I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
News from around the state: Rep. Debbie Rodella hatin’ life right now
Remember that story about how members of a prominent Española family were accused of beating up the owners of a local tattoo parlor/hookah lounge? (Not kidding.) Well it just keeps getting worse. “The Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Department recently recommended one of the Dragon’s Lair owners and all of his family get restraining orders against the Rodellas [Eugene and Gabriel] after the house of co-owner Ryan Barrera’s mother, Shirley Montoya, was ransacked,” the Rio Grande Sun reports.
Earlier this month, Eugene and Gabriel Rodella allegedly beat up the owners of the shop, sending them both to the hospital. The two are brothers of former Rio Arriba County Magistrate Court judge Tommy Rodella, and the in-laws of his wife, state Rep. Debbie Rodella (D-La Messilla). The incident was allegedly in retaliation for a previous incident involving Tommy and Debbie Rodella’s son, T.J. who had been in a fight at the shop the night before.
Did I mention Eugene Rodella is an Española police officer? And this all happened in front of another Española officer who was getting a tattoo at the time? Rodella is now being investigated by the Law Enforcement Academy Board.
Go read this whole story right now. Do it because I can’t quote the whole thing and I really, really want to.
Anyway, the most recent chapter of the story is the tattoo artist’s mom’s house getting trashed. “Montoya’s address is listed on Barrera’s driver’s license — the one police ran through 911 dispatch when they took reports on the Dragon’s Lair incident, he said. [Barrera] believes the suspects broke into Montoya’s house in an effort to retaliate against him,” the Sun reported. Officers are investigating, and although they say it’s too soon to say whether the break-in is related to the fights at the shop, Deputy Valdez told the Sun: “It seems like whoever went in there went in there with the intention of destroying the inside of the house, basically trashing the house … Usually in a burglary you won’t see pictures knocked off walls and stuff like that.”
Kudos to the Sun for following this story in all its incredible detail.
And just when you were thinking: That’s crazy! Anyone could look at your driver’s license, see your address and know where to find you! Governor Richardson announced this week that victims of domestic violence will now be allowed to use a substitute address on their driver’s licenses. The MVD will provide the substitute address, and victims will be able to use it for all official and private correspondence. Too late for the poor tattoo artist…if he even would have qualified.
In other news,the Clovis News Journal reports on the importance of the 2010 census, and how the people it counts translates into money. One huge snag in the process is a lack of response from people fearing the information will be sent to immigration and law enforcement officials.
The Mora School district has been hit with an audit of its finances and the Las Vegas Optic reports on explanations of the district’s spending practices. State Auditor Hector Balderas suggests that “mismanagement and a lack of training are the core issues” that led to the audit.
And more federal money is making its way to New Mexico. This time, $2 million is going to the Espanola and Taos school districts. The money will be used to “implement a performance-based compensation program for teachers and principals.”
In the department of bad news: Dennis Hopper has prostate cancer.
And in case you’re still all worked up over that teacher who had sex with her 13-year-old student, here’s a unicorn chaser. It’s a story all about local bats, as told by the Las Cruces Sun-News. Studies have found that bats can be beneficial to local farmers, eating pesky bugs and helping to pollinate plants.