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KUNM News Update
Community members sing during a prayer vigil at Hills Church, Monday, May 15, 2023, in Farmington, N.M. Authorities said an 18-year-old man roamed through the community firing randomly at cars and houses Monday, killing three people and injuring six others including two police officers before he was killed. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)
Susan Montoya Bryan/AP
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has approved giving emergency funding to help Farmington residents still reeling from a mass shooting that killed three people.
Local News
  •  Bernalillo County, headquartered at Alvarado Square in Downtown Albuquerque, intends to become a Medicaid provider along with assisting more of the behavioral health providers it contracts with accept the insurance. County Manager Julie Morgas Baca says being able to bill Medicaid is an urgent and important step for the county to take, but that it first needs to hire more experts in the field to make it happen.
    Nash Jones
    KUNM News
    As Bernalillo County works to expand its behavioral health services, it’s looking into how to better tap Medicaid as a funding source. The county manager said her team isn’t there yet, but is committed to making it happen.
  •  Hidden canyons and high meadows distinguish the Gila Wilderness, land once inhabited by the Apache. In 1924, the Forest Service designated it as the world's first "wilderness area," where people could visit but must leave no permanent mark.
    Katie Orlinsky
    National Geographic Image Collection
    A hundred years ago this month, the forester Aldo Leopold proposed to the Forest Service that the federal government create the first ever wilderness area in the Gila National Forest, in New Mexico
  •  The seal of Bernalillo County on the outside of its headquarters at Alvarado Square in Downtown Albuquerque. A working group met with the County Commission there on Wednesday to deliver its recommendations on improving the county's behavioral health system after meeting weekly for over three months.
    Nash Jones
    A little over three months ago, a working group began meeting weekly to hash out where New Mexico’s largest county is faltering in its support of residents’ behavioral health and how it could improve. The Bernalillo County Behavioral Health Initiative Working Group recommended Wednesday that the county start by building an actual system of care.
  •  Horses near Taos
    Adam Reeder
    Flickr via Creative Commons 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/
    Some Northern New Mexico ranchers are feeling left out of the loop on federal legislation proposed by U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich that could cut down on grazing allotments on federal land in New Mexico. The Northern New Mexico Stockman’s Association is holding a meeting Saturday in Taos to discuss the bill and other pertinent issues to the agricultural community.
Let's Talk New Mexico
Aberdeen Proving Ground
On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico we’ll talk about residential solar power. We’ll go over government incentives to make solar power more affordable, whether solar installations are now affordable enough to make sense economically, and we’ll discuss the environmental impact solar power and the equipment to produce it can have. We’ll also talk about those folks knocking on doors trying to get homeowners to sign up.
Mountain West News Bureau Water Series
Drone-captured view of the Rio Grande near Fort Craig, New Mexico, on August 22, 2022. ©Mitch Tobin Usage rights are granted for editorial and nonprofit purposes only. No commercial or re-sale rights are granted without permission of the photographer. https://waterdesk.org/multimedia/license
Mitch Tobin
The Water Desk
For decades, many tribal communities have lacked clean, affordable drinking water. And that impacts everything from childhood health to economic development. This series from the Mountain West News Bureau explores those issues – and potential solutions – along the Rio Grande and beyond. It's supported by The Water Desk, an initiative from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Center for Environmental Journalism.
Mountain West News Bureau
  •  Firefighters gather for their morning meeting, or “briefing”, during a prescribed fire operation on the Payette National Forest last October.
    In less than four months, temporary pay raises given to federal wildland firefighters are set to end just as the season typically starts winding down. This week a group of Western senators, including one Republican, sent a letter to leaders of the Homeland Security Committee urging “swift consideration of legislation that authorizes a long-term solution to increase wildland firefighter recruitment and retention.” Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, a Democrat, said that “failure is not an option” when it comes to addressing the pay issue.
  • The Foote Creek Rim wind energy project in Wyoming
    One element of the BLM’s proposed Public Lands Rule would allow for so-called conservation leasing, which would enable public and private entities to carry out restoration work or compensatory mitigation to offset the impacts of projects. The Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, says that such leases could speed the development of clean energy on public lands, an important prospect given the Biden administration’s ambitious goal of permitting 25 gigawatts of such projects by 2025.