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Let's Talk New Mexico 5/17 8a: People in the U.S. owe more money on student loans than they do on credit cards. And that student loan debt can follow you around for decades. How are you or your kids deciding whether to borrow money for college? Are you a recent graduate with student loan debt? What does that mean for you right now? Have you been making payments on a student loan? How's that going? We'd like to hear from you. Email letstalk@kunm.org, tweet #LetsTalkNM or call in live during the show. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

The federal government is distributing grant money to counties to fight opioid addiction. But Española and the surrounding area might not get any of it, even though communities there have struggled for years with some of the highest overdose death rates in the country.

Night Owl City via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Congressional Candidate Says 'F--- The NRA' In TV Ad – KRQE-TV, Association Press

A Democratic candidate for Congress in New Mexico is using an expletive in television ads to condemn the National Rifle Association and inaction by U.S. lawmakers on gun control.

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Let’s Talk New Mexico 5/10 8a: About one in four New Mexicans has an EBT card in their wallet that they use to buy food. We’re continuing the conversation this week about food assistance and new work requirements that Congress is considering in the 2018 Farm Bill.

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Only a small handful of lockups around the country let new moms who are behind bars breastfeed their infants. But the Bernalillo County jail—the biggest in the state—rolled out a policy that allows female inmates to feed their babies, or to pump milk for them.

Salim Fadhley / Creative Commons

Let's Talk New Mexico 5/3 8a: Having a baby is a dangerous prospect for many women in New Mexico. Many hospitals aren’t prepared to deal with life-threatening complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, and not all women have access to quality prenatal care. Women of color are especially at risk. How can we ensure that all new and expectant mothers in our state get the care they need?

New Mexico's Delegation On The Farm Bill And SNAP

Apr 25, 2018
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For this week's Let's Talk New Mexico, we reached out to New Mexico's congressional delegation for their thoughts on the 2018 Farm Bill and SNAP funding. Here's what they sent us via email:

Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D)

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Let's Talk New Mexico 4/26 8a: Call 277-5866. We're talking about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and whether people in our state can access it. We'll also talk about the Farm Bill proposed in Congress, which would increase work requirements for people using SNAP, along with other changes. Have you applied for SNAP? How did the process go for you? Or what do you think of work requirements for people participating in this programs? How can people in New Mexico get the food they need? Email letstalk@KUNM.org, tweet #letstalkNM or call in live during the show. 

Meet The New Mexico Towns Where Less Connectivity Is More

Apr 23, 2018
Heath Haussamen / nmpolitics.net

Hillsboro and Kingston, tiny mountain towns on the edge of the Gila National Forest in Southern New Mexico, have a rare quality.

It comes from the night skies. The stars shine bright at this elevation. The nearest city lights are 31 miles from Hillsboro in Truth or Consequences and 41 miles away in Hatch.

KRWG

In New Mexico, computer science courses are not mandated by the state. Many schools in metropolitan areas offer these courses, but few rural school districts do. However, one rural school district has turned to New Mexico’s Supercomputing Challenge, an annual science and engineering competition, to offer computer science education.

In Small Towns, A Way To Make Remote Work, Work

Apr 23, 2018
New Mexico PBS

Dilapidated motels line the entrance to Grants, New Mexico, signs of the boom that came and went in this town of 9,000 people. 

Reclamation work continues at the mines that once earned Grants the nickname “uranium capital of the world,” but federal figures show the mining industry employs a fraction of what it once did in the historic U.S. Route 66 town. “The uranium mines were good to us,” said Sarah Pena, 71, a lifelong Grants resident. “They brought the economy up, and there are a lot of people who are still here, who stayed.”

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Let's Talk New Mexico 4/18 8a: Call 277-5866. We'll speak with Syrians who live in New Mexico to hear their thoughts on the ongoing war and U.S. military action. We'll also talk about their lives in Syria and now, here. We invite your thoughtful questions for our panel. Email letstalk@KUNM.org, tweet #letstalkNM or call in live during the show. 

Melorie Begay

New Mexico’s wildfire season started off early this year, and spring winds could make it worse. For people living near forests, this means preparing for potential evacuations and fire proofing homes. But, for wildlife, there’s a lot we don’t really know. 

Victor Onimole / KUNM/University of New Mexico

Crime is a top concern for Albuquerque residents. Mayor Tim Keller announced Tuesday morning the situation is getting better. Crime rates are dropping, according to a city report looking at the first quarter of this year.

Laura Paskus

As high winds whipped dust, Siberian elm seeds and recycling bins around Albuquerque Thursday afternoon, dozens of people filed into the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Albuquerque office to hear the agency’s 2018 forecast for the Rio Grande.

“I’ll be the bearer of bad news,” said Reclamation’s Albuquerque Area Manager Jennifer Faler. “This is the most extreme shift we’ve had from one operating plan meeting to another.”

Immigration and border security have dominated the headlines this week in New Mexico and across the nation. Latino USA’s Maria Hinojosa has been covering these issues for many years and she says this is one of the most horrible, beautiful times to be a journalist. The founder of The Futuro Media Group spoke with KUNM's Megan Kamerick. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

For decades, families in New Mexico have been missing out on food and medical assistance that they’re eligible for under federal law. Records show that things have gotten better in recent months. Still, the issue’s been in court for 30 years, and a federal judge says one problem is a lack of accountability within the state’s Income Support Division

Tribes Lead The Way For Faster Internet Access In New Mexico

Apr 9, 2018
New Mexico PBS

 

For decades in these sparsely populated valleys and peaks in northern New Mexico, the internet has been slow, unreliable and expensive. This region is not remote, exactly.

Katharine Egli

TAOS, NM – Molly Byrnes, 34, and Jesse Hofmann-Smith, 35, can’t reliably make phone calls on their cellular network from their cozy apartment on the outskirts of Taos, but they can host real-time webinars and build websites online for clients across the country.

 

Their casita is one of about 6,300 homes and businesses in northern New Mexico connected to a high-speed fiber-optic internet network run by an unlikely source: the local electric cooperative.

 

Katharine Egli for the Solutions Journalism Network

What if big telecom isn’t the only game in town for internet service? Member-owned cooperatives and community networks are springing up around the country. And what’s more, they’re making net neutrality—unthrottled access to an open net—a core value.

Katharine Egli for the Solutions Journalism Network

Quality internet service is key to overcoming poverty, according to studies worldwide. But all over the U.S., people of color and folks with low incomes are less likely to have access to an affordable, reliable connection. Plus, big corporations are often unwilling to lay line through tough terrain without a lot of customers.

Sarah Gustavus

Let's Talk New Mexico 4/5 8a:  Internet access is expensive and often slow in rural communities across New Mexico. How might improving internet speed and access help all New Mexicans  pursue educational and economic opportunities? 

Orin Zebest via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The U.S. Census count is two years away, but the return of a controversial citizenship question has prompted New Mexico’s attorney general to file a lawsuit. 

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The National Rifle Association gave $61 million to schools and non-profit organizations in the U.S. between 2010 and 2016, according to an Associated Press analysis. Schools across the country got $7 million. 

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Let's Talk New Mexico 3/29 8a. Call 277-5866. As the temperature rises, so will the number of bicycles on the road. We'll look at how cyclists can be safe and whether communities and drivers are doing their part. Are there enough bike lanes, bike boulevards and bike paths for cyclists to use in your community? Are these efforts enough? Is the responsibility on cyclists or drivers to make roads safe for bicycles?

Sarah Gustavus/KUNM

Thousands of students, teachers and community members came out on Saturday in Albuquerque for the March for Our Lives rally. Survivors led a rally in Washington D.C. and Albuquerque’s event was was one of many held across the country in response to last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 

Colton Newman/@cnewman101/DailyLobo

Philadelphia's Center for Architecture and Design hosts an annual competition for design students at universities around the world.  This year, the Center's challenge was to find new ways for Philadelphia to connect its residents and visitors with the city's cultural and natural resources.  The first prize went to Sam Fantaye, a third-year student in the graduate Landscape Architecture program at the University of New Mexico's School of Architecture and Planning.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

All around the United States, students filed out of their classrooms on Wednesday, March 14, to stand for school safety. It’s been a month since the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

In New Mexico, school administrations had mixed reactions to the planned walkouts. Over the last couple of weeks, KUNM followed the students at an arts charter school in Albuquerque, as they organized with the support of school staff.

Courtesy of Laura Gómez

UCLA Law Professor Laura Gómez grew up in New Mexico and she says it’s critical to know the history of racism against Mexican Americans and Latinos in the Southwest in order to understand today’s anti-immigrant and anti-Latino rhetoric and policies. She'll appear at Bookworks in Albuquerque on Saturday, March 10 at 3:00 p.m. to discuss her book Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race

Lorie Shaull via Flickr CC


Let’s Talk New Mexico 3/15 8a: All around the country, students are walking out of classrooms to call for gun control after a decades of deadly shootings in schools. Young folks are saying they can’t keep waiting, and there is widespread support around the country for some gun control, but lawmakers have made little progress. We’ll hear from students around the state about what it's like to go to school in an era of mass shootings.

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