KUNM

Hannah Colton

Public Health Reporter

Hannah Colton is a journalist and radio producer based in Albuquerque. Before joining KUNM's Public Health New Mexico team, she juggled microphones around the state as a freelance reporter and host for KSFR in Santa Fe, National Native News, and KUNM, among others. A devoted podcast listener and curious human, Hannah started her public radio career in Bristol Bay, Alaska, where she enjoyed covering remote rural communities and the world's largest wild salmon fishery.

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.

New Mexico’s Indian Education Act just got an update. A bill signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday spells out how school districts must study the needs of their Native American students and come up with systematic ways to address them.

The new measure requires school districts with Native American students to develop frameworks and budget priorities to help those students succeed.

Adam Herrada / U.S. Navy

Let’s Talk New Mexico 2/7 8a:  Early childhood is a crucial time for learning and development. It’s on the minds of many lawmakers this session, and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has declared universal pre-K one of her top priorities. But where will funding for those programs come from? And how can the state better coordinate the various services to ensure kids don’t miss out? We’d like to hear from you! Email LetsTalk@kunm.org, tweet us using the #LetsTalkNM hashtag, or call in live during the show.  

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Albuquerque school district residents are voting on property tax increases that would raise about a billion dollars for projects over the next six years. The special mail-in ballots must be received in the Bernalillo County Clerks’ office by Tuesday, February 5th.

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Albuquerque Public Schools is grappling with how to respond to critics who say the district disrespects and ignores Native American culture and history.

A public meeting APS held last week underscored a disconnect between what the district is promising and the systemic changes that many people want to see.

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Albuquerque Public Schools held an open meeting Thursday night in response to the October incident in which students say a Cibola High School teacher used a racial slur and cut the hair of a Native American student. Parents, students and advocates told school officials that the district’s response has been too little and too late. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Let’s Talk New Mexico 1/24 8a: Fixing inequalities in New Mexico’s public school system is a top priority for lawmakers this year. This Thursday morning we’ll explore how to do this huge, complicated task and balance the needs of so many diverse students.  Are you an educator, an administrator, a student, a parent? Do you have your own ideas on how to create equity in public schools? We'd like to hear from you! Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org or call in live during the show.

Office of the New Mexico Governor

This is the year for an overhaul of New Mexico’s public education system. That was at the heart of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s message to lawmakers during her State of the State remarks.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Public education is the top issue as state lawmakers begin their 60-day session on Tuesday, and there’s oil and gas money to spend.

Rawpixel VIA Unsplash / Unsplash License

Among the federal agencies left unfunded by the partial government shutdown is the Indian Health Service, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Aaron Cantú, a staff reporter for the Santa Fe Reporter, has been trying to understand how that’s affecting Native American health care in northern New Mexico. 

APS

Albuquerque Public Schools is asking voters to increase taxes to pay for capital projects, and due to recent changes in election law, that ask is coming in the mail. Tuesday Jan. 8, 2019,  is the last day to register to vote in the special mail-in election. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

This week, nine people were appointed to a committee to represent survivors of priest sexual abuse in negotiations with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. It’s an early step in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization process that’s meant to settle many sexual abuse claims at once. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s bankruptcy process is underway, and a window is closing for survivors of priest sexual abuse to ask to be on a committee that will represent all survivors in negotiating a settlement with the church. A federal official is expected to select the committee members sometime early the week of Dec. 17.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province on Friday released the names of 42 Jesuits they say have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. One of the men identified has ties to a parish in Albuquerque’s Old Town.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Albuquerque Public Schools is giving substitute teachers pay raises in an effort to recruit hundreds more of them.

APS posted a notice Tuesday that substitute teachers will get pay increases of 24-30 percent come January 1. The new salary schedule is as follows. 

The district currently has about 1000 substitute teachers, and wants to hire 500 more. They also want a couple hundred more substitute educational assistants, who will get a 15 percent raise.

Creative Commons

Open enrollment on the New Mexico health insurance exchange ends Dec. 15, and changes to the Affordable Care Act at the federal level have brought mixed results to New Mexico consumers for 2019.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

UPDATE 12/4: A teacher accused of targeting Native American students in an incident on Halloween resigned from her job with Albuquerque Public Schools, effective Friday, November 30.

Former Cibola High School teacher Mary Eastin confirmed on Tuesday that she chose to end her employment at the district.

Courtesy of ABQ DSA

Albuquerque police increased traffic stops by 34 percent this year compared to last year, according to data from the city. One local political group is concerned about that kind of contact with law enforcement, especially for people of color. That’s why they're offering free brake-light repairs this weekend in the International District, a low-income and racially diverse area of Albuquerque known for drawing a lot of police activity.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The Rio Rancho school board voted 4-1 Monday evening to put guns in the hands of school security guards. The measure is aimed at keeping students safe in the wake of school shootings here and across the nation.

Rodolfo Clix / Pexels.com

Let's Talk New Mexico 11/15 8a: Call now (505) 277-5866. Survivors of clergy sexual abuse continue to come forward in New Mexico, and many people are calling for the Catholic Church to come clean about what they knew and when. On the show, we'll explore what accountability could look like for crimes that happened years or decades ago. What are the effects of Church secrecy around clergy abuse? And how can communities heal from these kinds of trauma? 

We’d like to hear from you. Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org or call in live during the show at (505) 277-5866, Thursday morning at 8 here on 89.9 KUNM.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

In response to deadly school shootings across the nation, the Rio Rancho Public School Board is considering arming school security guards. A vote is expected Monday evening on a proposal to allow guards to carry firearms – with plans to eventually hire enough to station at all 20 schools in the district.

Marisa Demarco/KUNM

Election night saw gains for New Mexico Democrats. Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham won the governorship by a healthy margin, outpacing opponent Steve Pearce by almost 14 percentage points. Despite deep ideological divisions between the major political parties, Lujan Grisham talked unity.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Getting behavioral health care in New Mexico has never been easy. The system that cares for people with things like mental illness, addiction, and developmental disabilities is still recovering from a shakeup a few years ago, and our new governor will have to continue picking up the pieces.

KUNM visited several service providers to hear what the next administration can do to ensure people get the help they need.

video still courtesy of Reuben Ortiz

For three decades, a former priest church officials say admitted to sexually abusing dozens of boys lived freely in New Mexico. A Catholic diocese in Iowa had sent Jerome P. Coyle to a church-run treatment center in New Mexico in 1986. Then he stayed, potentially putting children at risk even as the church remained silent about a history they now say he disclosed in Iowa.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

New Mexico’s next governor will inherit the task of turning around a struggling public education system. This year a judge ruled the state has violated the constitutional rights of at-risk students, including those with disabilities, and must make changes to give everyone an adequate education.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Lots of people don’t vote because they don’t see candidates they identify with or they don’t think their vote counts for much. KUNM spoke with a student who's got a lot on his mind, including felony charges and an upcoming trial date. Even so, he says he’s getting informed and getting to the polls for the first time this election.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Nearly a quarter of New Mexican voters this year are not registered as Democrats or Republicans. 

That includes Kevin Elfering and Marla Hanno, who have lived in Rio Rancho for ten years, much of their retirement since they moved from Minnesota. They don’t identify with either major party, and say each election season they spend considerable time watching debates and reading up on candidates before casting their ballots. 

AllenS / Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico’s three Roman Catholic dioceses have begun the process of turning over thousands of records related to priest sex abuse and cover-up.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

A prominent New Mexico lawmaker threatened to shut the public out of a legislative committee meeting concerning a landmark education lawsuit after journalists brought recording equipment.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The FBI says a former Catholic priest who fled the country in 1992 after being accused of child sexual abuse has been extradited from Morocco to face criminal charges in New Mexico.

Arthur Perrault appeared in federal court in Albuquerque Friday afternoon and pleaded not guilty to seven counts of abuse. 

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