KUNM

Local News

Wikimedia Commons via CC

President Donald Trump just launched his re-election campaign, and he also Tweeted that starting next week, there would be mass arrests based on immigration violations. This comes as detention centers around the country are over-capacity and accused of violating basic human rights. Families in New Mexico are feeling the impact of that familiar and uncertain threat.

An Errant Knight / via Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico County Near Border Invites Trump to VisitAlamogordo Daily News, http://www.alamogordonews.com

Officials in a southern New Mexico county near to the U.S.-Mexico border want President Donald Trump to visit.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports Otero County Commissioners issued an invitation in a letter this week amid calls to reopen closed checkpoints. 

The commissioners say the closed checkpoints have allowed an increase in narcotics and crime in the county.

Mrs. Charles Stephenson (Grace Murray) [Public domain]

Let's Talk New Mexico 6/13 8a: New Mexico has rich African American history and culture beginning with the arrival of Spanish explorers, continuing with the Homestead Act, through the Civil Rights era, and into the present day. In celebration of Juneteenth, we'll hear from folks who are working to preserve and share this legacy here.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered dozens of state police officers to come to Albuquerque as part of a surge aimed at slowing violent crime after a baseball player for the University of New Mexico was killed in Nob Hill. Residents talked about the impact of their presence in a predominantly minority Southeastern neighborhood that they say has a history of being overpoliced.

Celia Raney/KUNM

U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security partnered up in May to train game wardens and other law enforcement officers from rural communities on how to respond in tactical medical emergencies. Wardens are often the closest – and sometimes the only – first responders in rural areas.

Celia Raney/KUNM

Officers from 18 Native American law enforcement agencies from across the country met at the Santa Ana Star Casino last month to do a week-long training. It's designed for conservation officers who do things like police remote areas and protect wildlife.

Pixabay via CC

People in Albuquerque may think getting busted with a little marijuana results in only a ticket and a fine. But state police officers were sent to Albuquerque in May to crack down on crime, and they’re enforcing state law. That means there’s still a way for even small amounts of weed or paraphernalia to put people here in cuffs.

Max Pixel via CC0

People who apply for food and medical assistance programs in New Mexico got used to long waits, mysterious denials, and catch-22s of bureaucracy. But after years of litigation, wait times are way down and a notorious backlog of cases is pretty much cleared. The new Human Services Department secretary has his eye on updating tech to make the whole system easier and more foolproof.

The central question in a two-decade federal court case is whether New Mexico’s Human Services Department is distributing SNAP and Medicaid fast enough and to the right people. A new boss was appointed to HSD in January. KUNM heard from Secretary David Scrase about the changes he’s making.

Let's Talk New Mexico's Wet Spring

May 22, 2019
OpenThreads via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Let's Talk New Mexico 5/23 8a: Higher than average rainfall and snowpack means we're experiencing one of its wettest springs in decades. The Rio Grande is running ten times higher than it was at this time during last year's drought. So much water increases flood risks and challenges us to remain conservation minded. Has all the rain changed your plans for farming or planting gardens? How are you remaining water conscious? Do you plan to go river rafting or sailing on one of our state’s lakes this year? Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org, tweet us using the hashtag #LetsTalkNM or call in live during the show.

Pixabay via CC

For years, there’s been a fight in court about whether the state of New Mexico is following federal law when it comes to distributing food and medical assistance to almost half a million people here. Advocates told a federal judge this week that the state Human Services Department is still illegally denying SNAP and Medicaid to some eligible families. KUNM spoke with Maria Griego Thursday, May 16, right after the court hearing in Las Cruces. Griego is an attorney with The Center on Law and Poverty, and she explained what the state is doing wrong.

Courtesy of Master Sgt. Charles Newman, aerospace science instructor

Thousands of students from around the U.S. are converging in Virginia this weekend for the Team America Rocketry Challenge. A junior ROTC team from Valley High School in Albuquerque qualified for the national finals of the world’s largest rocket contest and has a shot at winning thousands of dollars and a chance to compete internationally.

Marisa Demarco/KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 5/16 8a: All around the country, more people who are walking are hit by drivers in neighborhoods with low incomes and in communities of color. Here in Bernalillo County, one out of every five times there’s a pedestrian crash, it happens in the few square miles of Albuquerque’s International District. Residents say a big part of the problem is bad street lighting, speeding drivers, big roads, crumbling sidewalks, and not enough intersections or bus stops.

rawpixel.com via pexels.com / public domain

It's awards season for journalists and we're proud to annouce that the New Mexico Broadcasters Association has recogized KUNM news coverage for Excellence in Broadcasting with top awards for Breaking News, Feature News, Continuing Coverage, Legislative Coverage, Best Student Newscaster and Student Reporter. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller got on a truck lift on Wednesday, May 8, and turned on a streetlight in the International District in a photo-op designed to announce that PNM will replace all of its streetlight bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs by the end of 2019. It’s still unclear when the area’s ongoing problem with broken streetlights and bad lighting will be resolved.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

At night, for long stretches of road on large busy streets and residential ones, it’s completely dark in Southeast Albuquerque’s International District. Residents say not having enough streetlights is an urgent problem, because it leads to hotspots of crime and more vehicles hitting pedestrians. Politicians failed to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for new lights in the area, leaving neighborhoods in the dark.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

There’s a part of Southeast Albuquerque that sees more than its share of people who are walking being hit and killed by drivers. In just five years, there were 26 pedestrian fatalities in the few square miles known as the International District—but none in neighboring Nob Hill. People who live in the district say a big part of this problem is broken streetlights that don’t get fixed, even though they’ve been asking for over a decade.

Debbie Lockhart / U.S. Air Force/public domain

Let's Talk New Mexico 5/9 8a: Communities across New Mexico are stepping up to help migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. What kinds of assistance and services do these folks need the most? And how can you get involved if you want to help out? This week we're talking to the folks who are organizing volunteers and providing food, shelter, clothing and medical care to asylum seekers who are being released by the federal government here. We'd like to hear from you. Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org, tweet with the hashtag #LetsTalkNM or call in live during the show. 

Let's Talk Union Fees And Right To Work Laws

May 1, 2019
Nick Youngson via alphastockimages.com / Creative Commons License

Let's Talk New Mexico 5/2 8a: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that public sector employees can’t be required to pay union fees. Here in New Mexico, private sector employees can be required to pay union fees, or even join a union to get a job.

Local officials in some communities around the state passed ordinances prohibiting these union fees, but the governor and state lawmakers blocked them during this year’s legislative session.

This week we're talking union fees and right to work laws and we want to hear from you. Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org, tweet with the hashtag #LetsTalkNM, or call in live during the show.

Courtesy of Maysie Bucklin

It’s been 50 years since Stonewall, a night when the LGBTQ community resisted a police raid in New York. It’s the catalyst for many Pride parades around the U.S., and in honor of that anniversary, students are throwing the first-ever Pride celebration in Las Vegas, New Mexico this weekend.

wikimedia via CC


Hundreds of people die each day from drug overdoses around the country.

This Saturday is National Take Back Day, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is trying to bring that number down by getting people to turn in their unused medications.

opensourceway via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Join KUNM tonight at 6:00 p.m. for a one-hour NPR News special on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election. We'll have analysis of the report's conclusions regarding questions of conspiracy and obstruction. 

Let's Talk Plastic Bag Bans

Apr 16, 2019
Ennor via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Let's Talk New Mexico 4/18 8a: Bans on plastic are sweeping the nation, and New Mexico is no exception. Santa Fe banned plastic grocery bags several years ago. Albuquerque just limited single-use plastics in grocery and retail stores. Businesses and consumers are having to adapt to a new normal that emphasizes the re-useable over the disposable. Do you take reusable bags to the grocery? Are concerned about how a plastic bag ban will hurt your business' bottom line or your customers’ pocketbooks? We want to hear from you! Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org or call in live during the show.

Adria Malcom

Getting healthcare in rural areas can be really difficult.  There aren’t enough doctors and smaller communities often struggle with poverty and transportation issues. The documentary “The Providers” explores the challenges – and the rewards – of serving these patients by focusing on three healthcare workers in northern New Mexico. It premiers April 8 at 9 p.m. on New Mexico PBS Channel 5 and airs again April 13 at 10 p.m

ChrisGoldNY / via Flickr

New Mexico’s storefront lending industry will soon be subject to more oversight.

A bill signed Wednesday by governor Michelle Lujan Grisham will require more accountability and transparency from lenders.

Small loans companies in the state can legally charge interest rates as high as 175 percent.

Many of those companies are actually from out of state, and the money they make follows them, said Ona Porter of Prosperity Works.

screenshot from the SIPI event poster

New Mexico has the largest number of indigenous women who have disappeared or been killed in the country – 78 – that’s according to an Urban Indian Health Institute report.

A tribal technical school in Albuquerque is hosting a roundtable discussion Thursday on missing and murdered indigenous women.

Roadways Could Be Safer For Wildlife, Drivers

Apr 1, 2019
Laura LaRose/flickr / Creative Commons


Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Wildlife Corridors Act into law last week, which could give wild animals more options to stay off of highways and roads in New Mexico.

Let's Talk Urban Forests

Apr 1, 2019
Kimberly Vardeman via Flickr / Creative Commons License 2.0

Let’s Talk New Mexico 4/4 8a: Call now 277-5866. There’s nothing better than resting in the shade of a tree filled park, but did you know that the trees in our cities offer other benefits besides giving us a lovely place to relax? From cleaning the air we breathe, to helping reduce the intense heat given off by unshaded pavement, trees are an important part of our human habitat. This week, we’ll be talking about the trees that make up New Mexico’s urban forest, including native species that have adapted to city life, as well as introduced varieties that literally grow like weeds.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

For decades, people in a southeast Albuquerque district have been asking the city to light their dark streets. One neighborhood group eventually starting solving the problem by installing streetlights on their own.

So many people in America suffer long-term and dangerous illnesses that come from poor nutrition. A doctor and chef in the South Valley near Albuquerque are part of a team working on tasty solutions.

Pages