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.  

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Local News
4:01 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

Environment Department Fines WIPP, LANL $54M

Credit 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.

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Local News
6:16 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Early Childhood Education On NMPBS's Public Square

Credit 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.

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Local News
5:41 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

NM's Top Environmental Regulator Diminishes Protections

Credit 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.

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Local News
4:05 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Students Lack Home-Grown Loan Servicing

Credit 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.

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Local News
5:13 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Voters' Guides Galore

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.  

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Local News
7:31 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

NMPBS's Public Square Returns With Child Well-Being

Credit 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.

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Local News
12:50 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

LISTEN: First District Congressional Debate Between Lujan Grisham And Frese

Credit 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.

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Local News
5:37 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Dairy Workers Accused Of Animal Abuse

Sick or weak cows, known as downed cows, are moved with tractors in the videos that Mercy for Animals says were recorded at Winchester Dairy.
Credit 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.

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NPR News
10:46 am
Wed September 10, 2014

7P Tonight: LIVE NPR Coverage Of President Obama's Address

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.

Monday News Roundup
6:35 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Headlines: 5 Inches Of Rain In Guadalupe Mts, Community Paramedic Program...

Credit (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.

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Local News
6:09 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

KUNM Transmitter Equipment Failure

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. 

Local News
4:10 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Heavy Rainfall, Possible Flash Floods Wednesday

A storm shrouds the Sandia mountains Wednesday afternoon.
Credit 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. 

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Local News
5:00 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Violence Against Albuquerque Homeless Commonplace

Credit 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.

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Local News
5:55 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Heinrich, Pearce On Border Migrant Crisis

Sen. Martin Heinrich speaks before the Senate Natural Resources Committee in 2013.
Credit 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.

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Local News
6:28 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

FOG: High Public Records Fees Are A Deterrent

Credit 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.

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KUNM Special
6:25 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Capitol Steps 4th July Special

Credit 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. 

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KUNM Call In Show
4:18 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Maturing Queens And Meeting Beeks: Beekeeping In New Mexico

Credit 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: 

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Local News
9:04 am
Fri May 2, 2014

KUNM Responds To Question From CPB Ombuds On Funding, Plagiarism

Credit 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.

***

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.

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Local News
1:24 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

KUNM Takes 7 Awards In Society of Professional Journalists Competition

Credit 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!

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Local News
10:32 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Your Trust Is KUNM's Greatest Asset

The KUNM Control Room in Oñate Hall on the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque.
Credit 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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Public Health New Mexico
6:04 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Officials Say Air Testing At Nuclear Dump Shows No Contamination

Workers lower equipment into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to find out more about an underground radiation leak.
Credit US Department of Energy

UPDATE 3/10 7a: The U.S. Department of Energy says new air testing in the nation's only underground nuclear repository shows no detectable radioactive contamination from a leak last month.

Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad said Sunday that instruments used to measure air quality and radioactivity were sent underground Friday and Saturday in the first step to resuming operations at the plant.

They say initial results indicate no contamination in the air or on the measuring equipment.

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Local News
5:56 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Officials Confirm Nuclear Waste Leak

Credit Public domain image.

UPDATE 7:20p 02/21:

Department of Energy officials say radiation levels detected in and around the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository are consistent with a leak at the southeastern New Mexico facility.

Carlsbad field office manager Jose Franco said Thursday that readings from sensors above and below ground indicate the radiation is coming from waste stored at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. But officials won't know what caused the leak until they can get underground to investigate. That could be weeks.

Read more
Local News
9:57 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Drought Worsens In New Mexico

Credit Courtesy U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Drought conditions across the Southwest have gotten significantly worse over the last few weeks, including in New Mexico.

Take a look at the newest update of the U.S. Drought Monitor map, and you’ll see orange and red smears all across the southwest showing where the drought is impacting the country the most.

Albuquerque hasn’t had a drop of rain for 40 straight days. Chuck Jones is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

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Local News
6:56 am
Wed January 29, 2014

NM Delegation Splits Along Party Lines On President's Address

New Mexico’s Democratic Congressional delegation cheered President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and his announcement yesterday that new federal contract workers would see an increase in their minimum wage. 

Senator Martin Heinrich for an increase in the minimum wage across the board, saying people who work full time shouldn’t be living in poverty. Heinrich noted an increase would disproportionately affect women.

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Local News
9:42 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Police: All Clear After Bomb Threat At UNM

UPDATE 10:20a: UNM Police say classes can return to normal after an anonymous bomb threat was called in Tuesday morning. The LoboAlert system sent an "All Clear" message at 10:15a thanking the campus for its cooperation.

***

UNM's Mitchell, Ortega and Popejoy Halls were evacuated at 8:20a Tuesday. According to a UNM Emergency Alert text message sent to staff and students, police are investigating an anonymous bomb threat. 

Police have asked people to avoid these areas of the Albuquerque campus until further notice. 

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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
6:51 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Definition Of Right To Marry Argued Before New Mexico Supreme Court

New Mexico's highest court heard oral arguments Wednesday in a historic case that could decide whether same-sex marriage is legal in all counties across the state. One of the key issues is what the fundamental right to marry consists of. 

Justices, and lawyers from both sides, agreed that a fundamental right to marry does exist under state law, but that's where the agreement stopped short. 

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Local News
5:01 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Game And Fish Dept. Ordered To Return To Mexican Wolf Program Discussions

Credit Jim Clark

The team of agencies managing the Mexican grey wolf recovery program has a new player, or rather, a returning one.

The New Mexico Game and Fish department was ordered this week by the state Game Commission to return to the negotiating table nearly two years after pulling out of discussions about proposed rule changes.

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Local News
11:45 am
Sat August 31, 2013

LIVE On KUNM: NPR News Coverage Of President Obama's Remarks On Syria

Credit Photo by The White House

We're carrying NPR's live coverage of President Obama's statement on Syria, and providing analysis. The President is expected to take the podium shortly.

Local News
4:43 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

As Couples Gather At Civic Plaza, Two More Counties Issue Same Sex Marriage Licenses

Credit Wikimedia Commons

UPDATE 8/27 12p:  Two more New Mexico counties say they'll begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The clerks in San Miguel and Valencia counties say they've ordered gender-neutral forms so they can follow the state's three population centers in recognizing gay and lesbian marriages.

The decisions come a day after a state district judge in Albuquerque declared gay marriage legal, and ordered the Bernalillo County clerk to join Santa Fe and Dona Ana counties in issuing the licenses.

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