Thumbs: Our high country lowdown on the news - March 15, 2013

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS DOWN! TAINTED SMACK. San Miguel County Detention Center officials say some contaminated heroin is on the streets these days, and it led to the death of one person and serious illnesses for three others — all current or former inmates at the jail. The jail officials suspect the heroin has been tainted with bath salts.
Among the symptoms jail officials have seen are seizures, hyperventilation, hallucinations, screaming, becoming violent or psychotic, dramatic changes in vital signs and being oblivious to self-harm. “The bottom line is, this stuff is deadly, and everyone needs to stay completely away from it,” Warden Patrick Snedeker said Monday.
Heroin by itself can wreck a person’s life — that’s why so many of them go to jail — but for the drug to be tainted in such a deadly way makes it much, much worse. Let’s hope the culprits behind this are caught and prosecuted soon.

THUMBS UP! OUT TO THE BALLGAME. The city of Las Vegas has started investing in needed improvements to Rodriguez Park to prepare it for a season of major league baseball action, as the Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs makes its way into town. That includes decorative fencing, a gate for the front of the park, and a couple of restroom buildings — for a total pricetag of abut $175,300. That’s the city’s biggest investment yet into the Las Vegas Train Robbers franchise.

THUMBS DOWN! TOO-DRY WINTER PASSING BY. Any hopes of this winter pulling the region out of its years-long drought are about to be dashed as the first day of spring, also known as the spring equinox, arrives on Wednesday, March 20. Even with an early spring snowfall, the overall shortage of precipitation is not likely to subside anytime soon.
That means concerns over water will grow all the more intense. We can only hope for a good monsoon season, but all in all it’s reasonable to presume we’re in for another tough year without enough of the wet stuff. Brace yourselves for another bone-dry summer.

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“Nationally, there is a lot of debate about should marriage be defined as between a man and a woman. ... One of the consequences is that it creates these rights of conscience cases.” — Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defending Freedom, about a Santa Fe court case involving a photographer who declined to shoot a commitment ceremony of a lesbian couple because she said it’s against her religious beliefs.