KUNM

Ed Williams

Public Health New Mexico Reporter

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.

Ed Williams

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that could bring new money to fight the nation’s opioid epidemic. It’s a measure that could have big impacts in New Mexico.

Ed Williams

The U.S. Senate passed a bill Tuesday to give rural patients better access to high-quality medical care using a program developed at UNM.

Ed Williams

Demonstrators are preparing for winter at their camp in North Dakota, aiming to stop a pipeline that would carry crude oil under the Missouri River from being built. Protesters marched in solidarity Albuquerque on Tuesday, Nov. 15, as part of a national day of action against the pipeline.

Ed Williams/KUNM

New Mexico Republicans celebrated Donald Trump’s victory at the Albuquerque Convention Center Tuesday. The mood at the Republican election night watch party went from cautiously optimistic to elated as Donald Trump’s upset of Hillary Clinton took shape.

The opioid epidemic is a national crisis, and in Northern New Mexico it’s a problem that’s been around for decades.

For the latest in our Voices Behind the Vote series, KUNM visited the home of an addiction counselor in Rio Arriba County to hear about her thoughts on substance abuse and the presidential race.

Ed Williams

Sexual assault, gender equality and women’s reproductive rights have taken center stage this election season, with controversial comments by Donald Trump galvanizing some voters’ support for Hillary Clinton.

KUNM met with one of those voters at a restaurant in Santa Fe to find out why she’s supporting the Democratic presidential ticket.

Ed Williams

Voters in Bernalillo County are gearing up to elect a new commissioner in next week’s general election.

Republican Patricia Paiz is squaring off against Democrat Steven Michael Quezada to take over as commissioner for District 2—an area that includes the South Valley and West Mesa.

The race could shape the county’s policies on industrial pollution and community health.

Neither major party presidential candidate has made public education a central theme of their campaign in this year’s election. Still, some voters in New Mexico see education as one of the most important issues in our country.

One of those voters is John Sena, a teacher at Española Valley High School. 

Ed Williams / KUNM/Public Health New Mexico

Many New Mexicans cast their ballot for the candidate who best represents their religious and moral beliefs. For Catholic voters, that can often mean the candidate who opposes abortion rights. One of those voters is Robert Wall, a computer technician who coaches a kids’ swim team in Albuquerque. 

Would you trust your smartphone to guide your drinking habits?

A lot of people are doing just that. With many of us glued to our digital devices for much of the day, web developers and medical researchers are taking note of the potential for harnessing our phones, tablets and laptops as tools to moderate drinking, or stay sober after quitting booze.

Ed Williams/KUNM


Food co-ops today are facing big challenges that can sometimes pit management against member-owners.

 

Here in New Mexico, a group called Take Back the Co-op is organizing members of the state’s largest food cooperative to voice their concerns about recent changes at the business.

 

Co-op leadership held meetings last week to talk to members about the changes.

Ed Williams

A group called Take Back the Co-op wants to make big changes at La Montañita Co-op. The group says New Mexico’s largest food cooperative has become too corporate and isn’t listening to member-owners, and are collecting signatures for a petition.

Ed Williams/KUNM

Affordable housing advocates gathered in Santa Fe Thursday to protest Mayor Javier Gonzales' new plan to revitalize certain areas of town. The protesters say the plan could gentrify a low-income part of the capital city.

It’s no secret Santa Fe is an expensive place to live. Natoshia Whylie, who rents a home near St. Michaels Drive, says it’s almost too expensive.

stux via pixabay / creative commons license

KUNM Call In Show 9/22 8a: When people get sick but don’t have insurance or Medicaid, how do they get help? New Mexico's indigent care programs provide medical care for people who can’t afford it. We'll look at whether these programs are meeting the needs of low-income patients in New Mexico. Are you uninsured? How do you get hospital care? How can hospitals and clinics pay for services for low-income patients?

amayaeguizabal via Pixabay / creative commons license

The Santa Fe County Commission will be asking voters if they would support a tax increase to pay for behavioral health services. Commissioners voted to include the question on the November ballot Tuesday night.

AgencjaAIAC via Pixabay / creative commons license

An organization based in Santa Fe is hoping lawmakers will consider a plan in an upcoming special session that would raise taxes on all alcoholic beverages. The group recently commissioned a poll that found a majority of New Mexicans are in favor that idea—but Governor Susana Martinez has said she won’t support any kind of tax hike.

U.S. Air Force

Flu season starts next month. The state Department of Health is asking people to get vaccinated before the disease starts to spread.

U.S. Army

Los Alamos National Laboratory has been one of the country’s foremost nuclear research centers ever since the atomic bomb was developed there in the 1940s. Weapons and engineering programs continue there today, but the U.S. Department of Energy is still cleaning up contamination left over from World War II.

skeeze via Pixabay / creative commons license

The Bernalillo County Commission voted Tuesday night to put a measure that would continue funding treatment for low-income and uninsured patients at UNM Hospital on November’s ballot.

UNM Hospital has been getting around $90 million a year in taxpayer dollars to pay for medical care for patients who can’t afford it. Now voters here will be asked to choose if they want to keep that money coming.

Ed Williams

Española’s youth science and tech programs had two big-league visitors Monday—National Science Director France Córdova and Senator Martin Heinrich.

Española has one of the highest poverty rates in the state, but it’s also got some strong science, technology, engineering and math programs—also called STEM. There’s a robotics club that Senator Martin Heinrich says could help fill a looming workforce shortage at Los Alamos National Laboratories. 

Emory Maiden via Flickr

The Santa Fe Juvenile Justice Board is hearing an update on its budget Thursday. The city plans to continue directing funds towards programs that aim to keep kids out of the criminal justice system.

Robin JP via Flickr / creative commons license

Pollution flowing out of Albuquerque in the Rio Grande is a problem for Isleta Pueblo and other downstream communities. Now the city is boosting oversight of water contaminants. 

Ed Williams

Under the Civil Rights Act, local governments that receive federal money are prohibited from discriminating against low-income people of color. But people in some parts of Albuquerque say that’s exactly what the city is doing by putting polluting businesses in poor Hispanic neighborhoods.

Now a federal investigation is underway to see if those claims are true.

New Mexico Department of Health

Lawmakers are trying to stop the planned closure of a youth detox center in Albuquerque. The Turquoise Lodge detox service was funded by the state three years ago, but now the Department of Health says not enough kids are using it and the money needs to be redirected to services for adults.

Rashad Mahmood/KUNM

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it’s opening a civil rights investigation into Albuquerque and Bernalillo County air pollution policies.

Rashad Mahmood/KUNM

Lots of people enjoy a beer or a glass of wine after work. Or maybe two glasses, or three. But at what point do everyday drinking habits become a drinking problem?

Austin Ban via unsplash.com

A Rio Arriba County detox center is getting $45,000 from a state-funded grant. The county’s Community Health Council voted to award the funds Wednesday.

Dodgertunskillhause via pexels / creative commons license

Rio Arriba County’s Health and Human Services Department is helping law enforcement there stock the overdose-reversing drug naloxone.

Rio Arriba County has the highest rate of opioid overdoses in New Mexico, but police and sheriff’s departments haven’t been able to get a reliable supply of naloxone—also known as Narcan—to use on the streets.

Supertheman via Wikipedia / Creative Commons license

Congress is considering legislation that will make it easier to treat people for opioid addiction. And doctors in Rio Arriba County—an area hard-hit by drug addiction—are hoping the new laws will provide relief to patients there.

Ed Williams

When toxic chemicals are released into the environment, figuring out whether they’re making people sick can be a major challenge. It’s a problem the state is trying to solve now in the Sawmill and Wells Park neighborhoods near downtown Albuquerque, where an underground plume of dangerous dry cleaning solvents is flowing just beneath people’s homes and businesses. 

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