A dry winter, strong winds, and above average temperatures have caused the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declared much of the state to be in a drought emergency. Jeff Witte with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture says that farmers with the ability to pump groundwater will be able to plant some crops this year. However, Witte says he's optimistic that farmers and ranchers in New Mexico will be able to continue providing viable crops to the state
A report released Wednesday from the Center for American Progress, ranks New Mexico the 10th worst state in the nation for gun deaths.
The report, called "America Under The Gun," puts New Mexico's gun-death rate, 40% higher than the national average, and looked at 10 key indicators like homicide, firearm violence against women, as well violence against law enforcement officials.
This week, the Albuquerque Environmental Health Department convened a Bed Bug Conference to educate the public on bed bug basics: how to identify an infestation, how to treat it, and most importantly, how to prevent an infestation in the first place. KUNM's Poverty and Public Health reporter Tristan Ahtone went with Rita Daniels to learn about the bugs, and spread the message.
Nambe Pueblo and Taos County Economic Development Corporation are two of ten organizations nationally that have received funding for Native food-systems projects. The projects could bolster economic development while combating food insecurity, health and nutrition disparities in tribal communities.
The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority says it's in the final phases of unveiling high-speed broadband and wireless services for the majority of the Navajo Nation. The project would bring telecommunications services to the nations largest reservation straddling Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.
A few companies have offered broadband accessibility to parts of the Navajo Nation in the past, however, historically, the Nation has dealt with little to no telecommunications access.
According to the 2012 Childhood Obesity Update, nearly 15% of kindergarten students and 22% of third graders are obese.
It's the third year data has been collected, and New Mexico's numbers appear to be leveling off, which is consistent with national trends. However, access to healthy food and adopting healthy behaviors, remain a significant problem for the state, especially in rural and frontier areas.
A lack of funding for the Federal Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) has caused New Mexico and other states to suspend enrollment in the plan for the rest of Fiscal Year 2013. Nationally, the PCIP program was budgeted at about 5-billion dollars for 2013, but has now run over budget resulting in the suspension of new applicants.
Approximately 2,000 New Mexicans are currently enrolled in PCIP, which serves people with pre-existing conditions that prevent them from obtaining health insurance through standard outlets.
Mental Health professionals at UNM hospital have introduced a new mental illness program. The Early Assessment and Resource Linkage for Youth, or EARLY is focused on early intervention. It's part of a national, ongoing study looking to curb psychosis, which they say is a threat to young adults and their communities.