December 17th Morning Rush: Mayor says Albuquerque’s rape kit backlog cut by half


1. The city of Albuquerque says it’s looking to the state legislature to help clear its backlog of rape kits by 2020. So far, the city says its cleared half of it by testing nearly 3,000 kits. Last year the city had only submitted 170 of their more than 5,000 untested rape kits.  When Mayor Tim Keller took office, the Albuquerque Police Department and the Sexual Assault Evidence Response Team were required to come up with a plan to get the issue resolved. The city is now planning to ask the state for $650,000 to contract with a vendor that would reduce processing times.

Full Story: Mayor Keller: Albuquerque has cleared half its rape kit backlog

2. A new lawsuit against UNM Hospital is moving forward after an Albuquerque man claims he left the hospital with less than he walked in with. Matthew Chavez was rushed to UNMH after being hit by a car while he was on his motorcycle. Chavez says his driver’s license, insurance cards, debit card, cash and a ring from his grandfather were gone by the time he left. UNMH policy states the hospital is responsible for securing a patient’s property or immediately sending it home with the family. The hospital has not commented on the lawsuit.

Full Story: Albuquerque man sues UNMH for losing his things after crash

3. Plenty of clouds will blanket the state Monday with a few peeks of sunshine every now and then. A couple of weak disturbances rolling over the area will bring enough moisture for a cloudy sky, but not necessarily enough for meaningful or widespread showers. Rain and high mountain snow will generally favor western and central New Mexico, but coverage and intensity are expected to stay light.

Full Story: Kristen’s Monday Morning Forecast

4. One of the newest members of Albuquerque Fire Rescue is beginning her second week on the job. She’s also already proving to be a valuable asset to the team. Wheezy is an accelerant detection canine and the only one in the state. After a fire breaks out, Wheezy goes to the scene and helps firefighters determine if the fire is a crime scene.

Full Story: Albuquerque Fire Rescue adds special canine to its team 

5. A new display could soon be coming to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History after local paleontologists discovered a new species of dinosaur. Researchers say bones collected 20 years ago in southern Arizona are that of a Ceratopsid. The dinosaur is a relative of the widely-known Triceratops and is 73 million years old.

Full Story: Paleontologists in Albuquerque reveal new dinosaur discovered

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