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Vehicle accident creates gas leak

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A vehicle that struck a downtown gas meter caused employees at various businesses to evacuate for safety reasons Jan. 27, officials said.

Gallup Deputy Fire Chief Jesus Morales a vehicle apparently hit a gas meter in the alley behind Zimmerman’s Western Wear. The Gallup Fire Department was on the scene within minutes and...

Navajo brothers sentenced to prison for murder

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ALBUQUERQUE – Two brothers, both enrolled members of the Navajo Nation who reside in Kirtland were sentenced Jan. 24 in federal court in Albuquerque for convictions arising out of the March 21, 2015 murder of a Navajo man.

Elijah Shirley, 31, was sentenced to 121 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, and Michael Shirley, 32, was sentenced to 63 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

According to court filings, Elijah Shirley, Michael Shirley, and their brother Maynard Shirley, 38, were charged with murdering a Navajo man and assaulting the murder victim’s father.

The defendants committed the crimes on March 21, 2015, in...

West Gallup fire claims elderly female

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An unidentified elderly female died in a house fire Jan. 14 in an incident that took place on Gallup’s west end. The fire saw three engines from the Gallup Fire Department and two from the McKinley County Volunteer Fire Department respond, officials said.

“Upon arrival, the residence was fully engulfed,” Gallup Deputy Fire Chief Jesus Morales said. “The incident is still under investigation.”

Morales said at about 9:30 am that a call came in about a structure fire at 161 Crest View Rd., which is just over the city line. He said the 24-by-32 mobile home was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived. Morales said family members of the people living at the home were able to...

Weekly Crime Blotter

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1/16, GALLUP

A woman kicking back in her apartment watching some TV was startled when she heard knocking on her door. Wondering who could be calling on her at 6:30 pm, she turned off the tube and walked to her bedroom window. When she peeked out, she saw Gilbert Valdez, who was a perfect stranger to her.

She went to the front door and looked out the peephole, and that’s when she could hear Valdez reportedly shimmying her door handle, trying to get into the apartment. The woman grabbed a baseball bat and looked out the window, and noticed that he was gone. From there, she went outside and closed her gate. On her way back in she noticed that Valdez had...


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The legal limit is .08

Rendell Benally

Dec. 30, 11:11 pm

Aggravated DWI

As McKinley County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Merlin Benally was working the DWI Task Force, heading south on N.M. 566, he came upon Rendell Benally, who crossed the white edgeline in his Dodge Durango, by about a foot, near the 2.5 mile marker.

Deputy Benally conducted a traffic stop on Rendell Benally, 32, who quickly apologized for his driving. The deputy could smell the odor of “intoxicating beverage” coming from the vehicle, and noted that Rendell Benally had bloodshot, watery eyes, and slurred his words.

He took the field sobriety tests and failed. Deputy Benally then conducted a search of...

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