itakdalee / iStock


The term "critical race theory" has made its way into public debates over education in the Mountain West, and how students should be taught about race and racism. But it's not clear that any K-12 schools in our region actually employ the decades-old academic framework. And as right-wing officials portray it as radical, those who study critical race theory say its meaning is being misconstrued.

Critical race theory is, in short, an approach to understanding structural racism in the United States.

Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press


District Attorney Raúl Torrez To Run For Attorney General - By Morgan Lee, Associated Press

The district attorney for New Mexico's largest metro area is seeking the Democratic nomination for state attorney general in the 2022 election, emphasizing his hands-on experience in Albuquerque as the city grapples with stubborn rates of violent crime.

Courtesy of New Mexicans To Prevent Gun Violence

As of Friday, May 14, there have been nearly 16,000 deaths due to guns so far this year in the United States, according to data from Gun Violence Archive. Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic, protests about racial equity, and the general election dominated our attention, but that doesn’t mean that other serious matters like gun violence disappeared. Data from the archive shows that nearly 20,000 Americans died by guns last year—the highest total number of deaths in at least the last two decades. The problem didn’t go away. Our attention did. In episode 29 we take a look at the problem of gun violence in America, where we stand and what can be done about it.

Pool photo by Luis Sanchez, Santa Fe New Mexican


New Mexico Relaxes Mask Rules For The Fully VaccinatedAssociated Press

New Mexico has adopted guidance on facemasks from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that says fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks indoors or outside in most cases, under a revised public health order issued on Friday.

Megan Kamerick / KUNM


Health Officials Say Half Of New Mexicans Now Fully VaccinatedAssociated Press

New Mexico is now administering the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 to children ages 12 to 15, as state health officials pushed Thursday for more people to get vaccinated.

David Jackmanson / flickr / CREATIVE COMMONS

As housing prices skyrocket, unemployment persists and wages are stagnant, housing security has become urgent. A federal judge last week struck down the CDC’s eviction moratorium.

Melanie Stansbury Campaign Website

The special election for the 1st Congressional District is fast approaching. KUNM continues interviewing the candidates for the seat, and today we speak with Melanie Stansbury. The Democratic candidate shares her views on systemic racism, water conservation, and homelessnes. 

KUNM: This past year with the pandemic we have seen our economy take hits, can you explain what creating more meaningful jobs look like, and how that could impact New Mexico's future? 

J.D. Sipe

Tuesday, 5/18, 9p Home of Happy Feet

This program explores the people, places and flavor of the blues music scene in Albuquerque, as told by leading Duke City blues musicians and former KUNM blues deejays. Often overlooked in the international blues world, Albuquerque has spawned a significant and uniquely New Mexican blues music community in recent decades.

MikeMozartJeepersMedia via Wikimedia / Creative Commons


Rare Plants To Be Reviewed Amid New Mexico Oil And Gas Fight - By Susan Montoya Bryan Associated Press

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will take a closer look at two rare plants found only in northwestern New Mexico to see if they warrant protection under the federal Endangered Species Act as environmentalists push to stop oil and gas development in the region.

Mark Moores Campaign Website


New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District is looking for its next Representative after Deb Haaland was chosen to serve as the Secretary of the Interior earlier this year. KUNM is interviewing all the candidates this week. We first sat down with Republican candidate Mark Moores to talk about crime and immigration policy.


KUNM: My first question is, what are the biggest challenges New Mexicans are facing now?


Creative Commons

Let's Talk New Mexico 5/13 8 am: Some of New Mexico’s immigrant workers are undocumented and often employed in low-paid but essential jobs, such as early childhood education. And, despite the myths to the contrary, they pay taxes! In 2017, undocumented workers paid almost $70 million in New Mexico state taxes and $12 billion to the U.S. in federal taxes, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Public Domain / Pixabay


Firm's Record Spurs Concerns About New Mexico Utility Merger - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

The track record of global energy giant Iberdrola's U.S. subsidiary Avangrid has sparked concerns among utility regulators and others as the company seeks approval for a multibillion-dollar merger with New Mexico's largest electric provider.

Courtesy of Dine College

President Biden has laid out his vision for the future of public education, which includes a nationwide community college tuition waiver for all Americans who want to take advantage.

That waiver would be especially impactful in states with the lowest levels of higher education attainment, including several in the Mountain West. In Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and New Mexico, fewer than 30% of adults over 25 have a bachelor's degree.

Desert Museum and HarmonyonPlanetEarth / Creative Commons


One of Ted Turner's ranches in southern New Mexico will be the new home for a pair of Mexican gray wolves and their pups as federal wildlife managers look at more options for boosting the genetic diversity of the endangered species.

Courtesy of Tony McAleer

  Humans are peculiar. We are capable thoughts, feelings, and expressions ranging from unconditional love to insidious hate. It begs the question: where do we learn those concepts? And then: How do we unlearn them? Here is a good one: How does someone who has been a member of a group that professes hatred of other humans leave that community and ideology behind? What are the steps? What’s the process like? Who are the people that can help them?

andreas160578 from Pixabay / Creative Commons


High Court Upholds No-Bail Release In Serial Burglary Case - By Morgan Lee, Associated Press

The state Supreme Court on Friday upheld a lower court decision allowing the no-bail pretrial release of an 18-year-old with no prior criminal history who is accused of a string of residential burglaries in Albuquerque. / Creative Commons


New Mexico Proposes More Rules To Curb Oil And Gas Emissions - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

Oilfield equipment that emits smog-causing pollution would be targeted by New Mexico environmental regulators under a proposed rule made public Thursday by the state Environment Department.

Little Shell Tribal Health


Many tribal leaders are used to stretching every dollar that comes their way. Last year, they were faced with a different problem: millions in badly needed aid money, and not enough time to spend it.

"The money came at us quick, and it was a flurry," said Karen Snyder, who coordinates pandemic response for the Eastern Shoshone Tribe in Wyoming. "We had to act fast in order to get it out the door."

KUNM News Team Wins Dozens of Awards

May 5, 2021

KUNM news staff took home dozens of awards this year for radio coverage ranging from podcasts to breaking news. The awards are especially notable after a year of immense challenges where reporters struggled to keep communities informed on COVID-19 and racist violence, while also staying safe and measuring their own pandemic challenges. This year of loss culminated in November with the death of Interim News Director Hannah Colton. Colton is among those awarded, taking home 8 awards this year between the Society for Professional Journalists and New Mexico Press Women.

Other winners include Nash Jones, Megan Kamerick, Ty Bannerman, Yasmin Khan, and Marisa Demarco and Khalil Ekulona for their work on No More Normal.

New Mexico Department of Health

Virus Restrictions Ease Across Much Of New MexicoAlbuquerque Journal, KUNM

A new statewide map released Wednesday from the New Mexico Department of Health shows that most of New Mexico is now at the turquoise level, the least restrictive under state guidelines.

Sarah Grice via Flicker CC 2.0


Let’s Talk New Mexico 5/6 8am: Home prices are rising everywhere, but especially in the West. Mortgage interest rates are low, people are free to work remotely, and relocation to places like New Mexico makes sense for those wanting to escape high costs of living in other areas. But lackluster home and apartment construction in our state over the last decade means that New Mexican cities have little inventory for renters or buyers, and would-be sellers often don’t list their homes because they can’t find a replacement. These pressures are filtering down to the rental market, encouraging rents to go up.

Beatnik Photos via Flickr / Creative Commons


New Mexico Urges Registration Of Younger Teens For VaccineAssociated Press

The New Mexico Department of Health is urging parents to register children ages 12 to 15 for eventual access to coronavirus vaccines when shots are approved for lower age groups.

Khlnmusa via Flickr / Creative Commons


Intel Says $3.5B Investment Is Critical To Microchip Future - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

Intel will be investing $3.5 billion in its New Mexico plant to manufacture what executives said Monday will fuel "a new era of innovation" and advanced computing as demands increase for the tiny microchips used in nearly all modern devices.

Megan Kamerick

Revised state guidelines on virus restrictions that took effect on April 30 mean restaurants in Bernalillo County can now have indoor dining at 50 percent capacity. These restrictions have fluctuated over the past year and that’s been challenging for restaurants as they laid off staff, reduced hours and adapted to more takeout service.

New Mexico Department of Health

New Mexico Shifts Metrics, Some Virus Restrictions Relaxed – Associated Press

Friday marked the start of New Mexico's updated color-coded framework for determining COVID-19 risks in each of the state's 33 counties, with state officials saying the changes are aimed at providing a more accurate picture of risk given increasing vaccination rates.

Santa Fe’s Summer Markets a Go

Apr 29, 2021
International Folk Art Market

Santa Fe’s Summer Markets are a Go!

Santa Fe’s three biggest cultural markets announced they will be held in person this summer, bringing a much-needed influx of tourist dollars and inspiring hope that things might just be getting back to normal. KUNM’s Zélie Pollon has more.

Famartin via Wikimedia / Creative Commons

Study Says Future Of New Mexico May Include Fewer People - By Morgan Lee, Associated Press

Flanked by booming economies and community growth, New Mexico is likely to watch its population count plateau in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic and then slowly decline with a pronounced drop in school- and working-aged residents and a drain on rural areas, authors of a report on demographic trends announced Thursday.

Facebook live screenshot

Governor Vaccine Progress Means New Mexico Can Open Soon - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday said she expects New Mexico to reopen completely by the end of June if the state reaches its goal of having at least 60% of residents fully vaccinated by then.

New Mexico Economic Development

The State's Economic Development Department announced a new position that focuses on connecting underserved communities and their business leaders to resources. Reporter Taylor Velazquez spoke with Shani Harvie about her new role as the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator and how she hopes to grow New Mexico's local businesses.

Canva / Creative Commons

Public schools in New Mexico started fully in-person classes this month for the first time in over a year. Some students chose to stay remote, others returned, and some of those who went back are already remote again due to COVID exposure. On this week’s Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’re hearing from students about how it’s going.