KUNM News Update

KUNM News Update
8:28 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Thursday News Roundup: FBI Targeting Corruption In New Mexico Rural Areas

Senior NM Behavioral Health Official Resigns - Associated Press and the Santa Fe New Mexican

A senior state official who was involved in the replacement of New Mexico behavioral health services providers whose Medicaid funding was suspended is stepping down.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Behavioral Health Services acting Director Diana McWilliams is leaving to head a nonprofit in Pennsylvania.

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KUNM News Update
6:48 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Wednesday News Roundup: Former NM Uranium Mine Listed As Superfund Site

Former NM Uranium Mine Listed As Superfund Site - Associated Press

A former uranium mine near Laguna Pueblo has been added to the list of Superfund sites.

The Jackpile-Paguate Uranium Mine was one of nine hazardous waste sites that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency added to the national priorities list last week.

The mine is located in an area of canyons and arroyos. It included more than four square miles of disturbed soil with three open pits, 32 waste dumps and more than 30 stockpiles.

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KUNM News Update
9:14 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Tuesday News Roundup: NM Teacher Who Said Santa Is White On Paid Leave

NM Teacher Who Said Santa Is White On Paid Leave- Associated Press

A suburban Albuquerque teacher who told a black student that Santa Claus is white has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Rio Rancho school district spokeswoman Kim Vesely confirmed on Tuesday that the teacher is out of the classroom while the incident is being investigated.

The teacher's comments came after students at Cleveland High School were told they could come to class dressed as Santa, an elf or a reindeer.

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KUNM News Update
7:58 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Monday News Roundup: Horse Slaughter Plants Preparing To Open

Horse Slaughter Plants Preparing To Open- Associated Press

After months of legal wrangling and false starts in a battle to resume domestic horse slaughter, plants in New Mexico and Missouri are working to begin processing equine for human consumption.

The efforts come on the heels of an order late Friday by a federal appeals court that lifted an emergency stay on the companies' plans.

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KUNM News Update
6:51 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Friday News Roundup: Appeals Court Vacates Ban On US Horse Slaughter

Appeals Court Vacates Ban On US Horse Slaughter - Associated Press 

A federal appeals court has cleared the way for companies in New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa to resume domestic horse slaughter.

In an order Friday, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver removed an emergency injunction that had blocked the plants from opening.

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KUNM News Update
7:40 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Thursday News Roundup: Report Critical Of NM Mental Health Audit Response

Report Critical Of NM Mental Health Audit Response - Associated Press and The Santa Fe New Mexican

A legislative report is critical of New Mexico's handling of a shakeup of mental health services in which Medicaid to numerous providers were frozen as a result of an audit that reportedly found possible overbillings and fraud.

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KUNM News Update
7:21 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Wednesday News Roundup: Hedge Fund Owner Buys Taos Ski Valley

Hedge Fund Owner Buys Taos Ski Valley-

Associated Press

One of New Mexico's top ski areas has been sold.

Taos Ski Valley officials announced Wednesday that wealthy conservationist and hedge fund owner Louis Bacon has agreed to buy the ski area. The sale price wasn't disclosed.

Taos Ski Valley CEO Mickey Blake says the ski area needs improvement, but the company doesn't have enough money for renovation.

Bacon has enough capital to buy new lifts, rebuild the base area and construct a hotel.

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KUNM News Update
7:13 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Tuesday News Roundup: Santa Fe Swearing In 18 New Recruits As Officers

Suspect In Latest Albuquerque Police Shooting ID'd - Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque police have released the name of the suspect shot and killed in the city's latest officer-involved shooting.

Officials say 37-year-old Andy Jack Snider was shot by police Sunday after authorities say he charged officers with a weapon in an alley.

Albuquerque police has seen five office-involved shootings in six weeks as the department faces a federal investigation over allegations of excessive force.

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KUNM News Update
6:31 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Monday News Roundup: NM 'Right-To-Die' Law Trial Set To Begin

NM 'Right-To-Die' Law Trial Set To Begin - Associated Press

A legal challenge against a decades-old New Mexico law that prohibits physicians from helping terminally ill patients die is scheduled to begin.

The trial is set for Wednesday in the Second Judicial District Court in Albuquerque and comes after the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico filed a lawsuit in March.

A Santa Fe woman with advanced uterine cancer later joined two doctors in their legal challenge.

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KUNM News Update
7:22 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Friday News Roundup: AP Files Open Records Lawsuits Against NM Governor

NM Officer In Van Shooting Is FiredAssociated Press

The New Mexico State Police officer who fired shots at a minivan full of children during a chaotic October traffic stop has been fired.

New Mexico State Police spokesman Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez says he confirmed with State Police Chief Pete Kassetas that Officer Elias Montoya is no longer employed by the department. His termination was effective at 5 p.m. Friday.

Montoya has 30 days to appeal his firing to a public safety advisory council.

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KUNM News Update
6:36 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Thursday News Roundup: Former Nuke Lab Scientist May Change Plea

AP Files Open Records Lawsuits Against NM Governor - Associated Press

The Associated Press has sued Gov. Susana Martinez's administration for refusing to release records about her work and travel schedules, cell phone calls and expenses of security officers.

The lawsuits were filed Thursday in state district court in Santa Fe against the governor, the Department of Finance and Administration and Department of Public Safety.

The governor's office issued a statement in which it stood by its record on open government.

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KUNM News Update
6:51 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Wednesday News Roundup: Governor Seeks $2.5M For Medical Provider Training

Former Nuke Lab Scientist May Change PleaAssociated Press

A defense lawyer says a former Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear physicist who admitted communicating classified nuclear weapons data may try to withdraw his guilty plea.

Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni and his wife, Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni, were accused of offering to help develop a nuclear weapon for Venezuela through dealings with an undercover FBI agent posing as a representative of the Venezuelan government.

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KUNM News Update
6:42 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Tuesday News Roundup: Court Broadens Domestic Violence Arrest Authority

Court Broadens Domestic Violence Arrest Authority - Associated Press

New Mexico's highest court is giving police more leeway to make arrests without a warrant in domestic violence cases.

The state Supreme Court on Monday ruled that police can make a warrantless arrest when it's reasonably close to the scene of the domestic violence.

State law allows a warrantless arrest at the scene of a domestic disturbance, and the justices broadened that to include a location near the place where the incident happened.

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KUNM News Update
7:28 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Monday News Roundup: More Tourists Visiting New Mexico

State Report: More Tourists Visiting New Mexico - Associated Press

Tourism officials in New Mexico say more people are visiting the state.

A report from the state's Tourism Department found that New Mexico saw 2.6 percent more overnight and day visitors in 2012 than in 2011.

There were 32 million overnight and day visitors in 2012. The previous high was in 2008, with 31.4 million visits.

Tourists spent an estimated $5.9 billion in New Mexico last year. In 2011, tourists spent just over $5.5 billion in the state.

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KUNM News Update
6:41 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Friday News Roundup - Nuke Lab Works On Liquids Scanner For Airport Use

Los Alamos Working To Create National Park- Associated Press

Tucked away in one of northern New Mexico's mountain canyons is a log cabin that was the birthplace of a top-secret mission that forever changed the world.

Pond Cabin is one of the structures scattered in and around the modern day Los Alamos National Laboratory being proposed as sites for a new national park commemorating the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb.

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KUNM News Update
6:40 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Thursday News Roundup: Albuquerque Tech Center Gets Fed Grant

Albuquerque Tech Center Gets Fed Grant - Associated Press

The economic development arm of the University of New Mexico has received a $1.5 million federal grant for creating a new high-tech business district in downtown Albuqueruque.

U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich Wednesday announced the Commerce Department funding for the Innovate ABQ initiative.

The grant brings funding for the project to $6.5 million, or close to the appraised value for the seven-acre First Baptist Church site that the project hopes to purchase.

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KUNM News Update
6:39 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Wednesday News Roundup: NM's Infant Mortality Rate On The Rise

NM's Infant Mortality Rate On The Rise - Associated Press

New Mexico health officials are concerned about an increase in the state's infant mortality rate.

The state Department of Health says New Mexico's rate has exceeded the national rate for the first time since 1994. The latest figures show an increase from 5.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 to 6.9 in 2012.

Health Secretary Retta Ward says the department will monitor the numbers closely to see if the increase signals a trend.

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KUNM News Update
6:52 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Wednesday News Roundup: Feds To Hold Public Hearing On Wolf Proposals

Feds To Hold Public Hearing On Wolf Proposals - Associated Press

Future management of the federal government's troubled effort to return Mexican gray wolves to the Southwest will be the focus of a public hearing Wednesday in Albuquerque.

Environmentalists, landowners and others are expected to pack the meeting. They'll be commenting on a pair of proposals that will determine how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service moves forward with the program.

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KUNM News Update
6:45 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Tuesday News Roundup: Albuquerque Votes On Late-Term Abortion Ban

Albuquerque Votes On Late-Term Abortion Ban - Associated Press

Voters in New Mexico's largest city will decide Tuesday whether to ban late-term abortions.

The municipal referendum is believed to be the first of its kind in the country and is being watched as a possible new front for activism in the abortion wars that have typically been waged at the federal and state levels.

The outcome is anyone's guess following an emotional and graphic campaign that brought in national groups and hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising.

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KUNM News Update
7:26 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Monday News Roundup: 15 NM Teachers Get Stipends For Transfers

State: 15 NM Teachers Get Stipends For Transfers - Associated Press and The Las Cruces Sun News

New Mexico Education Secretary Hanna Skandera says the state is "off to a good start" with 15 teachers each approved to receive a $5,000 stipend for transferring from a top-graded school to a low-graded one.

According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, the teachers worked for the Las Cruces, Taos, Las Vegas City, Espanola, Estancia and Gallup school districts.

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KUNM News Update
6:36 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Friday News Roundup: Albuquerque Police Officer Shoots DWI Suspect

Albuquerque Police Officer Shoots DWI Suspect - Associated Press and KOAT-TV

Albuquerque's police chief says one of his officers has shot a drunken-driving suspect during a traffic stop.

Chief Allen Banks says the shooting happened early Friday after an officer pulled over a car. Banks tells KOAT-TV that after the car stopped the driver inside showed a gun and the officer shot the person.

The unidentified suspect is hospitalized in critical but stable condition. The officer was not hurt.

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KUNM News Update
8:28 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Obama Moves To Delay Cancellations Of Insurance Plans

President Barack Obama speaking at the White House on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 11:18 am

  • LISTEN: The president's news conference and NPR coverage of it

President Obama announced Thursday that Americans who have had their health insurance plans canceled because of his Affordable Care Act can keep those plans for another year if they wish.

Those cancellations — most effective on Jan. 1 — have sparked intense criticism of the ACA, in part because the president pledged many times that if Americans liked the health plans they had, they wouldn't have to give them up under the terms of his program.

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KUNM News Update
6:36 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Thursday News Roundup: NM Ed Chief Vows To Push Law On 3rd-Grade Reading

NM Ed Chief Vows To Push Law On 3rd-Grade Reading - Associated Press and The Santa Fe New Mexican

New Mexico's top education official says Gov. Susana Martinez won't stop pushing for legislation to hold back third-graders who can't read at grade level.

Public Education chief Hanna Skandera vowed that she and Martinez will be "back in full force" to push the proposal in 2014. The Legislature has rejected the plan for the past two years.

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KUNM News Update
5:31 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Immigration Prosecutions Up 47% in New Mexico

New data from the Justice Department show that New Mexico has the fastest rate of growth in immigration prosecutions in the nation. 

In 2013 New Mexico outpaced both Texas and Arizona in its increase in criminal immigration prosecutions, jumping by more than 47% in the first 11 months of the year. The West Texas district followed in second with a jump of 32%.

The increase was a dramatic shift for the state as immigration prosecution numbers for New Mexico had been down in recent years.

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KUNM News Update
4:23 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Immigration Reform Is Dead. Long Live Immigration Reform!

"I'll make clear we have no intention ever of going to conference on the Senate bill." - John Boehner, Speaker of the House

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KUNM News Update
4:21 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Law & Order: Indian Country

Law & Order: Indian Country

For decades, tribal areas of the United States — Indian Country, for short — have been some of the most violent and dangerous places to live. Some of the biggest problems law enforcement officials face include issues of criminal jurisdiction, bad communication between tribal, state and federal officials, poor court sentencing powers, and of course, minimal funding. 

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KUNM News Update
7:35 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Wednesday News Roundup: Tribal Leaders Gather For White House Conference

Tribal Leaders Gather For White House Conference - Associated Press

American Indian leaders are gathered in Washington, D.C., to talk directly with officials in President Barack Obama's administration about their needs.

The White House Tribal Leaders Conference is scheduled for Wednesday. Obama is set to deliver remarks to representatives invited from 566 tribes across the country at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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KUNM News Update
6:32 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Tuesday News Update: New Mexico Woman Who Sued To Marry Partner Dies

New Mexico Woman Who Sued To Marry Partner Dies - Associated Press

A New Mexico woman who won an emergency court order allowing her to marry her longtime partner this summer in one of a cascade of same-sex weddings in the state has died.

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KUNM News Update
7:14 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Monday News Roundup: NM County's Investments Probed By State Officials

NM County's Investments Probed By State Officials - Associated Press and The Albuquerque Journal

The State Securities Division has launched an inquiry into Bernalillo County's investment practices.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the agency is trying to determine if a turnover of the county's $300 million investment portfolio was the result of a misguided effort in pursuit of higher interest rates or something more sinister.

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KUNM News Update
6:36 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Friday News Roundup: Santa Fe Mayor Wants Proper Disposal Of Nuke Waste

Santa Fe Mayor Wants Proper Disposal Of Nuke Waste - Associated Press

Santa Fe Mayor David Coss is urging the Los Alamos National Laboratory to analyze and properly dispose of its nuclear waste.

He's also calling on the New Mexico Environment Department to disallow the creation of a permanent nuclear waste dump.

Coss is chairman of the regional coalition of Los Alamos National Laboratory Communities.

Los Alamos' proposed remedial plan allegedly leaves nuclear waste buried in pits and trenches at the laboratory's Area G.

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