New Mexico News Podcast
”One Pill Can Kill” - New Mexico’s Fentanyl Crisis

”One Pill Can Kill” - New Mexico’s Fentanyl Crisis

September 27, 2022

When law enforcement talks about crime these days, there’s often one drug that’s mentioned over and over again. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that’s been used to treat patients with severe pain, but it’s also illegally manufactured, sold, and trafficked into the U.S. on a massive scale. The drug is highly addictive and deadly, as highlighted by federal drug enforcement's recent and ongoing "one pill can kill" campaign.

The FBI recently made the largest Fentanyl bust in the bureau’s history in Albuquerque. But just how bad is the drug? Why is it so concerning? And what exactly do parents need to know about this drug?

Chris and Gabby talk to Carlos Briano with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) El Paso division about the problem and more. What are agents seeing at the border? How should parents talk to their kids about fentanyl?

Please leave us a review on whatever podcast player you listen to us from! Also, you can email us at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com with your story ideas or feedback. You can also catch us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM. For more on this episode and all of our prior episodes, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

Albuquerque’s Mayor On Homelessness

Albuquerque’s Mayor On Homelessness

September 20, 2022

It is one of the biggest issues facing New Mexico's largest city. Thousands of people are living on the streets and depending on where you live, you might have a widely different view on how to deal with it.

This week on the podcast, Chris and Gabby take a deep dive into Albuquerque's problem with homelessness, speaking with the man guiding policy and plans: Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller.

In a 40 minute conversation, Keller shares his thoughts on the so-called "Safe Outdoor Spaces" or city-sanctioned homeless camps; the massive new Gateway Center homeless shelter; and what's the deal with the numerous encampments that still exist throughout the city.

What would be pivotal in changing the city's situation for the better? When will the Gateway Center open? And how many people will it serve? These questions and more are answered in this week's episode.

We feel that listener feedback is fundamental. Email us at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. You can also catch us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM. For more on this episode and all of our prior episodes, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

Green Chile Production Hits Low-Point In History

Green Chile Production Hits Low-Point In History

September 13, 2022

New Mexico chile is part of the fabric of the state, a source of pride and joy. However, local chile farmers have been dealt a tough hand in recent years. Between the pandemic, labor shortages, drought, and shifting economics, some growers are changing the way they do business. Is the state’s chile industry in jeopardy? KRQE News 13's Investigative Data Reporter Curtis Segarra visited some multigenerational chile farmers across the state to find answers. He joins Chris and Gabby this week to discuss the perseverance behind the scenes to keep the state’s favorite fiery food on your plate.

Curtis published his findings in a recent article on KRQE.com: Is chile a dying industry in New Mexico?

Got a question, comment, or suggestion? Email us at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. You can also catch us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM. For more on this episode and all of our prior episodes, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

An Entire City Is Running Out Of Water

An Entire City Is Running Out Of Water

September 6, 2022

First the pandemic, then massive wildfires, dangerous flooding – and now a dwindling water supply. Residents in northern New Mexico haven’t had much time between crises to recover. Ranchers have cut down on herds due to fire damage and water shortages, while homeowners and local businesses are doing what they can to conserve. Adding salt to the wound, the area is seeing one of the best monsoon seasons in years, but the city can’t use most of the water due to contamination from a government-sparked wildfire. 

What happens when an entire community’s water supply is threatened? Is the federal government delivering on its promise to do whatever it takes to help? 

This week, Chris and Gabby talk to Las Vegas Mayor Louie Trujillo about what it’s been like leading a community through continued crisis, and what’s still ahead. 

Got a question, comment, or suggestion? Email us at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. You can also catch us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM. For more on this episode and all of our prior episodes, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

How Social Workers Are Responding to Crises in Albuquerque

How Social Workers Are Responding to Crises in Albuquerque

August 30, 2022

You may have heard about the City of Albuquerque’s unarmed civilian response team. Albuquerque Community Safety, or ACS, has a team of behavioral health responders who respond to mental health crises, homelessness calls, and wellness checks across the city. Nearly a year into the program now, is ACS making a difference? Chris and Gabby talk to ACS Executive Director, Mariela Ruiz Angel about the department’s challenges and its progress. 

How is this data tracked? Will ACS have an impact on homelessness in the city, and police use-of-force incidents? 

KRQE Investigates rode along with ACS responders back in May - check out that story here. ACS also keeps all of its data online, and it's usually updated monthly. For a closer look, visit the ACS Transparency page on CABQ.gov

Got a question, comment, or suggestion? Email us at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. You can also catch us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM. For more on this episode and all of our prior episodes, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

Albuquerque Closes Infamous Homeless Encampment

Albuquerque Closes Infamous Homeless Encampment

August 23, 2022

After making a promise in late July, Albuquerque city officials finally closed arguably the most infamous city park. Right next to Third Street in the shadow of I-40, Coronado Park used to be a typical city park with a dog park and a skate park, too. But in recent years, the park turned into a homeless camp and an increasingly violent place, where drugs were rampant and as many as five homicides took place. 

So what’s next for Coronado Park? Where will the people who’ve refused services go? We're tackling those questions this week with special guest Peter Rice, founder, owner and editor of the Downtown Albuquerque News. Rice helps dig deeper into the park's history and the potential impact of the park's closure on the greater issue of "how to tackle homelessness."

We know you like to listen, but maybe you also like to write? Got a question, comment or suggestion? Email us at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. You can also catch us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM. For more on this episode and all of our prior episodes, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

Murders of Muslim Men Terrorize Albuquerque

Murders of Muslim Men Terrorize Albuquerque

August 16, 2022

Albuquerque was thrust into the national spotlight nearly two weeks ago when police officials announced a suspected connection in the murders of three Muslim men. A little more than 24 hours after that announcement, a fourth Muslim man was shot to death. 

By August 9, a suspect was in custody. Muhammed Syed has been charged with the July 26 murder of Aftab Hussein, 41 and the August 1 murder of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27. Syed is also considered the suspect in the November 2021 murder of Mohammad Zahir Ahmadi and the August 5 murder of Naeem Hussain.

A leader in Albuquerque's Muslim community, Ahmad Assad joins the podcast this week. President of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, Assed played a central role in coordinating between the community and investigators while the search for a suspect played out. Assed talks more about the victims, his initial theory on what he thought was behind the killings, and the community's response after the suspect's arrest.

We'd love to hear your feedback. Email us at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. Tweet at us or send us a DM on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM. For more on this episode and all of our prior episodes, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

A Guilty Verdict In The Only Trial For Victoria Martens’ Murder

A Guilty Verdict In The Only Trial For Victoria Martens’ Murder

August 9, 2022

After three weeks of testimony and just a few hours of deliberation, a jury found Fabian Gonzales, 37, guilty of all nine counts in the only trial tied to the 2016 murder of 10-year-old Victoria Martens. Gonzales, who barely knew Victoria and her mom Michelle now faces decades in prison for one of New Mexico's most notorious murder cases.

To be clear: Gonzales was not on trial for murder. He was convicted of reckless child abuse resulting in death, seven evidence tampering charges, and one count of conspiracy to commit tampering with evidence. 

While the verdict may offer some answers, there's are still a lot of questions in the case at large and a lot to unpack about how prosecutors earned a conviction. This week, we're taking an extended look at some of the key testimony in the case and summarizing the arguments jurors heard. What’s next for Gonzales? And what's ahead for the two other defendants charged in the crime?

We appreciate you listening and honestly want to hear your feedback. Email us at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. Tweet at us or send us a DM on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM. For more on this episode and all of our prior episodes, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.a

First The Wildfires, Then The Flooding

First The Wildfires, Then The Flooding

August 2, 2022

We spent months across spring and summer talking about the impact of wildfires in New Mexico. After record breaking blazes, many of the state's rural communities are now dealing with what they've feared: massive flooding in areas with burn scars. New Mexico's largest fire on record, the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire has left many people wondering where flood damage will emerge. In late July, we got an answer to that ominous question when a flash flood ripped through an area west of Las Vegas, NM. In its wake, three people were killed after a home was swept off its foundation.

This week on the podcast, Gabby and Chris talk more about the flood with Travis Martinez, a spokesman for the New Mexico Department of Transportation in northern New Mexico. Martinez offers his perspective on how first responders handled the deadly flash flood in San Miguel County and how the community is continuing to respond to the problem.

Still reading? Email us your feedback at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. Tweet at us or send us a DM on Instagram at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM. For more on this episode and all of our prior episodes, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

Will Gas Prices Continue To Go Down?

Will Gas Prices Continue To Go Down?

July 26, 2022

You've probably already noticed a "dip" at the pump, as gas prices have been coming down in New Mexico over the last few weeks. But still, with fuel hovering around $4 a gallon, higher food costs, shifting interest rates, and more, just about everything seems to be costing more these days.

When might we see a change for the better? Is this the time to re-think your commute, or ask for a raise from your employer? This week on the podcast, Gabby and Chris talk about the state of the New Mexico economy and where things might be headed. University of New Mexico Professor Janie Chermak offers her take on the situation. She’s been on the faculty since 1995, and currently serves as the Department of Economics Chair, with research focusing on Natural Resources and Energy Economics.

As mentioned in the pod, here are some links to Chris' recent "breakdown" articles about the New Mexico tax rebates and economic relief payments:

July 6: Check your bank account: New Mexico now sending out July tax rebates
June 2: Haven’t gotten your first New Mexico cash rebate? Here’s why
April 6: New Mexico tax rebates: How much will you get? (Via KRQE's Curtis Segarra)

Send us your feedback. Email us at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. Tweet at us or send us a DM on Instagram at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM. For more on this episode and all of our prior episodes, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

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