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Today's Features

  • The Mountain Elementary School Robotics Team, Project VeX, traveled to Arizona Dec. 1-3 to compete in the Northern Arizona VeX IQ Challenge. Out of 40 teams, they finished 3rd in the skills portion of the competition, an impressive feat for a brand new team.

    Not only was this the first competition for the young team, they were also the only team from New Mexico.
    Mountain’s PE teacher, Tony Hinojosa, lead the budding team of nine 6th grade students (including his son) who met after school every Monday for two hours to work on designing, building, and programming a competition robot. Project VeX, named after the building platform they use, had about seven weeks to prepare before traveling to Arizona to compete against 40 other teams.

    This year, the challenge game was “Ringmaster” and the object of the game was to attain the highest score by successfully placing colored rings on a 4’x8’ rectangular field with posts.

    There were two main categories in the competition: the Teamwork Challenge and the Robot Skills Challenge. Project VeX placed 3rd in the Skills Challenge, which consisted of a driver controlled round and an autonomous round.

  • Los Alamos Middle School (LAMS) is successfully implementing Saturday School, a completely voluntary program in which students get extra help from teachers and catch up on school work.

    The goal is to finish assignments and make sure they are not falling behind. Last year was the first year for 7th and 8th grade Saturday School and this year’s improved version comes with extra assistance and better communications from teachers.

    At Saturday School, students tend to work on makeup homework, makeup tests, or even to get ahead on assignments before a busy week. There is a mix of students who attend: some are simply asking for more help from a teacher while others are specifically recommended by a teacher.

    According to Johnson, some students like to attend because it is a quiet place to get work done, free of distractions.

    Students stay for the entire three-hour period and are also instructed to keep a log of the work they accomplish.

    Saturday School is not meant for one type of student, but rather students of any level who might need help, including special education students.

    And students really see the results from attending Saturday school; “Kids are amazed with how much they get done,” said Johnson.  In one case, a teacher was working with a particular student that was behind.

  • With the holidays and 2018 approaching, Bandelier National Monument is offering news on upcoming events, both this year and next.  

    First on the list is Winter Solstice, Dec. 21, shortest day of the year and the point on the calendar when the days begin to lengthen again.  Many peoples all over the world recognized the solstices and built markers into structures or found them in the surrounding landscape.

    The Ancestral Pueblo people in Frijoles Canyon may have built parts of Tyuonyi, the large pueblo on the canyon bottom, in alignment with the sunrise and sunset on the Winter Solstice.  Ranger walks will be offered that day to greet the sunrise and sunset and see the possible alignments.  The Sunrise Walk meets at 7:15 a.m. in front of the Visitor Center, and the Sunset Walk meets there at 1:30 p.m.  The times are a reminder that sunrise and sunset happen at different times in the bottom of the 400-foot-deep canyon than they do in the wide-open landscapes on the mesa tops.  No signups are required for these walks, but participants should be sure to dress warmly.  If the sky is overcast, the walks will be held the following day.

    The Visitor Center, book store, and administrative offices in Frijoles Canyon will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, and the snack bar is closed until March.

  • United Way of Northern New Mexico would like to thank Metzger’s Do It Best for their generous gift of just over $700 from their successful Small Business Saturday.

    United Way of Northern New Mexico and Metzger’s have been partners since Small Business Saturday began encouraging businesses to donate to nonprofits in 2012. 

    Together, UWNNM and Metzger’s have raised thousands of dollars to support the mission of UWNNM and the people of Northern New Mexico.

  • Paxton is all tail-wagging, toy-squeaking, puppy dog, a kind-hearted American Staffordshire terrier who enjoys a friendly visit with other dogs.

    Rated RTP or “ready to play,” Paxton seems perfectly happy and has plenty of energy, say the folks at the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter.

    He is 13 weeks olds and will be equipped with a microchip very soon. He’s been neutered. He was a transfer from another shelter. Due to his youth, his outlook on cats and other issues are unknown.

    This boy will get big, however, and his exercise schedule should be fully booked.

    Adoption fee is $100. Please contact the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter at (505) 662-8179 or communicate police-psa@lacnm.us.
     

  • When a veterinarian uses a stethoscope to listen to your dog’s heart, chances are that the heart will sound normal. However, in some cases, a veterinarian may hear an abnormality such as a heart murmur.

    Sonya Wesselowski, a clinical assistant professor of cardiology at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, said heart murmurs are abnormal heart sounds caused by turbulent or rapid blood flow within the heart. In dogs, heart murmurs are usually the result of a leaky or narrowed heart valve.

    Heart murmurs are not always a cause for concern. Wesselowski said that some soft heart murmurs could be normal in growing puppies less than 6 months of age. However, most heart murmurs in dogs do indicate that there is an underlying abnormality of the heart. In some cases, the heart murmur could be caused by a congenital heart defect the dog was born with, or due to a heart disease that develops later in life.

    How can you know if your dog has a heart murmur? Wesselowski said that regular examinations with your veterinarian are crucial for detection of heart murmurs, as a heart murmur itself does not cause any signs or symptoms. Instead, a heart murmur is a finding that suggests a cardiac problem may be present.

  • Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory released 62 newly declassified videos Thursday of atmospheric nuclear tests films.

    The videos are the second batch of scientific test films to be published on the LLNL YouTube channel this year. The team plans to publish the remaining videos of tests conducted by LLNL as they are scanned and approved for public release.

    LLNL nuclear weapon physicist Gregg Spriggs is leading a team of film experts, code developers and interns on a mission to hunt down, scan and reanalyze what they estimate to be 10,000 films of the 210 atmospheric tests conducted by the U.S. between 1945 and 1962.

    With many of the films suffering from physical decay, their goal is to preserve this priceless record before it’s lost forever, and to provide more accurate scientific data to colleagues who are responsible for certifying the stockpile every year.

    “We’ve received a lot of demand for these videos and the public has a right to see this footage,” said Spriggs. “Not only are we preserving history, but we’re getting much more consistent answers with our calculations.

  • Los Alamos High School dance students invite the public to a special Winter Dance Show Dec. 18.

    The show performance will showcase dance talents of many students who actively participate in the LAHS Dance Club.

    They will create their own dance pieces in a variety of dance styles, such as Hip Hop, ballroom, Latin, swing and Bollywood.
    Students from the local dance studios are also frequent guest-performers in the show, as well as LAHS dance program alumni.

    The free show starts promptly at 7 p.m. and is expected to end at 8:15 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

    The Smith Auditorium is still undergoing construction, so the performance will be held in the auxiliary gym.

  • The New Mexico History Museum and the Santa Fe Opera will each feature presentations exploring New Mexico’s Atomic Histories in 2018 and 2019.

    The History Museum’s Atomic Histories exhibition opens June 3, 2018 and will run through May 2019.

    The exhibition will highlight American artist Meridel Rubenstein’s artwork including two photo/video/glass/steel installations from the traveling exhibition Critical Mass (1993-97) and Oppenheimer’s Chair (1995) commissioned by the first SITE Santa Fe Biennial to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first atomic test.

    “To enhance understanding of the legacy of the Manhattan Project, the New Mexico History Museum is developing an interpretive exploration of our state’s atomic history,” said Andrew Wulf, executive director of the New Mexico History Museum.   

    “Through our extensive collaboration with the Los Alamos History Museum, the Atomic Heritage Foundation, the Santa Fe Opera, Los Alamos’ Bradbury Science Museum and the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History,  the New Mexico History Museum will exhibit a wide variety of resources to tell our state’s nuclear story,” said Melanie LaBorwit, Museum Educator.