Hannah Colton

Hannah served as news director at KUNM and reported on education, Albuquerque politics, and anything public health-related. She died in November 2020.

She started at KUNM as a substitute news host in 2016, and worked as a freelance reporter and host for KSFR Santa Fe Public Radio and National Native News before joining KUNM full time in  2018. She's got her start in radio at KDLG (another 89.9 FM) in Bristol Bay, Alaska. 

Find out more about Hannah's life here.

HANNAH COLTON / KUNM

Voters in Albuquerque will choose three new school board members on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Those officials will shape the district’s budget and policies, and they’ll hire a new superintendent—all at a time when a landmark education ruling points to huge disparities in the quality of public schooling kids get across the state. KUNM’s Marisa Demarco spoke with education reporter Hannah Colton about what’s at stake with the school board race.

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The Albuquerque school board election this fall has six candidates vying for three seats. Candidates have raised tens of thousands of dollars, with the bulk of those campaign contributions coming from businesses and labor unions. 

KUNM

The Albuquerque Public School board members control a massive budget and policies affecting more than 80,000 students. Three seats are up for election this fall, and KUNM invited candidates on to a live radio show on Oct. 24 to ask what they hope to do about longstanding disparities related to race, language access, class and disability. 

courtesy of Kimberlee Hanson / GBCS

Gordon Bernell Charter School fills a gap in New Mexico’s education system, helping adults in jail or who have previously been incarcerated to build the skills they need to finish high school. The school’s future is uncertain after the state Legislature this year banned schools from claiming Public Education Department funding for students over age 21. Leaders at the school went before lawmakers this week to ask for a stable funding source.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let’s Talk NM 10/24 8a: Members of the Albuquerque Public Schools board control a massive budget and policies affecting more than 80,000 students. Plus, they’ll hire the next superintendent. On Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll have the APS board candidates in studio, and we want your questions for them. What inequities do you see in Albuquerque schools? What should district leadership do about disparities related to race, language access, class and ability?

Hannah Colton / KUNM

University of New Mexico faculty voted to unionize this week, which means labor relations in the future will be negotiated through two separate collective bargaining units. The win for the United Academics of UNM (UA-UNM) comes after years of organizing by faculty who say they want fair compensation and better working conditions.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Early voting starts Oct. 19 for local elections, including the Albuquerque Public Schools board. Its members are usually retired, as it’s an unpaid position with the time commitment of a part-time job. Those constraints led one board candidate to drop out of the race this fall.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Hundreds of University of New Mexico faculty are expected to vote on Wednesday, Oct. 16, and Thursday, Oct. 17, on whether to form a union. It’s the culmination of years of organizing by faculty, who say collective bargaining is the way to get fair compensation, and better working and learning conditions across the institution. But opponents argue that putting different kinds of faculty together in a union doesn’t make sense for UNM.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women nationwide. On Tuesday, the City of Albuquerque announced the creation of a new task force that will bring together advocates and representatives from the city, Bernalillo County and the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department to recommend how the city could spend money, make policy and coordinate between agencies to prevent domestic violence.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

New Mexico has failed to provide schooling that’s culturally appropriate and sufficient for many students of color – that’s according to a landmark education ruling last year. Now, school board elections are approaching for the state’s largest district. Anti-racist community organizers invited Albuquerque Public Schools board candidates to a public forum last week and questioned them on their understanding of systemic racism in schools and what they hope to do about it.

UNM CCD, NM PED

About one in 60 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) nationwide, and that rate is rising. The New Mexico Public Education Department announced Wednesday a new online autism portal where families and educators can go to find resources and support.

Hans Kretzmann / Pixabay / Creative Commons

New Mexico’s behavioral health system still hasn’t recovered from 2013, when many service providers were forced to close under former Gov. Susana Martinez’ administration. Now, the Children Youth and Families Department has been awarded $12 million dollars in grant funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to bolster services for young people in three rural counties.

Sakeeb Sabakka / creative commons

Let's Talk NM 10/3, 8a: New Mexico could become the 2nd state in the country to make college tuition-free at four-year and two-year public institutions for eligible students. Last week, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced a proposal to pay any tuition and fees not covered by the Lottery Scholarship or other grants, regardless of family income. If you're crunching numbers for college, how would this change things? Are expenses like room, board and transportation barriers to higher education for you? Does the governor's proposal do enough to help the students who need financial aid the most? We want to hear from you! Email letstalk@kunm.org, tweet at us with the hashtag #LetsTalkNM. This show was taped on September 26, so we won't be taking live calls. 

cabriolet2008 / Flickr

Just half of New Mexico high school seniors last year filled out a form to get federal assistance in paying for college, according to state officals. Now, the state's Public Education Department is launching efforts to boost that number as part of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s plan to make college free for New Mexicans at public institutions. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

A sea of red hats and red shirts surrounded the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho last night as Trump supporters gathered to chant and shout their patriotism. When he came three years ago, headlines highlighted the violent reaction to his visit to Albuquerque, though hundreds had protested peacefully for hours before that went down. This time, his campaign painted New Mexico as a winnable swing state, saying he had growing support among Hispanic voters. 

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People with intellectual and developmental disabilities often get individualized support in order to hold a job. Many work for regular pay, but a nearly century-old federal labor law allows some employers to pay these workers less than minimum wage.

Lawmakers called a task force to study this issue earlier this year. The Legislative Health and Human Services' Disabilities Concerns Subcommittee heard arguments Wednesday for and against the controversial practice.

LEAD Santa Fe

Let's Talk NM 9/5, 8a: Communities across New Mexico are trying a new approach to substance use disorder: having law enforcement work with service providers to get people into treatment instead of sending them to jail. We wrap up our summer series on recovery with a discussion of Law Enforcement-Assisted Diversion and similar programs. We want to hear from you! If you've quit using drugs or alcohol, how did interactions with the criminal justice system help or hurt your recovery process? How do these diversion programs make a difference for people who want to quit using? Do they go far enough in treating addiction as a public health issue rather than a criminal issue? Email questions or comments to LetsTalk@kunm.org, or call in live during the show at (505) 277-5866.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Forty-five people turned in paperwork Tuesday to run for office in a slew of local elections in Bernalillo County. Local government, education, and soil and water conservancy seats will all be on county ballots this November.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Lawmakers and state education officials met with representatives of northern New Mexico school districts for several days last week. The interim meeting of the Legislative Education Study Committee was held in Dulce, near Chama, up by the New Mexico-Colorado state line.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

It’s decision time for people hoping to get elected to leadership at the state’s largest public school district. Next Tuesday is the deadline to file for candidacy in the Albuquerque Public Schools’ board election.

Ron Reiring / Creative Commons

The City of Albuquerque is looking to get more people experiencing homelessness into temporary housing assistance by early winter. The city plans to spend two million dollars on a new rapid re-housing contract.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

As New Mexico students settle back into the classroom, the Public Education Department is getting a new leader. Dr. Ryan Stewart was hired just a few weeks after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham fired her first education secretary.  Stewart spent time visiting schools Tuesday, and he sat down with a couple dozen educators to hear their biggest concerns.

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It just got a little easier for people raising kids to run for public office in Albuquerque. The city announced this week a change to election rules that allows campaign funds to be used to pay for child care.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

People in New Mexico are reeling from a mass shooting just a couple hundred miles away this weekend. The gunman, who killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, is believed to have written a white supremacist manifesto railing against Hispanic people and immigrants; he's in custody and charged with murder. KUNM went out to see how this is affecting Albuquerque residents.

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  Let's Talk New Mexico 8/8, 8a: Call in now 505-277-5866. New Mexicans trying to kick an addiction to opioids have limited places to go for treatment. We're talking about options for recovery, and we want to hear from you. If you’ve quit using opioids, what was that like? And what helped? Have you sought out medication-assisted treatment, like a methadone clinic, or used medical cannabis in recovering from opioid addiction? Email LetsTalk@kunm.org, tweet with the hashtag #LetsTalkNM, or call in live during the show at (505) 277-5866.

Rawpixel VIA Unsplash / Unsplash License

The Trump Administration earlier this year proposed changes to a section of the Affordable Care Act that spells out civil rights protections. The new rules issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would loosen requirements and give health care providers more say over when they provide interpretation and translation services, and to whom.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

A pump-and-treat system is the main way that Kirtland Air Force Base has been cleaning up a jet fuel spill they discovered back in the ‘90s. For years, the treated water has gone either straight back into the aquifer or to the base’s golf course. Now, Kirtland is seeking permission for a third option—to dump water into the nearby Tijeras Arroyo.

Monika Stawowy via PXHere / public domain

As kids head back to school soon, districts must contend with a new state law allowing students with a medical marijuana prescription to take their medicine at school. New Mexico health and education officials are working to iron out details like how schools will store medication and who can administer it.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Kirtland Air Force Base will host an open house Thursday evening about their efforts to clean up groundwater contamination from a decades-old jet fuel spill. 

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A second man has accused former Santa Fe mayor Louis Montaño of child sexual abuse in a lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Santa Fe Boys & Girls Club. Montaño was the director of the youth organization, then called the Boys Club of Santa Fe, when the alleged abuse took place.  

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