All posts by Jeannie Nguyen

Scientists name parts of the Red Planet after New Mexico cities

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As New Mexicans, we have lots of ways of showing pride in our state. Now, New Mexicans have a new way to show their pride that’s out of this world, on Mars to be exact. Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos are some of the most common destinations in New Mexico. Scientists working with the Mars Rover now think those cities could fit right into the Red Planet. It’s a story that our pilot reporter, Bob Martin, who had a passion for science, had been working on in the weeks before he passed. “New Mexico is so much like Mars. It has so much similarity in terms of our understanding. A lot of the things we see on Mars on a daily basis remind me very much of things here in New Mexico,” said Dr. Larry Crumpler. Dr. Crumpler is a Research Curator at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. He’s also a part of the Mars Exploration Rover Science Team. “We’re now driving along the rim of that crater,” he said. For the last five years, he’s been exploring the Endeavour Crater on the Red Planet, which reminded him of something back here at home. “Being the only New Mexican on the mission, it really was the only one who immediately conjured up the thought that wow, that’s about the same size as the Valles Calderas here in New Mexico,” said Dr. Crumpler. He says the Valles Caldera’s features and size are so similar to the Endeavour Crater that the next step was simple — naming areas of the Endeavour Crater after New Mexico cities. “We’ve gotten targets named Santa Fe. We’ve named a target Socorro, it’s an outcrop that’s kind of off to our south,” said Dr. Crumpler. “We have another interesting target that’s named Taos. Right now we’re looking at this target called Albuquerque which is a rock that’s sitting in front of us,” he continued. While Mars is millions of miles away from earth, Dr. Crumpler says people living here can picture what it would be like to stand in the middle of Endeavour. “New Mexicans, I like to say, are the only ones who understand the scale of the crater that we’re looking at on Mars,” he said. There’s still a lot to explore in the Endeavour Crater, so more New Mexico towns are on the way. Bernalillo and Ojo Caliente are a couple of possibilities. Each of the New Mexico cities on the list of possible names have something in common, they’re all located along the El Camino Real, the route that runs from Taos all the way down to Mexico City.
Filed under: Education, Home, New Mexico, News, SmartTV, Top Stories, Top Video

ACLU responds to proposed ordinance to outlaw begging drivers for money

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The ACLU could challenge a proposed change to Albuquerque’s traffic code, that also serves as a crackdown on roadside panhandlers. In fact, it was the ACLU that put the brakes on the city’s last crackdown on panhandling a decade ago. The new law would make it illegal for anyone to solicit donations from drivers, from any sidewalk or median. City Councilor Trudy Jones is proposing an ordinance that would make it illegal for people to ask drivers for money from sidewalks. It also bans anyone from hanging out on a median, calling it a safety hazard for pedestrians and traffic alike. On top of that, drivers caught handing money to pedestrians, could be cited. “I feel bad for them and I feel it’s pretty unobtrusive,” said Joe Annabi. What’s interesting though, the bill makes no actual mention of the world panhandler. There’s a reason for that. More than a decade ago, the city passed an aggressive panhandling bill that banned begging downtown, in Nob Hill, around ATM’s, and certain businesses. It also made it illegal to stand in front of someone or touch them while asking for money. The ACLU sued saying it violated free speech rights and a judge agreed. This time, the city is hoping to crack down panhandlers with a law that doesn’t single them out. “I think it’s probably unconstitutional,” said Peter Simonson. Executive Director, Peter Simonson of the ACLU New Mexico, also disagrees with this ordinance on free speech grounds. “Legislation of this nature, if it’s introduced, and ultimately passed, we would probably wind up challenging it in court,” he said. The proposed law would also make it illegal for people to hold up signs on medians for car washes or fundraisers. Of course, people would still be allowed to stand on medians to wait for traffic to go by. Council is looking at repealing the old aggressive panhandling law that’s still on the books. They could do that and pass this new law as early as next month.
Filed under: Albuquerque - Metro, Crime, Home, News, SmartTV, Top Stories, Top Video

Saying goodbye is bittersweet at the Junior Livestock Auction

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – For a lot of young New Mexicans, the State Fair isn’t just about rides and food. It’s something they work all year for, and Friday the fruit of their labors was the Junior Livestock Auction. All their hard work paid off, but it’s a bittersweet moment for some. It’s Christopher Turner’s third year at the New Mexico State Fair. The Santa Fe County teen showed off his pride and joy, an impact lamb he’s been prepping since April. “This is my lamb, his name is Tom Petty,” said Christopher. The Junior Livestock Auction is something Christopher and other young participants work hard towards every year. From pigs to cows, there’s no shortage of animals for people to bid on. For Christopher and little Tom Petty, it took months of hard work to build up to this day. “We’ll try getting them out, working them, walking them, sitting them up. Then every other day we’ll blow their legs and walk them on a treadmill,” said Christopher. All of that hard work paid off as Christopher went home with $3,500 and a sweet title to show for his work. “He won reserved grand champion lamb and at county fair he got champion lamb so I feel the work I put in has come to his placing,” said Christopher. Even though he is proud of his accomplishments, it was tough to say goodbye. “I’ve put so much time into him, and work with him a long time. I pretty much raised him up,” he said. “It’s kind of sad letting him go,” said Christopher. If Tom Petty could understand him, Christopher says he would want him to know one thing. “I’d probably tell him that he did a good job, and I’m happy. I’m proud of him, and that it was a good time having him,” he said. This is a big deal for these kids, and there’s a lot of money flying around at these auctions. A little boy sold a cow for $25,000 during the auction.
Filed under: Albuquerque - Metro, Home, News, SmartTV, Top Stories, Top Video Tagged: State Fair

Neighbors complain about speeding along 7 Bar Loop

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a busy street that’s a key shortcut for commuters but it’s also very inviting for speeders and people who live there are tired of it. The City of Albuquerque has been getting complaints about 7 Bar Loop say people go well over the 30 mph speed limit. “Some cars I would say go around like 50 mph maybe even 60 but it just depends,” said Oscar Velasquez, who lives along 7 Bar Loop. Neighbors here say the speeding is a safety hazard especially since Seven Bar Elementary is on the road with a lot of students walking to and from school every day. People say even with pedestrians and speed limits signs along the road, it hasn’t helped in slowing down the drivers. The three quarter mile stretch of 7 Bar Loop gets really busy during rush hour as drivers use it to cut between Ellison to Coors. The Department of Municipal Development conducted a speed study after getting complaints from neighbors. “Speeds are a little higher through the corridor so there are some alternatives we came up with, primarily striping,” said Melissa Lozoya with DMD. In that study, the city decided that striping will include narrowing the lanes and adding a bike lane. The city says any other option to help slow down traffic would be too expensive. A timeline for when that project will start still hasn’t been set. The city still wants input from neighbors before making a final decision.
Filed under: Albuquerque - Metro, Home, News, SmartTV, Top Stories, Top Video