Plea for Protection
In this week’s Chile Street:
A covid survivors' group asks state officials to reinstate public health measures
Albuquerque business owner shot and killed during robbery
Governor expands access to abortion in New Mexico
Nonprofit co-founder receives pardon
Woman who stopped to help a man says the man fired several shots at her
And much more
Good morning! Today is Friday, Sept. 2. Here’s a look at the past week in New Mexico news.
Plea for Protection
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced last week that she’d tested positive for covid-19, and now a covid survivors’ group is calling on the governor to reinstate some public health measures, Austin Fisher with Source New Mexico reported.
The New Mexico chapter of Marked by COVID wished Lujan Grisham a speedy recovery and said her infection “underscores the uncontrolled high community spread of the virus in New Mexico and the fact that no one is safe from this potentially deadly and disabling disease.”
The group wrote Lujan Grisham and acting Health Secretary Dr. David Scrase a letter calling for the return of public health measures, such as requiring face coverings which are proven to slow the spread of the virus.
Read Fisher’s story here (no paywall): sourcenm.com/2022/08/30/new-mexico-governor-and-at-least-5000-new-mexicans-have-covid/
Business Owner Killed
A well-known and beloved Albuquerque restaurant owner was shot and killed Aug. 30 during an apparent robbery.
It was just after 9 p.m. when 57-year-old Rosario Zito and the employees of Giovanni’s Pizzeria on San Pedro SE, near Kathryn, were in the parking lot. Police were notified by the ShotSpotter gun shot detection system of a shooting in the area, and an employee of Giovanni’s Pizzeria called 911 to report that his boss had been involved in a shootout. When officers arrived at the shopping center, they found Zito dead, Elise Kaplan of the Albuquerque Journal reported.
Police arrested 27-year-old Sylvan Alcachupas, a man with a lengthy criminal history who had an active warrant for his arrest and was on probation in Valencia County, Ariana Kraft and Dean Staley with KRQE-TV reported.
Alcachupas was charged in August 2020 with armed robbery for a robbery at a Speedway gas station in Valencia County. He accepted a plea agreement in the case and was placed on supervised probation without going to jail.
Earlier this month, Alcachupas was arrested at his southeast Albuquerque home by New Mexico State Police after he was found driving a stolen car with heroin in it. He was released on bond in that case.
Read Kaplan’s story here (paywall): abqjournal.com/2528643/suspect-arrested-in-fatal-shooting-robbery-of-pizzeria-owner.html
Read or watch Kraft and Staley’s story here (no paywall): krqe.com/news/crime/man-accused-of-killing-albuquerque-pizzeria-owner-has-long-criminal-history/
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order Wednesday that further expands access to reproductive health care in New Mexico. The order designates $10 million of capital outlay funds for the development of a reproductive health care clinic in Doña Ana County.
The order also directs the Department of Health to develop a detailed plan to leverage resources to expand abortion access in rural and underserved parts of the state, work to make abortion medications available in state public health clinics, and to increase access statewide.
"As more states move to restrict and prohibit access to reproductive care, New Mexico will continue to not only protect access to abortion, but to expand and strengthen reproductive health care throughout the state,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said.
Other Top Stories
Street Safe co-founder receives pardon — Cynthia “Cindy” Vigil co-found the nonprofit Street Safe New Mexico, which helps women who are living on the street. Years earlier, she was kidnapped by the man known as the Toy-Box Killer, a nightmare that she was able to escape from. Months after her escape, Vigil pleaded guilty to a drug. This week she and five others convicted of nonviolent offense received partial pardons, Elise Kaplan of the Albuquerque Journal reported.
Read Kaplan's story here (paywall): abqjournal.com/2528277/gov-michelle-lujan-grisham-pardons-six-people.html
Woman shot at while helping man — An Albuquerque woman and her son's father were shot at after they pulled over to check on a man who was yelling in the street. The shooting left some $7,000 in damages to the truck she was in, and left her traumatized, Alexa Skonieski of KRQE reported.
Read or watch Skonieski's story here (no paywall): krqe.com/news/albuquerque-metro/i-thought-i-was-dead-woman-says-she-was-shot-at-while-helping-man/
Brother of Fabian Gonzales charged with homicide — Joseph Gonzales, the brother Fabian Gonzales, was arrested for shooting and killing a man in the South Valley, KOB-TV reported.
Read or watch the KOB story here (no paywall): kob.com/new-mexico/brother-of-fabian-gonzales-idd-as-south-valley-shooting-homicide-suspect/
State senator involved in crash, cites medical episode — Senator Jacob Candelaria crashed into three parked cars near Albuquerque's Old Town in a crash he said was the result of a medical episode, Anna Padilla and Marilyn Upchurch of KRQE reported.
Watch or read the story here (no paywall): krqe.com/news/albuquerque-metro/albuquerque-state-senator-involved-in-crash-with-3-parked-cars/
Las Vegas begins to treat drinking water as city supply runs short — Components of a pre-treatment system that will allow the City of Las Vegas to treat water from a recreational lake began arriving Aug. 23. Installation will take place as soon as the entire system has arrived as the city currently has less than 30 days of usable water remaining in its reservoir, Phil Scherer of the Las Vegas Optic reported.
Read Scherer's story here (no paywall): lasvegasoptic.com/news/community/storrie-lake-pre-treatment-system-begins-arriving-in-las-vegas/article_8908a19c-2319-11ed-a1bf-fb2de60866da.html
NAACP refutes comparisons of BLM protests and Jan. 6 — Two prominent advocacy groups are supporting efforts to remove Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin from his elected position and to prevent him from running for any public office in the future due to his participation in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Both Common Cause New Mexico and the NAACP threw their support behind the push to end Griffin’s days in office by filing briefs that refute comparisons between the actions of rioters at the Capitol to Black Lives Matter demonstrators, Ryan Lowery reported for Source New Mexico.
Read Lowery's story here (no paywall): sourcenm.com/2022/08/31/naacp-refutes-comparisons-of-blm-protests-and-jan-6-calls-for-griffins-removal-from-office/
On A Lighter Note
Would you like to see your pet featured in Chile Street? Send us a photo of your furry, feathered, or scaly pet to the address this newsletters is mailed from (or reply to this email) for a chance to see them in a future issue.
This week, we take a look at Huxley, pawing at some coffee...
That’s it for now. Have a great weekend!
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Who’s responsible for Chile Street? The culprit is Ryan Lowery, a New Mexico journalist living in Albuquerque.