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.

State highway office promotes Uber to curb drunk driving

By: - November 23, 2021

Residents of the Albuquerque metro area can get a discounted price on trips booked through the ridesharing app Uber today through the end of the Thanksgiving weekend. The “Take a Ride on Us” program offers 2,500 people an Uber credit of up to $10 and one ride per person. The program started Monday and continues […]

COVID still spreading in NM prisons despite nearly everyone getting the jab

By: - November 23, 2021

Almost all state prisoners in New Mexico have been fully vaccinated, though the latest data show one state prison here has one of the highest rates of infection of any jail or prison in the United States. As of Monday, there were 5,282 prisoners who had received both doses —  about 95% — state Corrections […]

Only a fraction of ABQ ‘affordable housing’ funding slated for long-term housing

By: - November 22, 2021

As housing pressures mount in Albuquerque, Councilors Brook Bassan and Klarissa Peña introduced an ordinance that sets aside bond money for affordable housing. But so far, it’s unclear exactly how much would really go toward creating long-term, low-cost options. In the councilors’ bill, $25.6 million is cordoned off for “affordable housing,” but the only project […]

UNMH and Pres adopt crisis standards again to prepare for a flood of patients

By: - November 19, 2021

New Mexico’s health care workers are seeing a “slow-motion car wreck” as patients suffering from COVID-19 and complications from delayed treatment push hospitals beyond capacity, two leading physicians said Thursday. As winter approaches, they said, there’s no end in sight. If the vaccination rate freezes where it is and everyone’s behaviors stay the same around […]

ABQ City Council struggles over Environmental Planning Commission appointment

By: - November 17, 2021

The Albuquerque City Council will consider a historic appointment to the city government’s Environmental Planning Commission next month. But the person up for the job is opposed by some councilors, who are questioning her qualifications.  If appointed, Jana Pfeiffer (Diné) would be the first woman and the first Native person to ever serve on the […]

Young and incarcerated: Part 5

By: - November 16, 2021

GRANTS — When Santana Serrano first arrived at Western New Mexico Correctional Facility, she would call her mother crying. “Mom, I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this,” she recalled saying. “Please help me get me out. Do whatever you can. I can’t do it.” Her mother told her yes, she could. At […]

Young and incarcerated: Part 4

By: - November 15, 2021

People who are under 18 but tried and convicted as adults and sentenced to life have to serve 30 years before being eligible for parole. New Mexico lawmakers are trying to cut that time in half.  Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Reps. Gail Chasey and Dayan Hochman-Vigil asked the Governor’s Office at the end of August […]

NMSU students to rally Tuesday for better graduate working conditions

By: - November 15, 2021

LAS CRUCES — Kathy Key-Tello is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in fiction and English at New Mexico State University and a graduate student working as a teaching assistant. Key-Tello suffers from multiple psychiatric disabilities. Unable to afford the health care plan offered by NMSU, she went to the wellness clinic on campus, where […]

Young and incarcerated: Part 3

By: - November 12, 2021

Data from the New Mexico prison system suggest a disproportionate number of incarcerated women are serving life sentences who were under the age of 18 when they committed their offenses. Young and incarcerated: Part 1 Overall, very few women are serving life sentences in New Mexico. Of the 446 people serving life sentences in the […]

Santa Fe street

Santa Fe City Council hears public input on pandemic relief

By: - November 11, 2021

Community groups in Santa Fe are asking the city government to use federal pandemic relief toward direct cash assistance for families, public housing, participatory budgeting and job training. The American Rescue Plan Act previously passed by Congress includes $21.5 billion in emergency rental assistance, $10 billion for homeowners assistance, $5 billion for emergency housing vouchers, […]

Young and incarcerated: Part 2

By: - November 11, 2021

Santana Serrano was convicted of murder, accused of helping her boyfriend kill another teenager when she was 17 years old. At trial, it was disputed whether she shared an intent to kill, and whether she handed him the gun or he grabbed it from her. Unless something changes, she won’t see outside the Grant’s women’s […]

Young and incarcerated: Part 1

By: - November 10, 2021

One moment in a woman’s life when she was still a teenager might determine the rest of her future. Santana Serrano is serving a life sentence in the women’s prison in Grants for a murder committed by her then-boyfriend, DeAndre Gonzales. No one has disputed the fact that it was Gonzales and not Serrano who […]