Hannah Colton

Interim News Director, Public Health Reporter

Currently serving as interim news director at KUNM, Hannah Colton covers education, Albuquerque politics, and anything public health-related. 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 grateful to have gotten her start in radio at KDLG (another 89.9 FM) in Bristol Bay, Alaska. 

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. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The 2020 census may seem far off still, but some people in New Mexico are already starting to lay the groundwork for the population count that happens once every ten years, and organizers say there’s a lot at stake.

Jonathan Lindberg, U.S. Coast Guard

New Mexico officials are hitting the road to talk about changes to Medicaid that will take effect in January. Starting this week, the New Mexico Human Services Department is holding a series of public events across the state to educate residents about upcoming changes to Centennial Care, the state's Medicaid program.

Hannah Colton

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe now acknowledges 78 New Mexico priests accused of sexually abusing children since the 1930s. But many other accused priests from elsewhere in the United States spent time at treatment centers run by a Catholic order called the Servants of the Paraclete in New Mexico.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

On Tuesday, Sept. 4, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas ordered the state’s three Roman Catholic dioceses to give up decades’ worth of church records relating to allegations of sexual abuse and cover-up. Church leaders in Santa Fe, Gallup and Las Cruces have all said they'll cooperate. KUNM sat down with Balderas to talk about the investigation.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Without fanfare, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe updated its website last week with more information about where and when priests accused of sexual abuse worked in New Mexico.

Courtesy of VCINM

When a hospital or doctor’s office sees a patient who doesn’t speak English, federal law requires the institution to hire an interpreter. But the need for professional language services in New Mexico far exceeds the supply. An Albuquerque organization, Valley Community Interpreters (VCI), is hoping to change that.

Amanda Mills / U.S. Center For Disease Control And Prevention

Let's Talk New Mexico 8/23 8a: Allergies to foods like nuts, milk and seafood are on the rise, and they can be life-threatening. As New Mexico students settle into a new school year, we'll look at what teachers and school staff are doing to look out for all children.

Do your kids have allergies? How does it go for them at school? Have you been able to access life-saving medication like an EpiPen? Email LetsTalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show at 277-5866.

U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade

A New Mexico nonprofit health insurance company is suing the federal government for a second time over regulations it says drive up insurance premiums and threaten smaller insurers.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Dozens of refugee families resettle in Albuquerque each year, and their children begin attending school here. In mid-August, Albuquerque Public Schools is slated to launch a program for newcomers, but immigrant advocates say it’s been planned poorly and will be hard to access. For many refugee families, getting transportation to a special school outside their neighborhood is nearly impossible. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

New Mexico’s Public Education Department is planning to appeal a court ruling last month that found the state violated the rights of at-risk students by failing to provide an adequate education. Judge Sarah Singleton’s decision doesn’t tell the department exactly what changes to make but says it must do better by its low-income students, Native American students, those with disabilities and English-language learners.

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