Monday Top Stories
- The Latest: Russia won’t intervene in standoff with Taliban
- First Afghan refugees arrive in New Mexico
- Farmers on Rio Grande in New Mexico face early water cutoff
- NM United lowering capacity at September home games
- Police investigate arson of Santa Fe sculpture
- Lawmakers working to get New Mexicans, Afghan allies out of Afghanistan
Monday Five Facts
 Local Afghan-American reflects on scenes coming out of Afghanistan – Images of the trouble in Afghanistan are hitting close to home for the Afghan community in New Mexico. It’s difficult for Mula Akbar to watch what’s unfolding in the now Taliban-controlled country of Afghanistan. He’s lived in Albuquerque since the mid-90s, but his work as a U.S. diplomat allowed him to travel back and forth to Afghanistan. Akbar says seeing the videos makes him feel helpless and wonder what the last 20 years were for.
 Local churches pushback on re-instated mask mandate – Some local churches are pushing back against the state’s updated Public Health oRder to wear masks indoors. Both Legacy and Citizen Churches in Albuquerque are not hiding their message that they won’t be enforcing the re-instated mask mandate, regardless of a person’s vaccination status. Pastor Steve Smothermon from Legacy went on to encourage his congregants to disregard the state’s COVID protocols altogether. KRQE News 13 reached out to the governor’s office for a response but did not hear back.
 More scattered storms to start the work week – Showers and thunderstorms have been moving through central New Mexico Monday morning, bringing pockets of heavy rain and lightning. These storms are moving east-northeast and will move through the eastern plains during the later morning commute.
 Founders of longtime Corrales foodbank supplier set to retire – A nonprofit organization based out of Corrales that helps stock food banks with fresh produce throughout Bernalillo and Sandoval counties will be seeing some big changes. The president of the nonprofit says even with COVID, drought, and freezing temperatures they are still seeing a record year with their harvest. The group also credits its founders with their success. “Seed2Need” is always looking for volunteers.
 2019 Balloon Fiesta sets Guinness record for greatest mass balloon ascent – Balloon Fiesta is back in the record books. Fiesta organizers say they were looking for ways to promote the event and after checking the 2019 records, they realized they had a shot at the record for most balloon launches. The day that made Guinness history happened on October 6, 2019, when 524 hot air balloons launched at balloon fiesta field. The previous record-holder was an even in France with more than 400 balloons. The 49th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta starts on October 2, 2021.