Wednesday’s Top Stories
- Doña Ana Co. to require COVID-19 vaccination for all new employees
- Man who pleaded guilty to killing Navajo police officer asking for sentencing delay
- Old Town businesses frustrated with trash in popular tourist area
- City buses, Sun Vans could be free beginning in July
- Downtown Italian restaurant closing its doors this weekend
- Two new trails planned for Santa Fe’s southside
- Albuquerque hospital offering $15K sign-on bonus for registered nurses
- City opens vet clinic for lower-income pet owners
- Conservation biologists hoping to reintroduce jaguars back into New Mexico
Wednesday’s Five Facts
 Taos couple accused of sexually, physically abusing adopted children A former kindergarten teacher in Taos and his wife are accused of abusing two of their adopted children. The kids claim it went on for years with allegations of being starved to even being used to use the bathroom in a jar. According to court documents, the investigation into Cory and Stephanie Valdez began on Christmas Day last year when one of the children ran into a neighbor’s house claiming he was tired of standing in the cold wearing nothing but a trash bag. Authorities say the 12-year-old was hospitalized and diagnosed with malnutrition. The boy’s 13-year-old sister also came forward with claims of abuse, specifically by Corey. The Valdez’ children, three adopted and one biological, are in CYFD custody.
 16 states report no coronavirus deaths New evidence shows the COVID-19 vaccine is having a powerful impact in the battle against the virus. Sixteen states reported no COVID deaths as of Monday. Nationwide, deaths have fallen to 546 per day, the lowest it’s been in more than a year. There is still a rush to vaccinate minors as cases in children continue to rise. Dr. Anthony Fauci says doctors will have enough information to vaccinate children of any age by the end of the year.
 Cool morning temperatures ahead of sunshine, then isolated showers Wednesday afternoon This morning is cool and foggy in a couple of spots across the east, however, it isn’t causing any major issues on the roadways. Grab the jacket for the morning commute! It is going to be warmer and sunnier today through at least the afternoon. Showers and storms will pop up in the mountain terrain around noon, moving into the adjacent terrain to the southeast and east during the mid-afternoon and evening.
 Santa Fe women build air purifiers to combat smoke pollution during wildfire season A Santa Fe woman is helping her community get prepared for wildfire season by learning how to make air purifiers out of a filter, a box fan, and some duct tape. It’s no secret wildfires and poor air quality go hand in hand and that’s where the air purifiers come in. However, they’re not on everyone’s emergency kit lit. Carrie Wood and a group of women named the Three Sisters Collective built over 60 air purifiers during the Medio Fire in the Santa Fe area last year. She says she’s ready to do it again when the next fire strikes.
 Albuquerque Isotopes will not require masks for vaccinated fans The Isotopes’ next home game will be on Thursday and officials are now telling vaccinated fans who attend they will not need a mask. The team is following the state guidelines which were recently updated after a recent CDC announcement. Despite the new rule, the team is still encouraging fans to wear one.