Local News

Content from the KUNM news team and affiliated organizations.  

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. 

ABQ Biopark

KUNM Call In Show 7/23 8a:

Albuquerque has been home to the Rio Grande Zoo since 1927 and its 64 acres of exhibits delight and teach children of all ages. Now the city is considering a master plan for the zoo’s next 20 years. 

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Feds Finalize Analysis Of NM Coal-Fired Power Plant - The Associated Press

Federal officials have finalized an analysis that ensures the continued operation of a northwestern New Mexico power plant and the coal mine that feeds it.

Friday's record of decision comes three years after the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement gave notice that it would study the cumulative impacts of the Four Corners Power Plant and the Navajo Mine. About 800 people work there.

Wikimedia Commons via National Nuclear Security Administration

Senator: Compensate Residents Near Site Of Atomic Bomb Test - The Associated Press

A U.S. senator says those who lived near the site of the first atomic bomb test in the New Mexico desert and later developed cancer and other health problems need to be compensated.

Nigel Brunsdon via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico AG Creates Fraud Task Force The Associated Press

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says he has created a special task force that will target cheats and recover public funds that are lost due to fraud.

Photo by The White House

We'll have live special coverage today from NPR News. At 11a President Obama is scheduled to hold a press conference. He's expected to discuss the Iran nuclear deal, the Greece bailout and possibly other topics. 

Listen live on-air or stream the program live on KUNM.org.

Staxnet via Flickr / Creative Commons

State Sees Spike In Overdose Deaths – The Associated Press & The Santa Fe New Mexican

Health officials are attributing a spike in overdose deaths to a rise in prescription opiate abuse.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports health officials saw two years of improving numbers before this year's 20 percent jump in drug-related deaths from 2013.

New Mexico's overdose deaths reached 26.4 per 100,000 people, among the worst in the country.

Department of Health epidemiologist Dr. Michael Landen says the new data shows the state is right back where it was two years ago.

He said prescription opiates like oxycodone have become more available in the last decade and are responsible for just over half of the overdose deaths statewide.

Santa Fe County's Health and Human Services Division director Rachel O'Connor says the public needs more education on the dangers of prescription drugs.

Senator: Compensate Residents Near Site Of Atomic Bomb TestThe Associated Press

A U.S. senator says those who lived near the site of the first atomic bomb test in the New Mexico desert and later developed cancer and other health problems need to be compensated.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Udall said Thursday that the federal government neglected residents of the historic Hispanic village of Tularosa near the Trinity Site, where the weapon was detonated July 16, 1945.

Udall made his remarks on the Senate floor on the 70th anniversary of the test that took place as part of the Manhattan Project, the secretive World War II program that provided enriched uranium for the atomic bomb.

Tularosa residents say many of those living in the area weren't told about the dangers and suffered rare forms of cancer. They say they want acknowledgement and compensation from the U.S. government.

Zuni Pueblo Awarded $3.1M Federal Grant For Airport Project – The Associated Press

A northwestern New Mexico pueblo and more than a dozen communities across the state are getting federal funding for airport rehabilitation and development projects.

The total of $6.1 million of Federal Aviation Administration grants announced Thursday by Sen. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich include $3.1 million awarded to the Zuni Pueblo for construction of a new airport and related work.

The senators said the grants will help boost local economies by increasing travel access, support economic development and encourage business expansion.

Communities receiving grants include Truth or Consequences, Moriarty, Carrizozo, Hobbs, Las Cruces and Lordsburg.

Grants also were awarded to Ruidoso, Carlsbad, Spring, Vaughn, Hatch, Farmington, Espanola and Silver City.

New Mexico Supreme Court To Review 'Copper Rule' The Associated Press

The New Mexico Supreme Court has agreed to review an appellate court's upholding of regulations that govern groundwater pollution by copper mines.

Kaveh Mowahed

World Cup fever hit the U.S. hard this month, and Albuquerque soccer fans are still celebrating. The Albuquerque Sol are headed to the Premier Development League playoffs after finishing their regular season Monday. Their last home game was on Saturday.

(c) Gilbert Hernandez courtesy Fantagraphics

Who decides what teenagers get to check out from their school library? That question is at the center of a controversy in Rio Rancho, where school staff violated policy when they removed a book.

It all started back in February when a ninth-grader checked out a book from the library at Rio Rancho High School. He took it home and his mom saw it. 

IAEA Imagebank / Compfight.com

UNM, Sandia National Laboratories To Promote ResearchThe Associated Press

Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico have signed a pact to promote research and recruiting.

Lena Skipper/UNM Sustainability Studies Program / ABQ Stew Blog

Food trucks are gaining popularity in cities across the country, including right here in New Mexico. Mobile food trucks can be a bargain for aspiring entrepreneurs who don’t have the cash or experience to open a brick and mortar restaurant. 

Tom Kogutus/USFWS via Wikimedia / Creative Commons License

Los Alamos Lab Finds Record Number Of Spotted Owl Chicks - The Associated Press

Los Alamos National Laboratory officials say biologists have located a record number of federally protected Mexican spotted owl chicks on the lab's property in northern New Mexico.

Albuquerque Police Department

Albuquerque To Pay $5M To Settle Lawsuit In Police ShootingThe Associated Press

The city will pay $5 million to the family of a homeless man who was fatally shot by Albuquerque police officers last year.

The settlement was announced Friday by an attorney representing the family of James Boyd.

James Boyd was killed during a March 2014 standoff near a tent in the mountains where he had been camping.

Christian Peacock/Folk Art Alliance

This weekend the world comes to New Mexico, as more than 150 artists kick off the 12th annual Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. For many artists from the developing world, the market has become a lifeline. 

Silly Dog via Flickr / Creative Commons

Court Rules In Favor Of Worker In Medical Marijuana CaseThe Associated Press & The Santa Fe New Mexican

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an injured worker in a medical marijuana case.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the recent decision marks the third time in a year the court has sided with a medical marijuana patient in a workers' compensation claim.

According to the ruling issued in late June, a patient in the medical marijuana program who is injured on the job must be reimbursed by an employer for the expense of marijuana used for treatment.

Appellate Judge James Wechsler wrote that a workers' compensation judge was correct in ruling that American General Media, which owns several radio stations in New Mexico, had to reimburse Sandra Lewis of Albuquerque.

The company had argued that the state's medical marijuana law created a conflict with federal law.

Head Start Program In Las Vegas To Get Federal Boost The Associated Press

A northern New Mexico school district has been awarded a federal grant of more than $8 million to expand Head Start programs.

Sidr Craft/Folk Art Alliance

The 12th annual Santa Fe International Folk Art Market takes place this weekend. More than 150 artists from around the world will be there - many of them will make the bulk of their income for the year at the market. Many artists also get intensive training and connections to international buyers to help them gain economic independence. 

hectore / Compfight.com

New Mexico Lake Sets Visitor Record During Holiday Weekend - The Associated Press

The Fourth of July weekend is always big at Elephant Butte Lake State Park, but this year topped them all.

State officials announced Tuesday that a total of 125,325 people visited during the holiday weekend to set an all-time visitation record. It's also a significant increase from last year's 98,000 visitors and the 47,000 who showed up in 2013.

Folk Art Alliance

More than 150 artists from around the world will gather this weekend at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. It has generated more than $20 million dollars in sales since it launched 12 years ago - and most of that money goes home with the artists. Those funds often support entire communities and help build schools, health clinics and homes. The money also helps revive ancient crafts in that are in danger of dying out.

JadeXJustice via Flickr / Creative Commons

Record Rainfall Reported In Parts Of New Mexico – The Associated Press

The latest storm to hit central New Mexico was one for the record books.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Albuquerque say the rain gauge at the city's airport received 2.24 inches Monday, setting a record for 24-hour rainfall.

Some rainfall reports came in over 2 inches and more than five dozen sites in the area reported over an inch.

Meteorologist Brian Guyer says that over the last five days just about everyone in central and eastern New Mexico reported between an inch and 3 inches of rain with higher amounts up to 5 inches in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

With the rain have come flash flood warnings. Some damage has been reported in Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, McKinley and Torrance counties.

Albuquerque Police To Update Ammunition Policies - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

The Albuquerque Police Department says it's making changes to better track its ammunition.

Folk Art Alliance/Fair Winds Trading

The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market has generated more than $20 million in sales since it began 12 years ago. Most of that money goes home with the artists and supports entire communities. In some cases, shared prosperity also helps heal the effects of trauma.

ABQ Biopark

Teens Accused Of Homeless Killings Could Be Tried As AdultsThe Associated Press & The ABQ Journal

The state's high court could decide whether teens charged alongside 18-year-old Alex Rios with beating two homeless men to death will be tried as adults.

Santa Fe Commission Delays Vote On $40M Hospital Expansion - The Associated Press

Santa Fe officials are delaying a vote on whether to allow a proposed expansion of a hospital that is one of the city's largest private employers.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the Santa Fe Planning Commission decided Thursday to postpone the vote on the $40 million expansion of Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center until August.

jmonkeyq via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Officials Making Plan To Reduce San Juan River Pollution - The Daily Times, The Associated Press

Officials are working on a plan to eliminate pollution in San Juan County rivers after a study found they contain significant levels of bacteria indicating the presence of human feces.