Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher is a journalist based in Santa Fe. He has worked for newspapers in New Mexico and his home state of Kansas, including the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Garden City Telegram, the Rio Grande SUN and the Santa Fe Reporter. Since starting a full-time career in reporting in 2015, he’s aimed to use journalism to lift up voices that typically go unheard in public debates around economic inequality, policing and environmental racism.

‘We don’t want Oñate elevated’

By: - September 26, 2023

ESPAÑOLA — People from Northern New Mexico are organizing to oppose the local government’s intentions to resurrect a monument depicting genocidal Spanish conquistador and war criminal Juan de Oñate. Outside the Rio Arriba County headquarters on Monday, activists, birth workers, parents and allies held a news conference next to a recently constructed concrete pedestal, upon […]

MDC seeks $2.1M under N.M. emergency order that sends more state patrols to Albuquerque

By: - September 22, 2023

More police are patrolling Albuquerque under the state’s recent gun-violence public health order, potentially sending hundreds more people to the Metropolitan Detention Center in the coming weeks, so the short-staffed local jail is asking for millions in funding. MDC will likely see a spike in the number of people being incarcerated before they go to […]

Threats proliferate on social media following N.M. gun ban

By: and - September 19, 2023

A Source New Mexico review of posts on social media by elected officials and other users following the public health order issued in New Mexico on Sept. 8 shows numerous calls for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to be hanged or killed by other means, and for the publication of private information about Lujan Grisham, her […]

BLM wants to protect the Placitas area from oil and gas extraction

By: - September 19, 2023

A proposal by the Bureau of Land Management would prohibit any new extractive industry activity for the next half century in the Placitas area of Sandoval County in central New Mexico. U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland (Laguna) wants to withdraw nearly 4,213 acres of public lands from oil and gas extraction for 50 years “to […]

New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez stands at a wooden podium. Another man in a dark suit looks on.

New Mexico AG grants limited authority to attorneys defending public health order

By: - September 13, 2023

New Mexico’s Attorney General Raúl Torrez will not defend the state government against any challenges to the public health order issued Sept. 8, but administration lawyers and outside counsel still can. In a letter on Tuesday to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Torrez said he cannot defend her and the state’s health secretary in court because […]

N.M. public health order isn’t only about guns

By: - September 12, 2023

Media and public attention has so far focused mostly on the parts of the New Mexico public health order related to firearms. The executive action signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham last week does a number of other things. One of the two executive orders that provide the rationale for the public health order is […]

No clear penalty for violating N.M. public health order on guns

By: - September 8, 2023

The New Mexico government on Friday enacted a public health order prohibiting people from possessing firearms in public, but could not say what penalties people will face for violating the new directive. New Mexico Health Secretary Patrick Allen signed a public health emergency order prohibiting anyone from possessing a firearm, either openly or concealed, in […]

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham speaks during her 2023 State of the State before the joint chambers of the New Mexico Legislature in Santa Fe. A large plaque that is the symbol for the state of New Mexico is behind her. Several people are also seated behind the governor. A bouquet of flowers sits to her left.

N.M. governor declares state of emergency over gun violence

By: - September 8, 2023

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order saying gun violence in the state “constitutes a statewide public health emergency of unknown duration.” The order issued on Sept. 8 encourages local mayors and sheriff’s offices to ask for “an emergency proclamation and implementation of temporary additional restrictions” under the state Riot Control Act. […]

Oñate monument shooter delays sentencing to November

By: - September 7, 2023

The 2020 Oñate monument shooter will get to experience at least one more New Mexico autumn before he faces any accountability from the criminal legal system. Video taken on June 15, 2020 shows Steven Ray Baca pushing a woman from behind to the ground, injuring her legs; macing a man in the face; pushing a […]

Housing services provider asks state lawmakers for more flexible funding

By: - September 5, 2023

The leader of a housing services nonprofit says in order to deal with growing numbers of New Mexicans experiencing homelessness, state lawmakers need to loosen requirements around how state funding can be spent. Nicole Martinez is executive director of Mesilla Valley Community of Hope, a nonprofit organization with a campus including a day shelter, showers, […]

FEMA finalizes rules for paying nearly $4 billion to Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire victims 

By: and - August 29, 2023

Finalized rules governing how victims of the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon fire can file claims for damages went into effect Tuesday, providing a roadmap for how compensation will be paid to victims of a wildfire started by the United States Forest Service last spring. One of the biggest questions the new regulations answer is how victims […]

Albuquerque chose not to send out a mass alert about the plastic fire

By: - August 25, 2023

As the Atkore United Poly Systems fire was burning in southeast Albuquerque, Dr. Johnnye Lewis was receiving calls from people living in the Nob Hill neighborhood about six miles to the north wondering why their throats were burning.  They told her they received no alerts about the plastic fire because they had not opted into […]