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Public Health New Mexico
2:26 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Arizona Health Company Cuts Staff In Southern NM

One of La Frontera's centers in Las Cruces. The company has let 26 employees go since mid-March.
Credit Heath Haussamen / New Mexico In Depth

La Frontera, an Arizona firm brought in last year to care for the mentally ill and those struggling with addiction across Southern New Mexico, laid off or fired 20 employees last week.

About half were laid off to reduce expenses; the rest were fired for “performance issues,” according to Dan Ranieri, Tucson, Az.-based CEO for La Frontera New Mexico.

Another six workers, including two “director level” staffers, have resigned since mid-March, Ranieri said Tuesday.

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KUNM Call In Show
1:41 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

The DOJ Report Is Out, What Now APD?

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 4/24 8a: In the wake of the U.S. Department of Justice's findings that the Albuquerque Police Department violated the constitutional rights of citizens with excessive use of force, an officer shot and killed another person this week. 

That makes two dozen people killed by police officers in Albuquerque since 2010. 

What should APD be doing immediately to address the issues outlined in the DOJ report? And what will the roll out of a plan for reform look like? 

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KUNM News Update
8:32 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Wednesday News Roundup: Report Expected On Nuke Dump Doesn't Look Good

Critical Report Expected On Nuke DumpThe Associated Press

The operators of the federal government's troubled nuclear waste dump are bracing for a scathing report on their response to a radiation release that contaminated 21 workers and shuttered the southeastern New Mexico facility two months ago.

The head of the Department of Energy's Accident Investigation Board is scheduled to present findings on the leak from the Waste Isolation Pilot Project during a weekly community meeting in Carlsbad Thursday evening. And no one expects it to be good.

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KUNM News Update
5:43 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Tuesday News Roundup: Proposed Navajo Junk-Food Tax Fails At Council

Proposed Navajo Junk-Food Tax Fails At Council The Associated Press

An effort to resurrect a junk-food tax on the country's largest American Indian reservation has failed.

The Navajo Nation Council earlier this year approved an additional 2 percent sales tax on snacks high in fat, sugar and salt. Tribal President Ben Shelly vetoed the measure, saying it was unclear how the tax would be enacted and enforced.

A bill to override that veto came before tribal lawmakers Tuesday but fell three votes short.

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Public Health New Mexico
9:21 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Chief Has Few Answers On Latest Police Shooting

Credit openclipart.org

  UPDATE 4/23 1:45 p: Two days after Albuquerque police shot and killed a 19-year-old female who was suspected of truck theft, the chief of the troubled department says he has little information about the latest shooting.

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KUNM News Update
6:29 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Monday News Roundup: Democratic Incumbent Legislator Bumped From Ballot

Democratic Incumbent Legislator Bumped From Ballot  The Associated Press

A judge in Gallup has removed Democratic Rep. Sandra Jeff of Crownpoint from the June 3 primary election ballot.

District Judge Louis DePauli determined Monday that Jeff didn't have enough valid signatures on her nominating petitions to qualify as a candidate.

Jeff has broken Democratic ranks in the House and sided with Republicans and Gov. Susana Martinez on several high-profile legislative votes.

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Local News
10:32 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Your Trust Is KUNM's Greatest Asset

The KUNM Control Room in Oñate Hall on the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque.
Credit Elaine Baumgartel

In the KUNM Newsroom, we work hard every day to bring you important, impactful and meaningful news coverage. It’s really all about you.

We are thinking about what you need to know and when, and how best to get you that information. We are taking your feedback and comments and following up on your leads. We are finding great stories and bringing them to you on the radio in the way only public radio can.

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KUNM News Update
6:41 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Friday News Roundup: Legislative Report Touts Prekindergarten Benefits

Legislative Report Touts Prekindergarten Benefits The Associated Press

A legislative committee report concludes that prekindergarten delivers a greater return on investment for New Mexico than taxpayer subsidized child care.

The Legislative Finance Committee staff report says prekindergarten's benefits outweigh the costs, although that's not the case for child care provided through registered homes and some state licensed programs.

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-KUNM Studio Sessions
4:43 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Casey Neill: Poet and Political Singer

Music and Conversation with singer songwriter Casey Niell

From Portland, Casey Neill was in our Control Room between concerts of his solo tour presenting a new album "All You Pretty Vandals."

During his live performance for Afternoon Freeform (April 16th), he shared his songs filled with irony, romance, stories, and social commentary.

Find out more about Casey Neill at caseyneill.org.

KUNM News Update
7:26 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Thursday News Roundup: Crews Find Suspected Area Of Radiation Leak

Crews Find Suspected Area Of Radiation Leak - The Associated Press

More than two months after radiation leaked from the federal government's half-mile deep nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico, crews think they have identified the area where the release occurred.

The DOE's deputy recovery manager, Tammy Reynolds, told a community meeting in Carlsbad Thursday night that more trips need to made into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to further investigate the accident. Officials say they hope to have a lot more information next week.

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Local News
7:13 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Recordings Surface In New Mexico Governor Race

Democrats are calling on Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to apologize after a liberal publication released recordings in which she and aides used profanity and offensive names to describe political opponents.

Martinez said the tapes are stolen recordings of private debate prep sessions when she was running for her first term four years ago. She called their release by Mother Jones "the absolute height of desperation" by liberals trying to unseat her. But she does admit having "to fund the cuss jar a few times."

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Public Health New Mexico
3:03 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

APD's Mental Health Quandry

Credit Wikimedia Commons

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 4/17 8a:  The Albuquerque Police Department recently made national headlines for the shooting of a man in the Sandia foothills who was mentally ill.

How can Albuquerque police learn to interact with people with mental illness more effectively? What improvements does the U.S. Department of Justice say they need to make?

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Public Health New Mexico
3:03 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Three POC Members Resign

Credit spacepleb: Compfight via cc

  Three members of Albuquerque’s Police Oversight Commission resigned yesterday, saying the commission lacks the ability to provide real oversight of the city’s police force.

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KUNM News Update
6:31 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Wednesday News Roundup: Recordings Surface In New Mexico Governor Race

Recordings Surface In New Mexico Governor Race - The Associated Press

Democrats are calling on Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to apologize after a liberal publication released recordings in which she and aides used profanity and offensive names to describe political opponents.

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KUNM News Update
6:55 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Tuesday News Roundup: Albuquerque Police Oversight Members Resign

Albuquerque Police Oversight Members Resign -  The Associated Press

Half of the members of Albuquerque's Police Oversight Commission have resigned, citing a lack of independence and inability to provide any real citizen oversight of the troubled department.

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-KUNM Studio Sessions
2:49 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Sage & Jared's Happy Gland Band

The Happy-Snappy Couple!
Credit Sage Harrington

Interview, songs and fun with Sage & Jared

With Sage Harrington and Jared Putnam scheduled to join Cactus Tractor and others at the relaunch party for the online mag Pyragraph we thought it was a good time to rebroadcast this Studio A performance by Sage & Jared's Happy Gland Band.

 Recorded by Roman Garcia with Eli Willard, this recording captures The Happy Gland Band as their debut CD came out:

Sage Harrington: vocals, 1920s Martin ukulele, banjoleleJared Putnam: vocals, 1930s Kaye upright bass

Keep up with The Happy Gland Band and their release "Flooded Away" at www.sageharrington.com.

Keep up with Jared Putnam's other musical endeavors at www.lechatlunatique.com.

KUNM News Update
6:26 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Monday News Roundup: Gov. Martinez Reports $4M Re-Election Cash Balance

Researchers Find No Signs Of Radiation In Water Near WIPP - The Associated Press

Water samples from three reservoirs near the federal government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico show no signs of contamination after a radiation leak at the plant.

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant officials said Saturday that independent researchers found the samples had no trace amounts of radioactive particles.

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Public Health New Mexico
10:37 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Oversight Commission: Our Hands Are Tied

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Police Oversight Commission met yesterday afternoon just hours after the Department of Justice released its findings on Albuquerque’s police force.

Chair *Jeffrey Peterson opened the regularly scheduled meeting with a statement about why the Police Oversight Commission has avoided commenting publicly on Albuquerque Police Department issues. He said the volunteer committee’s members have to skirt the appearance of bias.

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Public Health New Mexico
9:25 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Feds Find Patterns of Excessive Force in APD

A scathing report has been released by the Department of Justice that accuses Albuquerque Police Department of engaging in patterns and practices of excessive force. 

After a spike in officer-involved shootings, federal investigators spent 16 months poring over police reports and interviewing hundreds of people who claim they or their family members were victims of police brutality.  

 

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KUNM News Update
11:54 am
Thu April 10, 2014

DOJ: Serious Problems in APD

The DOJ wrote a letter to Mayor Berry, saying the Albuquerque Police Department is guilty of violating citizens Fourth Amendment.

  The U.S. Justice Department says institutional reform is needed to curb the "patterns of excessive force" that were turned up by a civil investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department.

The federal agency said Thursday that Albuquerque officers need more training and tools to ensure they can protect the community without escalating potentially violent situations.

The agency found that officers too frequently used deadly force on people "who posed a minimal threat" and used a higher level of force too often on those with mental illness.

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Public Health New Mexico
3:12 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

County Jail: Largest Mental Health Provider in N.M.

Credit my_southborough via Creative Commons

Bernalillo County jail Chief Ramon Rustin’s resignation took effect Monday. After three years as the head of the largest jail in New Mexico, Rustin stepped down saying he needed to meet family obligations. 

KUNM spoke with Rustin in February about mental health care at the Metropolitan Detention Center.

  Jail staff says MDC is the largest mental health provider in the state. Chief Rustin agreed. In fact, Rustin put that as No. 2 on the list of problems at the Bernalillo County lockup. So what's No. 1? Overcrowding, he said.

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KUNM News Update
12:39 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

4 Albuquerque Police Substations Vandalized

Credit Marisa Demarco

Crews in Albuquerque are cleaning and repainting four police substations that were targets of vandalism, with red zigzags and other markings painted on exterior walls and windows.

The substations were tagged Tuesday morning.

It's not known whether the vandalism is related to protests over alleged civil rights violations and allegations of use of excessive force.

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Public Health New Mexico
8:37 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Public Packs Albuquerque City Council Meeting On APD

Demonstrators at the Monday, April 7 Council meeting
Credit Natalia Jacquez

APD protestors and supporters turned out yesterday evening to the city council meeting in Downtown Albuquerque. More than 300 people filled the main chamber and overflow room. Those who didn’t make it in watched TV screens in Civic Plaza outside City Hall. 

City Council President Ken Sanchez announced at the beginning of the meeting that Mayor Richard Berry would not attend. "Mayor Berry Sends his regrets about not being to attend tonight’s meeting." 

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Public Health New Mexico
4:13 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Is Illegal Sewage Dumping Contaminating New Mexico's Drinking Water?

Editor's Note: This story has been taken down as it contained text from a Farmington Daily Times article on the same topic without proper attribution. We strive for proper attribution in our reporting and will post the KUNM News Reporting Guide when it is completed which will include details on our newsroom ethics and practices. Questions? Please contact News Director Elaine Baumgartel - elaineb@kunm.org

-KUNM Studio Sessions
3:22 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Local Folk Artists "The Noms"

Folk Harmony Magic in Studio A with The Noms. Full session audio.

This "Ear to the Ground" feature finds us catching Albuquerque's The Noms in an unplugged session on April  3rd.  Just days later they were to begin laying tracks for their debut album.

The Noms are:
Mike Mares:  vocals, guitar, egg
Michelle Baumann:  vocals, mandolin, guitar, egg
Josh Herrera:  keyboards, vocals, melodica
Joey Santiago:  cajon, glockenspiel, chimes, vocals, egg
Kevin Cummings: lead guitar, vocals
Aaron War: acoustic bass

Engineered/edited by Roman Garcia with Jefferson White and Steve Nery
Camera/video: Jefferson White

Keep up with The Noms at www.thenoms.com or look for NomNation on Facebook.

KUNM News Update
12:02 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

High Court Upholds Wedding Photo Discrimination Ruling

Credit Public Domain via Wikimedia

  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal from a commercial photography business in New Mexico that objects to taking pictures of same-sex wedding ceremonies.

The justices on Monday left in place a state Supreme Court ruling that said Elane Photography violated a state anti-discrimination law when it refused to work for a same-sex couple who wanted pictures of their commitment ceremony.

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KUNM News Update
10:10 am
Mon April 7, 2014

APD Allies Rally Downtown

Credit Public Domain

  Supporters are rallying to the defense of Albuquerque police, who have been criticized for a recent series of fatal shootings.

Dozens gathered Sunday around noon on the steps of police headquarters for a rally sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police.

The hour-long rally only saw two counter-protesters.

Albuquerque police are under a federal investigation over excessive force and possible civil rights violations. The department also has drawn criticism for 37 police shootings since 2010.

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Public Health New Mexico
10:11 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

New ACA Numbers Show Surge In Enrollment

Credit Deborah Martinez

   

The New Mexico Health Exchange reports that a total of 51,400 people have signed up for insurance coverage, either under the Affordable Care Act or directly through health insurance companies as of March 31.

The numbers seem large because unlike past reports, this one includes insurance exchange (or marketplace) shoppers and individuals and groups purchasing plans that are separate from the ACA.

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Local News
7:16 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Antiques Roadshow Comes To New Mexico

Antiques Roadshow comes to Albuquerque July 19th. The deadline to apply for free tickets is Monday, April 7th.

For the 3rd time since it's inception, the reality public television series Antiques Roadshow is coming to Albuquerque. We go behind the scenes and explore what makes inanimate objects valuable. For a chance to win free tickets to the upcoming New Mexico event, apply here by Monday, April 7th.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:59 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

APD Review Officer Discusses Police Oversight

An aerial view of Albuquerque's core
Credit kla4067 vis Wikimedia Commons and CC

Independent Review Officer Robin Hammer criticizes the city's Police Oversight Commission for failing to examine APD's overall policy on the use of force.

"The current commissioners have chosen not to use some of the powers they’ve already been given," she said in an interview with KUNM. "At no point in my 18 months has the Police Oversight Commission chosen to look at officer-involved shootings and to review what’s gone on."

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