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.

APD was ‘mistaken’ about federal warrant for the man targeted in SWAT raid

By: - July 12, 2022

In the days following a deadly SWAT raid on a house that burned down in Albuquerque’s International District, police and local media repeatedly said that the man they were trying to arrest that night was wanted on a federal warrant. The morning after the incident, Police Chief Harold Medina said at a news conference that […]

Return of Oñate pageantry inflames debate over colonial memory in NM

By: - July 12, 2022

Despite years of pushback and protests, the depiction of genocidal Spanish conquistador and war criminal Juan de Oñate returned to the Fiesta del Valle de Española over the weekend with a re-enactment that attempted to downplay his crimes and polish his legacy. At the Bond House Museum in downtown Española on Saturday, Ray Griego, the […]

Detail of the New Mexico Corrections Department logo painted on a wall inside the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility.

Restrictions on prison mail don’t appear to decrease drug use, legislative report says

By: - July 7, 2022

Restrictions on personal mail for people incarcerated in New Mexico prisons have not had any effect on drug use, according to legislative analysts, even though state prison officials said the new policy was meant to prevent drugs from getting inside. And the contractor that processes the mail has likely made over $100,000 so far. The […]

Pandemic prompts health equity changes

By: - July 6, 2022

Informed by the yearslong pandemic, a panel looking to shape the big picture of public health in New Mexico is zeroing in on knocking down barriers to care and health, tackling systemic racism and climate change. That means looking at what programs are funded, who works on them and where resources are allocated, according to […]

NM Supreme Court strikes down attempt to weaken bail reform

By: - July 5, 2022

If New Mexico prosecutors want to throw someone in jail while they await trial, they must have evidence that the person is dangerous and that no conditions of release will protect others from them — they cannot simply rely on information about the alleged crime, the New Mexico Supreme Court concluded in an opinion issued […]

Nexus Brewery

All NM employers must now provide paid sick leave

By: - July 1, 2022

Lucila Lozoya is a child care worker and mother of three. When there was a COVID surge at her workplace, her boss did not have the best response, she said, which caused more positive cases. “During this time, our employer never gave us federal paid sick leave, making decisions about our health and feeding my […]

Parents and advocates scrutinize FDA delays in approving vaccines for young kids

By: - June 30, 2022

Young children in the United States received for the first time this month the basic level of protection offered by coronavirus vaccines. But questions linger among parents and advocates about why the Food and Drug Administration didn’t act earlier to protect this age group. Justine Fox-Young is an Albuquerque-based attorney and mother of three children […]

US senators block commission that would have closed New Mexico VA clinics

By: - June 29, 2022

Federal lawmakers say they’ve killed a plan by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to shutter four VA clinics in New Mexico. The Gallup, Las Vegas, Raton and Española clinics would have been closed under recommendations released in March. A 2018 law passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump requires VA plans to […]

More people stuck in NM prisons beyond their release dates in recent months, LFC report shows

By: - June 23, 2022

A growing number of New Mexicans incarcerated in state prisons are being held beyond their official release date because there are not enough resources outside the walls to meet their mental health needs. The problem is nothing new, but the number of incarcerated New Mexicans still sitting in cells under so-called “in-house parole” has increased […]

Long COVID affects one in five people who contract the virus, CDC study shows

By: - June 21, 2022

Twenty percent of people who get infected with coronavirus go on to develop serious chronic conditions that can permanently damage organs, even when that initial infection doesn’t result in symptoms or a trip to the hospital, according to a new, large study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even though top New […]

NM state epidemiologist leaving next month

By: - June 20, 2022

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic is in full swing, a top infectious disease expert in the New Mexico government is leaving next month. New Mexico State Epidemiologist Dr. Christine Ross will leave the Department of Health on July 10, acting Health Secretary Dr. David Scrase told reporters during a news conference last week. “She’s going […]

To deal with the emergency at Bernalillo County jail, is releasing people on the table?

By: - June 17, 2022

Bernalillo County has tried many different ways to solve the problem of not enough guards at the Metropolitan Detention Center. Officials have tried putting inmates on lockdown for days at a time so they are easier to watch, paying guards extra to work overtime and paying guards double on some shifts. They’ve tried hiring bonuses, […]