SFPD responds to audit 

The Santa Fe Police Department has issued a statement in response to an independent audit regarding its processes for handling evidence. The court-ordered audit was the result of SFPD losing evidence in the case of Christopher Garcia, who is accused of stabbing his former girlfriend, Selena Valencia, to death in 2017 ($TNM). "We agree that improvements can be made to the ways the evidence is collected, packaged, labeled and stored," the statement reads in part, and says the department "will also be identifying and evaluating processes that can be remedied immediately, such as issues with the labeling and packaging of evidence both for submission and upon transfer from the laboratory and the Office of the Medical Investigator."

IG says RCLC owes DOE

The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities should reimburse The US Department of Energy up to $300,000 in grant money, according to a new report from the DOE's inspector general that says, the coalition "engaged in activities prohibited by the US Code and the terms of the grant agreement." The grant, received approximately five years ago, would have disbursed five $100,000 awards to the coalition, but the payments ended in 2018 when a watchdog group revealed questionable spending under the leadership of former director turned state Rep. Andrea Romero, D-Santa Fe.

First report for crowded CD3 race

Teresa Leger Fernandez, one of nine contenders for New Mexico's 3rd congressional seat, has raised nearly $200,000 in the last three months. She is the first of nine Democratic candidates to file third-quarter campaign contributions to the Federal Election Commission, which are due by Oct. 15. Leger Fernandez also has garnered endorsements ($TNM) from PODER PAC, and BOLD PAC. First Judicial District Attorney Marco Serna also announced new endorsements from former Santa Fe Mayor Sam Pick, state Rep. Jim Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, and former House Speaker Raymond Sanchez. The crowded Democratic primary comes as US Rep. Ben Ray Lujan is not running for re-election but, rather, running for the US Senate seat currently held by US Sen. Tom Udall, who is retiring.

Soleras Station full up

All 87 housing units at Soleras Station have been filled and there already is a waiting list for the affordable-housing project. Today, city officials will have an official ribbon-cutting for the project, which took three years to come to fruition and provides not just affordable housing, but homes for people with special needs. SFR writer  takes a look at the project's parameters and history.

Monitoring methane

Every state should monitor its methane emissions. So say Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Descartes CEO Mark Johnson in a new op-ed appearing in Wired Magazine. On Sept. 19, the state announced a partnership with Descartes to extract information from space-based satellites among other sources to map and model methane emissions. "While much of the discussion about greenhouse gases is focused on carbon dioxide, methane packs an even more powerful climate punch," the op-ed reads."…Trapping 28 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide over 100 years."

‘Tis the season

Flu season, that is. The state health department confirmed yesterday New Mexico has its first flu cases: five of them, actually. One of those cases was in Bernalillo County and resulted in the death of the 90-year-old patient. Three are in Sandoval County and one is in Santa Fe County. “Flu can be fatal if left untreated or if a person—at any age—has a weakened immune system,” said NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel in a press release. “Getting your flu vaccination every year is the single best way to protect you, your family, and our state’s most vulnerable residents, from infants to the elderly.” Go here for more facts and info on the flu.

Keep it simple

You may already know that Santa Fe Institute offers a variety of public lectures and programs (such as the annual Interplanetary Festival). Its online education program, however, attracts students from across the world. Complexity Explorer offers a wide variety of courses and mini-tutorials on subjects related to complexity science, many geared toward learners of any level. This week, SFR talked with SFI's new director of education, Carrie Cowan, about the program's offerings.

Dry with a chance of perfect weather

Colder temperatures and precipitation are in the works for the eastern part of the state, but guess what? We are in the north. Santa Fe has a 15 percent chance of seeing some of that moisture and will see a high of 72 degrees today. That's actually the perfect temperature but, still, a little rain would be nice.

Thanks for reading! Generally speaking, the Word wouldn't think hanging out in a cave with 300,000 to 400,000 Mexican free-tailed bats sounds like a great idea, but this New Mexico Magazine article, "The Misunderstood Lives of Bats," almost changed her mind … OK, not really: We are never seeking out that many bats, but it's a great read on the importance of the bats in Carlsbad Caverns, and the existential threats they are facing.