Elaine Baumgartel

News Director

Elaine volunteered to answer phones during a KUNM pledge drive in 2003 and she's been unable to drag herself away from public radio ever since.  And why would she want to?  She wore many sets of headphones at the station before becoming KUNM's News Director - local anchor of NPR's Morning Edition, reporter in the KUNM newsroom, and host and producer of the KUNM Call In Show.  

As a graduate student in the Communication and Journalism MA program at UNM, Elaine completed her thesis project on the West Mesa murders and coverage of violence against women in the media.

In her spare time, Elaine likes to garden and work with ceramics in addition to spending time with her family.  

Ways To Connect

Pays Imaginaire via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM received fabulous news in May! We were named Station of the Year by the New Mexico Broadcasters Association – with awards for Best Feature News, Best Continuing Coverage, Best Legislative Coverage and Best Website.

NMPBS

The risk of developing cancer tends to be lower for Native Americans and Hispanics in New Mexico. But people in these communities tend to be diagnosed at later stages, when the chances of dying are greater.

This month on Public Square from New Mexico PBS – efforts to take early screening for cancer into the communities that need it.

Here, host Megan Kamerick talks with Dr. Gayle Dine Chacón, medical director at Sandia Pueblo, and Elba Saavedra , director of Comadre a Comadre at UNM.

Bernalillo County commissioners did not vote on whether to approve a controversial development plan at a hearing Thursday, instead scheduling additional time for public comments later this year.

Developers say the Santolina Master Plan community could someday be home to as many as 90,000 people.

Opponents spoke at a hearing this week in an effort to convince commissioners to vote down the plan. Many said Santolina would take away needed water resources in Albuquerque's South Valley.

Padre Denny via Flickr

Long-time Democratic State Senator Phil Griego resigned while facing an ethics investigation. At issue is a real estate deal that Griego brokered for friends of his who own a hotel in downtown Santa Fe.

Ira Glass, the creator and host of the popular public radio show This American Life, will be in Albuquerque to do a live one-man show called Reinventing Radio at Popejoy Hall Sunday at 3p.

KUNM’s Elaine Baumgartel chatted with Glass about what he originally envisioned for the show back in 1995 when it first aired. There was a kind of story that he wasn’t hearing very often on the radio, Glass said.

Ed Williams

We recently published the first two stories in an ongoing series on pollution and the Rio Grande in which we plan to explore a range of topics and issues.

AHealthBlog via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Another Arizona-based behavioral health provider is planning to shut down operations in New Mexico. La Frontera is one of five nonprofits that took over for local providers accused of fraud. Turquoise Health and Wellness announced earlier this year they would close their New Mexico offices on April 1st.

NMPBS

The United States is the only industrialized country without mandatory paid leave for new parents.

New Mexico PBS looks at efforts to expand paid leave on Public Square, a program that explores community engagement through meaningful dialogue. 

In this clip, host and producer Megan Kamerick speaks with Professor Harry Van Buren of the Anderson School of Management at UNM, and Ona Porter, CEO of Prosperity Works.

The program airs Thursday 2/26 at 7p on New Mexico PBS Channel 5 TV. 

Silver Bullet Production

There are 22 Native American tribes in New Mexico and on Thursday 2/19 at 7p, New Mexico PBS will air a documentary that weaves the voices of many women from these communities into one story.

Pamela Pierce is one of the producers of the film called A Thousand Voices. She told KUNM’s Elaine Baumgartel that the film grew out of conversations she had after completing another local film project on Pueblo sovereignty.

Miki Ann via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Federal law prohibits employers from forcing workers to join unions in order to get jobs.

But in New Mexico, unions can negotiate a fair share agreement. Workers who benefit from what a union has done–negotiated for better wages, for example–can then be required to pay some fees to the union, even if they aren’t dues-paying members.

By ENERGY.GOV [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico is fining the U.S. Department of Energy $54 million for incidents at the nation’s only underground nuclear waste storage facility.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant stores nuclear weapons waste deep in underground salt caverns. There was an underground fire in February, followed by a release of radioactivity that contaminated 22 workers and shuttered the facility.

VickyTH via Flickr

New Mexico is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to measurements of child wellbeing–49th according to the Kids Count Report.

Thursday at 7p on New Mexico PBS, a panel explores early childhood education as a possible solution. It's this month's episode of Public Square, a monthly public affairs program where civic dialogue takes center stage.

jacilluch via Flickr

It will come as no surprise that we don’t always know what is going on behind closed doors in government. KUNM’s Elaine Baumgartel chatted with reporter Laura Paskus about what public records have revealed about New Mexico’s top environmental regulator.

Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn was appointed by Republican Governor Susana Martinez. Lawmakers confirmed his nomination earlier this year, but even before his cabinet tenure he presided over reductions in the regulation of polluting industries here in New Mexico.

Photo: thisisbossi via Flickr

New Mexico has the highest student loan default rate in the nation and a lack of local loan servicing providers may be to blame. We went from a 12.8 percent student loan default rate in 2009 to a 20.8 percent rate in 2011.

The League of Women Voters of New Mexico is criticizing New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran for a voter guide that her agency published on ballot initiatives and constitutional amendments that appear on this year’s ballot.

It’s just one of many voter guides that are available for voters to use as they make decisions on who to vote for. KUNM’s Elaine Baumgartel spoke with Gwyneth Doland, political reporter for New Mexico PBS.  

Ajnagraphy via compfight

Thursday at 8p New Mexico PBS premieres the fourth season of Public Square, a monthly public affairs program where civic dialogue takes center stage.

Tune in tonight for the full discussion. The panel takes up the question of how to improve child well-being in New Mexico. We are 49th in the nation, according to the annual Kids Count Report.

mohammadali via Flickr

Thu. 10/9 7p: The first of three congressional debates KUNM will broadcast before the November 4th election.

Candidates for New Mexico's First District Congressional seat, Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham, the incumbent, and her Republican challenger Mike Frese debated. It was taped Wednesday in Albuquerque by our media partner New Mexico PBS.

Next Thursday night at 7, we’ll hear from Second District Representative Republican Steve Pearce and his Democratic competition, attorney Roxanne “Rocky” Lara in a debate hosted by KRWG public radio in Las Cruces.

Mercy for Animals

  A national animal protection organization released secretly-taped videos today and accused workers at a southern New Mexico dairy farm of animal abuse.

The graphic videos show workers viciously beating dairy cows with metal chains and wires, using electric prods on cows’ udders and dragging weak or sick cows with tractors as they bellowed in distress.

Tonight at 7p MT, President Obama will address the nation. He's expected to discuss the U.S. strategy for fighting the militant group ISIS. 

We'll bring you coverage of this live address along with analysis and insights from NPR News. Tune in, stream online, or use the KUNM live stream for mobile devices.

(nz)dave via Flickr

Eastern, Southern New Mexico See Ample Rain - The Associated Press

Parts of eastern and southern New Mexico avoided serious flooding this weekend but still received a pretty good soaking from heavy rains.

The National Weather Service said Sunday as much as 5 inches of rain has fallen since Thursday in the Guadalupe Mountains and in other parts of the region.

Meteorologists say between 2 and 4 inches of rain also fell in the last few days in Eddy County.

A flash flood watch was issued Friday and has since expired.

We are aware that KUNM's signal has been intermittently dropping out today and our engineer is working on a solution. We'll fix the issue as soon as we possibly can. 

Elaine Baumgartel

VIDEO 8/14

UPDATE 5p: Albuquerque Fire Department officials say two people were rescued from swift waters in an arroyo Wednesday afternoon.

One man was rescued near Morningside and Cutler after traveling three miles downstream. Someone had spotted him in the water near Indian School and Louisiana. He has been hospitalized in stable condition. 

A woman was rescued in the arroyo near Louisiana.  According to a city official, officers tied their rain jackets together and pulled the 16 year old straight up 10 feet to rescue her. 

Tex Texin via Flickr / Creative Commons License

UPDATE from The Associated Press: Violence Against Albuquerque Homeless Commonplace 

The brutality of the killings on two homeless men shocked residents of New Mexico's most populous city, but homeless people and advocates for homeless services say violence is commonplace for those who live on the street.

Three teens are accused of killing two men whose heads were smashed with cinder blocks, and police say one of the three told police that they'd previously attacked other homeless people.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qYGYgRfmbQ / U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich

Senator Martin Heinrich discussed the Central American migrant crisis along the U.S./Mexico border Wednesday on the Senate floor in Washington, D.C.

"We have a human crisis at our southern border that requires immediate but compassionate response," the New Mexico Democrat said. He called on his Republican colleagues in the Senate to work with President Obama to deal with the crisis and demand that House Republicans bring the Senate’s immigration bill to the House floor for debate.

Flood via Flickr / Creative Commons License

People who request audio or video from the Albuquerque Police Department under the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act will no longer have to pay as much for DVDs or CDs.  

New Mexico Foundation for Open Government Executive Director Susan Boe said the City of Albuquerque has implemented a new policy after receiving complaints about high fees from media outlets and individuals.

The City will now charge $6.75 for DVDs and $2.75 for CDs when filling public records requests, or IPRAs.

Christopher Amos via Flickr

KUNM Special Thu. 7/3 8a and Sun. 7/6 11a: The Capitol Steps will address timely issues set to show tunes! There’s John Kerry singing “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Crimea?” and Hillary Clinton admonishing Joe Biden to “Let it Go” when it comes to running for President. It’s a show so clogged with jokes that Chris Christie threatened to shut it down!

The KUNM Call In Show will be back on Thursday July 10. 

Emran Kassim via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 6/19 8a: 277-5866 or toll-free 877-899-5866

Do you want to start keeping bees? Or would you rather just eat local honey and support local bee colonies from afar? It's National Pollinator Awareness Week and we'll hear from local beekeepers and educators about how to keep honey flowing and flowers pollinated. 

We'd like to hear from you! Email callinshow@kunm.org, post your comments online, or call in live during the show!

Guests: 

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.

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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.

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!

Elaine Baumgartel

In the KUNM Newsroom, we work hard every day to bring you important, impactful and meaningful news coverage. It’s really all about you.

We are thinking about what you need to know and when, and how best to get you that information. We are taking your feedback and comments and following up on your leads. We are finding great stories and bringing them to you on the radio in the way only public radio can.

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