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Local News
5:56 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Moderate Democrats Win in State Legislative Races

Republican Governor Susana Martinez and her allies flexed their muscle in legislative races by reaching across party lines to help moderate Democrats survive challenges from liberals, but the governor's favored GOP candidate lost in a Senate contest in eastern New Mexico.

Martinez adviser Jay McCleskey said a political action committee established by the governor's supporters spent $100,000 on mailings and radio ads to influence the outcome in eight House and Senate Democratic primary races and succeeded in seven of those.

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Local News
5:55 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Espinoza, Montoya Win PRC Primaries

Santa Fe County Clerk Valerie Espinoza and Bernalillo County Assessor Karen Montoya won the Democratic primaries Tuesday for seats on one of the state's most powerful, highest paid and most scandal-plagued commissions.

Espinoza won the Democratic primary for the northern New Mexico District 3 seat on the Public Regulation Commission while Montoya won the District 1 seat.

Local News
5:53 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Heinrich, Wilson Jump Into Battle

The primary votes weren't even counted before the partisan barbs started flying.

In a preview of what promises to be a tough, expensive and closely watched race for New Mexico's open U.S. Senate seat, Republican nominee Heather Wilson and Democrat Martin Heinrich are jumping immediately from quiet primaries into negative territory.

Shortly after her race was called early in the evening, Wilson went straight to blasting Heinrich, saying he has made things worse for New Mexicans since he replaced her in Washington as Albuquerque's congressman.

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Local News
4:06 am
Tue June 5, 2012

New Mexicans Go to the Polls Tuesday

New Mexicans go to the polls Tuesday to weigh in on the already decided Republican presidential primary and narrow the field of candidates for U.S. Senate and Congress.

Registered Republicans can cast ballots for presidential candidates Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney, although Romney sewed up the nomination last week with a win in Texas.

Most eyes are on the Democrat primary, where Rep. Martin Heinrich and state auditor Hector Balderas are competing in a gentlemanly race for the nomination to succeed the retiring U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman.

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Local News
4:02 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Primary Starts Fight for Control of State Legislature

New Mexico's primary election is deciding whether two dozen legislators can hold on to their jobs. All 112 seats in the House and Senate are up for election this year, but there are contested primary races in only 43 House and Senate districts.

Democrats have controlled the House and Senate for decades, and the outcome of the primary will set the stage for what's expected to be an aggressive general election campaign led by Republican Governor Susana Martinez to chip away at the Democratic majorities.

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Local News
3:30 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Crews Working on Wildfire in Santa Fe Forest

While firefighters in southern New Mexico continue to battle the massive and still growing Gila wilderness fire, crews in northern New Mexico are working to contain an active wildfire in the Santa Fe National Forest.

Forest officials say the 30- to 40-acre Bear Springs Fire is burning about 6 miles southeast of Jemez Springs and has no containment. They say no structures are being threatened and no evacuations are planned.

Women's Focus
4:02 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

NM CD 1, Likely Our Closest Primary Race- About Women's Issues

Sat, May 19, 12pm:Candidates  Michelle Lujan Grisham, Eric Griego, and Marty Chavez talk about their campaigns and about women's issues.

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Local News
12:12 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Federal Officials to Monitor Polls

Federal officials are planning to look out for any cases of voter discrimination in upcoming elections nationwide, including at polling sites in New Mexico.

The U.S. Justice Department announced it plans to send observers to Cibola and Sandoval counties to monitor elections Tuesday. Monitors are also being sent to counties in California, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

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The Endangered Art of Compromise
12:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Chiricahua Leopard Frog: Messing with Nature

All this week we're considering the Endangered Species Act in New Mexico.  Today, KUNM’s Sidsel Overgaard brings you: The Case of the Disappearing Frogs...

The plight of the Chiricahua Leopard frog begins long ago, in a medical lab when researchers devise a way to use frogs as pregnancy tests.  The African Clawed frogs used for this purpose were soon shipped all around the world, carrying with them a deadly fungus known as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd for short (at least, that's the current favorite theory). 

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The Endangered Art of Compromise
12:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Lesser Prairie Chicken: Conservation Agreements

So far in our series, we’ve looked at some of the difficulties in recovering a species. But one of the emerging strengths of the Endangered Species Act is in its ability to spark compromise before a species ever makes it onto the list. And in the case of the Lesser Prairie Chicken and Dunes Sagebrush lizard, just the threat of a listing has been enough to make for some unlikely allies in Southeastern New Mexico.

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The Endangered Art of Compromise
12:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse: A Sign of What's to Come

As part of our series on endangered species in New Mexico, Carrie and Sidsel took a field trip with WildEarth Guardians Executive Director, John Horning, to look for the elusive New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse (you really should listen to this one...it's a radio geek's dream, but not so translate-able to print...).

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Local News
12:00 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Santa Fe Mayor Files Complaint Against Governor's PAC

Santa Fe Mayor David Coss is calling for an investigation into a political association committee associated with Republican Governor Susana Martinez. 

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Mayor Coss, who is running for a state legislative seat, wants state officials to see whether a PAC supporting his Democratic primary opponent failed to register two major contributions on time.

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Local News
6:28 am
Fri June 1, 2012

State Payroll Deposits May Be Delayed

Governor Susana Martinez's administration says payroll deposits for state workers may be delayed because of a processing error. The Department of Finance and Administration alerted workers to the problem in an email memo Thursday, saying paycheck deposits in employee bank accounts could be delayed up to 24 hours.

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Local News
7:01 am
Thu May 31, 2012

ACLU: Voter IDs Impede Access for Voters

New Mexico's primary election is on Tuesday and recent scandals in southern parts of the state have refocused attention on the issue of voter fraud. 

Is there rampant abuse of the right to vote in New Mexico?  Are there barriers to voting that prevent voters from having their say and being counted?  Just ahead this morning on the KUNM Call In Show, we'll take your calls and comments.

But first, we'll hear from Steve Robert Allen, the Policy Director at ACLU-New Mexico.  Allen says there's no such thing as a flawless election.

Local News
6:46 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Health Insurance Rate Hike to Take Effect

A proposed raise to monthly premiums for Blue Cross Blue Shield policyholders in New Mexico has become official. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports State Insurance Superintendent John Franchini approved the 6.9% increase Tuesday, which will take effect Friday.

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Local News
10:55 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Doña Ana County to Debut Voting Centers in June

Voters in Doña Ana County will be able to cast their ballots at special voting centers for the first time in the upcoming primary election. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports officials plan to debut voting "convenience" centers June 5.

Registered voters will be able to visit any one of 39 locations countywide to fill out a ballot that will be tailored to their own precinct. County Clerk Lynn Ellins says residents before would have to find the correct polling place that included their precinct or use a provisional ballot.

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Local News
6:38 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Young Veteran Jobless Rate Higher

Soldiers who have returned to New Mexico in recent years are struggling to find jobs, a trend that's been happening nationwide. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports state officials say younger veterans are facing higher jobless rates.

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Local News
6:35 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Sunport to Get More Solar Panels

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry is set to announce that Albuquerque Sunport will be getting more solar panels to power elevators, lights and offices at the airport. Berry is scheduled Tuesday to unveil the final phase of a solar project for the Albuquerque Sunport and announce the amount of money already saved from solar panels atop the covered parking canopies.

Local News
5:00 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Greetings From Quilt Market

Photo by: Littlelixie

KUNM's Carrie Jung invites you along on her recent trip to the 2012 International Spring Quilt Market.

Local News
5:00 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Remembering Navajo Code Talker Samuel Tso

Photo: Ashley Gross

 

Memorial Day is Monday.  It's a time to reflect on the sacrifices of people in the military.  Of course, here in the Southwest, one of the most enduring military stories is that of the Navajo Code Talkers from World War Two.

But the number of Code Talkers who are still alive is dwindling, and another one recently passed away.  Samuel Tso died earlier this month at the age of 89.  Reporter Ashley Gross has this remembrance.

Local News
6:48 am
Thu May 24, 2012

State Takes Over Troubled Border Town

The state has appointed a veteran municipal administrator to temporarily oversee the finances of the troubled border town of Sunland Park.

New Mexico Secretary of Finance and Administration Tom Clifford said Wednesday that Michael Steininger, who has worked in Belen and Ruidoso as well as Socorro and Valencia counties, will manage Sunland Park's finances until town officials are capable of resuming control.

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The Conservation Beat
4:41 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Rio Rancho Explores Possibility of Adding Open Space

Rio Rancho's Cherry Open Space

In a newly released ranking of city park systems, Albuquerque came in 11th, just below major metropolises like Seattle and Philadelphia.  Meanwhile,  environmental advocates in Rio Rancho say its time their city starting trying to catch up.

In terms of developed parkland-- that is, space including amenities like basketball courts and swing sets-- Rio Rancho isn’t doing that badly.   The city boasts 3.5 acres of developed parkland per thousand residents, compared to Albuquerque's 5.5.

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Local News
9:43 am
Wed May 23, 2012

New Mexico Named 'Riskiest State'

A report has named New Mexico the riskiest state in the U.S. KRQE-TV reports Trust for America's Health released its annual survey Tuesday ranking the Land of Enchantment as the state with the highest death rate due to preventable injuries.

Local News
8:48 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Prescription Drug Overdose Rate Skyrockets

State numbers show that the overdose rate from highly controlled prescription painkillers is skyrocketing in New Mexico. The Alamogordo Daily News reports a recent New Mexico Department of Health report says the overdose rate increased statewide by 61.8 % between 2001 and 2010.

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Local News
6:54 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Investigator in Matthew Shepard Murder to Speak at UNM

A key investigator in one of the most notorious hate crimes against a gay man is slated to speak in Albuquerque at a Federal Bureau of Investigation civil rights conference. Albany County Sheriff David O'Malley of Wyoming is scheduled Thursday to deliver the keynote address about his experience in the Matthew Shepard murder investigation.

Local News
6:35 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Fire Danger Remains High Across New Mexico

Officials with the New Mexico State Forestry Division say fire danger around the state remains high. They're asking residents and visitors to be careful as the unofficial start to the summer vacation season gets under way with the Memorial Day weekend.

State Forestry spokesman Dan Ware says it's extremely dry in many areas and it only takes one careless mistake for a fire to endanger lives and communities. So far this year, nearly 170 fires have scorched closed to 5,800 acres of state and private land around New Mexico.

Local News
6:16 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Kirtland Spill Could Be Much Larger

UPDATED 4:30pm:  State environmental officials say a massive jet fuel spill threatening Albuquerque's water supply could be much larger than originally thought. Officials have previously estimated the decades-old spill from Kirtland Air Force base to be about 8 million gallons.

But state geologist William Moats, who made the original calculations, recently estimated the spill could be as large as 24 million gallons -- or twice the size of the spill from the Exxon Valdez oil tanker in Alaska in 1989.

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The Conservation Beat
12:01 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Albuquerque Gets High Score for Park Space

A new scorecard for park systems in the nation’s largest 40 cities places Albuquerque near the top of the heap.

The rating system, developed by the Trust for Public Land, considers three factors: total park acreage, public access to those parks and spending on parks.  Albuquerque missed the top ten by just one.  But TPL’s Greg Hiner says that score places it within a stone’s throw of cities like New York, Seattle and Philadelphia. 

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Local News
10:27 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Ex-Lawyer Fierro Gets Parole in DWI Homicide

A former Santa Fe attorney convicted in the drunken-driving death of a pedestrian has been granted parole. New Mexico Parole Board chair Sandy Dietz says Carlos Fierro was granted parole from prison Monday and is seeking to live in other state. Dietz, who was out of town and hadn't seen Fierro's application, says he could be released from prison in a few months.

Local News
10:17 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Health Officials Resign After Interview Comment on Condoms

The chief medical officer for the state Department of Health says she was asked to resign after giving a television interview in which she advocated condom use to slow the growth of sexually transmitted diseases among teens.

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