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Local News

  • 46th Albuquerque balloon fiesta set for weekend launch

    By RUSSELL CONTRERAS, Associated Press
    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The 46th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is set to begin Saturday and is expected to draw close to a million visitors to central New Mexico.

    But concerns over crime in Albuquerque and the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas have organizers stepping up security measures. Here are key things to know about the event:

    THE BALLOONS

    The 2017 festival features about 500 traditional hot air balloons and 94 balloons that are shaped to make them look like bees, Elvis Presley, Smokey the Bear and others.

    This year's balloon festival theme is "Inflate your Imagination." The fiesta's morning mass ascensions launch this weekend, Wednesday and the weekend of Oct. 14-15.

    Seventeen of specially shaped balloons will make their first-ever flights, officials said. Among the entries this year are the "Armadillo" from Brazil, "Pepe the Hedgehog" from the Czech Republic and "Busby the Queen's Guard" from the United Kingdom.

    SECURITY

  • Museum to unveil replica of first detonated nuclear bomb

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History is primed to unveil its newest piece of history — a replica of the world's first nuclear bomb to be detonated.

    The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2y4z8HJ ) that on Friday, the museum will introduce a nearly to-scale replica of the Trinity Tower, which held the bomb, called the Gadget.

    Jim Walther, executive director of the museum, says the tower comes from an old 50s-era fire observation tower taken down from a forest in Alabama. It's about 98 feet (30 meters) tall and made of 15,000 pounds (6,800 kilograms) of steel.

    The Gadget replica will hang from a pulley as if in the midst of being pulled up into the tower prior to detonation.

    The real Gadget detonated July 16, 1945.

  • New Mexico college: Pay some tickets with peanut butter

    LAS CRUCES (AP) — New Mexico State University is allowing motorists to take a bite out of certain parking tickets by paying with peanut butter.

    The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the school recently announced motorists who have received a "no current permit" parking citation can pay it with at least 80 ounces of peanut butter from Oct. 23 to 27.

    All peanut butter donations will be sent to the Aggie Cupboard.

    The offer is limited to the first 100 customers.

    Officials say appealing the citation forfeits the right to pay with peanut butter.

  • New Mexico governor appeals ruling on voided vetoes

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is appealing a state judge's decision to void her vetoes on 10 bills that cleared the Legislature with little to no opposition earlier this year.

    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the case is headed to the New Mexico Court of Appeals after the Republican governor's attorney filed a notice of appeal earlier this week.

    Martinez vetoed the 10 bills without explanation resulting in legislators filing suit against the governor. The Democratic lawmakers cited a section of the New Mexico Constitution that requires the governor to offer reason for vetoing bills while legislators are in session.

    State District Judge Sarah Singleton agreed with the legislators and issued a decision the August.

    The bills became law last week.

  • AP-NORC Poll: Most dislike NFL protests _ and Trump comments

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans think refusing to stand for the national anthem is disrespectful to the country, the military and the American flag. But most also disapprove of President Donald Trump's calling for NFL players to be fired for refusing to stand.

    The NFL protests began last season with quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during the national anthem to bring more attention to the killings of black men by police officers. The protests spread this season, as the former San Francisco 49er was unable to sign on with another team, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett said he was racially profiled by Las Vegas police and then Trump sounded off.

    According to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 52 percent of Americans disapprove of professional athletes who have protested by refusing to stand during the national anthem, compared to 31 percent who approve. At the same time, 55 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump's call for firing players who refuse to stand, while 31 percent approve.

    In the poll, African-Americans were far more likely to approve of the players' protests.

  • New Mexico city may allow workers to carry concealed weapons

    ROSWELL (AP) — A southeastern New Mexico city is weighing whether to allow its employees to carry concealed weapons at work.

    KOB-TV in Albuquerque reports the Roswell City Council is scheduled next week to vote on a concealed weapons measure. Supporters say the new option will keep employees safe.

    Under the proposal, Roswell employees who complete requirements to obtain a concealed carry license will have the option to carry a gun.

    Nearby Eddy and Otero counties already allow their employees to carry a concealed weapon while on the job.

  • Money flows fast to GOP candidate for New Mexico governor

    SANTA FE (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce's campaign for governor has quickly raised $1 million as he battles in court for access to a separate chest of money he raised while serving in Congress.

    Pearce said in a news release Thursday that his campaign has received money from at least 930 contributors in less than three months. The campaign has at least $900,000 in cash on hand ahead of the 2018 primary and general elections.

    At the same time, the seven-term congressman and his approach to public land issues have come under pointed criticism in an advertising blitz from an alliance of five nonprofit advocacy groups. Pearce campaign spokesman Greg Blair dismissed the criticism as the work of liberal-leaning special interest organizations with a radical agenda.

    Two-term Republican Gov. Susana Martinez cannot run for re-election in 2018, and Pearce so far is the only contender for the GOP nomination. Candidates for the Democratic nomination include U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, state Sen. Joseph Cervantes and former media industry executive Jeff Apodoca.

  • Einstein proof: Nobel winners find ripples in the universe

    By  SETH BORENSTEIN and JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — For decades astronomers tried to prove Albert Einstein right by doing what Einstein thought was impossible: detecting the faint ripples in the universe called gravitational waves. They failed repeatedly until two years ago when they finally spotted one. Then another. And another. And another.

    Three American scientists — including one who initially flunked out of MIT — won the Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday that launched a whole new way to observe the cosmos. Sweden's Royal Academy of Sciences cited the combination of highly advanced theory and ingenious equipment design in awarding Rainer Weiss of the Massachusetts Institute of

    Technology and Barry Barish and Kip Thorne of the California Institute of Technology.

    "It's a win for the human race as a whole. These gravitational waves will be powerful ways for the human race to explore the universe," Thorne told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

  • Fun, food and gifts at PEEC-nic

    The Pajarito Environmental Education Center invites the public to take part in its fall party at the Los Alamos Nature Center from 1-3 p.m. Oct. 15. PEEC’s annual membership meeting, called PEEC-nic, is open to the public and it’s free!

    To celebrate PEEC has special activities planned, including hands-on activities for kids and adults, a chance to meet PEEC’s live animals, delicious desserts, and sun viewing through PEEC’s solar telescope, with the help of a local astronomer.

    The 2 p.m. planetarium show will be free for PEEC. The first 100 member families will receive a special, one-of-a-kind collectors gift.

    If you’ve been interested in PEEC membership or volunteering at the nature center, this is a great time to find out more.For more information about this and other PEEC events, visit peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org or call 662-0460.

  • Biological clock finds by 3 Americans earn Nobel prize

    NEW YORK (AP) — Three Americans won a Nobel Prize on Monday for discovering key genetic “gears” of the body’s 24-hour biological clock, the mechanism best known for causing jet lag when it falls out of sync.

    Problems with our body clock have also been linked to such disorders as sleep problems, depression, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Researchers are now trying to find ways to tinker with the clock to improve human health, the Nobel committee said in Stockholm.

    It awarded the $1.1 million (9 million kronor) Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Jeffrey C. Hall and Michael Rosbash, who worked together at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, and Michael W. Young of Rockefeller University in New York.

    They “were able to peek inside our biological clock” and discover details of its inner workings, the Nobel citation said.

    The work, done in fruit flies and dating back to 1984, identified genes and proteins that work together in people and other animals to synchronize internal activities throughout the day and night. Various clocks in the brain and elsewhere in the body, working together, regulate things like sleep patterns, eating habits and the release of hormones and blood pressure.  Such 24-hour patterns are called circadian rhythms.