities, but Brizzee said that if she was evicted, she'd simply become homeless. Brizzee gave up the fight in April of this year, however, opting instead to trade the home in for cash, get a car and leave town; but that didn't quite work out either. She was found murdered this month in a remote area of Los Lunas. Neighbors mourned a woman they say was kind and trusting, suspecting she must have run into some people who were not as kind as she was.

No place to rest

Your weekend long-read comes from SFR's Leah Cantor and looks at the high levels of youth suicide and depression in Northern New Mexico. Despite Santa Fe having a higher-than-average rate of suicide among youth, our county has no inpatient mental health beds for youth. Kids are sent to Albuquerque or Las Cruces instead. But providers, nonprofits and community members are working to change the way we help kids when they need it most.

Some wolves to be delisted

While it will remain protected by the Endangered Species Act, the Mexican wolf will not be part of a larger effort by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to delist its near kin, the gray wolf. The latest count in its reintroduction area in New Mexico and Arizona showed a 12% increase in the population to 131 Mexican wolves, but the program remains under fire, particularly from ranchers who fear for their livestock.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this item expressed that we hope the wolves can get delisted. This was due to the writer's misconception that delisting is a good thing, denoting safety of the species. Due to a profanity-laden email from a wildlife advocate, however, we have been informed otherwise. Apologies to anyone we offended with this innocent misunderstanding.

ABQ journo recognized

Here's a shout-out to Journal reporter Angela Kocherga, whose "8 Hours on the Border" project earned her the prestigious Maria Moors Cabot Prize from Columbia Journalism School, which honors outstanding reporting in Latin America and the Caribbean. Read more about the series here.


Yes, the weather's gonna be hot. No, we don't want to talk about it.

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