Here is a preview of what you can expect to see in this week’s paper.
First up, participants in the Abeyta Water Rights Settlement met Thursday while protestors to the mitigation wells crowded outside Town Hall. Demonstrators expressed upset regarding the lack of transparency they say is involved in the settlement, complaining that they are not well represented in the negotiations. Reporter Jesse Moya was on the scene and will have the scoop for you on Thursday.
And, Circus Sauras rolled into town this week. We attended a show on Monday as animal rights activists gathered outside the tent to raise questions about the need to use animals as part of the act. In light of Ringling Brother’s forthcoming shut down at the end of the month after more than 100 years in the business, Moya explores the allegations of animal abuse frequently brought against larger and smaller acts alike.
Also in the news, those who were grabbing a slice at Taos Pizza Out Back Saturday afternoon might have witnessed the second in a string of state police drug busts in the area. Officers executed a search warrant at the blue house near Archuleta Street and arrested two women on felony drug charges. New Mexico State Police Lt. Edwardo Martinez said the investigation into drug trafficking in the area close to El Prado is ongoing, stemming – in part – from the numerous complaints that have been submitted by local residents regarding drug activity in their neighborhoods.
And, Andrew Bernard Mott, a Costilla resident accused of firing a handgun at a state police officer and his family in early March, has been released from the Taos County Adult Detention Center as the defendant awaits trial on multiple felony assault charges later this year. One condition of his release required the defendant to surrender any firearms he owns to his defense attorney, Alan Maestas. Maestas confirmed with The Taos News this week that Mott did turn in at least one weapon – possibly including the handgun state police believe was used during the alleged crime, but were unable to recover during their initial search. If the .45-caliber firearm was among the weapons submitted, the implications for Mott’s trial later this year could be far-reaching. The Taos News has an update on the case in Thursday’s paper.
Last on the crime beat, the Eighth Judicial District Attorney’s Office loses two attorneys this week, leaving just three prosecutors to cover the three counties under the office’s jurisdiction. We sat down with District Attorney Donald Gallegos to get his take on what the exits might mean for the county, and what actions are being taken to hire new attorneys and encourage them to stay on for the long haul.