Carrie Jung


Carrie began reporting from New Mexico in 2011, following environmental news, education and Native American issues. She’s worked with NPR’s Morning Edition, PRI’s The World, National Native News, and The Takeaway.

Carrie graduated with a masters degree from Clemson University in 2009. 


Local News
6:44 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Report: 4 Out Of 5 Fourth Graders Can't Read Proficiently

Credit U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 3rd Class Matthew R. Schwarz via Wikimedia Commons

Newly released Kids Count data shows that New Mexico is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to student reading proficiency.  

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Local News
4:47 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

USDA Awards $2M To NM Forest Restoration Program

Credit US Forest Service

A forest restoration project in central New Mexico has been awarded an additional $2 million by the USDA. The money will allow state and federal agencies to cover more ground with fire prevention activities such as tree thinning, hazardous fuel removal and controlled burns.

Advocates with The Nature Conservancy said the funding is a much needed shot in the arm for efforts like the Isleta Project, a Forest Service restoration project taking place in Albuquerque’s east mountains. 

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Local News
9:57 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

DOJ Holds Exclusive Meeting To Discuss Probe Into APD's Use Of Force

Credit Skarz via Wikimedia Commons

The US Department of justice held an exclusive meeting Tuesday night to discuss the status of its investigation into allegations about the Albuquerque Police Department's use of excessive force.

This is the first time that DOJ officials have provided members of the public an update since the investigation began a little over a year ago.

The federal probe into APD began after a rash of more than 20 officer involved shootings that occurred within a 20 month period and sparked high profile allegations of abuse.

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Local News
4:26 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

NM 'Right-To-Die' Advocates Go To Court

Credit Jonathunder via Wikimedia Commons

A lawsuit challenging New Mexico’s law prohibiting doctors from helping terminally ill patients end their lives will go before a state district court in Albuquerque on Wednesday. "Assisting suicide” is currently a 4th degree felony.

Attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico contend that the current state statute does not specifically reference a physician when prohibiting "assisting suicide."

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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
5:31 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Immigration Prosecutions Up 47% in New Mexico

New data from the Justice Department show that New Mexico has the fastest rate of growth in immigration prosecutions in the nation. 

In 2013 New Mexico outpaced both Texas and Arizona in its increase in criminal immigration prosecutions, jumping by more than 47% in the first 11 months of the year. The West Texas district followed in second with a jump of 32%.

The increase was a dramatic shift for the state as immigration prosecution numbers for New Mexico had been down in recent years.

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Public Health New Mexico
10:41 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Woman In Santa Fe Dies From Hantavirus

The New Mexico Department of Heath has announced that a woman in Santa Fe has died from Hantavirus. It’s the second reported case in the state this year

Preliminary investigations indicate that the Hantavirus was acquired locally, likely within the woman’s home. But the Department of Health says it will also be performing an investigation at the patient’s house to make sure there's no risk to others. The woman’s identity has not yet been released.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:03 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

LANL Scientists Announce Breakthrough In Development Of HIV Vaccine

Credit Centers For Disease Control

A team of scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are reporting a breakthrough in the effort to develop an HIV vaccine. The research used what’s called a mosaic vaccine, which showed some test animals had protection when exposed to the infection.

The study, which was conducted on 36 monkeys, has provided new insight into vaccines that could eventually protect humans from infection. 

LANL scientist Bette Korber said that a mosaic vaccine, unlike traditional vaccines, is designed to respond to the large variety of HIV viruses that exist.  

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Local News
9:56 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Kirtland AFB Begins First Large Scale Fuel Spill Clean Up Test

It’s estimated that the Kirtland Air Force Base jet fuel spill is twice the size of the Exxon Valdez spill. Officials announced that the first, large scale test of a system designed to clean up the contamination is now underway. The test marks the first time water contaminated with fuel will be pumped out of the ground since the 40 year old spill was discovered in 1999.

The so-called “Step Test” will remove an estimated 70,000 gallons of contaminated water from an aquifer that feeds Albuquerque’s water supply.

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Local News
6:57 am
Wed October 30, 2013

State Tumor Registry and IHS Launch Effort To Map Tumor Rates In Rural NM

Credit clevercupcakes via Flickr

The Indian Health Service in Shiprock and the New Mexico Tumor Registry are teaming up to analyze tumor rates in rural areas of New Mexico.  The first thing investigators have to do is find where residents, without street addresses, actually live. 

When collecting residential data, researchers have traditionally relied on the mailing address provided in a patient’s chart. But in rural New Mexico, this is often just a post office box. Finding an actual home is a bit more challenging.

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Local News
2:45 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Santa Fe Literary Groups Push To Create Official State Poet

Two literary groups in Santa Fe are spearheading an effort to designate an official state poet. 

The New Mexico State Poetry society and the Red Mountain Press began exploring the logistics of creating the State Poet Laureate program about 4 months ago.

The state legislature must approve the measure for the position to become official.  Susan Gardner, of the Red Mountain Press, said, so far, legislative support has been strong.

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Local News
5:07 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

NM Supreme Court To Hear Arguments on Same Sex Marriage

The New Mexico Supreme Court will hear arguments tomorrow to decide whether same sex marriage is legal in the state. Both sides in the debate are welcoming the intervention of the state’s highest court.

The lawsuit argues that the New Mexico Constitution requires the state to allow same-sex couples the freedom to marry.

In New Mexico, 8 of the state’s 33 counties are actively issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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Local News
1:59 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

SpaceX's "Grasshopper" Rocket Could Launch From NM Spaceport This Year

Credit Steve Jurvetson

SpaceX has announced that the testing of their vertical take off and landing rocket at Spaceport America could begin as early as December. The vehicle, named the Grasshopper, has been in development in Texas and took it’s final test flight there earlier this month.

SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell made the announcement earlier this week in Las Cruces at an annual commercial spaceflight conference.

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Local News
7:55 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Initiative Seeking To Limit Abortions In Albuquerque To Appear On November Ballot

A municipal ballot initiative seeking to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy has turned Albuquerque into the latest battleground in the abortion debate. The measure goes before voters in just over a month.

KUNM's Carrie Jung explored the potential impacts of the initiative and checked in with the campaigns on both sides of the issue. 

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Local News
5:03 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Drought Spurs Native American Farmers To Use Non-Traditional Irrigation Methods

Credit Carrie Jung


Severe drought has been gripping much of the Southwest for years, with New Mexico getting the worst of it. And the lack of water is forcing many Native American farmers to consider more non-traditional methods of irrigation.

On a late summer morning at the Santo Domingo Pueblo just south of Santa Fe, Water Resources Manager Jonathan Garcia grabs a map and the keys to a large SUV. He’s headed to the reservation’s agricultural land for a closer look at new irrigation techniques.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:30 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

New Mexico Poverty Rate Rises

Nationally, the poverty rate also increased between 2000 and 2012.
Credit U.S. Census Bureau

New Census data shows that poverty rates in New Mexico have increased significantly since 2000. About one fifth of the state’s population earned an income below the federal poverty line last year and more than 100,000 New Mexicans fell into poverty over the last dozen years. 

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Local News
2:13 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

New App For Texting In Navajo On Android Phones

Screenshot of the keyboard of an android phone with the Navajo Keyboard app.

Android users now have a way to brush up on their Navajo. The Navajo Keyboard app is allowing smart phone users to practice their skills in the Native American language through text messaging and social media.

It comes loaded with all of the traditional Navajo characters and 65 pre-made phrases to help beginners through any basic conversation. It can also act as a user's primary keyboard.

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Local News
6:39 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Heavy Rains Cause Dangerous Flooding and Significant Damage in NM

Credit Kerry Jones / National Weather Service

Record breaking rainfall has produced dangerous flooding conditions across many parts of the southwest over the past week. In New Mexico, clean up efforts are continuing today. State officials expect damages to run well over a million dollars.

Some areas of New Mexico saw nearly 10 inches of rain from last week’s storm system, which is more moisture than many parts of the state have seen all year.

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Local News
3:55 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Flooding Cuts National Weather Service Communications

Flood warnings and watches for the afternoon of September 13th, 2013.
Credit National Weather Service

The storm system that’s been dumping heavy rain on New Mexico since early this week continued into today causing significant flooding and the evacuation of at least two towns. Many residents have been left without power. 

The storm system moved into the area early Tuesday bringing record breaking rainfall to much of the state. Albuquerque has seen about 2 inches of rain since the storm moved in. So far damages in the metro area remain minimal, however, a brief power outage and flooded roadways have been reported.

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Local News
4:03 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Burning Of Zozobra Purges Gloom In Santa Fe

The 89th annual burning of Zozobra kicked off Thursday night at Fort Marcy Park in Santa Fe
Tristan Ahtone

About 30,000 people gathered in Santa Fe, New Mexico recently to watch the annual burning of Zozobra, a 50 foot tall marionette effigy. The event has been held in New Mexico for nearly 100 years and celebrates the burning away of the world’s gloom.

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Local News
2:40 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

NM Offers Incentives For Teachers Who Move To Struggling Schools

Credit Alegri

Governor Susanna Martinez announced a new program yesterday offering some New Mexico teachers an extra $5,000 if they agree to work in a struggling school or increase the number of students passing advanced placement courses. 

The stipends will be awarded to about 100 teachers who agree to move from a school with an A or B grade to one with a D or F. An additional 300 teachers instructing Advanced Placement classes will also be eligible for the incentive.

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Local News
6:07 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Lawmakers Plan Lawsuit To Stop Same-Sex Marriages

Formal opposition to the same-sex marriage movement in New Mexico is beginning to take shape. A group of Republican state lawmakers is now planning a lawsuit to stop six county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Several county clerks have taken it upon themselves to issue same-sex marriage licenses- they say the state constitution does not expressly prohibit it. Two district court judges have ordered several other county clerks to issue the licenses to same-sex couples.

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Local News
8:05 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Signatures Verified For Abortion Ban Ballot Initiative

Credit ChristopherElison via Flickr

UPDATE 8/27 12p: Signatures on a petition to put a measure banning abortions after 20 weeks in Albuquerque have been verified. 

According to, the required 12,261 signatures were verified and now the measure will go before the City Council. Councilors will either adopt the measure outright or put it on a city-wide ballot.


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Local News
4:34 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Doña Ana County Issues Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The clerk in Doña Ana County, New Mexico began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Wednesday morning.

County Clerk Lynn Ellins took the action based on the widely accepted legal opinion that the state constitution does not expressly prohibit same-sex marriage.

The issue is currently making its way through the state court system, but the New Mexico Supreme Court has yet to issue a formal resolution.

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Local News
7:34 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Rally Held To Denounce Tactics Of Recent Anti-Abortion Protests

More than 200 people gathered in downtown Albuquerque yesterday to denounce the tactics used by anti abortion rights groups recently.

The rally was held in response to an anti-abortion protest that took place earlier this month where advocates staged demonstrations in locations across the city, holding signs with pictures of bloody fetuses and messages comparing abortion in Albuquerque to the Jewish Holocaust.

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Local News
10:44 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Albuquerque Voters To Decide The Fate Of Proposed Abortion Ban

Protests in Albuquerque highlight a localized approach to the abortion debate
Carrie Jung

On the sidewalks along Central Avenue here in Albuquerque, Lauren Handy and about 15 other anti-abortion activists are doing their best to get an informational pamphlet about late term abortion into the hands of pedestrians.

"We actually had someone change their mind, even for first trimester." Handy says, "And that’s why were here, to change hearts and minds"

Farther up the road, Eric De la O and about 15 other young adults are holding signs with pictures of what appear to be bloody fetuses.

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Local News
6:04 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

State Supreme Court Says Non English Speakers Can Serve On Juries

Credit via Flickr

The New Mexico Supreme Court is cautioning the state's trial courts and lawyers that lack of English proficiency should not restrict someone's ability to serve on a jury. The warning was issued in a recent ruling that upheld an Albuquerque man's conviction for murder.

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3:13 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Laid To Rest: A Proper Burial For The Poor

In lieu of names, this headstone was engraved with a quote: "We grow afraid of what we might forget. We will find peace and value through community in knowing that we belong to each other. Dedicated to the Citizens of Bernalillo County."
Carrie Jung KUNM

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 4:56 pm

On a blisteringly hot summer afternoon, about 40 people gather at the Evangelico Cemetery in southwestern Albuquerque. Deacon Pablo Lefebre leads the service and begins with a prayer

"Because God has chosen to call our brothers and our sisters from this life to himself," he says, "we commit their bodies to the earth, its resting place. For we are dust, and to dust we shall return."

This isn't your average funeral. The light gray casket about to be lowered into the ground is filled with the cremated remains of 87 county residents.

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Local News
4:58 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Coalition Of Abortion Rights Groups Launches Response To Albuquerque Abortion Measure

Jeanette Smith said she doesn't believe the government has a right to make decisions about her body. She pointed out that no one wants to have to have an abortion.
Credit Carrie Jung

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico joined several other groups today to announce the launch of Respect ABQ Women. The campaign is an effort to defeat a proposed ballot initiative that would ban late term abortions in Albuquerque.

Women’s advocacy groups and an alliance of community organizations met with supporters to launch the initiative in response to an effort by anti abortion activists to get the “Unborn Child Protection” ordinance on Albuquerque’s October city ballot.

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Local News
6:11 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Veterans Discover They Were United In Battle Years Ago

Jason Shelton, left, and John Bailon reminisce while walking in terrain at Sandia National Laboratories that reminds them of Iraq. They both fought for the U.S. military in Operation Iraqi Freedom
Credit Photo by Randy Montoya

Iraq War Veterans Jason Shelton and John Bailon only recently became friends when Sandia Laboratory's Wounded Warrior program brought them together in Albuquerque. The two soon learned that their relationship actually began on foreign soil almost a decade ago. 

Both Bailon and Shelton are in Sandia’s Wounded Warrior Career Development Program. The program offers training and education to combat-injured veterans.

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