COVID-19 by the numbers
New Mexico health officials yesterday reported 83 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number to 205,996; the health department has designated 195,187 of those cases as recovered. Bernalillo County had 27 cases, followed by Santa Fe County with 14 and Sandoval County with 10. Santa Fe County’s cases included seven from the 87505 ZIP code and four from 87507, the second and fourth highest number of new cases in specific ZIP codes statewide.
The state also announced one additional death: a female in her 40s from Guadalupe County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions; there have now been 4,347 fatalities. As of yesterday, 70 people were hospitalized with COVID-19.
Currently, 71.2% New Mexicans 16 years and older have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine and 62.9% are fully vaccinated. In Santa Fe County, 81.2% have had at least one dose and 72.4% have been fully vaccinated. McKinley County has reached 100% of its residents 16 years and older who have had at least one shot.
Two weeks, four police shootings
Details remain scant on yesterday’s police shooting near Tesuque by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department—the fourth such shooting in the last two weeks. New Mexico State Police, which is leading the investigations for all the shootings, reported the incident at 10 am yesterday via Twitter but has yet to provide more detail. The Albuquerque Journal, however, reports sheriff’s deputies were initially dispatched to a reported stabbing at 1 Entrada Capulin. The shooting left one person dead—the third such fatal shooting—while no deputies were injured, according to State Police officer Dusty Francisco, who told SFR and other media that more details will be released when available. That didn’t happen yesterday after the shooting, which reportedly kept Bishop’s Lodge Road closed most of the day. State Police have also yet to release the names of Santa Fe deputies who shot and killed a man June 23 after a vehicle pursuit on Siler Road, even though SFR has learned State Police investigators interviewed the deputies present at that shooting scene, including the one who fired shots, earlier this week. Typically, the agency releases the names of police officers who shoot people after they’ve been interviewed in those investigations.
Illegal fireworks abound
Santa Fe Police received 131 calls about illegal fireworks for the July 4 holiday, after the City Council passed a resolution banning personal fireworks, and the city encouraged residents to report such illegal fireworks. Citations issued? That would be zero, for the third year in a row. Santa Fe County also banned fireworks; according to a Santa Fe County spokeswoman, the Santa Fe Regional Emergency Communications Center received 181 fireworks complaints, with Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Juan Ríos telling the Santa Fe New Mexican that deputies responded to about 48 calls, and also did not issue citations because they would need to actually catch someone in the act of lighting one in order to do so. The fireworks bans, naturally, are intended to reduce the risk of fire. A city spokesman says the Santa Fe Fire Department did respond to one small brush fire, which they extinguished. Meanwhile, up in the Santa Fe National Forest, officials said the July 4 weekend was quieter than usual, with only one abandoned campsite and overall good etiquette: “Safety is always our first priority, and we want to thank all of our visitors who made sure that this Fourth of July was celebrated safely on the national forest,” Forest Supervisor Debbie Cress said in a statement.
GOP state rep announces gubernatorial bid
As anticipated, state Rep. Rebecca Dow, R-Truth or Consequences, unveiled her gubernatorial campaign yesterday in a video that opens with Dow riding a horse through T or C, and talking about her upbringing. “My love for New Mexico runs deep,” she says. Dow then pivots to “hard truths” about the state, such as its high rate of unemployment and poor rankings for education and child well being. “These are the consequences of bad government,” she notes (Dow has held her seat since 2017). By government, she means Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, of course, and Dow is the fifth Republican who hopes to take the governor on in the 2022 race. “What has her radical agenda done for the people of New Mexico?” Dow asks in the ad. “Absolutely nothing.” The video also features Dow handling both a gun and a baby, presumably to signify her known support for gun rights and lack of support for reproductive rights (respectively). The Democratic Party of New Mexico quickly took aim at Dow, releasing a statement that she is “dangerous” for the state: “Rebecca Dow has made it clear that she’s a far-right extremist who will side with GOP leaders even when it means threatening our democracy,” DPNM Chairwoman Jessica Velasquez said in a statement. “Her policies would be devastating for our health care, economy, and the well being of all New Mexicans.”
KUNM’s Let’s Talk New Mexico program wants to hear from employers and workers on its 8 am show today as it tackles the thorny topic of the state’s employee shortage. Some businesses say they are shortening their hours due to lack of staff; others have lashed out at the government, while the state of New Mexico recently unveiled an incentive program to encourage unemployed New Mexicans to return to work. Weigh in with your thoughts by emailing LetsTalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show (505-277-5866) on 89.9 FM.
Sounds of summer
AMP Concert’s outdoor live music series kick off this week, with the summer’s first free Santa Fe Plaza concert at 6 pm tonight with Manzanares. Feel free to bring a chair, but leave the booze at home (there will be water stations on site if you want to bring a water bottle). Then on Friday, the free Railyard Concert series launches with reggae star Jesse Royal (show up at 6:30 pm for some pre-show Yoga with Emily Branden and Boomroots Acoustic). Bring chairs and a water bottle to the Railyard show too, but there will also be plenty of options for food and drink via Second Street Brewery, Violet Crown and food trucks. If you want to make a weekend of it, return to the Railyard on Saturday night, and this time bring your dog, for Dog Movie Night and a screening of Lady and the Tramp.
Class of COVID-19
The New York Times profiles several drama students who graduated from University of North Carolina School of the Arts amid the COVID-19 pandemic only to see the expected challenges of embarking into a life in the arts magnified as theaters went dark across the country. Santa Fean Jasper Keen was one of them. He returned home and “his first job, as a host at a teahouse, wasn’t great—there were a few too many altercations with customers about masks. Then, after an unsuccessful battle with the state over unemployment, an immersion in photography and a job at a mezcal bar, he got a lucky break.” One of the five New Mexico talent agents Keen contacted accepted him as a client and he was then cast in a web series and a radio play at the Santa Fe Playhouse and a video by Meow Wolf. From there, he was cast in a small role in the Netflix film “End of the Road,” starring Queen Latifah and shot in New Mexico.
A place in the sun
Today should be mostly sunny with a high near 87 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, with a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. The likelihood of rain remain slim for the next few days.
Support local journalism (and the daily creators of Morning Word) with a gift to Friends of the Reporter. We’re here for you. Can you help? Spread the Word! Forward this newsletter and subscribe to our other ones at sfreportercom/signup.