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Thursday News Roundup
8:45 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Headlines: Audit Slams Bernco Treasurers, Oil Prices Hinder State Revenue Gain...

Credit Robert Smith via Flickr

Audit Slams Bernalillo County Treasurer's OfficeThe Associated Press

A special audit of the Bernalillo County treasurer's office is alleging violations of state law and has uncovered a pattern of risky investment decisions and preferential treatment for some brokers.

Auditor Hector Balderas' office released the audit Wednesday. The audit questions whether more than $900 million in investment purchases were in the best interest of New Mexico's most populous county.

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Public Health New Mexico
3:54 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

How APD Handles Mental Health Crisis Calls

Mentally ill James Boyd in a standoff with police in March
Credit Screenshot from video provided by APD through an IPRA request

    

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 11/13 8a: 

The Department of Justice is requiring APD to figure out how to respond to people in mental health crisis with the goal of decreasing the use of force in those situations. The agreement between the DOJ and Albuquerque’s police force also calls for APD to provide crisis intervention training to all officers.

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Wednesday News Roundup
8:55 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Headlines: MDC Inmate Release Plan, Immigrant Detention Lawsuit...

Credit my_southborough via Creative Commons

Bernalillo County Inmate-Release Plan Approved - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

Bernalillo County has a contingency plan to release some prisoners deemed to be low risk if the jail population gets too large.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the county jail's population of just under 1,900 inmates is now well below its peak and slightly below a court-ordered target.

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Public Health New Mexico
6:34 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

New Mexico To Pay Less For Healthcare

Credit Kaiser Family Foundation

New Mexico is faring better than most states with health care costs under the Affordable Care Act. Our state experienced the third-largest drop in insurance premiums nationwide since last year.

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Local News
6:16 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Teacher Evaluation System Remains A Source Of Contention

The teacher evaluation system that has been unpopular with with educators went into effect last year.
Credit alkruse24 via Flickr

 

Education Secretary-Designate Hanna Skandera defended New Mexico’s new teacher evaluation system on Monday before lawmakers. She told the Legislative Education Study Committee that her department is working on fixing technical glitches in the system, but that there is no need to alter how teacher evaluations are calculated. As of now, 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation is based on how students perform on standardized tests.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:20 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Nuclear Security Expert Talks WIPP, LANL And Non-Proliferation

The MK 6 nuclear bomb produced between 1951 and 1955. Modern weapons are dozens and dozens of times more powerful, according to James Doyle.
Credit Public Domain

News broke last weekend that Los Alamos National Laboratory took shortcuts when treating some nuclear waste headed to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. One of the LANL waste drums sprang a radiation leak earlier this year, contaminating workers and closing the facility. 

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Public Health New Mexico
4:14 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Child Homelessness High In New Mexico

Credit Runs With Scissors via Flickr

The number of kids who are homeless is at an all time high in America, according to a new report by the National Center on Child Homelessness, and New Mexico has one of the most severe child homelessness problems in the country.

The report says nearly one in three kids here live in poverty, and while progress has been made in reducing homelessness among veterans and chronically homeless people, children have not received the same attention.

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Tuesday News Roundup
9:19 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Headlines: Record Cold In NM, Timeout On PERA Changes...

Credit Angel Fire Resort

New Mexico Breaks Temperature RecordsThe Associated Press

The blast of wintry weather moving across New Mexico has resulted in several broken records.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Albuquerque say Eagle Nest led the pack yesterday with a low temperature of minus 17. The mountain community hadn't been that cold this early in a season since Nov. 10, 1950, when the temperature dropped to 20 below zero.

Taos, Moriarty, Raton, Las Vegas and Roswell also set records.

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Monday News Roundup
7:25 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Headlines: LANL Cuts Corners, APD Use Of Force Firings...

Credit Larry1732 via Flickr

LANL Cuts Corners On WIPP Waste - The Santa Fe New Mexican

Los Alamos National Laboratory officials took shortcuts when preparing nuclear waste for shipment to the nation’s only underground nuclear waste storage facility. That’s according to an investigation by The Santa Fe New Mexican.

The paper reported this weekend that changes in the treatment of waste went undocumented and resulted in an explosive combination of toxic materials.

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Weekend News Roundup
9:17 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Headlines: A Dusting Of Snow, Boys Lagging Behind Girls In Academics...

Credit cobalt123 via Flickr

Snow Dusts Northern New Mexico - The Associated Press, The Santa Fe New Mexican

Santa Fe authorities are warning drivers tread carefully due to light snow making roads slippery.

The Santa Fe Office of Emergency Management said Sunday that icy conditions have already caused several minor accidents on roadways.

Officials say snow is expected to continue falling through the afternoon and temperatures will likely be below freezing.

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Local News
6:03 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

New Rules May Stymie Endangered Wolf Program

The approved changes to the permitting process for importing carnivorous wildlife has advocates for the Mexican gray wolf worried.
Credit Rita Daniels

 

The state Game Commission approved a controversial proposal Thursday that critics fear will harm efforts to reintroduce the Mexican grey wolf. The reintroduction program depends on bringing wolves into New Mexico from other states. 

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Local News
5:41 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

NM's Top Environmental Regulator Diminishes Protections

Credit jacilluch via Flickr

It will come as no surprise that we don’t always know what is going on behind closed doors in government. KUNM’s Elaine Baumgartel chatted with reporter Laura Paskus about what public records have revealed about New Mexico’s top environmental regulator.

Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn was appointed by Republican Governor Susana Martinez. Lawmakers confirmed his nomination earlier this year, but even before his cabinet tenure he presided over reductions in the regulation of polluting industries here in New Mexico.

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Friday News Roundup
8:44 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Headlines: ABQ Police Eye Ferguson, Inmate Settlements...

Credit Rita Daniels

Albuquerque Police Eye Ferguson DevelopmentsThe Associated Press

Albuquerque police say they're monitoring developments as a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, mulls whether to indict a police officer who fatally shot an unarmed teenager in the St. Louis suburb.

An Albuquerque police spokesman says the city is preparing for possible protests and unrest following a decision.

Albuquerque has seen its own string of angry demonstrations following the March police shooting of a homeless camper and more than 40 police shootings since 2010.

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Entertainment
8:15 am
Fri November 14, 2014

"The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound"

The Harvey Girls in an undated photograph.
Credit Northern Arizona University, Cline Library

From the 1870s to the 1960s, over 100,000 young women left home and traveled west for jobs at the Harvey Houses.  The successful restaurant and hotel chain was created by entrepreneur Fred Harvey to serve passengers on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad's route to the west.   Los Angeles-based filmmaker, and UNM graduate, Katrina Parks talks about her documentary "The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound."  Screenings and discussions about the film will take place at Albuquerque's KiMo Theatre on November 22 and at the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe on December 7.  For information

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Public Health New Mexico
5:24 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Arctic Blast Spurs Early Shelter Opening In Albuquerque

Credit Ed Williams-KUNM

A cold snap hit New Mexico Wednesday and prompted an Albuquerque homeless shelter to open its doors early. 

Albuquerque Rescue Mission was scheduled to start taking in homeless residents this weekend, but freezing temperatures have moved the clock forward.

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Thursday News Roundup
8:30 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Headlines: Winter Weather Across NM, San Miguel County Acts...

Credit National Weather Service

Winter Weather Hits Parts Of New MexicoThe Associated Press

Difficult driving conditions are reported on some eastern New Mexico highways due to packed snow and icy spots as a strong storm system moves into the state.

Difficult conditions are reported early Thursday on sections of Interstate 25 straddling Las Vegas and parts of Interstate 40 near Santa Rosa.

The National Weather Service says central and eastern New Mexico are enduring frigid cold temperatures.

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Wednesday News Roundup
8:21 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Headlines: San Miguel County On Oil And Gas, Jemez Pueblo On Valles Caldera

Credit timmenzies via Flickr

San Miguel County To Consider Drilling OrdinanceThe Associated Press

San Miguel County commissioners are scheduled to vote today on an ordinance that would impose some of the strictest requirements on oil and natural gas exploration in the country.

The measure would restrict oil and gas exploration to a sparsely populated stretch on the eastern side of the county, some 60 miles away from the county seat of Las Vegas.

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Tuesday News Roundup
8:51 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Headlines: $13 Million To Local TV For Election, SF Police Use State Law For Pot Cases...

Report: Nearly $13 Million On TV Ads In New MexicoThe Associated Press

A nonpartisan government watchdog group reports that nearly $13 million was spent on television advertising in New Mexico races for governor, U.S. Senate and other state offices.

The Center for Public Integrity says the governor's race accounted for about $6.2 million in ads, with $4.6 million by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez in winning re-election.

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Local News
4:05 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Students Lack Home-Grown Loan Servicing

Credit Photo: thisisbossi via Flickr

New Mexico has the highest student loan default rate in the nation and a lack of local loan servicing providers may be to blame. We went from a 12.8 percent student loan default rate in 2009 to a 20.8 percent rate in 2011.

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Local News
2:02 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Abq Mayor Berry, APD Chief Eden On DOJ/APD Reforms

APD Chief Gorden Eden (left) and Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry (left of center) alongside Department of Justice officials when the DOJ/APD agreement was announced on October 31, 2014.
Credit Rita Daniels

    

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 11/13 8a: 

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry signed an agreement this week with the U.S. Department of Justice to reform the city's police department. Mayor Berry, APD Chief Gorden Eden and the head civilian trainer at the Albuquerque Police Academy, Joe Wolf, will join us to discuss the agreement and reform of APD.

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Monday News Roundup
8:32 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Headlines: Gila River Diversion, San Miguel County Drilling Ban...

Credit Gila National Forest

Critics Of Gila River Diversion To RallyThe Associated Press

The Interstate Stream Commission will be meeting today in Albuquerque and the agenda includes a series of presentations on proposals that call for diverting a portion of the Gila River.

The agenda does not include any time for public comment, and that's what has environmental groups upset. They plan to rally outside the meeting.

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Public Health New Mexico
10:33 am
Sat November 8, 2014

Youth Jam 2014 To Raise Suicide, Bullying Awareness

Screenshot from a YouTube video about the 2014 Youth Jam.
Credit Bernalillo County

Bernalillo County is hosting an event Saturday afternoon to educate young people about suicide, bullying and other youth issues.

All ages are welcome at Youth Jam 2014 at Warehouse 508 from 2-6 p.m.  The County’s Analisa Montoya says the event will highlight over 40 types of resources for young folks - such as Agora, a crisis call center.

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Local News
8:16 am
Sat November 8, 2014

Headlines: Court: Bail Cannot Be Based Solely On Crime, Convicted Former Sheriff Seeks New Trial...

Credit Daniel Schwen / CC-BY-SA 4.0

Court Rules Against Bail Bond Based Only On Crime – The Associated Press

New Mexico's highest court has ruled that judges can't impose high bail bond requirements for criminal defendants solely on the seriousness of the crime.

The state Supreme Court made the ruling Thursday in the case of an Albuquerque man charged with murder who remained in jail awaiting trial for more than two years because he couldn't afford a $250,000 bail bond.

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Public Health New Mexico
3:51 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Report: Rise in Incarceration Has Not Prevented Crime

Credit Michael Coghlan via Flickr CC

Members of a National Academy of Sciences committee presented a report on high incarceration rates at the State Bar of New Mexico this morning. The NAS says the growth in lockups in the United States is historically unprecedented and unlike any other country in the world.

The U.S. has too many people behind bars, according to the NAS report, and the high rate of imprisonment has surpassed any public safety benefit.

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Public Health New Mexico
1:53 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

HSD Chief Sidonie Squier Resigns

Human Services Secretary Sidonie Squier is stepping down from her cabinet-level job in Gov. Susana Martinez's administration running one of the state's largest agencies.

Squier's resignation is effective Dec. 1.

The governor said in a statement Thursday that Squier's "leadership has been valuable and important" during a time when New Mexico expanded and overhauled its Medicaid program, which provides health care to lower income New Mexicans.

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Friday News Roundup
8:46 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Headlines: ABQ City Council OKs Police Agreement, WIPP Radiation...

Albuquerque City Council Oks Police AgreementThe Associated Press

The Albuquerque City Council has endorsed an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department aimed at overhauling the troubled police department of New Mexico's most populous city amid accusations of excessive force.

The council approved the plan on an 8-0 vote during a special meeting Thursday evening. City officials are to sign it next week.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:03 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

State Backs Away From SNAP Work Requirements

Credit Sodanie Chea via Flickr CC

The Human Services Department announced it would not begin demanding more New Mexicans on food stamps meet work requirements. The rule change was slated to go into effect at the beginning of this month, but a lawsuit filed by two nonprofits threw a wrench in the works. 

The lawsuit charged HSD with not following proper procedure in alerting people to the rule change—or posting the full and correct version of the work requirement—before it was adopted.

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Thursday News Roundup
8:37 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Headlines: Judge On Mora Fracking Ban, NM To "Start Over" On SNAP Changes...

Credit Floyd E. Vasquez Jr.

Judge: Parts Of County Ordinance UnconstitutionalThe Associated Press and Las Vegas Optic

A federal judge says portions of a Mora County ordinance that bans oil and gas drilling in the rural northern New Mexico county are unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge James Browning says some of the ordinance's provisions are "pretty wild" and inconsistent with federal law.

His comments came during a motions hearing this week in Albuquerque as one oil company seeks to strike down the ordinance.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:29 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Santa Fe And Bernalillo Counties Say Yes To Marijuana

Decriminalization watch party at Tractor Brewery
Credit Ed Williams-KUNM

Bernalillo County voters overwhelmingly called for reduced criminal penalties for marijuana possession Tuesday night.

The marijuana decriminalization question is non-binding and won’t change the law. But that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd gathered to watch the election results last night.

Progress Now Director Pat Davis, who spearheaded initiatives in both Santa Fe and Bernalillo counties, says this is a first step towards big changes in New Mexico’s drug policy.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:28 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Bernalillo County Voters Ask For More Mental Health Support

Credit Art by Nani Chacon courtesy of Young Women United

Bernalillo County voters overwhelmingly came out on Tuesday in favor of a tax increase to pay for more mental health services. 

Bernalillo County residents with addictions or mental health problems may be closer to having more access to treatment, now that voters here have showed their support for a one-eight percent tax increase to fund more behavioral health services.

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