January 30th First News: DNA Evidence Heats-Up 1992 Rape Case (Listen)

Jan 30, 2014

Police say a local man has been arrested after newly recovered DNA evidence linked him to a 1992 rape case. Santa Fe police say 51-year-old Gilbert Romero is being held on a 100-thousand dollar cash-only bond on suspicion of kidnapping and criminal sexual penetration. The case dates back to a situation where a 16-year-old girl told Santa Fe Police that an unknown man had raped her at gunpoint. The victim went to the hospital where DNA evidence was collected and stored in the evidence lab. A suspect was never identified. Last July, detectives were notified the 1992 sample was a match for Romero. Police tracked him down in Santa Fe last month, obtained a current DNA sample and sent it to the state lab for comparison. It returned as a match last week and Romero was arrested.

Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center is planning a new health center in south Santa Fe. The Journal North reports the new center planned near the Wal-Mart Supercenter will consolidate two medical offices and add urgent care, behavioral health and diabetes care, as well as lab, X-ray and ultrasound services. The more-than 15-thousand square foot building is planned for opening next March.

At the Roundhouse, the House Education Committee has approved a proposal to increase spending on public schools by nearly 149 million dollars next year, which includes a three-percent salary increase for all educational employees. House Bill three, approved by the House Education panel on a party-line vote Wednesday, differs substantially from Republican Governor Susana Martinez's school finance proposal. In addition to the across-the-board pay-hike, the Committee recommended raising minimum salaries for all teachers by two-thousand dollars. The governor has proposed an increase of three-grand, but only for entry-level teachers. The measure now goes before the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.

The City of Santa Fe has announced that approximately 50 homes will be without water as city crews’ work to fix a broken water line near Berry Ave and 2nd Street. Crews responded to a leak at the intersection Wednesday morning. Further inspection revealed a leak in the main line and a part will have to be shipped from Arizona to complete the work. Repairs are expected to be completed this afternoon. There are minor road detours in the area, and crews are asking for resident’s patience.

A bill sponsored by Rio Rancho Senator Craig Brandt seeks to clear confusion between state laws and the Public Education Department's requirements for physical education. It has to do with whether participation in band and other activities count as P-E classes and the confusion has led some students with no choice other than to drop an academic class in favor of a state-approved P-E offering, as Brandt discusses:*****013014-Brandt-1 :19***** Brandt's Senate Bill 122 allows local districts to determine classes that meet the requirement, while allowing the P-E-D to continue its oversight of districts' implementation of the requirements.

Santa Fe Weather: Partly sunny and windy today, with a high near 55. Tonight: mostly cloudy, with a low around 36. Tomorrow's forecast features a 30-percent chance of precipitation with mostly cloudy and breezy conditions, with a high near 47.