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.

The science behind why schools should be removing COVID-19 from the air

By: - April 26, 2022

Paloma Beamer is an environmental engineer, scientist, and former president of the International Society of Exposure Science. She’s also the mother of a public school student. In the pandemic’s third year, it is still not widely understood that coronavirus is airborne, Beamer said, and that lack of understanding makes it hard to limit people’s exposure. […]

Your lungs: where the global pandemic and the climate crisis meet

By: - April 25, 2022

New Mexico’s wildfire season is here early, and we know from the past two years that wildfires only add to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic. There were 20 active wildfires in New Mexico on Saturday, state officials told reporters. Smoke from wildfires in New Mexico may have spread as far away as South Dakota […]

ICE brings more people into Torrance detention center, congresswoman’s staff confirms

By: - April 22, 2022

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement over the weekend moved more than 100 people into the Torrance County detention center in Estancia, N.M., according to staff with U.S. Rep. Melaine Stansbury. The transfers into Torrance come less than a month after federal inspectors told ICE to get people out of there because conditions were so bad. […]

Final decision on asphalt plant on Santa Fe’s South Side expected this summer

By: - April 21, 2022

A final decision on whether an asphalt company can expand its operations on Santa Fe’s South Side is expected this summer, after community groups appealed the project’s approval by state environmental regulators and hundreds of local residents petitioned Monday for the decision to be overturned. Associated Asphalt and Materials, LLC in 2019 applied for a […]

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 […]