New Mexico News Podcast
A Mother’s Mission To Help Ukraine

A Mother’s Mission To Help Ukraine

May 17, 2022

Diana Horak is determined. Born and raised in Ukraine and now living in Albuquerque, Diana helped evacuate her 82-year-old mother from the war-torn country in March. During that trip to Ukraine, she also took suitcases full of supplies to help other refugees and front-line soldiers. After sharing her story with KRQE's Jessica Garate, Diana started getting support from New Mexicans all over. That support has led to yet another supply run for the people of Ukraine. In the coming weeks, Diana is planning to travel with a team of people (including her daughter) to help shuttle around 900 pounds of much-needed gear in a mission she calls "Bras, Boots, and Babies." This week on the podcast, hear about the mission from Diana herself.

What's on your mind? Like something we did? Got an idea? Let us know. Email us at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. We're also on Twitter at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM.  For more on this episode and all of our prior episodes, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

Losing Everything In A Wildfire

Losing Everything In A Wildfire

May 10, 2022

Hundreds of New Mexicans are dealing with the reality of losing their home to wildfire this season. Dry air, high temperatures, and continued winds through April and the start of May have already led to the destruction of more than 360 homes in communities all over the state. Families in Ruidoso and communities including Las Vegas, Jemez Springs, and Ocate are feeling the impacts, to name a few. What happens after you lose your home and everything inside it? Where do you go? Can families afford to rebuild?

This week, Gabby and Chris speak with Karen Roach, whose family home burned to the ground on the first day of the McBride Fire in mid-April. Before her interview, hear from Kerry Gladden, a longtime spokeswoman for the Village of Ruidoso who was a core part of getting the word out about the emergency response to the wildfire. Gladden helps shed light on the broader response the village still faces in the wake of the McBride wildfire.

We want to hear from our listeners! Like something we did? Feel like there's something we missed? Got an idea? Email us at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. We're also on Twitter at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM.  For more on this episode and all of our prior episodes, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

The Life Of A Wildland Firefighter

The Life Of A Wildland Firefighter

May 3, 2022

When a wildfire sparks, our news station usually gives people a birds-eye view of what’s happening in the community via our Sky News 13 helicopter. But what's it like for the men and women who are facing the fire on the ground, chopping down trees and working to stop the flames from spreading? It takes a lot to be a wildland firefighter. This week, Chris and Gabby hear from a longtime Santa Fe Hotshot, a highly skilled and specially trained firefighter, who’s already spent weeks working one of the biggest wildfires of the season.

What's on your mind? Like something we did? Got an idea? Let us know. Email us at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. We're also on Twitter at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM.  For more on this episode and all of our prior episodes, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

Free College For New Mexico

Free College For New Mexico

April 26, 2022

Perhaps it sounds too good to be true: "free college for New Mexico." But the fact is, a freshly expanded state program is ensuring just that. What started in 2020, the state's "Opportunity Scholarship" is now bigger than ever. If you didn't finish college and are seeking your first degree or training in a high-need trade, the state is willing to pick up the cost of your higher education. So how does it work? And why are so many lawmakers willing to support it? Chris and Gabby explore the state's free college offer this week. Hear from New Mexico's Department of Higher Education Secretary Stephanie Rodriguez in the first half of the episode. Later on, a discussion with a Republican lawmaker: Senator Cliff Pirtle (R-Roswell) talks about why he supports what some may argue is a major government spending program. 

Need a further breakdown of how the Opportunity Scholarship works? Check out Curtis Segarra's news resource or FAQ-style article titled: "Understanding New Mexico's 'free college' offer."

What's on your mind? Like something we did? Got an idea? Let us know. Email us at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. We're also on Twitter at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM.  For more on this episode and all of our prior episodes, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

New Mexico’s Wildfire Season Sparks Early

New Mexico’s Wildfire Season Sparks Early

April 19, 2022

Plenty of people will argue "there's no end to wildfire season these days in New Mexico." But historically, April is not a typically busy wildfire month for the state. Usually, it's another month before New Mexico's wildfire season peaks. So far in April 2022, destructive wildfires have made their mark near Las Vegas, Belen and Ruidoso. At least two people have died in the wind-whipped McBride Fire in Ruidoso amid 60-90 mph wind gusts. More than 200 homes were also destroyed there before a 700 to 1000 person "type one" incident team arrived. This week on the podcast, a state forestry expert joins Chris and Gabby to talk about how New Mexico responds to wildfires. What determines the response each fire gets? Why does it take so long to determine a fire's cause, even if everyone else is saying they think they know what it was? How hard is it to get the word out about fires? How can you protect yourself? Those questions and more are discussed this week.

Got a line for the show? Let us know. Email us at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. We're also on Twitter at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM.  For more on this episode and all of our prior episodes, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

Why Does New Mexico’s Drought Matter?

Why Does New Mexico’s Drought Matter?

April 12, 2022

New Mexico is dry. No kidding, right? But have you ever asked yourself how dry is too dry? Or why that actually matters? This week, we're hearing from two people who keep a close watch on the water and the weather in New Mexico. John Fleck is a professor at the University of New Mexico and the Director of Water Resources in the university's Economics Department. John breaks down why it matters when New Mexico gets less rain and snowpack, and shares his concerns over the future of the state's water resources. First-time guest and long-time NMNP listener, KRQE's Chief Meteorologist Grant Tosterud, joins Chris and Gabby with an update on where we stand today. Grant offers background on what the last winter was like (in terms of moisture) and what's ahead for the rest of spring and summer.

Stick around to the end of the episode for a recap of what happened in the New Mexico Legislature's one-day special session last week.

As mentioned in the episode, here's a link to Curtis Segarra's article titled, "New Mexico tax rebates: How much will you get?" For more information on John Fleck's work, click here to visit his blog on New Mexico water issues. And finally, Grant's forecast and more from KRQE's weather team can be found here on KRQE.com/weather.

Got a story idea? A comment? Did you really like an episode we did? Let us know. Email us at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. We're also on Twitter at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM.  For more on this episode and all of our prior episodes, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

Cash Payments For New Mexicans

Cash Payments For New Mexicans

April 5, 2022

It is back to Santa Fe, again, for New Mexico's lawmakers. Another special session has been called by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. This time it's all about money. Lawmakers are considering sending checks to most New Mexicans to help pay for rising costs brought about by high gas prices and inflation across the U.S. This week on the podcast, Gabby and Chris talk to two prominent lawmakers, one from each side of the aisle. How much money could these proposed cash payouts bring about for every New Mexican? Also, what's behind the "do-over" on a major spending bill that the Governor vetoed? Fun fact: this is the fifth special session called by Governor Lujan Grisham in her first term as governor.

If you have a story idea, send it to chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. Also, catch the hosts on Twitter at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM.  For more on this episode and all of our prior work, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

Recreational Cannabis Is Here

Recreational Cannabis Is Here

March 29, 2022

Recreational cannabis sales go live in New Mexico on April 1, 2022, a little more than a year since the state passed the law that your parents maybe never thought had a prayer of passing decades ago. Times have changed. So, what can people across the state expect on day one? How many stores will open up and where will they be concentrated? Are any tiny towns getting in on the action? What are some of the rules you maybe hadn't considered? This week, friend of the podcast and frequent guest, KRQE's Investigative Data Reporter Curtis Segarra is back to help break it down. Curtis also helps bust some of the "myths" about the state's new cannabis industry. Is drive-thru cannabis allowed? Could someone use an EBT card at a cannabis store? What are police looking for in terms of intoxication? Stick around for the answers.

Here are some links to the items mentioned in this week's episode. Curtis' full article on cannabis mythbusting is on KRQE.com. The Cannabis Control Division has its online database of cannabis license applicants and approvals here. New Mexico's Drug Recognition Expert program is active on social media, and here's a link to their main webpage. Finally, here's a link to the city of Albuquerque's map showing all of the approved and denied retail store locations.

If you have a story idea, send it to chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. Also, catch the hosts on Twitter at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM.  For more on this episode and all of our prior work, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

’I Didn’t Hesitate’: New Mexico Doctor Helping In Ukraine

’I Didn’t Hesitate’: New Mexico Doctor Helping In Ukraine

March 22, 2022

The quote in the title of this week's episode comes from a New Mexico doctor who dropped everything in recent weeks to head to Ukraine and offer help. Dr. Matthew Wilks is the Chief Medical Officer at UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center, and part of a disaster relief medical volunteer group called Team Rubicon. Wilks shares why he traveled across the globe to help, what he's seen, and also describes the growing humanitarian crisis at the border, where Ukrainian families are at times waiting for days in the cold to cross the border into Poland.

If you have a story idea, send it to chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. Also, catch the hosts on Twitter at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM.  For more on this episode and all of our prior work, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

How The Russia-Ukraine Conflict Impacts New Mexico

How The Russia-Ukraine Conflict Impacts New Mexico

March 15, 2022

As a humanitarian crisis unfolds with Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine, here at home, New Mexico is feeling some effects of the continued conflict. The rising cost of gas is easily one of the most noticeable changes, but where else might some of the economic effects of the war emerge? Could New Mexico's military industry feel an impact in the negative or positive? How bad could the economic hits get and for how long, and what might this mean for families trying to rebound from a pandemic? UNM Economics Professor Reilly White joins the podcast this week, helping spell out some of the biggest impacts this conflict will have on the U.S and New Mexico. 

If you have a story idea, send it to chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. Also, catch the hosts on Twitter at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM.  For more on this episode and all of our prior work, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

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