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Public Health New Mexico
3:49 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Solitary Confinement in New Mexico: Part 3

Credit e-MagineArt.com

Nataura Powdrell remembers one inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center who refused to take his meds. When the jail’s mental health staff tried to talk about it, he explained he didn’t want to become stable. Because then he’d be released from jail.

Then, he knew from experience, he would run through the 30-day supply of medication that the jail provides to exiting inmates. He would have a psychotic break. And he’d go find heroin so he could get comfortable with the voices in his head.

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Local News
7:14 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Border Patrol Line Hazy On Medical Marijuana

Lawmakers are asking Border Patrol agents in New Mexico to respect the states medical marijuana laws.
Credit Wiki Creative Commons

New Mexico’s Democratic Congressional delegation is teaming up with a state lawmaker in an appeal to the US Customs and Border Patrol to change their policy of seizing medical marijuana. 

The federal government has said as long as states abide by 8 specific guidelines - like not selling marijuana to minors or allowing people to drive under the influence – they won’t prosecute for marijuana. However, Border Patrol agents continue to confiscate medical pot. 

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KUNM News Update
5:42 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Tuesday News Roundup: No Fraud Charges Against Provider By New Mexico

No Fraud Charges Against Provider By New MexicoThe Associated Press

 Attorney General Gary King's office says investigators found about $34,000 in overbillings by a Santa Fe-based mental health provider but nothing to justify bringing fraud charges.

King said in a statement Tuesday there was "no actionable evidence of fraud" by Easter Seals El Mirador.

CEO Mark Johnson said he was not surprised, but he was "absolutely delighted that we've been exonerated."

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Public Health New Mexico
4:17 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Solitary in New Mexico: Part 2

Jan Green's cell at the Valencia County Detention Center
Credit Courtesy of Matthew Coyte

Jan Green isn’t sure of cell 135C’s exact dimensions at the Valencia County Detention Center. It was small.

“It was a shower stall, but I couldn’t use the shower,” she said. “It had the steel toilet and sink combination. It had a cement L-shaped bench and two drains. It had a steel door with a window that looked out into the walkway. “

She saw those objects every day all day during her months-long stints in solitary.

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KUNM News Update
6:38 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Monday News Roundup: Abq City Council Eyes Ways To Select New Police Chief

City Council Eyes Ways To Select New Police Chief The Associated Press

The Albuquerque City Council is meeting to discuss whether the police chief should be chosen by the council or by voters.

Monday night's meeting comes just two days after a fatal police shooting and weeks after a U.S. Justice Department report faulted the Police Department over excessive use of force.

Albuquerque police have shot nearly 40 people since 2010.

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Local News
8:12 am
Sun May 4, 2014

Democrats In Governor's Race Meet In Forum

Democrats running for governor directed a barrage of criticism at Republican incumbent Susana Martinez at a candidate forum rather than sniping at each other.

With the primary election a month away, Democrats assailed Martinez on Saturday for New Mexico being rated the worst in the nation for child well-being and for the economy's weak job growth.

All of the Democrats pledged support for raising the state's minimum wage to at least $10.10 an hour.

The wage rate has been $7.50 an hour since 2009.

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Local News
7:50 am
Sun May 4, 2014

Police Investigating Man's Death During Standoff

UPDATE Mon. 5/5 5:30a - Albuquerque police said Sunday that an officer shot a man during a long SWAT standoff, but it remains unconfirmed if that caused the man's death.

Police said that 50-year-old Armand Martin walked out of an Albuquerque home Saturday and fired two handguns.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that police said at a news conference that he fired at least 11 shots from inside and outside his West Side home before a SWAT team member fired a single shot that struck his chest.

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KUNM News Update
9:18 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Saturday News Roundup: Certain Shipments From Los Alamos Lab Halted

Certain Shipments From Los Alamos Lab Halted - The Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Energy says the shipment of certain kinds of nuclear waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory to a storage facility in west Texas has been halted.

The agency made the announcement Friday, as investigators continue searching for the cause of a Feb. 14 radiation leak at the federal government's underground repository in southeastern New Mexico.

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Local News
9:04 am
Fri May 2, 2014

KUNM Responds To Question From CPB Ombuds On Funding, Plagiarism

Credit Elaine Baumgartel

UPDATE 5/8: CPB Ombudsman Joel Kaplan praised KUNM for "reconsider[ing] what the station should have done and will do in the future."

You can read his second report here.

***

Joel Kaplan, Ombudsman for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, recently forwarded a question he received asking whether the KUNM’s response to recent plagiarism allegations was delayed because of a concern about funding for KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico reporting project.

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KUNM News Update
6:32 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Friday News Roundup: Certain Shipments From Los Alamos Lab Halted

Certain Shipments From Los Alamos Lab Halted The Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Energy says the shipment of certain kinds of nuclear waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory to a storage facility in west Texas has been halted.

The agency made the announcement Friday, as investigators continue searching for the cause of a Feb. 14 radiation leak at the federal government's underground repository in southeastern New Mexico.

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KUNM News Update
5:26 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Thursday News Roundup: Crews Find Damaged Material In Nuke Dump

Crews Find Damaged Material In Nuke Dump The Associated Press

Crews searching for the source of a radiation release from the government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico have found damaged bags of minerals in the mine, but officials say they have yet to identify what caused the radiation leak.

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KUNM Call In Show
4:50 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Net Neutrality And You!

Credit Wayan Vota via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 5/1 8a: Do you enjoy the internet as we now know it?  How might the Federal Communication Commission's proposed rule changes regarding net neutrality - the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites - affect you personally or in your business or profession? Or change the way you experience the internet?  

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KUNM News Update
4:30 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Wednesday News Roundup: EPA Moves Forward With Plan For NM Power Plant

EPA Moves Forward With Plan For NM Power Plant – The Associated Press

Federal regulators are moving forward with a proposal they say would target some of the oldest pollution in the country by closing part of a New Mexico coal-fired power plant.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed approving a plan they’ve negotiated along with Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration and the state's largest electric provider, PNM.

A 30-day public comment period kicks off today.

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KUNM News Update
3:09 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Tuesday News Roundup: State Warns Air Force On Cleanup Of Kirtland Spill

State warns Air Force on cleanup of Kirtland spill - The Albuquerque Journal, The Associated Press

New Mexico environmental regulators say the Air Force could face $10,000-per-dayy state fines if the service misses a June 30 deadline to start cleaning groundwater contaminated by a decades-old fuel spill.

A state Environment Department letter says the Air Force's current plan to use bacteria to break down the fuel could miss the June 30 date by up to a year.

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Public Health New Mexico
11:31 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

DOJ Promises Change

Luis Salcedo (left) with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and Damon Martinez, U.S. attorney for New Mexico on Monday, April 28, 2014, at the Alamosa Community Center.
Credit Marisa Demarco

  The Department of Justice held the first of three meetings Monday aiming to gather community input on Albuquerque’s police force.

People who showed up at the Westside’s Alamosa Community Center to give input last night were put off by the format of the meeting. It was not a public forum. Instead, commenters were given a number and then taken into a room where they spoke to DOJ employees as part of five-person focus groups.

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Local News
6:07 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Turning Food Trash Into Treasure

Diverting food scraps from the waste stream can have a significant impact on climate change.
Credit Rita Daniels

Americans throw a lot of food away, and that’s having a huge impact on the environment.   A study by the UN Agriculture and Land commission found that if buried food scraps in landfills were a country of their own they would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases on the planet. New Mexicans are working to keep food out of the landfill, but the efforts are ripe with challenge.

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Public Health New Mexico
7:24 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Solitary Confinement in New Mexico: Part I

Piper Chapman in The Hole
Credit Screenshot from "Orange is the New Black"

The hole. That’s what they call it on television. It’s the mind-shattering pit fictional prisoners will do anything to avoid.

In real life, human rights advocates say New Mexico needs to cut back on using solitary confinement as a punishment method—especially for people coping with mental illnesses. Prison officials agree that it should be used less often, though most take issue with the way it’s portrayed in prison dramas.

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Local News
1:24 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

KUNM Takes 7 Awards In Society of Professional Journalists Competition

Credit Jonathan "Night Owl City" via Flickr

KUNM News won 7 awards last night at the Colorado Society of Professional Journalists 2014 Top of the Rockies Awards Banquet.

Thanks for all your hard work, news team!

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KUNM News Update
6:38 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Friday News Roundup: Judge Denies Defense Request In Email Scandal Case

Judge Denies Defense Request In Email Scandal Case - The Associated Press

A federal judge has dealt a potential setback to the defense strategy of Gov. Susana Martinez's former campaign manager who is charged with hijacking the campaign's email system after Martinez took office.

District Judge William Johnson on Thursday denied requests by Jamie Estrada's attorneys to force the prosecution to provide information regarding the Martinez administration's awarding of a lease that allowed a larger casino at the state fairgrounds.

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Local News
6:24 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Forecasters Warn Of Damaging Winds

Record winds in July 2013 downed huge trees in Albuquerque.
Credit Elaine Baumgartel

Forecasters with the National Weather Service are warning New Mexicans that it could be a windy weekend.

They say a strong cold front will be sweeping into the state late Saturday through Sunday, bringing with it potentially damaging winds for much of the area.

Snow in the northern mountains and below-normal temperatures are also possible thanks to the storm system.

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Public Health New Mexico
6:18 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Management, Safety Cited For Radiation Release At WIPP

Credit Public domain image.

Department of Energy investigators say a radiation release from the federal government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico was the result of a slow erosion of safety at the 15-year-old site.

In a report released Thursday, they also say the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad fails to meet federal standards for nuclear facilities and its employees bungled their response to the emergency.

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Local News
7:28 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

A Dark Sky Shines Bright At Chaco Canyon

The dark sky at Chaco Culture National Historic Park is world-renowned for star gazing.
Credit Courtesy of NPS

 

There are almost 100 miles of rural uninhabited land surrounding Chaco Culture National Historic Park in North Western New Mexico. The area has long been known as an epic place to view the wonders of the night sky. On Thursday, the park is celebrating it's designation as an International Dark Sky Park.

With virutally zero light pollution around, once the sun sinks below the horizon, visitors are engulfed in utter darkness.

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-KUNM Studio Sessions
2:57 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

The Black Lillies

Credit Deone Jahnke

The Black Lillies live on Afternoon Freeform

The Black Lillies, led by multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter Cruz Contreras, are currently on tour. They stopped by KUNM to perform live on Afternoon Freeform (April  23) with Carol Boss. The band’s blend of country, alt-rock, neo-folk and Appalachian soul has earned them critical acclaim nationwide and their most recent album, Runaway Freeway Blues, was included on numerous Best Albums of the Year (2013) lists.

Cruz Contreras: guitar, bass, vocals
Trisha Gene Brady: vocals
Tom Pryor: guitar
Robert Richards: bass, guitar
Bowman Townsend: percussion

Find out more about The Black Lillies: theblacklillies.com.

KUNM News Update
6:17 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Thursday News Roundup: Management, Safety Cited For Radiation Release At WIPP

Management, Safety Cited For Radiation Release At WIPP The Associated Press

Department of Energy investigators are blaming poor management, ineffective safety and maintenance programs, and a lack of proper oversight for a radiation release that contaminated 21 workers and shuttered the government's nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico two months ago.

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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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