KUNM

Public Health New Mexico

May Ortega | KUNM

Opponents of a planned project to house homeless people came out in force to a meeting Thursday night in the Four Hills neighborhood in southeast Albuquerque.

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Bernalillo County is planning to build a village of tiny homes for people experiencing homelessness. But it’s facing some opposition.

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Nearly 500 New Mexicans died by suicide in 2015, and more than half of those deaths involved a gun. Lawmakers are looking at decreasing gun-related suicides in the state through a new bill.

Courtesy of Advance at UNM

 

From wildfires to heavy storms that bring flash floods, weather extremes from year-to-year that stem from climate change are impacting the region’s wildlife, according to a local scientist.

The Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research Program, based in Central New Mexico, was just awarded a multimillion-dollar grant to study the long-term effects on our environment.

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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New Mexico was one of the first states in the country to expand its Medicaid program a few years ago.

And now it may also be one of the first to create a Medicaid buy-in program to make insurance more accessible for people who are undocumented or have low incomes.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Albuquerque Public Schools plans to open a new program next month for students who don’t speak English and have little to no prior formal schooling. But some say that program is set up for failure. Dozens of advocates and students gathered Monday evening in Albuquerque’s South Valley to call for more transparency and accountability in the way APS designs educational services for immigrant and refugee children.  

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When you go to your doctor’s office to get help for something like high blood pressure, you wouldn’t expect to get a prescription to join a walking group. There’s a program that does just that for areas in Albuquerque that have higher rates of chronic diseases.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The state of New Mexico has violated students’ constitutional rights by failing to provide an adequate public education, according to a landmark decision handed down late Friday by a New Mexico District Court judge.

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A state court ruled Friday that New Mexico’s education system fails to provide an adequate education to at-risk students, as required by the state’s constitution. In her ruling, Judge Sarah Singleton outlined the harm done to economically disadvantaged students, Native American students, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities. 

KUNM's Hannah Colton spoke with staff attorney Ernest Herrera of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, who’s been working the case for years.

The opioid crisis in New Mexico has caused historically high numbers of overdose deaths and has overwhelmed law enforcement agencies.

 

But another side effect that we might not consider is the dangerous trash that builds up as a result of opioid use.

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Since a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead back in February, some of the students who survived have been rallying for other young people to get involved in politics.

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People around New Mexico have been blasting their swamp coolers for weeks. And folks with low incomes can apply through a statewide program for help with an energy bill.

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New data released by the New Mexico Department of Health show the state’s rate of high schoolers smoking cigarettes is at an all-time low. And they’re using other tobacco products less often, too.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

People with intellectual disabilities experience sexual assault and abuse at an alarmingly high rate. Lawmakers in a handful of states across the U.S. have proposed ways to address the issue since an NPR investigation called attention to it in January. The Arc of New Mexico, a nonprofit that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, isn’t waiting for state legislators to take action.

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The Downtown Growers’ Market in Albuquerque is known as a place to find all things local, fresh, and homemade.

The people behind the market are looking to make it greener by phasing out plastic waste starting next month.

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The Trump Administration is looking to make new rules that could shift federal funding for family planning services from health care providers to organizations that oppose abortion. If local healthcare clinics lose the family planning support they’re currently receiving, patients could be the ones paying the price.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

It’s summer, and that means many teenagers are headed to jobs, internships, volunteering – places where they meet adults besides their parents and teachers. The interactions can turn into mentorships that enrich the lives of the teens and the adults. This kind of synergy is thriving at a special plot of land in Albuquerque’s South Valley.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Research shows that when students see their own culture and history reflected in their classwork, they do better in school. But most Hispanic and Latino students in New Mexico public schools don’t get that experience, at least not in the form of ethnic studies. Some schools have been experimenting with Mexican American and Chicano Studies classes to help kids succeed.  

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New Mexico ranks 44th in the country for bicycle friendliness. A new study by the Santa Fe Police Department looked at 110 bicycle crashes that happened in the city in the last three years and the factors surrounding them.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 6/14 8a:  Research shows when students learn about their own culture and history in school, it can keep them engaged, boost self-esteem, and improve academic performance. Some public schools offer Mexican-American Studies and Chicana and Chicano Studies courses to a small number of students, but most of New Mexico’s Hispanic and Latino students still don’t get that opportunity. Did you take classes like these? What did that mean for your educational experience? Are public schools in New Mexico doing enough to offer those types of classes? We’d like to hear from you! Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org, tweet #LetsTalkNM or call in live during the show.

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Since the state introduced a texting option for its Peer-to-Peer Warmline earlier this year, more and more people are using it for emotional support.

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New Mexico has some of the worst conditions for children in rural areas, according to a recent study. A local advocate for kids’ wellness said things are improving, and that voting can help with that momentum.

May Ortega | KUNM

Bob Moyer wasn’t thrilled about the slim pickings on the Republican side. Nine of the state’s 12 major races have a single Republican candidate running unopposed. His concerns about public safety drove him to the polls.

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San Juan County is joining a lawsuit against opioid companies to get back the money it’s spent on combating the opioid crisis there.

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Summertime gives kids the chance to go outside and have some fun, but many don’t always have a way to get around town. A local Albuquerque group is raising awareness about free bus passes for kids.

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Nursing home inspections have found dozens of safety violations and mistreatment of elderly New Mexico residents over the years. Albuquerque Journal reporter Marie Baca examined some of the reports about these incidents. She sat down with Public Health New Mexico’s May Ortega to talk about what she found.

Carrie Jung

 

 

Abortion rights advocates in New Mexico are reacting to reports that the Trump Administration will end federal funding for family planning clinics that provide abortions or refer patients to other abortion providers.

Dr. Felisha Rojan-Minjares

 

When patients are faced with bias and racism, they can end up receiving poor treatment or get a wrong diagnosis. But over the years, more and more medical schools have introduced cultural competency training to try to address these issues. At the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, students have been learning how to treat diverse patients for more than a decade.

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