About 75 people gathered last night in Albuquerque's southeast heights for a teach-in about the Kirtland Air Force Base jet fuel leak.
A panel of elected officials, scientists and environmental activists went over what is and what is not being done to clean up the plume of millions of gallons of contamination creeping towards the city's drinking water supply wells at a rate that has many people alarmed.
KUNM Call In Show Thu. 5/22 8a: New Mexico’s Department of Health has announced proposed rule changes to the state's medical marijuana program. The changes include increased fees for patients and for growers.
Last year, the state’s Human Resources Department said an audit had helped find “credible allegations of fraud” against 15 New Mexico health organizations offering services such as drug addiction treatment and suicide counseling. Though HSD kept the audit secret — from the public and the organizations themselves — the department asserted the audit's findings justified suspending Medicaid funding for the organizations.
Nataura Powdrell remembers one inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center who refused to take his meds. When the jail’s mental health staff tried to talk about it, he explained he didn’t want to become stable. Because then he’d be released from jail.
Then, he knew from experience, he would run through the 30-day supply of medication that the jail provides to exiting inmates. He would have a psychotic break. And he’d go find heroin so he could get comfortable with the voices in his head.
The Department of Justice held the first of three meetings Monday aiming to gather community input on Albuquerque’s police force.
People who showed up at the Westside’s Alamosa Community Center to give input last night were put off by the format of the meeting. It was not a public forum. Instead, commenters were given a number and then taken into a room where they spoke to DOJ employees as part of five-person focus groups.
The hole. That’s what they call it on television. It’s the mind-shattering pit fictional prisoners will do anything to avoid.
In real life, human rights advocates say New Mexico needs to cut back on using solitary confinement as a punishment method—especially for people coping with mental illnesses. Prison officials agree that it should be used less often, though most take issue with the way it’s portrayed in prison dramas.
UPDATE 4/23 1:45 p: Two days after Albuquerque police shot and killed a 19-year-old female who was suspected of truck theft, the chief of the troubled department says he has little information about the latest shooting.
Bernalillo County jail Chief Ramon Rustin’s resignation took effect Monday. After three years as the head of the largest jail in New Mexico, Rustin stepped down saying he needed to meet family obligations.
KUNM spoke with Rustin in February about mental health care at the Metropolitan Detention Center.
Jail staff says MDC is the largest mental health provider in the state. Chief Rustin agreed. In fact, Rustin put that as No. 2 on the list of problems at the Bernalillo County lockup. So what's No. 1? Overcrowding, he said.
Editor's Note: This story has been taken down as it contained text from a Farmington Daily Times article on the same topic without proper attribution. We strive for proper attribution in our reporting and will post the KUNM News Reporting Guide when it is completed which will include details on our newsroom ethics and practices. Questions? Please contact News Director Elaine Baumgartel - firstname.lastname@example.org
The New Mexico Health Exchange reports that a total of 51,400 people have signed up for insurance coverage, either under the Affordable Care Act or directly through health insurance companies as of March 31.
The numbers seem large because unlike past reports, this one includes insurance exchange (or marketplace) shoppers and individuals and groups purchasing plans that are separate from the ACA.
Sun. 4/6 7p: Generation Justice will host a community panel featuring journalist David Correia and Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, discussing the historical analysis of militarization of police departments and the decline of mental health resources and how this correlates to where we are at today. We are also joined by local community organizers, Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center Coordinator Sue Schuurman, representative from A.N.S.W.E.R Gloria Rebar, and Kenneth Guy Ellis II, father of the late Kenneth Guy Ellis III, who will talk about the current situation and plans of action.
Independent Review Officer Robin Hammer criticizes the city's Police Oversight Commission for failing to examine APD's overall policy on the use of force.
"The current commissioners have chosen not to use some of the powers they’ve already been given," she said in an interview with KUNM. "At no point in my 18 months has the Police Oversight Commission chosen to look at officer-involved shootings and to review what’s gone on."
Contrary to initial reports from the Albuquerque Police Department, no Crisis Intervention Team officers trained to de-escalate situations involving people with behavioral health issues were called to the scene of a Sandia foothills standoff that ended in the death of a camper last month at the hands of police.
Midnight Monday is the deadline to sign up for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act. Over the weekend in New Mexico people lined up to get covered, either through the insurance marketplace or Medicaid.
From those in their 60s to young people under 26 covered under their parents’ plan, hundreds stood in the bright spring sunshine sign up under Medicaid, or with one of four insurance plans.
One of the five Arizona companies that took over operations from New Mexico behavioral health providers last year is announcing salary reductions. The company says it had to cut pay because it was losing money.
Agave is a non-profit corporation formed in New Mexico by Southwest Behavioral Health of Arizona. Rather than imposing layoffs, CEO and President Jeff Jorde said the firm needs to cut salaries for its 350 employees by five percent, beginning next week.
In the wake of two shooting deaths by the Albuquerque Police Department in two weeks, more families of people living with behavioral health issues are calling for reform of the department’s practices. But despite recommendations years ago to train all staff on how to deal with people living with mental illness, just a fraction of the workforce has the special training.
UPDATE: March 26, 2014—Hundreds marched Downtown last night to protest the Albuquerque Police Department's killing of a foothills camper on March 16. As the demonstration wound down, APD opened fire on a man on the Westside, who police say, fired shots at them first. The suspect died at the hospital.
The National Cancer Institute will come to New Mexico this spring to investigate how much radiation people were exposed to after the Trinity test in the southern part of the state nearly 70 years ago.
The CDC studied health hazards in the New Mexico and said state residents consumed radiation via water, milk, meat and produce grown here after July 16, 1945, when the U.S. Army detonated a nuclear weapon for the first time.
The director of an organization that evaluated the WIPP site for over 25 years said officials aren’t doing enough to inform New Mexicans.
Dr. Bob Neill led the Environmental Evaluation Group, which provided independent technical evaluations of the WIPP project for more than two decades. He retired a year after the plant opened in 1999, and the group disbanded in 2004.
New Mexico’s Human Services Department says more consumers, not fewer, are receiving services since the takeover last summer of a dozen behavioral health providers accused of fraud. HSD’s response is contrary to the results of a progress report by a federal oversight agency.
KUNM Call-In Show Thu. 3/20 8a: The US has been adding fluoride to water supplies for almost 70 years, and no conclusive evidence links its use to poor public health. But in many communities, including Santa Fe and Albuquerque, the topic is highly controversial. This week on the KUNM Call-In Show, we'll talk with advocates on both sides of the issue in advance of an April 9 town hall in Albuquerque.
Excessive drinking is among the leading causes of preventable deaths in the U.S., according to a report just released by the CDC.
Of the 11 states studied, New Mexico had the highest death rate due to alcohol use. For every 100,000 residents, there are about 51 deaths related to excessive drinking, which is almost double the median rate.
The report also tallied up all the years of potential life lost. In New Mexico, that’s a little more than 30 thousand years annually.
The U.S. Senate unanimously approved changes to the way sexual assault cases are handled by the military on Monday night—but stopped short of removing the chain of command from the process. Last week a measure that would have done just that failed by five votes.