Morning Word

SFPD Arrests Teen Suspect in August Homicide

San Juan Generating Station shuts down

SFPD arrests teen murder suspect

Santa Fe Police yesterday arrested and charged 16-year-old Judah Elijah Trujillo with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the death of Samuel Cordero, 60, who died at Ragle Park on Aug. 10 from a gunshot wound to his head. Santa Fe Police Captain Aaron Ortiz tells SFR Trujillo was identified after police conducted a wide search of GPS data near the park during the wee hours of Aug. 10 and found Cordero and the suspect “were the only ones that were in park at that time.” Investigators learned Cordero had left his job at a nearby senior care center just after 2 am; a man walking his dog in the park found Cordero’s body face down on the ground under a pavilion approximately two hours later.  Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies confirmed to SFR her office assisted police with executing a search warrant to obtain the GPS data police say they used to find Trujillo, but she says the case has not been fully turned over to her office. Ortiz says police have some “theories” about motive, but would not discuss specifics. Police apprehended Trujillo at an apartment in the area of Rufina Street and Richards Avenue “without incident,” SFPD says, and transported and booked him into the San Juan County Juvenile Services Center. The case remains under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Rebecca Hilderbrandt at (505) 955-5265.

San Juan Generating Station shuts down

Yesterday marked the final day of operations at the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station outside of Farmington, which has supplied electricity to PNM and other utilities for half a century. The closure comes as a key piece of the state’s transition to renewable energy sources under the Energy Transition Act; PNM kept the final unit online until this week to avoid blackouts this summer. The Albuquerque Journal reports the plant, which had nearly 300 employees five years ago, will have just 60 by the end of this week, who will also leave once the plant is fully shuttered. New Mexico Political Report spoke to one of those employees, Allen Palmer, as he watched the final unit shut down. “I’ve been out here for 43 years and now I can’t believe it’s all going away,” said Palmer, who is preparing to retire. Last week, the Public Regulation Commission held a special meeting with PNM and other utility officials to discuss filling the gap left by the closure and avoiding blackouts in peak seasons over the next two years. Earlier this month, the Farmington Times reported the City of Farmington’s intention to take control of the plant, asserting rights to do so—rights PNM disputes. Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett and Farmington Electric Utility System Director Hank Adair discussed all things energy on a recent episode of Duckett’s program, The Mayor’s Table.

Survey: Legislature should stay out of redistricting

A newly released survey of New Mexico residents regarding the recent redistricting process shows strong support for an independent process. “One of the biggest takeaways was that 77% of respondents support creation of an independent New Mexico redistricting commission that would directly, without the Legislature’s involvement, draw the lines of legislative and congressional maps,” University of New Mexico Political Science Professor Gabriel Sanchez, who led different aspects of the report’s research with David Cottrell, said in a statement. Fair Districts for New Mexico and New Mexico First will host Sanchez, who is also the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Chair in health policy and executive director at the UNM Center for Social Policy, at a virtual meeting 9 am, Tuesday, Oct. 4 to present and discuss the report’s findings. The survey, conducted by Redistricting Partners and funded by the Arnold Foundation, focused on the Citizens Redistricting Committee, the maps it provided to the Legislature and the process the state House and Senate then applied to those maps. Among those surveyed, 51% thought the CRC had done a “good” or “great” job with public engagement, while 57% thought the Legislature had done a “poor” or “terrible” job.

COVID-19 by the numbers

Reported Sept. 28New cases: 300; 618,126 total cases; Deaths: ZERO; Santa Fe County has had 351 total deaths; there have been 8,563 fatalities statewide. Statewide hospitalizations: 101. Patients on ventilators: eight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent “community levels” map, which updates on Thursdays, all of New Mexico is currently “green,” and has low case and hospitalization rates.

Resources: CDC interactive booster eligibility tool; NM DOH vaccine & booster registration; CDC isolation and exposure interactive tool; Self-report a positive COVID-19 test result; Curative testing sites; COVID-19 treatment info. People seeking treatment who do not have a medical provider can call NMDOH’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-855-600-3453.

You can read all of SFR’s COVID-19 coverage here.

Listen up

At 8 am this morning, KUNM’s Let’s Talk New Mexico program delves into addiction and the discrimination it can engender in medical settings. Guests include: Dr. Leslie Hayes, a general practitioner in Las Vegas, New Mexico; Dr. Snehal Bhatt, attending addiction psychiatrist (and medical director) at Addiction and Substance Abuse Program and the University of New Mexico’s Truman Health Services; and Catherine, who is in treatment for substance use disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety. Call in or email your comments to (505) 277-5866 or Listen online or at 89.9 FM.

Portraits of America

The Guardian newspaper presents an online gallery of photographs by fine art photographer Rashod Taylor, whose work “explores what it means to be Black in the US—from the worries for his young son to the myth of the American dream.” Obscura Gallery in Santa Fe is currently hosting a solo exhibition of Taylor’s work, which includes his two series: Little Black Boy, about his son LJ, and My America (through Nov. 20). As described by the gallery, “through ‘wet’ darkroom printing methods including the 19th Century wet-plate collodion process, as well as the enlarging process on traditional gelatin silver paper, the artist uses portraiture to express themes of family, culture, legacy, and the black experience.” The wet-plate collodion process, Taylor says, “dates back to the decade just before the start and end of the Civil War. I use this process to connect the past to the present, and to explore the atrocities of slavery, Jim Crow and the institutional and systematic racism that remains so tightly woven into the fabric of American society.” Watch an interview between Obscura Gallery owner and director Jennifer Schlesinger and Taylor here.

The travel logs

Austin Monthly points its residents toward a direct flight to New Mexico, with a rundown of recommendations for enjoying a long fall weekend in Albuquerque and/or Santa Fe. Tips include the expected: the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Oct. 1-9); chowing down at Sawmill Market; and having some sort of lavender experience at Los Poblanos. In Santa Fe, the magazine endorses Meow Wolf, the Santa Fe Farmers Market and the Día de Muertos festival (Oct. 28-29) on the Plaza. Learn more about the latter event—the inaugural such celebration on the Plaza—here, along with info on more Day of the Dead events happening later in October in Santa Fe (including Sugar Skull! A Día de los Muertos Musical Adventure at the Lensic Performing Arts Center on Oct. 13). For a less October-centric travel story, Travel & Leisure magazine delves into the history and significance of the Old Spanish Trail, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. The 2,700-mile trail connecting Santa Fe to Los Angeles has a long and complicated, albeit interesting, story. And while you can’t walk the original trail today, T&L does provide ideas for visiting key spots along the way, including the Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts in Santa Fe at the trail’s starting location.

Clear and breezy

The National Weather Service forecasts a mostly sunny day with a high near 76 degrees and east wind 5 to 15 mph becoming west in the afternoon.

Thanks for reading! The Word enjoyed watching Lizzo play James Madison’s flute.

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