Elaine Baumgartel

News Director

Elaine volunteered to answer phones during a KUNM pledge drive in 2003 and she's been unable to drag herself away from public radio ever since.  And why would she want to?  She wore many sets of headphones at the station before becoming KUNM's News Director - local anchor of NPR's Morning Edition, reporter in the KUNM newsroom, and host and producer of the KUNM Call In Show.  

As a graduate student in the Communication and Journalism MA program at UNM, Elaine completed her thesis project on the West Mesa murders and coverage of violence against women in the media.

In her spare time, Elaine likes to garden and work with ceramics in addition to spending time with her family.  

Ways to Connect

Albuquerque, NM – The Albuquerque Journal reports APS officials failed to include $20 million of employee salaries and benefits in the district's budget over the past two years.

State funding for APS was also reduced and Superintendent Winston Brooks announced last week the district will have to cut $43 million to fill these gaps. That could mean layoffs for over 700 teachers, educational assistants and administrators.

Brooks says the process that led to the miscalculation has been fixed.

Albuquerque, NM – Several University of New Mexico student organizations met today to protest budget cuts that would eliminate three community service groups and withhold funding for a new Queer Resource Center. UNM Administrators last week denied a recommendation by student leaders for a 10 dollar-a-year student fee increase to fund the groups and the center.

Albuquerque, NM – The Albuquerque Journal reports the investigation will determine if tribal, forest service, and national monument lands should receive damages from LANL to clean up the contamination.

New Mexico Environment Secretary Ron Curry says LANL must be held accountable for its activities in the state. He says the public will have an opportunity to comment.

According to the report, existing air, soil, surface water and groundwater contamination will be analyzed to see if levels justify damages under federal law.

Albuquerque, NM – New Mexico U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman says he is confident this reconciliation bill will pass, even if some Senators opposed to the health care legislation offer amendments.

BINGAMAN: "Those who are offering amendments will be doing so with full knowledge that their amendments are unlikely to prevail they may wish to make some kind of a statement... or cause their colleagues to cast an uncomfortable vote."

Tesuque, NM – At the Democratic state convention this weekend, former state Democratic party chairman Brian Colon won the top spot on the primary ballot for Lt. Governor. With over 34% of convention votes, Colon established a significant lead over Lawrence Rael, former director of the Mid-Region Council of Governments, who trailed with 22%.

Santa Fe, NM – The Santa Fe City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to delay a proposed telecommunications ordinance. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Councilor Patti Bushee said the ordinance has been significantly changed and should be considered in a new public hearing.

Some opponents of the ordinance are concerned about possible health impacts from increased wireless technology and say the ordinance does not provide enough regulation of the telecommunications industry.

Albuquerque, NM – The suspect in the murders of a University of New Mexico English professor and a Bernalillo High School teacher had a history of stalking his ex-girlfriends according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Police say Ralph Montoya shot Hector Torres and Stefania Grey, who was his ex-girlfriend, on Sunday. Grey had filed for a restraining order against Montoya after an incident in January when Montoya allegedly attacked her at Torres' house.

Albuquerque, NM – Communities across the country and New Mexico are celebrating the history, culture, and contributions of African Americans during the month of February, Black history month.

KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel recently spoke with Professor Sonia Gipson-Rankin, Associate Director of the Africana Studies Program at the University of New Mexico about the meaning and purpose of Black History Month. She says it's about more than just a segment that is taught in schools.


Albuquerque, NM – In the final installment of our three-part series, KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel speaks with new Mexicans about tax increase proposals making their way through the state legislature.


Albuquerque, NM – In the second part of our series, KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel speaks to New Mexicans about a proposal to reinstate the food tax.


Albuquerque, NM – In the first of a three-part series, KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel speaks with New Mexicans about proposals to increase taxes in order to fill the state budget deficit.


Health Care Bill Close to Passing in the Senate

Albuquerque, NM – Elaine Baumgartel spoke with New Mexico U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman about the mood on Capitol Hill and some of the details of the bill. Bingaman says passage in the Senate is pretty much a done deal...


Santa Fe Film Festival

Elaine Baumgartel

Santa Fe, NM – The 10th Annual Santa Fe Film Festival is underway this week in Santa Fe.

Operations Director Karen RedHawk Dallett says the economic downturn created unexpected challenges for the festival. She says organizers had to be particularly creative with limited resources.

Courtesy of Creative Commons by Matthew Wynn

Every Friday we hear from writers at the New Mexico Business weekly. This week KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel spoke with reporter Dennis Domrzalski about the week's business news.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Each week we hear from writers at the online New Mexico Independent about this week's headlines. KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel spoke with senior writer Trip Jennings about aid for states in the House health care bill and the possibility of a deposition for Governor Richardson about a bond default at the state housing authority.

via technorati.com

Latinas from across the country met today in Albuquerque at a town hall meeting to discuss the health care issues that affect them.

Several small business owners from New Mexico are in Washington D.C. today along with over one hundred more from around the country. They've made the trip to show their support for health care overhaul legislation now under consideration in Congress.

Courtesy of Creative Commons by Yoshi

When state lawmakers convene for a special session tomorrow in Santa Fe, they'll face the daunting task of dealing with a $650 million budget deficit. Many advocates are saying tax cuts for the wealthy should be repealed.

KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel wanted to find out how much the 2003 tax cuts actually cost the state and exactly which taxpayers have benefited the most.

The state miscalculated high school graduation rates that were released last month.