New Mexico News Podcast
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.

The Most Challenging School Year Yet

The Most Challenging School Year Yet

February 8, 2022

At best, COVID made for a tough 2020-21 school year for nearly all New Mexico kids. By summer 2021, state and school leaders were adamant: kids needed to be back in the classroom. While that message continues into 2022, keeping schools open has been a major challenge. High case counts have helped expose major issues in New Mexico schools with having enough teachers and support staff to keep the buildings running. This week, Chris and Gabby speak with the superintendent and COVID response-czar of one of the state's most prominent school districts in Rio Rancho. The district is just one of many that were recently forced to go fully virtual for a week due to testing delays and staff shortages. Is COVID solely to blame for the staffing shortage? Are there solutions the state should be implementing to keep kids in the classroom? Are we almost "out of the tunnel," or can we expect staffing shortfalls to continue?

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.

COVID Intensifies Backlog In New Mexico’s Justice System

COVID Intensifies Backlog In New Mexico’s Justice System

February 1, 2022

By now, there’s a good chance you’ve either seen or felt the impact COVID-19 has had on businesses, schools and government just to name a few. But for anyone wrapped up in legal issues, the pandemic has been monumentally disruptive. From criminal trials to civil cases, defendants have seen their court hearings suddenly postponed or seemingly delayed indefinitely. This week on the podcast, Chris & Gabby talk to some of the people working through what they’re calling a ‘crisis-level’ backlog of cases in New Mexico's courts. Two criminal defense attorneys with the New Mexico Law Office of the Public Defender join the conversation along with a New Mexico civil attorney. On the criminal side, some attorneys are juggling way more cases than they're used to and prepping for trials that are getting pushed back for half a year. On the civil side, some decisions are taking up to 10 months to be heard, all while their clients hang in the balance. Is this sustainable? What needs to change? 

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.

Roundhouse Roundup: Crime, Education & Healthcare

Roundhouse Roundup: Crime, Education & Healthcare

January 25, 2022

They're back at it again. New Mexico's 112-person volunteer legislature has returned to Santa Fe for another legislative session. This time, it's just a short 30 days to address lots of issues that have clearly been on the minds of most New Mexicans. Crime, education, taxes, health care investments, environmental issues and more. What have lawmakers accomplished so far? What's the outlook? And how will the Governor steer the legislative process over the next month? Chris and Gabby tackle these questions and more on this week's episode with help from KRQE's 2022 legislative guru and Investigative Data Reporter, Curtis Segarra. We've named this week's episode after the daily "Roundhouse Roundup" legislative summary reports that Curtis publishes every weekday on KRQE.com. This week, we're primarily looking at some of the key points inside Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's State of the State address - her last before facing possible re-election in November. She has proposed a host of crime bills to the Democratic-controlled Roundhouse, along with a number of spending increases.

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 related coverage, visit KRQE.com/podcasts

Omicron Is Sweeping Across New Mexico

Omicron Is Sweeping Across New Mexico

January 18, 2022

If one thing’s constant in this pandemic, it’s that things are constantly changing. It’s hard to keep up with quarantine requirements, school schedules, work-life, and public health updates. Now, with the omicron variant, COVID-19 is spreading like never before. This week on the podcast, New Mexico’s top doctor once again joins Chris and Gabby to answer questions about the state of the pandemic. Department of Health Secretary, Dr. David Scrase discusses how this variant impacts the body, COVID-19 testing shortages, and new help that's on the way. Noted in the discussion this week is a segment from CBS News about the differences in PCR and antigen testing. Here's a link to that segment: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-test-pcr-antigen-results/

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 related coverage, visit KRQE.com/podcasts.

The Long Wait For Justice In Victoria Martens’ Case

The Long Wait For Justice In Victoria Martens’ Case

January 11, 2022

**Content warning: This week's episode contains discussion of a graphic crime that may be unsuitable for certain ages or hard to listen to. Listener discretion is advised.

On August 24, 2016, 10-year old Victoria Martens was murdered in her Albuquerque apartment. That night, three people were arrested in connection with the crime, including the girl's mother Michelle Martens, a woman named Jessica Kelley, and a man named Fabian Gonzales. Of those three, Gonzales is the only suspect who's case remains open and awaiting trial. However, nearly six years later, Gonzales is still waiting for his day in court as a jury trial has been delayed once again. What's taken so long? Can we expect a trial later this year? What are the complications that surround a trial for a crime that happened nearly six-years ago? How is the COVID-19 pandemic complicating the justice system? This week, Gabby and Chris are joined by attorney Jennifer Burrill to talk about the case. Burrill is the President-Elect of the New Mexico Criminal Lawyers Association and has worked as both a prosecutor and defense attorney in New Mexico. 

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 related coverage of the Victoria Martens case, visit KRQE.com/podcasts.

Headlines To Watch For In 2022

Headlines To Watch For In 2022

January 4, 2022

Happy New Year! So...what's ahead for 2022? This week, Chris & Gabby are forecasting what they expect will be a few of the biggest news stories over the next year. Recreational cannabis is months away from public sales. Tim Keller is sticking around as Albuquerque's mayor, but he faces a new council that could have a different say in the city's agenda. The Midterm Election is also coming in hot, but even that will be preceded by what could be a wild primary for a few races. Stay tuned for those topics and more this week! Also, who could forget about the classic New Year's resolutions? At the end of the episode, Chris reveals one of the "most anticipated events of the year" (that's an opinion) and hear from several others on the KRQE news team about their personal goals in 2022. As always, questions, comments, and suggestions are welcome. Email Chris and Gabby at chris.mckee@krqe.com and gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. For more on this episode and the ghosts of episodes past, visit KRQE.com/podcasts.

The Resurgence Of Live Music & Keeping It Alive

The Resurgence Of Live Music & Keeping It Alive

December 28, 2021

For most of 2020 and on into the first half of 2021, it was a quiet time for most of New Mexico's music scene. Amid the pre-vaccine era of the pandemic, public health orders kept mass gatherings and live shows from happening. The state went more than a year without live music in all major venues and most small venues. That put a massive strain on not just local businesses, but also musicians who make a living playing to crowds. But as the restrictions on gatherings have faded away, New Mexico's seen a resurgence in live music. Longtime New Mexico musician Donny Tesso joins Gabby and Chris on the podcast, and opens up about his experience as a full-time professional musician who plays alongside his two daughters in a band called Sorela. What will it take to keep that alive as the pandemic continues? Donny offers his perspective to that question and more.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions - let us know. Email Chris and Gabby at chris.mckee@krqe.com and gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. For more on this episode, visit KRQE.com/podcasts.

The song featured in this episode is called Baila, Bailame / Pirolino," as performed live by Sorela in a 2007 tribute to the late New Mexico music legend Al Hurricane. A special thanks to Atlantis CDS for allowing us to share the song on this week's episode.

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