Local News

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.

Let's Talk Water Rights And The Rio Grande

Mar 6, 2018
Paul Tashjan, USFWS

Let's Talk New Mexico 3/8 8a. Call 277-5866. A U.S. Supreme Court case could threaten New Mexico’s use of water from the Rio Grande. This week, justices allowed the federal government to join in a case brought by Texas, which alleges New Mexico has been taking more than its fair share and not letting enough flow downstream.

Debernardi via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons

The Albuquerque city council voted to raise gross receipts taxes by 0.375 percent Monday night and balance the city’s budget for the next year. The measure would generate around $50 million.

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New Mexico is still too slow in delivering food and medical assistance to the many people here who need it—and the problem is the people in charge. That’s according to a court appointed expert – a special master – who spent a year working inside the state Human Services Department’s Income Support Division.

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New Mexico’s been chasing technology firms, but this question always comes up: Are there people here who can do those jobs? A community college program is working to answer that question by helping nontraditional students get fast, intensive training, and get to work—whether it’s for a big company or at a business of their own. 

Melorie Begay/KUNM

Garnett Stokes is the University of New Mexico’s new president. She took some time out of her first day in office Thursday to shake hands and meet people on campus.

Courtesy of Lalo Alcaraz

Lalo Alcaraz is a nationally syndicated cartoonist and author of “La Cucaracha,” a daily comic strip that appears in the Santa Fe New Mexican. He was also a cultural consultant for the new Pixar-Disney movie Coco, and he'll give a talk at the University of New Mexico's Woodward Hall, Thursday, March 1, at 5:30 p.m. 

Tony Webster via Flickr / CREATIVE COMMONS

Bernalillo County commissioners voted on Tuesday to wait 30 days before deciding whether to hire an outside company to scrutinize the sheriff’s department after a spike in shootings by officers.

Tom Wind Energy via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The State Land Office has been working with a private company on a wind energy project in Torrance County for years. But more than half of the wind farm can’t be built because the Air Force uses the area for low-altitude flight training.

Wikimedia Commons via CC

UPDATE 2/28: Bernalillo County commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday night to defer a vote on the measure for 30 days. 


Bernalillo County commissioners will consider whether to hire an outside company to scrutinize the sheriff’s department after a spike in officer-involved shootings last year. Deputies shot at 10 people in less than five months, injuring three and killing five.

Let's Talk School Shootings And Gun Laws

Feb 27, 2018
Fibonacci Blue / Flickr / Creative Commons License

Let's Talk New Mexico 3/1, 8a: After 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month, the national conversation has turned again to gun regulations and how to prevent mass shootings.

What do we know from public health research about policies that could prevent gun violence? Do New Mexicans support measures like universal background checks or gun violence restraining orders? Are your views on gun rights or gun control represented in the political process? 

New Mexico PBS

This year’s 30-day legislative session wrapped up last week. It was a budget year, but lawmakers also considered legislation to address issues like education and public safety. We'll take a look at what happened this year at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe, then we'll step back and spend the rest of the hour looking at programs and organizations around the state that are addressing some of the most persistent problems in our communities – from poverty to a lack of access to health care.

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Funding for public early childhood programs is tight around New Mexico, and it’s disproportionately students of color who miss out. Allen Sanchez of the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops sparked debate last week when he told an Associated Press reporter that systemic racism is a factor in why legislation that could have fixed the problem didn’t get a fair shake. 

Matthew Keefe via Flickr / Creative Commons via Flickr

KUNM at the University of New Mexico is hiring one full-time Technical Journalist to report for the Public Health New Mexico project. 

ANNAfoxlover via Wikimedia Commons / public domain

State legislators passed a $6.3 billion budget on Wednesday night. A surplus in state revenue made things easier this year, but it also brought new challenges, said Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth.

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Let's Talk New Mexico 2/15 8a. Call 277-5866 - Diversity has increasingly become a buzz word for businesses and industries in recent years and that includes the journalism industry, as newsrooms struggle to better represent the communities they serve. Here in New Mexico, the recent publication of a racist cartoon by the state's largest newspaper sparked a firestorm of criticism. We'll discuss racism in the news and diversity in newsrooms. 

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The vice president of the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute has been accused of sexual assault by a staff member. Other complaints about Eric Christensen’s behavior have been filed over the course of his long federal career, according to a recent news story in Government Executive, an independent news publication.

Chris Jones / Flickr via Creative Commons

The New Mexico state legislature is running out of time to pass a lottery scholarship bill that could benefit thousands of college students. 

Arianna Sena/KUNM

New Mexico lawmakers unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would help stop a sinkhole from forming in Carlsbad. The Motor Vehicle Tax to Road Fund measure would take a little over 4 percent of state vehicle tax money and put it toward filling Carlsbad’s brine well.

Creative Commons




Half of the animals that enter shelters in New Mexico end up being euthanized, and lawmakers are getting closer to agreeing on a measure that would charge a fee to pet food companies to help fund spay and neuter services across the state.

Matthew Keefe via Flickr / Creative Commons via Flickr

The Albuquerque Journal’s decision to publish a racist cartoon in its editorial section on Wednesday, Feb. 7, drew a lot of criticism locally and across the country. Statements from the paper’s editors afterward didn’t do much to quell the outrage.

HeatherPaque via Pixabay / Creative Commons License

The Albuquerque Journal is facing a backlash after publishing a racist editorial cartoon on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Marisa Demarco

A short-term federal budget is set to expire at midnight on Thursday, and there could be another government shutdown. Some lawmakers in D.C. refused to support the budget bill if protections for young people who were brought to the U.S. as children were not included. Here in Albuquerque, college professors, Dreamers and allies gathered outside the Downtown offices for Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich to demand that they fight for a Dream Act in Congress.

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New Mexico’s criminal justice system gets clogged. The courts, the public prosecutors and defenders, they’ve all said they don’t have enough money or staff to process cases fast enough. Growing backlogs, people and details falling through the cracks—those complaints are common. Lawmakers are weighing a bill that would pull minor offenses out of the court system.

Let's Talk Education And The State Budget

Feb 7, 2018
Night Owl City via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Let's Talk New Mexico 2/8 8a: Call now (505) 277-5866. Most New Mexico lawmakers might agree that improving education for our children is a top priority. But in a year when the state’s oil and gas revenues are up, there’s no consensus on just how much money schools need, where that money should come from or how it should be spent. How could our laws and state spending better serve students? This week on Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’re talking education and the state budget. Join us Thursday morning at 8 on KUNM. Call in live during the show or tweet using #LetsTalkNM.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

New Mexico has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the U.S. There’s no waiting period to buy a firearm, and there aren’t any state laws restricting what kinds of guns people can own. It is llegal for someone convicted of a felony to have one here, and legislators are working to increase the penalty. But that may not be the kind of law gun-control advocates are looking for. 

insunlight via Flickr / Creative Commons License


New Mexico has the second-highest recidivism rate in the country, with half of its former inmates landing back behind prison bars within three years. To shrink those numbers, the state House passed a measure that would require jails and prisons to make sure inmates have access to behavioral health services.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

An Albuquerque police officer was honored in front of the whole country during the State of the Union address earlier this week. While on duty, he met a woman who was addicted to heroin and adopted her baby. More and more pregnant women are struggling with addiction in the state. But attitudes can be harsh, services are limited and funding is tight, leaving people with nowhere to turn.