Local News

Content from the KUNM news team and affiliated organizations.  

Rita Daniels

New Mexico could get more money for schools and roads if the U.S. increases royalty rates for coal mined on federal land. The feds held the last of a series of nationwide listening sessions in Farmington on Thursday.

Rita Daniels

Farmers and livestock owners are free to draw water from the San Juan and Animas rivers again after 3 million gallons of mine waste spilled into the watershed. No one knows what the long-term effects of the contamination will be on wildlife in the rivers, but biologists are tracking the spill’s impact.

Johnathan Thompson / High Country News

KUNM Call In Show 8/20 8a: The mustard-yellow plume has passed and the Animas and San Juan rivers are now open again. But how long will the toxic chemicals from the Gold King Mine spill linger? We'll find out what's being done to clean up the rivers - and ask, who should pay for it? Can mining companies be held accountable? Should the EPA pay because they triggered the spill?

We'd like to hear from you! Comment on Facebook or Twitter. 

Guests:

Screenshot of KOAT-TV livestream of Monday's hearing.

A New Mexico judge has ruled that two Albuquerque police officers must stand trial on murder charges in the fatal, on-duty shooting of a homeless man that sparked angry protest in Albuquerque and helped lead to reforms.

Rita Daniels

New Mexico lifted water restrictions on the Animas and San Juan Rivers over the weekend in the wake of a toxic mine spill in Colorado.

Water samples showed spikes in heavy metals, but state and federal officials say contaminants have been diluted and dispersed downstream.

That brought relief to farmers in San Juan County who are not on the Navajo Nation. They were given the go-ahead on Saturday to irrigate and use the water for watering livestock after the San Juan and Animas Rivers had been closed for more than a week.

Critics Of Carbon Regulations Using Mine Spill To Skewer EPA - The Associated Press

Authorities say rivers tainted by last week's massive spill from an abandoned Colorado gold mine are starting to recover, but for the Environmental Protection Agency the political fallout from the disaster could linger.

The agency's critics are seeking to use its much-maligned handling of the spill to undercut the Obama administration's rollout of major regulations aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions at the nation's power plants.

Rita Daniels/KUNM


Water managers in Northwestern New Mexico are trying to figure out how much contamination from the Gold King Mine spill has seeped into ditch irrigation systems. 

Rita Daniels/KUNM

Trucks delivered 200,000 gallons of water Thursday for irrigating crops in San Juan County after the Animas and San Juan rivers were closed due to contamination from the Gold King Mine spill. 

Rita Daniels/KUNM

People with domestic wells in the floodplain of the Animas and San Juan rivers are free to use their water today as of midday Friday, August 15, 2015. New Mexico lifted a ban on water use from these wells after initial tests showed no contamination from the Gold King Mine spill.

Peter Nathanson with the state’s Drinking Water Bureau said they inspected wells within 500 feet of the river where the groundwater level is higher than the river water. 

Clyde Frogg via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency has ordered agency offices nationwide to stop field investigation work for mine cleanups while they reassess the work to ensure there's no potential for spills similar to the one in Colorado.

Rita Daniels/KUNM

Communities along the Animas and San Juan rivers are still waiting on test results from the Gold King Mine spill. The first round of test results from the toxic plume’s impact on the rivers near Farmington aren't expected until Wednesday.

Rita Daniels/KUNM

The first results from tests of the water in northwestern New Mexico contaminated by the Gold King Mine spill are expected on Wednesday. 

Is Tourism Exploitation?

Aug 11, 2015
Khlnmusa via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License

Many people believe travel is the geographic cure for what ails us in our daily routines. Physically relocating allows us distance enough from home, and our homelands, to put our lives in clearer perspective.

Environmental Protection Agency

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has declared an emergency that frees up state funds to address a massive spill of wastewater from a Colorado mine into the Animas and San Juan rivers.

Sascha Bruck via Wikimedia / Creative Commons License

Pollution of the Animas River was going on for over 100 years before gold and silver mining died down near Silverton, Colorado in the 1990s. So the recent 3 million gallon spill isn’t the first time the Animas River has been contaminated with mine waste.

Photo via www.treehugger.com

 

French Pair Who Died In US Desert Likely Saved Son - The Associated Press

A sheriff says a French couple who perished during an afternoon hike across the searing New Mexico desert likely saved their 9-year-old son by giving him two sips for each one they took from their water bottles before the supply was exhausted.

La Plata County

Mine wastewater is still flowing into a tributary of the Animas River in Colorado after an accident on Wednesday. Environmental Protection Agency officials say they’re working to stop the contamination and now have a better idea of what exactly is in the toxic sludge.

Jonathan Thompson / High Country News

Farmington has shut off drinking water pumps from the San Juan River after about a million gallons of contaminated water from a mine spilled into the watershed upstream.

Rita Daniels

The Obama Administration released details this week on the Clean Power Plan which calls for power plants across the country to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

New Mexico State University

KUNM Call In Show 8/6 8a:

*Editor's note: We regret that because of technical difficulties there is no audio archived for this show.

 

Weeds: Not the kind that you smoke, the kind that are sprouting up in every corner of your yard right now. Goat heads, yellow mustardy things, purslane, lambs' quarters. How can you tell the difference between a plant that will drop spiky demon seeds and a weedy-looking thing that makes pretty flowers? Or tastes good? And once you've identified the ones you want to get rid of, can you do you do it safely and permanently? 

Screenshot of KOAT-TV livestream of Monday's hearing.

A judge heard testimony Monday in a preliminary hearing for a case against two Albuquerque police officers who fatally shot homeless camper James Boyd last year. The judge will determine whether or not the officers, who face murder charges, will go to trial.

Suspected Kidnapper In Albuquerque Dies In Reported Shootout - The Associated Press

A kidnapping suspect in Albuquerque is dead after reportedly exchanging gunfire with law enforcement officers.

KOB-TV reports that Albuquerque police tried to arrest the man near Avenida Cesar Chavez and 3rd Street about 3:45 p.m. Friday when the suspect fled.

The man reportedly was shot in southeast Albuquerque near Edith Boulevard and Garfield Avenue.

However, Albuquerque police have yet to confirm that their officers fired the fatal shots.

Rita Daniels

 

This week the superintendent for the Taos school district announced her final decision to relocate the alternative high school. The shakeup has caused teachers to quit, and some students said they’re being left in the lurch.

Rita Daniels

CUBA, N.M.—Kids from Sandoval County have been raising animals in anticipation of the annual fair this weekend. 

Rita Daniels

SHIPROCK, N.M.—Navajo youth are walking hundreds of miles across their reservation for what they call a Journey for Existence. They will be summiting one of their sacred mountains near Cortez, Colorado, this weekend to offer prayers for the planet.

pixabay.com via CC

 

The nation’s prison system is in crisis. Prison and jail populations ballooned to an all-time high, and the number of people on probation and parole has doubled.

Meanwhile, we're spending more on incarceration than we ever have—and most of that money comes out of the states’ pockets.

Rita Daniels

Faith leaders in New Mexico are asking citizens to take personal responsibility for tackling climate change.

Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders stood together beneath the broiling sun Tuesday morning, pledging their support for a new Papal Encyclical, which encourages people to curb their consumption of energy.

Sister Joan Brown is with the religious nonprofit New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light.

Kate Ter Haar via flickr

 

Charges Dropped Against Man Arrested In Fatal Shooting - The Associated Press

Police have a new suspect in a fatal Bernalillo County shooting after police arrested the wrong man based on an informant's statement.

The Albuquerque Journal reports 20-year-old Emilio Marquez has been charged in the shooting death of 22-year-old Jared Clark, who was found lying on a road in the Albuquerque area in early June.

liikennevalo via compfight

The Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Environmental Health Department more then $150,000 to continue keeping tabs on the amount of microscopic particles floating in the air.

Rita Daniels

Much to the dismay of many educators and community members in Taos, the district’s superintendent is threatening to relocate the alternative high school that serves at-risk kids. 

Pages