1. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham says PARCC testing is coming to an end after signing two executive orders and announcing a replacement could be coming soon. Lujan Grisham says this will move the state away from so-called “high stakes testing” and direct the state to find a replacement for PARCC. The test caused one of New Mexico’s biggest student protests, across dozens of school campuses. Some teachers say PARCC test results were too heavily used in judging classroom efforts. The governor says students can still expect some components of PARCC this year. Some form of standardized testing is required by federal law and New Mexico will need to get clearance from the feds to replace PARCC.
2. The suspect who took Jal police on a high-speed chase still remains at large. An intense video shows a Jal police officer, firing his weapon during the chase along highway 128 on Christmas Eve. What that video didn’t show was moments earlier when the suspected truck thief, Angel Rodriguez, stopped and threw the truck into reverse, chasing the police officer driving backward for about 20 seconds before ramming the patrol car. Jal Police say the officer feared for his life and fired shots through the windshield. After the crash, Rodriguez drove off and got away.
3. A mostly quiet day to finish the work week with Friday featuring sunshine, dry conditions and slightly warmer temperatures. Afternoon highs will climb close to average in the Eastern Plains.
Full story: Kristen’s Friday Morning Forecast
4. You can help donate to the fund of a New Mexico mother fighting leukemia. As of Friday morning, people have already donated more than $9,800 to the family of first responders. Five years ago, Nicole Smith first learned she had leukemia. She was in remission for years, but now her cancer is back. Smith was an ER nurse for 15 years and her husband, Kenneth, is a police officer in Farmington. After losing both a job and health insurance this year, the Smiths needed help.
5. The road to Sandia Peak Ski Area could be drivable by Friday evening. Recently, the ski area was forced to delay it’s opening due to a lack of snow but after some significant recent snowfall, officials say they needed to get the road plowed and safe for drivers. The Department of Transportation says they’re working on clearing the road.