KUNM

Editorial Changes

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

  

When extremist speakers come to town, free speech advocates argue it’s their right under the First Amendment to say whatever they want. But what does it cost to have an event like that on a university campus? Ever since Milo Yiannopoulos' event in January sparked protests, KUNM's been trying to find out. 

J.N. Stuart via Flickr

    

 

Many counties and municipalities in New Mexico have passed restrictions on mining, oil and gas that go beyond state laws. These are things like: dictating how close wells can be to homes or imposing weight limits on trucks.

A controversial bill (HB 366) that would limit that local control, and give the state exclusive power over all matters relating to oil and gas, passed the House Tuesday.

Ed Williams-KUNM

 

Editor's Note: After we published this story, a spokesperson for Kirtland Air Force Base wrote with a series of objections to the story. Kirtland did not allege any factual inaccuracy in our story but we did make a change to reflect that Kirtland's lead discharges into the Rio Grande watershed are not in violation of environmental laws. You can read all of their objections and our responses here

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VIDEO: Citizen Lobbyists Learn The Ropes

Feb 11, 2015
Gwyneth Doland

They don’t have big expense accounts or cozy relationships with powerful lawmakers. They don’t even know where the bathroom is. They’re citizen lobbyists, and they got some training at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe Wednesday.

Members of 20 conservation groups converged on the state capitol and a few dozen of them attended a training session held by the Sierra Club.

They were teachers, writers and retired engineers, passionate about ending coyote-killing contests, cleaning up uranium mines and preventing the diversion of the Gila River.

PNM's Energy Future At A Crossroads

Jan 30, 2015
Rita Daniels

New Mexico’s largest utility company has a plan to use fossil fuels and nuclear power for the next 20 years. But opponents of the plan want to see the utility shift to wind and solar.

Two coal-burning stacks at the San Juan Generating Station will be shuttered in 2017 in order to reduce emissions.

PNM, which provides power to half a million people in New Mexico, wants to use a mixture of coal, nuclear and natural gas energy, plus a little bit of solar energy to make up for the loss.

Legislature 2015: What To Expect

Jan 28, 2015
ANNAfoxlover via Wikimedia Commons / public domain

KUNM Call In Show 1/29 8a: 

This year's legislative session is underway in Santa Fe. What will Republican leadership of the state House mean? Will long simmering issues like driver's licenses for foreign nationals, right-to-work and abortion restrictions find some traction this year?

We'd like to hear from you! Email callinshow@kunm.org, post your comments online, or call in live during the show, Thursday morning at 8 here on KUNM. 

Guests:

How Immigration Changes Affect New Mexico

Jan 6, 2015
Ed Williams

Editor's Note: Due to technical difficulties the entire show was not recorded.     

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 1/8 8a: 

When will President Obama's immigration executive action go into effect? And who will it affect in New Mexico? This week we'll have specifics on the changes, who is eligible and where and how to get help navigating the new rules. 

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

Guests:

yooperann via Flickr

Project Protects NM Forested Land From Development – The Associated Press

More than 11,000 acres that adjoin the Carson National Forest have been permanently protected from development through a conservation easement.

A conservation effort on the Upper Rio Chama River property in northern New Mexico began in 2009. The final and largest piece of the nearly 12-thousand-acre property became part of the easement Monday.

Mayor Berry Seeks Money From Han Family

Nov 27, 2014
Courtesy of Han Family

There was a development this week in the Mary Han saga. Mary Han was a civil rights attorney who often represented clients with claims against the Albuquerque Police Department.

She was found dead in her home in 2010 and according to police records, within hours of the discovery of her body, APD brass and city administration officials swarmed her home. 

In 2013, the New Mexico Attorney General's office issued a findings letter detailing how the crime scene had been contaminated and the investigation terribly mishandled. 

HSD Chief Sidonie Squier Resigns

Nov 7, 2014

Human Services Secretary Sidonie Squier is stepping down from her cabinet-level job in Gov. Susana Martinez's administration running one of the state's largest agencies.

Squier's resignation is effective Dec. 1.

The governor said in a statement Thursday that Squier's "leadership has been valuable and important" during a time when New Mexico expanded and overhauled its Medicaid program, which provides health care to lower income New Mexicans.

Art by Nani Chacon courtesy of Young Women United

Bernalillo County voters overwhelmingly came out on Tuesday in favor of a tax increase to pay for more mental health services. 

Bernalillo County residents with addictions or mental health problems may be closer to having more access to treatment, now that voters here have showed their support for a one-eight percent tax increase to fund more behavioral health services.

Caden Crawford via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The state Human Services Department will hear public testimony Friday on proposed changes to SNAP, the state’s food assistance program.  

Public Domain

One year ago, KUNM reported on the effects of the Trinity Test. Thursday, July 16, 2015, is the 70th anniversary of the day the world's first nuclear bomb detonated in New Mexico.

woodleywonderworks via Flickr

The Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission, the agency that regulates communications industries, is coming to Albuquerque next week to hear from young people about what media issues are important to them.

Swarming Locusts Confound Meteorologists

Jun 11, 2014
National Weather Service

6/11/14 Editor's note: We are conducting follow-up research that may change the facts presented in this story.  Look for a related story soon.

About a week ago, meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Albuquerque noticed a spike of reflectivity on their radar equipment. The machine sends out pulses of electromagnetic energy, which bounce off whatever happens to be in the atmosphere. Usually, that's rain or hail.  

But the skies were pretty clear, and as the breeze blew east and then west, the pattern of reflectivity changed—literally with the winds.

Will The Gila River Stay Wild In New Mexico?

Mar 10, 2014
Laura Paskus

Before the end of the year New Mexico officials will have to make a decision about water development in the state—they’ll decide what will happen to the Gila River. It’s a decision that’s been ten years in the making. But as details emerge, some lawmakers and scientists are worried about the future of New Mexico’s last free flowing river.

We’re standing on the banks of the northern Rio Grande, about forty miles downstream of Colorado. We’re next to a small diversion which waters some pasture and a garden in the village of Pilar, N.M.

Audit Of HSD Finds Problems With 2013 Behavioral Health Transition

Feb 27, 2014
publik15 via Flickr

The chaotic transition a state agency forced last year from 15 New Mexico-based health organizations to five Arizona companies had many problems, an annual audit has found.

USDA Awards $2M To NM Forest Restoration Program

Jan 13, 2014
US Forest Service

A forest restoration project in central New Mexico has been awarded an additional $2 million by the USDA. The money will allow state and federal agencies to cover more ground with fire prevention activities such as tree thinning, hazardous fuel removal and controlled burns.

Advocates with The Nature Conservancy said the funding is a much needed shot in the arm for efforts like the Isleta Project, a Forest Service restoration project taking place in Albuquerque’s east mountains. 

Whooping Cough Cases Prompt Officials To Push Vaccinations

Nov 13, 2013
Centers for Disease Control

State health officials are urging parents to get their teenagers immunized in the wake of a whooping cough outbreak at a northeast Albuquerque high school.

Even if teens had the pertussis vaccination early on, they need to get boosters to prevent infection and transmission of the highly contagious illness.

Dr. Chad Smelser is an epidemiologist with the New Mexico Department of Health. He said teens need the booster because, over time, immunity fades.

A History Of Horse Slaughter In The United States

Nov 7, 2013
Rita Daniels

Recently a federal appeals court issued an emergency injunction against the U-S Department of Agriculture that halts all inspections at domestic horse slaughter plants.

The move effectively freezes the opening of the Roswell Valley Meat Company in Southern New Mexico  as well as a processing plant in Missouri that was set to open its doors during the first week of November. 

Earlier this year the Humane Society and other groups sued the USDA, citing a lack of environmental oversight at the plants. Human Society President Wayne Pacelle says horses are companion animals.

Despite Progress, NM Teen Pregnancy Rate Still Tops Charts

Oct 22, 2013
Deborah Martinez

New Mexico’s teen pregnancy rate is declining – down 41 percent between 1998 and 2011 – but the state still has the second highest rate in the nation behind Mississippi.  High poverty and high drop out rates play a big part.  But a Santa Fe high school program that’s helping teens earn their diplomas while overcoming the challenges of parenthood is making a dent in the stark statistics.

Bryant Furlow / New Mexico In Depth

At the end of June, 15 New Mexico behavioral health agencies had their Medicaid funding frozen by the state's Human Services Department due to “credible allegations of fraud.”

The agencies provide services to approximately 30,000 patients, many who seek help for mental health issues ranging from substance abuse treatment to schizophrenia.

Uninsured To Get Lower Premiums Under Obamacare

Sep 9, 2013
Thinkprogress.org

The state expects about half of the 400,000 uninsured New Mexicans to purchase insurance through the state health insurance exchange when it’s fully implemented in 2014.  A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds New Mexicans will pay some of the lowest rates in the nation.  

Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

When the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, many consumers buying health insurance could take a big hit to their checkbooks, and New Mexico may take the biggest hit of all.

Carrie Jung

On the sidewalks along Central Avenue here in Albuquerque, Lauren Handy and about 15 other anti-abortion activists are doing their best to get an informational pamphlet about late term abortion into the hands of pedestrians.

"We actually had someone change their mind, even for first trimester." Handy says, "And that’s why were here, to change hearts and minds"

Farther up the road, Eric De la O and about 15 other young adults are holding signs with pictures of what appear to be bloody fetuses.