A former UNM student who said she was assaulted by two Lobo football players and a CNM student last year filed a lawsuit in District Court against the university Thursday. The lawsuit alleges Title IX investigators at UNM protected the athletes by conducting a shoddy investigation.
Businesses, military bases and city utilities have dozens of permits to release pollution into the Rio Grande watershed. Albuquerque’s wastewater treatment plant is one of the biggest sources of discharges into the river.
The plant has had trouble with regulators and neighboring communities in the past, but they’re making some headway.
On a recent sunny day in Albuquerque’s South Valley, water utility workers bent over a grate taking readings of the city’s treated wastewater as it rushes from the Southside Water Reclamation Plant into the Rio Grande.
Editor's Note: After we published this story, a spokesperson for Kirtland Air Force Base wrote with a series of objections to the story. Kirtland did not allege any factual inaccuracy in our story but we did make a change to reflect that Kirtland's lead discharges into the Rio Grande watershed are not in violation of environmental laws. You can read all of their objections and our responses here.
The Bernalillo County Commission voted last night to postpone a tax hike for a special session that will likely happen next week. The one-quarter of 1 percent tax increase on goods and services would be divided up as follows: Half of it would go to mental health and substance abuse treatment services, and half of it would go to the county’s operational budget.
Bernalillo Commissioners will vote Tuesday night on whether to increase taxes and increase mental health care in the county.
The gross receipts tax increase of one-eighth of a percent would generate $15 to $20 million. At the top of a mental health care wish list? A crisis center where people could go to be stabilized and plugged into services, instead of being arrested and sent to jail.
You’ve heard of James Boyd, the homeless man who was killed by Albuquerque police last year. But you might not have heard of Len Fuentes. He, too, was mentally ill when he brandished a knife and was shot and killed by APD.
Fuentes’ mom said she had found mental health care for her son, but it was three days too late.
The Bernalillo County jail’s chief resigned more than nine months ago. Phillip Greer filled the position last month at the Metropolitan Detention Center, the 39th biggest jail in the country. Greer hails from Minnesota, where he was the executive director of corrections for three counties, and he has a background in assuring jails comply with national standards.
It’s his first month as attorney general and on Thursday, Jan. 29, Hector Balderas released the more than 300-page PCG audit that caused 15 behavioral health service providers to have their funding suspended.
Since 2013, behavioral health providers in New Mexico have waited to see the details of accusations of Medicaid fraud leveled against them.
Two local nonprofits are leading a survey of the Albuquerque’s homeless population this week. Teams of volunteers are canvassing the streets in the pre-dawn hours to count homeless residents and interview them.
There were almost 1,200 homeless Albuquerque residents last time the count took place, and organizers are hoping there are even fewer people to count this year.
District Court Judge Nan Nash ruled a year ago that physicians in New Mexico should be able to prescribe life-ending medications to terminally ill patients. This practice is called “aid in dying,” and the distinction is patients administer the medication themselves.
Lawmakers are set to consider a proposal that would give homeless people protection under the state hate crimes act. Under the proposal anyone convicted of violent crimes against a homeless person—for example someone who lacks a regular place to sleep or is living in a homeless shelter—would be subject to a longer jail sentence.
Five New Mexicans have died so far this year from flu related illnesses, ranging in age from 29 to 92. The announcement from the state Department of Health comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning of epidemic levels of flu activity nationally.
New Mexico residents have until midnight to sign up for health insurance in order to be covered by Jan. 1. The final deadline for the open enrollment period is Feb. 15. The Obama administration is urging everyone to go online and check the available coverage options, even those who signed up last year.
The US Department of Justice announced today Friday that it is opening an investigation into the University of New Mexico’s policies on dealing with sexual assaults on campus. It’s the latest in a number of DOJ investigations into university sexual assault policies nationwide.
The Justice Department review is a first for the university, and administrators say they still don’t know the details of the student accusations or the planned investigation.
Monday was World AIDS Day and Planned Parenthood offered free and confidential HIV screenings at the Santa Fe Health Center.
In case you missed it, it’s important to know that free testing doesn’t only take place on World AIDS Day. There are organizations all across New Mexico that give tests throughout the year. Planned Parenthood gave over a thousand HIV tests here over the past year.
New Mexico health officials are reporting the first confirmed case of measles in the state since 2012. The one-year-old victim was released from the hospital yesterday, but health officials are taking the opportunity to remind residents to get vaccinated.
Residents of the Navajo Nation will now be paying more for junk food. Last week Navajo President Ben Shelly signed the Healthy Dine' Nation Act into law, adding a tax on unhealthy food sold anywhere on Navajo land. Deswood Tome is Special Advisor to President Shelly. He spoke to KUNM about the law's implications.
"The law imposes a tax on junk food as a deterrent, so when people go to the store they'll make a conscious decision to buy nutritious food," Tome said.
The organization managing health insurance signups in New Mexico is reporting positive numbers one week into the Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment period.
"We are seeing some response," said Linda Wedeen of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange. "Our goal this year that's going to be different from last year is we're working very hard to let people know we're there to assist them through this process. We know it can be complicated."
When we get sick, most of us make an appointment with a doctor trained in Western medicine. But in New Mexico, for some ailments people might head to their local curandero, a practitioner of regional, traditional healing. And in parts of Mexico and South America, curanderismo is sometimes the only option for medical care.
The Department of Justice is requiring APD to figure out how to respond to people in mental health crisis with the goal of decreasing the use of force in those situations. The agreement between the DOJ and Albuquerque’s police force also calls for APD to provide crisis intervention training to all officers.