Discover more from Chile Street
A Perfect Score
New Mexico News This Week
In this week’s Chile Street:
Albuquerque ranks high in a national ‘report card’ measuring support for the LGBTQ community
Police are searching for a woman who fled the scene of a crash that killed a military veteran.
Some New Mexicans may no longer qualify for Medicaid next year
New NASA image shows a methane ‘super emitter’ in New Mexico
One holiday tradition gets a new look while a classic returns
Good morning! Today is Friday, Dec. 2. Here’s a look at the past week in New Mexico news.
ABQ Receives Perfect LGBTQ Score
Albuquerque received a perfect score on an evaluation that measures support for its LGBTQ community.
The score is issued by the Human Rights Campaign, which annually rates some 500 cities on how inclusive laws, policies, and services are of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other people who identify as LGBTQ.
“In Albuquerque, we value and celebrate our LGBTQ+ community,” Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement Thursday. “The progress in this report card reflects our commitment to creating a city where everyone feels safe and welcome. We will continue to take steps to strengthen our policies and protect Albuquerque’s LGBTQ+ community.”
The city’s score is up 14 points from 2021. The addition of an LGBTQ+ Liaison for APD was responsible for a 10 point increase in Albuquerque’s score, according to the city.
Cities tracked in the report are also rated based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement, and the city leadership’s public position on equality.
Meanwhile, neighboring Rio Rancho scored a 44 out of 100. Santa Fe and Las Cruces both scored a 73.
Police: Woman Fled Crash that Killed Marine Vet
Police are searching for a Las Vegas woman who allegedly struck and killed a man who was working on an SUV at his Albuquerque home, Ryan Lowery reported for the Las Vegas Optic.
An arrest warrant was issued Monday for 25-year-old Jennifer R. Rue. Investigators in Albuquerque allege that Rue was behind the wheel of a Chrysler PT Cruiser when she lost control and crashed into an SUV being worked on by 34-year-old Scott M. Toole. He later died at an Albuquerque hospital and police are still searching for Rue, who was already wanted on an outstanding warrant at the time of the crash.
Prosecutors in Bernalillo County charged Rue with one felony in Metropolitan Court on Monday, though the crash happened on Oct. 10, in the 900 block of Wilmoore Drive SE, just off Avenida Cesar Chavez, near the main campus of CNM in Albuquerque.
Toole, a father of two and a former U.S. Marine, was originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, according to an obituary. He won a battle with leukemia when he was just 4, and after high school he became an EMT. After serving as a Marine, he became a registered nurse and worked for an ambulance company in Albuquerque.
Read Lowery’s story here (no paywall): lasvegasoptic.com/news/crime/vegas-woman-sought-after-crash-that-killed-abq-man/article_76dbf53a-71ae-11ed-8d5b-7f907ceb1ef1.html
Why some New Mexicans may no longer qualify for Medicaid next year
Some 100,000 New Mexicans may no longer qualify for Medicaid next year as the state’s Medicaid program braces for the end of the federal Covid-19 health emergency, Matthew Narvaiz of the Albuquerque Journal reported.
Read the story here (paywall): abqjournal.com/2553451/end-of-the-line-3.html
Though NM outlawed the practice, hospitals are still suing people with low incomes
Even after New Mexico made it illegal for hospitals to send collectors after people with low incomes who owe them money or to sue patients to collect medical debt, a review of court records finds that hospitals or their collection agencies have filed more than 700 lawsuits trying to do exactly that, Austin Fisher of Source New Mexico reported.
Read the story here (no paywall): sourcenm.com/2022/12/01/though-nm-outlawed-the-practice-hospitals-are-still-suing-people-with-low-incomes-over-medical-debts/
NM high court denies Indigenous groups’ attempt to block changes to PRC
The New Mexico Supreme Court on Monday denied a challenge made on behalf of Indigenous groups that sought to block a constitutional amendment set to take effect next year, Ryan Lowery reported for Source NM.
Read the story here (no paywall): sourcenm.com/2022/11/29/nm-high-court-denies-indigenous-groups-attempt-to-block-changes-to-prc/
New NASA Camera Spots Methane ‘Super Emitter’ in New Mexico
A ground-scanning camera discovered a massive methane leak from what appears to be a gas well along the Pecos River, 10 miles southeast of Carlsbad, New Mexico. In the image, the leaking plume stretches just over two miles due north, a roil of angry reds and blues reflecting different concentrations of the incredibly potent greenhouse gas, Jerry Redfern reported for Capital and Main.
Read the story here (no paywall): capitalandmain.com/new-nasa-camera-spots-methane-super-emitter-in-new-mexico
A tiny NM-TX border town is raking in recreational cannabis profits
In New Mexico, more than 1,000 cannabis licenses have been approved nearly eight full months into adult-use cannabis sales. In Sunland Park, a town of roughly 17,000 that sits directly next to El Paso, a crop of dispensaries have popped up, Matthew Narvaiz of the ABQ Journal reported.
Read the story here (paywall): abqjournal.com/2553255/tiny-sunland-park-is-raking-in-profits-from-recreational-cannabis-sales.html
A New Tradition
For years, a tree composed from some 150 real trees stood tall in Old Town ABQ’s Plaza Don Luis. But with new owners of the Plaza comes a new tradition: a 30-foot sequoia replica tree, Griffin Rushton of KOB-TV reported.
Crews with Red Shovel Landscaping assembled the new tree Wednesday morning. The replica avoids cutting down the large number of real trees in a year where much of the state has been devastated by wildfires.
The City of Albuquerque is paying for the new tree, something city representatives said is a crucial part of tradition for Old Town and its businesses.
The tree will be lit during a ceremony Friday night during the Old Town Holiday Stroll. The event begins at 5:00 p.m.
Beloved Tradition Returns
At Chile Street, as we see it, the holiday season doesn’t officially arrive until the gigantic tumbleweed snowman along Interstate 40 makes an appearance.
Thankfully, the beloved tradition returned Tuesday, KOB reported.
The Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority has been constructing a snowman from collected tumbleweeds since 1995. Each year, the snowman appears along westbound I-40 near the University exit.
Watch or read the KOB story here (no paywall): kob.com/new-mexico/tumbleweed-snowman-moves-into-iconic-holiday-spot-along-i-40/
That’s it for now. Have a great weekend!
If you like this newsletter, please share it with a friend (or 10) and encourage them to subscribe!
Who’s responsible for Chile Street? The culprit is Ryan Lowery, a New Mexico journalist living in Albuquerque.
And be sure to follow us on Facebook.