Report: SFPD evidence room a mess
An independent review of the Santa Fe Police Department's evidence room says, among other problems, it is understaffed, disorganized and its employees are undertrained ($TNM). The report, released Friday, includes photographs of boxes of mixed-up case items; boxes with guns and pills overdue for destruction; and other items in un-secure areas. The independent review was ordered after SFPD lost evidence in the 2017 murder case of Selena Valencia. In a statement, SFPD laid out the actions it plans to take to improve the evidence room, after which department leaders plan to have the independent reviewer—SCS Northwest Consulting Services LLC owner Steve Campbell—return to assess the department's compliance with the International Association of Property and Evidence Standards.
Lobo arrested and booted from team
University of New Mexico basketball player Carlton Bragg, a forward for the Lobos, was arrested early yesterday morning and charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated and possession of under one ounce of marijuana. According to The Albuquerque Journal, an Albuquerque Police Department report says Bragg was arrested at 1:35 am at a sobriety checkpoint near Broadway Boulevard and Coal Avenue. Bragg played a winning game Saturday night over Air Force after a three-game suspension that followed allegations from a 20-year-old woman that Bragg tried to have sex with her against her will. UNM has not commented on Bragg's reinstatement; he has not been charged in that case. Regarding Bragg's arrest yesterday, last night Lobos head coach Paul Weir told the Journal that Bragg has been removed from the team
Santa Fe lawyer appointed as new judge
Santa Fe lawyer Shannon Broderick Bulman has been appointed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to fill a judicial vacancy in the First Judicial District serving Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties. Bulman will replace Raymond Z. Ortiz, who retired at the end of last year ($TNM). Bulman, a 1989 graduate of the University of New Mexico College of Law, has served as domestic relations hearing officer in the First Judicial District since 2017. She was a Santa Fe County probate judge, a part-time elected position, from 2015 to 2017, while also continuing her private legal practice. While Ortiz' tenure in Division III focused on civil cases, Bulman's docket will be primarily family court cases. Following her appointment, Bulman will have to run in a partisan election in November and then garner at least 57% of the vote in retention races thereafter.
Congenital syphilis on the rise
On Friday, the New Mexico Department of Health issued a public health order that requires increased syphilis screenings for pregnant women to prevent congenital syphilis, which occurs when a mother passes sexually transmitted syphilis to her baby during pregnancy. According to a Centers for Disease Control report issued last October, New Mexico had the eighth highest rate of congenital syphilis cases in the US with 10 cases reported to NMDOH at the time, two of which ended in death. As of Dec. 30, the number had risen to 23 cases. (New Mexico also ranks in the top 10 for other types of syphilis, as well as gonorrhea and chlamydia, in case this news brief is not depressing enough). "Congenital syphilis is preventable with screening and treatment of pregnant women found to have syphilis," NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel said in a press release. "This order will assure medical practitioners, with patient consent, will make testing for syphilis part of the standard pre-natal care provided to their patients."
Listen to hoop dancing
Modern Native American hoop dancing was born in New Mexico, and the state has produced some of the best dancers in the world. In the most recent edition of SFR's podcast "Reported," host Katherine Lewin talks to tribal members who are continuing to grow the ancient healing tradition right here in Northern New Mexico. While you're listening, take note: During the month of January, if you review the "Reported" podcast, you can snag one of SFR's coveted T-shirts. Details in the podcast!
Last Wednesday's SFR featured a cover story package by student journalists from the New Mexico Fund for Public Interest Journalism, SFR's sister nonprofit. In "State of the Art," interns Maya Aronson, Franco Romero, Tintawi Kaigziabiher and Tristan Van Cleave profiled curators from SITE Santa Fe, Vital Spaces, the Museum of International Folk Art and form & concept gallery, discovering the ways in which activism and artistic vision guide their work. The Journo Fund's six-week training program provides students on-the-job experience, publication and a stipend for their work, and will open for a new round of interns in the spring. The Journo Fund also benefits from SFR's Annual Photo Contest, underway now through the end of the month. Get details about entering the contest here.
The Force Is With Our People, an exhibit at the Museum of Northern Arizona examining the influence Star Wars has had on Native artists, includes works by numerous Native artists from New Mexico, such as Jason Garcia and Susan Folwell of Santa Clara Pueblo, as well as Mike Toya of Jemez Pueblo. Forbes Magazine writes this week about the exhibit, which was inspired by the 2014 Diné translation of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, as well as the first Indigenous Comic Con in Albuquerque in 2016. "…Many of the artists I met at that first con are represented in this exhibit and these artists' work inspired me to search for more Native artists who have been influenced by the Star Wars cultural phenomenon," said Anthropology Collections Manager Anthony Thibodeau, who spearheaded the show. The exhibit is on display through March, 2020.
New Mexico United’s Jersey Approach
Chances are you've seen—or own—a New Mexico United "Jersey of Eternal Return"— a black jersey emblazoned with the Meow Wolf logo that has become increasingly ubiquitous among fans and people who wear shirts. However, a recent Front Office Sports article reveals that New Mexico United actually has taken a unique approach to jersey sponsorships and has both a home sponsor (Meow Wolf) and an away sponsor: New York-based finance company KraneShares. Team owner and President Peter Trevisani—also an early Meow Wolf investor—says the new approach was intended to create more value. "When you're going out to an audience, that audience changes in different stadiums," Trevisani said. "Why only have one sponsor?"
Weather the week
Things are looking up, folks. Well, temperatures are looking up, at least for the next few days. Today will be mostly cloudy but will gradually become sunny with a high near 44 degrees. The wind persists: southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Temps will continue to rise with sunny days Tuesday and a high of 50 degrees on Wednesday. If that seems weird for winter, don't worry. Forecasts call for the week to end with rain and snow showers on Thursday and Friday
Thanks for reading! One of The Word's New Year's resolutions was to find a new hobby, but so far all she's doing in her spare time is reading about burned koala bears and weeping.