Gallup Sun ● Sept. 8, 2023

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VOL 9 | ISSUE 441 | SEPTEMBER 8, 2023

GMCS back in the hot seat HYATT CONTINUES TO DENY DISCIPLINARY DISCRIMINATION By Molly Ann Howell Managing Editor


n January, the Sun reported on an incident in which the Gallup-McKinley County Schools district was accused of being responsible for the majority of the state’s expulsions of Native American students from schools. Now, New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez is looking into the situation. In an email to the Sun, the Office of the Attorney General’s Director of Communications Lauren Rodriguez explained why the AG wanted to look into the assertion. “AG Torrez took office with a commitment to safeguarding the civil rights of children in New Mexico, including addressing educational disparities within


the state,” Rodriguez said. “Our office had a representative attend community events earlier this year about the reported disciplinary discrepancies in [GMCS] and recently hired a civil rights attorney to follow up investigating these and other issues impacting educational opportunities for all of New Mexico’s children.” GMCS Superintendent Mike Hyatt is standing by his previous statement that the assertions are untrue. “Essentially this is a continued false narrative … that somehow our staff – who is a majority Native American in the first place – are discriminating against their own people in the discipline that they enforce,” Hyatt said. BY THE NUMBERS Reports claimed that between

the 2016-2017 school year and the 2019-2020 school year, GMCS recorded at least 211 expulsions. In December, Hyatt said that only 15 students were expelled during that time period. “[The claim] of this mass amount of expulsions is false. We have gone back and looked at every single incident and found that there were less than 20 expulsions in the last seven years, and these were for serious offenses having to do with violence, guns, and sexual assault,” he said. “This method that they’re trying to portray as if we’re just reactionary in our discipline is also false. Staff has been trained on and worked extensively on being proactive in our discipline in the past seven years.” However, the district believes that number is even lower than

what was originally reported after they completed an internal audit of the past suspensions and expulsions. In an interview on Sept. 6, Hyatt said they were still working to complete the audit. He said it would be complete by next week. Hyatt said the incorrect number that he initially told the school board in January needed to be changed after district staff recently took time to thoroughly look through a former student information system that the district no longer uses. When they looked at the data in January, Hyatt said they didn’t have complete access to the former system, calling the initial report “bad data.” Now that they have full access to the former system, Hyatt said they’re doing the internal audit so that they can

give the New Mexico Department of Education accurate numbers. The district now asserts that there have only been two expulsions and one modified expulsion in the past seven years, and they all happened in the 2022-2023 school year. A modified expulsion refers to when a student with a disability gets into severe trouble. GMCS’s recorded expulsions rates: • One Native American student was expelled for a firearm possession • One Native American student was expelled for theft and a firearm possession • One Hispanic student who is in the Special Education


Gallup Sun • Friday September 8, 2023 1



2018 was a landmark year in New Mexico as the Yazzie-Martinez ruling legally proved the State’s inadequate educational system for many of our most vulnerable students. Gallup-McKinley County Schools became was a lead SODLQWL൵ LQ WKH FDVH LQ DQG KDG DOUHDG\ EHHQ DFWLYHO\ ZRUNLQJ WR UHVROYH LVVXHV ZLWK WKH VWDWH IRU PDQ\ \HDUV SULRU WR WKLV FDVH ¿OLQJ :H QRZ VWDQG DOPRVW D GHFDGH DIWHU WKH RULJLQDO FDVH ZDV ¿OHG DQG DUH VWLOO IDFLQJ PDQ\ RI WKH same issues. $W WKLV FULWLFDO VWDJH *0&6 ZHOFRPHV WKH 1HZ 0H[LFR $WWRUQH\ *HQHUDO¶V LQWHUYHQWLRQ LQ WKH FDVH :H DUH KRSHIXO WKDW WKH LQWHUYHQWLRQ RI WKLV GHSDUWPHQW PD\ ¿QDOO\ UHVROYH GHFDGHV RI LQDGHTXDWH IXQGLQJ WKDW PDQ\ VWXGHQWV across New Mexico have faced. :KLOH VRPH VWHSV KDYH EHHQ WDNHQ VLQFH WR UHPHG\ WKH ¿QGLQJV RI ODZVXLW D ODUJH PDMRULW\ RI LQLWLDWLYHV UHVROYH WKH ¿QGLQJV RI ODZVXLW FRQWLQXH WR OHDYH PDQ\ VWXGHQWV EHKLQG HVSHFLDOO\ LQ WULEDO FRPPXQLWLHV 1DWLYH WR American School districts, and many other rural areas of New Mexico. This is because we have unfortunately seen a primary emphasis on resolving the lawsuit through blanketed, equal funding by the State of New Mexico as opposed to a thoughtful and strategic funding approach that is equitable for all students who are similarly situated. As a state we cannot keep treating the wealthier city centers of New Mexico the same as rural and impoverished FRPPXQLWLHV ZKR RIWHQ IDFH PDQ\ PRUH H[WUHPH GL൶FXOWLHV LQ RXU VWXGHQW¶V DFFHVV WR HGXFDWLRQ +HULWDJH ODQJXDJH internet access, transportation, support for English language learners, and funding for all at-risk student categories are MXVW VRPH RI WKH DUHDV WKDW KDYH EHHQ XQUHVROYHG E\ WKH VWDWH ZKLFK DUH FOHDUO\ LQGLFDWHG LQ WKH MXGJH¶V UXOLQJ :H ORRN IRUZDUG WR D PRUH VWUDWHJLF DSSURDFK WR UHVROYLQJ WKH <D]]LH 0DUWLQH] ODZVXLW E\ WKH $WWRUQH\ *HQHUDO so that all students in New Mexico have a complete and fair opportunity to succeed with their education. 640 S. BOARDMAN, GALLUP, NM 87301







Regional Senior Center inches closer to reality By Holly J. Wagner Sun Correspondent


very year, Gallup’s Senior Program Manager Kimberly Ross-Toledo gives an update on what the senior center is doing and plans for a new regional center. But this year was different: instead of dreaming of a new facility, she reported that the city has secured the $5.36 million funding for a long-planned new regional center, and the job is expected to go out to bid in January. That’s good news for the people who play billiards on tables that are currently in the reception area. A new, modern kitchen will be a boon to the people who prepare senior meals but don’t have room to use a braising skillet. The new center will have dedicated rooms for arts and crafts, computers, billiards, exercise classes and gym equipment. The new space is still a couple of years out, but at 1:15 pm on Sept. 14, the existing center will dedicate the dining hall to the late Juan Delgado, who led the center programs for about a decade. District 1 City Councilor Linda Garcia, who championed the honor, is expected to attend, along



GALLUP APP Digital tourism gets a boost

This is what the new Regional Senior Center could look like. Image Credit: Courtesy of Huitt Zollars design firm with some of Delgado’s family members. Until the new center is built, the hall will continue to host communal meals, peer-led arts and crafts classes like leatherwork, beading, crochet and cardmaking and, of course, Bingo. Ross-Toledo is also looking forward to a half-mile trail that will connect the new facility with the Larry Brian Mitchell Recreation Center to the west and the Harold Runnels Athletic Complex to the east. The new regional senior center will be near the midpoint. “What the city is looking at is regeneration of that area,” Ross-Toledo said. “They would like to replace some of the parks facilities with new facilities. They want to connect all


of those facilities with walking trails.” The senior center plays an important role for Gallup’s over-60 crowd. For many people it’s a place to socialize, and for some it’s a source of meals they might otherwise not be able to prepare or afford; of transportation for shopping and errands; help with care issues and if necessary, reporting a caregiver who’s not holding up their end or worse, abusing the elder. The center offers several ongoi ng prog ra m s, some with community partners, depending on the clients’ personal economy and mobility. Programs are free for those whose applications are accepted. A few people even signed up at this year’s

informational forum Aug. 30. The senior center serves com mu na l lu nches ever y weekday. A $1.25 donation is requested but not required. For those who are unable to leave their homes for medical reasons, the senior center has a Home Delivery program that serves about 80 to 85 seniors with meals on weekdays, and provides frozen meals for weekends to those who request them. “We also have seniors who are able-bodied but have no transportation,” Ross-Toledo said. For those people, the center sends a bus to pick them up in the morning. Once at the center they can use the gym, play pool or take part in other activities until lunch is ready. After lunch

the bus takes the clients home, some days with planned trips to stores, banks or other sites to do errands. Through a partnership with Share Your Care, the center is able to offer day centers for seniors that also help caregivers by providing “a safe and engaging day for adults and seniors who may be frail, physically or developmentally disabled, suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s or otherwise vulnerable.” Not everything the senior center does stays at the senior center. The Senior Advisory Council raises money for offsite day trips and organizes a monthly Dutch treat dinner – seniors can sign up to go as a group to have dinner at a local restaurant. The center offers many specialized services, such as shelf-stable food boxes and monthly produce packets for seniors who may be food insecure, and non-emergency medical transportation for seniors who can get around under their own steam. “Some of those people might be a little more unstable, using a cane, walker or wheelchair,” Ross-Toledo said. “As long as they can get in and out of their wheelchair, we can transport them.”


METRO DISPATCH County acts to retain staff

11 15 16 MENTAL HEALTH More state funding for crucial programs

CROSSTOWN SHOWDOWN Gallup and Miyamura face off on the gridiron

MOVIE REVIEW Accept the invite to “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3”

Gallup Sun • Friday September 8, 2023 3

Pet of the Week Gallup Sun Publishing, LLC

Publisher Babette Herrmann Managing Editor Molly Ann Howell Executive Director Mandy Marks Design Volodymyr Lotysh Contributing Editor Cody Begaye Correspondents Dee Velasco Holly J. Wagner Photography Kimberley Helfenbein Merrisha Livingston Jenny Pond On the Cover: New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez is investigating GallupMcKinley County Schools’ alleged disciplinary discrimination. The Gallup Sun, published Fridays, is not responsible or liable for any claims or offerings, nor responsible for availability of products advertised. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. The Gallup Sun distributes newspapers in McKinley, Cibola and Apache counties. Office: 1983 State Rd. 602 Gallup, NM 87301

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Gallup Sun, PO Box 1212, Gallup, NM. Mailing Address: PO Box 1212 Gallup, NM 87305 Phone: (505) 722-8994 Fax: (505) 212-0391 Letter to the editor/guest column ACCEPTED BY EMAIL ONLY. State full name and city/town. No pen names. ID required. All submissions subjected to editor’s approval. Guest columnists, email Sun for submission requirements.

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Looking for Gallup info? PHONE APP, KIOSKS BOLSTER DIGITAL TOURISM By Holly J. Wagner Sun Correspondent


allup’s digital tourism strategy is growing up, with new kiosks for visitors, an online events schedule and the extension of to a phone app. The kiosks, ordered as part of a tourism brand refresh in 2021 that saw the city drop the True slogan and commission a new logo, were installed at the airport in April and at the Visitor’s Center in May. The kiosk interface is similar to the order screen at a fast food restaurant. Visitors touch the screen, which takes them to the Visit Gallup app (the phone version is available for free in the Apple and Google app stores). “ T h e r e ’s n o m e s s i n g around, you’re not going to get lost on the Internet anywhere,” Matt Robinson, Gallup’s tourism and marketing manager, said. With the app, people can choose from the icons to see a map of the area, view events, restaurants, tourist attractions, shopping opportunities and more. “On the Visit Gallup app, users can build itineraries, customize tr ips, take our mural tours and even book a hotel room,” Robinson said. “When you‘re finished you can send that to yourself by text or email, so even if you don’t want to download the app you can save that. It’s a leaner way to have that Visit Gallup experience.” However, measuring how well the kiosks work may be tricky. “There is no real baseline, NEWS

City of Gallup Information Technology staff Ashley Thomas (former employee) and Robert Mangum show off a digital Visit Gallup kiosk after its installation at Gallup Municipal Airport in April. This was the first kiosk installed, with the second installed at the Visitor’s Center in May. Photo Credit: Courtesy of City of Gallup because we have nothing else like that. This fi rst year will be a good opportunity to set that baseline,” Robinson said. “Right now the goal is to get them installed, get them operational. I really see this more as an exploration.” Me a nw h i le , t he s a me

featu res a re ava ilable on but most of that traffic comes from out of town. In the seven days before talking to the Sun, Robinson saw that the website had 1,600 sessions, mostly coming from organic search. The site also had 133 referrals from

partners – sites where the city advertises or has links. The website also provides some geographic data about where the searchers are when they search. “Phoenix is a significant source of traffic for all of our platforms and I think that is a

result of how hard we have hit the area with our marketing,” Robinson said. Having direct air service between Gallup and Phoenix probably accounts for some of the online traffic. The website links to local businesses to send them referrals. During July, for example, sent 98 clicks to the Flea Market and another 90 to Red Rock Park. “People click off of our site to a lot of businesses,” Robinson said, adding that local tourist-ser ving businesses are welcome to submit information for the website or update information that is already on the site. “ I d e f i n it e l y w a nt t o encourage people to reach out to us if you have a new restaurant or business,” he said, noting that the site was partially populated with Google directory information. L o c a l s a r e i nv it e d t o post their events to the calendar using a form on the Vi sitGa l websit e. There is no charge, but the calendar is for public events only. Robinson has also been busy beef ing up the Visit Gallup Facebook page. “We’ve been doing more [social media] lately. We’ve been putting a lot more focus on our Facebook page to get the engagement up,” he said. The page had 54,500 visits in the previous seven days. I n t he 2 8 d ay s before ta lking with the S un, R obi n son s a id Fa cebook posts have reached 165,000 people, a nd post “engagements”– people who like, comment, share or start a discussion – hit almost 12,000.

Gallup Sun • Friday September 8, 2023 5


County bolsters Metro Dispatch 2023 NATIONAL PRESENTING SPONSOR



said. “We get lots of applications. But I had someone decline an interview because they were hen people dial 911, going to take a job at Panda they know they’re call- Express for $18 an hour.” ing for police, fire or Candidates also may fall out emergency medical help. How early in the process, often during many of those callers think background checks, because of about the “first first responders” prior legal issues. A traffic ticket – the dispatchers that handle isn’t a problem, but a serious their calls and send that help? brush with the law can knock a “I think there is a big dis- candidate out of contention. connect with what civilians Others simply decide the think happens in 911 centers,” stress and odd hours aren’t for Georgene Dimas, communi- them. cations director at McKinley Dispatchers learn to work on County’s Metropolitan Dispatch at least four of five major radio systems – Gallup Police and Fire departments, McKinley C o u n t y Sher iff ’s O f f i c e and Fire Department a nd emergency mediMcKinley County’s Metro Dispatch center handles about 344 calls a day cal services from 911 lines. Stock photo – before they Authority, said. “Dispatchers can handle calls on their own. endure a tremendous amount of Optimally that involves a coustress. Psychologists are look- ple of weeks of orientation and ing at a new form of [post-trau- procedural training, 13 weeks matic stress disorder] in this of academy training and some profession.” supervised on-the-job training. It might surprise citizens to McKinley County’s Metro find out that starting pay for a Dispatch center handles about dispatcher trainee in McKinley 344 calls a day from 911 lines. County is $16.92 an hour; that That’s not simply answering a goes up to $18.61 per hour after phone and talking to the caller. the trainee is certified. Post pan- It involves monitoring five or six demic, that’s not as competitive different computer programs, a wage as it was in the before relaying information to police times, as labor shortages have and firefighters in the field, forced all employers to offer looking up warrants, making more. “We’re actually losing people METRO DISPATCH to the fast food industry,” Dimas | SEE PAGE 19



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6 Friday September 8, 2023 • Gallup Sun




Weekly DWI Report Staff Reports Featured DWI Duane Justin Francisco June 29, 10:30 am Aggravated DWI (Third) A Vanderwagen man, Duane Francisco, 38, was arrested and charged with his third DWI after he was seen stumbling out of his vehicle. New Mexico State Police Officer Joe Roanhorse was on patrol near the Speedway station at 701 U.S. Hwy. 491 when he saw a white Toyota Tundra pull into the lot and park near one of the gas pumps. Two males exited the vehicle and walked away from the lot heading southbound. Roanhorse saw a third male, later identified as Francisco, exit the vehicle, and get into the driver’s seat. F r a nc i s c o r e p or t e d ly stumbled as he exited the

vehicle and got into the driver’s seat. Roanhorse followed the vehicle as it left from the lot and drove southbound to the Maverik Gas Station at 505 U.S. Hwy. 491. He conducted a traffic stop and met Francisco in the lot of the station. As he spoke to Francisco, Roanhorse saw him allegedly show signs of intoxication including slurred speech, smelling of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and swaying in place. Francisco admitted he consumed a 12-oz. can of Budweiser about an hour prior to driving. He refused to take the Standard Field Sobriety Tests, reportedly saying he had not been driving. Francisco refused the tests a second time before Roanhorse placed him under arrest based on his investigation. Roanhorse searched his vehicle and found two partially empty pints of Importers Vodka in addition to an empty can of Budweiser. Metro Dispatch informed Roanhorse that Francisco had two prior DWI

charges. After refusing to give a breath test, Francisco was transported to McKinley County Adult Detention Center and booked for aggravated DWI (third), open container, and driving with a suspended license. His motion hearing is set for Oct. 19. Name: Miranda Phillips Age: 35 Arrested: July 18 Charge: Aggravated DWI (Second) Status: Pretrial hearing on Sept. 26 Name: Melanie Austin Age: 39 Arrested: July 16 Charge: Aggravated DWI

(Second) Status: Motion hearing on Nov. 2 Name: Kyreeck Chavez Age: 24 Arrested: July 15 Charge: DWI (Second) Status: Failed to appear in court, warrant issued on Aug. 25 Name: Kendrick Wheeler Age: 22 Arrested: July 14 Charge: DWI

(Second) Status: Motion hearing on Nov. 2 Name: Ronald Tsosie Age: 54 Arrested: May 13 Charge: DWI Status: Plea & disposition hearing on Sept. 26 Name: Chad Morgan Age: 26 Arrested: April 13 Charge: Aggravated DWI Status: Status hearing on Sept. 14



Gallup man is facing charges after a car accident that left another man severely injured. Gallup Police Officer Cindy Romancito was called to the intersection of Ford Drive and Mesa Avenue around 12 pm on Aug. 26 after a man named Charles Paul Murphy reportedly crashed his vehicle into another man’s car while under the influence of PUBLIC SAFETY

marijuana. According to her report, when Romancito arrived at the scene she found a white GMC Charles Paul Sierra facing Murphy southbound on Ford Drive with heavy front-end damage. Fluid was leaking out of

DRIVING HIGH | SEE PAGE 19 Gallup Sun • Friday September 8, 2023 7

Supreme Court issues ruling on illegally obtained evidence DISTRICT COURT JUDGES LACK AUTHORITY TO DECIDE Staff Reports ANTA FE — The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that district court judges have no authority during a pretrial preliminary hearing in a criminal case to decide whether evidence was obtained illegally by law enforcement on Sept. 5. At a preliminary hearing, a judge determines whether there are sufficient grounds for the case to move forward to possible trial. Prosecutors present evidence to a judge to show there is “probable cause”

to believe a crime occurred and the charged person committed it. A determination of guilt occurs at a later trial — not the preliminary hearing, which generally takes place soon after a person is arrested on a felony. In a divided decision, New Mexico’s highest court concluded that the New Mexico Constitution “does not provide the right to exclude evidence obtained from an unconstitutional search and seizure at a preliminary hearing.” Existing rules of criminal procedure provide for a




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separate proceeding – conducted at some point after a preliminary hearing but before a trial – at which judges decide whether evidence will be excluded or allowed at trial, the Court’s majority pointed out. A “suppression hearing” is conducted if prosecutors or attorneys for the defendant fi le motions to exclude certain evidence. “Defendants have an existing pretrial mechanism to vindicate their right to be free from unconstitutional searches and seizures: a motion to suppress,” the Court’s majority

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New Mexico Supreme Court Justice David K. Thomson wrote in an opinion by Justice David K. Thomson. “Today’s ruling does nothing to diminish this remedy or change the majority’s commitment to protecting the right to be free from constitutional searches and seizures.” Justices Thomson and Julie J. Vargas and Second Judicial District Court Judge Brett R. Loveless formed the Court’s ma jority. Chief Justice C. Shannon Bacon and Justice Michael E. Vigil dissented.

Loveless was designated to participate in the case because of the recusal of Justice Briana H. Zamora. T he C ou r t ’s m a j o r it y affirmed a decision by the state Court of Appeals that a Bernalillo County district judge exceeded its authority in ruling during a preliminary hearing on whether evidence



Finance Committee approves the Navajo Nation FY24 comprehensive budget Staff Reports


INDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The 25th Navajo Nation Council Budget and Finance Committee approved the Navajo Nation Comprehensive Budget for Fiscal Year 2024 on Aug. 31, through Legislation 0214-23, which funds direct services for elders, provides aid to veterans, supports public safety, supplements local government relief, and sets aside funding for future housing developments. “Legislation 0214-23 is a product of the Budget and Finance Committee’s work with members of the 25th Navajo Nation Council through the standing committee oversight hearings. The committee took three weeks to listen to standing committee recommendations and to division directors and department heads,” legislation sponsor and BFC Chairwoman Shaandiin Parrish (Chilchinbeto, Dennehotso, Kayenta) said. “We worked diligently to consider all the unmet needs of our Navajo programs and departments, including Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, Division of Community Development, Division of Aging and Long-Term Care Support, and others.” The budget allocates roughly $2.1 billion in general funds for costs related to the operating budgets of the Executive, L eg islat ive, a nd Jud icia l INDIAN COUNTRY

Budget and Finance Committee Chair Shaandiin Parrish Branches. Legislation 0214-23, allocates $35.2 million from the 2022 Personnel Lapse Savings Account to fund a one-time allocation to all 110 chapters for utility payments, $1.72 million for scholarship and job pipeline opportunities, $215,000 to Veterans Assistance, over $908,000 to victim advocate services, $1.25 million to Head Start facilities maintenance, almost $542,000 to animal control and resource enforcement, $1.4 million for employee step increases and bonuses, and a 4% general wage adjustment for all Navajo Nation employees in FY2024. The proposed Navajo Nation FY2024 Comprehensive Budget also allocated $21.5 million from the Navajo Nation Permanent Fund interest to fund 100% of the Division of Public Safety’s unmet need recommendations

BUDGET | SEE PAGE 20 Gallup Sun • Friday September 8, 2023 9

Public safety, marriage act spur discussion Staff Reports


OHATCHI — The 25th Navajo Nation Council’s Law and Order Committee held a regular committee meeting on Aug. 25 at the Tohatchi Chapter House to hear two legislations and listen to the concerns of the community regarding public safety. Officials from the Navajo Nation Police Department, Department of Public Safety and Department of Justice and Chapter Officials from Tohatchi were in attendance. L e g i s l a t io n No. 013 9 23, sponsored by Cou ncil Delegate Seth Damon (Ba a ha a li, Ch ilch ilta h, Manuelito, Red Rock, Rock Spr ings, Tsayatoh), seeks to repeal 9 N.N.C. § 2 (C)

of the Diné Marriage Act of 2005, to u nifor mly recognize all marriages within the Nava jo Nation a nd a mend other provisions in Title 9 of the Navajo Nation Code related to marriage within the Navajo Nation. LOC Cha ir Eugenia Charles-Newton (Shiprock) motioned to move the legislation forward. In the absence of a seconding motion, the legislation still moves forw a r d t o t he Bud get a nd Finance Committee. LOC a l so voted 2 - 0 i n suppor t of Legislation No. 0203 -23, sponsored by Damon, amending the Navajo Na t ion P r o c u r ement Ac t at 12 N.N.C. §301-§371 and the Navajo Nation Business Opportunity Act at 5 N.N.C. §201-§215. The legislation

10 Friday September 8, 2023 • Gallup Sun

moves forward to the BFC, Naabik’iyati’ Committee and Navajo Nation Council for final consideration. BFC Cha ir a nd legislation co-sponsor Shaandiin P a r r i s h (C h i l c h i n b e t o , Dennehotso, Kayenta) presented the bill and addressed questions from the attendees regarding the budgeting process. Parrish provided a brief over v iew including explanations on genera l funds, unmet needs, federal funds versus state, county, Fiscal Recovery Fund and American Rescue Plan Act funding. A com mu n it y member prov ided i nput rega rd i ng the procurement process as it relates to small business owners and the challenges of obtaining costly liability insurance in excess of over

Law and Order Committee Chair Eugenia Charles-Newton $1 million. Pa r r i sh s a id t h at pro posed a mendments to the Procurement Act and Navajo Nation Business Opportunity Act w ill prov ide equa l represent at ion bet ween small business owners and corporations. The LOC a lso received concerns regarding safety issues within the community and surrounding areas. Division of Public Safety Executive Director Michael Anderson and Navajo Nation Chief of Police Daryl Noon addressed concerns regarding the excessive delays in response times, the need for additional officers throughout the Nation, E911 rural a dd re s si ng, t he need for police station substations, elimination of dispatch districting, and others. A nder son sa id DPS i s a dd re s si ng E 911 r u r a l a dd re s si ng a nd re spon se times which he anticipates will improve within the next five years. Anderson advised that DPS will utilize available ARPA funding of $35 million dollars to implement an initiative to reduce DPS respon se t i mes for a gencies like law enforcement, EMS, and Fire and Rescue. DPS plans to have two main

dispatch centers to service the Navajo Nation once infrastr ucture is implemented. The proposed facilities are planned for Kayenta, Arizona and Yatahey, New Mexico. Noon addressed the need for additional officers and cit ed ch a l lenge s such a s low interest in recruitment, uncompetitive wages, challenging background checks, and underqualified academy c a nd id a t e s . No on s t a t e d there are currently 170-180 police officers to service the entire Navajo Nation, which does not provide adequate service to the Navajo people per capita. “Dispatch a nd of f icer s currently work within the territory they are assigned. We are trying to rid the imaginary boundary lines,” Noon said. “The message we are pushing is just go and provide the service that the community expects. We can correct the ad ministrative duties later.” Charles-Newton addressed the Committee and the 25th Navajo Nation Council’s efforts to obtain funding through the Tribal Interior Budget Council to address Navajo public safety need s. She st res sed concerns over outdated Title 17 laws that hinder implementation of needs regarding law enforcement within schools, rehabilitation detox centers, crime data collection to build cou r t s, subst at ion s, ja i l s and manpower to staff these facilities. “We, at the 25th Navajo Nation Council, are working diligently to address the needs and funding for the safety of our Navajo people,” Charles-Newton said. INDIAN COUNTRY



Heinrich announces funding for mental health services Staff Reports


ASHINGTON D.C. — U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., announced that New Mexico will receive $323,000 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on Sept. 5. This is the first of three years of funding that New Mexico will receive under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that Heinrich negotiated and passed into law in June 2022. This funding will go to New Mexico’s Department of Human Services to expand access to mental health care across the state. Permissible expenses include funding mental health and support services not otherwise covered by public or private health insurance, increasing awareness of mental health resources, and determining effectiveness of ongoing behavioral health efforts. “ T he Bipa r t i sa n Sa fer Communities Act is delivering the resources we need to improve public safety in New Mexico, while also increasing access to mental health care for kids and adults throughout our state. I negotiated and fought to pass this legislation because I believe the American people want to know they are

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. safe, whether at the movie theater, a grocery store, or in school. This law is a step on the way there,” Heinrich said. Heinrich went into a bit more detail about how the funding wil help. “Our bipartisan legislation has given law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need to stop firearm trafficking within and across our borders and also unlocked new federal funding to increase the number of New Mexicans who can access the mental health care they need in their own communities,” he said. “I look forward to continuing to welcome the resources this legislation delivered for years to come.” A f t e r t he element a r y school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in May 2022, Heinrich

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joined a small group of Senate colleagues to negotiate the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first significant federal gun safety legislation in 30 years. Hei n r ich a nd S en a t or Susan Collins, R-Maine, specifically worked together to secure two key provisions that made fi rearm trafficking and straw purchases criminal offenses punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Prior to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, it was only a federal criminal offense to smuggle firearms into the U.S. – not out of

the U.S.. Firearms trafficked out of the United States are estimated to be used in nearly 70% of crimes involving a fi rearm in Mexico and nearly half of crimes involving a fi rearm in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, fueling the violence that is a root cause of migration out of those countries. According to the Department of Justice, as of June, federal law enforcement and prosecutors have already used Heinrich’s provisions to charge more than 100 defendants with illegal firearms

trafficking and straw purchasing offenses. Similarly, the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security seized nearly 2,000 fi rearms and 80,000 rounds of ammunition being trafficked from the U.S. to Mexico in the fi rst half of Fiscal Year 2023. This was a 65.8% increase in the seizure of fi rearms being trafficked out of the U.S., compared to the same period in Fiscal Year 2022, before the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and Heinrich’s trafficking provisions, were passed into law.

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Wildfi re recovery funds issued to San Miguel County OVER $6 MILLION APPROVED IN FEDERAL FUNDING Staff Reports






12 Friday September 8, 2023 • Gallup Sun

ASHINGTON D.C. — U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich., D -N.M., and Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., and U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández, D-N.M., announced over $6 million in federal funding to San Miguel County on Aug. 31 for reimbursement for county road repairs as a result of the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire The grant now awaits distribution by the New Mexico’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “I will not stop fighting until all New Mexicans impacted by the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire are made whole again, and this investment takes us one step closer to getting this done,” Heinrich said. “These funds will help San Miguel County continue to rebuild and recover after coming out of pocket to repair damaged roads as a result of the fire and subsequent flooding and straight-line winds. It’s now up to the State of New Mexico to see these funds are delivered to this community as soon as possible.” Heinrich, Luján, and Leger Fernández have fought tirelessly to ensure New Mexicans receive the resources necessary to recover and rebuild from the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire, pressing top Senate leaders and Biden Administration officials to ensure investments reach those in need. “From New Mexicans’ livelihoods, small businesses, and the local roads connecting them, the Hermit’s Peak/Calf

Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M. Canyon Fire and the flooding that followed devastated San Miguel County. In order to jumpstart their recovery, they’ve had to pay out of their own pockets to begin muchneeded infrastructure upgrades for damaged roads,” Luján said. “I’m proud this critical investment of more than $6 million will reimburse this community for repairing roads.”

In June, Heinrich, Luján, and Leger Fernández announced two new actions taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture a nd Fe der a l E mer ge nc y Management Agency in helping New Mexicans recover from the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire following months of advocacy. The announcement included a new pa r t ner sh ip w it h USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, providing claimants with the option to request a NRCS conservation and restoration plan, tailored to recovering from the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire and subsequent flooding, to include cost estimates that can be utilized by the Claims Office to process claims quickly and efficiently. Additionally, the Congressional delegation welcomed over $265 million from USDA’s Emergency Watershed Protection program to help with wildfire recovery efforts.

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Star athletes of the week

Ryleigh Silva School: Miyamura High School Name: Ryleigh Silva Sport: Volleyball Grade: Senior Ryleigh is being nominated because of her play in the Aug. 31 game against Grants, where she led the team defensively. She ended up with 15 digs on the night and was the heart and soul of the team’s defensive effort as the libero. Her overall hustle and determination was paramount to the team’s success. Her serve receive rating of 2.4 was massive as well.

on Sept. 1 against Kirkland Central with over 200 yards passing. On Aug. 25 in the game against Tucumcari he also had a standout performance throwing for a touchdown and rushing for another. He is also an all-star student maintaining over a 4.0 GPA while attending the McKinley Academy. School: Tohatchi High School Name: Merisa Denesto Sport: Volleyball Grade: Senior Marisa has a 3.7 GPA. She has been on the varsity team as a starter for four years. Last year she was fi rst team all-district. She is the team’s outside hitter and setter as well as a defensive specialist and co-captain. Overall, she has a great attitude and is extremely coachable and is a tremendous leader for the rest of her team.

Kairi also leads the girls and boys teams in practice. She is very energetic and actively encourages all the cross country runners to work hard and push themselves. When Kairi completes her practice runs, she will run back to the next runner and run back with them

pushing them to fi nish strong. When they fi nish, she will go back and get the next. The teams look to her as a leader for encouragement and guidance. School: Tse’ Yi’ Gai High School Name: Taysen Begay

Sports scores for Aug. 31 - Sept. 6 Football 8/31 59-6 (L) Miyamura @ Gallup 9/1 22-12 (W) Crownpoint v. Zuni 9/1 50-0 (L) Ramah v. Mountainair 9/1 46-14 (L) Thoreau v. Kirtland Central 9/1 30-18 (W) Tohatchi v. Fort Wingate

9/6 5-4 (W) Gallup v. Belen

Boys Soccer 9/2 6-0 (L) Miyamura v. Valencia 9/2 9-0 (W) Rehoboth Christian v. Hot Springs 9/5 2-1 (W) Miyamura v. East Mountain 9/6 0-8 (L) Gallup v. Belen Girls Soccer 9/5 3-0 (L) Gallup v. Valencia 9/5 1-1 (Tie) Miyamura v. East Mountain


Volleyball 8/31 3-0 (L) Crownpoint v. Laguna Acoma 8/31 3-2 (L) Ramah v. Fort Wingate 8/31 3-0 (L) Tse’ Yi’ Gai v. Alamo Navajo 9/2 3-2 (W) Gallup v. Valencia 9/2 3-0 (W) Miyamura v. Bernalillo 9/2 3-0 (L) Ramah v. Newcomb 9/2 3-0 (W) Tohatchi v. Escalante 9/5 3-2 (L) Gallup v. Piedra Valley 9/5 3-0(L) Miyamura v. Monument Valley 9/5 3-0 (W) Navajo Pine @ Tohatchi 9/5 3-1 (W) Rehoboth Christian v. Newcomb 9/5 3-1 (L) Thoreau v. Kirtland Central

Sports schedule for week of Sept. 8 Football 9/8 Miyamura v. Goddard 7 pm Home 9/8 Navajo Pine v. Alamo Navajo 4 pm Home 9/8 Tohatchi v. Laguna Acoma 7 pm Away 9/9 Gallup v. Taos 1:30 pm Away 9/9 Ramah v. Pine Hill 1 pm Away 9/9 Thoreau .v. McCurdy 1 pm Away

Isaac Bear Eagle School: Thoreau High School Name: Isaac Bear Eagle Sport: Football Grade: Senior As the quarterback, Isaac had a sol id per for ma nce

Sport: Cross Country Grade: Freshman Taysen repeatedly sets personal records at every meet and works hard to improve during every practice. He also achieves excellence in his academic classes. He is a great example of a Diné Warrior.

Kairi Etsitty School: Ramah High School Name: Kairi Etsitty Sport: Cross Country Grade: Senior Kairi led the Ramah Cross Country girls team in the meet at Tohatchi on Sept. 1, completing her 5K in just over 25 minutes.

Boys Soccer 9/8 Miyamura v. Belen 2 pm Away 9/9 Rehoboth Christian v. Socorro 11 am Away 9/12 Miyamura v. Pojoaque Valley 5 pm Home 9/12 Rehoboth Christian @ Gallup 6:30 pm Girls Soccer 9/8 Miyamura v. Belen 4 pm Away 9/9 Gallup v. West Las Vegas 11 am Away

9/9 Rehoboth Christian v. Socorro 1 pm Away 9/12 Miyamura v. Pojoaque Valley 3 pm Home 9/12 Rehoboth Christian @ Gallup 4:30 pm Volleyball 9/9 Crownpoint @ Navajo Pine 9/9 Ramah v. Zuni 2 pm Home 9/12 Miyamura v. Pojoaque Valley 6 pm Home 9/12 Ramah @ Rehoboth Christian 6 pm 9/12 Thoreau v. Oak Grove Classical Academy 6 pm Away 9/13 Gallup v. Navajo Prep 6 pm Home 9/14 Navajo Pine v. Menaul 6 pm Away 9/14 Ramah v. Quemado 6 pm Home 9/14 Rehoboth Christian v. Oak Grove Classical Academy 6 pm Home 9/14 Tohatchi v. Bosque 6 pm Home

Gallup Sun • Friday September 8, 2023 13

Lady Panthers squeeze past the Lady Bengals Lady Bengals Tierra James (12) and Summer Joe (11) block the ball during the Sept. 5 game against the Piedra Valley Lady Panthers. The Lady Panthers defeated the Lady Bengals 3-2. Photo Credit: Kim Helfenbein

Lady Bengal Seniah Haines (5) sets the ball up for teammate Tierra James (12) during the game against the Piedra Valley Lady Panthers. Photo Credit: Kim Helfenbein

Lady Bengal Riley Whitehair (18) attempts to block the ball as Lady Panther Karissa Loudermilk (4) hits it over the net Sept. 5. Photo Credit: Kim Helfenbein

14 Friday September 8, 2023 • Gallup Sun


Cross town rivals battle it out

Miyamura Patriot Dylan Joines attempts to gain yards while Gallup Bengal Samuel Hernandez (20) attempts to block him Aug. 31. The Patriots defeated the Bengals 59-6. Photo Credit: Kim Helfenbein

Miyamura Patriot Dylan Joines (1) pushes past the Gallup Bengals to try to score a touchdown. Photo Credit: Kim Helfenbein

Gallup Bengal (12) scores a touchdown during the game against the Miyamura Patriots Aug 31 in Gallup. Photo Credit: Kim Helfenbein

Miyamura Patriot Carlos Garcia (22) scores a touchdown during the game against the Gallup Bengals Aug. 31. Photo Credit: Kim Helfenbein


Gallup Sun • Friday September 8, 2023 15


‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3’ isn’t a winning rom-com By Glenn Kay For the Sun RATING:  OUT OF 

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Nia Vardalos and John Corbett return as Toula and Ian in ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3.’ This time around, the Portokalos family is fulfilling Toula’s late father’s final wish by returning to Greece. Photo Credit: Focus Features cinemas on Friday, Sept. 8. It’s been a little more than 20 years now since the romantic comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding surprised the industry. The film charmed audiences, was well-received by the press, became a worldwide box office phenomenon and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. A lesser sequel followed in 2016 and now a third film has unexpectedly arrived. The new locale adds a bit of freshness to My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3, but it also doesn’t feel essential and is likely only suited to those who really want to catch up with these particular characters. The story begins after the passing of Portokalos family patriarch Gus (originally played by the late Michael Constantine). With mother Maria (Lainie Kazan) now suffering from dementia, Toula

(Nia Vardalos) decides to lead the family abroad and fulfill the final wish of her father. It involves visiting the Greek village Gus grew up in and delivering a diary about his life to cousins and childhood friends. A reunion is arranged by town mayor Victory (Melina Kotselou), and so Toula, her husband Ian Miller (John Corbett) and daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris), fly to Greece. Also joining them is Toula’s brother Nick (Louis Mandylor), aunts Voula (Andrea Martin) and Frieda (Maria Vacratsis), as well as Aristotle (Elias Kacavas), a young man who recently dated Paris. Unfortunately, they all get a shock after reaching their destination. The village is nearly deserted and no one has officially agreed to attend the reunion. Those who recall the original will remember that the humor was very broad and the family

members were presented in an over-the-top manner, bluntly interjecting in personal conversations and regularly offering less-thanhelpful advice. It was anything but subtle and after two decades the approach hasn’t changed. Honestly, it’s jarring early on to see the same comic techniques employed (but with the dramatic stakes much lower). When extended family members arrive at the airport and cause trouble on the flight, it doesn’t generate laughs and appears preposterous. There’s a dated feel to the proceedings that might make viewers wonder if they have traveled back in time. But as awkward as the first act is, things slowly improve after the leads arrive at the remote village and end up being forced to lodge together. It may simply be a matter



Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for Sept. 8, 2023 By Glenn Kay For the Sun


elcome to another look at some of the highlights arriving on Blu-ray and DVD. There’s one huge release in this edition, as well as a few interesting independent titles arriving. And, as always, plenty of older features have received high-definition upgrades. So, if you can’t make it out to the movies this week or need to stay indoors for a few days, be sure to give one of these titles a try. BIG NEW RELEASES!

MASTER GARDENER: The latest feature from writer/ director Paul Schrader ( F i r s t Refor med, Auto Focus, Aff liction, Light Sleeper) i nvolve s a n exacting and

demanding horticulturist working on a large historic estate in the country who answers to the land’s dowager. One day, she demands he take on a new apprentice, her troubled greatniece. The lead reluctantly agrees and everyone immediately finds themselves at odds. As time passes and dark secrets are revealed about all the characters, tension levels boil over. Overall, the press liked this drama/thriller. Almost onethird of them found it stilted, taking issue with the lead character’s behavior and calling him unlikable. However, most thought the fi lm was engaging, noting that it was a human character study and that all the characters were interestingly flawed and compelling to watch. Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver and Quintessa Swindell headline the picture. SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE: This

sequel to the 2018 animated superhero feature picks up with the yo u n g le a d after he saves his world with t he help of Spider-ma ns from alternate dimensions. This time out, the protagonist is recruited to join a team that can help protect all multiverses. When a new and even more dangerous threat arises and threatens all dimensions and timelines, the group must overcome their differences and work together. Critics gave this follow-up high marks. There were one or two naysayers, who wrote that the picture was long, overstuffed and didn’t offer a satisfying conclusion. Yet all others were wowed by the animation, calling it a wild and trippy delight with clever scenarios and an enjoyably sprawling narrative. They commented that they were excited to see where the story was going and welcomed more installments.

The voice cast includes S h a m i ek Mo o r e , H a i l e e Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac, Jake Johnson, Issa Rae, Daniel Kaluuya, Jason Schwartzman, Br ia n T y ree Henr y, Luna Lauren Velez, Greta Lee and Rachel Dratch. Be sure to note that multiple versions of the title will be released (including 4K, Blu-ray and more), so be sure you pick up the right one for you. THE YOUTUBE EFFECT: Most readers will know Alex Winter from his acting roles in the Bill & Ted series and The Lost Boys, but he’s made a great career for himself as a director and documentarian. His latest title is both an inspirational and cautionary examination of YouTube. This includes how the site was created and its massive (and, at times, dangerous) influence on the world and public since its launch in 2005.

Response towa rds t he non-fiction feature was very upbeat. A small contingent of critics felt that the picture didn’t offer anything new to say about the subject. However, the vast majority thought the subject was fascinating and that the movie effectively examined the pros and cons of this sudden phenomenon on the minds of viewers. A few even stated that the picture would likely stand an important documentary for future generations. ON THE TUBE! And below is a selection of the week’s notable TV-themed releases. Black Snow (Australian TV Series) (Sundance) DVD Harley Quinn Season 3 (Warner Bros.) Blu-ray NCIS: Los Angeles The Complete Series (Paramount) DVD Star Trek: Picard The Complete Series (Paramount) Blu-ray Star Trek: Picard The Final Season (Paramount) Blu-ray V ISIT: W W W. CINEMASTANCE.COM

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GMCS | FROM PAGE 1 program was given a modified expulsion for physically attacking others NMPED requires that students in special education programs still receive educational services despite a suspension. According to the NMPED, “after 10 cumulative school days of removal from school in a school year, students with disabilities must continue to receive educational services.” When it comes to long-term suspensions, which is what happens when the incident is severe enough, the student’s Individual Education Plan team determines what services the student will receive on a suspension, but a student with an IEP can never be truly expelled. Hyatt explained how the district reports its disciplinary actions to the NMPED. All New Mexico schools must submit their disciplinary actions in the Student Teacher Accountability Supporting System. STARS is where school districts record everything from their students’ attendance to their disciplinary records. The disciplinary section has categories and asks questions such as, ‘How many expulsions

did you have?” and “How many suspensions or long-term suspensions?’ But Hyatt said STARS falls short when it comes to discipline. According to Hyatt, the form doesn’t ask every question about discipline, and the discipline categories aren’t clearly defined. “There’s nothing in the STARS manual that says, ‘this is what an expulsion is,’ but in general an expulsion should have been – and as a district this is what we refer to now – an indefinite removal from school,” he said. “There’s no date for a student to return.” D I F F E R I N G DEFINITIONS Hyatt said the STARS manual’s lack of a definition could lead to different districts having different definitions for disciplinary categories. He said that is what happened at GMCS. Each principal is responsible for reporting the disciplinary records for their school, and then a secretary at the district’s central office puts them into one big document for the district. Hyatt said that multiple definitions of expulsion and suspension were initially used, and many suspensions and long-term suspensions were marked down as expulsions, hence the larger number. The data also doesn’t have to be certified.

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GMCS Superintendent Mike Hyatt Hyatt said part of the problem was recently found in the district’s student handbook. In the handbook, a long-term suspension shared a similar definition to an expulsion. Hyatt said that’s where a lot of the confusion could’ve happened. The 2023-2024 GMCS Student Behavior Handbook defines a long-term suspension as “a suspension from school for more than 10 consecutive school days.” A long-term suspension requires a due process hearing at the district level. Sometimes a student who has been long-term suspended can be placed in an “alternative program.” Whereas an expulsion is an indefinite removal from school. According to the handbook, an expulsion requires a formal longterm suspension/expulsion due process hearing at the district level. A student who is expelled may be placed in an “alternative program.” An expelled student must return back to school if the due process hearing is delayed more than 10 days until a decision is made. Hyatt said the mistake led to lots of misinformation and made the data inapplicable when it comes to what each district in the state might define as an expulsion. “So when we looked at the data, you’re not comparing apples to apples across the state. You’re comparing whatever that

New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez district’s definition of that category is,” he said. The outside claim is actually what led the district to look into their data and discover the mistake. The accusations stated that 25% of the state’s Native American students attend GMCS but at least 75% of the expulsions of Native American students came from the district. But Hyatt argued that the amount of Native American students GMCS has skewed the data. According to district records, the district had over 9,000 Native American students attending its schools in the 2020-2021 school year. Hyatt noted that in schools such as Crownpoint High School and Tohatchi High School, the Native American population greatly outnumbers other races. Crownpoint High had 295 enrolled Native American students in the 2020-2021 school year, while only having two enrolled Caucasian students and seven Asian students. Tohatchi High had 265 enrolled Native American students, one African American student, and one Caucasian student in the 20202021 school year. Hyatt argued that when the statistics are looked at properly, the claim that GMCS is discriminately disciplining Native Americans doesn’t hold up. “If this was true, I’d be upset

and trying to make changes, and we always are trying to do better with how we handle discipline, but I think people try to paint this narrative that discipline is bad. Well, discipline can be a very good thing also,” he said. “It’s part of trying to correct negative behavior.” Hyatt explained that the district has also been accused of excessively calling the police. He said that is also false information. “We have reduced referrals in the district in half than what they were prior. The claim that we call the police often is also false, we’ve only called the police when it’s a life and safety issue for our students,” Hyatt said. According to NMPED’s disciplinary data on GMCS, which the Sun received through an Inspection of Public Records Request, GMCS had a variety of violent incidents occur in the 2021-2022 school year. They had 25 incidents where a student had a knife, 160 aggravated battery incidents, and six incidents of assault/battery with a knife. Hyatt said this information needs to be updated as well, but that it may not be as inaccurate as the expulsion numbers. NEXT STEPS The attorney general’s office has hired a Civil Rights attorney to begin investigating cases similar to this one to look over possible educational disparities. Hyatt and Torrez met on Sept. 7 to discuss the matter. Hyatt said he planned to explain why he believed Torrez may have been misled in the matter at hand. Rodriguez said that at this point the AG’s office isn’t sure what the next steps of action would be in this situation. “At this point it is too early to predict an end point for this issue; however, we are always focused on fulfilling our mission which is to safeguard the public interest and protect vulnerable members of our community,” Rodriguez said. NEWS

METRO DISPATCH | FROM PAGE 6 decisions on what help to send and coaching callers on CPR or other medical procedures until EMTs can arrive. And then there’s another 213 “administrative” calls, a mix of emergencies, utility calls, and calls that need to be referred to animal control or other agencies. That call volume would keep a full shift of five dispatchers busy answering nine 911 lines and seven non-emergency lines. These days it’s more like three people per shift, and those people are each working 30 or 40 hours more each week in overtime.

DRIVING HIGH | FROM PAGE 7 the truck and its airbags had been deployed. Another truck, a red GMCS SV was facing westbound on a private property. It had damage on its left side and the airbags had been deployed. When Romancito approached the red truck, she was told that the elderly man who was driving the truck at the time of the accident was having trouble breathing.

MOVIE REVIEW | FROM PAGE 16 of getting used to the old-fashioned humor and overly earnest delivery, but there are some yuks as Toula travels to a nearby city in order to try and hunt down family members. The confused reactions of Ian to various locals appearing unannounced at the door garners laughs. A running gag involving Nick’s unpleasant public body grooming habits also hits the mark, as does the payoff to a scene involving daughter Paris sneaking away to visit a nude beach. NEWS

“I need 18 people to cover the dispatch floor 24/7, 365,” Dimas said. Worker shor t a ge s a re stretching the county’s dispatchers to the brink. Metro has five openings, even with two recent new trainees. One of the open jobs is a supervisory position. Part of the shortage is the pandemic effect: workers are much more concerned about work-life balance than they were before. Dispatch often involves inconvenient shifts, inflexible hours and loads of stress. To help with the layered issues that dispatchers face, the county has approved retention stipends of $12,000 a year, paid in $1,000 monthly installments,

in exchange for staying with the job for a year. Dimas said it doesn’t solve all the problems, but it’s a start. “We thought it was important to retain the people we had now because it is such a vital service to the community,” Deputy County Manager Brian Money said. “I don’t recall a time when we’ve ever been fully staffed.” Money also acknowledged the stress of the job. “It’s sometimes a very thankless job they do and it’s a very stressful job. People expect them to answer that phone whenever they call,” Money said. “I don’t think people understand how passionate they are about

what they do.” The county worked with state officials to make sure the stipend stayed within state constitutional guidelines that forbid bonuses, Money said. The stipend is a pot sweetener that also doesn’t trigger a cascade effect that would nudge up county salaries across the board. The stipend is loosely modeled after a program the state started for law enforcement officers last year, which pays their stipend from state funds. The dispatch stipends come from county coffers. Dimas has been working with peer agencies to have the state recognize dispatchers as part of law enforcement,

instead of being classified as clerical workers as they are now. That status would likely have included them in the state stipends. It would also put them in a more competitive pay bracket, shorten their years of service toward retirement from 30 to 25 and allow them to schedule their time in two-week increments that would make their hours more flexible and facilitate shift-swapping. Even with the disadvantages, some people feel sticking to the job is worthwhile. “There’s not many jobs you can go to where you actually get to save a life every day,” Dimas said. “It’s very gratifying.”

Romancito was able to speak to the man, and he said he was hurting. The Gallup Fire Department was able to get the man out of his vehicle, and he was transported to a local hospital. He had multiple injuries, including a broken pelvis, a bleeding spleen, and multiple brain bleeds. His injuries were deemed life-threatening and he was scheduled to fly out to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. However, his flight was initially delayed because of

bad weather. As for 32-year-old Murphy, Romancito talked to him after the GFD rescued the victim from his car. When Romancito talked to Murphy, she told him that a tow truck would come for his truck. Murphy told Romancito that he hadn’t been drinking that day, but that he had smoked some marijuana. He refused to do a Field Sobriety Test. When Romancito asked why he didn’t want to be tested Murphy replied with “I’m OK.”

R om a nc it o r epor t e d ly learned that Murphy had three prior offenses, so a blood test was required. Murphy was transported to a local hospital for the blood test, but he refused any other medical treatment. Once the blood test was done, Romancito drove Murphy to the Gallup Police Department to complete his booking paperwork. As Romancito was doing the paperwork Murphy began yelling, banging on the walls and doors, and talking loudly.

In her report Romancito noted that Murphy did smell of intoxicating liquor. She also noted that he was unsteady on his feet, swaying backward and forward, and he was uncooperative. He reportedly kept repeating himself when he was asked questions and then he got angry with himself for doing so. Murphy was charge with great bodily harm by vehicle. His case was moved to district court on Aug. 22. A pretrial date had not been set by press time.

The Greek locations are also gorgeous to behold and manage to add some visual pizazz as the characters explore their surroundings. And the cast do all seem to be happy to be in each other’s company once again, which does help add some charm to the proceedings (even if the central story doesn’t offer much of an opportunity to deliver either comedic conflict or straight-faced drama to the proceedings). In the end, the movie requires some patience in order to get back on its old wavelength. Elements do feel on-the-nose and more gags whiff than actually hit the mark.

And this is faint praise, but somehow the cast do manage to generate a few laughs out of the material and the nice backdrops make the entire exercise feel more pleasant than grating (for those still wondering, the screenplay does manage to find a way to squeeze some nuptials into the story). My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 is certainly not an awards contender and isn’t even a particularly winning rom-com, but it is an affable effort that, after a lot of effort, ultimately manages to improve upon its immediate predecessor. V ISIT: W W W. CINEMASTANCE.COM Gallup Sun • Friday September 8, 2023 19

N.M. SUPREME COURT | FROM PAGE 8 was illegally obtained. The justices ordered the ca se back to the district court for further proceedings. The district court dismissed a felony drug possession case against Ricky Ayon in 2020, ruling that a sheriff’s deputy had no reasonable suspicion to stop the defendant and that made it illegal for the deputy to search the defendant. A bag of heroin was found in his pocket. Ayon was walking with a bicycle and groceries when he was stopped, and the deputy testified at the preliminary hearing that Ayon was doing nothing illegal at the time. The deputy knew Ayon had an outstanding warrant based on a previous check of records, but was uncertain it remained valid at the time of the stop. He confi rmed the warrant was active after handcuffi ng Ayon. The dissenting justices, in

BUDGET | FROM PAGE 9 from the Law a nd Order Committee, and the Division of A g i ng a nd L ong-Ter m Care Support’s unmet need recommendations from the Health, Education, and Human Services Committee. The legislation also allocates $3.4 million to the D i v i s io n of C o m mu n i t y

an opinion by Vigil, wrote, “Our position is that district judges have both the power and the obligation to evaluate the constitutionality of evidence at a preliminary examination.” Bacon and Vigil reasoned that the constitutional protections against unlawful sea rche s a nd sei z u re s – Article II, Section 10 of the New Mexico Constitution – apply throughout a criminal case and that the only way to enforce that right is for judges to deny the government the use of illegally obtained evidence. “It is i ncu mbent upon judges to safeguard constitutional rights and ensure that justice is served. Failing to consider the constitutionality of evidence undermines the very fabric of our legal principles and compromises the integrity of our justice system,” the dissenting justices wrote. The Court’s majority disagreed with the dissent that its ruling ignored a judge’s o bl i g a t io n t o s a fe g u a r d

the constitutional rights of defendants. “It does nothing of the sort,” the Court’s majority wrote. “The majority opinion simply reserves any question regarding the legality by which the evidence was obtained for a later date than the preliminary hearing when the matter can be carefully considered.” T he C ou r t ’s m a j or it y explained that preliminary hearings “take place on a brisk timeline” when the exchange of evidence among the parties is in an early stage and there is no provision for submitting written arguments on legal issues in preliminary hearing. Because of that, the majority wrote, “both the facts and the arguments about whether evidence was illegally obtained are likely to be underdeveloped. The result can be insufficiently informed rulings.” In New Mexico, felony ch a r ge s c a n be brou g ht through a preliminary hearing process or by presenting

evidence to a grand jury for possible indictment of a person. The state Supreme Court previously has held that district courts have no authority to decide whether evidence considered by a grand jury was illegally obtained. In the Sept. 5 decision, the Court’s majority wrote that the “fundamental similarities between grand jury proceedings and preliminary hearings favor our conclusion that their rules on the exclusion of illegally obtained evidence should be congruent.” The dissenting opinion noted that there are more procedural safeguards in preliminary hearings and defendants have more rights in those than during a grand jury proceeding. That, the dissenting justices wrote, “counsels in favor of adopting a rule that district court judges have authority to take into account the constitutionality of the evidence’s procurement during a preliminary examination.”

T he C ou r t ’s m a j or it y explained that Ayon’s “case illustrates the severe limitations of the preliminary hearing relative to our procedure for motions to suppress; no law whatsoever was cited by either party in the two-minute suppression argument at the preliminary hearing, and no law was cited by the district court to explain its ruling.” The majority wrote that “the majority of judges across the country, including all of our federal judges, conduct preliminary hearings without addressing the exclusion of illegally obtained evidence. The dissent provides no substantive support for its position that the rule announced today, which conforms with the federal practice and the ma jor it y of jur isdictions, would result in the judiciary ignoring their duty as judges, undermine the very fabric of our legal principles, and compromise the integrity of our justice system.”

Development to the Capital Projects Ma nagement Department to support the construction of idling projects on the Navajo Nation, $550,000 to all 110 Chapters for veteran awards and events, $1.5 million to all 110 Chapters for scholarships, and $5 million to develop a Housing Trust Fund. “In 2023, we are fortunate to use American Rescue Plan Act dollars for some housing across

the Nation. However, earlier this year when the Budget and Finance Committee legislated our priorities, we were thinking ahead to when the ARPA deadline passes,” Parrish said. “We set aside $5 million and over time this amount will grow. When we set aside these dollars, we were thinking of all the Navajo people who want to

move home to the Nation.” Regarding the Housing Trust Fund, Parrish said the Committee highlighted the need to be proactive in housing and community development. “The FY2024 proposed budget reflects the services our government provides to our Navajo citizens, it sets aside money for the future, and it

supplements governmental services,” Parrish said. “This budget is planning ahead and putting our people fi rst.” Legislation 0214-23 was approved with a vote of four in favor and zero opposed. The legislation moves forward to the Naa’bik’íyáti’ Committee and the Navajo Nation Council serves as the fi nal authority.

Check out our FREE access community website! 20 Friday September 8, 2023 • Gallup Sun




Need a past issue? $2.00 per copy. Note issue date and send check or M.O. to: Gallup Sun, PO Box 1212, Gallup, NM 87305. Subject to availability.

Gallup Living Rentals Available Email berlinda@gallupliving. com for current rental list. Office (505) 488-2344

AUTO SALES Amigo Automotive Center

2022 Jeep Wrangler Sport St# J23034A Low Miles Was $46,595 NOW $42,888 No Photo Available 2021 GMC Yukon XL Final Cost $78,888.00 Condition : Used Body Type: 4wd Denali Transmission: Automatic Ext. Color: Gray Stock# 23157A No Photo Available 2021 Chevrolet Blazer LT w/1LT SUV 32,732 miles Final price: $36,988 Condition: Used 21/27 mpg City/Hwy 2.5L i-4 Engine Automatic FWD Red Hot Exterior Jet Black Interior Stock #: TP22115 Amigo Toyota 2000 S. Second St. Gallup, NM 87301 (505) 722-3881 CLASSIFIEDS


This is a non-exempt, full-time position.


Applications are available at the Gallup Housing Authority located at 203 Debra Drive in Gallup, NM 87301, or by request at GHA.Main@


DEADLINE TO APPLY: September 8, 2023

Applications and additional information regarding positions can be found on the County web site www. McKinley County Human Resources (505) 863-1400

Job Vacancy Announcement

Gallup Housing Authority is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Housing Assistant - HCVP Gallup Housing Authority



September 1, 2023

Delivery Driver

General Job Description: This person is responsible for administering the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP), including but not limited to overseeing the waiting list, determination of eligibility of low-income applicants and families, issuance of Section Eight and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Vouchers (VASH). This person conducts orientation for landlords and participants, certifications, interims, recertifications, transfers and ensures, wherever possible, that all discretionary activities are administered in compliance with HUD and agency policy. The successful candidate must have excellent computer skills and experience with Word, Outlook, and Excel spreadsheets. Must be skilled in standard office procedures and operations. Must have ability to communicate effectively with applicants, tenants, other employees, and the public. Must be fluent in the English language. Must have and maintain a current valid driver’s license. Background check conducted upon hire.

McKinley County is now accepting applications for the following positions: POSITION Heavy Equipment Operator

The Gallup Sun seeks a delivery driver to drop off newspapers at designated locations in Gallup and beyond. Job requires

availability every Friday. Route pay, plus mileage. Drug testing required upon hire, plus random screenings. Must have own vehicle, drivers license, current insurance and registration. Call (505) 7228994 to make an appointment to fill out an application, plus interview. LEGAL/PUBLIC NOTICES LEGAL NOTICE PUBLIC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that The Gallup Housing Authority will conduct its monthly Board of Commissioners meeting to be held on Friday September 15, at 9:00 am MST. Meeting will be conducted at the Gallup Housing Authority, 203 Debra Dr. Gallup, New Mexico 87301. A copy of the agenda


Economic Development Associate Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation (Gallup, NM) Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation (GGEDC) is currently accepting resumes for the position of Economic Development Associate. The ideal candidate for this mid-level position will have strong communication skills both written and verbal, as well as analytical and leadership skills. We are seeking a dynamic, skilled and accomplished professional with experience in a variety of development projects. This position will play a key role in assisting with the full economic development agenda of the Corporation. A bachelor’s degree is required. The ideal candidate should have 5 years of experience in economic development, community development and experience in managing complex projects. A successful economic development associate must have a thorough knowledge of computer software and a variety of internet applications. Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) desirable but not necessary. Application materials required are the following: letter of interest, resume, 3 references with email contact information, writing sample, valid driver’s license and related vehicle insurance. The Economic Development Associate will report to the executive director and work closely with the economic development manager to meet the mission and vision of the corporation and to help ensure the organization remains fiscally sound and maintains the highest ethical standards. For complete job description, please email: Submit a letter of interest and resume to: Patty Lundstrom, CEcD Executive Director, GGEDC Position will remain open until filled; apply by September 15, 2023 for full consideration.

Gallup Sun • Friday September 8, 2023 21

CLASSIFIEDS | FROM PAGE 21 and/or specific agenda items may be obtained at the Gallup Housing Authority office. This is a public meeting except for items to be considered in closed session. Documents are available in various accessible formats and interested parties may also participate by phone. If you are an individual with a disability who needs a reader, amplifier, qualified sign language interpreter, or any other form of auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in the hearing or meeting, please contact the Gallup Housing Authority at (505) 722-4388, at least (1) week prior to the meeting or as soon as possible.

Public documents, including the agenda and minutes, can be provided in various accessible formats. Contact the Gallup Housing Authority if a summary or other type of accessible format is needed.

be held virtually on Thursday, September 8, 2023 at 3 PM. The agenda and log-in information will be available 72 hours prior to the meeting from and on City of Gallup website.

Gallup Housing Authority Gallup, McKinley County, New Mexico By:/S/ Alfred Abeita, Chairman of the Board

Published: Gallup Sun September 8, 2023

Published: Gallup Sun September 8, 2023 *** Public Notice Public Notice is hereby given that Gallup Business Improvement District, Inc. will conduct its regular monthly Board of Directors Meeting to

*** PUBLIC NOTICE PUBLIC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the McKinley County Board of Commissioners will hold a Regular Meeting on Tuesday September 12, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. This meeting will be held “InPerson” and the requirements of the Open Meetings Act allowing members of the public to attend and listen to meetings of the quorum of the governing body. This meeting will be held in the Commission Chambers, Third Floor of the McKinley County Courthouse, 207 West


25 WORD OR LESS: $10 26-50 WORDS: $20 51-75 WORDS: $30 76-100 WORDS: $40 $10 FOR EACH ADD’L 25 WORDS EXTRAS - $10 PER WEEK, PER ITEM: TEXT BOX, YELLOW HIGHLIGHT, PIC, AND/OR LOGO Newspaper published Fridays. Prepayment required. Classifi eds due Wednesday Noon. Deadline subject to change Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. Email: Offi ce (505) 722-8994

Hill, Gallup, New Mexico. A copy of the agenda will be available 72 hours prior to the meeting in the Manager’s Office and the County Clerk’s Office. The agenda can be sent electronically upon request. Auxiliary aides for the disabled are available upon request; please contact Shawna Garnenez at (505) 863-1400 at

least 48 hours in advance of the meeting to make any necessary arrangements. All interested parties are invited to attend. Done this 5th of August 2023 McKINLEY COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS /S/ Robert Baca, Chairperson Publication date: September 18, 2023


SUBSCRIBE TO THE GALLUP SUN! Three Convenient Delivery Options Snail Mail: __ 1 yr. $110 __ 6 mo. $60


Honor your loved one in the Gallup Sun for FREE. One headshot allowed! Download form: (obituaries page) or stop by office at 1983 State Rd. 602. Let us design a custom tribute at an affordable rate! All obituaries are posted in our print and web editions!

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22 Friday September 8, 2023 • Gallup Sun



Community Calendar September 8 - 14, 2023


Dress up and mingle with K-POP fans, synchronize your dance moves to your favorite K-POP idols and artists, have your picture taken on the green screen, and create and trade K-POP merch. The party is for people age 6 and up.


2 pm every Saturday @ OFPL’s Children’s Branch (200 W. Aztec. Ave.) for weekly family oriented film screenings. This week’s movie is Lilo and Stitch (2002). Email bmartin@ or call (505) 863-1291 for more information.



Check out a book at Zollinger Library and receive a free bookmark and pen. 4:30 pm @ OFPL’s Children’s Branch (200 W. Aztec Ave.). Join the chess club at OFPL! Email or call (505) 8631291 for more information. 1 pm - 5 pm @ OFPL’s Children’s Branch (200 W. Aztec Ave.). Every Friday, come to the children’s library to unwind from a busy week! Email or call (505) 863-1291 for more information. SATURDAY, SEPT. 9


7 pm - 9 pm @ Downtown Gallup. Come experience local and professional art, artist demonstrations, gallery openings, live music, hands-on crafts, and games for the kids.


1 pm - 3 pm @ ART123 Gallery (123 W. Coal Ave.). Follow step-by-step instructions to paint fall leaves! For more information and to register go to


7 pm - 9 pm @ ART123 Gallery (123 W. Coal Ave.). Experience the power and beauty of Indigenous perspectives through the lens of digital art through artist Christian Bigwater’s work.


1 pm @ OFPL’s main library (115 W. Hill Ave.). Learn how to select, layout, and cut patterns, use a sewing machine, seam finishes, and hand sew to finish. The class is for people age 12 and up.


6 pm @ OFPL’s Children’s Branch (200 W. Aztec Ave.). CALENDAR



9 am - 5 pm @ 340 9th Street. The Gallup 9th Street Flea Market is one of the largest Native American markets in the United States. SUNDAY, SEPT. 10


2 pm @ El Morro Theatre (207 W. Coal Ave.). Expert panel and an open discussion will follow the film. Email tmoe@ or call (505) 863-1291 for more information. MONDAY, SEPT. 11


11 am @ the Children’s Branch (200 W. Aztec Ave.). This month, they will be exploring the subject of space, and taking a look at the Earth, moon, sun, planets, and stars. Email or call (505) 863-1291 for more information.


4 pm @ OFPL’s Children’s Branch (200 W. Aztec Ave.). Email or call (505) 863-1291 for more information.


12 pm @ the UNM-Gallup Zollinger Library (705 Gurley Ave.). Join Zollinger Library for friendly weekly chess matches. For questions or more information, call 505863-7531 or email markos@



9 am @ 207 W. Hill Ave.


6 pm @ Veterans Helping Veterans (908 E. Buena Vista Ave.). This meeting is for Women Veterans, veteran wives and widows or any woman related to a veteran.


6 pm @ City Council Chambers, Gallup City Hall (110 W. Aztec Ave.). The meeting will also be streamed on the City of Gallup’s Facebook page at City of Gallup, New Mexico Government.


4:30 pm @ OFPL’s Children’s Branch (200 W. Aztec Ave.). Join the chess club at OFPL! Email or call (505) 863-1291 for more information. WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 13


5 pm @ the UNM-Gallup Zollinger Library (705 Gurley Ave.). Join Zollinger Library for their monthly gathering of trainers. For questions please call 505-863-7531 or email


6 pm @ OFPL’s main library (115 W. Hill Ave.). First Financial Credit Union will be hosting a series of finance classes at OFPL. This week’s topic is “Car Buying 101” Classes are limited to 25 participants, advance registration at http:// or the front desk at the main library is required.


6 pm - 7:30 pm @ Rio West Mall’s food court (1300 W. Maloney Ave.) A free chess club that is open to players of all ages and skill levels. For more information email


4 pm every Wednesday @ OFPL’s main library (115 W. Hill Ave.). This week’s film is The Wizard of Oz.


11 am @ the Children’s Branch (200 W. Aztec Ave.). This month, they will be exploring the subject of space, and taking a look at the Earth, moon, sun, planets, and stars. Email or call (505) 863-1291 for more information.


4 pm - 6 pm @ the Children’s Branch (200 W. Aztec Ave.). OFPL’s MakerSpace is a collaborative work space for making, learning, and exploring. Participants ages 5 and up can come in to create their own design for the 3D printers or explore the many engineering activities and equipment! THURSDAY, SEPT. 14


7 pm @ ART123 Gallery (123. W. Coal Ave.). Hear what Christian Bigwater is thinking about the future of Indigenous digital art.


(1300 W. Maloney Ave.). Kick off Hispanic Heritage Month with crafts that highlight the diversity and beauty of Hispanic culture around the world.


12 pm @ the UNM-Gallup Zollinger Library (705 Gurley Ave.). Join the library for an enchilada lunch to honor el Dia de la Independencia de México. There will be music and games.


2 pm in-person at the Main Library (115 W. Hill Ave.) or on Zoom. OFPL’s book club book for September is Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez. Email bmartin@gallupnm. gov or call 505-863-1291 for more information. TUESDAY, SEPT. 19


6 pm @ the Gallup Sports Complex (925 Park Ave.). Runners and walkers of all ages can participate, and there is no entry fee. Registation starts at 5:30 pm. For more information call John Taylor at (505) 458-3634.

10 am @ UNM-Gallup’s Calvin Hall Auditorium. A free event where artists and creatives learn about copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property concerns.


9 am - 5 pm @ the UNM-Gallup Zollinger Library (705 Gurley Ave.). Can you find the treasure of Captain Zollinger? Follow the clues, find the chest, and collect the treasure.

4 pm @ the UNM-Gallup Zollinger Library (705 Gurley Ave.). This month, Zollinger Library is recognizing books that were adapted into movies. This week’s film is Northanger Abbey.


4 pm @ OFPL’s Children’s Branch (200 W. Aztec Ave.). For more information email: or call (505) 863-1291.




11 am - 6 pm @ the UNM-Gallup Zollinger Library (705 Gurley Ave.). Try out the library’s special two-hole mini golf course. Score a hole-in-one and get a special library prize!



12 pm - 4 pm @ Rio West Mall

To post a nonprofit or civic event in the calendar section, please email: or fax: (505) 212-0391. Deadline: Monday at 5 pm.

Gallup Sun • Friday September 8, 2023 23