Last year, the state’s Human Resources Department said an audit had helped find “credible allegations of fraud” against 15 New Mexico health organizations offering services such as drug addiction treatment and suicide counseling. Though HSD kept the audit secret — from the public and the organizations themselves — the department asserted the audit's findings justified suspending Medicaid funding for the organizations.
KUNM Call In Show Thu. 5/8 8a: The federal government is now inquiring into the handling of sexual assault cases on 55 college campuses across the country. No New Mexico schools appear on the recently-released list of schools under investigation, but the University of New Mexico, for one, has been proactive in setting up programs related to sexual assault prevention and support for survivors of assault.
Protesters Vow More Pressure Over Police Shootings - The Associated Press, Russell Contreras
Critics of the Police Department are promising to crowd another Albuquerque City Council meeting to protest recent police shootings just days after rowdy demonstrators forced city leaders to call off their discussions.
Nora Tachias-Anaya says protesters are planning to attend a rescheduled council meeting Thursday and will continue to criticize the Albuquerque Police Department.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
Critical Report Expected On Nuke Dump - The 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.