NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – 2020 has been a year to remember. Even in these trying times, there were some rays of light within the community. KRQE News 13 looked back on some of the heartwarming and bizarre stories of the year.

1. Hiker survives being stranded for 14 days in Santa Fe National Forest

In August, an experienced hiker spent two weeks stranded in the Santa Fe National Forest and more than a week without food. If a father and his two kids hadn’t heard his cry for help, he might not have made it out of the wilderness.

2. Albuquerque woman meets State Police officer who saved her life 45 years ago

It took 45 years, but an Albuquerque woman finally met the police officer who saved her life. Jessica Sanchez says she was just nine months old when she met now-retired state police officer Felix Crespin. A two-vehicle crash back in 1975, is what brought them together. “It could have been a triple fatal,” Crespin says.

3. Motorcycle community helps Belen Veteran after fire

A Vietnam Veteran found himself on the receiving end of a good dead earlier this year. After he lost his home to a fire, dozens of men and women from the motorcycle community stepped up to help him out.

4. Rio Rancho sisters achieve Eagle Scout designation

It’s the highest achievement a boy scout can receive, and in October, two girls earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Twins Ainsley and Sierra Martin are among the first females in the state to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. 

5. Albuquerque man makes career out of working with Hollywood stars

It’s no secret that New Mexico is becoming a major hub for movies and television shows. For one Albuquerque man, he’s made a career out of all the famous faces filming in the state.

6. Father-son duo breaking records with roadster they built

A local father-son duo is forming a strong bond and breaking records. They’ve been building a Model T Roadster in a garage for nearly a decade.

Joel and Jack Wirth have a need for speed and science. For eight years the pair have been building a lightning-fast roadster.

7. Marble racing giving group of friends the same excitement as professional sports

Marble racing is helping one group of friends that are missing sports. Eastern New Mexico University graduate, Ryan Pool is the brainchild of this marble racing league call the RMRC, and he says that this isn’t ordinary marble racing.

8. Animal rescue finally captures ‘shaggy’ dog after months-long search

A group spent months trying to catch a 10-month-old pup with no luck, and then finally, in October a breakthrough. The Poodle-Schnauzer mix spent months exploring the westside before it was caught

9. Dental office in Rio Rancho uses therapy dog to keep patients calm

A Rio Rancho dentist office is offering a different kind of all-natural way to calm anxious patients. Sparkle is a 4-year-old, 4-pound Maltese who is part of the non-profit Alliance for Therapy Dogs. She visits Metro hospitals and goes to New Heights anytime a patient requests her.

10. Family makes shocking animal discovery inside East Mountain home

It is not unusual for snakes to make their way into peoples’ pipes, prompting a response from animal services. But what about furry four-legged creatures? That is exactly what one Cedar Crest family recently discovered in their bathroom in September.

11. AFR’s REM Team makes first of its kind rescue in Arizona

It came down to the right training with the right tools at the right time. That is what Albuquerque Fire Rescue said about saving the life of another firefighter battling wildfires in Arizona in August.

12. An Albuquerque tree company travels to help with Hurricane Laura cleanup

This year the Gulf Coast was hit hard by hurricanes. A Group of New Mexicans decided to pitch in to help.

13. Blind 8-year-old gets a chance of a lifetime on antelope hunt

An 8-year-old boy has faced a tough battle much of his life; cancer took his sight but there is nothing that’s going to stop him. Jonathan Salas got to participate in the trip of a lifetime.

14. Soldier from Albuquerque meets the student whose letter made it to him overseas

It’s a friendship thousands of miles in the making. An Albuquerque student’s letter brightened up a local soldier’s deployment. He returned home earlier this year and met the student.

15. Albuquerque family’s kitchen demo leads to mysterious discovery

You never know what you’re going to find during a home remodel. One Albuquerque family made a mysterious discovery during a kitchen demo; a discovery that had them playing detective while fearing the worst.

16. Scientists studying possible connection between New Mexico rocks and life on Mars

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are working to get a better idea of the past life on Mars and they’re using parts of New Mexico’s own desert to do it.

17. Virgin Galactic unveils cabin interior design of spacecraft

Virgin Galactic is one step closer to taking tourists into space. In July, KRQE got an inside look into one of the spaceships. So far, about 600 people have put down a $250,000 reservation for their ride into space. There still is no date for when commercial space flights will begin.

18. Volunteers invest thousands of hours into restoring historic locomotive

It’s been a labor of love for 20 years. Volunteers with the New Mexico Steam Locomotive and Railroad Historical Society have been working to restore the Santa Fe 2926 Locomotive that sat for decades in Albuquerque’s Coronado Park.

19. Famous New Mexican has plans to revive historic railroad

Another historic New Mexico railroad is making a comeback. It has been years since the Santa Fe Southern has run in the state capital. Now a famous New Mexican hopes to transform the train into a tourist destination.

20. Man donates 1,000 snow globes to Presbyterian Hospital to help kids battling cancer

Children undergoing cancer treatment are especially at risk during the pandemic. However, one man is trying to bring some adventure to them without having to leave the hospital.

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