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Newly-released data show the distinctions between prescription opioid and heroin use, and how that has shaped public perceptions of the Española Valley and Rio Arriba County. And once the opioid crisis accelerated to become a national issue prior to the 2016 elections, Española became a scapegoat for the entire state’s drug problems.

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Though the Española Public Library’s attendance numbers dipped in Fiscal Year 2019, staff continues to push a flood of events and programs to promote community engagement and keep the Library in the running for often-competitive state and federal funding.

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As the rest of the nation has been focused on what is now being called the opioid epidemic, in Chimayó, Española and Rio Arriba County the battle has been raging for decades.

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Throughout the years as the Rio Grande SUN has compiled these lists, the conversations about substance use has shifted dynamically. Gone are the days where it was appropriate and acceptable to use terms like ”tecato” or “junkie” when referring to the people who live in Rio Arriba County.

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The records that the Rio Grande SUN's weekly Police Blotter relies on have been delayed due to Española/Rio Arriba E911 Board Director Sheriff James Lujan. The delay also means the actions of local law enforcement in recent days are unknown.

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Española Pathways Shelter overcame a major barrier to becoming the first homeless shelter in the city’s history Sept. 12, with the successful acquisition of a special use permit to operate a shelter at a prospective site on Calle Delgado on the West Side, but organizers say they are already …

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The Pueblo County District Attorney filed felony theft and embezzlement charges against former Española city manager David Valdez for alleged “financial improprieties” in his role as Colorado City Metropolitan District Manager, from which he resigned in 2018.

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Akal Security’s parent organization distanced the massive Española-based firm from its longstanding ties with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement last month in response to at least a year of internal backlash in the 3HO Sikh community to ICE’s human rights violations and family detenti…

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Spañapalooza and Tewa Women United’s Environmental Health and Justice Program will join for the first time at noon Saturday for a hodgepodge event targeted at youth with something for everybody: The Bounce Back II: Regeneration Fest.

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The New Mexico Department of Transportation announced Aug. 21 the approval of nearly $50 million in road improvement funds for dozens of local governments.

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The Colorado City Metropolitan District Board publicly acknowledged the alleged and concrete discrepancies around former district manager and former Española city manager David Valdez’s financial practices in the District for the first time Aug. 21, save for a brief open vote in June to turn…

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Roger Montoya was honored last week as a 2019 CNN Hero for his work with visual and performing arts nonprofit Moving Arts Española. Video profiles and an interview can be found at cnn.com/specials/cnn-heroes. Montoya said a third video featuring former Moving Arts student Than Povi Martinez,…

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Former Española City Manager David Valdez used over $4,000 of his previous employer’s funds at casinos in 2015, according to credit card statements from the Colorado City Metropolitan District.

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An Aug. 7 event at the future site of the Española Lowrider Museum showcased potential exhibit layouts and featured speeches from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and a slew of community leaders from Rio Arriba County.

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At the city of Española-run school supply drive and touch-a-truck on Aug. 4, Mormon missionaries and church members distributed backpacks, operated religious carnival games, and staffed an evangelizing booth in the Plaza de Española’s prime real estate just in front of the supply distribution area.

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About 70 community members attended a peace vigil to support the proposed Española Pathways Shelter Aug. 1 at a potential location for the homeless shelter on North Railroad Avenue.

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A former city of Española employee has filed a lawsuit against the city government claiming she faced retaliation and other mistreatment after she reported nearly $18,000 missing from the city’s utilities vault.

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Española Deputy Fire Chief Eric Tafoya found himself in the hot seat after the Española Firefighter Union IAFF Local 4399 filed a grievance alleging that he failed to follow the progressive discipline policy and favored some firefighters over others.

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Española Fire Department Deputy Chief Eric Tafoya is earning vacation time at a more than twice the city employee rate, but Human Resources Director Sally Baxter refused to provide an explanation for the compensation.

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Former Española mayor Richard Lucero is defending himself against allegations that he sexually assaulted a former Boy Scouts of America member and employee in the 1980s.

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In its first zoning appeal hearing since 2017, the Española City Council upheld the Planning and Zoning Commission’s denial of Commissioner Ed Hunter’s request for a special use permit to operate a powder coating business out of his property in the city’s residential zone.

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Despite a purported attempt to distance the 50th Española Valley Fiesta from celebration of Spanish Conquistador and war criminal Juan de Oñate, speakers at the festival skirted and outright denied historical Spanish atrocities against local Pueblo peoples.

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The Española City Council voted 7-1 to fire City Manager David Valdez at its Tuesday meeting amid two separate investigations into alleged theft from a city vault and discrepancies in his accounting in Colorado City, Colo., where he previously worked as district manager.

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Española Mayor Javier Sanchez railed against political schemes and outside interference in the search for a police chief, and said at the June 25 City Council meeting that he instructed City Attorney A.J. Salazar to investigate threatening and coercive texts and calls to city councilors.

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Española Mayor Javier Sanchez formally announced a plan to split the Police Department and the Fire Department at the June 11 city council meeting, although no one can say how the two departments became one in the first place.

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The Española Pathways Shelter is now able to receive donations, thanks to some assistance from the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness. The Coalition will act as the fiscal agent for the soon-to-be Española shelter while it awaits designation as a registered nonprofit.

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Roger Jimenez was sworn in as interim chief of the Española Police Department after Mayor Javier Sanchez broke a tie vote in favor of his appointment at the June 11 City Council meeting.

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More than $18,500 was discovered missing from the City of Española’s utilities department April 12, but Española Police Department Officers were not assigned to the investigation until nearly two weeks later. Now, the Attorney General’s Office has taken over the investigation.

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The Española School District took on 11 additional distribution sites for the Summer Food Service Program this year after Rio Arriba County stopped participating due to fiscal issues.

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Española Police Department Deputy Chief Roger Jimenez was none too happy about Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan speaking publicly in opposition to him being promoted to chief of police.

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The Española City Council refused to promote Deputy Police Chief Roger Jimenez as the leader of the city government’s Department of Public Safety.

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Rio Arriba County officials are in negotiations to purchase the building that formerly housed the Española Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

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Maribel Conde, 39, is a cook at Socorro’s Restaurant in Hernandez. She has been in the service industry for nine years since she started as a cook at Northern New Mexico College.

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After about three-and-a-half years of planning, bidding and public presentations, the city of Española and nonprofit Chicanos Por La Causa have withdrawn from a $1.4 million federal grant that was meant to fund the Food Hub project.

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By hiring the Blue Bus, officials from the Village of Angel Fire hope to expand public transportation and tourism throughout the ski resorts and recreational parks in the Enchanted Circle.

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The pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayó is an annual tradition in the Española Valley, and this year was no exception. Throughout the day, young and old made the trek to the Santuario. Some were walking as a symbol of faith, and others were walking in memory of loved ones they had lost in …

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The city of Española reduced its share of the amount of money that is paid into city firefighters’ retirement accounts, but never notified employees, according to a March letter sent to Española City Attorney A.J. Salazar.

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A panel with oversight authority of the city of Española’s water system has approved a plan to purchase a $113,000 nitrate filtration system to be installed on a city-owned well, with further commitments to buy a second system that would remove fluoride from a second well.

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Española Police Department interim chief David Osuna was officially sworn in for a two-month tenure at the April 9 city council meeting. He began work April 1 in the Department, following Louis Carlos’ abrupt retirement.

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