New Mexico schools could benefit from flush budget if delta variant controlled
The state’s public school system could see a windfall of money as economists expect the local economy to partially recover from the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. New Mexico’s main pot of money, called the general fund, will total $8.8 billion in the upcoming year. State lawmakers will have $1.39 billion in “new money,” or […]
Boosters are coming soon to N.M., but some vaccine distrust lingers
Sandra Jean Taylor, a lactation consultant with a bachelor’s degree in nutritional science, has already scheduled her COVID-19 booster shot. She also found a Moderna vaccine trial for 7- and 11-year-old children and signed up her two children. “I am volunteering them for science,” Taylor said she told the recruitment team. “I feel 100% comfortable […]
Feds expand Pell Grant program for prisoners working on college degrees
WASHINGTON — Prison inmates around the U.S. are getting the chance to do something that was almost unheard of a generation ago: pursue a college degree while behind bars and with financial support from the federal government. Inmates in 42 states, including New Mexico, as well as in Washington, D.C., have more access to federal […]
State officials don’t know how many Native American women are missing
When an Indigenous person needs support in a violent and dangerous situation, an ally in the community is a rare vital resource. In Nambé Pueblo, Chastity Sandoval is that person. “There is a high chance of no justice happening,” said Sandoval, the victim legal advocate in Nambé. “So how do we accommodate and accompany our […]
N.M. teachers’ retirement still tied up with prison phone company
The board that invests the pension fund for New Mexico teachers promised last year not to fund private prisons anymore. But critics say the pension fund still has millions of dollars invested in a related, exploitive industry: prison phone calls.
Governor appoints new District Court judge in southern N.M.
Casey Fitch, a Las Cruces-based attorney, will fill the vacant seat on the Third Judicial District Court, which covers Doña Ana County. He will handle civil and criminal cases. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham appointed Fitch to the seat left open by retiring Judge Lisa Shultz. District Court judges are first appointed but then have to […]
Executive order aims to conserve undeveloped land in the state
New Mexico could have 30% of all lands in the state protected for conservation by 2030 if an executive order signed last week by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is successful. Billed as the 30×30 framework, the state’s effort is unique in accounting for tribal and traditional land uses, such as the state’s watershed, according to […]
Thousands of nurses and hundreds of doctors needed in the state
New Mexico’s entire health care system is plagued by shortages, and nearly every county in the state does not have enough primary care physicians or nurses, researchers from the state’s Health Care Workforce Committee told lawmakers. “There are massive shortages in every health care sector in the state,” said Dr. Richard Larson, executive vice chancellor of the UNM Health Sciences Center.
District policies block students from learning remotely after COVID scares
District policy allows only those students who enrolled in online school to attend it. That means students enrolled in in-person school can't take the online classes if they must quarantine. Instead, those students get a take-home packet of school work or nothing.
Gun storage law in the works after ABQ middle school shooting
Editor’s Note: We are not naming the suspect in the shooting because it is our policy to not name juvenile offenders who are not being tried as adults. A coalition of Albuquerque-area state lawmakers is drafting a bill to create the Bennie Hargrove Gun Safety Act during the coming 30-day legislative session or a special […]
Appeals court: Silver City PD brushed its own domestic violence policy aside
A federal appeals court upheld a ruling denying qualified immunity to police in Silver City for failing to protect to Nikki Bascom, a nurse and mother of two who was killed in 2016 by her former partner, a Silver City police captain, in a murder-suicide. Five years after she died, the ruling puts police on […]
Big win for UNM grad workers in the fight for labor rights
Graduate workers at the University of New Mexico say a ruling earlier this month could help them address low wages, poor benefits, overwork and discrimination at their five campuses in New Mexico — and if conditions improve, there will be fewer systemic barriers to getting an advanced degree. New Mexico’s statewide labor board determined that […]