NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – 2021 has been a year to remember. As the world continues to navigate the “new normal,” there were some rays of light within New Mexico. KRQE News 13 looked back on some of the heartwarming and bizarre stories of the year.

Good Samaritan hops wall, helps injured officer to safety after shooting

Two heroes came to the rescue of two Albuquerque Police Department officers in August after they were shot.

Albuquerque girl shows resiliency recovering from life-changing accident

An Albuquerque girl is proving just how resilient she is after a life-changing accident that happened earlier this year.

Virgin Galactic makes space history at Spaceport America

Virgin Galactic made space history with its successful flight in July.

New Mexico native Wally Funk launches into space decades after astronaut training

Following Virgin Galactic’s launch, a week later, Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin launched into space. Wally Funk, a New Mexico native was the four-passenger crew.

APD unveils new lowrider police cruiser

It was almost two years in the making. After hundreds of hours of work and a lot of community evolvement, the Albuquerque Police Department finally showed off their brand new low-rider cruiser in May.

Carwash manager helps Albuquerque woman find lost wedding ring

An Albuquerque woman’s trip to the car wash turned into a search for a needle in a haystack. Leanne Van Amburg lost her wedding ring at

Hugs4Hearts: Albuquerque man spreads joy while helping raise funds for life-saving surgery

Nearly 50% of children born with down syndrome are in urgent need of life-saving surgery. The surgery is expensive and not all parents know of the dangers. Some New Mexicans are working to change that.

Longtime Frontier Restaurant employee to retire without ever taking a sick day

From bagging fresh tortillas to plating popular menu items, Frontier Restaurant General Manager Pete Villegas has done it all. However, earlier this year he hung up his hat.

Seattle couple travels to Albuquerque for pizza

How far would you travel for good food? A Seattle couple flew all the way to New Mexico for some Dion’s pizza.

New Mexico native recognized in Bon Appétit Magazine for Brooklyn restaurant

A New Mexico man is making quite a name for himself in New York City. He’s brought his family’s New Mexican recipes to Brooklyn.

Video shows San Juan deputies arresting thief that stole car with a baby inside

A happy ending to what could have been a very bad one. A suspect stole a car and a baby. Lapel video from the San Juan County Sheriff’s Department shows how deputies were able to get the child to safety.

AFR rescues dog trapped in storm grate

Usually, Albuquerque firefighters are busy racing around because people are in need. Earlier this year, AFR recused a dog that was trapped underground at a park.

Sandia National Lab employees volunteering with local search and rescue crews

Local search and rescue crews have an extra set of eyes during their mountain rescues, thanks to some volunteers from Sandia National Laboratory.

CNM student creates beacon to assist with search and rescue missions

A CNM student is hoping to simplify the search and rescue mission. He has developed a new device in one of his classes.

NM veteran honoring those who served by playing ‘Taps’ every day at cemetery

In southeast New Mexico, one man is inspiring the community around him by honoring those who have served. A Roswell veteran, who has been honoring other vets for 20 years, was honored by the city for his service. Jake Trujillo learned how to play Taps at the age of 12 and for the past 20 years, he has been playing it at the South Park Cemetery.

Balloon Fiesta officials unveil special 50th Anniversary Balloon

In just nine days, a hot air balloon was created at Balloon Fiesta Park in anticipation of next year’s 50th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

‘I love helping my community:’ Teen logs over 500 hours of community service

A New Mexico teen is helping out her community in a big way. She’s clocked 524 hours of community service since the summer.

10-year-old helps Animal Welfare with pet supply campaign

A 10-year-old sprung into action when she realized Albuquerque’s Animal Welfare was in need of supplies.

Santa Fe female high school players recognized by NFL team

Two Santa Fe female football players received some national recognition from Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

UNM docuseries showcases life along the Rio Grande

A new docuseries that explores the Rio Grande that runs through the heart of New Mexico premiered this past spring.

New Mexico State grad works on Emmy Award-winning docuseries

In September, a New Mexico State graduate celebrated a big win when she was awarded an Emmy.