Local News

Content from the KUNM news team and affiliated organizations.  

2 Albuquerque Men Accused Of ID Theft And Debit Card Fraud - The Associated Press

New Mexico State Police say two Albuquerque men are in custody for alleged identity theft and debit card fraud at casinos.

Police announced Friday that both 36-year-old Chris A. Garcia and 36-year-old James Rogers have been booked into jail.

Agents with the State Police's Investigations Bureau in Albuquerque looked into a large amount of fraudulent debit card transactions that occurred at several casinos.

Courtesy Josh Stephenson, Durango Herald

The state’s top environmental regulator testified at a joint congressional hearing recently, criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency for withholding information about the Gold King Mine spill. 

The New Mexico State Environment Department says initially, when 3 million gallons of mine waste spilled into the Animas River this past August, the EPA withheld the raw contamination data from them.

ABQ Youth Fight Curfew Proposal

Sep 25, 2015
Carlos Lowry / Flickr Creative Commons

New Mexico representative Nate Gentry is proposing an amendment to the Children’s Code that will let local governments set curfews for youth. The proposed bill, aimed at curbing youth violence, has been receiving heavy criticism.

Rita Daniels

Mild temperatures and the turning of the leaves are reminders that summer is officially over. In the coming months New Mexico is well positioned to trap significant amounts of moisture from the third strongest El Niño on record


Rita Daniels

During the summer months, southern New Mexico hosts one of the largest bat populations in North America. The Jornada Bat Caves, just west of White Sands Missile Range, are now becoming more accessible to the public.

CNM Receives $2.9 Million Apprenticeship Grant

Sep 17, 2015
Remit Training via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Apprenticeship programs across the country are getting an infusion of cash.  The U.S. Department of Labor divided a record $175 million between 46 apprenticeship and trade institutions across the country.  The grants represent the largest award towards apprenticeships in U.S. history. 

Rita Daniels

People living on Pajarito Mesa may have an easier time getting help in the case of an emergency. That’s because Bernalillo County has a new system set up to serve the settlement west of Albuquerque.

Dave LaFontaine via Flickr

The Environmental Protection Agency is finalizing stricter limits on ground-level ozone, which the agency says is harmful to human health. That has some manufacturers in New Mexico concerned that the new rule will increase the cost of doing business.

Dave Lea via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 9/17 8a:  

What will the New Mexico of the future look like? How will we address the issues facing our state –  poverty, water, jobs and transportation? This week on the KUNM show we'll talk to former U.S. Senator Fred Harris about his new book, New Mexico 2050.

Laura Paskus

Away from any cities or streetlights, the nights here at Chaco Culture National Historic Park are dark. Looking up, it takes a little longer than usual to spot even the most familiar constellations. That’s because there are so many more stars visible across Orion’s shoulders or surrounding Gemini’s twins.

Rita Daniels / KUNM

First responders who work on the front lines are worried that their collective bargaining rights may be on the line because of a pending case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rita Daniels

Members of the board tasked with overseeing policy changes for the Albuquerque Police Department are concerned that public trust in the department is eroding.

Governor Announces College Internship Portal

Sep 9, 2015
Spamoni via Flickr / Creative Commons License

College students could have an easier time finding professional internships next year. Governor Susana Martinez announced a proposal Tuesday for an online internship portal hosted by the Department of Workforce Solutions.


  New Mexico To Get Federal Funds To Combat Drug Overdoses - The Associated Press 

New Mexico health officials say the state will get federal funding for the next four years to stop prescription drug overdoses.

The New Mexico Department of Health announced Friday that the state will be part of the new program that will issue an annual grant of $850,000.

New Mexico is one of 16 states that successfully competed for the grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nicole Macdonald via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 9/10 8a:

New Mexico is once again grappling with accusations of corruption in state government. Secretary of State Dianna Duran was elected in 2010 as a reform candidate who would straighten things up after scandal had plagued the office. But now she, too, is tarnished by charges she took money from her campaign coffers and spent it at casinos.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Secretary Of State Accused Of Embezzlement, Money Laundering - The Associated Press

New Mexico's Democratic attorney general has filed a complaint in state district court, accusing Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran of embezzlement, money laundering and other campaign-finance violations.

Attorney General Hector Balderas' office filed the 64-count complaint in Santa Fe late Friday afternoon.

Secretary Of State Accused Of Embezzlement, Money Laundering

Aug 28, 2015
Robert Smith via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico's Democratic attorney general has filed a complaint in state district court, accusing Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran of embezzlement, money laundering and other campaign-finance violations.

Attorney General Hector Balderas' office filed the 64-count complaint in Santa Fe late Friday afternoon.

According to the document, the attorney general's investigators say they uncovered behavior that included the transferring of large amounts of cash from Duran's personal and campaign accounts as well as cash expenditures at casinos throughout the state.

Cowgirl Jules via Flickr / Creative Commons License

UPDATED 8/28: The state Game Commission has voted unanimously to approve the expansion of cougar and bear hunting in New Mexico.

The vote came Thursday during a meeting in Santa Fe that was attended by dozens of wildlife advocates who voiced concerns about the proposal.

The new rules will allow for more black bear hunting in all but two of the state's game management districts as well as the doubling of cougar hunting limits. The trapping and snaring of cougars on private land and state trust land will also be allowed without special permits.

The Game and Fish Department says new population data warranted an update of the hunting limits.

Critics argued that the department's plan wasn't based on science and that more hunting will have negative long-term effects on animal populations.


The State Game Commission is considering several controversial new rules, including one that would allow hunters to kill 25 percent more bears in New Mexico. Wildlife conservation advocates are planning to protest at the commission meeting on Thursday in Santa Fe. At issue is how to interpret the state’s bear density study.  

chadmiller via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Governor Susana Martinez has ordered a review of background check policies in all New Mexico school districts after a man with pending criminal charges was hired into a top administrative post in Albuquerque. 

Wikimedia Commons

Lab Manager Settles Lobbying Claims With $4.8M PaymentThe Associated Press 

The managers of one of the nation's premiere federal laboratories in New Mexico have agreed to pay nearly $4.8 million to settle allegations of improperly using taxpayer funds to influence members of Congress and others to extend the lab's $2.4 billion management contract.

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. 


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.