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11:17 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Audio Gives Details Of NM State Police Shooting

Credit Jim Legans, Jr. via Flickr

A dispatch recording reveals that New Mexico State Police never provided a reason for a high-speed pursuit the night a 39-year-old Santa Fe woman was shot and killed by police.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that recently released audio recorded early on Nov. 7 between a Santa Fe police dispatcher and state police dispatcher shows that state police failed to provide a reason before reporting shots were fired.

As a result, Santa Fe police never came for backup.

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Local News
6:30 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Tuesday News Roundup: NM Governor To Seek Money For Water Emergencies

NM Governor To Seek Money For Water Emergencies - Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez will ask the Legislature to create an emergency fund to help communities with critical drinking water supply problems.

The governor proposed Monday that lawmakers allocate $200,000 to allow the administration to immediately respond when local governments face emergencies and potentially are running out of water.

Martinez also wants to be able to replenish the fund automatically in $200,000 installments by issuing an executive order.

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Local News
7:05 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Judge Rules In Support of PED Teacher Eval Plan

Credit Alegri

A state District Court judge has ruled in favor of Gov. Susana Martinez's administration and its implementation of new teacher evaluations. 

Democratic State Senator Howie Morales joined two other lawmakers and the state's teachers unions to try and stop the Public Education Department from moving forward with the new plan. 

Morales, who is running for the Democratic nomination for Governor next year, says the Martinez Administration shouldn't have used a top-down process of adding the new plan without buy-in from lawmakers. 

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Local News
6:41 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Monday News Roundup: NM Prisoner Segregation Under Review

Audit Proposes NM Health Benefits Super Agency- The Associated Press

Legislative auditors are recommending that health care benefits for public employees and educators be administered by a single government agency.

A Legislative Finance Committee audit called last week for merging the self-funded health insurance operations for state and local government workers, public school and higher education employees.

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Local News
11:51 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Watchdog Sues For Sandia Nuke Safety Records

Credit Public domain image.

  A watchdog group has filed a lawsuit seeking the release of nuclear safety records for Sandia National Laboratories.

The suit filed Friday in federal court in Albuquerque alleges the National Nuclear Security Administration has withheld documents and work papers for more than two years about whether nuclear reactors at Sandia have experienced shutdowns, accidents or violated safety regulations.

It also alleges a continuing pattern and practice of wrongful delay by the NNSA to violate the Freedom of Information Act.

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Local News
6:25 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Friday News Roundup: Judge Says State Can Keep Audit Secret

Judge Says State Can Keep Audit Secret - Associated Press

A state district judge in Las Cruces has ruled the state can keep secret the audit that prompted it to freeze payments to substance abuse and mental health providers.

State District Judge Douglas Driggers rejected a request by the Las Cruces Sun-News and New Mexico In Depth to order the Human Services Department to release the audit under state open records laws.

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Local News
9:36 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Refuge Hosts More Than Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill cranes migrate to New Mexico in October, staying until about Valentine's Day
Laura Paskus

In Socorro County this week, the Festival of the Cranes draws thousands of tourists. Sandhill cranes and snow geese draw the big crowds, but the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge hosts more than just migrating birds.

Six sandhill cranes swirl above us, deciding whether or not they’re going to land. We’re standing at a pullout along Highway 1, south of San Antonio, New Mexico.

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Local News
6:43 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Storm Dumps Snow, Leaves 1 Dead In New Mexico, 7 Others Dead Across West

Cold temperatures harken winters arrival.
Credit National Weather Service

UPDATE Mon 6:30a: Snow accumulation with gusty winds are expected today as wintry weather tapers off through tonight.

 

Snow showers crossing into New Mexico will continue through much of the morning. Local accumulations could reach 1-2"

 

North winds will develop over the northeast plains in the wake of the departing storm system this afternoon, with gusts expected to reach 50 miles an hour. 

 

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Local News
5:20 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Common Ground For Cattle Ranchers And Environmentalists? Dissatisfaction With Feds

Crowd waiting for U.S Fish and Wildlife public hearing on Mexican Gray Wolf
Credit Andy Lyman

The US Fish and Wildlife Department held a 3-hour meeting Wednesday night to receive public comment on a controversial new recovery plan for the endangered Mexican Gray Wolf.  The proposed changes have created quite a stir and people logged nearly 100 comments.

It was cold and rainy Wednesday night, but that didn’t stop about 200 hundred people from gathering in Albuquerque to express their widely disparate views on one pesky animal. The topic was the Mexican Gray Wolf.

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Local News
6:32 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Thursday News Roundup: NM Teachers Object To Evaluation System

NM Teachers Object To Evaluation System - Associated Press

Unions representing teachers and other educational employees organized protests Wednesday against a teacher evaluation system by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration that heavily bases ratings on student performance on standardized tests.

National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers encouraged teachers to wear black and participate in rallies across the state.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:38 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Should NM Legislature Tax, Regulate E-Cigarettes?

Various e-cigarettes
Credit Wikipedia

E-cigarettes – those pen-like nicotine dispensers people inhale without the smoke – are posing challenges for governments trying to reduce the number of people who take up smoking.  Today a Legislative panel that oversees spending of a tobacco-settlement fund discussed whether to regulate e-cigarettes in the same way as the traditional kind.

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Local News
2:19 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Exploring Flamenco: One Dancer's Journey

The artist dancing in Spain earlier this year.
Credit Courtesy photo

Flamenco was born when wandering Roma gypsies blended dance and musical traditions with those of southern Spain. Award winning dancer and Albuquerque native Alice Blumenfeld recently spent a year in Spain delving into the tradition. 

 

"I don't know, maybe I was born dancing ," she said. "I started taking dance classes when I was 3, starting with ballet."

 

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KUNM News Update
6:52 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Wednesday News Roundup: Feds To Hold Public Hearing On Wolf Proposals

Feds To Hold Public Hearing On Wolf Proposals - Associated Press

Future management of the federal government's troubled effort to return Mexican gray wolves to the Southwest will be the focus of a public hearing Wednesday in Albuquerque.

Environmentalists, landowners and others are expected to pack the meeting. They'll be commenting on a pair of proposals that will determine how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service moves forward with the program.

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Local News
8:59 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Albuquerque Abortion Ban Rejected In Record Special Election

An opponent of the Albuquerque abortion measure attends a rally in August, 2013.
Credit Carrie Jung

The measure to ban abortions at 20 weeks has been defeated by Albuquerque voters. 

With 48 of 50 vote centers reporting, 54 percent of voters rejected the ordinance. Forty-five percent of voters supported it. 

Turnout in the city's special election surpassed turnout in the recent mayoral race and early voting played a large part. Nearly 44,000 voters cast their ballots early while over 33,000 voters went to the polls on election day. 

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Public Health New Mexico
3:00 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Vaccinations Survey Reveals Personal Reasons For Exemptions

Credit Univ. of Melbourne - public domain

Most parents asking for an exemption to mandatory vaccinations in New Mexico schools were anglo, according to a survey done by the state Department of Health. 

The survey reveals details behind the exemptions. 

Most New Mexico parents cited religious beliefs in order to get an exemption for a child, believing it’s better to develop immunity to diseases naturally by contracting the illness. 

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Public Health New Mexico
2:29 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Smoking Rates During Pregnancy Highest Among Native Americans

Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases and affecting the health of smokers in general, as well as those inhaling “second hand” smoke.
Credit Debora Cartagena, CDC

Native Americans have the highest rates of smoking before, during and after pregnancy than any other ethnic group in the nation. That’s according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control.

According to the CDC, 55 percent of Native American women smoked before pregnancy. During pregnancy, that rate dropped significantly to 26 percent. However, that rate was still the highest of any racial or ethnic group in the nation.

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KUNM News Update
6:45 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Tuesday News Roundup: Albuquerque Votes On Late-Term Abortion Ban

Albuquerque Votes On Late-Term Abortion Ban - Associated Press

Voters in New Mexico's largest city will decide Tuesday whether to ban late-term abortions.

The municipal referendum is believed to be the first of its kind in the country and is being watched as a possible new front for activism in the abortion wars that have typically been waged at the federal and state levels.

The outcome is anyone's guess following an emotional and graphic campaign that brought in national groups and hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising.

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Public Affairs
6:17 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Teacher Evals And The Common Core: Do They Work?

Credit Max Klingensmith

  KUNM Call In Show Thu. 11/21 8a: KUNM marks "American Education Week" (November 18-22, 2013) with a program devoted to the current issues surrounding the implementation of the NMTeach system by the NM Public Education Department (PED).  

Join us as we examine newly implemented initiatives related to teacher evaluations and testing requirements under the Common Core Standards Initiative.  

Are the changes beneficial for our students and teachers?  We'll look forward to hearing from you!  

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Public Health New Mexico
4:40 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Judge To Hear Behavioral Health Audit Lawsuits This Week

Public Consulting Group's audit was heavily redacted before release
Credit audit screen shot

The audit that led the Martinez administration to freeze Medicaid funding for more than a dozen behavioral health non-profits in New Mexico is at the center of a hearing Tuesday in Santa Fe.  

The Foundation for Open Government sued state government after state officials released a heavily redacted audit to media.  FOG attorneys claim the report is “too important to the citizens of New Mexico to be kept form public view.”  The open government group asked in its lawsuit for for the audit to be released in its entirety.

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Sports
10:23 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Do Indians Make Better Cowboys Than Cowboys?

Dakota Louis prepares for his championship ride.
Credit Tristan Ahtone

The Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR) just wrapped up in Las Vegas. During the event, spectators enjoyed the usual rodeo competitions: barrel racing, steer wrestling and bull riding. But what's different about this event is it’s an Indian-only rodeo, which means in addition to the bulls, cows and Indian cowboys, the whole family is there.

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Local News
8:07 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Critics Of Proposed Abortion Ban Say Health-Of-Mother Clause Could Be Slippery Slope

Voters in Albuquerque will soon decide the fate of a controversial ballot measure that would limit abortion rights. If approved, the measure would prohibit Albuquerque doctors from terminating a pregnancy, in any way, past the 20 week gestational mark. It does include an exception to the rule though- for when a woman's life is in immediate danger. But some argue the exception doesn't go far enough, and that it could end up dangerously tying the hands of doctors treating women with complicated pregnancies. 

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KUNM News Update
7:26 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Monday News Roundup: 15 NM Teachers Get Stipends For Transfers

State: 15 NM Teachers Get Stipends For Transfers - Associated Press and The Las Cruces Sun News

New Mexico Education Secretary Hanna Skandera says the state is "off to a good start" with 15 teachers each approved to receive a $5,000 stipend for transferring from a top-graded school to a low-graded one.

According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, the teachers worked for the Las Cruces, Taos, Las Vegas City, Espanola, Estancia and Gallup school districts.

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Local News
1:26 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

NM Experiencing Shortage Of Medical Marijuana

Credit eggrole via Flickr

The demand for medical marijuana in New Mexico has outpaced production, leaving some patients to ration their supplies while others are being turned away.

A survey commissioned by the state Department of Health shows producers licensed under the program have turned away thousands of patients in recent months.

The 65-page report detailing the survey was provided to the Albuquerque Journal in response to a public records request.

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Local News
1:22 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

PED To Move Forward With New Teacher Eval System

Credit Alegri

Gov. Susana Martinez's administration says it will move forward with implementation of its teacher evaluation system despite opposition from some teachers and Democratic lawmakers.

Two state senators had asked Public Education Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera this week for more time to acclimate to the new rating system.

But The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the administration signaled it will not budge.

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Local News
5:25 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Sport Fisherman Plead With Governor To Stop Gila Diversion

Credit Jessica Wilson via Flickr

Eleven sportsmen representing various wildlife recreation groups addressed a letter to Governor Susana Martinez today asking that she not allow the proposal to create a dam in the Gila River.

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Local News
5:06 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Ever Wonder Where Your Recycling Goes?

Credit Andy Arthur / Flickr

The City of Albuquerque, along with a regional recycling company, are drawing back the curtain to give the public a behind-the-scenes peek at more than just the usual boxes and cans. They're offering tours of the new facility on Saturday. 

By now, most Albuquerque residents know they can put recyclable materials in their newly issued blue bins. What might be a surprise is that the list of approved materials is extensive and has been expanded.

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Public Health New Mexico
7:14 am
Fri November 15, 2013

AG’s Argument For Secrecy Is ‘Terrifying,’ News Orgs Say

Credit Rrrodrigo via Flickr

Because it isn’t a law enforcement agency, the N.M. Human Services Department can’t justify keeping an audit of 15 health providers secret using the law enforcement exception to a state sunshine law, two news organizations suing for release of the audit say.

 

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KUNM News Update
6:36 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Friday News Roundup: Albuquerque Police Officer Shoots DWI Suspect

Albuquerque Police Officer Shoots DWI Suspect - Associated Press and KOAT-TV

Albuquerque's police chief says one of his officers has shot a drunken-driving suspect during a traffic stop.

Chief Allen Banks says the shooting happened early Friday after an officer pulled over a car. Banks tells KOAT-TV that after the car stopped the driver inside showed a gun and the officer shot the person.

The unidentified suspect is hospitalized in critical but stable condition. The officer was not hurt.

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Local News
7:02 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Obama Revises ACA Rules, Effect On NM Unknown

President Obama answers questions from the press after announcing the changes to the ACA.
Credit WhiteHouse.gov

President Barack Obama held a press conference Thursday in Washington D.C.  He announced that his repeated promise, that people who liked their current insurance plans could keep them, was made in good faith and will be honored. Then reporters pressed him over a flawed rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

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KUNM News Update
6:36 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Thursday News Roundup: NM Ed Chief Vows To Push Law On 3rd-Grade Reading

NM Ed Chief Vows To Push Law On 3rd-Grade Reading - Associated Press and The Santa Fe New Mexican

New Mexico's top education official says Gov. Susana Martinez won't stop pushing for legislation to hold back third-graders who can't read at grade level.

Public Education chief Hanna Skandera vowed that she and Martinez will be "back in full force" to push the proposal in 2014. The Legislature has rejected the plan for the past two years.

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