Friday’s Top Stories

Friday’s Five Facts

[1] Albuquerque man charged with murder, claims he was blackmailed – The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 29-year-old Jose Juan Mendoza Espinoza for the murder of a transgender woman in late September. Deputies said he told them that he and 35-year-old Sherlyn Marjorie were in a secret sexual relationship and that he had paid her to keep quiet about the relationship. He told them that she asked him for $5,000. He said she threatened to disclose the relationship to his wife and that is why he killed her. Espinoza is suspected of hitting the woman before tying the body and dumping in a drainage tunnel.

[2] Will law enforcement uphold the governor’s updated gun ban? – Despite a court victory for the governor’s gun ban, law enforcement agencies continue to disagree with the order. The order initially banned open and conceal carry in Bernalillo County, but was amended to banning guns in parks and playgrounds. BCSO Sheriff John Allen says he stands firm on not enforcing the order. APD Chief Harold Medina sent a statement to KRQE, saying in part, “When officers encounter individuals who violate the state’s emergency order and possession is the only violation, they will forward those cases to NMSP.” State Police did not explicitly say they plan to cite people carrying guns, only that this order gives them more enforcement options.

[3] Cool and calm Friday with clouds ahead of solar eclipse – Friday morning is cold across the state, thanks to the cold front that moved in Thursday. Winds will stay much lighter today, with maximum winds of around 15 to 25 mph this afternoon. Winds will stay light throughout the weekend, making for a great final weekend of Balloon Fiesta. Temperatures will warm up Saturday and Sunday, with Sunday being the warmer day of the two.

[4] Governor orders flags to be flown at half-staff – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is ordering all flags in the state to be flown at half staff this weekend to mourn the lives lost in Israel. The order begins Friday and runs through Monday.

[5] Balloon Fiesta preparing special events for eclipse – Balloon Fiesta is preparing for this weekend’s solar eclipse. The day will start with a drone show, the traditional morning glow and mass ascension. Officials are expecting a record number of people at the park. The eclipse is scheduled to begin at 9:13 Saturday morning, peak at 10:36 and end at 12:09.  NASA will have a tent set up to talk to visitors and is providing 80,000 pairs of glasses to safely watch the ring of fire.