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.

Jail’s inability to deal with cyberattack could violate the constitutional rights of inmates

By: - January 7, 2022

The Metropolitan Detention Center in Bernalillo County has gone on lockdown after hackers on Wednesday knocked out the jail’s internet, most of its data systems and all of its security cameras, according to an emergency notice filed by the county’s attorneys. What is believed to be a ransomware attack on the county government has left […]

COMMENTARY

I caught COVID-19. Isolation and contact tracing kept others safe.

By: - January 4, 2022

Over the holiday season, I found myself more isolated than ever because it had finally happened: Despite all my precautions, I caught coronavirus.  But even during those somewhat lonely winter weeks, I was grateful for public health measures that continue to keep those around me safe. One tool in particular — contact tracing — likely […]

Scrase: Pandemic will drag on until the world is vaccinated

By: - January 3, 2022

Eight months after the Biden administration said it supports lifting international patent rules on COVID-19 vaccines, it still has not delivered a patent waiver, even as the omicron variant spreads faster than any previous strain of the deadly virus. While 75% of New Mexicans and 61% of U.S. residents are fully vaccinated and many people […]

More people join call for UNM Foundation to divest from oil and gas

By: - December 22, 2021

Accusations that the University of New Mexico Foundation violates state law around public charities and conflicts of interest appear to be gaining momentum. The foundation invests in oil and gas, and some of its members have ties to the industry. But are those ties close enough to constitute a legal violation? A group fighting for […]

Survey: New Mexicans still can’t afford health care

By: - December 20, 2021

Over the summer in New Mexico, when hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 were going down and daily vaccinations were at a high, two-thirds of New Mexicans still couldn’t afford health insurance, delayed or skipped needed medical care due to cost, or struggled to pay medical bills, according to a recently released survey. The findings suggest […]

New Mexico militia compares itself to NAACP, prosecutors liken it to the KKK

By: - December 20, 2021

A white supremacist militia under legal pressure from a local prosecutor in New Mexico is claiming protection under a 1958 court case that allowed the NAACP to keep its membership roster private from Alabama officials in order to protect members from violence and harassment. The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office, meanwhile, says the case is […]

Graduate workers win union in card count

By: - December 20, 2021

It’s official: graduate student workers at the University of New Mexico have the right to demand school officials come to the bargaining table. New Mexico’s statewide labor board counted 887 cards signed by UNM graduate students expressing their wishes to join United Graduate Workers (UGW-UE). That represents 57.3% of the 1,547 graduate workers in the […]

Pandemic relief spending package headed to governor’s desk

By: - December 16, 2021

A spending bill that would use nearly half of the roughly $1.1 billion in remaining federal relief money given to New Mexico under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is headed to the governor’s desk. The New Mexico House of Representatives just after 1 p.m. on Thursday agreed to the state Senate’s amendments to […]

State could consider less money for ABQ if bond funds aren’t spent

By: - December 16, 2021

More than a month after Albuquerque voters said no to using public funds to help pay for a new soccer stadium, the city government is still debating how to spend that money. But a state lawmaker warned that if city officials leave the funds on the table, it could hurt their chances of getting help […]

After public pressure, ABQ Council confirms Pfeiffer to environmental board

By: - December 13, 2021

Albuquerque councilors confirmed the appointment of the first Native person ever to serve on the city government’s Environmental Planning Commission, according to city sources. She’ll also be the only woman on the board.  But it was only after public pressure and a letter-writing campaign from numerous organizations in support of the candidate, who said she […]

School of public health funding postponed until next month

By: - December 12, 2021

A proposal to use $335 million in federal pandemic aid to rebuild New Mexico’s behavioral health system and establish a school of public health to deal with pandemics won’t make it through the special session. The Senate Finance Committee voted against the measure Saturday, Dec. 11, with the understanding that it will likely come back […]

Redrawn NM congressional map awaits governor’s signature

By: and - December 11, 2021

An updated proposal to redraw New Mexico’s congressional map cleared the state’s House of Representatives on Saturday evening, with Democrats arguing the redrawn political boundaries will bridge the state’s urban-rural divide. The House passed the bill in a 44-24 vote and it’s now headed to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk. Under the latest version of […]