Ortiz hearing ends abruptly

The Nicholas Ortiz trial drags on. Ortiz, who was convicted of killing three family members (related to each other, not to him) in 2011 in El Rancho, was 16 at the time of the crime; he's now 24. Yesterday, when considering a motion for a hearing on whether Ortiz should be viewed as an adult in a new trial ordered earlier this year, Judge Francis J Mathew abruptly ended the proceeding ($ TNM) without a decision after a tense exchange with Ortiz' public defender.

Warnings from out of state

Patients in states that went from having medical marijuana to full legalization offer warnings to New Mexico about what went wrong in that transition. The recreational market is looking more for high-THC products like flower and vapes, and testing of medicinal products is more expensive and less profitable. That's left many patients seeing more and more pot but true medicine is harder and harder to find. As New Mexico moves toward rec, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's Working Group on Cannabis Legalization is tasked with protecting medical users as it works out a structure for recreational cannabis.

Start a war?

Details keep emerging in the case regarding the uncle-and-nephew duo that threatened to harm Santa Fe police officers, and those details ain't pretty. Turns out Moises Ortiz Jr. III wanted to create "another El Paso" in Santa Fe (referencing the recent mass shooting) and wants to clear the city of  "drug dealers and homeless people" that way. He also used slurs against Mexican nationals and told cops he was upset over the way his sister's murder was handled by the department.

Santa Fe’s nearly empty jail

The New Mexican looked closer at Santa Fe County's mostly empty juvenile lockup, a facility that costs taxpayers $2.4 million annually to operate but often reportedly has more employees than inmates ($ TNM). The facility's average daily population is now about 10, down from 15 four years ago and 24 in 2010. Statewide changes in identifying which kids need to be locked up and which kids don't have resulted in closures of juvenile facilities across the state, and officials at the remaining county lockups are looking to the state about what's next.

Protecting noggins

In an effort to reduce concussions among schoolchildren playing sports, the New Mexico Department of Health and the Brain Injury Advisory Council are working to draft new regulations for state laws governing sports (both school-related and non-scholastic) that include providing kids and parents more info about concussions and not allowing concussed kids to play sports again for 10 days after the incident. At 10 am today at the Harold Runnels Building (1190 S St. Francis Drive), the public can weigh in on proposed regulations.

Parents indicted

Parents of a Rio Rancho teen who fired a gun at his high school have been indicted on a fourth-degree felony in relation to the incident, the Albuquerque Journal reports. The teen reportedly heard voices telling him to "shoot up the school" 11 months before he nearly did, but in those 11 months, his parents neglected to secure their firearms. Dale and Tamara Owen have each been indicted on one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Warren apologizes, president doesn’t

At a forum about Native American issues in Sioux City, Iowa, presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren apologized for any harm she caused when discussing her possible Indigenous ancestry during her political career ($ TNM). She reiterated her support for Indian Country, promising "full funding for housing, for health care, for education, for infrastructure," mentioning her support for missing and murdered Indigenous women, and apologized for taking a DNA test and for identifying herself as Native American during her career as a law professor. Meanwhile, last week the president doubled down on calling her "Pocahontas."

Know when to walk away, know when to run

Raffles seem like pretty innocuous events, but the Los Alamos Republican Party was reminded sharply this week that they are indeed considered gambling and only certain organizations are allowed to do that. "Civic or service organizations" are allowed to hold raffles, but political parties don't count as either of those, so a fundraiser in which the Los Alamos GOP was raffling off a rifle has been cancelled. Richard Kottenstette, a spokesman for the New Mexico Gaming Control Board, says that the shutdown has nothing to do with the prize.

Thanks for reading! The Word often finds this little italicized section the single hardest part of writing this newsletter every day. But we're not gonna give it up, no … We are dedicated to your moment of zen.