COVID-19 by the numbers
New Mexico health officials on Friday reported 244 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to 208,487. The health department has designated 196,442 of those cases as recovered. Bernalillo County had 93 new cases, followed by Eddy County with 18 and Sandoval County with 15. Santa Fe County had 13 new cases.
The state also announced three additional deaths, one of them recent, bringing the total number of fatalities to 4,397. As of Friday, 106 people were hospitalized with COVID-19. DOH is expected to report a three-day update on COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths this afternoon.
Currently, 72.3% New Mexicans 18 years and older have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 64.3% in that age group fully vaccinated. Among those 12-17 years old, 46.1% have had at least one dose and 36.9% are fully vaccinated. In Santa Fe County, 82.5% are partially vaccinated and 73.9% are fully vaccinated. You can register for a vaccine here and view available vaccine events by area here.
You can read all of SFR’s COVID-19 coverage here.
State police release cops’ names in shooting
New Mexico State Police on Friday identified the two state police officers who shot a man in Santa Fe on July 4, one of four police shootings in the area within a two-week period. According to a news release, officers Alfredo Moya and Luis Mendez were dispatched to assist the Santa Fe Police Department that day with a man sitting on the Rail Runner tracks near Interstate 25 milepost 275. The suspect, later identified as Jaime Bravo, 40, of Santa Fe, “brandished a firearm at the SFPD officers and fled from them,” sparking a foot pursuit that crossed I-25 and continued into a residential area. Moya and Mendez located Bravo near Calle Prado and Chaparral, where another foot pursuit began, during which “Bravo turned towards the officers several times and fired multiple shots at them.” Then, “out of fear for their lives,” the news release says, “both Officer Moya and Mendez discharged their duty weapons towards Bravo,” who then received medical aid at the scene and was taken to the hospital. Once discharged from the hospital, Bravo was booked into the Santa Fe County Detention Center and charged with three counts of aggravated assault on a police officer; two counts of resisting and evading a police officer; and felon in possession of a firearm. Both Moya and Mendez have eight years of police force experience and were placed on administrative leave following the shooting.
PNM: Shutoffs could start next month for unpaid bills
Public Service Company of New Mexico says it could start shutting off power for thousands of customers next month when its pandemic-related moratorium on payments ends. “Disconnecting customers due to non-payment is not something PNM wants to do,” PNM Collection Manager Eric Morgan said in a news statement, adding that the company could start disconnecting as many as 500 to 600 customers per business day as early as Aug. 12. “Which is why it’s crucial customers contact us immediately,” he added. The company says 47,000 households have past-due bills with $21 million worth of unpaid electricity. The company does have a variety of assistance programs, which can be found here.
Santa Fe names new poet laureate
ICYMI, the City of Santa Fe last week named its sixth poet laureate: Darryl Lorenzo Wellington. Wellington’s poetry chapbook Life’s Prisoners received the 2017 Turtle Island Quarterly Chapbook Award, and his poetry, book reviews and essays have appeared in Dissent, The Nation, The Progressive, The Washington Post, The Crisis (NAACP’s magazine), the Christian Science Monitor, The Progressive, The Common Review, Boston Review, ABZ Magazine, Drum Voices and The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education N+1. Since 2016, Wellington has been a writing/communications fellow with the Center for Community Change, a Washington DC-based organization that supports low-income people of color. Wellington also is a regular contributor to the Santa Fe Reporter; his most recent essay from earlier this month discusses Juneteenth’s significance.
On the most recent episode of the Santa Fe Art Institute’s monthly Tilt podcast, “Putting Down Roots (part 1),” hosts Toni Gentilli, Nuttaphol Ma and Kourtney Andar talk with artists and creators about how people from outside New Mexico can respectfully connect to and care for the land and the people who have made their homes here for generations, tackling the question of how “other racial and ethnic groups not included in the mythical tri-cultural narrative of New Mexico foster a sense of belonging and rootedness.” Guests include: Albuquerque Academy student Naima Pyarali, writer Mya Green, artist Sonja Larson and artists and Vital Spaces member Oriana Lee.
On her marks
A variety of New Mexico athletes are competing in this year’s Tokyo Olympics, but Santa Fe will be rooting particularly loudly for marathon runner Aliphine Tuliamuk on Aug. 6, when she participates just seven months after giving birth to her daughter (who will attend after Tuliamuk and other athletes successfully convinced organizers to allow them to bring their children, with Tuliamuk receiving her daughter’s visa earlier this month). Runner’s World profiles Tuliamuk’s journey to this moment in a story titled, “The Trials Made Her a Marathon Champion. Motherhood Made Her Unstoppable.” As the story notes, Tuliamuk won the women’s marathon at the US Olympic Trials in February, 2020, when she was just six months post-recovery from a femoral stress fracture in her right leg. It was during her recovery from that injury that Tuliamuk began crocheting, with her competitive side taking over and the hobby becoming a side business for a while. These days, feeding and diapers fill whatever down time she has between training. But Tuliamuk’s singular focus when confronting challenges puts her in good stead for the upcoming race. Says Runner’s World: “Person to person, Tuliamuk couldn’t be sweeter, more generous, or more welcoming. And though on a racecourse, she might appear a slight 5-foot-5 as she glides along with a gentle forward lean, make no mistake: she’s a shark, poised to attack.” In other New Mexico-related Olympic news, Albuquerque skateboarder Mariah Duran missed the cut for the finals yesterday—where three teenagers from Japan won gold, silver and bronze; Duran told media the teenagers’ win is “going to change the whole game” and open the door to more skaters.
Gifts to keep giving
Fortune magazine spotlights “gifts that support Native American art and culture,” and includes Amy Yeung’s 4Kinship. Yeung (Diné), who’s from the Bisti Wilderness-Chaco Canyon area, shifted her career from fashion in Los Angeles to sustainable design in Santa Fe. “We are a small team of artists and makers around the world, including Indigenous artists from Dinétah,” 4Kinship’s website says. “We are lovers of old things, inspired by the energy of vintage textiles. We can feel the lives they’ve lived before they’ve arrived in our hands, and we seek to continue this life cycle.” In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Yeung’s company also foundedo Dził Asdzáán (Mountain Woman) Command Center, “a collective of Diné matriarchs that has provided meals, reusable masks, PPE and hand sanitizer for our relatives.” Another current project, Fortune notes, is a Diné Skate Garden in New Mexico. The magazine recommends 4Kinship’s hand-dyed surgical gown as its shopping pick.
More rain on tap
We’re looking at more scattered showers and thunderstorms today, mainly after noon, with a 50% chance for precipitation today and a 30% chance this evening. Otherwise, it will be mostly sunny with a high near 83 degrees and east wind 5 to 15 mph becoming west in the afternoon.
Thanks for reading! The Word has been trying to buy a new couch for six months with no luck because it turns out there’s an actual couch shortage (but at least there’s enough toilet paper?).