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Albuquerque Police Department / Creative Commons

The search for Albuquerque’s new police chief ended Wednesday as Mayor Tim Keller announced that APD Interim Chief Mike Geier will stay on as chief permanently.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Research shows that when students see their own culture and history reflected in their classwork, they do better in school. But most Hispanic and Latino students in New Mexico public schools don’t get that experience, at least not in the form of ethnic studies. Some schools have been experimenting with Mexican American and Chicano Studies classes to help kids succeed.  

knehcsg via Flickr / Creative Commons Attribution License

New Mexico ranks 44th in the country for bicycle friendliness. A new study by the Santa Fe Police Department looked at 110 bicycle crashes that happened in the city in the last three years and the factors surrounding them.

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New Mexico Governor Supports Family Separation Policy – The Associated Press & The ABQ Journal

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez's says she supports the federal government's decision to separate children from parents accused of crossing the border illegally.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Martinez firmly backed the Trump Administration's zero tolerance effort during her visit to the border this week.

Courtesy of Gen. Michele LaMontagne

It’s June—Pride month—and Brig. Gen. Michele LaMontagne of the Air National Guard just became the second woman ever to obtain that rank in New Mexico earlier this year. At her promotion ceremony, the general emphasized the strengths of diversity among the ranks. She spoke with KUNM about changes in the military during her 26 years of service.

George Hodan via publicdomainpictures.net / pubic domain

New Mexico AG Seeks Resignation Of Embattled ProsecutorThe Associated Press

A southwestern New Mexico district attorney has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a 2016 traffic stop, and now New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas wants her to resign.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 6/14 8a:  Research shows when students learn about their own culture and history in school, it can keep them engaged, boost self-esteem, and improve academic performance. Some public schools offer Mexican-American Studies and Chicana and Chicano Studies courses to a small number of students, but most of New Mexico’s Hispanic and Latino students still don’t get that opportunity. Did you take classes like these? What did that mean for your educational experience? Are public schools in New Mexico doing enough to offer those types of classes? We’d like to hear from you! Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org, tweet #LetsTalkNM or call in live during the show.

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Search Continues For Mistakenly Released Albuquerque InmateThe Associated Press

Authorities continue to search for an Albuquerque jail inmate who was mistakenly released early.

Los Alamos National Laboratory / CREATIVE COMMONS

State Rep Enters Not Guilty Plea In Drunken Driving Case– Associated Press

A New Mexico lawmaker has pleaded not guilty to a drunken driving charge.

A court filing shows Republican Rep. Monica Youngblood, of Albuquerque, entered the plea ahead of a scheduled arraignment hearing, which has now been waived. Her next court hearing is scheduled for July 11.

Informedmag via Flickr / Creative Commons Attribution License

Since the state introduced a texting option for its Peer-to-Peer Warmline earlier this year, more and more people are using it for emotional support.

https://www.stephenauger.com/

Parked this month in Santa Fe's Railyard Park is a 1970 aluminum stepvan and inside it is Iris.  The van is a gallery on wheels, Axle Contemporary, and Iris is its latest exhibit, a multi-sensory experience created by Santa Fe artist Stephen Auger.  The five-minute journey of light, color and sound is part of this month's Currents New Media Festival 2018.

Los Alamos National Laboratory / Creative Commons

Universities, Research Firm Win $2.5B Los Alamos ContractThe Associated Press

The U.S. government has awarded a team of two universities and a research firm with offices around the world a $2.5 billion-a-year contract to manage Los Alamos National Laboratory.

photo: Cecilia Nowell / Creative Commons

Republican Gov. Martinez Attacks GOP Nominee For CongressThe Associated Press Republican

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says the GOP candidate in a closely watched Congressional race in southern New Mexico may not fairly represent the state.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Dozens of transgender people seeking asylum were part of the caravan that crossed the border about a month ago. One woman was transferred to a detention facility in New Mexico, and she died days later. Demonstrators gathered at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office in Albuquerque Wednesday afternoon to march, chant and demand answers.

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New Mexico has some of the worst conditions for children in rural areas, according to a recent study. A local advocate for kids’ wellness said things are improving, and that voting can help with that momentum.

AFGE via Wikimedia / CREATIVE COMMONS

Lujan Grisham To Face Pearce In November Race For GovernorBy Morgan Lee, Associated Press

New Mexico Democrats chose three-term U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham as their nominee for governor Tuesday in hopes of reclaiming the state's top office after two terms of Republican control.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Heavily contested primaries like New Mexico’s congressional races can sort of tear parties apart, UNM Professor Lonna Atkeson said. That’s especially true when outside organizations start pumping money into candidates. "To see the groups come in and spend a lot of money with candidates who largely have the same ideological agenda is interesting."

Hannah Colton / KUNM

It was a party-like atmosphere at the 98th and Central polling location on Tuesday afternoon. The line to vote stretched out the door. Groups of campaign volunteers waved signs, and at least two candidates were out shaking hands.

May Ortega | KUNM

Bob Moyer wasn’t thrilled about the slim pickings on the Republican side. Nine of the state’s 12 major races have a single Republican candidate running unopposed. His concerns about public safety drove him to the polls.

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Democrats On Attack Ahead Of New Mexico Governor PrimaryAssociated Press

Candidates are pushing toward the finish line in wide-open primary races for New Mexico governor and two congressional seats.

Rae Allen via Flickr.com / Creative Commons License

 

San Juan County is joining a lawsuit against opioid companies to get back the money it’s spent on combating the opioid crisis there.

Lib.unm.edu / Creative Commons

Voters To Select Democratic Nominee For Governor's Seat- Associated Press

New Mexico voters will decide Tuesday which Democratic candidate will be the party's nominee for the open governor's seat. The winner will face the lone Republican contender.

Bureau of Land Management via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License

Ute Fire Smoke Becomes Hazard– Associated Press, KUNM News

Authorities say a wildfire burning in a forested area of northeastern New Mexico is threatening nearly 300 homes and creating hazardous air quality conditions.

The National Weather Service issued an air quality warning Friday urging people in areas with under one mile of visibility to stay indoors unless under mandatory evacuation. 

Courtesy of Jill Werhane of Miami, N.M.

UPDATE 6/12 7p: The Ute Park Fire is now 92 percent contained and containment lines are holding around the fire as of Monday. Some smoke and flames may be visible in coming weeks until there's rain, but the burning won't cause the fire to grow, according to the New Mexico State Forestry Division. 

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UPDATE 6/9 7a: The evacuation orders for residents of Ute Park were lifted Friday, according to the New Mexico State Forestry Division. The Ute Park Fire is now 77 percent contained as it burns through pockets of vegetation within the perimeters of the fire. Crews will be patrolling and chipping up debris from thinning operations. Some firefighters are being reassigned to other incidents. 

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UPDATE 6/8 8a: Firefighters have corralled the Ute Park Fire on its western edge although Ute Park remains evacuated. The fire has consumed 36,740 acres and is 66 percent contained. Its still producing some smoke that is affecting Cimarron and surrounding areas. According to the New Mexico State Forestry Division, no homes have been burned but 219 are still threatened.

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UPDATE 6/6 7a: Growth of the Ute Park Fire has slowed as hot shot crews work directly on the western flank of the fire. Helicopters are dropping water, according to the New Mexico State Forestry Division, and no additional structures have been destroyed after the 14 that burnt at the Philmont Scout Ranch last week. The fire is now 30 percent contained. 

Ute Park remains under mandatory evacuation while residents of Cimarron were allowed to return to their homes on Monday. 

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UPDATE 6/4 5p: : The Ute Park fire in northeastern New Mexico spans more than 36,000 and remains about 23 percent contained. Sunday’s rain stalled the fire’s growth but didn’t stop it. The cause is still under investigation.

State Forestry Division spokesperson Wendy Mason said the good news is that lightning from the weekend’s storms did not start any new fires. But the forecast this week shows no rain in the area. "It’ll probably be going for a couple of weeks because it is so large and there is still a lot of dry fuel out there," Mason said.

People were allowed to return home to the village of Cimarron in phases on Monday afternoon, but the evacuation order was still in place for Ute Park, and the blaze was threatening 219 homes there.

It’s likely the blaze will move west, Mason said. Because most of the state is experiencing dry conditions, it’s been a busy fire season so far, she said, and there’s still a ways to go.

Enrique A Sanabria via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Rural, Independent New Mexico Seat Could Tip U.S. House - Russell Contreras, Associated Press

A sprawling, New Mexico congressional district that stretches from the U.S.-Mexico border to oil country near Texas is one of the many districts that could swing control of Congress.

The 2nd District's longtime Republican Congressman Steve Pearce is running for governor, giving Democrats their best opportunity to recapture a seat they haven't won since Barack Obama was first elected president in 2008.

JESSICA7191 VIA PIXABAY / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE

New Mexico’s been fighting the opioid epidemic for decades, but it wasn’t until last year that the federal government declared it a public health emergency. Congress just pumped up the budget for fighting the epidemic by billions, including $100 million for rural areas. But none of the rural counties in our state were targeted for that money. Now that’s changing.

Rashad Mahmood / KUNM

When Congress passed an omnibus budget bill in March, it provided $100 million to fight the opioid epidemic in rural counties. The bill includes a list of 220 counties slated to be the focus of the funding. Many counties with high rates of drug deaths weren’t on the list, like Rio Arriba County here in New Mexico.

AllenS via Wiki / Creative Commons

Lawmaker Questions New Mexico State's Hiring DecisionThe Associated Press & The ABQ Journal

A state legislator is questioning the decision by New Mexico State University regents to hire two new top officials with large salaries to replace one person who is retiring.

John Phelan via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Gets Fine Arts CuratorThe Associated Press

The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum has a new curator of fine arts.

Let's Talk New Mexico's Closed Primaries

May 29, 2018
Lib.unm.edu / Creative Commons

Let's Talk New Mexico 5/31 8a: New Mexico has a closed primary system, so if you aren’t registered with a major political party, you can’t vote in primary elections. That means about 24 percent of registered voters here are sitting out Tuesday’s primary. Is this a necessary part of the political process, having party members select their nominees? Or does a closed primary system exclude too many voters? We’d like to hear from you! Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org, tweet #LetsTalkNM or call in live during the show.

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