Tuesday’s Top Stories
- Jury reaches guilty verdict in Izaiah Garcia trial
- SFPS to require students, staff to wear masks starting Aug. 6
- CNM now offering degree in A.I.
- Tax-free holiday in NM begins Friday
- Photos: Biles caps incredible comeback story on medal stand
- US hits 70% vaccination rate — a month late, amid a surge
- New committee seeks public input on redrawing political districts
Tuesday Five Facts
 Delta variant, other common illnesses spread – As the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads, New Mexico’s Department of Health is again encouraging people to get tested. Health officials say they’ve seen cases jump from 25% to 80% in just a month. About a month ago, people were celebrating the full reopening of the state by taking off masks, getting rid of capacity limits, and more. Statewide, nearly two dozen cases of viruses like RSV and the flu were reported to Tricore Labs in a given week last month. Officials say in a normal year, that number is zero in July.
 APS continues to face teacher, staff shortage; works to fill positions – Businesses across the state are struggling to hire enough employees including school districts. In June, Albuquerque Public Schools had 370 open teacher positions spread out from middle school to high school levels. APS spokesperson Monica Armenta says that number is fluid as some jobs are in the process of being filled. Currently, they are also still short for employees in food services, custodians and bus drivers.
 Dangerous flash flood threat for northern New Mexico and southern Colorado – Tuesday morning is mostly dry, partly sunny and hazy. The morning will stay quiet, and it will be a good time to get outside. Storms will develop this early afternoon in the northern mountains and along the central mountain chain and the Gila.
 APD hiring bonuses at all-time high – The Albuquerque Police Department is getting creative with its recruiting tactics. APD is now offering a $15,000 bonus for officers who are looking to join the department’s ranks. Chief Harold Median says the goals to say competitive with other agencies across the state. With the hiring package, new cadets will receive a $5,000 bonus. Police services aids get 1,500.
 Bugs Bunny, hidden roadrunners featured in new Balloon Fiesta poster – The new poster for this year’s Balloon Fiesta has been unveiled. Bugs Bunny will make his first appearance. Every year since 2006, there has been a hidden roadrunner in the drawing. This year, there’s also a separate hidden roadrunner somewhere in the poster.