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

Albuquerque, NM – Two thirds of voters surveyed in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah said current environmental laws are either not strong enough or should be better enforced.

David Metz is one of the pollsters. "It's a real ratification that the level of environmental protection that is present in the region is one that voters are comfortable with and want to see continue," he says. Eleven percent of voters surveyed said they want to see environmental regulations rolled back or eliminated.

Albuquerque, NM – The 112th Congress convenes Wednesday, January 5, 2011, and Republican members of the House already have plans to repeal the nation's new health care law.

A full repeal is expected to pass with support from the new Republican House majority but the effort is largely a symbolic one. The measure has little chance in the Democratic controlled Senate and it would surely be vetoed by President Obama.

Albuquerque, NM – Photos of unidentified women released recently by Albuquerque police may have been disturbing to some. Officials say the women might have information about the West Mesa murders investigation. Police say they want to make sure the women are safe, but media critics say the images dehumanize women.

Albuquerque, NM – The upcoming legislative session in January promises to be contentious as lawmakers deal with a $400 million budget shortfall. We take a look at tax expenditures and the prospect of using tax policy to increase state revenues.

Albuquerque, nM – First District US Representative Martin Heinrich voted for the House Amendment. He says Republicans in the US Senate are holding middle class Americans hostage in order to ensure the extension of the Bush era tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.

"I don't understand why we can't ask some of the richest Americans to go back to a tax structure that was very successful in the late 90s at balancing our budget and growing our economy." Says Heinrich.

Albuquerque, NM – Over 200-thousand New Mexicans will be eligible for tax credits in 2014 according to a new analysis of the health care overhaul by the advocacy group Families USA.

The report is called Lower Taxes, Lower Premiums and it looks at how much money low and middle income New Mexicans will save when the new health insurance tax credit goes into effect.

Art Gardenswartz

Albuquerque, NM – On a date that only comes once a century, events around New Mexico and the nation will draw attention to what many consider the problem of the century. 10-10-10 events are set for this Sunday, October 10th to focus on fighting climate change.


Albuquerque, NM – No politician's legacy is set in stone or even immediately obvious at the end of a term. We wanted to reflect on some of the issues that could impact Governor Bill Richardson's legacy. He has served as New Mexico's top elected official for the past eight years.

Jean-Luc Cartron

Albuquerque, NM – If you've spent any time driving in New Mexico, you've probably seen the silhouette of a hawk or an eagle perched atop a utility pole or gliding against a blue sky. There are a wide range of eagles, hawks, kestrels, owls and falcons that live in or migrate through New Mexico.

Albuquerque, NM – Personal incomes have gone up in New Mexico, despite the economic downturn, but it's not because wages have increased.

According to USA Today analysis of national economic data, people made less money in many states during the recession as personal incomes declined. In New Mexico, government programs led to a growth in personal incomes even through the worst of the recession.

Photo: Laura Paskus

Albuquerque, NM – A program that serves women who get out of jail and have no where to go serves people who share life experiences with the West Mesa murder victims.

Albuquerque, NM – Media coverage of the West Mesa victims raises questions about representation and journalism ethics.

Photo: Laura Paskus

Albuquerque – Albuquerque police say the investigation into who killed 11 women and buried their remains on the West Mesa is still ongoing a year and a half later. Families of the victims are coping in different ways.

Albuquerque, NM – This week, KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel talked with Senior Reporter Megan Kamerick about business news from around the state.

Santa Fe, NM – According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Alvord, Kaune and Larragoite schools would be consolidated into the old Alameda middle school. The plan is expected to save $1 million for the district. However, the controversial closing of Acequia Madre Elementary school would be postponed to allow time for planning.

In addition, the Board plans to increase class sizes, reduce staff, cut some sports, fine arts, special education programs and eliminate some double dippers who earn salaries in addition to their pensions.

Albuquerque, NM – The Albuquerque Journal reports workers filled meeting chambers and overflow rooms on Thursday night. Workers expressed concern that pay cuts combined with increases in health care costs would be greater than Berry administration officials suggested.

With tax revenue down around 8 percent this fiscal year, city officials told councilors the city should cut salaries in order to avoid raising taxes or cutting basic services. Berry's administration pointed out that city workers had received raises in recent years.

Albuquerque, NM – In celebration of Earth Day, the Rio Grande Nature Center is hosting events on Saturday intended to get people out into nature. Participants in the BioBlitz event will participate in a one-day concentrated effort to do a biological inventory of the plants, insects, and animals in the Rio Grande Bosque in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM – This week, KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel spoke with reporter Matthew Reichbach about news from around the state.

Albuquerque, NM – School boards in Albuquerque and Santa Fe are saying that teacher layoffs and school closures may be necessary.

New Mexico U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman has co-sponsored legislation that he says could relieve some financial pressure the economic downturn has placed on school officials.

He said, "I don't think education is something that you want to fund just when the economy is strong you want to fund it all the time."

Santa Fe, NM – The Santa Fe New Mexican reports more than 150 people attended the meeting to voice their concerns. Several of the more contentious options on the table include proposals to consolidate smaller schools and to cut salaries for teachers.

Some of last night's speakers spoke out against closing smaller schools like Acequia Madre Elementary School. Others called for teachers' pay to be preserved and for the board to look for savings by cutting administrative staff salaries.

Albuquerque, NM – This week, KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel spoke with Senior Reporter Megan Kamerick about business news from around the state.

Albuquerque, NM – This week, KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel spoke with editor Gwyneth Doland about news from around the state.

Albuquerque, NM – Last week's announcement by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens that he will retire this year gives President Obama another opportunity to select a nominee for a lifetime position on the highest U.S. court.

U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman says Obama made a good choice in his nomination of Sonia Sotomayor last year, but Bingaman says, this year the situation is different.

Albuquerque, NM – This week, KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel spoke with reporter Dennis Domrzalski.

Albuquerque, NM – A new documentary film premieres in Albuquerque Friday night. It's the story of a Mohammed Khan Kharoti and his struggle to rebuild a school in his home town in Helmand Province Afghanistan.

Kharoti's Green Village Schools was created in 2001. It was destroyed in 2008 by militants, but hundreds of children still gather for classes.

The new documentary film "Stealing the Light" premiers tonight at 7:00 P.M. at the KIMO theater.

Albuquerque, NM – This week, KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel spoke with reporter Matthew Reichbach.

Albuquerque, NM – The Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health yesterday announced cuts to services and facilities as a result of an over $24 million reduction in state funding. Secretary Alfredo Vigil says all programs are important but that there isn't enough money to fully fund all programs.

Albuquerque, NM – Superintendent Winston Brooks last night offered a budget proposal to the Albuquerque Public School Board that would layoff 664 district employees, require two furlough days from non-school employees, and cut non-school budgets by 6.5 percent. The Albuquerque Journal reports the proposal would cut operating budgets at schools by 1.5 percent.

Layoffs would focus specifically on double dippers, retirees who have returned to work and are earning both a pension and a salary.

Albuquerque, NM – Each week we hear from reporters at the New Mexico Business Weekly about business news from around the state. KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel spoke with reporter Dennis Domrzalski.