Mee-yow

A man who put in plenty of volunteer hours and received a biweekly $300 stipend from Meow Wolf says that he was not treated or paid fairly by the arts corporation, and the City of Santa Fe agrees. Jeremiah Harmon will be paid more than $17,000 in lost wages, SFR reports; this follows a case in July in which two women filed a lawsuit in Santa Fe's First Judicial District Court alleging a common practice of discrimination and gender bias.

Different reporting, same story

When it comes to missing 5-year-old Renezmae Calzada in Española, two news stories with most of the same information have reported it in different ways, which could lead to confusion.The New Mexican reports that authorities have identified the man arrested on Sunday ($) and that he will be questioned to try to "connect the dots" about the girl's disappearance; the Albuquerque Journal reports that "sheriff's spokesman Randy Sanches said Tuesday that the man who was arrested—who turned out to be Malcolm Torres, 25, boyfriend of the missing girl's mother—is not a suspect" in the case. Bottom line? "We have absolutely nothing," Sanches said Tuesday. "We have no starting point."

Meet the new boss

Mayor Alan Webber has nominated his chief of staff for the job of temporary city manager as former manager Eric Litzenberg splitz to become the new county fire chief. Jarel LaPan Hill, a Santa Fe native and 1999 graduate of Capital High School, takes the job ($ TNM); only about a dozen people applied for the city manager position, which the mayor says he will not fill in a hasty manner.

Uninsured percentage creeps up

The percentage of uninsured people around the country went up in 2018 for the first time since the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was passed, and New Mexico followed the trend. Nationwide, the uninsured rate went from 8% to 8.5%; in New Mexico, it went from 9.1% to 9.5%.  It's important to note, however, that New Mexico's increase was within the survey's margin of error of 0.8 percentage points. The rate of uninsured people in New Mexico in 2008, before Obamacare, was 22%.

Show us the way

Keeping with her promise to prioritize legalization of marijuana, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's task force on the subject has voiced some opinions ($ TNM) on what that path would look like. The group says rather than have dispensaries run as an arm of government, the government should instead license and regulate them. The task force also recommended against allowing local governments to ban marijuana sales entirely within their jurisdictions.

Live, thrive and survive

The lauded Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program, better known by the acronym LEAD, which sends offenders to treatment and rehab rather than prison, is getting a revamp. While it has heretofore been a pilot program partially funded through private dollars, it's switching over to a publicly funded mainstay of Santa Fe's public safety services and will now be known as Thrive. However, the program is in a bit of limbo; police officers haven't made any new referrals in almost a year in anticipation of losing private funding (which happened in July), and will not be making any new referrals until next month.

Curiouser and curiouser

KOB 4 reports that the green chile harvest is upon us and the crop looks great, but that labor shortages are hurting farmers and pepper-pickers have the dubious luxury of being able to choose where they work. News outlets are not speculating on the cause of the shortage.

We are the 14%

That 14% chance of rain sure did pull through, didn't it? We had one heck of a thunderstorm last night, and there are still some rumblings in the sky to the north as the Word writes this in the dark morning. The rest of today is looking cooler and possibly wetter, and if you have plenty of time and are a bit of a weather nerd, check out the National Weather Service's 18-page fall forecast for Northern New Mexico.

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