Region briefs

Durango bubonic plague case confirmed

A La Plata County woman tested positive for bubonic plague on Friday. It’s the first case of bubonic plague in the county since 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Claire Macpherson, spokeswoman for San Juan Basin Health Department, said the woman was hospitalized with plague-like symptoms on Saturday.

Symptoms include the sudden onset of fever, headache, chills, weakness and one or more swollen and tender painful lymph nodes, called “buboes.”

She was treated with antibiotics and released.

Humans cannot catch bubonic plague from humans. Typically, animals transmit the disease.

San Juan Basin Health is investigating how the woman became infected.

For the past few decades, bubonic plague has infected seven humans a year in the U.S., Macpherson said.

Plague-ridden fleas hold the greatest danger for humans. Macpherson urged people going outside to wear long pants, long sleeves and bug spray, especially if they go near prairie dogs.

FLC student named Miss Native American

Miss Native American for 2014-15 is April Brannon Yazza, 19, a student at Fort Lewis College.

Yazza, from the Zuni and Navajo tribes, was crowned at the third annual Miss Native American USA Pageant in Tempe, Ariz.

Yazza is studying graphic design with a minor in entrepreneurship and small-business management. She graduated from West Mesa High School in 2013.

Yazza is from Mentmore, N.M.

Albuquerque board discusses school chief

The board of New Mexico’s largest school district scheduled a meeting Monday to discuss an investigation into its superintendent, the focus of which remains a mystery.

A personnel issue came up during the performance review for Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Winston Brooks, board president Analee Maestas said. Maestas said in a statement last week that she hired an attorney to investigate the issue.

The meeting “will include an executive session to discuss the matter with Mr. Brooks,” Maestas said.

Brooks confirmed that the attorney has interviewed him, but he declined to give details.

Brooks was suspended and put on an improvement plan last year after a disparaging comment about Education Secretary Hanna Skandera on Twitter. In two tweets, he likened Skandera to livestock.

Ex-Farmington detective awarded $200K by jury

A jury has sided with a former Farmington police detective who says he was the victim of retaliation.

The Daily Times says jurors Friday awarded Frank Dart more than $200,000.

Dart, who retired last year, filed a complaint in February 2012 under the state’s Whistleblower Protection Act.

Dart says he wrote memos to the Police Chief Kyle Westall with concerns about a suspect’s arrest.

Dart says the department started acting hostile toward him.

Virginia Anderman, an attorney for the defendants, says the city still has a good defense and will review her clients’ options.

Cortez Journal