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Lawmakers and educators in New Mexico have been talking about the achievement gap in public schools for years—and trying to figure out how to close it. Testimony in a landmark education trial underway in Santa Fe touched on early childhood education programs this week. The lawsuit says they’re crucial to making sure students of color, children from families with low incomes and English language-learners succeed. But those programs aren’t widely available. 

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Scrutiny Intensifies Over Safety At US Nuclear Weapons LabThe Associated Press

The safety record at Los Alamos National Laboratory is facing intensifying criticism as work ramps up to produce a key component for the U.S. nuclear weapons cache.

Local government has to provide millions of meals every year to schools and to people who are incarcerated. It’s big money for whoever’s providing that food. The state auditor found it’s mostly national companies that get those multi-million-dollar food contracts.

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Report Puts New Mexico At No. 34 For Education SpendingThe Associated Press & The Santa Fe New Mexican

A report by the Census Bureau ranks New Mexico as 34th in the nation for its public education spending.

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Pastor's Disappearance Reignites Debate Over Treasure HuntThe Associated Press

Police say a body has been found along the Rio Grande in northern New Mexico not far from where a Colorado pastor parked his vehicle before heading out to search for a supposed hidden cache of gold and jewels.

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Federal Funds To Help Fight Fire In New Mexico Associated Press

New Mexico's request for funding to help with the fight against a blaze that prompted evacuations in northern New Mexico has been granted by the federal government.

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5 Fatally Shot In Northern New Mexico; Gunman ArrestedThe Associated Press & The Santa Fe New Mexican

Authorities have arrested a man who they say fatally shot five people in New Mexico on Thursday.

Sarah Trujillo / KUNM

More than three years after the health care expansion, 43 percent of New Mexico’s total population is signed up for Medicaid. But budgets are tight, and the Human Services Department is trying to figure out how to make it all work. Some of the  proposals presented at a public meeting in Albuquerque were contentious.

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Health Secretary Rules Out Expanding Medical Pot  – Santa Fe New Mexican

State Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher rejected proposals that would have expanded the list of conditions under the state’s medical cannabis program to include Alzheimer’s disease and opioid addiction.

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More than 50,000 people in the U.S. died because of an opioid overdose last year, which is an all-time high.

The opioid epidemic was the subject of Congress’s Joint Economic Committee hearing last week. New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich, a Democrat, is the ranking member of that committee. He spoke with KUNM about the hearing and the prospects for behavioral health in the Republican health care replacement bill. 

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New Mexico Rep. Pearce Describes ShootingThe Associated Press

New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce says the gunshots started to ring out as he left the batting cage during an early morning congressional baseball practice.

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The New Mexico Human Services Department released its plan for the fate of Medicaid, and it includes massive cuts that could sever coverage for thousands.

Recovery Courts For Teens

Jun 13, 2017
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Young people who end up in the court system for substance abuse are at a crucial point in their lives. In many New Mexico communities, recovery courts provide resources for minors to address substance abuse and take advantage of mental health services. One goal is to address drug use before a minor ends up in the adult court system.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee at 2:30pm ET today, as the investigation continues into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election. Sessions took questions about his recusal from the Russia investigation, his own meetings with Russian officials, and what if anything he knew about a private Oval Office meeting between President Trump and fired FBI Director James Comey. Here is Sessions' prepared opening statement to the committee, annotated by NPR journalists, and a video of his testimony.

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Southwestern States Rank Among Lowest In Child Well-Being - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

Three Southwestern states are ranked near the bottom when it comes to child well-being, with New Mexico leading the way among its neighbors.

Two civil rights groups are taking New Mexico’s public education system to court. They say the state doesn’t fund education well enough, doesn’t provide the right programming and is violating some students’ rights.

The trial started Monday in Santa Fe. 

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New Mexico's US 550 Continues To Be Deadly Major Highway – The Associated Press & The Santa Fe New Mexican

Government traffic data shows that highway U.S. 550 in northwestern New Mexico could be the state's deadliest major highway.

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The Environmental Protection Agency and the Trump Administration are facing a lawsuit after they suspended a rule to curb oil and gas industry methane emissions for 90 days.

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New Mexico Launches Zika Awareness CampaignAssociated Press

The New Mexico Department of Health is launching a campaign to educate people about Zika.

http://santafesymphony.org/

Four years ago, the Santa Fe Symphony collaborated with the local think tank, the Santa Fe Institute, on a program for all ages that combined music with entertaining educational demonstrations.  The Majesty of Music & Mathematics caused a lot of excitement and it will return to the Lensic Center on June 19.  The performance will be taped for broadcast on New Mexico PBS.

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Pharmacists Can Now Provide Birth ControlSanta Fe New Mexican

A new rule taking effect Friday allows women to get birth control directly from pharmacists.

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As Republicans work to fulfill their promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the future of healthcare in the U.S. is up in the air. In New Mexico, health insurance carriers have to submit their proposed premium rates by this weekend. After state officials review them, the public will have 10 days to weigh in.

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New Mexico Public Education Secretary Skandera To Step DownThe Associated Press

New Mexico Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera is stepping down after seven years on the job.

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The state spent almost half its 2015 child behavioral health dollars on expensive outpatient programs that have not been shown to be effective, according to a report presented to lawmakers Wednesday.

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County Officials Say State 'Blackmailed' Them For Well Study – The Associated Press & The Current-Argus

Eddy County officials say they were "blackmailed" by the state of New Mexico into approving a $125,000 study of a brine well to prevent it from collapsing.

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Thursday 6/8 8a: Live special coverage from NPR News. Former FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday, June 8, 2017. He will be questioned about his conversations with President Donald Trump and the FBI's investigation of possible Trump campaign connections to Russia. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under President Donald Trump is changing how it effectively prioritizes immigrants for deportation. Immigrant rights advocates in New Mexico say these days, anyone can become a target. That unpredictability is forcing people to make some hard choices. 

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Testing Time For New Mexico Students To Be Reduced - The Associated Press

The time New Mexico students spend taking standardized tests will be further reduced starting next school year and they'll have an additional two weeks of learning thanks to a shorter testing window.

Ed Williams

Over two decades ago, toxic dry cleaning chemicals seeped into the groundwater from a chemical distribution company’s warehouse near downtown Albuquerque. Today the plume spreads from Laun-Dry Supply Company about a mile and a half eastward towards I-25.

After a long investigation, the New Mexico Environment Department is poised to move forward with a full-scale cleanup of the chemical plume.

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Attorney General: Spending Review Will ContinueAssociated Press

University of New Mexico athletic director Paul Krebs is announcing his retirement, a move that comes amid criticism over spending by the athletics department.

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