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.

@Will Montegue via Creative Commons | Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

All around town, kids and adults alike are gearing up for Halloween 2021.

Trick or Treating at the Santa Fe Place Mall is back. Opportunities to celebrate are abundant at school and church festivals, pumpkin patches, library events and private dinner parties. One Santa Fe pub is even advertising a Halloween Bar Crawl.

But wait... Is it safe to enjoy Halloween in the time of COVID?

NMDOH

Now that the Federal Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have approved booster shots for Moderna and J&J vaxxers, boosters are now available for more than 200,000 New Mexicans in the first roll-out.

Via New Mexico Department of Health

So, we've all probably wondered... Is it okay to mix and match COVID-19 vaccines?

And that answer is: yes! That's according to University of California San Francisco professor and infectious disease specialist, Dr. Monica Gandhi and both the Federal Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

PHIL via CDC

COVID-19 booster shots from Pfizer are now rolling out in New Mexico. 

Some 365,000 people are eligible for the first round in October for those are at least six months out from their two-shot vaccine course and are in high-risk categories.

KOMUnews | Licensed under CC BY 2.0

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. 

@koczkodan via Flickr | Licensed by CC 2.0

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. 

NMDOH

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.

NC Vision Zero / CC BY 2.0

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.

Vecteezy.com

  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.      

www.topnews.us

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.

Google

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.

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