Thursday’s Top Stories
- Former Pecos High coach faces federal sex crime charges
- 32 of New Mexico’s counties are in Turquoise Level; Chaves County in Green
- Dr. Scrase provides COVID-19 update on counties in Turquoise Level
- State GOP calls for investigation into Governor Lujan Grisham’s campaign spending
- New connections ahead for Albuquerque’s Sawmill district
- Parents protest virtual APS board meetings, call for change
- New Mexico students see true colors for the first time
- Some Regal movie theaters to open in Albuquerque, Santa Fe
- House backs commission on Jan. 6 riot over GOP objections
Thursday’s Five Facts
 Report estimates Dept. of Workforce Solutions overpaid unemployment benefits by $250M A new report from the state’s Legislative Finance Committee says the Workforce Solutions Department overpaid unemployment benefits totaling a quarter of a billion dollars. The LFC report says workers weren’t prepared for the job, made errors in payments, and couldn’t keep up with fraud investigations. The report also estimates about $133 million of that amount is related to fraudulent claims. The acting secretary of Workforce Solutions says they are trying to recover the overpayments.
 MDC officers charged in death of inmate more than two years later Two MDC officers are facing involuntary manslaughter charges after the death of an inmate in their custody. Video from the incident shows at least 11 officers restraining Vicente Villela in February 2019. According to a wrongful death lawsuit, Lieutenant Keith Brandon told Officer Jonathan Sandoval to sit on Villela and restrain him. Villela dies several minutes later and his death has been ruled a homicide. In the wake of the George Floyd case, Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez sent a letter to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office to look into Villela’s death. MCD says the two guards are on leave.
 Warmer temperatures and winds return Thursday This morning is milder, calm, and dry across New Mexico and southern Colorado. High pressure will return over the state today, keeping the weather dry, warming temperatures up, and bringing in a breeze. Skies will be mostly sunny, aside from some high clouds moving into central New Mexico by the evening. There is a slight chance for a couple of isolated storms in Union County, but the rest of the state should stay dry.
 Albuquerque man has unique passion restoring Subarus An Albuquerque man is following his passion, restoring and working on old and new cars. Ben Wade has been working on cars for over two decades, starting at a dealership and now with his own shop in northeast Albuquerque. Sparky’s welcomes all makes and models but for Wade, it’s all about the Subarus and New Mexico has the perfect scenery for the outdoor themed vehicle. Wade says his love of the particular brand and his employees having a total of over 60 years of experience working on just Subarus makes it a success.
 BioPark welcomes two new chimps Two new female chimpanzees will soon make their debut at the BioPark zoo. Zoe and Siri arrived at the zoo last week with plans to breed them as part of a species survival plan. Ten-year-old Siri lost part of her arm after an injury as a baby but the BioPark says that doesn’t slow her down. The pair will be introduced to their new family, the zoo’s seven other chimps, after a quarantine period.