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.

NMSU graduate workers rally at regents’ meeting for tuition coverage

By: - March 15, 2022

Graduate students often work for the university they attend, and in exchange, have their tuition covered. But not all grad workers get tuition coverage. That includes Paramveer Singh, a graduate assistant in the Environmental Department at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.  On average, NMSU graduate employees pay $6,000 each year in tuition. That […]

Examining fatal social flaws as COVID protections evaporate

By: - March 14, 2022

Though public health guidance and rules shifted quickly over the last two years, this has been consistent: People of color in the United States died from COVID-19 at higher rates than white people. That’s true here in New Mexico, too.  Last year, Indigenous, Hispanic and Black people in the state were far more likely to […]

State pulls staff off compiling COVID numbers, plans to remove and obscure some info 

By: - March 11, 2022

Starting Monday, it will be more difficult to find daily data on the pandemic maintained by the New Mexico Department of Health. The daily COVID-19 updates will no longer be available broken down by county, officials said. A staple information source for two years now, the daily county-level updates have long been how the public […]

The first two years

By: - March 11, 2022

In his State of the Union address this month, President Joe Biden said, “COVID-19 need no longer control our lives.” Biden’s own polling firm advised him in February to declare the crisis phase of COVID over and push for feeling and acting more normal, to stop talking about public health protections and the unknown future […]

COVID long-haulers feel abandoned and invisible

By: - March 10, 2022

In southern New Mexico after a monsoon rain, you can catch the earthy, dusty smell of creosote bush. Even if you’re indoors, so long as the windows are open. During dry parts of the year, the scent of creosote, sometimes called chaparral when used as an herb, is not nearly as sharp. About a month […]

‘For us who have lost loved ones, there is no return to normal’

By: - March 9, 2022

Janeth Nuñez del Prado’s father Hugo lived in Bolivia and didn’t have access to the vaccine to protect against COVID-19. He died after catching the virus in May 2021, just two weeks before he was planning to come to the United States to get vaccinated and meet her children for the first time. Hugo was […]

The map colors changed, but did the risk?

By: - March 8, 2022

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New Mexico Department of Health are asking the public to adopt a new way of thinking about the COVID-19 pandemic. On Feb. 25, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced that the agency “updated its framework to monitor the level of COVID-19 in communities.” CDC updated […]

 A look at the four cases against people from NM charged with Jan. 6 crimes

By: - March 8, 2022

Federal prosecutors charged four people from New Mexico with crimes committed during the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Investigators found two of suspects by reviewing Capitol surveillance footage and phone GPS data. They found two others by reviewing their posts on social media as thousands of election-deniers stormed the building in […]

Governor wants New Mexico to divest from Russia

By: - March 4, 2022

Pointing to civilian deaths in the war in Ukraine, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday afternoon pressured the state’s sovereign wealth fund and the two state pension funds to dump any investments they might have with the Russian Federation. “The State of New Mexico has substantial investments that may be directly or indirectly […]

Scrase: NM mask mandate gone for good barring catastrophe

By: - March 3, 2022

New Mexico would have to encounter disastrous circumstances in order for state officials to even consider reimplementing a statewide mask mandate, the state’s top public health official said Wednesday. “I don’t know that we’re predisposed to mandates,” said David Scrase, acting health secretary of New Mexico. He said bringing the mandate back would be possible […]

Pandemic sidelines immunocompromised teacher

By: - March 2, 2022

As the state struggles to find teachers — even calling on members of the National Guard to remedy staffing shortages in public schools — some longtime instructors are blocked from doing the job by COVID risk. Manan Reese has taught as a substitute in Albuquerque high schools for about five years. But for the past […]

Talking through a fast and consequential 2022 legislative session

By: - March 1, 2022

Your New Mexico Government host Kaveh Mowahed invited Source New Mexico reporters Shaun Griswold and Austin Fisher to join NM Political Report Environment and Energy Reporter Hannah Grover and Las Cruces Sun-News Reporter and Columnist Algernon D’Ammassa in wrapping up the 30-day session that ended in February. The panel of journalists discussed the state’s record-shattering […]