Local News

Content from the KUNM news team and affiliated organizations.  

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Independent journalist Amy Goodman is in New Mexico this week to share stories from her new book Democracy Now: Twenty Years covering the Movements Changing America. We caught up with Goodman to talk about the connections she sees between social movements and the current election season. 

Walt Stoneburner via Flickr (cropped) / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 4/28 8a:

Children who experience abuse and neglect can face lifelong challenges. In New Mexico, reports of child maltreatment have increased over the last several years. We'll discuss how local groups are working to provide families with resources to prevent these issues. 

orangesparrow via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico Judge Extends Pay-To-Play InquiryAssociated Press

A judge is extending an inquiry into conflict-of-interest allegations against a contract law firm that is helping New Mexico settle claims in a pay-to-play scandal during the administration of former Gov. Bill Richards.

Elaine Baumgartel/KUNM

KUNM received fabulous news on Thursday! We won 11 awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Top of the Rockies regional competition. 

Kari Greer / US Forest Service Gila National Forest

KUNM Call In Show 4/21 8a: 

You probably noticed that this February and March were much warmer and drier than normal. In fact, this year New Mexico got only 12 percent of the rainfall it usually gets in March. The unusually warm weather prompted mountain snow to melt faster and earlier than usual, while winds whipped up wild fires, stripping land that then becomes vulnerable to flooding.

Darko Stojanovich via Pixabay / Creative Commons

Medicaid Spending Crunch Raises Tensions In New MexicoAssociated Press

Health care workers are raising concerns about closed-door meetings as New Mexico forges a plan to rein in spending on Medicaid by some $400 million under a new state budget.

Andrew via Flickr / Creative Commons

A new state law that governs ride-booking companies like Uber goes into effect next month. But before it becomes official, state regulators have to write the regulations.

Arpingstone via Flickr / public domain

Governor Susana Martinez and her administration haven’t had a lot to say after the state attorney general cleared the last 2 of 15 behavioral health organizations that were accused of fraud in 2013. Their Medicaid funding was frozen and many of them have shut down.

A statement from the Human Services Department spokesman echoed what the Governor said this week - that Medicaid dollars should be used to help the people who need it most and that the attorney general is turning a blind eye to wealthy CEO's who squandered funds on private planes.

law keven / Creative Commons

Another Arizona Mental Health Provider To Leave New MexicoAssociated Press

Another Arizona behavioral health company brought in to replace New Mexico nonprofits accused of Medicaid overbilling and fraud has announced it will stop providing services in New Mexico at the end of June.

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The University of New Mexico Board of Regents recently made changes to how UNM’s Health Sciences Center is governed. UNM Hospital, UNM Medical School, UNM College of Nursing – these are all part of the Health Sciences Center.

Victor via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 4/7 8a: The level of crime in our cities makes many New Mexicans feel unsafe. And disturbing violent crimes have dominated our attention recently. Is our system working to make New Mexico safer?

Tribal College Students Simulate Mars

Mar 30, 2016
Elaine Baumgartel / KUNM


A small battery operated rover rolls back and forth across a tiled floor. It slowly jerks past foam boulders and a green Martian cutout. A few feet away a student types on a computer, controlling the vehicle. The mini-Mars yard room is in full swing at the Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Kari Greer of US National Forest Service / Creative Commons

Nasty winds combined with dry air is  a sure-fire recipe for wildfire. On Tuesday, Central and Eastern New Mexico are facing the most widespread critical fire hazard in two years.

Russ / Creative Commons via Flickr

New Mexico Unemployment Rate Declines Slightly In February—Associated Press

New Mexico's unemployment rate is down slightly even as the decline in global oil prices continues to take a toll on the state's economy.

Eduardo Mueses via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 3/24 8a: 

  

New Mexico's creative sector employs thousands of people and generates tens of millions of dollars for state and local governments. We'll talk to people who are working to leverage this dynamic sector to boost our economy and we'd like to hear from you! 

Tom / Creative Commons via Flickr

New Mexico Health Officials Confirm First Case Of Zika Virus—Associated Press

New Mexico health officials say they have confirmed the state's first case of the Zika virus.

banspy / Creative Commons via Flickr

Trump Of Concern As Democrats Gather In New MexicoAssociated Press

The chairman of the Democratic Governors Association is pushing Governor Susana Martinez to say whether or not she would vote for Donald Trump if he is nominated as the GOP's presidential candidate.

hugovk via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The Albuquerque Police Department is in the middle of a reform process after the U.S. Department of Justice found a pattern of excessive use of force by officers. An independent monitor tasked with overseeing the process presented the second of a series of reports earlier this month.

Arianna Sena

Polls show New Mexicans believe their government is corrupt. State lawmakers say that while there may be a few bad apples, the system we have is working.

But the facts show just the opposite: New Mexico has the widest gap in the country between the laws on the books and the way those laws are actually enforced, according to a 2015 report from the Center for Public Integrity.

Albuquerque Transit

Plans to create a new bus rapid transit system along historic Route 66 are generating intense controversy in Albuquerque.

Supporters say it will bring economic development, more walkable streets and make it easier for residents across the river to access jobs. Business owners fear construction and increased congestion will mean fewer customers.

Coast Guard News / Creative Commons via Flickr

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 3/10 8a: New Mexico's Supreme Court created a new set of rules aimed at clearing a backlog of cases in Bernalillo County's criminal justice system. But there's been pushback from folks who say the new deadlines are tough to meet. 

Arianna Sena

During the 2016 legislative session, the People, Power and Democracy project tracked efforts to address ethics, accountability and money in politics. This year lawmakers met for only 30 days and were charged first and foremost with preparing a state budget. Most of the bills we followed failed, but many sponsors and advocacy groups pledged to return again in the longer 2017 session and try a gain. Here’s a summary of the proposals we watched most closely.

What Passed

House webcasts to be archived

https://www.flickr.com/photos/87913776@N00/460375914

Over the past few years New Mexico has used short-term solutions to balance the budget without raising taxes. But if oil and gas prices stay low, it will become more and more of a challenge to find the money the state needs to pay the bills.

Raising at least some taxes might not be politically popular, but Sen. John Arthur Smith, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, argues it’s the fiscally conservative thing to do. And he wants to start with the gas tax.

Nikolai Vassiliev / Creative Commons via Flickr

Health insurance can be complicated and understanding how to get covered can be difficult. Students at a specialized charter school in Albuquerque are producing podcasts to help people navigate the health insurance system.

TaxRebate.org.uk via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas on Monday brought felony charges against a former state senator accused of using his office to make money on a land deal.

Zack McCarthy via CC

In front of a group of commercial real estate developers, Gov. Susana Martinez signed a bill she said will make the campaign finance system more accurate and transparent, and make it easier for the public to access the information.

Gwyneth Doland

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 2/25 8a:  

State legislators passed a budget, created a REAL-ID driver's license fix, cracked down on DWI and child porn and advanced bail reform. But did they do anything to reverse the tide of indicators that New Mexicans have lost faith in state government? We look at what lawmakers did, or didn't do, to restore the public trust. 

Ardfern via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License

There’s been a rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric in the wake of terrorist attacks in the U.S. and Europe. And the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the number of hate groups in the U.S. increased by 14 percent in 2015.

Local human rights activist Samia Assed says it’s a pivotal time in American history for defining who we are as a nation.

Chris Goldberg via Flickr, Creative Commons

The NM Legislature wrapped up another session. KUNM's Chris Boros speaks with Gwyneth Doland about what happened and what didn’t happen.

Public Library of Science journal via Wikimedia / Creative Commons License

A congressional investigation into researchers who use fetal tissue and the abortion clinics that provide the tissue has recently expanded to include New Mexico.

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