Local News

Content from the KUNM news team and affiliated organizations.  

Andy Lyman/NMPoliticalReport.com

More than 7,000 people gathered in the Albuquerque Convention Center on Friday to hear Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speak. It was just hours after he spoke at the Santa Fe Community College. Enthusiastic supporters waited in a half-mile-long line for nearly an hour and hundreds were turned away when the venue was full.

KUNM’s Marino Spencer chatted with folks to find out why they’re ‘feelin’ the Bern.’

New Mexico’s unique way of paying for public infrastructure projects has been under fire lately. Critics say lawmakers often divert money as political pork, at the expense of statewide construction projects. 

Now some  government officials are taking steps to address the problem at the local level. 

New Mexico PBS

 

There are many reasons why people struggle to save money and move out of poverty. One is not having any extra money around for college, a house or to start a business.

That’s where one local organization has stepped in with a potential solution. 

ABCWUA Will Not Bring Back Fluoridated Water

May 18, 2016
Steve Johnson via Flickr / CREATIVE COMMONS

UPDATE 5/19: Water utility board members decided Wednesday not to add more fluoride to drinking water to promote oral health in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the board voted to cut the funding for supplemental fluoridation.

Supporters of fluoridation argue it benefits low-income people who don’t have easy access to affordable dental care. Critics of supplemental fluoridation say it creates  health risks.

The Battle Over Food Benefits

May 16, 2016
piropiro3 via Compfight / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 5/19 8a:

A group of workers in the Human Services Department testified earlier this month that their bosses changed applications for food stamps in order to prevent people from gaining access to emergency assistance. HSD officials invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 100 times last week when called to testify in court about the allegations. 

Cristian V. via Flickr / Creative Commons License

For decades, the New Mexico Human Services Department has faced criticism for failing to properly process applications for Medicaid and food assistance, or SNAP benefits.

Several former and current Human Service Department workers testified last month that it was department policy to alter the information on emergency SNAP applications so that people wouldn’t be eligible for benefits.

Marisa Demarco

For the first time in 15 years, the Bernalillo County District Attorney seat is up for grabs. Two Democrats are vying for their party's nomination in the June 7th primary. KUNM partnered with the Criminal Law Section of the New Mexico State Bar to host an election forum on May 12, 2016, at the New Mexico State Bar Center auditorium in Albuquerque. ​​​

Hackathon Aims To Diversify Tech Workforce

May 10, 2016
Christiaan Colen via Flickr / Creative Commons License

 

Native American students Twylastar Warkie and Madison Castillo laugh and gather in front of a Macbook computer.  They are playing an early version of a game called Jelly Cat Trap.  They designed this game with help from some coding mentors at the Native My Brother’s Keeper Hackathon. The event took place at the Epicenter in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico.

@jbtaylor via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The deadline to register to vote in the primary election is May 10th, 2016. New Mexico doesn’t have open primary elections,  so if you’re not registered as a Democrat or a Republican in this state, you won’t be able to vote in those party primaries.

Roxanne Ready / Creative Commons via Flickr

    

Imagine when you walk out of your house the road signs are blank. Billboards, too. You try to order breakfast at that new brunch place, but you have to listen to other customers to figure out what’s on the menu. This is the reality for thousands of New Mexico adults who are struggling to read. 

Paul Sableman / Creative Commons via Flickr

City Of Española Trespassing On Santa Clara Pueblo—Associated Press

A civil complaint says Española is trespassing on Santa Clara Pueblo land because the city failed to renew its rights of way for its public water and sanitary sewer lines.

Laura Paskus

Everyone’s heard how oil and gas production dropped in New Mexico last year. Low prices hit industry – and the state’s budget – hard.

During that same time, the state saw a bump in the number of oil and gas spills. That’s according to a new report from the Center for Western Priorities, which crunches data from the state's Oil Conservation Division

The Javorac / Creative Commons via Flickr

DEA Sets Up 103 Sites In New Mexico For Disposing Pills— Associated Press

The Drug Enforcement Administration plans to set up 103 sites across the state where people can dispose of their unwanted and expired prescription drugs on Saturday.

Wikimedia Commons via CC

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.

Matthew Keefe via Flickr / Creative Commons via Flickr

The New Mexico Broadcasters Association has selected KUNM local All Things Considered host Chris Boros as best Newscaster for 2016. We also received awards for best Continuing Coverage for Ed Williams' coverage of a toxic chemical spill south of downtown Albuquerque and best Breaking News for Rita Daniels' coverage of the Gold King Mine spill in August 2015.

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.

Wikimedia via CC

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.

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