List of missing Native people grows
The FBI reported yesterday it has added 19 names and removed 10 from a list it unveiled July 25 of Native Americans missing in New Mexico and the Navajo Nation. A total of 186 people are now on the list, according to a news release. “This list exceeded our expectations,” Albuquerque FBI Division Special Agent in Charge Raul Bujanda said in a news release. “Besides appearing to be accurate for the state of New Mexico and the Navajo Nation, the list has galvanized local and tribal law enforcement agencies to update their files on missing Indigenous people. That’s good news for the families who are seeking answers. The public also has reached out to us and our partners to share information.” Compiling the initial list took almost six months of work combining and validating different databases of missing Indigenous people in New Mexico and the reservation that crosses into Arizona and Utah. The FBI plans to update the names monthly and vows to renew investigations. Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, said in a statement his office will treat each case with “urgency, transparency, and coordination.” If an Indigenous family member who is missing is not included in the list, relatives are urged to contact local or tribal law enforcement agencies and request a federal missing persons report. For further assistance, family members or local law enforcement can contact the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office or the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
Park shooting death short on details
Information about the investigation into a man found dead of an apparent gunshot wound in a Santa Fe park remained sparse a day after the discovery. People who live near Ragle Park say they’re rattled about the crime, but not all are surprised. Carlos Napoli, who says he visits the park every day, tells SFR he notices suspicious activity occurring regularly during the evenings. “There’s all types of things happening here all the time,” Napoli says. Santa Fe Police haven’t yet made their initial report public, but the mother of 60-year-old Samuel Cordero says she knew something was wrong after he failed to return to their shared Pojoaque home after work early Wednesday morning and a stranger found his cell phone along Rodeo Road. Police had found Cordero’s body just before 5 am. Ragle Park is located about 2 miles from the MorningStar Assisted Living and Memory Care of Santa Fe, where Cordero worked as a medical technician. Cordero left work around 2 am Wednesday. When he hadn’t returned to his home in Pojoaque by 8:30 am, his mother, Yvonne Harvey, with whom he lived, tells SFR she began calling his phone.
State steps in to hang veterans banners
Banners for veterans will fly again in Santa Fe. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced yesterday the state is re-establishing the Santa Fe “Hometown Heroes” banner program and will install banners on St. Francis Drive, which it owns and oversees. Yesterday, Lujan Grisham previewed the first of 131 banners forthcoming with one that honors 101-year-old Army veteran Stella Lavadie. According to a news release, Lavadie, one of 150,000 women who enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II, worked at several different bases around the country and is a lifetime member of VFW Post 2951 in Santa Fe. “New Mexico is deeply proud to be home to over 135,000 veterans,” the governor said in a statement. “Every one of them has a story to tell, and every one of them deserves to be honored. I’m grateful to be part of bringing this beloved local program back to Santa Fe and continuing to honor the city’s Hometown Heroes for their sacrifices, their courage and their commitment to defending our country.” The state stepped in to resurrect Santa Fe’s banner program after the city suspended it in June citing safety concerns about the suitability of hanging the banners on poles on Cerrillos Road. The city has since been discussing potential new locations for the banners and the City Council had been scheduled to vote on a new location on Wednesday, but postponed that vote. Last night, following the state announcement, the city announced it had “identified a solution that will allow the Hometown Heroes banner program to be safely reinstated and the banners to be hung in several locations throughout the City of Santa Fe this year” and would hold a special meeting at 4 pm, Monday, Aug. 15 to vote on an amended resolution to do so through Nov. 11. “Thanks to the hard work of our City team and the cooperation of the American Legion and our community of veterans, we have an outcome that will allow us to put up the banners honoring our heroes in a safe way,” Mayor Alan Webber said in a statement.
COVID-19 by the numbers
New cases: 855; 600,612 total cases
Deaths: four; Santa Fe County has had 333 total deaths; there have been 8,307 fatalities statewide. Statewide hospitalizations: 152. Patients on ventilators: eight
Case rates: According to the state health department’s most recent report on geographical trends for the seven-day period of Aug. 1-7, Roosevelt County had the highest daily case rate per 100,000 population: 73.9, followed by Quay County at 61.3 and McKinley County at 57.9; Santa Fe County’s case rate continues to decline and was at 34, a decrease from 42.2 the prior week. The state recorded 5,274 total cases statewide—based on reported cases—over the seven-day period, an approximate 16% decrease from the previous week.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent update for COVID-19 “community levels”—which updates each Thursday for the prior seven-day period using a framework that combines case rates with hospital metrics—five more counties now have green or low levels compared to the week prior (a total of 12). On the other hand, 11 New Mexico counties now have “red” or high levels—three more than last week. Santa Fe County remains “yellow” or medium. The community levels site has accompanying recommendations at the bottom of the page. The CDC also provides a quarantine and isolation calculator.
Resources: Vaccine registration; Booster registration Free at-home rapid antigen tests; Self-report a positive COVID-19 test result to the health department; COVID-19 treatment info: oral treatments Paxlovid (age 12+) and Molnupiravir (age 18+); and monoclonal antibody treatments. Toolkit for immunocompromised individuals. People seeking treatment who do not have a medical provider can call NMDOH’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-855-600-3453. Vaccines for children: Parents of children ages 6 months to 5 years can now schedule appointments for vaccinations at VaccineNM.org.
You can read all of SFR’s COVID-19 coverage here.
Ivan Deutsch has been working at the University of New Mexico for more than 25 years in the Physics and Astronomy Department and is the director of the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Quantum Information and Control. In other words, he’s the perfect person to discuss “physics, the second quantum revolution and the establishment of New Mexico as a quantum state.” He talks with Taos Center for the Arts Executive Director Chelsea Reidy on the most recent episode of the center’s excellent podcast, Where We Meet: Conversations from New Mexico and Beyond.
Reclaiming Navajo mysteries
“Rita Todacheene is a forensic photographer working for the Albuquerque police force. Her excellent photography skills have cracked many cases—she is almost supernaturally good at capturing details. In fact, Rita has been hiding a secret: she sees the ghosts of crime victims who point her toward the clues that other investigators overlook.” So begins the description for Ramona Emerson’s newly published first novel, Shutter, included in the New York Times’ recent roundup of new crime fiction and receiving excellent reviews from Kirkus, among others. Rita’s skills drove her from the Navajo reservation, isolated her from others and now may put her in danger as the ghost of a victim insists she was murdered and “Rita finds herself in the crosshairs of one of Albuquerque’s most dangerous cartels.” Emerson (Diné) lives in Albuquerque and has an MFA in creative writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is also an Emmy nominee and Sundance Native Lab Fellow. Originally from Tohatchi, New Mexico, Emerson tells Book Trib she wrote the book in part to reclaim Navajo stories: “There are no Navajo women writing this kind of fiction, period,” she says. “I grew up reading Stephen King because that is what I had access to, but I always wished I could hear about anything from a Navajo perspective. There were early Navajo anthropological films and media created by missionaries and of course bad westerns. For me it was all bad news. But the biggest slap in the face continues to be the fact that people get Navajo stories from a white man. Tony Hillerman was the go-to person for Navajo literature for years and it angered me to no end. Shutter came from that rage. I wanted to take our stories back from him.”
Book it to the Southside Library
Happy 15th birthday, Southside Library (6599 Jaguar Drive). We have grown immeasurably fond of your kind and helpful librarians; excellent selection; dangerously affordable bookshop; and, this summer, your air conditioning (and your Wifi the day Xfinity crashed). The city celebrates the library from 11 am to 3 pm tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 13) with local nonprofits; live music; arts and crafts projects; performances and food trucks. Specifically, City of Santa Fe Poet Laureate Darryl Lorenzo Wellington will run poetry workshops; SITE Santa Fe, Georgia O’Keeffe and the Museum of International Folk Art will host arts and crafts activities; Nohe & Sus Santos will perform at 1 pm; and that’s not even the half of it. The all-ages event is free. “Public libraries provide a wealth of resources and activities for all, and our Santa Fe libraries are the heart of the community,” Community Services Director Maria Sanchez-Tucker said in a statement. “We are thrilled to invite you to celebrate with us at the beautiful Southside Library as we mark the anniversary of this important community resource!”
Working for the weekend
The National Weather Service forecasts isolated showers and thunderstorms have a 30% chance after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. East wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Expect the same sort of weather on Saturday, with a slight increase Sunday to a 30% chance of rain after noon. High temps will still in the low 80s through the weekend—or so they say!
Thanks for reading! Whatever else she does this weekend, The Word will definitely clear space to read Serena Williams’ essay on deciding to retire from tennis.