News Briefs: City agrees to unlock ‘Gateway to Old Town’

City agrees to unlock ‘Gateway to Old Town’

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An agreement to unlock what some call a gateway to Old Town came just in time for Balloon Fiesta business.

Last month, one of the main entrances into Albuquerque’s Old Town was padlocked.

Some shop owners thought their competitors did it to re-route traffic to their own shops. The Albuquerque Journal is reporting that a temporary agreement has been made between the property owners and city of Albuquerque. The gate was opened Friday just as Balloon Fiesta visitors started coming to town.

Taos hotel accused of discrimination in lawsuit

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Accusations of racial discrimination at a Taos hotel is now the basis of a lawsuit by the feds and they’re going after the entire hotel chain.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced it filed suit against Whitten Inn hotels, seeking back pay and damages for workers.

The agency says the hotel chain broke the law by subjecting minority employees to a hostile work environment. In 2009, owner Larry Whitten created a firestorm when workers at his Taos hotel say they were forbidden to speak Spanish.

The workers said Whitten fired them after they refused to anglicize their names.

A Taos Inn receptionist said Whitten was not the owner anymore.

Two cars crash, burst into flames

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Two cars are a charred mess Sunday after they crashed on I-40 near San Mateo around 5 a.m., and both burst into flames.

Police said both drivers were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

ABQ hosts duck call competition

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Competitors from across New Mexico traveled to Albuquerque this weekend to see who has the best duck call.

The competition is tough with many saying participants better have mastered the duck call before entering.

“This competition is more about the mastery of the call and control,” said Lance Cherry.

There are three rounds for juniors, seniors and two-man teams, and each is judges on minute-and-a-half routines. The winners head to the world championships in Arkansas in November.

Fright Fest kicks off at Expo New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Halloween is a few weeks away and Expo New Mexico is already spooking people.

On Saturday, Fright Fest kicked off.

There are several attractions there including a haunted house, a harvest fest for the kiddos and even zombie laser tag.

Fright fest runs Wednesdays through Sundays through Nov. 4.

Firefighters extinguish flames at northeast ABQ park

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Bernalillo County firefighters said an acre of brush and grass caught fire around 8:45 p.m. Saturday night at a city park close to Balloon Fiesta Park.

Crews were able to quickly extinguish the flames at Jefferson and Watercress Northeast, and they’re not investigating how the blaze sparked.

Popular gas balloon race put on hold

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Balloon Fiesta officials put the brakes on a fan favorite Saturday due to weather.

The racers for the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race were getting ready to launch from the Balloon Fiesta Park when the event was put on hold.

Officials said they’re going to have a briefing on Monday to see if pilots will be able to launch Monday or Tuesday.

The goal of the race is to see who can travel the farthest in a gas-filled balloon before touching down.

Peter Cuneo and Barbara Fricke from Albuquerque won last year. They traveled for 60 hours before landing in a Canadian forest.

The strategy involves consulting a meteorologist while up in the air to figure out which altitude and direction gives them the best chance for more distance. It also means slowly dumping out bags of sand to keep the balloon at the right altitude.

This year, there are seven teams including teams from Germany, Poland and Spain. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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