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Wednesday News Roundup
5:29 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Headlines: Trinity Protests Planned, Junk Food Tax Begins

Trinity Test Mushroom Cloud
Credit Atomicarchive.com via WikiMedia Commons

  Trinity Test Site Opening To Face Protest From Residents – by Russell Contreras, Associated Press

Seven decades after an atomic bomb helped end World War II, families in New Mexico's Tularosa Basin want tourists to know nearby residents later suffered from health problems.

Protesters are planning a demonstration this weekend as the Trinity Test site opens to visitors.

Tina Cordova, co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders, says a bomb tested at the site later caused rare forms of cancer for many residents in the area.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:17 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

State Works To Fill The Void Left By Turquoise

District Court judges in Chaves County have expressed concern that they won't be able to order people into treatment if behavioral health capacity in the area is diminished.
Credit Marisa Demarco / KUNM

An Arizona nonprofit that came to New Mexico after the 2013 behavioral health shakeup called it quits on March 31 after less than two years. 

Turquoise Health and Wellness was the main provider of mental health and substance abuse treatment to several cities in Southeast New Mexico. Not anymore. Human Services Department spokesperson Matt Kennicott said since the company gave its 90-day closure notice, the state has been working with communities to find replacements.

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Local News
4:47 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Train Service To Northeastern NM To Continue

The Southwest Chief runs from Los Angeles to Chicago.
Credit Wavy1 via Compfight

Amtrak’s Southwest Chief passenger train route through northeastern New Mexico will not be altered. The train is the economic lifeline for many people in the affected service area.

Raton Mayor Sandy Mantz says Amtrak’s decision not to stop service is wonderful news, because every summer thousands of passengers arrive in town by train and are responsible for almost half the yearly sales at local shops.

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Tuesday News Roundup
5:34 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Headlines: Oil And Gas Workers Underpaid, Fort Sill Apache Petition Rejected...

Credit inlandwest via Flickr

Labor Officials: New Mexico, West Texas Workers Underpaid The Associated Press

Federal labor officials say oil and natural gas workers in New Mexico and West Texas have been underpaid by more than $1.3 million.

The U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division made the announcement Monday. The findings stem from an enforcement initiative launched by the division last year.

Officials say overtime violations led to the underpayment of some 1,300 workers.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:01 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Getting Healthcare Online, To Rural Patients

Credit Intel Free Press / Wikimedia Commons

KUNM Call In Show 4/2 8a: With high rates of illnesses like diabetes or addiction, rural New Mexicans have some of the most pressing medical needs in the state. But those same residents have the most trouble getting the health care they need. We'll dig into the health needs in rural New Mexico and explore how the Internet is being used to fill some gaps.

We'd like to hear from you! Email callinshow@kunm.org, post your comments online or call in live during the show. 

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Monday News Roundup
5:35 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Headlines: URENCO Expansion, SW Chief Amtrak Route Stays...

Train tracks at the station in Lamy, New Mexico.
Credit artotem via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico Nuclear Enrichment Plant OK'd For Expansion – Associated Press

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given its approval for URENCO USA to expand its nuclear enrichment facility east of Eunice.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that the panel gave the OK last week on URENCO's most recent license amendment application.

That means URENCO can double its capacity over the course of two more phases beyond the current three-phase $4 billion facility.

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Local News
8:30 am
Sat March 28, 2015

Headlines: Gov. Martinez Has Just Days To Sign Bills, "Game Of Thrones" Sneak Peek...

Governor Martinez must sign bills by April 10, if they are to become law.
Credit Steve Terrell via flickr

New Mexico Governor Has Until April 10 To Sign BillsThe Associated Press 

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has until April 10 to act on bills passed during the just-concluded 60-day legislative session.

The bills she doesn't sign by then will be considered pocket vetoed.

Martinez had signed five and vetoed one as of Friday afternoon.

New Mexico lawmakers passed 191 bills during this session. The Albuquerque Journal reports that's the lowest number for a 60-day session since 1949.

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Friday News Roundup
4:52 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Headlines: Flu Season Continues, Cause Of WIPP Fire And Closure...

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

NM Officials: Flu Sickened More This Year; Season Not OverThe Associated Press

New Mexico health officials are warning that the flu season is not over.

Officials say more people have been hospitalized in the state this season than in many years.

According to the state Department of Health, the virus hospitalized 40 people per 100,000 this flu season as compared with 29 per 100,000 during 2012-13.

Children under 5 and the elderly are particularly vulnerable.

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On NM PBS
5:59 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Community Based Cancer Screening And Care On NMPBS

Credit NMPBS

The risk of developing cancer tends to be lower for Native Americans and Hispanics in New Mexico. But people in these communities tend to be diagnosed at later stages, when the chances of dying are greater.

This month on Public Square from New Mexico PBS – efforts to take early screening for cancer into the communities that need it.

Here, host Megan Kamerick talks with Dr. Gayle Dine Chacón, medical director at Sandia Pueblo, and Elba Saavedra , director of Comadre a Comadre at UNM.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:48 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Turquoise Closure Leaves Roswell Courts Scrambling

Judge Freddie Romero gives candy bars to the kids who have a good day in Drug Court.
Credit Marisa Demarco / KUNM

After less than two years serving southeastern New Mexico, a behavioral health provider will shutter its programs on March 31, leaving hundreds without services.

What does this mean for Roswell and its courts, which were ordering offenders into treatment there?

Judge Freddie Romero presides over the drug court for juveniles in Chaves County. It’s not what you might imagine. The judge is warm and friendly. The kids who approach the podium with their parents in tow are everyday teenagers—jeans, T shirts, the occasional piercing.

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Local News
5:40 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Water A Concern For Santolina Critics, Hearing To Continue In May

Bernalillo County commissioners did not vote on whether to approve a controversial development plan at a hearing Thursday, instead scheduling additional time for public comments later this year.

Developers say the Santolina Master Plan community could someday be home to as many as 90,000 people.

Opponents spoke at a hearing this week in an effort to convince commissioners to vote down the plan. Many said Santolina would take away needed water resources in Albuquerque's South Valley.

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Commentary
5:28 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

What Grows In The Garden

Credit bknabel via Flickr / Creative Commons License

As Women’s History Month draws to a close, commentator Andrea Mays had some thoughts about the legacies she’s inherited from women in history.

They’re like important books, she says. They present themselves when we least expect them and when we need them most.

Andrea Mays is an American Studies scholar. She lives in Santa Fe. Her bi-monthly column, Here's The Thing, is published by the Santa Fe Reporter. You can read the full length piece here.  

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Local News
7:10 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Santolina Opponents Rally As Hearing Begins

The New Mexico Acequia Association, many of whom marched through Albuquerque on Wednesday, opposes the Santolina development.
Credit Rita Daniels

The Bernalillo County Commission kicked off hearings Wednesday on a huge proposed development southwest of Albuquerque.

Tractors cruised through downtown Albuquerque on their way to city hall where the commission began hearing testimony on the Santolina plan to build 38,000 new homes over the next four or five decades.

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Thursday News Roundup
4:42 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Headlines: Transparency Bills Fail, Graduation Rate Increases...

Credit Arianna Sena

Transparency Bills A Casualty In NM Legislative Session - The Associated Press

Open government advocates say it wasn't a good legislative session for boosting transparency as lobbying disclosure and campaign finance bills failed.

Of about a dozen bills — from requiring independent groups to disclose campaign donations to a two-year break for legislators who turn lobbyist — only a couple of measures made it to Gov. Susana Martinez's desk.

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People, Power And Democracy
12:51 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

How A Reform Bill Loses Its Teeth In 60 Days

Credit Flood via Flickr / Creative Commons License

For 60 days, New Mexico’s lawmakers debated in legislative committees and in hallways of the Roundhouse whether or not to reveal to the public how lobbyists go about influencing legislators.

The answer came back “not” last week.

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People, Power And Democracy
11:33 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Lobbyists Report Spending Nearly $300,000 During Session

Credit Waferboard via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Lobbyists and their employers reported spending nearly $300,000 during the 60-day session that ended Saturday – and that’s just the spending that totaled more than $500 at a time.

State law requires lobbyists to report any spending of $500 or more within 48-hours. All told, lobbyists and employers reported spending $295,300 during the session. This session, that included spending on meals, receptions, teddy bears and more.

More lobbyists will report individual expenditures under $500 at a time in reports to be filed May 1.

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Wednesday News Roundup
4:40 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Headlines: No Kendra's Law For NM, Groups Threaten Suit Over Mexican Wolf...

Credit Jim Clark / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / public domain

Partisan Fighting Also Killed New Mexico 'Kendra's Law' - The Associated Press

Lost in the partisan bickering of the New Mexico Legislature's final moments was a measure aimed at helping some residents with severe mental illness.

Since lawmakers failed to pass the bill, New Mexico remains one of only a handful of states without a "Kendra's Law."

It would have allowed judges in some counties to order patients to take medication and undergo treatment if they are deemed a danger to themselves and their community.

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Public Health New Mexico
7:40 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Public Health In The 2015 Session

Credit Arianna Sena

Psychiatric Meds In School—PASSED

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Local News
6:39 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

County To Hold Hearing On Santolina Plan

Credit Mike Tungate via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The Bernalillo County Commission will hear testimony this week about a controversial proposal to build a huge planned community west of Albuquerque.

If approved, Santolina developers would turn about 14,000 acres of sprawling sand dunes into a mini-city complete with industrial parks and schools.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:14 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Federal Fracking Regulations To Affect Much Of New Mexico

Credit wcn227 via Flickr

The Obama administration announced broad new federal regulations of hydraulic fracturing last week. The rules will only apply to drilling on public land — which in New Mexico accounts for around half of all oil and gas operations.

The new regulations announced by the Interior Department allow for federal inspections of drill sites and require public disclosure of fracking chemicals, among other things.   

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Tuesday News Roundup
4:42 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Headlines: Recent APD Hires Linked To Shootings, Nuclear Cleanup Costs...

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, New Mexico, is the nation's only underground nuclear waste storage facility.
Credit Randy Montoya

Report: Feds To Exceed Costs For Cleaning Up Nuke Waste – The Associated Press

A government watchdog says work to clean up radioactive waste at one of the federal government's premier nuclear laboratories is costing more than expected.

The Government Accountability Office says by the end of the last fiscal year, the National Nuclear Security Administration spent about $931 million to remove contaminated equipment and soil from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

That's $202 million more than the agency's 2006 estimate.

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News
2:54 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Legislature 2015: What Bills Passed?

Credit Arianna Sena

KUNM's Floyd Vasquez chatted with Gwyneth Doland about bills from the state legislature that passed this session as part of our People, Power and Democracy reporting project. Our partners are New Mexico In Depth, New Mexico PBS and the UNM Communication and Journalism Department. 

KUNM: The session ended at noon on Saturday. Now that it’s all over, tell us what happened?

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People, Power And Democracy
2:49 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Legislature 2015: What Bills Didn't Pass?

Credit Arianna Sena

KUNM's Chris Boros chatted with Gwyneth Doland about bills that did not pass at the state legislature this session. It's part of our People, Power and Democracy reporting project. Our partners are New Mexico In Depth, New Mexico PBS and the UNM Communication and Journalism Department. 

KUNM: We heard from you this morning about some of the bills that passed and are awaiting the governor's signature. But that was only a couple hundred bills. And there are many, many more that did not make it.

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KUNM Call In Show
8:21 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Legislature 2015: What's Next To Help New Mexico?

Credit Jena g. . Einar E. Kvaran aka 98.20.23.52 23:59, 1 June 2009, via Wikimedia Commons

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 3/26 8a: 

The 2015 legislative session has ended, characterized, in part, by partisanship, rancor and a lack of collaboration and cooperation. 

Where are the big, bold ideas and actions that will address pressing issues in New Mexico? Who is taking action and advancing ideas that will benefit all New Mexicans, including low-income people, people of color and other disenfranchised communities? 

We'll look back at some legislation that passed this session, some that did not, and we'll look forward to hearing from you!

Guests:

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Monday News Roundup
4:45 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Headlines: Fatal Shooting ABQ Skate Park, Wet NM Spring...

Credit Curtis Gregory Perry via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Albuquerque Police: 1 Dead, Others Hurt In Park ShootingThe Associated Press

Albuquerque police say one person is dead and others are injured following a shooting at a skate park.

A police statement early Monday says the shooting at Los Altos Park was reported shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday.

Officer Fred Duran says there are "multiple subjects injured and one subject deceased from the shooting."

Information was still sketchy with Duran saying that many details haven't been determined, including the identities of the victims.

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Local News
6:33 pm
Sat March 21, 2015

Highlights Of New Mexico Legislative Session 2015

Credit Arianna Sena

A look at proposals that passed and failed during the 60-day session of the Legislature, which ended Saturday.

ALCOHOL-DRUGS

— Passed: Bill to allow restaurants and delivery companies to deliver beer and wine to residences and hotels; prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes and nicotine liquid containers to minors; allow farmers in the state to grow industrial hemp for research only.

— Failed: A bill to legalize the selling and cultivating of marijuana stalled in a House committee.

___

ANIMAL PROTECTION

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People, Power And Democracy
6:24 pm
Sat March 21, 2015

“Dark Money” Bill Dies In Santa Fe

Credit Arianna Sena

Lost in the drama of Saturday was the death of legislation that would have exposed so-called "dark money” groups to more public scrutiny.

The cause of death?

Late-session disagreements and wariness in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

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Local News
8:49 am
Sat March 21, 2015

Budget Beefs Up Closing Fund

Credit starreyez024 via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The New Mexico state Legislature this week passed a $6.23 billion budget (HB 2) that increasing funding for education, job training and other programs. It also includes a tenfold increase in the Local Economic Development Act fund, one of the rare proposals this session that were supported by Democrats as well as Gov. Susana Martinez.

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Weekend News Roundup
8:14 am
Sat March 21, 2015

Headlines: NM Legislature's Big Budget, Navajo Court Forces Election...

Credit 401(K) 2012 via flickr

NM Legislature Rips Through Bills; Wrangling Capital OutlayThe Associated Press 

State lawmakers continue putting finishing touches on dozens of bills as the 52nd New Mexico Legislature's first session heads for the history books.

Among bills lawmakers sent to Gov. Susana Martinez for consideration Friday was a massive $6.2 billion budget. It includes pay raises for new teachers and state police. It also boosts spending for education, the state's child welfare agency, public safety, tourism and economic development.

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Local News
4:43 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

T-Mobile Found Guilty Of Violating ABQ Workers' Rights

Several cases against T-Mobile are still pending on behalf of workers at a call center in Albuquerque.
Credit plantronicsgermany via compfight

T-Mobile’s corporate policies violated the rights of their employees, including those who work in New Mexico, according to a court ruling this week.

There are 550 people working at a T-Mobile call center in Albuquerque.

Several of them complained to the National Labor Relations Board saying they were prohibited from talking to each other about how much they get paid and other things.

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