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Today's Features

  • WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Cameras started rolling Monday on director Peter Jackson’s production of “The Hobbit,” following months of delays on the prequel to his Oscar-winning “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
    Hollywood studio funding problems, a threatened actors’ boycott and ulcer surgery for Jackson have plagued pre-production on the $500 million, two-movie project.
    The director posted a studio news release on his website Monday saying production has commenced in New Zealand on the much-anticipated project.

  • KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian radio stations worry some lyrics in Lady Gaga’s gay anthem “Born This Way” are on the wrong track, baby.
    Broadcasters in this Muslim-majority nation have refused to play lines in the hit song that encourage public acceptance of gays, claiming Thursday they are being cautious because the government forbids offensive content.
    Malaysians who tune in to popular stations hear edited versions of “Born This Way” that use indecipherable garble to replace the lyrics: “No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track, baby.”

  • A trip to Chama is a feast for the eyes. The splendor begins even before the town limits are reached.
    Travelers can view the towering cliffs and mesas in Abiquiu that boast every shade of yellow and orange before the landscape melts into the wide, deep-blue Abiquiu Reservoir. As one continues down the road, there is another visual change. The landscape becomes forest and jagged mountains. The orange and yellow hues become shades of green.
    Nestled within this picturesque scene is the town of Chama.
    Chama offers not just expansive, beautiful views but a rich history, an arts community and a variety of recreational activities. The town, however, is most well known for the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.

  • March on Hunger
    Aspen, Chamisa and Mountain Elementaries, along with Los Alamos Middle School, are collecting non-perishable items for people and collars and leashes for pets as a community project and a student service project combine their efforts.
    To learn more about making donations call 661-4846. Donations are accepted at school locations through Friday. The Los Alamos Monitor, KRSN, AM 1490 and the Betty Ehart Senior Center continue the March on Hunger through the end of the month.

    A day in the life

  • The success of a program is often based on the person at the helm. If this is true, the Barranca K-Kids program couldn’t ask for more.
    The Asset Award-winning Sharon Allen, of Barranca Elementary, not only fits the bill of the woman at the helm, but also wears it well.
    K-Kids is the elementary version of Kiwanis, known as Key Club at the high school level and Builder’s Club at the middle school level. The goal of the elementary program is community service.
    Local Kiwanian, Morrie Pongratz, believes that the faculty position for the success of K-Kids is important and that Allen holds the keys to the castle.

  • The story of the Casad family began as a classic westering tale with families moving from New Jersey to Ohio to Illinois to Kansas. There, an act of violence propelled the family on a flight from justice that took it to New York to Panama to California to New Mexico.
    Along the way, fortunes were made and lost and made again. In southern New Mexico, the Casads became large landowners, agricultural innovators and leading families.
    Rick Hendricks, Ph.D. is the current State Historian of New Mexico and will talk about his upcoming book on the Casad family of the Mesilla Valley. He will be part of the Authors Speak Series at 7 p.m. Thursday in the upstairs rotunda of Mesa Public Library.

  • Thursday
    The Los Alamos High School NJROTC will have a brisket dinner from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Posse Shack on North Mesa. The price will be $10 and the menu includes brisket, corn, potato salad, roll, cookies and a drink.

    The Los Alamos Arts Council will begin its 2011 Guitar Concert Series, Guitars at the Lodge, at Fuller Lodge at 7 p.m. Beverage and cookies available at 7 p.m., music begins at 7:15 p.m.  Admission is $15 at the door for non-members, $10 for members.

  • LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elizabeth Taylor, the violet-eyed film goddess whose sultry screen persona, stormy personal life and enduring fame and glamour made her one of the last of the old-fashioned movie stars and a template for the modern celebrity, died Wednesday at age 79.

    She died of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she had been hospitalized for about six weeks, said publicist Sally Morrison.

  • BERLIN (AP) — Germany is determined to show the world how abandoning nuclear energy can be done.

    The world's fourth-largest economy stands alone among leading industrialized nations in its decision to stop using nuclear energy because of its inherent risks. It is betting billions on expanding the use of renewable energy to meet power demands instead.

    The transition was supposed to happen slowly over the next 25 years, but is now being accelerated in the wake of Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant disaster, which Chancellor Angela Merkel has called a "catastrophe of apocalyptic dimensions."

  • National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion, Michael Chapdelaine will play a solo concert at 7 p.m. Thursday at Fuller Lodge, as part of the Guitars at the Lodge Series.
    Chapdelaine has won top honors in five international guitar competitions, including first prize in the Guitar Foundation of America Competition, the world’s most prestigious classical guitar competition. He has been awarded two National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowships and holds a master’s degree from Florida State University. He studied with Spanish maestro Andres Segovia and has been professor of guitar at the University of New Mexico since 1985.