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.

Judge rules the redrawn NM congressional map stays in place — for now

By: - April 20, 2022

The 2022 elections in New Mexico will move forward with the newly redrawn congressional map, but future elections could still see legal challenges from Republicans, a state judge ruled Tuesday. In two brief letters on Tuesday afternoon, Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Fred Van Soelen said he will allow New Mexico to conduct the elections […]

New Mexico extends COVID public health emergency through May 16 as positivity rate ticks up

By: - April 19, 2022

New Mexico extended the statewide public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic through May 16. Under the public health order, universal masking is required in health care facilities but not in most indoor public spaces any longer. Businesses and other public and private workplaces must continue to report positive cases of COVID-19 to the […]

CNM workers outraged by withheld raises

By: - April 14, 2022

Ray Montoya is a maintenance electrician at Central New Mexico Community College. He’s also a steward for the union that represents about 25 custodians, groundskeepers and maintenance staff at the school. He said his fellow workers have been “courageous throughout this pandemic.” They show up even when it snows to make the campus safe for […]

Public asks college board to take trade programs off the chopping block

By: - April 13, 2022

Students, graduates, faculty and staff gave passionate in-person testimony Tuesday night to fight for Central New Mexico Community College’s trade programs in trucking and jewelry.  They argued that the programs helped change their lives and provide economic opportunities to students from marginalized backgrounds who might have difficulty finding education elsewhere. CNM administrators are trying to […]

Congressional elections panel hears from New Mexico voting rights advocates

By: - April 12, 2022

Federal lawmakers in charge of overseeing elections are looking to New Mexico as a model for how to improve access to voting across the country, although they heard about the obstacles remaining between the state’s marginalized communities and the ballot box. The U.S. House Committee on House Administration held a hearing on Monday at the […]

Tickets to ride Rail Runner 75% cheaper through July

By: - April 8, 2022

The price of riding New Mexico’s commuter rail line will drop by 75% on Monday, rail officials and New Mexico’s governor announced. All one-way, day pass, monthly passes and annual passes to ride the Rail Runner will be cheaper through the end of July. Buying the passes will be even cheaper online, according to a […]

Allegations of sexual humiliation at Los Lunas Prison echoes 2011 case

By: - April 8, 2022

Guards accused of taking part in beating, terrorizing and sexually humiliating incarcerated people two years ago at the New Mexico state prison in Los Lunas were found to have committed similar abuses before, but have only risen in the ranks since. A new federal lawsuit alleges that New Mexico Corrections Department Assistant Warden Joe Lytle […]

Rail Runner in talks with governor to reduce ticket prices

By: - April 7, 2022

Even without funding from the Legislature, New Mexico’s commuter rail line may lower ticket prices to help low-income people get around without having to pay rising fuel costs. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham asked lawmakers to set aside money to reduce ticket costs for the Rail Runner, to make it a more affordable commuting options as […]

Capitol rioter from Santa Fe acquitted on all counts

By: - April 6, 2022

A federal judge acquitted a defense contractor from Santa Fe on Wednesday of all charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. U.S. District Court Judge Trevor N. McFadden held the bench trial for Matthew Martin over two days. The government brought three witnesses to testify and Martin himself also testified, […]

One of the entrances to the New Mexico Legislature is shown bathed in shadow, with light from the afternoon sun spilling out from above the Roundhouse.

Lawmakers pass junior spending bill again

By: - April 6, 2022

The New Mexico Legislature on Tuesday approved spending on projects and services previously vetoed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Senate Bill 1, commonly referred to as the “junior bill,” is nearly identical to Senate Bill 48, a spending bill lawmakers passed without any opposition during the 2022 regular session that ended Feb. 17. The Senate […]

Only some cities’ sewers are tested for COVID in N.M.

By: - April 5, 2022

New Mexico health officials anticipate that more people are taking COVID tests at home, and that means the state knows less about those results. They also no longer recommend masking until we reach a point that hospitals start getting overwhelmed. With cases rising in Europe and Asia, that could leave New Mexicans without any clue […]

Report shows a ‘Poor People’s Pandemic’ in the U.S. and New Mexico

By: - April 5, 2022

Eight counties in New Mexico are listed in a recent report as having the highest rates of poverty and COVID-19 deaths in the entire United States, a dire statistic as the report concludes that across the country people living in poorer counties have died at nearly two times the rate of people who lived in […]