Author

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.

New Mexico students don’t have ‘learning loss.’ They’re living in a pandemic.

By: - November 3, 2022

In its endorsement of the Republican candidate for New Mexico governor, the state’s largest newspaper wrote that “learning loss” was an inevitable outcome as “prolonged remote learning made a bad situation worse.” At a news conference in Albuquerque in September, Mark Ronchetti set the tone when he accused Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of failing public […]

Candidates for NM’s highest courts promise law without politics

By: - October 31, 2022

Candidates from both major parties trying to get on New Mexico’s appellate courts have a similar message: They will be impartial in their rulings, unlike their opponents. Thomas Montoya, a Republican from Alameda, is running for a seat on the New Mexico Supreme Court. A Montoya campaign advertisement published Sept. 29 touts his position on […]

Over 17,000 New Mexicans barred from voting in the midterms, report shows

By: - October 27, 2022

The New Mexico prison system took 18 years of Kelly Garcia’s life. Along with all the other inhumane conditions on the inside, Garcia includes the fact that people in prison here cannot vote in elections. “My voice was muted for so many years,” she said. “I couldn’t vote at that time.” When she was still […]

Register to vote in the midterms online now or at the polls through Election Day

By: - September 20, 2022

Tuesday marked National Voter Registration Day, a civic holiday meant to celebrate U.S. democracy and endorsed by election administrators. “National Voter Registration Day is a non-partisan celebration of the right to vote and of having a voice in our democracy,” New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver said in a news release.  Eligible voters […]

Republican AG candidate to remain on the ballot after his NM residency is challenged

By: - September 20, 2022

Barring any appeal, Republican Jeremy Michael Gay will remain on the ballot for New Mexico Attorney General, a District Court judge ruled on Friday. Former Bernalillo County Commissioner James Collie had asked the court to order Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver to remove Gay’s name from the ballot, alleging he has not lived in […]

New Mexico quietly closes its COVID isolation shelters

By: - September 16, 2022

POJOAQUE PUEBLO — Since April 2020, the Buffalo Thunder Isolation & Quarantine Shelter housed 1,646 Native Americans and non-Native people from 44 different tribes and three different countries, including people from two First Nations in Canada and a woman from Puerto Rico who caught COVID-19 while she was visiting her daughter in nearby Santa Fe. […]

Six NM counties approved to offer just one ballot drop box each

By: - September 15, 2022

Six of the most rural New Mexico counties will each have just one ballot drop box available for voters this year because they will not have to follow a state regulation requiring at least two. Bureau of Elections Director Mandy Vigil approved on Tuesday requests from six counties to waive the requirement. County clerks for […]

Black and Hispanic man killed by APD over lawfully owned firearm

By: - September 15, 2022

A trio of Albuquerque Police Department officers shot and killed a Black and Hispanic man who was lawfully keeping a gun in his car and was cooperative with them during what was supposed to be a welfare check at a gas station in August, according to a witness and an attorney for the man’s family. […]

ACLU calls on Biden’s Homeland Security secretary to close the ICE detention center in Estancia, NM

By: - September 12, 2022

The American Civil Liberties Union is again asking the head of the Department of Homeland Security to close more immigration detention centers, including the Torrance County Detention Facility in Estancia, N.M. In a Sept. 6 letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, two senior ACLU staff pointed to Torrance as a stark example of appalling […]

Republican AG candidate, NM secretary of state have days to prepare for hearing

By: - September 12, 2022

The Republican candidate for New Mexico attorney general and the state’s top election official have less than a week to prepare for a hearing on whether the GOP contender really does qualify to be on the ballot. First Judicial District Court Judge T. Glenn Ellington on Friday ordered candidate Jeremy Michael Gay and Secretary of […]

Complaint: Republican candidate for state AG hasn’t lived in NM long enough to run for office

By: - September 8, 2022

A former Bernalillo County official alleged on Wednesday that the Republican candidate for New Mexico attorney general has not lived in New Mexico for long enough to be qualified to run for the office. Jeremy Michael Gay, of Gallup, is running against Democrat and Second Judicial District Attorney Raúl Torrez to become the state’s highest-ranking […]

Those seeking new omicron boosters left to fend for themselves safety-wise

By: - September 8, 2022

New Mexicans started getting the new omicron-specific coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday but were left to figure out on their own how they will safely get the shot. The CDC and state governors around the country this year rolled back public health protections, including indoor mask mandates for essential services and business that advocates say would […]