NM governor gets low grades (at home) on climate change

Governor Lucian Grisham looks over crowd at Climate Alliance. Photo taken by blah blah/ news org

When Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham took office, she promised to cut greenhouse gases and embrace clean energy – a radical objective, considering that the state relies on the oil and gas industry revenue.

Four years later, oil and gas exert enormous influence and Lujan Grisham has been named in a lawsuit, accused of failing to protect citizens’ rights to a clean environment.

Who paid for Solomon Pena’s campaign

Solomon Pena was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center early Tuesday morning. Police say he orchestrated a string of drive-by shootings at local politicians’ homes after losing the election for the state House of Representatives.

By Joshua Bowling/Searchlight NM

Before he was accused of orchestrating the shootings at elected officials’ homes, he was able to court an influential New Mexico conservative.

No eyes on the skies

Flaring by the storage tanks at an oil and gas site near Artesia. Nadav Soroker/Searchlight New Mexico

By Lindsay Fendt/Searchlight NM

New Mexico’s tough new pollution rules rely on oil and gas operators to report their methane emissions. Can self-policing work?

Pandemic death benefits going unused

A funeral director leads a prayer at a burial service in Thoreau, in July 2020. Photo by Don J. Usner / Searchlight New Mexico

By Ike Swetlitz / Searchlight New Mexico Maia Duerr’s parents died from COVID-19 in January 2021. The pandemic was raging, so Duerr didn’t have funeral ceremonies. Instead, she opted for cremations, which cost about $7,000 total. A few months later, she found out that the federal government would foot the bill. “I just felt like,… Continue reading Pandemic death benefits going unused

Motel of last resort

“I don’t have a reservation for this room. These rooms go fast, fast, fast, if you don’t have a reservation. I think it’s because they don’t require a deposit here, like some of these motels do. The rooms are clean. The stay is like, peaceful and quiet. I stay in a lot of these places because I’ve been homeless for more than 10 years, 14 years. I came here to Albuquerque in 2007 because of a relationship that ended up being violent. And I’ve got the scars to show it.” — Nina Sandoval

Rental prices are on the rise, and the need for affordable housing far outstrips what’s available. This motel and others have become a landing spot for people with nowhere else to go. 

By Luciana Perez Uribe Guinassi  / Searchlight New Mexico

In Their Own Words: What children think about online learning and a school year lost to COVID – Zuni Pueblo and Navajo Nation

Brothers Elishah (age 13, left) and Makai Tsosie (age 14, right) take a break from their chores on the family ranch at Lake Valley, NM, and enjoy some horseback riding. Photo by Curtis Ray Benally.

This is the third in a series of articles that ask students in the region how they feel about school during the pandemic. Today we hear from students from Zuni Pueblo and the Navajo Nation. By Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi Photography by Don J. Usner and Curtis Ray Benally Not far from the Shiprock pinnacle on… Continue reading In Their Own Words: What children think about online learning and a school year lost to COVID – Zuni Pueblo and Navajo Nation

Pine Ridge or Bust

Even as Dineh Benally’s illegal cannabis operations in the Navajo Nation are under ongoing investigation, he’s looking for more opportunities across Indian Country. By Wufei Yu and Ed Williams | Searchlight NM Last year, Dineh Benally, the former president of San Juan River Farm Board in the Navajo Nation, oversaw the transformation of 400 acres of cropland into… Continue reading Pine Ridge or Bust