New Mexico News Podcast
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.

West Mesa Murders, Part 2

West Mesa Murders, Part 2

March 8, 2022

This week, we're continuing our two-part series on Albuquerque's notorious West Mesa murders. It's now been 13 years since the remains of 11 missing women and an unborn child were discovered on an undeveloped plot of land in the southwest part of the city. Since then, police have never formally named a suspect in the case and the search for answers continues. In the second and final episode of the series, Chris and Gabby speak with a woman who's made it her life's work to make sure another case like the West Mesa murders never happens again. Co-founder and Executive Director of Street Safe New Mexico, Christine Barber, speaks in part about her thoughts on the continued "unsolved" status of the case, what she thinks investigators should be focused on, and her message to people who may have prejudice about the lifestyle of people involved in sex work. Christine also offers her own theory on who she believes is involved in the West Mesa murders and why.

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.

West Mesa Murders, Part 1

West Mesa Murders, Part 1

March 1, 2022

It’s one of the largest crime scenes ever found in the United States, on the west mesa of Albuquerque. 13 years ago, the first bodies were found in the the West Mesa Murder case, kicking off an investigation into the deaths of 11 missing women, one of whom was pregnant. Today, the case remains unsolved. Is the serial killer or killers already dead? Will new technology help crack the cold case? In part one of our series, hear from the contract investigator working with Albuquerque Police to try and solve the case, and why investigators are still asking for the public’s help after dozens of public pleas for information.

Stay tuned for part two of our series on the West Mesa Murders. We expect to release that episode next week - on March 8, 2022. Listen in to the end of the episode for a preview on who we're speaking with. 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.

Masks No Más

Masks No Más

February 22, 2022

New Mexicans got the surprise green light from the Governor last Thursday that it's OK to shed your face mask if you're indoors. It's a major shift in the state's policy, one that Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced without warning during a news conference at the end of the legislative session last Thursday. Just a week earlier, the state's top doctor and Acting Health Secretary Dr. David Scrase said, "When things cool down in the hospital, we’re planning on rescinding the mask order.” So, what went into the final decision? Do politics play a role in lifting the mandate now? What does this mean for your child's school? Chris and Gabby took those questions to the state's health secretary shortly after the governor's announcement. Also - stick around for a wrap-up of the New Mexico legislative session, including a recap of what happened to the big proposed New Mexico Voting Rights Act.

We want to hear from you! 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.

Do Voting Rights Need To Change?

Do Voting Rights Need To Change?

February 15, 2022

It could be a major shift in the rules surrounding who and how people can vote in New Mexico. Just days away from the end of the legislative session in Santa Fe, lawmakers are weighing the future of the New Mexico Voting Rights Act. The bill could carry some monumental changes surrounding things like absentee voting, felons' voting rights and more. But some opponents are worried about a handful of changes. Does the bill benefit one party over another? This week, Chris and Gabby break down the bill and chat with KRQE’s political analyst & UNM Science Professor, Gabe Sanchez, about the big national debate over election security and how voting is being handled at the state level.

We want to hear from you! 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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