Thursday’s Top Stories
- Survey: The biggest problems New Mexico’s restaurant industry is facing
- Tax official pleads guilty to stealing nearly $700K in taxpayer money
- FBI seeks suspect in robbery at northeast Albuquerque Wells Fargo
- Corrections Dept. to send inmates’ mail out-of-state for drug screening
- Biden to mark one year since Capitol insurrection
- US urges everyone 12 and over to get COVID boosters to fight omicron
Thursday’s Five Facts
 NM health leaders estimate omicron accounts for 50% to 60% of new COVID cases The CDC is estimating around 95% of positive COVID-19 cases are related to the omicron variant. Health Secretary Dr. David Scrase says New Mexico is on track for omicron to take over soon. The good news is health officials say this strain of COVID may be easier to catch, and so far, is giving those infected less risk of severe symptoms. COVID-related deaths and hospitalizations are down but are still high. Health officials are hoping to see those numbers decrease in the next few weeks. If you are able to track down a home test and that result comes back positive, the Department of Health says to trust that result and not look for a PCR test.
 CYFD housing move causes problems among foster teens A CYFD foster teen is speaking out after she says she and many others were forced to sleep on the floor of CYFD offices because they didn’t have a home for them. The state then decided to move 14 of the teens to the Albuquerque Girls Reintegration Center which usually houses juvenile criminals. The center was vacant at the time however, the foster teen says they were treated like inmates, which escalated problems with the staff there. CYFD says they will no longer be housing foster teens at the center as of January 14.
 Freezing day for the east, mild elsewhere An arctic cold front is moving into northeast New Mexico this morning, and temperatures are starting in the single digits, teens, and low 20s for the area. With breezes up to 20 mph, it will feel like the negatives throughout the morning commute. Temperatures are starting in the 20s and 30s for the northern mountains, Rio Grande Valley, and western New Mexico.
 ‘It’s very troubling for us’: Spike in vehicle break-ins at Petroglyph trailhead A spike in car break-ins at the Petroglyph National Monument has officials issuing a warning to citizens. Almost all of last year’s break-ins happened at the isolated Rinconada Trailhead. An official says thieves are targeting cars with valuables inside and adds 70% of the break-ins are vehicles with out-of-state plates. Park officials recommend people consider hiking in other areas of the monument. Anyone who sees suspicious activity is asked to call the national monument’s dispatch.
 4 new APS Board of Education members sworn in Four new members of the APS School Board were sworn in Wednesday night including APS parent Courtney Jackson, early childhood advocate Crystal Tapia-Romero, longtime APS teacher Josefina Dominguez, and former teacher Danielle Gonzales who heads the education policy organization New Mexico First. The four women join three women already on the seven-member panel, making for the district’s first all-female board of education.