From Guns to E. Coli: A Look Back

This is the first in a series of monthly posts looking back at our work over the last month, and what I learned.

When I started looking at the data on gun deaths for Marisa’s story, Taking Mental Health Out Of The Gun Violence Debate, I had no idea that New Mexico had such a big suicide problem, and that our gun suicide rate is almost double the national average.

Gun deaths in NM by Race, CDC WISQARS data

Gun deaths in NM by Race, CDC WISQARS data

The other surprising fact, highlighted in this post analyzing the gun data, is that gun deaths in NM are mostly middle aged or older white males, and suicide is by far the largest cause of gun deaths.

Here are some other notable stories from our reporters:

Ed’s 2nd story on pollution in the Rio Grande led to this map of all facilities currently in violation with the EPA.

Marisa’s series, the APD Files brings out the individual stories of those killed by APD, but also contextualizes the issue as a larger look at mental health and substance abuse policy. Here are her stories covering Daniel Tillison and Alan Gomez. The fact that Alan Gomez’s father made sure the police would arrest his son, because at least in jail he could get treatment, was an eye opener.

KUNM has reported on the impact of the behavioral health shakeup in New Mexico, but many of the new companies are from Arizona and there have been effects on their businesses back there. News Director Elaine Baumgartel conducted a Q&A with Arizona Republic reporter Craig Harris, who covered this issue extensively. It was fascinating to learn that several of the Arizona providers that moved into the New Mexico market have had to shift money and reduce services.

Ben Francisco at New Mexico Legal Aid Credit Ed Williams

Ben Francisco at New Mexico Legal Aid
Credit Ed Williams

Did you know that Gallup has the highest number of storefront lending businesses per capita in the country? I didn’t until reading Ed’s story on storefront lending in New Mexico. The article relates the story of Ben Francisco, who in his 90s took out storefront loans to help care for his sick daughter, but is now having most of his retirement from over 60 years of work go to pay them back.

If you have any questions about our reporting, or story ideas, feel free to get in touch!

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