Mary Lou Cooper

Mary Lou Cooper reports on consumer issues for KSFR as well as on politics and elder affairs. She also assists radio journalist Dave Marash at KSFR, conducting research and booking for the “Here and There with Dave Marash” program. She has worked for the U.S. Congress as well as for the Nevada and Tennessee legislatures, and remains a political junkie. She worked many years for an association of Western state legislatures and was a contributor to “Capitol Ideas,” a national magazine about state government.  In 2016 Cooper received a public service award from the New Mexico Broadcasting Association for her KSFR story on Internet romance scams.  She has received journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and from the National Federation of Press Women. She grew up in Oak Ridge, TN and received her BA from Emory University in Atlanta and her MA from the University of Texas Austin.  She also holds fiction and screenwriting certificates from the University of Washington.

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For many people, one of the rites of fall is getting the flu shot. 

According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, the upcoming flu season could arrive early and be more severe. That’s because last time around, we had an unusually mild flu season likely due to COVID-19 mitigation measures like face masks, hand washing, and physical distancing. As a result, population immunity against the flu is now much lower.

"Busy Waiter" by Ralph and Jenny | Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Running a restaurant is a risky business in the best of times.  According to the National Restaurant Association, during the pandemic, some 90,000 restaurants in the U.S. closed permanently.

@Jimg944 via Flickr | Licensed under CC BY 2.0

After many months of staying at home during the pandemic, both Americans and New Mexicans are ready to drive, fly, and yes, sail once again. 

Bryce Dix | KSFR

This month yet another COVID-19 fraud made the headlines — this one involving fake vaccination cards. 

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Quarantines, mask mandates, and social distancing have pushed more families to bridge the gap of isolation and loneliness with pets of all kinds and sizes. 

But, as KSFR’s Mary Lou Cooper reports, with this newfound demand for furry friends comes a scam that advertises pets online with the intention of taking money from victims. 


The New Mexico Department of Health reports that although the risks are small, Johnson and Johnson vaccine breakthroughs were 50 percent more likely than Pfizer vaccine breakthroughs. 

Courtesy Photo | Bryce Dix

KSFR's new interim news director Bryce Dix talks with reporter Mary Lou Cooper about his vision for public radio at KSFR.

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New research by the American Automobile Association's Foundation for Traffic Safety is finding that people who use both alcohol and cannabis are some of the most dangerous drivers on the road.

  Memorial Day weekend kicks off the season of BBQ’s, longer, warmer days and family vacations.  Consumer reporter Mary Lou Cooper talked with the American Automobile Association to find out what’s in store for Memorial Day weekend and the Summer of 2019 as American families hit the road.

Vaping is what happens when consumers inhale and exhale electronically produced vapor which contains nicotine, but not tobacco. The delivery devices are typically shaped like cigarettes, pens or even flash drives.  Are these devices a high-tech alternative to tobacco smoking? Or do e-cigarettes bring their own set of health and safety concerns with them?  Consumer reporter Mary Lou Cooper talks to University of New Mexico health expert Dr. Sidhu to find out more about the health impacts of vaping, especially on teens.


A death in the family is one of the saddest occasions any of us will ever face. But for con artists, death equals opportunity. Consumer reporter Mary Lou Cooper brings us a report on death and obituary scams. She speaks with Liz Peck, Forbes Magazine contributor and certified financial planner with Frazier Financial consultants.

Now, a report on a topic that’s been around forever—Fake News. But thanks to social media, it’s become more widespread than ever. Witness the fact that Collins Dictionary named Fake News the 2017 word of the year.

KSFR reporter Mary Lou Cooper talks with a local expert to shine a light on Fake News—what is it and how do we recognize it?

For more help on how to spot fake news, check out these sites: 

Fact Checking Sites 

For Science Monday we thought we’d turn to a different sort of chemistry: the chemistry of high-altitude baking. All kudos for story idea — and cake execution — to Mary Lou Cooper. When Mary Lou began sharing what she was going through to refine her homemade dessert repertoire after taking part in a recent community college baking class, I couldn’t help but think of a famous TV scene.

SFR is talking about a topic today that is important to all of us, but most especially to teens and their families.  That topic is cyberbullying.  And it affects one our of every three teens in America.  We kick off this feature with excerpts from the song "Hey Bully" which was co-written and recorded by young country artist Morgan Frazier.  Frazier says that as a kid she was bullied at school.  She joined forces with the organization "Stand for the Silent" to campaign against bullying.  KSFR reporter Mary Lou Cooper brings us the story. 

Consumer reporter Mary Lou Cooper examines the spike in deadly crashes involving teenage drivers that occurs annually in the period between Memorial and Labor Day, according to a AAA study. She spoke with a representative of AAA New Mexico for more.