UP -- We confess to a weakness for the thrill of riding a two-wheeled machine. So we read with great interest about 8-year-old Bryson Buller who won the Monster Energy Supercross/KTM Junior Challenge last weekend. Many young people learn vehicle safety as well as responsibility for maintenance and repair on those first machines. And we like the fact that the competition requires participants to have good grades. Way to go Bryson. Good luck in your future endeavors.
DOWN -- This school shooting was too close to home. A 12-year-old boy in Roswell is accused of bringing a sawed-off shotgun to school and wounding two classmates. These situations are reminders that we have more work to do when it comes to detecting and treating people, of any age, who are suffering mental trauma. Resorting to such drastic action is either the last resort of a tortured mind or mental illness or both. And not to be forgotten is gun safety. Where there are children, the guns should be locked and stored in a place where they can't be used to create more tragedy, purposeful or accidental.
UP -- It looks like the search for a new Farmington police chief has turned up some highly qualified candidates, including a couple internal candidates. We need to know more before we decide whether to weigh in on the matter. But we think many of these candidates have the credentials and experience to provide ethical and principled leadership for the Farmington Police Department.
DOWN -- Alcohol-impaired driving figured in more death and disfigurement, according to stories we ran this week. Two men died in a single-vehicle wreck on U.S. Highway 550 south of Bloomfield and police say speed and alcohol were factors. The driver veered into oncoming traffic before swerving back into his own lane and off the road onto a dirt embankment that launched the vehicle into the air. Two of the car's occupants were pronounced dead at the scene and it's a miracle innocent bystanders weren't injured or killed. In the other incident, two drivers, both suspected of drunken driving, crashed into each other causing injuries. One of those drivers already had six DWI convictions and a suspended driver's license. It's clear some people simply can't hold their liquor and are too dense to understand or care about the potential chaos they create every time they drink and get behind the wheel. We understand many of these people are alcoholics, which is a suicidal compulsion. But when you threaten another person's life, the punishment should match the crime.
UP -- The Farmington Regional Animal Shelter held its ribbon-cutting and is officially in businesses. Mayor Tommy Roberts, ever the pragmatist, pronounced, "Not everybody got what they wanted, but it is viable." He continued: "It will help us transfer from an animal control community to an animal welfare community." And that's the point. It won't be easy because this area has a chronic feral animal problem and faces substantial obstacles in getting people on board with the spay and neuter program. But this is a new beginning and we are optimistic that the community now has what it needs to find creative solutions.