Morning Word

SFPD Arrests Suspects in Easter Shooting

Ghost Ranch Music Festival lineup announced today

SFPD arrest suspects from Easter shooting

The Santa Fe Police Department yesterday announced the arrests of Santiago Prada, 34, of Santa Fe and Steven Sena, 32, of Albuquerque for their roles in a March 31 shooting on the 900 block of Verdinal Lane near Montano Street and Avenida Cristobal Colon. Police charged Prada with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and shooting at a dwelling or occupied building, and Sena with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and negligent use of a firearm. The charges stemmed from an incident occurring Sunday night: SFPD responded to a report of a large fight and shots fired at approximately 7:19 pm and, according to a news release, upon arrival a few minutes later, located a male victim who suffered injury from gunfire and a female victim believed to have been hit by a vehicle. At last reporting, both were in critical condition and taken to hospitals in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, respectively. Police said in addition to the shooting, a vehicle had crashed into a home on Verdinal Lane, striking a gas line, a situation quickly addressed by New Mexico Gas Company. Both Prada and Sena were booked yesterday morning into Santa Fe County Adult Detention Center, and will remain there until their initial appearances in court, neither of which have been scheduled yet, according to court records.

State Supreme Court rules against workers comp caps

The state’s limits on how long workers can receive compensation benefits after suffering mental impairment from a workplace injury are unconstitutional, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday. As detailed in a news release, the state’s law has a schedule, ranging from seven to 200 weeks, for the maximum number of weeks workers can receive benefits for accidental injuries to body parts. Some injuries don’t receive coverage under the “scheduled” system and these “non-scheduled” injuries have compensation capped at 500 to 700 weeks. In the case of mental impairments resulting from a physical impairment, the benefit period is “tied to the duration of compensation for the original physical injury.” In the case before the court, special educator teacher Ana Lilia Cardenas injured her knee while working for Aztec Municipal Schools and suffered subsequent mental impairment due to the injury. She received 150 weeks of permanent partial disability benefits for her knee injury from a Workers Compensation Administration judge and appealed the decision, saying her mental impairment needed to be treated as a separate disability. The state Supreme Court unanimously upheld a Court of Appeals decision in Cardenas’ favor, which the school district and its insurer had asked the court to review. “Both mentally disabled workers and physically disabled workers are impaired in their capacities to perform work,” the opinion written by Justice Briana H. Zamora reads. “A mental disability compensable under the Act affects workers in the same way as a compensable physical disability does by preventing them from earning a wage because of an on-the-job accident. The idea that mentally disabled workers may be entitled to recover less compensation than physically disabled workers is contrary to the purposes of the Act, which guide our equal protection analysis.”

NMED seeks $577 million in federal pollution grants

As part of a multi-state effort in the Southwest to decarbonize 1,124 miles on Interstate 40, the state environment department yesterday submitted two grant applications to the US Environment Department. The application for a “Zero40″ corridor proposes eight clean transportation fueling centers along I-40 in New Mexico, Arizona, and Oklahoma, each including “heavy-duty charging stations and mobile hydrogen re-fueling stations for long haul freight.” New Mexico’s portion would be approximately $250,000, according to a news release, and include three location sites: one in Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties; one in the greater Gallup area; and one in Tucumcari. “New Mexico’s bold vision for clean transportation connects Western states and our local communities along the new ‘Zero40′ corridor,” Environment Secretary James Kenney says in a statement. “If funded, New Mexico will build the necessary transportation infrastructure for local tourism and regional commerce while reducing carbon emissions and other air pollutants one mile at a time.” A second grant application seeks funding for two state programs: the Clean Truck Incentive Program and the Efficient and Clean Operations for Schools, aka ECO Schools, program. The first program aims to fund charging or fueling infrastructure stations under the state’s new Clean Transportation Fuels Standard, which passed last month, and to complement the Advanced Clean Truck Rules adopted last year. The ECO Schools program is geared at providing electric school buses and charging plugs for schools serving low-income students and households. The EPA is expected to announce the grant awards in October.

Odds & ends

In case you missed it, last Friday First Judicial District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer ruled against an an emergency motion filed by former Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, which had requested a new trial and release following a jury’s March 6 guilty verdict against Gutierrez-Reed for involuntary manslaughter.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff is seeking information about a Saturday night hit and run.

The City of Santa Fe Police announced a 30-day spring blitz starting tomorrow to address dangerous driving. SFPD says it will target “high crash volume areas” within the city, which includes Airport Road, Saint Francis Drive and Cerrillos Road. “Auxiliary areas of concern” include Rodeo Road, St. Michael’s Drive, NM 599, Old Pecos Trail and Bishops Lodge Road. “Officers will conduct traffic enforcement related to speed, seatbelt use, cell phone use, racing, loud mufflers, and other traffic-related offenses. The efforts will focus on the public’s safety in these areas while operating a motor vehicle, riding a bicycle, and walking near roadways,” a news release says.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the state of New Mexico this summer intends to start putting together a uranium clean-up plans.

And speaking of this summer, keep an eye on this morning in the 10ish range. We will be announcing the line-up for this summer’s Ghost Ranch Music Festival (which we will recap here tomorrow, of course).

Listen up

The School for Advanced Research offers a free online conversation at 2 pm today (register here) between SAR President Michael F. Brown and 2023 JI Staley Prize recipient Hugh Raffles about his book, The Book of Unconformities, described by the New York Review of Books as a “mesmerizing, genre-melding work of history, memoir, anthropology, travel and time travel.” Raffles, professor and Anthropology Department chair at The New School, discusses the book in this also-mesmerizing video.

Sleeping outside

Condé Nast magazine puts forth its picks for every state’s best camping spot, choosing Three Rivers Campground in Lincoln National Forest as the top choice for New Mexico. “Not only can you stargaze while beating the heat here (the sites sit at a lofty 5,000 feet), visitors can also take a .5-mile trail to marvel at one of the largest petroglyph sites in the Southwest,” the magazine notes. If the story whets your appetite for New Mexico camping, check out Elizabeth Miller’s 2022 New Mexico Magazine guide to camping in all of the state parks (we are determined to make it to one of Hyde Park’s yurts one of these days). The state, by the way, recently postponed a public hearing that was supposed to take place yesterday on proposed increases to state park fees, in order to have “additional time to review and consider over 800 public comments and feedback” and in the face of opposition from House Republicans. Finally, for those looking to stare up at the star-filled night sky without camping, travel website Matador rounds up a list of 18 Airbnbs that fulfill that specific desire, including an Earthship in El Prado with a glass-roofed greenhouse in “one of the best stargazing locations in the US.”

Indigenous art ftw

New Mexico, naturally, figures heavily in TheCollector’s list of eight spots for exploring Indigenous art in the American Southwest, with the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum of Contemporary Native Arts and Taos Pueblo all receiving props. Regarding the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the story notes that its collection of 70,000 works by Native American artists makes it “one of the largest Indigenous Art collections in the world.” Hyperallergic, meanwhile, profiles rising Native American art star Rose B. Simpson (Santa Clara Pueblo), who tells the publication she didn’t actually want to become an artist, but did so “by default.” Her original dream? “I wanted to fly airplanes and helicopters,” she says. While Simpson ultimately received an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in ceramics and an MFA in creative non-fiction from the Institute of American Indian Arts, outside school she “found profound ways of channeling her voice through artistic expression, creating work that speaks to her culture while living with what she describes as ‘postcolonial stress disorder,’” the story notes. This included collaborating with multiple artists in Albuquerque when she was an undergraduate at University of New Mexico. Working with others remains a tenet of her practice, she says. “I don’t do anything solo,” she tells Hyperallergic. “When I am doing something, I have this whole history behind me, I have all the unseen beings in the world that are moving around me.”

Warm up

Following yesterday’s spring snow, the National Weather Service forecasts a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature near 54 degrees and north wind 5 to 15 mph.

Thanks for reading! The Word dislikes rejection as much as the next person who dislikes rejection, but a rejection letter from the late Toni Morrison would be a badge of honor.

Letters to the Editor

Mail letters to PO Box 4910 Santa Fe, NM 87502 or email them to editor[at] Letters (no more than 200 words) should refer to specific articles in the Reporter. Letters will be edited for space and clarity.

We also welcome you to follow SFR on social media (on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and comment there. You can also email specific staff members from our contact page.