Thursday’s Top Stories

Thursday’s Five Facts

[1] New Mexico likely seeing downturn in omicron COVID cases The state’s peak of COVID cases could still be days away. Dr. David Scrase says more than 20% of New Mexicans now have had COVID with the state’s weekly average setting a record this week. If we do hit a peak in the next few days as the modeling team believes, we should see the case counts slowly trending downward. Hospitalizations should follow. COVID is now the third leading cause of death in New Mexico after heart disease and cancer.

[2] ‘Second chance’ bill introduced for juvenile offenders There’s a push in the legislature to pass a bill that would give juvenile violent offenders a second chance. Senate Bill 43 would change the way parole works for kids or teens facing life in prison. Typically, someone sentenced to life in prison could get a chance at parole after 30 years. This bill would cut that down to 15. They want to give young offenders a chance to turn their lives around for the better. According to the ACLU, there are currently 75 people in New Mexico serving sentences longer than 15 for crimes committed while underage. The organization also says they are advocating for the bill to be passed but want to remind people that it’s not a get out of jail free card. Some families of victims are not in favor of the bill which will head to the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee.

[3] Thursday morning freezing fog, and another winter storm tonight This morning is very cold across the state, thanks to the cold front that moved through Tuesday night. Temperatures are starting in the teens and 20s. Southeast New Mexico is seeing dense fog and freezing fog, and a freezing fog advisory is in effect until 9 a.m. for Chaves, Eddy, and Lea counties until 9 a.m. Freezing fog can cause black ice to develop on roads and sidewalks. Fog and low clouds will clear by mid-late morning.

[4] Some Rio Rancho schools switch to remote learning amid staffing shortage Several Rio Rancho Public Schools students will be back to online learning on Friday and staff shortages are to blame. Rio Rancho and Cleveland High Schools, as well as Puesta Del Sol Elementary and Shining Stars Preschool, are going virtual. Officials say the problem is a shortage of COVID-19 tests and long turnaround times once employees can get tests. The superintendent says she hopes to see more tests from the state soon.

[5] VIDEO: Injured hiker rescued from Ladrones Mountains A wounded hiker is alive and well after she was rescued by helicopter. The woman got stranded Saturday afternoon while hiking in the Ldadrones Mountains northwest of Socorro. A Socorro County deputy and a paramedic reached her on foot and cared for her until a State Police helicopter arrived. The team from New Mexico search and rescue hoisted the woman to safety in bone-chilling temperatures at 9,100 feet. State Police Chief Tim Johnson says they saved the hiker’s life.