Local News

Bernat Armangue / Associated Press

For families around the world trying to evacuate loved ones from Afghanistan, time has run out. Mohmmad Ismail  served as an interpreter for U.S. forces in Afghanistan and like many who worked for the United States, he was threatened by the Taliban. He came to Albuquerque in 2013 on a special visa, but his family members stayed behind. He worked with the State Department and U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján from New Mexico to get his family and other family members related to Albuquerque residents during the evacuation period, but he was unsuccessful. 

warthog9 via flickr.com CC 2.0


Let’s Talk New Mexico 9/16 8am: Property crime has dropped in New Mexico during the pandemic but violence has taken hold, dominating the news headlines recently: Albuquerque setting a new record for homicides, Santa Fe road rage killings, attacks on police officers, and perhaps most tragic – a child killed at school over bullying. While violent crime has not increased as much across the nation it feels like a lot in New Mexico, and how we choose to react to violence is a local decision. 

Turquoise Table via Flickr / Creative Commons


Let’s Talk New Mexico 9/9 8 am:It's chile season, and many of us are celebrating the return of New Mexico’s favorite crop. Green chile lies at the heart of so much of our state’s culture and identity that it’s hard to imagine what life would be like without it. And yet, chile is by no means assured of a prosperous future. COVID and changing immigration policies have created a labor shortage of chile harvesters, and human-caused climate change has resulted in drought conditions that threaten the very existence of chile verde. On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll be digging into the issues facing this iconic New Mexican food.

 

Soberconnections via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0, creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

As overdose deaths in New Mexico have surged during the pandemic, recent research shows a searing gap in treatment available for Opioid Use Disorder at the state’s hospitals. One of the study’s authors, Dr. Eileen Barrett, Director of Continuing Medical Education at the University of New Mexico, spoke with KUNM about the status of opioid use and treatment in the state.

Mohammad Ismail

Mohmmad Ismail served as an interpreter for U.S. forces in Afghanistan and like many who worked for the United States, he was threatened by the Taliban. He came here in 2013 on a special visa, but his family members then faced threats. Eventually they followed him to New Mexico, where he works with children on refugee status for Albuquerque Public Schools. Now the Taliban are targeting his relatives who are still in Afghanistan and he is asking New Mexico politicians for help to get them out.

  

NM Redistricting Public Comment Portal, Districtr

Earlier this month, KUNM reported about an online portal, Districtr, where New Mexicans can draw and submit their own maps to the Citizen Redistricting Committee, or CRC, for consideration. Kathleen Burke, project coordinator of Fair Districts for New Mexico, spoke with KUNM about the importance of newly-released 2020 Census data now available on the portal.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

 

Document Hints At Solving New Mexico Education Inadequacies - By Cedar Attanasio Associated Press / Report For America

New Mexico education officials this month touted a plan to address an ongoing lawsuit over educational opportunities for Indigenous and low-income students as an accomplishment of the outgoing Education Secretary.

Khalil Ekulona

The coronavirus pandemic has slammed the arts and creative industries. One study by Americans for the Arts found over 90 percent of respondents lost income since it began.  A new bill introduced by New Mexico Democratic Rep. Teresa Leger-Fernandez looks to the New Deal from the 1930s as a blueprint to support artists and spur economic revitalization. 

Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/US Marine Corps / Associated Press


  Let’s Talk New Mexico 8/26 8 am: Thousands of people are fleeing Afghanistan since the Taliban’s takeover and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has announced that New Mexico is ready to welcome them with open arms. How can our state best ready itself to receive these refugees? What type of services are already available? How will all of this work while we are still struggling with a global pandemic? On this week’s episode, we’ll be talking to folks who work with New Mexico’s refugee population, as well as the refugees themselves, about their experiences and how they think our state should respond to this sudden need. 

Pexels from Pixabay / Creative Commons

US Authorities Warn Against Flying Drones Over National Lab - Associated Press

Drone pilots beware.

Authorities at one of the nation's top nuclear weapons laboratories issued a warning Monday that airspace over Los Alamos National Laboratory is off limits.

Cedar Attanasio / AP Photo

 New Mexico Hospital Workers Protest Vaccine Mandates - By Cedar Attanasio Associated Press

Around 150 people protested in front of the New Mexico state capitol Friday, demanding an end to vaccine mandates for healthcare workers.

Nash Jones

As New Mexico redraws the district boundaries for its state legislature, U.S. House and Public Education Commission, pueblos across the state are collaborating on maps that reflect their peoples’ issues and needs. Tribal leaders are calling on the state’s redistricting committee to adopt the maps they put forward. 

Tony Webster via Flickr / Creative Commons

Police: 3 Albuquerque Officers Shot Responding To Robbery - By Susan Montoya Bryan Associated Press

Three Albuquerque police officers were shot and another was injured while responding to a robbery, authorities said Thursday. 

Leohoho via Unsplash / Creative Commons

Amid rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in New Mexico, and as the vaccination rate stagnates, the state announced Tuesday, Aug. 17, it is reimplementing a statewide mask mandate. 

Yasmin Khan / KUNM

Let’s Talk New Mexico 8/19 8am: This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Chicano-led rebellion against police brutality and racism that began in Albuquerque’s Roosevelt Park. The rebellion is a key, but often overlooked, moment in New Mexico’s Chicano history.  Fifty years later, it serves as a reminder of the long record of police violence, resistance, and collaboration by people of color in our state, and remains especially relevant in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter uprising. 

George Hodan / Public Domain

A chance for New Mexicans to get health insurance for the remainder of the year ends this weekend. Some people can qualify for free or low-cost plans during the pandemic.

Josh Lane via New Mexico United

  Let’s Talk New Mexico 8/12 8am: If you’ve seen black and gold T-shirts, jerseys, and flags around Albuquerque, you’ve seen fans of New Mexico United. The professional soccer team has been generating excitement in our state  since the team was first announced in 2018, and their home games at Isotopes Park are almost always sold out. Recently New Mexico United and the City of Albuquerque released a proposal for a new 10,000 - 12,000 seat stadium  to serve as the home of the team. The cost? An estimated $65-$75 million dollars. The location? That is to be determined.

insunlight via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Lawsuit: Guards Mistook Dentures For Contraband, Beat InmateAssociated Press

A man was brutally beaten by corrections officers and denied medical treatment at a county jail in a small New Mexico community after guards mistook dentures in the inmate's mouth for contraband, according to a civil rights lawsuit.

The New Mexico Prison and Jail Project, a watchdog group for improving prison conditions, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court this week on behalf of former inmate Marvin Silva.

New Mexico Decedent Image Database / University of New Mexico

One of the first steps in pursuing justice in a homicide or missing person case is identifying the deceased person. A tool created by researchers at the University of New Mexico is making that process easier. The New Mexico Decedent Image Database includes 150 million images of whole-body CT scans. The database is the first of its kind in the nation.

7partparadigm via Wikipedia / Public Domain

The once-a-decade redistricting process is underway in New Mexico. The Citizen Redistricting Committee, newly-established under the 2021 Redistricting Act, is charged with proposing new maps to the legislature. The group began holding its first set of public meetings this week. 

Canva


  Let’s Talk New Mexico 8/7 8am: This summer has marked big changes in the landscape of college athletics. From the NCAA allowing student-athletes to earn income based off of their name, image, and likeness, to major programs like the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma moving conferences, college sports is now in a new era. How will this new terrain affect schools like the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University? And what do the rising number COVID-19 cases mean for practices and games? On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll be discussing what plans our state-run universities are making and how they are preparing to compete now and in the future. 

National Archives at Denver (NAID 292873)

Our July 22nd episode of Let’s Talk New Mexico focused on the New Mexico's Native American boarding schools, and it generated a lot of discussion among our listeners.  As so often happens due to time limitations, we weren’t able to include everyone’s input on the show itself. However, we have had an unusual number of listeners reaching out via email at LetsTalk@kunm.org ever since the show aired.  

We want to make sure that these important conversations continue, and that you, our listeners, get a chance to make your voice heard on the topics that affect New Mexicans. To that end, we’re going to start including follow-up posts for shows like this one that get a lot of feedback.

Here’s what you had to say: 

Elizabeth Bailey / Tricorp Laboratories and Christopher Productions, LLC

While New Mexico’s percentage of fully vaccinated sits at 64.5% for people 18 and older, there has been a drop off in the number of people receiving vaccinations. Vaccine hesitancy is often cited as the main reason. A new documentary, "Vaccination From The Misinformation Virus," looks to address the effectiveness of vaccines and why some are hesitant to take them.

Marco Fileccia via Unsplash / Creative Commons

The state Public Education Department Monday, July 26, released updated COVID-19 guidance for next school year. The next day, the CDC released stricter guidance on masking for K-12 students in response to rising cases linked largely to the Delta variant. Education Secretary Ryan Stewart spoke with KUNM’s Nash Jones about building out new COVID-safe practices for the state’s schools in a shifting landscape.

Miriam Gwilt

Former KUNM News Director and reporter, Hannah Colton, died by suicide at age 29 in November 2020. We have dedicated every episode of No More Normal to our dear friend and colleague since then, and now – for the last episode of the series – we memorialize her life, work and legacy. 

Meeting Climate Challenges Through Soil

Jul 26, 2021
Esha Chioccio

Hardly a day goes by without a terrifying reminder that the earth’s climate is in crisis. The Southwest is in a mega-drought and fires are erupting around the West. But there are people working to stop climate change, including many in New Mexico.  

KUNM’s Zélie Pollon talks with Santa Fe Photographer Esha Chiocchio who has created the Good Earth Project. It documents agriculturists throughout the state battling climate change by regenerating soils.

Vanessa Bowen / Bowen Creative

 

Province of British Columbia via Flickr, CC 2.0


Let’s Talk New Mexico 7/29 8am: Have you had trouble finding affordable child care? You’re not alone. Child care can cost over $20,000 a year in New Mexico and hundreds of child care centers closed during the pandemic, tightening the squeeze on an already precious resource. On July 1, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced an expanded eligibility for government assistance for child care. Starting next month New Mexican families making up to 400% of the poverty level -about $92,000 a year- are eligible for help.

Compare Fibre via Unsplash / Creative Commons

During the pandemic, the Public Education Department required school districts to offer online learning options, but that won’t be the case this coming school year. Still, some students may prefer it. On Wednesday, the state launched a program to expand access to online classes in districts with limited resources. 

Music! It drives us to hit the dance floor and creates the landscape of our memorable moments in life. Seeing that music is so influential it is the perfect opportunity to inquire about the people who make the music we listen to. How are musicians faring after taking a year off from performing publicly? What about the venues where we gather to rock with our favorite bands or DJ’s?

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