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Public Health New Mexico
5:11 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

The APD Files: Alan Gomez And Substance Abuse

Substance abuse treatment is not available for everyone who needs it in New Mexico, and this shortage is at the root of some tragic altercations with police.

Mike Gomez met me in a park in Albuquerque, holding a framed photo of his son Alan. “He was a good kid, a normal kid,” he said. “He graduated high school on time. He was a Little League All-Star.”

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On NMPBS
2:50 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Family Friendly Workplaces On NMPBS

Credit NMPBS

The United States is the only industrialized country without mandatory paid leave for new parents.

New Mexico PBS looks at efforts to expand paid leave on Public Square, a program that explores community engagement through meaningful dialogue. 

In this clip, host and producer Megan Kamerick speaks with Professor Harry Van Buren of the Anderson School of Management at UNM, and Ona Porter, CEO of Prosperity Works.

The program airs Thursday 2/26 at 7p on New Mexico PBS Channel 5 TV. 

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People, Power And Democracy
7:49 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Lawmakers Push To Add State Contracts To Sunshine Portal

Credit Arianna Sena

Scanned copies of all state contracts should be available on the Sunshine Portal, say two lawmakers who are proposing an update to the state transparency website.

Posting original documents would give New Mexicans a bigger window into state contracts, something that’s important to business owners, says one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Sander Rue, R-Albuquerque.

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Thursday News Roundup
4:41 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Headlines: NM House Passes Right-To-Work, Eyes Uber And Lyft...

Credit Arianna Sena

NM House Passes Revamped Right-To-Work BillThe Associated Press

The GOP-controlled New Mexico House of Representatives has approved a contentious right-to-work bill that tacks on an increase in the minimum wage from $7.50 to $8 an hour.

The Republican-sponsored bill prohibits requiring workers to join a union or to pay dues as a condition of employment and applies to both public and private sectors.

The House voted 37-30 Wednesday to move the bill along to the Senate, where it faces resistance.

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Local News
6:13 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Testing Opt Out Spreads

Anna Gilboard and her mother, Kristen Kohlstruk, are encouraging classmates and parents to opt out of standardized testing.
Credit Rita Daniels

High-stakes testing at schools across New Mexico begins next week. So far about 500 parents in Albuquerque have opted out of the tests on behalf of their children.

Fifth-grader Anna Gilboard goes to Bandelier Elementary School in Albuquerque. She opted out. The eleven-year old said she’d rather learn than take tests for hours on end.

“I get super stressed about these tests so I don’t do really well on them,” Gilboard said. “I feel like I’m failing my teacher when I do that.”

Fifty percent of a teacher’s evaluation is based on student test scores.

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Wednesday News Roundup
4:43 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Headlines: Spike In Marijuana Seizures, Crimes Against Children Measure...

Credit Rusty Blazenhoff via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Four Corners Sees Spike In Marijuana SeizuresThe Associated Press and Daily Times

New statistics show that a Four Corners regional narcotics taskforce has seized around six times as much marijuana in 2014 than the previous year.

The Daily Times reports that the Region II Narcotics Taskforce seized 245 pounds of marijuana, which has an approximate street value nearly $200,000.

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People, Power And Democracy
6:24 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

$231K From Lobbyists In Santa Fe So Far This Year

Credit kaje_yomama via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Lobbyists and organizations have reported spending more than $231,000 trying to influence lawmakers in the first half of the 60-day session.

Much of that money went toward wining and dining legislators. And that only includes expenditures of $500 or more that are required to be reported to the Secretary of State within 48 hours.

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Local News
5:55 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Lawmakers Ponder Greenlighting Hemp Research

The state Department of Agriculture commissioned the Industrial Hemp Task Force to look into what legalizing industrial hemp would mean for New Mexico back in 2012.
Credit New Mexico Department of Agriculture

Legislation that would allow universities in New Mexico to cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes passed through committee Monday night. The bill could reach the Senate floor for a vote later this week.

The federal government made the distinction between hemp and marijuana official last year. Hemp contains virtually none of the mind-altering compound THC and is a highly versatile material.

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People, Power And Democracy
6:54 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Consumer Advocates Demand Healthcare Transparency

Credit 593D ESC via Flickr / Creative Commons License

    

Whether they’re shopping for a refrigerator, a laptop or a used car, most people do some comparison shopping before making a big purchase.

But that’s not the way healthcare works in New Mexico, where comparing prices for a hip replacement or asthma treatment is practically impossible. 

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Tuesday News Roundup
4:51 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Headlines: NM Lawmakers Consider Drones, NM Gambling Compact

Credit Craig Wilkinson via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico Joins Other States In Grappling With Drones - The Associated Press

Lawmakers in New Mexico are trying to grapple with new drone technology and how much freedom law enforcement agencies should have in using them.

And even New Mexico sheriffs' offices don't know how to respond.

A New Mexico legislative panel is expected soon to debate a measure that would limit the use of drones by law enforcement agencies without a warrant.

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KUNM Call In Show
5:56 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

How Will Education Reforms Impact Students?

Credit frankieleon via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 2/26 8a: 

Public education knows no boundaries. Students are affluent and they're poor. They come from rural and urban communities. Some speak English and some are just learning. This week we'll look at how students are affected differently by public education reforms.

We'd like to hear from you!

Email callinshow@kunm.org, post your comments below or call in live during the show.

Guests:

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Public Health New Mexico
4:44 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Lawmakers To Consider Limiting Solitary Confinement

Credit pixabay.com via CC

The use of solitary confinement on mentally ill inmates sparked expensive lawsuits in New Mexico in the last couple of years. Doña Ana County paid Stephen Slevin millions of dollars in 2013 after he spent almost two years in solitary confinement. A bill making its way through this legislative session could outlaw such lengthy stays in isolation. 

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Local News
4:41 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

State Offers Child-Care Help For More Than 1,000 Children

Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration recently made a temporary move to offer child-care assistance for children on a waiting list, but many say there's enough money to offer assistance to a greater number of families permanently and eliminate the need for waiting lists.
Credit Heath Haussamen / New Mexico In Depth

More than 1,000 additional New Mexico children could receive government-funded child-care assistance if their parents or guardians ask for it.

The state’s Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) is clearing a waiting list of 1,119 children, saying it now has the funds available to offer assistance for childcare.

Agency spokesman Henry Varela confirmed the administration of Gov. Susana Martinez is paying for the extra child-care assistance using $400,000 from millions of dollars in unspent federal funds.

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Monday News Roundup
4:53 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Headlines: Water Pipeline Maintenance, Mary Han Legal Fees

Credit Photo by Darkpatator courtesy of Creative Commons

Water Pipeline To Be Shut Down Temporarily In SE Albuquerque - The Associated Press

Albuquerque's major water provider is temporarily shutting down a transmission pipeline in a southeastern area of the city.

The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority will take the pipeline out of service starting at 6 p.m. Sunday in order to replace a large-diameter valve.

Officials say the project is expected to last until 6 a.m. Thursday.

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Weekend News Roundup
7:33 am
Sat February 21, 2015

Headlines: Bill Restricting Abortion Advances, New Stream Commission Director...

Credit Jan Marlyn Reesman via Flickr

New Mexico House Committee Votes In Favor Of Abortion Bills – The Associated Press

A New Mexico legislative committee has voted along party lines on a second abortion-related bill, this one requiring minors to notify parents within 48 hours before ending a pregnancy.

The House Regulatory and Public Affairs Committee voted 4-3 Friday, with Republicans in the majority. More than an hour earlier in an identical vote after a five-hour hearing, the panel approved a bill banning late-term abortions.

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People, Power And Democracy
5:49 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Late-Term Abortion Ban Heard In State House

Credit Gwyneth Doland

New Mexico is one of only a handful of states that don’t restrict late-term abortions. But that could change if a bill moving through the state Legislature is successful.

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Local News
5:38 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Third Grade Retention Hits Snag In State Senate

Credit GoodNCrazy via flickr

The Senate Public Affairs Committee rejected legislation this week to hold back third-graders who do not perform well on a standardized reading test. The bill to end so-called social promotion failed on a party line vote.

Sen. Mimi Stewart, a Democrat from Albuquerque who opposed the bill, said thousands of third-graders would have been held back every year, regardless of their progress in subjects other than reading.

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People, Power And Democracy
8:21 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Lawmakers Blocking Loan Cap Got Industry Money

Credit taberandrew via Flickr

Five of the six senators who opposed legislation to cap what lenders can charge borrowers on certain types of loans took thousands of dollars in campaign money from the industry in 2013 and 2014, state records show.

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Friday News Roundup
4:44 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Headlines: Pay Hike For New Teachers And Police, Prison Riot Bill...

Credit credit: Nic McPhee

NM Budget Bill To Include Pay Hike For New Teachers, PoliceThe Associated Press

New teachers and state police officers can expect pay raises in the next fiscal year as New Mexico lawmakers get closer to hammering out a spending plan in the face of declining revenues.

Most department budgets remain largely flat under the House Appropriations and Finance Committee scenarios that will become part of a budget bill members are scheduled to vote on Friday.

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Local News
8:53 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Bosque Construction Continues

Heavy machinery is being used to build a six-foot wide trail in Albuquerque's bosque.
Credit Rita Daniels

City Councilors in Albuquerque voted Wednesday to halt construction of a trail in the Rio Grande bosque. Many nature advocates say their trust was damaged when the city started cutting a six-foot wide path through the forest along the banks of the river without giving public notice.

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Public Health New Mexico
6:08 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Lawsuit: UNM Shielded Athletes Accused Of Rape

Credit Arianna Sena

A former UNM student who said she was assaulted by two Lobo football players and a CNM student last year filed a lawsuit in District Court  against the university Thursday. The lawsuit alleges Title IX investigators at UNM protected the athletes by conducting a shoddy investigation. 

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Public Health New Mexico
5:41 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Little Room For Error At Albuquerque’s Wastewater Plant

Credit Rita Daniels

Businesses, military bases and city utilities have dozens of permits to release pollution into the Rio Grande watershed. Albuquerque’s wastewater treatment plant is one of the biggest sources of discharges into the river.

The plant has had trouble with regulators and neighboring communities in the past, but they’re making some headway. 

On a recent sunny day in Albuquerque’s South Valley, water utility workers bent over a grate taking readings of the city’s treated wastewater as it rushes from the Southside Water Reclamation Plant into the Rio Grande.

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On NM PBS
6:44 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Film Features Voices Of Native American Women In New Mexico

Credit Silver Bullet Production

There are 22 Native American tribes in New Mexico and on Thursday 2/19 at 7p, New Mexico PBS will air a documentary that weaves the voices of many women from these communities into one story.

Pamela Pierce is one of the producers of the film called A Thousand Voices. She told KUNM’s Elaine Baumgartel that the film grew out of conversations she had after completing another local film project on Pueblo sovereignty.

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Thursday News Roundup
4:47 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Headlines: Creating Jobs, Speed Limits On County Roads...

Credit www.nmlegis.gov

NM Senate Democrats Say Their Bills Will Create 73,000 Jobs - The Associated Press

Senate Democrats have pitched a lofty jobs bills package that promises 73,000 new positions in New Mexico in the next four to five years.

They say the more than 40 bills they have introduced this session address the need for increased employment and economic activity in the state.

Senate Majority Whip Michael Padilla says Democratic leadership is also united in stopping right-to-work legislation supported by the Republican-controlled House.

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Local News
5:29 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

City Council Halts Bosque Development

The Bosque
Credit Sierra Club

UPDATE 6a: Albuquerque city councilors voted to suspend construction to widen a trail in the bosque Wednesday.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Mayor Richard Berry could veto the measure.

Last week, the city began cutting a six-foot wide path to replace a narrower foot path as part of a development plan for the forest along the Rio Grande.

Opponents say the city ignored public input and are calling for more time to come to consensus on a bosque plan. 

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Public Health New Mexico
5:20 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Small Tribe, Big River: Isleta Eyes Pollution In The Rio Grande

Tribal Councilman James Abeita on his farm near the Rio Grande
Credit Ed Williams-KUNM

 

    

Editor's Note: After we published this story, a spokesperson for Kirtland Air Force Base wrote with a series of objections to the story. Kirtland did not allege any factual inaccuracy in our story but we did make a change to reflect that Kirtland's lead discharges into the Rio Grande watershed are not in violation of environmental laws. You can read all of their objections and our responses here

***

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Public Health New Mexico
4:38 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Senator: Moms Should Be Able To Pump Breast Milk In Jail

Credit josemanuelerre via CC

Female inmates are the fastest-growing prison population in the state. New moms and pregnant women who are heading to jail could be affected by legislation proposed this session. 

Sen. Lisa Torraco’s bill would do two things: One, it would allow new moms to pump their breast milk while they’re in jail or prison, so it can be given to their babies. 

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Public Health New Mexico
11:23 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Commissioners Postpone Tax Vote

Credit thetutoress.com via CC

The Bernalillo County Commission voted last night to postpone a tax hike for a special session that will likely happen next week. The one-quarter of 1 percent tax increase on goods and services would be divided up as follows: Half of it would go to mental health and substance abuse treatment services, and half of it would go to the county’s operational budget.

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Wednesday News Roundup
4:43 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Headlines: Rewarding Whistleblowers, DA Wants To Stay On Boyd Case...

Credit gvgoebel via Flickr

Bill Would Reward School, Local Government WhistleblowersThe Associated Press

Whistleblowers who report public school and local government fraud would be rewarded under a measure approved by a New Mexico Senate committee.

The bill calls for expanding the Fraud Against Taxpayer Act to include schools and local governments. State agencies, departments, boards and commissions are already covered.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:06 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Helping Inmates Sign Up For Medicaid

Pixabay via CC

A New Mexico legislator is trying to help inmates sign up for Medicaid around the state. 

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