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's worn many sets of headphones at the station. Right now, she's KUNM's News Director.

As a graduate student in the Communication and Journalism MA program at UNM, Elaine worked at KUNM in the operations, programming, and news departments.  She's been the local anchor of NPR's Morning Edition, a reporter in the KUNM newsroom, and the host and producer of the KUNM Call In Show.  

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


Local News
9:41 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Fallout from Education Department Email Lists Continues

UPDATE 6/15 7:00 AM:

Lawmakers are calling for the state Attorney General to investigate whether a list of non-union teacher email addresses that was compiled by public employees and sent to Governor Susana Martinez's political director constitutes a violation of the law. 

From The Albuquerque Journal

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Local News
9:35 am
Wed June 13, 2012

KUNM News Takes 4 Awards Categories at Broadcasters Gala

Colleen Keane with her award for General News.
Photo: KUNM News

The New Mexico Broadcasters Association and The Associated Press-New Mexico recognized excellence in broadcasting at an awards gala on Friday night.  Radio and television stations were awarded for their news, entertainment, public affairs, and sports coverage. 

The KUNM Newsroom earned awards in the Feature News, General News, Continuing Coverage, and Single-Topic Event News Coverage. 

Thank you to the NMBA, the AP,  and congratulations to all the winners!  


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Call In Show
7:44 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Gay and Lesbian Parental Rights in New Mexico

EraPhernalia Vintage . . . (playin' hook-y ;o) via Flickr

KUNM Call In Show 6/14 8a: The New Mexico Supreme Court recently ruled that a woman in a same-sex relationship has parental rights and can sue for custody of a child she raised with her partner.  What does the ruling mean for New Mexico families?  We'd like to hear from you!  You can email callinshow@kunm.org, leave comments online, or call in live during the show!

Local News
6:00 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Gila Fire Damage Not As Severe As Las Conchas Fire of 2011

A Silver City Hotshot uses a drip torch during a burnout operation. Credit US Forest Service Gila National Forest
Kari Greer US Forest Service Gila National Forest

UPDATE 6/6 (6:00 PM)


Fire-crews continue to make progress with the Whitewater Baldy Complex fire- it has burned over 263,000 acres and is 22% contained. 

Fire Information Officer Linda Torgersen Gonzales says, so far, the damage assessment team hasn't seen severe destruction like that caused last year by the Las Conchas.

"There weren't very many areas where the fire was so hot that it scorched the ground like you see with some of the raging fires," Gonzales says, "This one has been much more moderate."

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Call In Show
10:20 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Are Megafires the New Normal?

The Whitewater Baldy Complex fire torches the crowns of ponderosas on May 31st, 2012.
Kari Greer US Forest Service Gila National Forest

KUNM Call In Show 6/7 8a: For the second year in a row,  New Mexico is seeing record acreage damaged by wildfire. Is this a trend or just random? Why are conditions so ripe for such enormous fires? What can be done to prevent them? We'll also have an update on the Whitewater Baldy Complex fire in the Gila National Forest. We'd like to hear from you!  Email callinshow@kunm.org, leave comments online, or call in live during the show. 

277-5866 or toll-free 877-899-5866



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Local News
7:01 am
Thu May 31, 2012

ACLU: Voter IDs Impede Access for Voters

New Mexico's primary election is on Tuesday and recent scandals in southern parts of the state have refocused attention on the issue of voter fraud. 

Is there rampant abuse of the right to vote in New Mexico?  Are there barriers to voting that prevent voters from having their say and being counted?  Just ahead this morning on the KUNM Call In Show, we'll take your calls and comments.

But first, we'll hear from Steve Robert Allen, the Policy Director at ACLU-New Mexico.  Allen says there's no such thing as a flawless election.

Call In Show
7:45 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

How Much Does Your Vote Count In New Mexico?

Photo: buschap via Flickr

KUNM Call In Show 5/31 8a: Are people voting illegally in New Mexico?  Are people being denied their legitimate voting rights?  

Guests: UNM Professor Lonna Atkeson; Jared Hamilton, Hispanos Unidos; Representative Cathryn Brown

Voter ID Laws in the U.S. 

Local News
6:16 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Kirtland Spill Could Be Much Larger

UPDATED 4:30pm:  State environmental officials say a massive jet fuel spill threatening Albuquerque's water supply could be much larger than originally thought. Officials have previously estimated the decades-old spill from Kirtland Air Force base to be about 8 million gallons.

But state geologist William Moats, who made the original calculations, recently estimated the spill could be as large as 24 million gallons -- or twice the size of the spill from the Exxon Valdez oil tanker in Alaska in 1989.

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KUNM Call In Show
10:46 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Why Are So Many New Mexicans Dying from Prescription Drug Overdoses?

The NM Dept. of Health reports 1,074 lbs of oxycodone were sold here in 2010. That's up 233% over the last decade.
Photo: B.Futureproof via Flickr

KUNM Call In Show 5/24 8a: The number of people in New Mexico who died from prescription drug overdoses shot up by over 60% over the last decade.  What are local authorities doing to stop this trend?  Why such a quick increase?  What causes the increase in sales of prescription drugs?  We'd like to hear from you!  Email callinshow@kunm.org, leave a comment online, or call in live during the show.  

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Local News
6:23 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Smoke Impacts from Wildfires Today

Smoke from wildfires in New Mexico and Arizona is expected to be noticeable across both states until at least this afternoon. The National Weather Service says windy and dry climate conditions will shift smoke from large wildfires burning in northern and central Arizona and southwest New Mexico. The winds will likely push smoke into central and northern New Mexico today and southward on Saturday.

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Local News
7:35 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Senator: College Still A Good Investment, Despite Growth of Student Loan Costs

Senator Tom Udall, D (NM), spoke with KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel about his efforts to keep the cost of federal student loans down and the need for borrowers to be financially literate.  

Call In Show
3:51 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Student Loans: A Blessing Or A Curse?

Photo: thisisbossi via Flickr

KUNM  Call In Show, Thu. 5/17 8a: How are you going to pay off your student loans?  Was it worth it for you?  Are we buying more college than we can afford?  What other options are there for students?  We'd like to hear from you!  Email callinshow@kunm.org, leave comments online, or call in live during the show.  277-5866 or toll free 877-899-5866

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Call In Show
8:39 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Are Pit Bulls the Problem?

Photo: Scott Kinmartin via Flickr

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 5/10 8a: Do you think pit bulls are more dangerous than other breeds of dogs? Why do dogs attack people and what do we need to know to prevent dog attacks?  

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Call In Show
10:08 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Cleaning Up the Fuel Spill at Kirtland Air Force Base

Photo: OpenThreads via Flickr

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 5/3 8a: Exactly how are officials cleaning up the decades old fuel oil spill at Kirtland AFB?  Are you concerned about your drinking water in Albuquerque?  Are city and state officials requiring enough of the base clean-up effort?  

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Local News
9:48 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Democrats Ahead in New Mexico Senate Race

A recent poll by Public Policy Polling shows incumbent Representative Martin Heinrich leading in the race for retiring Senator Jeff Bingaman's seat.  

Our newest poll finds Martin Heinrich leading Heather Wilson 48-43 and Hector Balderas with a 44-43 advantage. Both match ups have seen only a small change from when PPP polled the state in December. At that time Heinrich led Wilson 47-40 and Balderas and Wilson were knotted at 43%.

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Call In Show
12:33 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Albuquerque's First Poet Laureate: Hakim Bellamy

Photo: Wes Naman/Naman Photography

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 4/19 8a: What possesses a poet to scribble the deepest heart secrets and then share them with the world?  And how can naming a poet laureate impact Albuquerque?  What do you want to see and hear from your first, 'Burque?  Hakim Bellamy was named Albuquerque's first Poet Laureate this past weekend and he'll join us live in the studio.  We'd like to hear from you!  

Call in live during the show 277-5866, toll free 877-899-5866, or email to callinshow@kunm.org.  

The Conservation Beat
2:23 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Rally Calls for Release of More Mexican Grey Wolves

Community members and conservation groups met in front of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regional headquarters today to demand the release of more Mexican grey wolves.  The agency administers a controversial reintroduction program for the endangered species in the Gila Wilderness in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. 


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Call In Show
1:46 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Can't My Taxes Just Be Easy This Year?

Thu. 4/12 8a: What's your biggest tax question this year, besides 'do I have to?'  

Guests: Demesia Padilla, NM Secretary of Taxation and Revenue; Betsy Donnelly and Michele Jordan, IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service

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Local News
11:58 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Public Regulation Commission Candidate Forums This Week

Voter advocacy and conservation groups are co-sponsoring two candidate forums, one for each open seat on the PRC, which regulates a wide range of agencies and industries including telecommunications, insurance, and utilities.   

From the League of Women Voters of Santa Fe County press release: 



Albuquerque area PRC Candidate Forum, District 1  

6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 11

UNM Continuing Education Center, 1634 University Blvd NE, Albuquerque


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The Conservation Beat
8:32 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Support Waning for Mexican Wolf Program

For the third time in recent weeks, a partner in the troubled effort to reintroduce the Mexican gray wolf has jumped ship.

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Local News
12:18 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Sunland Park Needs A New Mayor

Elected Sunland Park mayor Daniel Salinas can't be sworn in because he's been barred from having contact with the clerk who administers the oath of office.  The court order is the result of blackmail allegations.  

The southern New Mexico town's city council will meet next week to declare the mayor's office vacant and make an appointment, according to a KRQE-TV report

Local News
8:11 am
Fri April 6, 2012

PNM Executives Paid Millions in Incentive Pay in 2011

Top officials at the Public Service Company of New Mexico were paid $2.26 million dollars. Nearly half of that went to President and CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn on top of her $575,000 annual salary. 

From the Albuquerque Journal


Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Charles Eldred received a $400,000 salary in 2011 and $486,240 in incentive pay.

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Call In Show
1:22 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Do You Know What Your State Government Is Doing?

Thu. 4/5 8a:  Should government information be available to the public? Which information should citizens have access to? All information? Or are there some types of government information that should remain unavailable? New Mexico earned a D- in a recent State Integrity Investigation report on governmental accountability.  

Guests: Gwyneth Doland, New Mexico Foundation for Open Government; Viki Harrison, Common Cause New Mexico


9:36 am
Fri March 30, 2012

President Halts Immigration Court Proceedings in Four Cities

Justin Marty

The Obama administration is halting immigration court proceedings in four cities. The move will give authorities time to review thousands of cases and delay deportation for many non-criminal undocumented immigrants. Nick Bloomberg reports for the Fronteras Changing America Desk.

Local News
10:23 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Meeting to Explore White Privilege, Race, Oppression

The 13th Annual White Privilege Conference meets in Albuquerque this week to create opportunities to talk about one of our nation's most challenging subjects, white privilege and racial oppression.  

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Local News
11:09 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Healthcare Advocate Says Acceptance of Healthcare Overhaul Will Come When Benefits Go Into Effect


This week marks the one year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, the controversial new health care law intended to overhaul the nation's healthcare system. Ahead this morning on the KUNM Call In Show, we'll take your questions, but first we'll hear from Ron Pollack, the founding Executive Director of Families USA, a non-profit organization advocating for equal access to high quality healthcare

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Call In Show
8:25 am
Fri March 23, 2012

The Media and Learning and Teaching Around Issues of Race, Privilege, and Oppression

Photo: Rufino/Creative Commons

Thu. 3/29 8a: How does media play a role in your racial identity?  How did you learn about people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds?  What do you think will help build bridges across differences?  We'll take your calls and discuss with local media advocates and journalists who focus on issues of race, ethnicity, and representation. 

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Call In Show
11:07 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Impacts of the Health Care Overhaul in New Mexico: One Year Out

Photo: clevercupcakes (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Thu. 3/22 8a:  It's been a year since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law and soon the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the its constitutionality.  How has the law changed your healthcare situation?  What have been the impacts across New Mexico?  

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Local News
1:05 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Voters in Santa Fe, Rio Rancho Go to Polls

Photo by buschap/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Voters in Rio Rancho and Santa Fe are going to the polls today to select city councilors and vote on charter amendments and bond issues.  Polls close at 7pm tonight.  Rio Rancho voting info.  Santa Fe voting info

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