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Marisa Demarco / KUNM

There are headlines around the country about officers abusing their power, coercing, assaulting or trafficking sex workers. Not being able to trust police enough to report violent experiences is part of what makes people especially vulnerable to serial killers and rapists. Now, 10 years after a mass grave was discovered on the West Mesa, the Albuquerque Police Department is trying to rebuild trust and stop that from happening again. 

Beatnik Photos via Flickr / Creative Commons

Moratorium On New Charter Schools Passes First Hurdle - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

No new charter schools would be allowed to open in New Mexico until 2022 under a proposal that has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

Three detectives are still working a combined 40 hours each week to solve the murders of nine woman and two teen girls whose remains were discovered on Albuquerque’s West Mesa in 2009.

KUNM spoke with Lt. Scott Norris, who took over the violent crimes section of the Albuquerque Police Department about a month ago and is now overseeing the investigation.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

It’s no secret that sex workers often don’t trust law enforcement and don’t ask police for help after incidents of violence. Officers around the U.S. are themselves arrested for trafficking, raping and abusing people on the street. Here in New Mexico, those stories pop up, too. And people who do that kind of work here say there’s a feeling that it’s either not safe, or that police won’t respond well if they report they’ve been attacked or assaulted. That can mean serial offenders go unchecked.

Let's Talk Rural Libraries

Feb 20, 2019
ParentingPatch via Wikimedia / Creative Commons License


Let’s Talk New Mexico 2/21 8a: Rural libraries reach around 500,000 New Mexicans in rural towns and pueblos and provide a range of services including tutoring, healthcare, business incubation, and voter registration. Lawmakers are considering a bill this session that would create a $50 million endowment fund to support the state’s 50 rural libraries. What could this financial support mean not only for rural communities but for the state as a whole? Are you a supporter of your local rural library? What would library support mean to your community? Email LetsTalk@kunm.org, tweet using the #LetsTalkNM hashtag, or call in during the live show. 

Erik Hersman via Flickr / Creative Commons

More New Mexico Counties Adopt Resolutions Against Gun Bills – Associated Press

Two more rural counties in New Mexico have passed resolutions saying they will not require their sheriffs to enforce a series of gun-control proposals that have gone before state lawmakers.

Riverrat303 via Wikimedia / Creative Commons

Legislature Tells UNM No Soccer, No MoneyAssociated Press

The University of New Mexico would have to reinstate its intercollegiate sports teams for skiing, men's soccer and women's beach volleyball in the fall or do without $4.6 million in state funding under a proposed state budget.

Night Owl City via Flickr / Creative Commons

New Mexico To Sue Trump Over Emergency Wall DeclarationAssociated Press

New Mexico's attorney general and governor say the state will sue President Donald Trump over his emergency declaration to fund a wall at the U.S. border with Mexico.

Eric Kounce TexasRaiser / Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico Shuns Proposal To Raise Royalty Rates On OilAssociated Press

New Mexico state legislators have shunned a proposal to increase the maximum royalty rate for oil and natural gas production on state trust lands that generate money for public schools.

Navajo Tech

Tribal colleges are the only public higher education institutions in New Mexico where students cannot use the state lottery scholarship. A measure approved by the Senate Education Committee on Friday morning would change that.

http://www.lukegullickson.com/

In the 1950s, poet Weldon Kees documented a transformative car trip in his poem, "Travels in North America."  Sixty years later, another poet, Ray Gonzalez, summoned the aching ghost of Kees to join him in his own exploratory car trip, "Crossing New Mexico With Weldon Kees."  Now, the inspiration passes to local composer, and UNM graduate student, Luke Gullickson, who created a musical variation on that car trip in "Crossing New Mexico With Weldon Kees and Ray Gonzalez."  The trio for flute, violin and piano premieres on February 24 at Chatter Sunday in Albuquerque.

OpenThreads via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico's Top Prosecutor Ready For Fight Over Rio Grande - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says the state is in what he describes as a "historic fist fight" with Texas and the U.S. government over management of one of North America's longest rivers.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

2/20 11a:  Police say a 16-year-old boy accused of firing a gun at a New Mexico high school told officers 11 months prior voices were telling him to "shoot up the school."

Megan Kamerick

Experts Say Southwestern Us Sees Some Drought Relief - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

Drought conditions in much of the southwestern United States have improved due to surges of moisture over the last few months, but national forecasters and climate experts are warning that it hasn't been enough to alleviate concerns about long-term water supplies around the region.

May Ortega | KUNM

UPDATE 2/14 10:00a: New Mexico's House of Representatives passed HB83 - the Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order Act - Wednesday with a 39 - 30 vote. It now goes to the state Senate for consideration. 

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New Mexico has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. And more than half of those deaths involved a gun.

Some state lawmakers want to reduce suicides by confiscating guns from people who could pose a danger to themselves or others. The measure’s known as a red flag law, and it is scheduled to be heard on the house floor Wednesday night.

Paul Narvaez via Flickr / Creative Commons

New Mexico Reverses Course On Medicaid Charges For PatientsAssociated Press

New Mexico is reversing course on its plans to charge some patients covered by Medicaid a monthly insurance premium of $10 and co-payments of $8 on certain brand-name drugs and visits to the emergency room for routine medical care.

Cpl Rose A. Muth / U.S. Marine Corps/public domain

Eligible New Mexicans would be automatically registered to vote at Department of Motor Vehicles offices under a bill that lawmakers advanced Monday. 

PublicDomainPictures.net / Public Domain

New Mexico Lawmaker Urges Safety Over PoliticsAssociated Press

A Republican leader in the state House of Representatives says New Mexicans are making their voices heard through a petition that seeks to impeach the Democratic governor over her decision to withdraw National Guard troops from the border.

Luigi Novi via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons

Lujan Grisham Appoints 5 To University Of New Mexico RegentsAssociated Press

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is making appointments to fill five seats on the University of New Mexico Board of Regents.

ANNAfoxlover via Wikimedia Commons / public domain

Bill To Expand Firearms Background Checks Clears House– Associated Press

The House of Representative has approved a bill to expand background checks on firearms to nearly all private sales or exchanges.

The measure was approved Friday on a 41-25 vote with four Democrats joining Republicans in opposition after roughly three hours of debate.

Airman B. Snyder via The National Archives Catalogue / public domain

Holloman Air Force Base is the site of some incredibly high levels of groundwater contamination. Laura Paskus broke the story for NMPoliticalReport.com this week.

Kevin MacDonald of our media partner New Mexico PBS asked her his top questions in a Facebook Live chat on Wednesday. 

For a while in the 1960s, Argentine tango master Astor Piazzolla abandoned his usual concert halls and nightclubs to create something instead for the opera house.  Maria de Buenos Aires is a surreal vision in song and dance of the underside of Argentina's cosmopolitan capitol.  Opera Southwest presents Piazzolla's only opera, or operita as he called it, February 17-24 at Albuquerque's National Hispanic Cultural Center.  OSW's Artistic Director, conductor Anthony Barrese, joined us to talk about it.

Tim Brown Architecture via Flickr / CREATIVE COMMONS

US Delays Oil-And-Gas Lease Sale Near Sacred Tribal LandAssociated Press

U.S. land managers no longer plan to move forward in March with the sale of oil and gas leases that include land near Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico. They say they need to gather more information before they put the parcels up for bidding.

Let's Talk Ideas For Ending Homelessness

Feb 7, 2019
Thomas Quine via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Let's Talk New Mexico 2/14 8a: Many people across New Mexico experience homelessness or housing insecurity. We'll look at how local governments and other organizations are working to help those folks get back home. There are immediate needs for some people, but what about long-term solutions? What are the most effective ways to help people get housing? Have you experienced homelessness? What worked best for you? Email LetsTalk@kunm.org, tweet us using the #LetsTalkNM hashtag, or call in live during the show.

Riverrat303 via Wikimedia / Creative Commons

Facebook Marks Opening Of Sprawling New Mexico Data CenterAssociated Press

Facebook has marked the opening of its New Mexico data center, a sprawling complex where the social media giant says servers have begun storing some of the millions of videos and other media its users post daily.

govexec.com via Flickr / CREATIVE COMMONS


Students with disabilities who had to leave the state in order to attend high schools that met their needs are now eligible for the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill into law on Monday that changes the scholarship requirements.

FastilyClone via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License

New Mexico legislators on Wednesday debated eliminating the state’s sales tax on so-called feminine hygiene products, like tampons and pads. Countries around the world have reduced or eliminated these taxes, and at least 10 states in the U.S. have done away with them, too.

Wonderlane via Flickr

A bill that could expand access to dental services around the state made it through a legislative committee Wednesday. 

photo by Sgt. Jim Greenhill / U.S. Army

New Mexico Governor Pulls National Guard Troops From Border - Associated Press

The governor of New Mexico is withdrawing the majority of the state's National Guard troops from the U.S. border with Mexico in a move that challenges President Trump's description of a security crisis.

Ben White via Unsplash / Unsplash Attribution License

UPDATE 2/11: The Domestic Violence and Firearm Possession bill has made it past the state House floor and now heads to the Senate. 

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