Wednesday’s Top Stories
- Bernalillo County leaders work to make COVID-19 rapid tests more accessible
- Biden pledges 500M free COVID-19 tests to counter omicron
- ‘I want answers’: Five months after couple is killed by suspected drunk driver, no charges filed
- Taos Volunteer Fire Department needs more volunteers
- Valencia County residents hope for hospital after Gov. signs COVID spending bill
Wednesday’s Five Facts
 Investigation finds Albuquerque facility for vulnerable youth had years of abuse allegations One of New Mexico’s last full-time facilities for children with behavioral and developmental disorders is officially closing. This comes after a CYFD investigation where documents show years of abuse allegations between staff and kids which has forced officials to step in and close the Bernalillo Academy. Last month, parents were told the academy was closing due to the pandemic and lack of resources. Investigators said the academy didn’t perform adequate background checks. Every child who was involved with CYFD has since been moved elsewhere.
 Albuquerque man arrested in connection with 1997 rape cold case More charges could be coming soon for a suspected rapist who is finally behind bars in a 25-year-old cold case. That arrest comes thanks to genealogy research. Last year, the district attorney’s office matched the attacker’s DNA to a relative of Edward Duran. The cold case dates back to 1997 when a man broke into a woman’s apartment and raped her. Duran has a lengthy criminal history including sexual assault convictions from 1979 and 1991. Investigators collected Duran’s DNA from a fork he used at an Albuquerque restaurant and they say it matched the rape kit from 1997.
 Mild, breezy Wednesday ahead We’re waking up to milder temperatures across the state this morning under mainly clear skies. Southwest New Mexico is seeing some high clouds. These will spread eastward throughout the day as we enjoy highs 10-15° above average. It’ll be sunnier than Tuesday as mid-level clouds moved east into Texas. But the closer we get to Christmas Eve, the more violent our weather will become. This means wind speeds will continue climbing through Friday with gusts toppling 60-65 mph across the central and south-central mountains then.
 River of Lights guests targeted by scammers The ABQ BioPark is warning people of scammers selling fake River of Lights tickets. Currently, tickers are sold out for the River of Lights until after Christmas. However, scammers are commenting on posts saying they have tickets for sale. The New Mexico BioPark Society says they cannot confirm the validity of these tickets and they urge guests not to purchase tickets from a third party. They say should only buy tickets from their website when they’re available.
 Window painter creates colorful mural on Nob Hill storefront A new art piece in Nob Hill is getting some finishing touches. The owner of Duran’s Window Painting has painted plenty of temporary and seasonal displays on local businesses but this is the only permanent window mural she knows of on an Albuquerque storefront. The owners of what used to be Scot’s Dog Grooming hired Marissa Duran for the project and gave her the design and the painting is already turning heads.