KUNM

Bernalillo County

Daphne Carrillo

The Dog Head Fire has consumed almost 17,000 acres in New Mexico since Tuesday, and it remains entirely uncontained. People are leaving their homes and property, and more mandatory evacuations may be called this weekend.

KUNM spoke with Commissioner Wayne Johnson, who was stationed at the Bernalillo County’s emergency operations center Friday evening.  

New Mexico June 7 Primary Election Info

Jun 6, 2016
Personalincome.org http://www.personalincome.org/vote/ / Creative Commons via Flickr

New Mexico's primary election day is this Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Are you ready? 

Psychonaught / Public Domain license via Wikipedia

Bernalillo County Commissioners are declaring an emergency over the county’s high level of opioid overdoses. 

Bernalillo County Ponders Budget Shortfall

Apr 1, 2016
StockMonkeys.com via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Bernalillo County is facing a $19 million dollar budget shortfall next year, and jobs and grants to nonprofits could take a hit.

Community Sees Refuge In New Path

Feb 29, 2016
Ed Williams

Mountain View, a neighborhood in the Rio Grande Valley south of Albuquerque, is one of the most environmentally burdened communities in New Mexico. There are dozens of industrial facilities, and hardly any places for kids to play outside. With heavy traffic and no sidewalks, just walking home can be dangerous.

But some of that is changing, with the help of a new wildlife refuge.  

401(K)2013 via Wikimedia / CREATIVE COMMONS

The James Boyd killing two years ago spurred voters to increase taxes and spend additional millions every year on behavioral health in Bernalillo County. Now, there's a new roadmap for those funds.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Folks gathered in Albuquerque in support of Planned Parenthood in response to a deadly attack on a clinic about a week ago. But just hours before the vigil, shooters in San Bernardino, California, killed 14 people and wounded at least 21 more. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Hundreds of people have populated Pajarito Mesa just Southwest of Albuquerque for decades. But without addresses, fire trucks, ambulances or sheriff’s deputies have struggled to reach these residents when it matters most. Bernalillo County is offering what officials said they hope will be a good solution. 

Generation Justice

Inmates and their relatives pay steep phone bills to keep in touch, and prison phone companies rake in billions. The Federal Communications Commission moved to cap those rates last week because it isn’t only the inmate who pays the price.

New System For Emergency Response On Pajarito Mesa

Sep 16, 2015
Rita Daniels

People living on Pajarito Mesa may have an easier time getting help in the case of an emergency. That’s because Bernalillo County has a new system set up to serve the settlement west of Albuquerque.

Billy Wilson Photography via Flickr / Creative Commons License

You can let the fireworks fly in Bernalillo County this Fourth of July, as long as they don’t fly too far. Abundant rain this year kept Bernalillo County from banning fireworks and other fires.

County OKs Santolina Agreement

Jun 24, 2015

Bernalillo County Commissioners voted to approve the Santolina development agreement in a contentious meeting Wednesday. The plan could bring about 40,000 new homes to a privately owned development on the West Mesa outside of Albuquerque.

The 3-to-2 vote to approve Santolina came after hours of debate over the language in the agreement. 

Protesters and acequia farmers sat through the hearing with tape over their mouths—a symbolic objection to the commission’s decision not to allow public comment.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

  Since the ’70s, people have been homesteading on the mesa near Albuquerque, just south of the proposed Santolina development. Bernalillo County says without official roads and permits, these Pajarito Mesa structures are illegal, but families are fighting to keep their homes.  

Scattered across Pajarito Mesa’s 18 thousand acres are gutted trailers, piles of tires battered by the sun and sandy dirt trails. Somewhere around 800 people are making a go of it here, despite the lack of modern conveniences like running water or an electrical grid. But there’s another side to the mesa. 

insunlight via Flickr / Creative Commons License

  

For hundreds of people in New Mexico, getting out of jail or prison hinges on whether there’s a bed in a halfway house, a slot in a treatment program or space in a mental health facility. Until a spot opens up, they remain behind bars, and it costs taxpayers thousands of extra dollars while they wait.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

On a huge stretch of mesa to the Southwest of Albuquerque, people have built dwellings. These homesteaders on Pajarito Mesa say when they call for emergency services, help isn’t always on its way.   

There are questions about the legality of land-ownership or even whether people should be living in this part of Bernalillo County. Some county officials say they don’t want to encourage anyone to move there by providing services.   

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